Shape and Parts of a Drum Set - Correct Posture for Drums Playing

Shape and tuning

The drum set is a large instrument that consists of multiple drums and cymbals. It is commonly used by professional drummers who incorporate dozens of drums and cymbals into their compositions. The drums of a drum set are typically made of wood, although metal and acrylic drums are also available. Wood is the most commonly used and traditional material, and high-quality drums, especially the expensive ones, are built with strict quality control. Each part of the drum set is carefully matched to ensure that the drums produce a harmonious sound when played together.

Cymbals have a predefined sound that cannot be altered. On the other hand, each drum of the drum set can have one or two drumheads, with one on each end. The drumhead is the part of the drum that we strike with the tip of the drumstick. It is tightly fitted around the edge of the wooden drum body. The tension of the drumhead is achieved by adjusting each lug using a tuning key. Lugs are the metal pieces that hold the drumhead in place. As the drums have larger diameters, more lugs are used to ensure even tension distribution.

Tuning a double-headed drum is slightly more challenging than tuning a single-headed one, but the concept remains the same. The goal is to achieve consistent tension across the drumhead for all the lugs. To do this, you can press the center of the drumhead with the index finger of one hand and strike the drumhead with a drumstick in the middle between the center and each lug. The lugs are adjusted in pairs facing each other. If the tension is correctly distributed, all strikes on the drumhead should sound the same. The musician or producer can then decide the exact pitch they desire for each drum. Depending on the diameter of the drum, each one can be tuned to a range of notes, allowing the drum set to occupy a specific position in the frequency spectrum of the songs.

Tuning the drumheads


Now let's discuss the correct posture for playing the drums. While the posture can be subjective, there are some recommendations that have proven beneficial for most drummers. Imagine there's a barrel or large container in front of you, forcing you to slightly open your elbows. This positioning ensures that the strikes you make with the tip of the drumsticks will be on the opposite side of the barrel. This neutral posture allows you to play for extended periods without tiring your arms.

Moving on to the positioning of your legs, they should form an angle between 90 and 95 degrees, with your thighs parallel to the floor. To operate the hi-hat and bass drum pedals, use the tips of your feet, placing them as far forward as possible. Keep your heels off the ground. This foot position, particularly for the bass drum, enables you to utilize a technique called "heel-toe," which allows you to play fast patterns with your foot. Similarly, just as the three fingers in your hand follow the rebound of the drumstick on the drumhead for demanding rudiments, the heel-toe technique allows you to add multiple consecutive strikes in a single foot movement.

Legs and arms position, heel-toe technique

Quick quizz: How are very light/soft drumstick strokes called?
Soft strokes are called `ghost notes`

Self assesment
Did I practice more than 15 minutes per day?
Did I wait for at least 2 days before jumping into the next lesson?