How to set up a drum kit? If you want to play drums, you probably already know that having a good set of drums is essential.
They are a great way to express yourself through music.
Drums are instruments that produce sound using vibrating membranes called drums. Drum sets come in various sizes and shapes, from acoustic kits to electronic kits.
There are also several types of drums, such as snare drums, bass drums, hi-hats, cymbals, etc.
But even if you have just bought the most amazing drum kit, you might find yourself at a loss when it comes time to set it up.
It can be a tricky endeavor, especially if you have never done it before.
But do not fear, we have you covered. In this article, we are going to go over how to set up a drum set step-by-step.
So, let’s get started!
Why Is It Important To Properly Set Up Your Drum Kit?
Setting up your drum kit correctly will ensure that all of its components work properly together.
This means that they can communicate with each other and perform their intended functions.
If any component does not function well, then there won’t be much point in owning a drum kit.
For example, if you use an old or damaged cymbal, it may fall off during playing causing serious damage to the rest of your kit.
Therefore, you should invest some time into setting up your drum kit properly.
What Do You Need For Setting Up A Drum Kit?
You need several tools to set up a drum kit.
Here are the basic items:
- Drums (of course!)
- A stand
- Snare/Horn combo
- Bass drum
This list may vary depending on what accessories you have and what kind of drum kit you have.
We will cover everything else in depth later in this guide.
Different Types Of Drum Sets
There are three main types of drum kits: acoustic, semi-acoustic, and electronic. Each type has advantages and disadvantages.
On top of that, your set-up may differ depending on which type of drum kit you have.
So, let’s take a look at a few types of drums that you might encounter:
An acoustic drum kit consists of a collection of drums that create sounds by striking one or more surfaces with sticks.
These drums include a kick drum, which produces a loud booming beat; a floor tom, which creates a deep low pitch; a rack tom, which produces a high-pitched note; and an overhead tom, which sounds like a bell.
Other drums include:
- The ride cymbal, which provides a medium tone for fills.
- The crash cymbal, which produces a loud clanging noise when struck.
- A cowbell, which produces a light ringing sound.
- A tambourine, which produces a fast repetitive tapping sound.
A semi-acoustic drum kit uses microphones instead of drums to make sounds. This allows you to play along to pre-recorded tracks without needing to strike anything.
However, these kits usually lack certain features found in acoustic kits.
Some examples of semi-acoustic drum kits include:
- Electronic drum kits use samples and loops played through MIDI controllers. They are typically equipped with pads, triggers, and pedals. These can be used to mimic many sounds.
- Hi-hat kits have two-foot pedals that allow you to trigger different hi-hat patterns.
An electronic drum kit contains no physical drums. Instead, it relies on a computer program to produce various sounds.
This allows you to play along to a prerecorded track while controlling the volume and speed of the beats.
Examples of electronic drum kits include:
These kits come in varying sizes. Smaller kits usually contain fewer pieces while larger ones tend to carry more hardware.
Step-By-Step Guide On How To Set Up A Drum Set
We have finally reached the point where we are going to delve into how you can set up a drum kit.
We are only going to cover the set-up of a basic drum set.
However, this will be a good foundation for any drum set that you might have. So, without further ado, let us start with the first step.
Step 1 – Stool
The first thing you will need to buy is a stool. These stools are very important for your set-up, because they help you position your feet correctly.
You should place them so that they are close enough to the kick pedals without being too close, or you risk hitting them accidentally.
You should also make sure that you are comfortable with the height of the stool. This allows you to sit comfortably while playing.
Step 2 – Kick Pedal
You will then need to add a kick pedal to your drum set.
The kick pedal is what allows you to control the volume of your drum kit. It is attached to the floor by the stand, which holds it upright.
There are many kinds of kick pedals on the market, but there are two main categories: foot pedals and handhelds.
Foot pedals are usually more expensive than handhelds, but they can provide a better feel when playing.
There are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right kind of pedal.
First, you should consider how big you are. A small person may prefer a smaller pedal, while someone who has bigger legs may need a larger pedal.
Second, you should pay attention to the type of material used in its construction. Some people like rubber kicks, while others don’t care about the feel much.
Finally, you should check whether the pedal has a lever or not.
Lever pedals tend to be easier to use since all you have to do is press the lever down to activate the pedal. However, they require a bit more force to operate.
Step 3 – Snare Drums
After adding the kick pedal, you should move on to the next item on our list: the snares. Snares are an integral part of any drum set.
They are basically metal plates placed under each head of the drum.
Snares are used to create different sounds.
Each snare produces a slightly different tone. For example, a tom fills out the bottom end of the drum kit, while a snare provides the top end.
Here are some tips to remember when buying a snare drum:
First, you should choose between open or closed heads. Open heads are more popular among beginners since they are easier to tune. On the other hand, closed heads give you more freedom when tuning.
Second, you should look for a snare with a high pitch. High-pitched snares are louder, allowing you to play louder and harder.
Finally, you should try to find a snare that is easy to hold. This will make it easier to play.
Step 4 – Cymbals
Now that you have added the kick pedal and the snare drums, it’s time to move on to the cymbals. Cymbals are used to produce various effects such as crashes, hi-hats, and rides.
Cymbals come in three varieties: crash, ride, and splash. Crash cymbals are used for creating loud, booming noises.
Ride cymbals are used to create mellow tones. Splash cymbals are similar to ride cymbals, except that they are made from a softer substance.
Here are some guidelines to follow when buying a cymbal:
First, you must decide if you want a single or multiple crashes.
Single crashes are cheaper, but most importantly, they sound less powerful. Multiple crashes are pricier, but they provide a fuller sound.
Second, you must choose between hanging cymbals and rim-mounted cymbals. Hanging cymbals are typically cheaper, but they lack stability.
