DRUM SET & ASSEMBLY  “I’m fixing a hole” 

HOW-TO ASSEMBLE A DRUM SET:  (hint: no bass drum no gig, no snare sound no gig.}

Here are some Ideas for setting up your drum kit.

Your first steps in setting up a drum kit should be to think about;
What kind of sound do you want? 
What type of band are you in?  What styles are you going to play?
What kind of set do I want to pack around?
The first thing you need to determine is your drum-set configuration.
Keep spare snare and bass drumheads at gigs.

The chair first, and then everything else is going to be set-up around the chair or drum throne.   Bass drum, Hi-Hat, Snare, Toms, Cymbals. Place your stands and equipment and make sure everything is tight.  When you sit at you set you should feel comfortable and relaxed.  There should be no rattling or shaky parts.
Put your feet down and everything else goes around this placement.

Keep your equipment organized and un-discombobulated. 
Use cases, they will protect your drums in travel and show professionalism.
After placing the bass drum, then the Hi-hat, snare, toms, cymbals and extra percussion items, cowbells, bongos, a gong. 

A good snare rattles because it is sensitive!  It is a part of the design.  The 'snares' or wires under the snare drum are intended to vibrate and help produce that tone we all want. The trouble is, almost any vibration in the room will set them to singing and rattling.  If we tape or tie them down, then much of our snappy tone may be lost in the trade-off.  The with a snare rattle is in most rock bands it is so darn loud that no one can rally hear the snare rattle.  Microphones will hear it; use can use a sound gate. You can also try pulling the 'snares' as tight as you dare, using the straining device on the side of your snare drum.

Sound Ovals:  These are thin Mylar ovals designed to be laid on top of the batter head of each drum.  You can also cut a ring out of an old drum head  and lay it on top of the head. This  does a good job at killing the overtones and excess ringing from  unruffled drums.   'Sound Ovals' will do a lot towards controlling all the unwanted vibrations and overtones.  There are also drum heads with built in sound controls and foam rings that can be mounted on the inside of the drum shell.  All of these steps  will help to cut back or out  snare and drum shell overtone rattle-n-roll.



  • Where are the pedals going to go?
  • Place the rest of the set around the pedal placement. 
  • The bass drum shell is probably the biggest item.
  • The front head.  Usually will have a logo.
  • Place the bass drum; adjust the front-head so the logo is straight. 
  • Usually the Logo goes at the top and is centered with the tom mount assembly. 
  • Bass drums are mike’d from the front with the microphone in close to the drum.

All Bass Drum pedals are a little different, but most operate on the same principle.  Usually, there will be a tongue in groove type clamp that bites into the hoop of the bass drum as it sits on the floor in the playing position.  Just slip the pedal up to the hoop and look for a way to attach it firmly to the drum so that it won't fall away as it is being used.  It is pretty much a common sense thing.

Again, there are hundreds of designs. If the snare is the queen of the set the Hi-Hat is the King.  Time click keeper and interregnal to most drum beats. You will be hitting this a lot. 

The snare stand.  A snare drum is the most used and the most important drum on the set.  Your stand is important and should provide a solid base for the snare to be laid in place. 

TOMS & FLOOR TOM Toms: Be sure that no two drum rims are touching. there should be at least a 1/2" inch gap between each drum. Otherwise, when you hit one drum . . . the other will likely vibrate and rattle. This is especially true if the snare rim is touching the hi-tom rim. You need to keep them separated….

Buddy Rich use two some guys have 5 or 6.  It all depends what you want.
If you have more than 2 or 3 then it is probably easy if the drums are mounted up on stands in an array that is manageable.

 There are millions of cymbal stands, they come in all shapes and sizes.  Some stands come with boom arms, others may be straight, all stands are designed to be collapsible, adjustable; they should be easy to use mobile with several adjustments. Some stands come with memory settings or back up tightening. You'll probably need a lot of stands for your chrome jungle....

CYMBALS?  What cymbals are right for your set?

There are many different types of cymbals Generally you need a Large ride cymbal 18” – 26”, A Crash cymbal or two 16” to 22” note the overlap in size.  And a pair of Hi-Hat cymbals 14”-15”. There are “China type or Pang” cymbal sounds, small wispy thin cymbals, Heavy large cymbals with no overtones unlike a crash cymbal that has many overtones.  Combo Ride Crash, Swish, heavy & light Crash etc.

Note: no metal on metal it rattles and will wear-out and possibly crack your cymbals.  Use preferably round felt pads with hard plastic tubing around the shaft where the cymbal is mounted, then a bolt so the cymbal doesn't fly-off and hit one of your band mates, severing an artery.  Metal to metal anywhere will affect the cymbals tone.

HI-HAT CYMBALS; there is a top and bottom cymbal you be hitting these cymbals a lot.  The bottom is usually heavier and will cup upwards and lay on a felt cushion.

The TOP HI-HAT CYMBAL is usually the thinner of the two and it will be set to cup downward into the bottom cymbal.

A HI-HAT CLUTCH is used to secure the top cymbal onto the rod that comes up from the floor.  The Hi-Hat Clutch secures the cymbal to the clutch and the clutch can adjust to the a space between the top and bottom cymbals.  This adjustment determined the amount of click or slooosh you get when playing the Hi-Hats.

A standard ride cymbal produces very few overtones and keeps its definition as you repeatedly pound out a ride cymbal beat. 

Crash Cymbals.  Crash cymbals come in many sizes and shapes 8 – 22” it is all about the amount of metal your hitting a thin cymbal will produce over tones that will dissipate quickly.  A heavier cymbal will take longer a gong the longest.  If it gets to big it becomes a ride cymbal.

Pang, Swish or China Cymbals. Odd shape cymbals generally 18”- 26” with inverted shape,  a China type has a square bell.  A Swish has rivets so that it keeps ringing. A Pang just makes a big crash then the sound dies, no overtones.

There are small very heavy bell cymbals.

There are Ride/Crash variations. 

Go to a music store try out the different cymbals, see what you like.

Done now it is time to rock.

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