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The different elements of a drum set

If you’ve been following our Redison blog articles on how to hold your drumsticks and how to work the rudiments properly, you probably want to find out about what the different elements of a drum set are.

You’ve come to the right place !

Let’s discover together what are the different elements of a drum set.

Basic drum set elements

The snare drum

When we think of a drum set, we most often refer to the snare drum. It’s quite normal, because it’ s the central element of your whole drum kit.
The snare drum has a very distinct sound, which is one of the foundations of music in the widest sense. It can be made of wood, metal, or even titanium.

If you ask any drummer if he or she should choose only one element to work on the drums, the answer would be the snare drum. The snare drum allows you to work on all the rudiments at any tempo, it reacts perfectly to the bounces, the intensities and the precision of your stroke.

What better example of the utilization of this fundamental element than in our Cover of a very famous song of the band U2.

Hi-hat cymbals

Hi-hat cymbals always work together as a pair, one on top of the other. They are aligned on a cymbal stand, and can be controlled by the drummer’s foot.
Indeed, the hi-hat pedals can open and close at different settings, allowing a very wide range of sounds.

Hi-hat cymbals are very often used to mark the tempo, and are also the basis of the rhythm on the drums. Coupled with the snare drum, hi-hat cymbals are the main elements used with drumsticks by the drummer.

The bass drum

The third essential component, the bass drum is the backbone of the drum set.

All the elements of the drum set are built around the bass drum. It is the most impressive element, and the one that produces the most powerful sound.
The bass drum is the basis of the drum rhythm. It serves as a landmark for the whole band, and allows to highlight the song in tandem with the bass player.

It is possible to hit the bass drum with one or two bass drum pedals, depending on the style of music. A double bass drum pedal, often used in metal, creates a real steamroller.

It is the combination of the snare drum, the bass drum and the hi-hat cymbals that are the basis of a very, very large majority of drum rhythms.

That’s why, in the Senstroke application, we decided to include a basic kit with these drum elements.


Did you notice? There are other items in our Senstroke “blue kit” drum kit.
What are they for? That’s what we’re going to see!

Advanced drum set elements


They come in different kinds and sizes, of course I’m talking about cymbals.

The widest is the ride cymbal. Like the hi-hat cymbals, it can also be the basis of the rhythm and indicate the tempo. It is also composed of a dome in its center: striking it produces a sound similar to a bell.

Crash cymbals come in many sizes and variations.
They are mainly used to accentuate changes in the beat, and can be used to dynamize and give power to your drumming.

The toms

Toms are drums implemented in the drum kit. They also come in different sizes, and their number and positioning can change.

Very often, a drum kit includes at least two toms: a bass tom and a high tom. It is not uncommon to find a third tom, the “middle” tom.
It all depends on the range of sounds you want: each tom produces a different sound, and it is by combining them with each other and with other drum elements that they reveal their potential.

They can also be used as a basis for a drum rhythm, but you should have understood by now: all drum elements can be used as a basis for a rhythm!

The more unusual elements

There are all kinds of rarer, but still very useful drum elements.

The tambourine, the bell, the gong, etc..
In the end, anything that can be used as a percussion instrument can be added to your kit. It all depends of your style, and your taste.
It is up to you to have a drum kit that is unique in the world.

You can even use a cushion, a table, your knees… But for that, it is better to have Senstroke sensors!

In conclusion

If we had to make a list of all the components of a drum set, we would not finish it.
We’re talking about a very highly customizable instrument.

Luckily, it’s always possible to play and have fun with very few elements and then add more over time.
Whether it’s with your acoustic kit, your electronic drum kit, or your Senstroke sensors, remember: Fun above all.

See you soon for another Redison blog post.

In the meantime, keep on drumming!


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