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The Drum

Updated on June 17, 2014

Understanding more about this percussion instrument ...

Drums are one of the main percussion instruments that exists. If you are musically inclined then you may want to read this article, simply because drums are awesome! My husband can play the drums a little bit and played in his high school band. My son is learning and can play about 3 beats. Believe it or not he taught me to play one beat.

That is quite an accomplishment for myself. Considering using my foot and both hands at the same time to different beats are quite a challenge for this rookie. My little boy had a problem with the sound of his drum an it sounded awful. We had a buddy over that plays the drums all the time.

He is so talented and he had a trick up his sleeve to help my son. He placed a napkin over the drums, then plastic over the napkin and then tape around the edges. The sound was crazy good compared to what it was before. Guess those experienced drummers know about all those simple tricks.

Percussion has been around since the beginning of time. Drums have been used in many ways and warfare is just one of those ways. Drums were used in the Civil War and were used in military bands. In the 1920s jazz became real popular and the drum set was developed to help these musicians.

However, the actual drum set wasn't developed completely until around the 1930s. Drum sets are also known as drum kits. Most drum sets include the bass drum, snare drum, cymbals, and tom toms. Sometimes cowbells and woodblocks are also included. Drums play a major role and any type of music. Some of the early drumming kits were made for jazz and rock. Nowadays it is used for all types of music. Hip hop, pop, techno, jazz, classical, rock, country and has paved a way for electric drums.

The bass drum is the large round drum that sits on the ground with the foot pedal attached. It is the largest member of the drum set. The bass has a low sound or indefinite pitch. Sometimes the bass drum is used individually in marching bands and drum corps. The bass drum helps keep mark and time being the foundation for the other beats.

Another type of drum is the snare drum. The snare drum is also known as a side drum. It is known as the snare because it is double headed with wires crossing underneath the center of the drum and when it is hit it makes a rattle or buzzing sound. It is an unpitched percussion instrument and is in the center of the drum set. The snare is a little bigger than a medium tom drum that was used in warfare. This drum has been used in orchestras, marching bands, concert bands, corps, the drum set, and typically played by hitting with a drum stick. However, a snare can be hit with brushes, rutes, and another tool.

The next piece in the drum set is the cymbals. The cymbals are one ride, one crash, and a pair of hi- hats. Sometimes there are other types of cymbals depending on the player. Cymbals are usually made of copper- tin alloy. The ride cymbal helps keep that main beat like the bass for the cymbals. Then the crash cymbal makes very strong accent sounds and can be played different ways. Some ways are by rubbing the edges together in a sliding movement, hitting them together to make a clashing sound, tapping the edges together which is called the "tap-clash", and there are many other ways.

The hi-hats are another type of cymbal. The hi-hats are two cymbals that are mounted on one stand. One of the cymbals higher than the other one and a foot pedal to clash the two cymbals together. The sound of hi-hats are usually crisp and sharp. Last but not least is the toms or may be known as tom toms. Tom toms are played without sticks and are short drums. These drums fill in the music usually. There are all type of tom toms; like floor toms and single headed toms to name a few.

All of these pieces put together make up what is called the drum set. When picking a drum set to buy it can be a very hard decision. There are somethings that you can consider when you get ready to purchase drums though. Some factors can be your level of experience, the genre of music or your style, personal preference, and even age. There are more factors to add in the equation when buying a drum set such as the type of wood the drum is made with, the model of drums, and the manufacturer.

When it comes to the best manufacturers for drum sets it can be argued depending on who you speak with which brand is the best. Here are some brands that I have found keep showing up on the favorites lists. Mapex, Tama, Pearl, and Cannon brands seem to be on just about every top favorite list for drum brands. Many manufacturers also make kits for all different experience levels. For instance they may have a beginner kit, intermediate kit, semi-professional kit, and professional kits. I would personally suggest speaking with a professional before purchasing if you can.

Another question that many people want to know about drums have to do with the individuals behind the set. Who are the best drummers that ever existed? Everyone has a different idea about this too, but there are some famous drummers out in this great big universe and I can list five famous drummers for you. Stephen Morris, Jeff Porcaro, Cozy Powell, Josh Freese, and Terry Bozzio. Stephen Morris is known for the being a big part in the band New Order in 1980. Jeff Porcaro was part of the band Toto.

Cozy Powell is known for playing part of many rock bands such as Whitesnake. Josh Freese played for Guns N' Roses, The Vandals, Nine Inch Nails and other bands. Terry Bozzio is known working with the band Missing Persons and the Frank Zappa band. Drums are versatile and can be played with many different styles. It could be sounds from Africa, Latin America, New Orleans, or Berlin. Wherever this beat comes from it is assured that there is someone loving that sound. Peace, love, and blessings!


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    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      This is a very informational hub chock full of great advice for all those wannabe drummers out there! Great job! Voted up and more!