The Acoustic Drum Set Arrangement

13 Aug 2013

The set up of an acoustic drum set, a compilation of different percussive instruments, is a unique and creative way in arranging the pieces so that they can be played from a sitting down position. Drum kit arrangements will vary from one drummer to another. There are no rules or restrictions on the arrangements, just the desire to construct the ideal set. Whether it be a four pieces, six pieces, or larger, the possibilities are endless.

How large will the kit be?

Let us start with the drum arrangement. How large will the kit be? For instance, four pieces would consist of a snare drum. One rack tom, one floor cheap toms, and a bass drum. A six pieces could consist of a snare drum. Bass drum, two rack toms, and two floor toms.

Again, there are no rules or restrictions, just the ability to be creative. Keep in mind that the larger the drum kit, the more equipment you will have to transport. When positioning the drums, make sure that strokes can be made on each one comfortably. Also adjust the angle of each drum so you are able to execute rim shots if called for. Note: place the set on a rug to prevent it from sliding away from you when playing.

Incorporating electronic drums

What about electronic drums incorporated with the acoustic set? Without going into too much detail about electronic drums, they are drum pads or acoustic triggers wired to a sound module. Pads are triggers that are constructed so they can be hit with the drum stick.

They are available in different shapes, sizes, and construction. Depending on the set up, pads can be tucked neatly within the acoustic set. Acoustic triggers are small sensors that are attached to the acoustic drum head, away from any contact.

The sound module contains sampled sounds of percussive instruments. Pads and triggers will respond to whatever sound is assigned to them. This is a great way to acquire more sounds with the drum kit.

Complete with cymbals

Now, we’ll complete the drum set with cymbals. How many are needed to make up the ideal kit? Keep in mind, there are different brands available such as Zildjian. Paiute, and Sabian just to name a few. One also must take into consideration size, type, texture, and cost. It’s safe to say that a good quality cymbal will cost a bit, but well worth the investment.

Cymbals used on a basic drum set arrangement would be the top and bottom hi-hat, 2 crash cymbals, and a ride cymbal. There are so many cymbal varieties and configurations that it becomes solely a personal choice.

The same goes for cymbal stands, however, the more solid construction the more suitable for heavy cymbals.


What about accessories? Well, how about a cowbell, chimes, or even a song? It’s all available, you just need to figure out what you will be satisfied with in the building of your set.




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