When we say hardware, it is always a combination or set of different drums which make a kit and the accessories involved that make it complete to be called drum kit hardware.
In other words, the hardware in a drum kit indicates the components that are used for support, position, and to maintain the tension among the instruments.
In the upcoming sections, I will try to throw light on the various drum parts such as mounts, rim, badge, snare tensioner, and so on. Also, I will try to go as deep as I can in discussing stands, racks and holders. So, let’s start this journey, I hope that you will stay with me till the very end.
Components of a Drum Hardware
A good understanding of different components of drum hardware will help you make better purchases and manage them well. Without much delay, let’s understand the important components that make your kit rock.
There are cymbal and tom-tom stands featuring boom arms which are primarily attached for an extended holder reach. Also, the tilter is quite helpful in moving the instruments from one place to another.
If you wish to attach more parts to the existing drum stand, you can go for smaller clam holders. One more component called drum rack is a kind of stand that surrounds the drum kit over which the percussion equipment holders are clamped.
Besides, there is another type of clamp known as memory locks. These memory locks are used for making drums and even for permanent telescoping positions.
The main purpose of a metal drum stand is to support percussion equipment or microphones. If you opt for floor stands then they are generally telescoping and tripods.
There are various kinds of stands and holders. Cymbal stands, hi-hat stands, rack toms, floor tom, snare drum stand, to name a few.
A hi-hat stand is a combo of a pedal and two cymbals that are installed on a durable metal stand. You can consider it as an inseparable element of a standard drum that is basically used by drummers in almost all kinds of genres from jazz to rock to pop to blues.
Coming to the design, it comprises a matching pair of small to medium-sized cymbals that are fixed on a stand such that the two cymbals face each other. The top cymbal is installed on a rod that tilts toward the bottom which is already mounted and fixed when the pedal is depressed.
Hi-Hat stand is a standard and vital component of the drum kit hardware. It is used by almost every avid drummer. In an advanced drum kit, you can remotely operate an extra pair of hi-hat cymbals using a cable hat or by holding it closely by an X-hat adapter.
The most lovable is three-leg collapsible designed stands, however, it is expanded from two-leg, no -leg and even from the cable-operated designs. Does hi-fat stand to make a difference?
Well! This depends on your preferences. If you want space then the 2-legged gives more space for other hardware like a double bass drum pedal. On the other hand, if stability is your priority then 3 legged stands are a better option.
A few creative ideas have added grace to the latest models such as swiveling tripods, tilted bottom cymbal cups, and even the inclusion of durable baseplates. Primarily, which model you select depends on your requirements like how much weight or sturdiness you are looking for, or even the range your pocket allows.
Thus, you can easily find light to heavy models or simple to complex models, etc, all you need to do is to clear your mind. Also, do not forget to check the diameter of the pull rod while getting a hi-hat stand.
Let’s now discuss the most ignored pieces of the hardware of a drum kit. A snare drum stand is like a basket that holds a snare drum. It is slightly different from the other available drum stands.
Like in a tom stand a drum is fitted with a bracket that is straightly attached to the tom holder. Whereas the snare drums are not installed using these brackets so you require a definite position to hold the drum.
A snare drum stand is incorporated with a bracket comprising 3 metal arms with rubber ends to avoid any damage to the drum. A snare drum normally fits in the basket and you can use nuts on the bottom of the stand to tighten up the metal arms.
Besides, most drummers keep the nuts loose to easily swap the drum in case it gets damaged or if they want to install a different snare drum that can produce a different sound.
I am not here to only give you knowledge but also to impart you a little guidance that will help you to make better decisions while investing in any of the drum hardware. Thus, without much ado, I am going to list here some factors to go for a snare drum stand.
- I will recommend that a ball-jointer adjuster on the basket is advantageous.
- Opt for a completely adjustable basket angle.
- A double-braced legs snare stand is really a great choice to make.
- Lastly, better to take any drum in the size range of 12 inches to 14 inches.
- Some words of wisdom for you. If you feel that your basket can accommodate a drum size as small as 12 inches then it can also handle a regular 12 inches practice pad.
It is fundamentally designed to support a suspended cymbal in a percussion setup or a drum kit. These are used to support even the accessories like practice pads.
Rewinding to the ancient times, the cymbals and other related instruments to it, used to be played just like the present-day clash cymbals. A single cymbal was used as a suspended cymbal in an orchestral arrangement with the help of a pair hanging by its strap.
