What musical instruments should drummers have


Percussion instruments are certainly among the oldest instruments known to man. It is not difficult to imagine that primitive man struck rods, bones or stones together to make sounds. This basic instinct of "playing the drums" can be observed in every toddler: If it has a stick of any kind, it will immediately hit it. If it then happens to hit the empty sand bucket and a correspondingly hollow sound is created, it will repeat this process with enthusiasm many times.

From traditional representations of antiquity it can be proven beyond doubt that drums existed in Egypt and Mesopotamia as early as 4000 years ago. Researchers have observed the great importance of drums in many indigenous peoples. Some of them have magical powers, some of them are used for rituals or the transmission of messages.

Percussion instruments have been part of orchestras in Europe since the 18th century. They also received more and more attention in military bands, because it was probably easier to march to a brisk rhythm. The special thing about such use of percussion instruments is that each one of them is played by a musician. You can still see it like that in our symphony orchestras.

With the advent of other forms of music such as blues and swing at the beginning of this century, the use of the percussion changed, as did the operation. Now the individual elements such as bass drum, snare drum and cymbals were set up together and a musician played several at the same time. That had great advantages, because now several rhythm parts with the drummer could merge into one complicated overall rhythm. But that also means that the drummer had a lot of responsibility for the overall sound from now on.

So the drum set has become an indispensable part of the jazz and big bands, the swing combos and dance bands. The drummer became a very busy hard worker. Not only his two hands, but also his feet were used to the full. The drum makers had come up with ingenious machines for the feet. Once there was the bass drum pedal. If you stepped on it, the drumstick attached to it struck against the back skin of the bass drum. But our drummer also had to replace the orchestra musician, who always hit the cymbals together. The second machine, the hi-hat or - as it was called earlier - the Charleston machine, was used for this purpose. With her he could now, while stepping, cover two basins against each other and complete the rhythmic network. And while the trumpeter took a break, the drummer had to continue playing without stopping.

Nothing has changed to this day. The basic structure of the drum kit has also remained the same for decades. Of course, the forms and the technical components have been developed enormously. Problems such as stability, durability or tunability are no longer a question for modern drummers. And it will be further developed. Who would have thought just a few years ago that a basin could also be bright red or that the stand material could be black? Or that you can save the many stands at all and hang everything on a scaffold? Or that you can achieve the effect of a double bass drum with a double pedal, even though only one is there? With all the technology: What matters is what the drummer brings behind it.


The set

Roughly speaking, a drum set consists of three groups of parts: the kettles and cymbals and the associated brackets and stands, the so-called hardware.
Over time, certain standards have emerged for the structure of a drum set. Usually it consists of Kick drum, Hanging tom (s), Standtom (s), Ride- and Crash basin and Hi-hat.


The snare

The snare drum is placed in the middle in front of the player, the drummer's main instrument. It comes from European military music and has developed from various forms of marching and stirring drums.
It differs from the other boilers in that a lever mechanism can be used to stretch a spiral carpet across the lower resonance head. If the drummer hits the batter head, the resonance head reacts immediately and the spiral carpet on it rattles with it. Depending on how much you stretch the carpet, this rattle can sound very dry and short or very extended and washed out.


The bass drum

The bass drum is the second main instrument in the drum set. It consists of a large wooden boiler, usually covered on both sides, which rests on its side and is held in its position by two legs (which can be folded during transport) at the front end. The bass drum is operated with the help of a so-called foot machine, which is fixed on the batter side with a clamping device on the drum's hoop. As an alternative to using two bass drums, a double pedal can be used which, through mechanical transmission, enables you to play with both feet on just one bass drum.
The resonance head on the front is often provided with holes in order to reduce the reverberation of the bass drum and to enable the sound to be picked up directly by a microphone in the bass drum. In addition, pillows or blankets are often placed inside the bass drum to dampen it.


The toms

A distinction is made between so-called Hanging toms and Stand toms. The names already tell why: some hang over the bass drum, others stand next to it. A hanging tom therefore always needs an associated hanging device, the tom holder. Every manufacturing company swears by its mounting system, which has to be quite robust to withstand the constant pressure. The tom holder corresponds to the holder rosettes attached to the shells of the toms and bass drum. Modern systems completely dispense with this, in that everything that has to be hung on a drum kit is attached to a separate frame. This is sure to be an absolute solution, but it looks pretty massive. Traditional stand toms have their own feet that can be extended or retracted as required.



