How to Setup a Drum Kit

How to Setup a Drum KitGetting a new drum set is exciting for any inspiring drummer, kids and adults alike. You go to the store, pick out the one you like the best, and put the boxes in your car. The only problem is, once you get it home, someone has to put it together. Before you start searching for “drum lessons near me,” you should learn how to put your instrument together. Keep in mind for yourself that there is no correct way to set up your drums, as everyone’s setup will be different depending on their height, how far they can reach, and preferences. Here’s how to set up a drum kit.

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Adjusting your stool

We recommend you set up your stool and adjust it to your preferred height before setting up anything else. The drums will also be adjusted to this same height. You want the stool’s height to be comfortable for you, but you also want to keep your quadriceps parallel to the floor so you can easily reach the pedals.

Attaching the kick drum

The kick drum, or bass drum, is likely the next drum you want to set up after getting your stool to the best height for you. You will press the pedal with your dominant foot, so be sure to set up the pedal either in front of your right foot or left foot. Check that the pedal is properly clamped on the kick drum hoop. You can’t adjust the kick drum, but you can change the space between where you’re sitting and where it sits. Make sure the drum is placed at a comfortable distance from you. Don’t set it too close to you, or playing it will cause your leg muscles to cramp.

Snare placement

The snare offers a wide variety of sounds depending on where you hit it. It should sit between your legs because you want to keep it close to you so you can easily hit the drum in the center or tap the rim. When adjusting the snare’s height, you can choose to keep it flat or tilt it away from you or towards you. You may find that your setup will change as you continue to play drums, and your preferences change.

Tom placement

Most drum kits will come with three tom drums. The hi and middle tom-toms usually sit over the kick drum. Depending on the drum kit you bought, you may have a tom arm drilled in the kick drum. This tom arm helps with mounting the drum over the kick drum. Make sure the arm is secure, and then put your tom-toms on the tom arm. Most drummers put the hi tom above the snare drum and then place the mid tom next to the hi tom. Again, make sure you can comfortably reach the tom-toms from where you’re sitting on the stool. The third tom, the floor tom, stands on its own and typically sits below the mid tom.

Setting up the hi-hat

Next, you need to settle on a location for your hi-hat. For right-handed players, the hi-hat gets placed to the left of your snare drum. If you’re a left-handed player, it will sit to the right of your snare drum. While you can bang on the hi-hat cymbals, the hi-hat is usually played using its foot pedal. Make sure the pedal sits a comfortable distance from you.

Setting up the cymbals

No drum kit is complete without the cymbals! Where should you place yours? There are two standard cymbals: ride and crash. The ride cymbal is struck on the top, so most players place their ride cymbal near the floor tom. You can play the crash cymbal by hitting it on the edge with your drumstick. Most players place the crash cymbal near the hi-hat but have the cymbal adjusted, so it hangs over the hi-hat.

Something to keep in mind

Drums are more involved than other popular instruments as your drum kit has more components to move than a violin or a keyboard. Let your child take their time in getting to know their drums and creating a comfortable setup or you can also have a drum teacher assist. They will discover their preferred drum layout in no time and will take responsibility for their instrument, so you won’t need to always set it up for them.

Ready to start drumming?

Now that you know how to get your child’s drum kit set up, it’s time to start playing and learning about the best practice techniques to improve drum play! Are you ready to find a teacher who will match your child’s passion? At Lessons In Your Home, our instructors are thoroughly vetted, professional, and passionate about music. Our teachers will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are taught by local music teachers who plan their lessons to suit your child. Contact us today to learn more.

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