Slowly, these hanging cymbals gained popularity and later the stands were designed to support them. Even after a significant period, there was no arrangement for tilting the cymbals, and were suspended in a similar horizontal position only.
Further, cymbals were supported by the aid of brackets attached to the drums (majorly bass drums). Additionally, this horizontal installation neither needed a wingnut nor the upper felt.
However, with an increase in drum kit sizes and kit accessories, manufacturing of versatile and contemporary stands started. This setup gives enough room for cymbals to be tilted at almost any angle or to be positioned securely.
Further, you can find cymbal stands in many forms, namely:
Simple Boom Stand
A simple boom stand gives a second angle position to the straight stand. This adjustment adds up more flexibility and adaptability in the arrangement of the cymbal.
As we go a little deeper, boom stands are known for their flexibility and that’s why they are mostly used for effects, crashes, and splashes cymbals. Some models have booms fitted inside the upper joint of the stand or you can say, disappearing booms. Such models are compatible with straight stands and are quite flexible.
Zero-offset Boom Stand
Though the zero offset stand utilizes a little complex arrangement, it permits the boom to telescope into the body of the stand, when it is set vertically.
The downside of this stand is that it cannot be positioned with a counterweighted boom stand. However, these stands can easily function either as a boom stand or a straight stand.
Multiple Boom Stand
Some of the stands are so smartly designed that they can support more than a single cymbal with the help of multiple booms. They usually employ the 20mm tube which is similar on drum racks and standardized by Pearl for tom-tom mounts.
The most basic free-standing cymbal stand features a metal tripod consisting of 2 to 3 concentric tubes. These tubes are incorporated with a button at the top to allow angle adjustment and you can even adjust the height. A mounting bolt passes through the cymbal right which is installed right above the button.
Further, the straight stands work well for primary setups as they are quite sturdy for light to heavyweight arrangements. This setup is beneficial for ride cymbals, especially in complex arrangements.
The worth-mentioning attribute is that it is versatile enough when you have to decide between straight stands and boom stands.
Counterweight Boom Stand
If you add a counterweight to the boom, it permits you to use heavier cymbals and longer booms as well.
Another part of the drum stand or kit is the racks. The vital role of a good drum rack is that it will securely hold your complete hardware together in a line. It should be as sturdy as possible so that when you play the drums, the toms should not wobble and vibrate so much that it becomes a distraction.
Also, if you want to move your drum kit around, the memory locks will let you set up the kit exactly in the same way as it was. I would say that it should be worth your investment as well. So let us dive in a little more to get as much knowledge as possible about this important accessory of your drum kit.
You very well understood that a rack keeps your drums and hardware intact and in place. In simple words, a drum rack gives a base on which your kit is set up. There is no drum kit without a rack but its stability will be known once you set it up and start playing.
The parameters which may affect your decision of taking a rack includes, build quality, the use, installation, and price to value ratio. Next, there are no different types of racks that are separately designed for beginners or professional drummers.
Basically, the main job of all the drum racks is the same. Therefore, if you are a beginner, you can opt for a budget-friendly drum rack whereas professionals may have to spend quite a lot of money to get the best drum rack available.
In a drumming kit, a trigger is basically an electronic transducer attached to a cymbal, drum, or any other equipment to activate it to control an electronic drum. Specialized triggers are manufactured and designed for particular devices.
Like, a snare drum trigger features two channels one each for the head and the rim. Whereas, a tom-tom drum trigger requires registering strokes to the drum head only. In the 1990s, drum triggers were extensively used on the bass drums especially in heavy metal music.
The major benefit of using the drum triggers is to eradicate the problems related to microphones that were solved by triggering pre-recorded music samples. Even drummers need to put in the minimalistic effort while using the drum triggers.
Further, you can easily adjust the drum module which is joined to the trigger to modify the range of volumes by saving the dynamic range of the music which the drummer is playing. Triggers are quite useful during live concerts or performances rather than in-studio recordings.
For both electronic drums and acoustic drums, good hardware is quite an important deal. The hardware set is the foundation that keeps the drums and supporting accessories intact. Also, it guarantees the flawless performance of your hi-hat and bass drum playing.
Generally, the drum hardware comes connected to the drum set you invested in. Still, a few components in any drum set are a hi-hat stand, kick pedal, snare drum stand, and many more. However, it largely depends on the size of the drum set as well.
