How To Set Up Drums – A Comprehensive Guide

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to set up drums, ensuring your drum kit is not only playable but also comfortable and efficient for your playing style.

Tools you will need

Before we dive into the setup process, first gather the tools and equipment you will need to set up your drums.

  • Drum Kit: Make sure you have all the components of your drum kit, including drums, cymbals, stands, pedals, and hardware.
  • Drum Key: A drum key is an essential tool for tuning and adjusting the tension of your drumheads.
  • Drumsticks: You will need a pair of drumsticks for playing.
  • Cymbal Felts and Wing Nuts: These are essential for securing your cymbals in place.
  • Throne (Drum Stool): A comfortable, adjustable drum throne is crucial for proper posture and playing technique.
  • Rug or Drum Mat: To prevent your drum kit from slipping and protect your floor.

Step by step on how to set up drums

Let us proceed with exactly how to set up your drums. If you sign up for our Singapore drum lessons, we will guide you on this, but the following information is still good for you to know.

Step 1: Prepare the space

Before setting up your drums, clear the designated space for your drum kit. Place a rug or drum mat on the floor to prevent the drums and stands from moving during play. This also helps protect your floor from scratches.

Step 2: Assemble the drum throne

Start by setting up your drum throne. Adjust its height to a comfortable playing position. Make sure the throne is stable and secure, as your posture and playing technique depend on it.

Step 3: Position the bass drum

Place the bass drum (kick drum) in the center of your setup. The beater side (the side with the pedal) should be facing you. Position the bass drum pedal directly in front of the drum, with the beater lined up with the center of the drumhead. Secure the bass drum pedal to the hoop of the bass drum with the appropriate clamp or bracket.

Step 4: Assemble the toms and snare drum

Attach the tom-tom mounts onto the bass drum’s tension rods or lugs. Carefully mount the tom-toms onto the mounting arms, adjusting them to your preferred height and angle. The smallest tom should be to your left, and the larger toms to your right (if applicable).

Place the snare drum stand between your legs, positioning it at a comfortable height. The snare drum should sit level and parallel to the floor. Adjust the angle and height to your liking.

Step 5: Position the hi-hat stand

Place the hi-hat stand on your left side, positioning the bottom hi-hat cymbal so it’s a few inches above the snare drum. Adjust the height and tension of the hi-hat stand as needed. The top cymbal should be easily controlled by your left foot.

Step 6: Set up the cymbal stands

Position the cymbal stands for your crash cymbals and ride cymbal. The crash cymbals are usually placed to the right, while the ride cymbal goes on the right side of the drum kit. Adjust the stands to your desired height and angle, ensuring they are secure and won’t wobble during play.

Step 7: Mount cymbals

Attach your crash and ride cymbals to the cymbal stands using the wing nuts and felt washers. Adjust the angle and height of the cymbals according to your preference. Make sure they are securely fastened to avoid any accidents during play.

Step 8: Fine-tune and adjust

With your drum kit set up, take some time to fine-tune and adjust various elements to your liking:

  • Tune the drumheads to your preferred pitch using a drum key.
  • Adjust the tension on the bass drum pedal for the desired feel.
  • Fine-tune the hi-hat stand to ensure smooth operation.
  • Ensure that all the cymbals are secure and positioned for easy access.

Step 9: Perform final checks

Before you start playing, give your drum kit a final check to ensure everything is secure, stable, and comfortable. Double-check the height and angle of your drum throne, and make sure all the elements are within easy reach.