The pool (Cymbals) have become independent and full-fledged musical instruments. While we used to be happy to have a lid hanging there at all, today the precision of manufacture and the selection of the cymbal set make a decisive contribution to the overall sound of the drums. Of course, playing the cymbals is just as important for the drummer as operating the rest of the set. The following pool types can be distinguished:

Ride pool
The continuous beat is played accentuated on it. It should prevail in the sound, but not annoying. A special form of improvement is playing on the clear-sounding bell. This is the dome-shaped elevation in the middle of the pool. Ride cymbals come in different sizes and timbres. Incidentally, this is the case with all pools.

Crash cymbals
You have the task of making "noise" in the truest sense of the word. Individual beats or transitions between the bars or parts of the song are particularly emphasized by crash beats.

These basins always appear in pairs, they have to match each other. On the one hand, you can step along or play the continuous beat on them. But accentuated play on the hi-hat with both hands is also very good, in which you can also include loosening and holding the two cymbals.

Splash cymbals It is extremely small and sounds very healthy and snappy. Outstanding parts of the rhythm can be emphasized very well. It is also well suited for push-pull work.In addition to these pools, there are also special types such as China basin (see image), Rivet basin or also the Gongswhich are basically huge pools. The dimensions are again given in inches ("). As a rule of thumb, the larger the diameter, the deeper the basic sound of the cymbal. 


Due to the large number of combinations of different percussion instruments and structures, no generally binding notation for the percussion has established itself to this day. This means that the notation has to be explained at the beginning of drum notes. This description is called the '' drum key ''.
However, there are several common writing conventions: Instead of the common clef, a so-called neutral clef is used, as many percussion instruments are not tuned to an exact pitch. In addition, the individual metal instruments (such as cymbals) are usually represented with x-shaped noteheads, while the drums have ordinary round noteheads. The relative pitch relationship can be seen in the arrangement of the instruments in the score. It is also common practice to put the parts of the set that are played with the feet in the lower part of the staff, while the figures played with the hands (or sticks or brooms) are notated above. An exception is sometimes the hi-hat, which can be played with both feet and hands. If you write down each instrument as an individual part, a complete drum figure quickly appears confusing. In practice, pause signs are therefore not set according to fixed rules, but in an effort to ensure optimal legibility in individual cases. So the following sheet music example treats the drums as a single instrument:


Simple eighth note beat



The timpani, mainly used in the symphony orchestra, come from Arabia. They were brought to Europe as early as the Middle Ages during the Crusades and the conquest of Spain by the Moors and - together with the trumpets - they were used in festive music at the courts and in military music as a pompous instrument of the cavalry. This instrument has also been perfected over the years. The way of this instrument leads from the screw timpani (here these instruments still had to be tuned by means of tensioning screws that were individually operated by hand) via the crank or lever timpani, then via the rotating kettle drum to today's modern pedal timpani, which is technically most perfect is. It is tuned by a lever mechanism operated with the foot. Most of the timpani are provided with a pointer that indicates the current mood, which makes it easier to retune quickly.


Stick games

The stick games consist of different instruments made of both wood and metal, such as the xylophone or Marimba (Wooden sticks), dem Vibraphone (Metal rods) or the Carillon (Metal plates). All are made to sound by striking with a mallet.

The term mallet instruments is based on their striking tool, the mallet, and includes instruments with sound bars. The composer Carl Orff made them particularly important in music education, and everyone knows them from kindergarten or school.Xylophone or marimbaphone are very similar, although not of the same origin. Both have wooden sticks. which are arranged in two rows like a keyboard. With the marimba, additional sound-amplifying resonance tubes are hung below, which produce the soft, sustaining sound.

The Carillon exists since the 9th century, where it was built by monks. Today's steel bars were still bells at that time.

The bars of the Vibraphones are made of aluminum. The sound vibrations are also influenced by an electric motor. It rotates small metal disks in the resonance tubes, which creates the typical vibration.  


'' 'Percussion' '', also '' 'Percussion' '' (Latin to beat, to beat, "percussor" also "murderer"), is used in music as a generic term for playing all types of instruments in the field of percussion and effect instruments. The percussion is considered to be the most primitive form of music-making and is strongly influenced by regional characteristics in terms of instrumentation and playing style.
In modern popular music and the percussion of a classical orchestra, percussion instruments are combined regardless of their origin or cultural significance. In the general usage of pop and rock music, a distinction is made between “classic drums” and “other percussion”. This distinction lacks an objective basis, since the percussion is a combination of different percussion instruments that can vary greatly from one musical genre to another. However, require Congas, bongos, timbales, maracas, cowbells and shakersTo name a few important percussion instruments, special percussion or playing techniques that not every drummer can master.



1. Drums








2nd pelvis







3. Timpani





4. Mallets

Studio 49



He must



5. Percussion

LP (Latin Percussion)