Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. A collection of drums and other percussion instruments designed to be played together.
A drum set (primarily American), drum kit (primarily British/Australian), trap set, or just drums is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments, typically cymbals, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player with drumsticks held in both hands and the feet operating pedals that control the hi-hat cymbal and the beater for the bass drum. A drum kit consists of a mix of drums (categorized classically as membranophones, Hornbostel-Sachs high-level classification 2) and idiophones most significantly cymbals but also including the woodblock and cowbell (classified as Hornbostel-Sachs high-level classification 1). In the 2000s, some kits also include electronic instruments (Hornbostel-Sachs classification 53) and both hybrid and entirely electronic kits are used.
A standard modern kit (for a right-handed player), as used in popular music and taught in music schools, contains:
- A snare drum, mounted on a stand, placed between the player's knees and played with drum sticks (which may include rutes or brushes)
- A bass drum, played by a pedal operated by the right foot, which moves a felt-covered beater
- Two or more toms, played with sticks or brushes
- A hi-hat (two cymbals mounted on a stand), played with the sticks, opened and closed with left foot pedal (can also produce sound with the foot alone)
- One or more cymbals, mounted on stands, played with the sticks
All of these are classed as non-pitched percussion, allowing for the music to be scored using percussion notation, for which a loose semi-standardized form exists for the drum kit. If some or all of them are replaced by electronic drums, the scoring and most often positioning remains the same, allowing a standard teaching approach. The drum kit is usually played while seated on a drum stool or throne. The drum kit differs from instruments that can be used to produce pitched melodies or chords, even though drums are often placed musically alongside others that do, such as the piano or guitar. The drum kit is part of the standard rhythm section used in many types of popular and traditional music styles ranging from rock and pop to blues and jazz. Other standard instruments used in the rhythm section include the electric bass, electric guitar and keyboards.
Many drummers extend their kits from this basic pattern, adding more drums, more cymbals, and many other instruments including pitched percussion. In some styles of music particular extensions are normal, for example double bass drums in heavy metal music and the enlarged kits used by some progressive rock drummers, which may include unusual instruments such as gongs. Some performers, such as some rockabilly drummers, use small kits that omit elements from the basic setup. Some drum kit players may have other roles in the band, such as providing backup vocals, or less commonly, lead vocals.
Usage examples of "drum kit".
And he didn't have enough money for a drum kit, not that they would've let him bring it into the house anyway, or practice on anything but the piano.
He'd tried to get an electronic drum kit, but the good ones were all expensive, and his parents had kept him purposefully short of cash.
He lay slumped across his drum kit, mouthing the words to a song his mother had taught him back in Poona and blowing half-heartedly into a crisp-muffled kazoo.
HE HELPED BEAUVOIR carry Jackie out to the stage, where they lay her down in front of a cherryred acoustic drum kit and covered her with an old black topcoat they found in the checkroom, with a velvet collar and years of dust on the shoulders, it had been hanging there so long.
Below the stage on which a piano faced a drum kit and a recumbent bass, the students were standing up in the aisles, moving into little talkative groups, breaking up again, calling to each other.
Behind the choir, the world's cleanest-looking roadie was assembling a drum kit.
The fast car, the drum kit, the family spread in Roehampton, the trust fund, the Tatlerish connec.