Rim-mounted cymbals are more stable, but they cost more.
Third, you should buy a cymbal with a good pitch. You should also look at the size. Smaller cymbals are easier to handle, but they are quieter.
Larger sizes provide a deeper sound.
Step 5 – Toms
Toms are one of the most important pieces of a drum kit.
There are many types of toms, but two are most commonly used: floor toms and overhead toms.
Floor toms are played by hitting them directly with your foot.
Overhead toms are usually played by using sticks. Floor toms are generally heavier than overheads. Both are essential to every drummer.
Here are some things you should consider when purchasing a tom:
First, you need to know what kind of tom you want. Floor toms can vary greatly in size and shape.
Some may even have bells attached. When choosing a floor tom, you should focus on its size and weight.
Next, you should determine whether you prefer a solid body or a hollow body. A solid body is simply a shell around the drum.
Hollow bodies are typically lighter and easier to transport. However, they are not very durable.
Finally, you should also pay attention to the type of finish. You should select either a lacquer finish or an oil finish.
Oil finishes are easier to maintain, but they are also more expensive.
Step 6 – Bass Drums
Bass drums are used to add depth and power to a song. They are also used to support vocals and percussion instruments.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for bass drums:
First, you should look for the right diameter. The larger the diameter, the better.
Second, you should select between a 5×14 or 5×16 bass drum. A 5×14 bass drum is smaller, but it has a wider head. A 5×16 bass drum is bigger, but it provides a tighter sound.
Here are some other factors to consider when buying a bass drum:
First, you might want to look into a double-ended bass drum.
Double-ended bass drums are designed to be played both above and below the batter head. This allows you to achieve a variety of sounds.
Second, you should check out the number of lug holes. More lug holes make the bass drum easier to play.
Third, you may want to look at the resonator. Resonators are added to bass drums to improve their tone.
Fourth, you should be sure to get a quality bass drum pedal. If possible, you should try playing the bass drum before buying it.
Step 7 – Test Your Set-Up
Once you’ve set up your drum kit, you should test it out.
Take a seat and make sure that all the parts of your drum kit are in the right place and that everything is in a comfortable position.
Then, start playing. Make sure that everything sounds clear and that none of the components clash together. If there’s anything wrong, you can fix it easily.
Step 8 – Tuning Your Drum Kit
If you’re ready to tune your drum kit, here are some suggestions:
First, use a metronome to help figure out where each part goes. Play along with different drummers and listen to how they hit certain notes.
Second, measure the distance from your snare drum to your hi-hat. If this distance is too far, then you will need to move your hi-hat closer to the snare.
Lastly, you’ll want to adjust the tension of each stick. This helps ensure that the sticks feel natural when playing. It also makes them easier to control.
Step 9 – Practice Makes Perfect
Practice as much as you can until your drumming skills become second nature. Try practicing with others, such as your friends and family members.
This way, you can get feedback about your performance.
You can practice by yourself or with someone else. Either way, you should always keep one eye open while you drum.
This keeps you aware of any mistakes that you may have made throughout the session.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even though we have covered everything you will need to know about setting up a drum kit, you most likely have a few questions on the topic.
In this section, we are going to answer several frequently asked questions about drum kits. So, let’s get started!
How Do You Tune Drums?
When you first begin playing drums, you won’t necessarily understand how to tune drums correctly. However, once you do learn how to tune drums properly, you’ll never go back.
The process of tuning drums involves adjusting the pitch of each individual drum so that they match one another.
When all of these pitches match, you end up with a perfect drum kit.
While there are many ways to tune drums, the easiest method is to use an electronic tuner. These devices allow you to hear a note and change its pitch accordingly.
What Is A Snare Drum Made Of?
A snare drum is usually made from metal like steel or aluminum.
They come in various sizes and shapes. The ones that are used for rock music tend to be larger than those that are used for jazz.
Snare drums are commonly tuned to Bb (440Hz), which means they sound best when played at around half speed.
For more information on what frequency is ideal for each type of drum, check our guide on what is the best snare drum.
Which Beaters Should I Use?
There are two main types of beaters: mallets and brushes.
Mallets are typically thicker than brushes and are generally preferred by drummers who play styles such as Rock or Heavy Metal.
Brushes are better suited for Jazz and other styles that rely heavily on percussion. Because of their size, they are able to produce higher volume levels than mallets.
What Are Hi-Hats Used For?
Hi-hats serve a variety of functions. They are primarily used to create accents during songs. However, they’re also great for creating fills. To start, you might want to try using them to fill out sections of a song.
After you’ve mastered using hi-hats to fill out songs, you can try adding additional effects to them.
One example would be to add echo to the cymbals. Another option would be to use it to double the bass drum when you want to emphasize certain beats.
What Types of Cymbals Can I Use?
Cymbals are available in both bronze and silver varieties.
Bronze cymbals are often favored over silver because bronze has a warmer tone. If you prefer a brighter sound, then stick with silver.
Bronze cymbals include crashes, rides, china, rides, and hi-hats. Silver cymbals consist of crashes, rides, china, and hi-hits.
Crashes are designed to provide a powerful impact that makes a loud noise. Ride cymbals are used to accentuate the main beats in the song.
China cymbals are meant to cover the entire range of sounds produced by the rest of the kit.
If you enjoyed reading this article, then you will find that setting up a drum set isn’t too difficult. It just requires some patience and dedication.
Once you master the basics, you’ll soon find yourself ready to perform.
As long as you follow the steps outlined above, you shouldn’t encounter any major problems along the way.
Don’t fret if you don’t feel comfortable right away. Just stick with it and practice often. Eventually, you’ll become comfortable enough to hit your mark.
So, now that you know how to set up a drum set, where should you start? Well, the obvious choice is to pick up a pair of sticks and practice.