Cables are the most underestimated accessories. You invest and once connected, you neglect their existence. Like the basic types of cables are analog and digital. An analog cable transmits the information or data or audio signals through the medium of electricity.
Whereas a digital cable transfers information in the long string of ones and zeros, which are also called binary code. However, the digital cables are ready to use but they are improving so quickly that you need to replace them quite often.
Therefore, like these two cables, other cables are extensively used in drumming. If you will get even the slightest idea about the working or functionality of these cables, you will be able to make better decisions. Check them out!
Any cable that can transfer analog or digital signals to a powered speaker or amplifier from an authentic audio source is called an audio cable. If you want to identify and distinguish between various cables then start observing the cable’s sockets and plugs. You can never identify any cable by the color of the wire or the shape of the cable.
In drumming, a trigger cable acts as an electronic transducer that is connected to a drum or a cymbal or even to some accessory. This connection lets you control any type of electronic drum.
The truth here is that if you use a trigger cable while drumming, it significantly reduces your amount of effort. Though, some drummers are against the triggering action as they call it fake. However, many professionals are happy as long as such cables are serving the purpose and making your evenings delightful.
Power cables are basically electrical wires or cables. An array of more than one electrical conductors held or wrapped together with an overall sheath and covering. This assembly is highly beneficial for the transmission of electrical power.
The power cables are not so stiff rather flexible enough to be installed in a drum kit. The flexibility is enhanced because of the jackets or sheath incorporated with an adequate amount of filler materials.
A MIDI or Musical Instrument Digital Interface cable is primarily a technical standard for describing communication protocol and electrical interface. An electrical connector perfectly connects a variety of electronic drum kits or even other various musical instruments and audio devices for editing, playing, and recording musical sounds.
To your surprise, one MIDI connector links using a MIDI cable that carries up to sixteen informational channels, each of these is generally routed to a different instrument. You can transfer the MIDI data (for editing and playing back) through a USB cable, MIDI cable, digital audio workstation, etc.
Drum-Splitter and Adapters
The drum splitter cable works by splitting or separating the rim and head sounds from the drum pad having two zones. Also, these two single-zone pads are connected with several other sounds or midi notes given to each.
The drum splitter efficiently provides a profitable way out to expand your electronic drum kit even on a tight budget. Further, such cables are not just the stereo to mono cable splitters, but this splitter incorporates a resistor that permits two zones of your stereo drum pad to spit or divide into separate mono pads.
The power adapter gives a convenient source of an alternative power supply. There are adapters available that are equipped with safety features like automatic overload cut-off. Also, they are reliable and offer high efficiency.
Additionally, such drum adapters feature automatic thermal cut-off and give added protection against over-voltage and short circuits.
The XLR cables are other drumming accessories that you need to consider carefully. They come in handy during professional audio as well as video recording.
The need to use high-quality and low noise XLR cables in such a setup cannot be overemphasized. They will guarantee you a high-quality recording.
Ensure that the cables have the proper shielding. Proper shielding helps to eliminate electromagnet interferences. It also lowers the noise from radiofrequency radiations.
Consider also the conductors of the cable XLR cable that you want to buy. They help to carry audio signals. One of the best conductors you can consider for its high ductility and conductivity is gold.
Moreover, do not go for XLR cables with low-quality connectors. Such cables are most likely to perform poorly. You can consider gold or silver connectors for they perform highly.
Again, keep in mind that the length of the cable affects its performance. Too long cables will experience greater interferences hence prone to signal degradation.
The ideal length of XLR cables is under feet. They are easy to maintain and will offer you an effective sound output.
The drum’s kick pedal is critical for any drummer. The Sonor drum company was the first to introduce its first drum pedal in 1900. However, it was not until 1909 that the drum pedal became workable. This pedal is what eventually gave birth to the modern drum kit.
To operate a drum pedal, you press the footplate, which in turn pulls down a belt mechanism. The action causes a forward movement of the beater or the mallet into the drumhead.
In most cases, you will get a beater head of rubber, wood, or felt. A rod-shaped metal shaft holds the beater head in place. Besides, a metal frame holds both the beater and the pedal. Every time you press the footplate, a tension unit determines how much pressure is needed to strike as well as recoil amount upon release.
If your drum kit has a double bass drum pedal, the operation is the same. However, it will have a second footplate to control a second beater on the same drum. A shaft attaches the second footplate to a different beater mechanism.
Let’s go through the interesting history of drum heads once. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the drums were made out of calfskin heads. Though calfskin produces a cool and dynamic sound, it is quite difficult to install.
