Drums and Percussion
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Drums and percussion are musical instruments that are played in such a way that we strike them with our hands or with mallets or drumsticks. The naming is based on the way these instruments are played, in the acoustic sense, drums and percussion are divided into two groups, membranophones and idiophones. Tensile drumheads or membranes made of artificial materials or structured leather sound like membranophones. Idiophones (self-ringing), on the other hand, are designed to sound like the material from which the instrument is made. The pitch depends on the size of the musical instrument or the diameter of the drumhead. Larger resonators or drumheads oscillate more slowly and therefore produce lower frequencies, that is, lower, more bass sounds or tones.
Percussion instruments are divided into two types according to their sound characteristics:
- Percussion instruments which can be intonated (have a definable pitch)
- Percussion instruments that are not intonated (have an indeterminate pitch).
If we compare drums and percussion with other groups of musical instruments, depending on the method of performance, we find in the group of drums and percussion the most different types of instruments. In the past, only a few of them were represented in classical music in symphony orchestras. In the initial period, only timpani were constantly represented, other percussion instruments were present more occasionally.
It is quite different in contemporary popular music, where drums and percussion are practically inevitable and there are only a few bands without them. In some cases, such as e.g. Latin American genres of popular music, however, drums and percussion are often the most numerous group of instruments in the ensemble.
Drums are musical instruments that belong to percussion, if we define it more precisely, to the membranophone instruments. A musician who plays drums is called a drummer. Drums are classified into a group of instruments without a definable tone (intonation), which is not entirely correct, as a well-tuned drum can have a clearly identifiable basic tone.
Drums are usually assembled into a percussion "battery" or drum set. The basic set consists of a snare drum, one or more toms, a bass drum and cymbals. In everyday communication, these terms are rarely used, English terms or their derivatives are more often used colloquially: small drum - snare, smaller transitional drum - tom or tom-tom, larger transitional drum - floor tom, big drum - bass drum. Drums are usually played with wooden sticks, but lately sticks made of other materials are also available, e.g. carbon. The exceptions are bass drums, which are not played with sticks, but with a pedal on which a beater is mounted. In music, drums are mostly used as an accompanying instrument, but occasionally also as a solo instrument.
Modern drumheads are usually made of artificial materials, mostly plastic. In rock music, drummers often use multi-layered drumheads, while in ethno or jazz ensembles, drummers prefer to use thinner and more tonally responsive drumheads. The drumheads are factory-mounted on a metal frame that is placed between the drum housing and a metal ring mounted on the perimeter of the housing. The desired tone is achieved by tightening the screws. After a certain period of use, the membranes lose their flexibility and thus their tone, so they need to be changed regularly. In our stock you will find a wide selection of drumhead manufacturers Evans and Remo.
Drumsticks are usually made of wood, and the type of wood can affect their durability. For example, oak and hickory * (hickory: American white walnut) drumsticks are very durable, and maple is lighter and more flexible, but less durable.
* hickory: American white walnut
The tips are most often made of wood, but they can also be plastic. Wooden tips can be chipped or broke off after prolonged use. The plastic tips have a very good bounce and emphasize the tone of the cymbals. They are also recommended when playing electric drums, because a split wooden tip can damage the playing surface of the drum pad. The problem with plastic tips is that they sometimes fall off, which can be a serious problem if this happens in the middle of a concert.
Drumsticks differ in size, we know 3 main groups:
- 7A are narrower and lighter. Those are suitable for gentler and softer drum sound. They are great for performing jazz music, but also suitable for younger drummers.
- 5A is the most common dimension of drumsticks and allows for both loud and gentle playing. These are great sticks for playing rock music!
- 2B / 5B are thicker sticks suitable for producing a louder tone. They are ideal for performing more rock musical styles (heavy metal, hard rock ...).
In addition to all of the mentioned above, you will also find a wide selection of cymbals, percussion hardware, percussion instruments, Orff and children's percussion and percussion accessories in our online store.