Don't miss the goldmine of free drum set lessons w/video.
Be sure to look into each of the lesson menus on the left, while you are here. It's a $2,000 course, for free!
In this little article, I want to help you put that new kit together. So, lets get started . . .
Before you do anything . . . take a long look at the following web page,How To Tune Your Drum Set'
Digest all that material first, because you may want to tune as you go, especially as you put the Bass Drum together.
Your drums may arrive completely dis-combobulated in one or more boxes. Take everything out of the box or boxes, and lay the pieces out on the floor, prior to assembly.
START WITH THE BASS DRUM:
You can tell the front from the back by finding the where the 'spurs' will go. Look for two holes at the base of the shell. The Spurs are the two legs that keep the drum from tipping, or sliding, when it is struck from behind. So, the spurs go in front and make contact with the floor or carpet. These two 'spurs' will help stabilize the bass drum and keep it from rolling from right to left, too.
NOTE: If your bass drum spurs have sharp points, you won't want them scratching the hardwood flooring. Some spurs may include a rubber footing. Those that do not may need a pad of some sort underneath the pointed spurs to protect the hardwood flooring.
Check out the courses (products) in the left column! You can get ALL of them free, with a simple donation of $45.00 or more. Most of those courses will show you how to put the $45 right back into your own pocket, A THOUSAND TIMES!
BUY ONE PRODUCT, GET ALL THE OTHERS FOR FREE!
Plus, you'll receive a downloable copy of this entire course that may easily be burned to a CD.
Now we are ready to assemble the back bass drum head.
OK. Flip the drum into the upright playing position. We are ready to add the toms.
Insert the post (or posts) into the hole (or holes) on top of the bass drum. Find a screwing device (usually a large wing-nut) and secure the posts in place. If there is any kind of logo stamped on the post it will face outward, towards the potential crowd.
The posts are designed to be adjusted to the height and arm-length of the player. You will need to experiment until the best height (for you), has been determined.
Also, the arms that hold the toms are usually adjustable many ways. This is another thing that needs experimentation. Every drummer tends to want everything just so-so, his/her on personal way.
Common sense prevails here. As you assemble the different toms, notice the lug screw lengths. Larger toms use longer screws and versey vicey. Be sure you have the correct lug screws going to the correct toms or this thing will get humorous real quick, haha.
Look for a drum key . . . somewhere in all that mess of pieces and parts. It will probably be a 'T' shaped tool that works very much like an old-time skate key. It is a wrench, you will use to tighten the lug screws of each drum to be assembled and tuned.
Tune as you go (see the tuning lesson.) You'll want the smallest toms to have the highest pitch and the largest toms to have the lowest pitch in progressive order around the kit. The tones you'll choose are arbitrary . . . it is up to the drummer! There is no standard tuning for drummers. We all tend to know what we want to hear, then we proceed to pull that tone from the drum. Again, the tuning lesson may help you here.
You will want to mount the smallest tom on the left side of the kit as you sit behind the set. The larger sized toms progress around to the right, with the Floor Tom around on your far right hand side sitting on the floor.
Just slip the toms onto the mounting arms of the post and secure them with the provided (large) wing-nuts or whatever.
FLOOR TOM TOM:
Most Floor Toms have three legs that mount through a chrome mounting device on the sides of the drum shell. Just slip the legs through the leg holders and tighten them into place with the wing nuts provided.
All Bass Drum pedals are a little different, but most operate on the same principle. Usually, there will be a tongue in groove type clamp, that bites into the hoop of the bass drum as it sits on the floor in the playing position. Just slip the pedal up to the hoop and look for a way to attach it firmly to the drum so that it won't fall away as it is being used. It is pretty much a common sense thing.
There are millions of stand designs. It is hard for me to second guess what you may have.
All stands are designed to be totally collapsible and adjustable, for easy mobility and flexibility. There will be several stands in every drum kit.
The snare stand will be the only stand in the bunch that even looks capable of holding a snare drum. You should see a stand with three adjustable arms that spread open wide enough for the snare to be laid in place. Then, somewhere on the stand there will be an adjustment device that will allow you to tighten the arms into the drum and hold it securely.
They come in all shapes an sizes . . . some with boom arms, others may be straight. All are always totally collapsible and telescoping with adjustment screws everywhere.
Usually each stand is packaged with all its parts intact. It is just a matter of common-sense to get all the adjustments right for the person who will be playing the drums. Use your own judgment here.
Again, there are hundreds of designs.
Spread the tri-pod legs first . . . then attach the foot pedal to the base of the stand according to your own intuition.
Adjust the height of the stand intuitively according to the size and stature of the player.
At the top of the hi-hat stand you will see a hole running full length of the stand all the way through the tube (or shaft) to the base of the stand. There will be a long rod that goes through the shaft (or tube) and attaches (some way) to the pedal. The idea is that as you press the pedal the rod will move up and down, making two cymbals clap together at the top of the stand.
Now for the Cymbals . . .
The BOTTOM HI-HAT CYMBAL will cup upwards and lay on a cushion, usually made of felt. You don't want metal to metal anywhere. It will effect the tone. The cymbal will have a hole in the center. Drop it down over the rod that comes up from the floor through the shaft. Be sure the cymbal is cupping upwards. Also, the heaviest of the two hi-hat cymbals should (usually) be used as the bottom cymbal.
The TOP HI-HAT CYMBAL is usually the thinner of the two and it will be set to cup downward into the bottom cymbal. A HI-HAT CLUTCH is used to secure the top cymbal onto the rod that comes up from the floor. The HI-HAT CLUTCH is normally an assortment of washer-nuts, (they look like washers but are usually threaded inside the center hole), felt cushions and maybe a wing-nut. IT IS VERY HARD TO DESCRIBE IN WORDS! Anyway the top cymbal needs to be sandwiched between felt cushions and washer-nuts in such a way that it will hold the top cymbal securely onto the rod coming from the base of the hi-hat by use of the wing nut. The idea here again is that there should never be metal to metal. Felt cushions are used to protect the cymbal from the metal washer-nuts.
We left the front bass head off, on purpose.
Grab a couple pillows, a blanket, or something and toss them inside the bass, up against the batter head.
Now play awhile! How does everything sound? If you like the way the bass is sounding then go ahead and put the front head on, leave the packing as it is. Mom will be frantic looking for those pillows and blankets! Just keep a straight face, and don't say a word, haha. She'll never know!
Just kidding!!!! Don't do that!
If your bass tone isn't quite right though, keep experimenting with different amounts of packing until you are satisfied.
Yep! It goes with the gig, haha! And, it is very difficult to remedy! A good snare rattles because it is sensitive! It is a part of the design. The 'snares' or wires under the snare drum are intended to vibrate and help produce that tone we all want. The trouble is, almost any vibration in the room will set them to singing and rattling. If we tape or tie them down, then much of our snappy tone may be lost in the trade-off.
About all we can do is shoot for a compromise!
OK! You are all set up. Now, beat it!
Are you among the 95% good, or the 5% bad?
FIND OUT HERE . . .