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AAA Music | 23 May 2024

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A Quick Guide on How to Setup a Drum Kit

| On 03, Mar 2021

The first drum kit holds a special place in any drummer’s heart. It reconnects you with the sweet old memories, the time when you first fell in love with this unique musical instrument. I still remember the first drum kit I got as a birthday present on my 11th birthday, and to this day, it is the best gift I have ever received. That pretty much sums up how musicians feel about their favorite instruments, and I am sure that you are no different. 

The fact that you are reading this shows that you are ready to get started with your drumming journey, But before you can start beating the drums, you must understand how to set up your drum kit the right way. Owing to so many different pieces that form a drum kit, the setting up process can be quite confusing. 

In this article, we will provide you a step-by-step guide on setting up a drum kit so that you can start your drumming session without wasting any more time fretting over the setup process.

While setting up your drum kit, the arrangement of your drums will be dependent on the number of pieces you have. Generally, most beginners start with a 4-piece or 5-piece drum setup and then gradually add new components as their skill level improves. As a newbie to playing drums, here is a list of all the main components of a drum kit that you will likely be dealing with.

Drum Throne Stool

As one of the most integral parts of the setup process, the height of your drum throne will determine how high all the other components in your drum kit should be. The rule of thumb is that while sitting on the stool, your quadriceps (anterior thigh muscles) need to be placed approximately parallel to the floor. 

However, it is a good idea to experiment with different heights to figure out what works best for you. If your legs start to ache, particularly the shin area, it means the stool is lower than the ideal height. Similarly, if you are unable to press the pedal properly, you might be sitting too high. One of the most essential tips is to ensure that your drums and cymbals are within easy reach so you can maintain a posture with a straight back. This will help you prevent any back injuries later on.

Snare Drum

Next up, you have to take care of the height and angle of your snare drum. The snare drum sits in between your legs as you play, and as per recommendations, it should be at such a height that you can comfortably hit the center of the head of the drum and strike its rims as well.


The pedal of the bass drum is another central component of the drum kit. Adjust the spring located on the right side of the pedal in a way that it is neither too tight nor too soft but somewhere in the middle. 


The hi-hats comprise two cymbals that you can orient in both open and close positions. The hi-hat is positioned on the contralateral side of your dominant hand. For example, if you are right-handed, the hi-hat should be placed on your left. The height of the hi-hat is of utmost importance. If you set the hi-hat too high, you will not be able to strike the cymbals on the top and will hit the edge of the cymbals often. That will produce a harsher, more sloshy tone. Position it in such a way that you can hit both the edge and top of the cymbals comfortably. The best hi-hat stand is the one that provides stability to the cymbals and allows you to transition between different heights smoothly. In this way, you get the sound you’d like when using your drums.

Tom Toms and Floor Tom

The hi and mid toms can either be attached to the bass drum or be fixed to the cymbal stands using clamps. They should be positioned at a comfortable distance from your stool so that you do not have to lean forwards. Similarly, the floor tom should be placed at the level of the snare and its angle sloping towards you slightly so that you can easily hit its center and the rims.

With all this said, it is crucial to note that there is no hard and fast rule to set up your drum kit since factors like height, weight, and personal preferences vary from one person to another. In the end, It is essential to set up your drum kit in a way that provides utmost comfort while you are playing the drums. Now that your drum kit is all set up and ready to be used, drum roll, please. It is time to start rocking some beats!