Each head comes as a raw and dry round disc, then to loosen it up, you have to first soak it in water. After this, it is stretched over the drum shell and tune-up, it is manually connected to the hoop.
Moreover, the drumheads expand or contract with the weather. But the arrival of plastic drum heads made out of mylar polyester, kevlar aramid fiber significantly decreased the complexity. Additionally, it gave textures and varied sounds to play with.
A practice drum pad is the most regular and basic type of drum pad. Here. basic does not indicate that it is for beginners only or it is some outdated option. Regardless of, you are an expert or a newbie, to hone your basis these pads are the most advantageous to enhance your speed and to build that perfect technique.
To give you the experience of a real drum, the practice drum pads are generally flat round rubber pads comprising a rebound design. However, every practice drum pad will not give you the same feel, you have to be a little more conscious while making a choice.
Furthermore, the other option is the mesh drum practice pads which are much lower than volume and give a more realistic experience compared to rubber drum pads. To play them comfortably either these pads are installed on your table or lap-top or held with the help of a snare drum stand or sometimes even mounted to a stand.
Another way of playing a mesh pad drum is, they can sit on the top of a snare drum and act as a drum mute while you sit at your kit.
You must be having a long list of doubts now. Starting from the first one, what is the whole point of getting a practice drum pad? The key advantage is that with practice drum pads, you can learn drumming quite silently without even investing in a brand new drum kit which I personally will not recommend you to invest in for the basic practice.
Another thing, this silent practice will neither bother your neighbors nor hurt your ears. Besides, you can clearly hear each stroke which will help you in easy evaluation compared to a real drum kit. On top of these benefits, you can conveniently work on your accuracy and timing with these practice drum pads.
Before leaving here, let’s see which is more acoustically silent, rubber drum pad or mesh drum pad? When you whack your stick on mesh and rubber drum pads, you will find mesh pads quite silent.
Additionally, compared to rubber pads, the mesh drum pads produce a quiet soft acoustic sound and there is hardly any possibility that they will ever make noise.
Yamaha TCS Pads
Yamaha has turned the tables with its revolutionary and innovative TCS (Textured Cellular Silicone) head pads. This addition is introduced to make an effort for most drummers who are not comfortable in spending or using electronic drums.
Similar to a well-coated head on an acoustic drum, if there is some minimum level of roughness then it will significantly control the slippage of the stick when you hit the drum head. Thus, we can conclude here that TCS gives better stick control than what you will get on an acoustic drum.
Additionally, a textured cellular silicone head features numerous tiny bubbles. By adjusting the density and size of these bubbles you can avail various benefits. Like, if the more number of bubbles gives a cushioning and padded effect that results in producing less sound when you blow the stick.
Further, the textured pads are impressive, authentic, and give a soothing feel under your sticks and fingers. Even the sound produced when you hit the snare drum is quite low which is a hand-up especially when you are playing in a small and compact apartment or room.
Adding more to this, Yamaha manufactures a drum pad known as DTX pad which is visually very similar to Roland’s V-pads featuring more of a drum look and comes with a textured cellular silicone head.
This TCS head is quite unique for Yamaha’s drum pads. Also, these TCS pads have neutral drum head experience with quiet low acoustically. They have designed TCS pads especially for toms and snare drums.
First thing, when we talk about mylar head drums, a comparison always emerges with its contemporary kevlar head drums as well. Both these head drums are topics of discussion especially when marching season is around. So let’s find out more about these heads.
Starting with the mylar head drums gives the drummer a more convenient and dynamic playing experience. Plus, it gives you a natural and realistic experience which is certainly a delightful one. Whereas Kevlar somewhat lacks in all the above-mentioned points.
Further, mylar needs more attention and upkeep compared to the kevlar drum head. Mylar stretches extra than kevlar. This stretching results in the drum head to dip and it also sometimes goes out of tune. Therefore, it needs time to keep all the drums in tune with others.
In addition to this, if you compare then you can get three mylar style heads for the same price, from which you will get only one kevlar style bottom head. However, the plus point of investing in a kevlar head is that you just set it and forget it.
Electronic Cymbal Pads
An electronic drum is triggering or a pad device that is sold as a vital element of an electronic drum kit. It comprises a set or combination of drum pads that are mounted on a rack or a stand. This arrangement looks similar to the acoustic drum kit layout with specialized acoustic cymbals.
