Classical Drums and Players

Drums are frequently a part of music bands and have of course been a part of many primitive cultures since the beginning of time. A classic drum set or kit consists of a bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat and cymbals. The bass drum is played by pushing down on a pedal with your right foot. This then causes movement of the beater. In orchestra music the bass drum is used to create an overall feel to the music and to accent certain features of the music.

Dunnett Classic Drums

The snare drum is mounted on a stand. This drum is the drum you see being played with drum sticks. It can include rutes or brushes. The snare drum is also known as the side drum and is used to accent the rhythm of the music being played. The snare drum produces what can be described as a sharp staccato like sound.

The bass drum is a drum that is large in size and unlike the snare drum produces a sound that is of a much lower pitch. In classical music they tend to use what is known as the concert or orchestral bass drum. A bass drum has a cylindrical shape. It is also wider than it is tall; because the bass drum is so large it is usually mounted in some way usually on a stand or on an adjustable cradle.

The hi-hat is a combination of cymbals and a pedal. It consists of two cymbals that have been mounted on a stand. A person plays them using sticks. They are maintained in an open or closed position by using the left food pedal. Pressing on the foot pedal alone can also produce sound. The kit finally has either one or more cymbals that are mounted on stands. These are played using sticks. This basic drum set is used as part of traditional music styles but can be found in other genres. Individual drummers may also add to the set depending on their needs and creativity.

Alex Van Halen’s 2015 Ludwig Classic Maple Drum Set

In classical orchestras both the snare and bass drums are used, in addition drums called concert toms are used to provide a warm and sharper tone to the music. Gongs and crash cymbals are often used in classical orchestral percussion in addition to the drums already mentioned. Crash cymbals are, like the bass drum, often used to accent pieces of music during an orchestral piece. Gong drums were developed as musicians wanted deeper tones to be produced. These drums vary in size from about 70 to 100 cm in diameter and produce a very rich sound when struck.

Although drums were played in classical music, the most famous early drum players are those from the early days of jazz music. However, there is a well- known classical drummer known as Vadrum (Andrea Vadrucci) who released an album on classical drumming. Andrea Vadrucci is an Italian drummer who plays drums across several music genres including the classical, pop and rock music, as well as experimental music.