Now that Christmas is over and the bicycles
have been put together, the new clothes have
all been worn and the chocolate covered
cherries have been eaten, it's time to put
together the drum kit you bought for Junior.
Getting familiar with the kit
There are many different drum set
combinations, the most common being the
5-piece kit. We will be assembling a kit
consisting of these shell components:
1 - 16" x 22" Bass Drum
1 - 10" x 12" Ride Tom
1 - 11" x 13" Ride Tom
1 - 16" x 16" Floor Tom
1 - 5.5" x 14" Snare Drum
And these hardware components:
1 - Bass Drum Pedal
1 - Snare Drum Stand
1 - Hi-Hat Stand
2 - Tom Holders
3 - Floor Tom Legs
2 - Cymbal stands (one straight and one
Start with the bass drum. Locate the bass
drum hoops, which are the largest of the
hoops, and are usually the same color as the
drum kit. You will also need to find the hoop
claws and the longest lugs in the bag of misc.
hardware you will receive with the kit. You
should have 16 of each (8 for each hoop). Set
the bass drum so it is flat on the floor. A
determination will need to be made as to
which is the front head and which is the "batter
side" head. With most drum kits you will have
the manufacture's logo on one of the heads,
which goes on the front of the drum.
Determining the front of the bass drum is
much easier. The side closest to the bass
drum legs (or spurs) is the front.
Place one of the small washers on each of the
long lugs and insert through the hole in the
claw. They will only work one way, so try one
before you put them all together. There are
usually 8 lugs per side, so place the correct
head on the drum, place the hoop on the head
(it should fit on the outer rim of the head) and
hang the claws on the hoop, threading them
into the bridge lugs on the drum. Finger-tighten
the head, turn the bass drum over and repeat.
NOTE: often times a small pillow placed in the
bass drum removes over-ring and adds punch.
Next the Toms. Locate the smallest of the
toms and find the 2 heads and 2 chrome
hoops that are the same size. There will also
be 12 short lugs and 12 washers necessary for
this drum kit. Place the head on the drum and
the hoop on the head lining up the holes in the
hoop with the bridge lugs on the drum. Place a
washer on each lug and insert through the
hole, and thread into the bridge lugs. Finger
tighten only. Turn drum over and repeat. Note:
Sometimes a top and bottom (batter head and
bottom head) will be sent. The bottom head
will always be thinner, usually transparent.
Using the same technique to do the other ride
tom and floor tom, we should have all of the
drums with heads. If the snare drum is not
assembled, use the same technique for it as
Let's put it all together
Again let's start with the bass drum. Set the
drum so that the 2 spurs are close to the
ground, and the chrome mount located near
the middle of the drum is pointing up. Set the
legs so that they are holding the bass drum
securely, and not able to rock sideways (as if
rolling). Firmly tighten the spurs.
Find the 2 tom holders in the package of
tubular hardware. Each of these should fit into
one of the holes in the top of the bass drum.
Insert them one at a time, and point them out,
so you can slide the toms on without banging
them into one another. As for the correct
position, there is no right or wrong way to set
them up. You will need to try different ways
that work for you.
The Floor Tom is next. You will notice about
1/3 of the way up from the bottom that the floor
tom has 3 chrome mounts. These are the leg
mounts, and you will find 3 steel legs in the
hardware box. They are approximately 18" -
24" in length and have an odd bend at one
end, with a rubber foot. Insert these into the
assemblies, and adjust to a comfortable
The snare drum stand is the stand with the
shortest legs, and it will have a set of 3 "arms"
which when folded down securely hold the
snare drum. It will have a large adjustable nut
under the basket, which you will use to tighten
the 3 arms to hold the bottom of the snare.
Another knob will adjust the height of the
snare. Adjust it to a comfortable position. the
3rd adjustment is the angle adjustment. It
adjusts the angle of the snare drum. Again,
adjust it for comfort.
The bass drum pedal attaches directly to the
bass drum hoop on the back side. Attach it
and lock it down securely with the adjustment
The hi-hat stand may be in 3 pieces.. a
smaller solid shaft threaded at one end, a
tubular piece with the cymbal cup and the
tripod stand with the pedal. The smaller shaft
threads into the nut on the stand assembly,
then the tubular piece slides over the shaft,
and into the stand assembly. A felt washer
goes into the cymbal cup, and the cymbal
clutch tightens with a wing nut to the shaft.
This leaves the 2 cymbal stands, which both
use the same size tripod base. The straight
stand will be in 2 or 3 telescopic sections, and
the boom stand will have an addition piece
with a hinge in the center. This allows you to
place your cymbal closer to the drums.
Remember that the important thing to
remember is to HAVE FUN! There is no right
or wrong way to set your kit up. Try different
things, and HAVE FUN!
Stay tuned for tuning tips.