You've probably heard the term 'drum set' or 'drum kit' before but have you actually given much thought as to what is actually in one? In this lesson, we're going to try and introduce you to what is in a basic drum set; what it looks like, what it sounds like etc. We'll be going through each indivudual part of the drum kit in detail; cymbals and drums. The diagram to the right shows the parts of a standard, 5-piece drum set (5-piece referring to the number of drums - cymbals aren't counted here). Throughout this lesson, we'll be referring back to it so that you can see where everything goes.
A Crash cymbal is a medium sized cymbal often placed to the left of the drum set for a right-handed drummer (see #8 on the diagram at the top of the page) since the Ride cymbal is usually on the right although some drummers position it elswhere. The noise it produces is simulated to the left. Usually the Crash cymbal will be the first to warp and ultimately crack due to the repeated striking of its edge. As I've just said the Crash cymbal is played by hitting it on the edge.
A Ride cymbal is a large cymbal often stationed to the right of the drum kit, for right-handed drummers (see #7 on the diagram at the top of the page). It's purpose is similar tot hat of a Hi-hat in that it is used to maintain a steady rythmic pattern. It can be played in three ways by hitting three different parts, which are simulated to the right.
A Splash cymbal is the smallest cymbal that can be positioned in several ways. It generally does not have an individual stand but rather 'piggybacks' on another stand or cymbal, as in the second image on the left. I can also be put on upside down (as on the left) or the right way up (see the first picture on the left. It is used for an accent, for instance at the end of a bar (more on that later in basic beats). Most splash cymbals range from 6" to 12" in diamater (the first image on the left is 10").
A bass drum (also known as the kick drum) is the large drum in the center of the drum kit (see #1 on the digram at the top of the page). It is not played with sticks but rather with a beater attached to a pedal (see the second image on the right) which a right handed drummer operates with the right foot. It is generally used to play the '1' and '3' beats in a 4/4 rythym. Sometimes are played at once (see the image on the left) where a second pedal is positioned next to the hi-hats pedal.