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Drum kit

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A drum kit (or drum set or trap set) is mostly a collection of drums, cymbals and sometimes other percussion instruments arranged for convenient playing by a single drummer.

The drummer uses drum sticks to strike the drum head and to create a vibration. Bass drum pedals are used for the bass drum. The hi-hat is usually controlled also by a pedal, connected via a stand.


[edit] History

Early drum kits were known as traps (from contraption). Though this term is now uncommon, it survives in the term trap case still given to a case used to transport stands, pedals, sticks, and miscellaneous percussion instruments, still commonly called traps.

Early kits usually consisted of a bass drum, a snare drum on a stand, a small cymbal and other small percussion instruments mounted on the bass drum or a small table, all played with drum sticks or brushes except for the bass drum. This drum is operated with one or more mechanical pedals. Due to being played with the foot (and to help distinguish from the bass guitar or string bass), the bass drum is also often referred to as the "kick" drum. The drum set was not invented by one person, but instead was developed by a number of people who made various contributions to it. For example, Ulysses Leedy contributed the adjustable snare drum stand and pearl coverings which made a difference in the appearance of the drum set. Robert Danly invented the throw-off snare strainer which also made it easier to turn the snare on and off during drumming. William F. Ludwig built a foot pedal that could withstand high speeds so people could play the bass drum faster. The hi-hat contribution came after the snare drum stand and the foot pedal. The inventor of the hi-hat is not certain, but Barney Walburg may have been responsible. Papa Jo Jones was one of the first and greatest artists of the hi-hat. All of these different parts formed a full drum set as we know it today.

The first drums sets were made differently than they are currently made today. The rims of the first drums were made of wood. Later, some people started to make metal rims. Instead of drum stands, the drums were all attached to a large bass drum on metal racks. Drummers took anything they could think of and put it on the tray, called the traps, on top of the metal rack.

The first drums used calfskins for the drum heads, but they broke easily. Many people started making plastic heads for drums that would hold up better, but some plastic heads were better than others. Marion Evans invented the first plastic head in the mid-1950s. The Evan’s Heads Company was later formed. In 1957, Remo Belli and Sam Muchnick together developed a plastic head that became the most popular head. Remo Belli was the world’s leading producer of plastic heads.

Cymbals were introduced to the drum set when people found a way to hang them above the drum set. The first cymbals that people used were cheap, small, and were suspended from curtain cords. When Zildjian cymbals began to be produced in the United States in 1929, higher quality and larger cymbals were available, but they were still suspended from curtain cords. Gene Krupa, a famous drummer, finally invented a stand for the cymbals because the curtain cords could not hold the larger cymbals properly. As cymbals became more popular, Zildjian started producing more cymbals of different types, sizes, and sounds. Drum sets started to expand because more cymbals could fit around the drum set because of the stands.

The history of cymbals in the United States comes from the Zildjian family. The first Zildjian cymbals were made in Turkey in 1618 by Avedis Zildjian. The history of modern day cymbals began in 1929 when Avedis Zildjian III set up a Zildjian cymbals company near Boston, USA. Producing the Zildjian cymbals was a family tradition that was passed down from father to son. The Avedis Zildjian Company eventually became the world’s largest producer of cymbals. Before Avedis Zildjian III died, he passed the secret of making Zildjian cymbals to his two sons’, Armand and Robert. Robert later left the Zildjian Company and formed the famous Sabian Cymbal Company in 1981.

[edit] Modern kits and components

The exact collection of components to a drum kit varies greatly according to musical style, personal preference, financial resources, and transportation options of the drummer (See Breakables for more information about personalizing).

Though the use of two bass drums in a kit can be traced back decades to jazz drummers like Louie Bellson, more recent drummers -- especially in hard rock and heavy metal -- have used dual bass drums. Since the 1980s, drummers have used electronic drums, either as by themselves or incorporated into a standard drum set. Cowbells, gongs, tambourines and other percussion instruments are sometimes used in drum sets.

[edit] Drum set notation

Notation of drum kit music once commonly employed the bass clef, but a neutral clef of two parallel vertical lines, sometimes referred to as the percussion or drum clef, is usually preferred now. (All note letter names in the "Techniques" section refer to the bass clef.) Drum set notation is not standardized, although there are some common conventions. It is usual to label each instrument and technique when it is introduced or to add an explanatory footnote.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

This article was started using a Wikipedia kit article
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