Blog #12
Blog #12: Instrument of the week
Drum Set
Drum Set
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Parts of the Drum Set

Snare Drum
Snare drum
The snare drum, like most drums, has a shell which can be either wood or metal (seen in a light brown wood stain above), rims, which are on the top and bottom and are usually made of metal (the silver rings around the drum above) two heads, which is the part that you hit, one on top and one on the bottom, and the snares, which are metal coils on the bottom of the drum, which give it its snap sound.
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Bass Drum
Bass drum
The bass drum gives our deep sound, due to the large size of the drum.  The drum is made up the same way as the snare drum, with a shell, two rims, and two heads, but does not have the metal snares.  It is played with a pedal which you push down with your foot.
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Hi-Hat
Hi-Hat
The Hi-Hat is also an instrument that has a pedal, and when the pedal is pressed down, it pulls the two cymbals together making the two Hi-Hat cymbals very short and punch compared to the ringing sound they make when they are not touching together.  When they are held close together, they collide with each other and it gives a very metallic and thick sound.
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Tom Toms
Tom-Toms
Tom-Toms are drums just like the bass drum or snare drum, but the unique advantage they have is their strength in numbers.  The Tom-Toms are usually in either 2 or 3, and each is a different size, which allows the drummers to get some melody in to their playing, as the smaller drums make higher sounds and the bigger drums make lower sounds.
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Cymbals
Cymbals
Cymbals are made of metal and sit on cymbal stands.  There are many different kinds of cymbals such as the ride cymbal, the crash cymbal, the china cymbal, the splash cymbal, and many variations as well.  Cymbals have a bell, which is the round part in the center which is usually thicker metal, giving it a different sound than the rest.  Cymbals also can have grooves like a record all around the cymbal, or hammer marks, to give it either brighter or darker tones.
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Other
While the instruments listed above are the standard instruments of the drum set, you will also find a number of other instruments used by drummers to get unique sounds for the music they are making.  Some of the instruments you might hear could be: Cowbells, Tambourines, Shakers, Hand drums (such as Congas or Bongos), Wood Blocks, Roto Toms, and anything else that the drummer might think they need.

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Evolution of the Drum Set

Before the drum set, most drums (outside of classical music) was played in a marching band setting.
Marching Band Drum Line
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As the music called for smaller and smaller bands, the drum line became a drummer, and usually still using a version of the same instruments.

Early Drum Set
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As the Drum Set began to evolve, different advancements began to take shape.  Here we see the early version of the Hi-Hat, which was just to be played with the foot, since it was so low to the ground.  Because of that, they called it the "Low Boy"
Low Boy
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By the time we hit the 1960's Jazz was in full swing, and the drum set resembled what we know it to be today.  Although it has been tweaked and adjusted, the core set up remains the same.
Modern Drum Set
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Although, there are some drummers that take it to the extreme.
Extreme Drum Set
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Listen

Clyde Stubblefield
Clyde Stubblefield: Funk/Soul
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Tony Williams
Tony Williams: Jazz
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Aaron Spears
Aaron Spears: R&B/Pop
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Questlove
Questlove: Hip Hop
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Respond

Click this link to respond to the questions below

Why do you think that some drummers would choose to have a small drum set, while others choose to bring as many drums and cymbals as they possibly can?  What are the pros/cons of each?

Listen to at least two of the drummers in the listening section, and compare and contrast how they play, what they play, or anything else that you find to be either the same or different between their styles.