How To Set-up a Drum Kit – Beginner’s Guide!

Receiving your first drum set is a matter of sheer joy and excitement. And after social updates and the wishes accompanying them, the first thing on a beginner’s mind is the drum kit setup. Setting up a drum set is as crucial to a drummer as tuning a guitar is to a guitarist. Yes, the process is time-consuming, it is but after a set of different instruments. Though there is no right or wrong way; but as clichéd as it may sound, is true in every instance and this you will get a complete realization of, in time. Setting up a drum kit depends on a variety of aspects like the height, weight, reach and personal preference. The drum kit setup involves a series of trial and errors. But Hey! Who got it right the first time!

Stay with us through this drum kit guide.

There is a lot, impending on the comfort of your stool (Drum throne). Placing the stool at a certain height means designating positions of your snare drum, hi-hats, cymbals and toms, this makes it increasingly important to access a comfortable position. Adjust the height of your stool, and then take a seat. At no point should you feel an imbalance; now, place your thighs parallel to the floor, with your knees just above the ankle. Attempt this until you find the most comfortable fit and balance. 

When most start with the snare, we recommend you start with the bass drum. We find that the bass drum is the hardest to set. Get it in the right place and then built the drum kit setup from there. While setting up a bass drum, ensure that the front snares extend enough to prevent the bass drum from touching the floor. You want the snare to be pointing forward and not backward, thus ensuring that bass drum does not flop on you. For the uninitiated, the bass drum is played using your dormant foot. This now is the perfect time to set your bass drum pedal.

Setting up the bass pedal comes with its set of complexity. Adjust the tightness of the spring to arrive at a comfortable delivery. If pressing the spring down requires a lot of effort, consider releasing the tension on the spring. Conversely, for a loose spring- tighten it a bit.

Now go back and sit on your throne. Space your legs apart, not too far for it to look hideous and not close enough, with no space to accommodate the snare drum. 

Next, get your hi-hat, place the hi-hat pedal to the left of the bass pedal. You may want to align the foot of the hi-hat pedal with the bass pedal. The placement of both pedals should be such that they visually form a symmetrical ‘V’. There should be enough space between the pedals, enough to fit the snare drum. To achieve this, you may want to go behind the instruments and space your legs apart at an angle of comfort. Now that you have placed the hi-hat pedal, you want to find the best height; this is solely dependent on your playing style.

Ideally, the dormant hand plays the hi-hat and the other finds its comfort playing the snare drum. What we mean to imply, is that you would find your hands crossing over. Place the hi-hat too low and you would find an obstruction playing the snare drum. While the other way round, a stricken cymbal will touch the hi-hat; the sound thus generated would be least desired.

Place the snare drum between your bass drum and hi-hat, the angle and height is a matter of preference. Begin by lifting the snare drum a few inches above your legs. Some drummers also place the snare drum roughly around the waist and then work from there. You should be able to hit the drum in the centre and comfortably be able to strike the rim as well. Again! Get behind and see if it is most suitable for you.

With Toms, you may want to proceed from left to the right of you; i.e start from the high tom, medium tom and then the floor tom. The positioning of the high and medium tom should be relative to the snare drum. Start by having the high and the medium tom set as low as possible, without coming in contact with the bass drum or each other. Then, proceed to adjust the angle, maintain that the angle is not steep. The angle set should be such that it is easy to hit, concerning the snare. The aim is to reduce the strain and stretch and avoid hitting the rim. The middle tom is to be set at a height and angle relative to the high tom; it should roughly be of the same height and angle. 

Sitting roughly at the same height as the snare drum, the floor tom should be angled towards you. Don’t forget to leave enough space for your legs. 

The Ride Cymbal is to be placed on the top of the floor tom or the mid tom. The space between the hi-hat and the high tom is filled by the Crash Cymbal. Setting it to an ideal height would require you to return to your throne. As for the crash cymbal, the higher it is set, the less likely it is to interfere in your tom space. Aim at setting the ride cymbal, with enough room to reach your tom and with no to minimal stretch. Tweak around to as far as you achieve your best flow.   

This basic drum kit setup guide is all you need to follow to achieve the perfect drum layout. And while you are at it, If you face any difficulties for your setup then please don’t hesitate to call our drum specialist +91-22-61235313 to help you out. And also consider checking bajoo.com for drums and other accessories which might be useful to you.