How To Set Up A Drum Kit
Setting up a drum kit isn’t rocket science, but setting up your drums correctly can make them much easier for you to play. You'll also find that your sticks and drum heads last longer and most importantly, your sound will rock!
Adjusting The Drum Throne
The first step is to set the height of your seat. A drummer should have an adjustable "drum throne" that's designed specifically for drumming - we don’t advise using a picnic stool! Take to the throne with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hand sideways on your knee (in a karate chop fashion) and place a drum stick between your hand and the top of your thigh. Now raise or lower the seat until the stick is parallel with the floor. This should put you in the ideal position for playing the bass drum and hi-hat pedals.
Foot Pedal Positioning
You want to make sure that the bass drum pedal is close enough so that your right leg isn’t positioned straight down, but so that your ankle is just a few inches in front of your knee. Now try using the kick drum pedal with your right foot and adjust if necessary.
Once you are happy with the kick drum, put the snare drum on its stand and make sure the legs are open all the way and that the drum is positioned between your legs. Raise or lower the snare so that the playing surface is just about at the same level as your belt buckle. This will keep you from overextending your arms and ensure that you play in a more relaxed position.
You can set your hi-hat in the same the way you set your bass drum, except it's for your left foot.
Setting The Angle Of Your Drumheads
Take your stick and see where you naturally hit on the snare drum, raising your arm in an arc motion. Adjust the tom-tom so that when you connect with the head, you're hitting the drum with your stick at about the same angle as when you hit the snare. How far away should that tom-tom be? Well, when you reach out to it, your arm should be relaxed and your wrist in a fairly neutral position.
As you can probably tell, this all takes practice since each adjustment will affect the others in some way. As you feel more comfortable behind the set, you'll probably make little adjustments in your set up. Remember, this isn’t just a one-time set and forget process!
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25 May '11