In recent years, electronic drumming has gained popularity. If you rewind a decade, then electronic kits were expensive and unaffordable but now they come in a variety and cost-effective options.
It gives the flexibility to change or replace the cymbal pads and drum pads. You can get your favorite kit and after a few years, you can upgrade it. Therefore, your drum kit will never get outdated.
These electronic cymbals work with triggers. Every cymbal comes to switch one or more trigger points which when hit send a signal right to the drum module. This drum module effectively picks up the trigger and plays a sound.
The cymbals with higher quality will feature more trigger points that allow more sounds coming from each cymbal. Such cymbals are more responsive to dynamics and produce soft and loud expressively.
Another famous type of cymbal is a crash cymbal that generates a sharp crash, loud. A crash cymbal is majorly used for occasional accents. It is installed on a stand and played with the help of a drumstick or even by hands in pairs.
You will not find any drum kit without at least one or two crash cymbals. In rock music, to produce high and loud music, the drummers hit two distinct crash cymbals in a kit simultaneously.
More or less all crash cymbals have thin edges, however, they range in thickness from paper to quite heavy to very thin. They are generally 14 inches to 18 inches in diameter, sizes down to 8 inches to 24 inches are designed.
The worth noting point is that they are customizable as well. Mainly the big band uses the zed crash cymbals of up to 28 inches in diameter. Moreover, different sizes and thicknesses are artistically used for various genres of music.
For example, if you are an avid fan of rock or metal bands and you love to play such beats, you can use a thick cymbal. Whereas if you are into lighter rock music, you may opt for thinner cymbals. Plus, jazz lovers should go for darker crashes.
The interesting feature is that the cymbal luster changes the sound of the crash. If a cymbal is raw or oxidized, it produces dull and gloomy sounds while a cleaner cymbal produces crisper and fine sounds. You can note that two crashes are recommended for drum kit or set like one of 16 inches and the other a bigger one.
Unlike crash cymbals, there is one more variety called clash cymbals. It is an identical pair of crash cymbals that are held in both hands using leather thongs that are passing through holes of each cymbal’s bell. The class cymbals are an inseparable element of an orchestral percussion setup.
Coming to the next one which is a ride cymbal. You can easily find a ride cymbal in most of the drum kits and it is a love of every drum because it maintains a balanced rhythmic pattern which is also called ride pattern, different from the accent of crash cymbals.
In a drum kit or set, it is located on the extreme right and right above the floor tom. It can effectively fulfill any function that a hi-hat cymbal can do, with the major exception of closed and open soundtracks. It is played using a drumstick.
Let’s understand its terminology, it may look funny to you but here ride means to ride with the music. This describes even if the cymbal struck, it sustains. The term “ride” depicts either characteristic or function of the instrument.
If you want to play extremely soft or you want to record or play while using brushes, you can use a thin crash and it will serve as a ride cymbal. whereas, if you wish to play extremely loud on a cymbal made as a ride will play loudly, long crash.
Drum thrones are essential since that’s where you sit on while playing the drums. So, you should make sure your stool is comfortable enough. While playing the drums for an extended period, you need relaxation.
Also, you should make sure it has a backrest to support your back. Well designed and cushioned backrests help you minimize the chances of you having back pains.
The drum stool should be stable as well. While playing the drum sets, your body must make some movements. So, you need a firm throne to keep you intact. As a result, you become more stable, thus minimizing your chances of falling.
Besides, your seat should be of a suitable height. Due to the height difference, a throne with a height adjustability feature is excellent. Such chairs enable you to adjust it to your most preferred height.
Most individuals face a lot of challenges while learning a new drumming skill. Finding the right timing is one of the hardest things to maintain. So, the use of a metronome is vital for helping you improve your practice.
You should use the metronome to help you overcome your weakest areas. Besides, the use of metronome can help you perfect the areas that you face some problems.
The metronome also helps you slow down the challenging passages. As a result, you can avoid mistakes as you overcome challenging bars. Frequent practicing enables you to identify the challenging sections and isolate them.
The metronome enables you to train at different tempos as well. As a result, it makes it easy to follow along with all the rhythms. Besides, the metronome allows you to displace beats. So, you can use it for great sounds while having fun.
In this write-up, I have given the information to the best of my capabilities on the drum hardware. Though drum hardware is not just a series of components that one can easily explain.
Rather it comprises various components that are equally responsible to make your playing or concert successful. Therefore, enjoy your journey as a drummer and own it like a king. Hope that helped. Thanks!