A drum set, also known as a drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and various percussion instruments that may include cowbells triangles or chimes as part of the set. The instruments are conveniently arranged around so a single drummer has easy access to all of the instruments. The combination of instruments used in a drum set will vary depending on the type of music being played.
The drummer has his choice of instruments for striking the drums to create different sounds. Some of the instruments used are sticks, brushes and mallets. Drums sets sometimes make use of the feet as well as the hands. The bass drum is played by a foot operated pedal. A foot pedal can also be used to strike together hi hat cymbals.
With all of these instruments so readily available, the drummer is practically a one man band. Lack of space and money in theatres contributed to the development of the drum set as a way for a performer to expand their performance. It was easier and more economical to encourage drummers to play as many percussion instruments as possible. Before this development drums and cymbals were played separately.
Long before drum kits from garage bands were annoying the neighbors, drum sets evolved into a central part of jazz music. By World War 1 drum sets included large bass drums surrounded by a variety of percussion items. In the 1940’s the double bass drum was introduced, making the drum set more powerful than ever.
The popularity of larger drum sets gained momentum in the 1960’s with the advent of rock and roll music. In the spirit of rocking out, rockers were using many drums and cymbals at a time for a bigger impact. The need for a second bass drum was eliminated with the introduction of the double bass pedal which was used to play only one drum. No matter how many instruments are used, in rock music the bass drum, hi-hat and snare drum are usually an essential part of the drummer’s equipment. Today drummers use a variety of instruments in their drum sets to create music, some of which aren’t really instruments at all. From low tech found objects to high tech laptop computers, just about everything and anything has been put to work as part of a drum set.
The phrase drum set is pretty flexible. When you move your set, make sure you get a reliable home moving company
to move your investment. Drum sets can not only vary widely in the types of instruments they use, but in the number of instruments as well. The sizes of the drum set and a types of instruments used depends on the type of music being played, personal preference and budget restrictions. To simplify the overwhelming number of possible combinations, drum sets are commonly sold in five piece sets. A typical set includes a bass drum a snare drum and three tom drums. Drum sets can be purchased as complete kits which includes more hardware than the “shell packs” which has less hardware, maybe including hardware for the tom drums only. Cymbals, like drums, can be purchased in sets or as individually. Cymbals are not usually included in the basic drum set.
In the early 1970’s the electric drum was introduced to the music scene as an alternative to traditional drums. The key difference between electric drum sets and traditional drums is that electric drums produce sound electronically with a waveform generator or sampler. Traditional drums depend on acoustic vibration to generate their sounds. Early electric drum sets lacked the sound quality of acoustic drums and didn’t mimic the acoustic drums very effectively. More recent professional grade electric drums come close to mimicking the sound of acoustic drums so well the listener may not be able to tell they are listening to electric drums instead of acoustic drums
Digital drum sets are an even more high tech version of drums. Digital drum sets usually consist of drum sticks, electronic drum pads and a pedal. This set up take up less space than traditional acoustic drums. Sound from drum sets can be played through the speakers of a PC or confined to headsets to keep the peace. Here is a good resource for vintage drum parts