Popular Drum Set Configurations

Modern drum configurations are categorized not by the total number of equipment, but only by the number of drums. Counted drums are only bass drums, tom-tom and snare, with all other types being optionally counted.

Each drummer can customize their drumming set with countless variations, sometimes creating situation that two drums sets that are placed into same category can look drastically different.

Common Drum Set Configurations:

  • Small kits – Drum sets that don’t have toms, sometimes with bass drums being replaced by pedal beater. Hanging toms are also omitted. These sets are very portable and usable in many music genres (variations of Jazz and Blues).
  • Tree-piece – Basic modern drum set, consisting from bass drum, snare drum, hi hats, one hanging tom and set of cymbals. This configuration was popularized during 50s and 60s.
  • Four-piece – Extension of three-piece set by the presence of one additional tom, and often additional cymbal.
Old Drum Bongo
  • Four-piece variations – There are several popular variations of four-piece, including “Four-piece with floor tom” that was used by Beatles and Jimmy Hendrix band, and “Four-piece with two hanging toms”.
  • Five-piece – Full set of drums, today viewed as one of the most popular drum configurations of modern rock and metal. It has same configuration as four-piece, with addition of third tom drum, often with second crash and effect cymbals.
  • Extended kits – Drum sets that are customized beyond the scope of Five-piece drum sets. They can sometimes have more than 30 elements if the drummer is very ambitious.
Old Drum Bongo
Old Drum Bongo
Tambor Tarahumara
Wooden Drumsticks