FIELD Glossary

Bass drum: Large drum played with a foot pedal. Sometimes referred to as the “kick drum” or “kick.” The bass drum is used to anchor the bottom of the mix and interacts with the bass to build the music’s foundation.

Bass drum pedal: The pedal that you step on to play the bass drum. Uses a lever and tensioning springs.

Bass drum beater: The metal shaft that fits into the bass drum pedal, with a head that is made of felt, wood, or other material.

Bass pedal spring: The spring that pulls the pedal back after the pedal is depressed. Bass drum spurs: Short metal legs that attach to the bass drum to keep it from moving. Batter head: A drumhead that you hit, on the top side of the drum.

Bearing edge: The edge of the drum shell where it contacts the drumhead.
Bell: The round, raised part in the center of the cymbal. Used for creating accents and variations in cymbal sound.

China cymbal: Special-effect cymbal of Chinese origin. Usually mounted in an inverted position on the stand. Has a trashy, dark, white noise sound.

Claw hooks: The hooks that hold the bass drum hoop, or rim, in place.

Crash cymbal: Cymbal with strong attack and fast decay used to create accents and crescendos.

Cymbal sleeve: A plastic or rubber sleeve that prevents the cymbal from contacting the metal rod at the top of the cymbal stand. Prevents cymbal damage and undesirable metal- on-metal sound.

Cymbal stand (straight and/or boom type): Holds the cymbals. Boom stands have a movable arm, or boom, that extends from the stand at an angle, allowing you greater flexibility in placing your cymbals.

Double Bass Pedal: Bass drum pedal with two beaters and two footboards. Used in modern rock and fusion styles. Allows the drummer to play a single bass drum with two beaters for a double bass drum effect.

Drum key: Tool used for tuning drums by adjusting the tension rods. Sometimes used to adjust tom arms and other hardware.

Drum module: Module used to generate sampled and synthesized drum sounds, either through MIDI or drum triggers.

Drum rack: Stand used in some modern drum sets to mount tom holders and cymbal stands.

Drum throne: A padded, height-adjustable, armless seat for drummers.

Drum triggers: Small sensors attached to drumheads or rims used to trigger drum and other sounds from an electronic drum module.

Drumhead: The head that fits over a drum’s shell. Originally made of calfskin, most modern heads are made of Mylar. The batter head goes on top of the drum and is the head you hit, while the resonant head goes on the bottom and enhances the drum’s sustain and resonance.

Dry sound: Drum sound that has little or no ambience or effects.

Floor tom: The largest tom in a drum set, usually 14″ to 18″ in diameter. Either has detachable metal legs or is suspended from a tom or cymbal stand.

Footboard: The part of the bass pedal or hi-hat pedal that is pressed with the foot. Fundamental note: The tuning at which a drum produces its most open and resonant tone. Determined to a large degree by the shell design.

Hi-hat cymbals: Pair of cymbals that are mounted on a hi-hat stand (see below). Hi-hat cymbals usually range in size from 12″ to 15.”

Hi-hat stand: The stand that is used to mount and play a pair of hi-hat cymbals. An integrated footpedal is pushed down to close the hi-hats and raised to open them.

Hi-hat clamp (or clutch): The part of the hi-hat stand that holds the top hi-hat cymbal.

Isolation mounts: Tom mounts that allow the tom to vibrate freely by isolating it from the tom holder.

Lug: A bracket that is attached to a drum and accepts a tension rod that threads through the rim to hold the drumhead in place.

Lug nut (or swivel nut): The receptacle inside a lug that accepts the tension rod. Interior threads allow the tension rods to be tightened in order to tune the drum.

Mounted toms: Toms that provide various voices and timbres within the set, most often used in playing fills and solos. Mounted toms generally range from 6″ to 14″ in diameter, and commonly mount on the shell of the bass drum.

Piccolo snare: A high-pitched specialty snare drum, usually with a 3-1/2″ depth.

Ride area: The large, slightly curved area of a ride cymbal that offers a balanced, consistent tone with good definition.

Ride cymbal: A cymbal with sharp attack, fast decay, and clear stick definition. Generally around 20″  in size, ride cymbals create a continuous “riding” pattern and are often used for accompanying instrumental solos.

Resonant head: The bottom head used on toms, snares, and on the front of bass drums. Rim: The metal rim that holds the heads in place and can be tensioned for tuning.

Shell: The actual drum cylinder. Usually made of wood.

Shell pack: Drum configuration sold with minimal hardware usually including only the rims and tom holder.

Snare drum: Drum with a metal or wood shell and bright, cutting tone. Has a characteristic buzzing sound created by the sound of the snares on the bottom head.

Snares: Coiled metal strands that vibrate against the bottom (snare-side) head of a snare drum.

Snare side head: Thin head for the bottom of a snare drum.

Snare stand: Stand with an adjustable basket that holds the snare drum.

Snare strainer (or throw-off): The device that holds the metal snares against the bottom snare side head. Has a lever that allows you to tighten or release the snares.

Soprano snare: Small specialty snare drum, usually with a 12″ diameter.

Splash cymbals: Small, thin crash cymbals with a quick decay.

Tension rods: The rods that are used in conjunction with the lug nuts to tune a drum. Tom: Drums of varying size that are typically mounted on the bass drum with a tom holder. Toms may also be mounted on a drum rack, and are referred to suspended or hanging toms. Toms larger than 16″ are usually mounted on legs, in which case the drum is called a floor tom.

Tom holder: Mounting hardware that holds one or more toms on the bass drum.

Trigger: Small sensors attach to your drumheads and trigger sounds from an external drum module.

Washer: A metal disk that fits between the head of the tensioning rod and the rim.

Wet sound: Sound that has an ambient, spacious quality, with effects like reverb and/or delay

Wing nut: A nut with wing-like finger grips, used on the top of a cymbal stand.

 

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