Whether you have just purchased your first drum set or are thinking about adding some new equipment to your old drum set, there are a few “must have” items that you should consider! It is not that you absolutely NEED these parts for a drum set, but the majority of songs and riffs incorporate them. With that being said, not incorporating them into your drum set can really limit the amount that you can play!

I have divided this post up into two sections:

-The Absolute Basics

-For Advanced Drumming

I deem all of the equipment in the first section as being absolutely necessary! 99% of songs and riffs will incorporate these sounds, so you should really make sure that your drum set has them!

On the other hand, I deem the equipment in the second section to be beneficial, but not mandatory! These pieces will help you to take your drum kit to an entirely new level, but most songs can be played without them!

The Absolute Basics

As I said earlier, I think that every single drum set should have all of these things. Each of these instruments produces a unique sound that can’t be replicated by any other part of a drum kit! With that being said, I would go through each of these parts to make sure that your drum set includes them!

I have listed them below, and come up with a little storyline that will clarify location and purpose in a drum kit!

-Snare drum

-Hi hat cymbal

-Rack tom

-Bass drum

-Floor tom

-Drum sticks

 The Snare Drum is the most important drum in any kit because it is used the most frequently. The snare drum produces a high pitched sound that rings on for a fraction of a second due to the snares underneath it. The snare drum is usually placed immediately to the right of the Hi Hat Cymbal, which is the most important out of the essential cymbals that I have described. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is it can actually produce 3 different sounds!

Next up is the Rack Tom which can come in all sorts of sizes. The tone that the tom produces depends on the size of the shell and drumhead that it has on it. A rack tom produces a decently low pitched sound, and is placed above the Bass Drum which is the next essential piece of drumming equipment on our list! The bass drum produces the lowest pitched sound in a drum set and is stricken by a pedal that is operated by the drummer’s right foot! It is basically a very large drum shell with a large skin on either side!

Coming towards the end of the list, the next one up is a Floor Tom! As you can imagine, this tom sits on the floor with three legs holding it up. It produces a really low sound, and is usually placed to the right of the drummer. With that being said, it is usually hit by one of the drum sticks...specifically the one in the drummers right hand! Speaking of Drum Sticks...there are literally thousands of options!However, I would recommend buying an inexpensive pair of drumsticks because they tend to crack relatively easily...unless you follow this tip to extend the life of your sticks!

As I stated earlier, these are absolutely essential pieces of equipment for any drum set! This is especially true for beginner drummers. Get your hands on each of these and you will be well on your way to becoming a seasoned drummer!

For Advanced Drumming

It is not that this drumming equipment is meant for advanced musicians; however, they are not as essential as the ones from the last section of this post! These cymbals, drums, and special effects instruments can be incorporated into any drum beat and will actually add some flare to the riffs that you are playing!

Once again, I have listed them, as well as come up with a short storyline that describes how they fit into a drum set!

-Crash cymbal

-Ride cymbal

-Second rack tom that is larger/smaller than the first


The Crash Cymbal gets its name from the sound that it produces- a loud crashing sound! It is usually placed towards the right of the drum set or in between two of the rack toms that you have on your kit! Speaking of two rack toms, I recommend that you get a Second Rack Tom that is a bit larger or smaller than your first one! Larger drum shells will produce lower tones and smaller shells will produce higher ones!

The next thing that I recommend for drummers that want to spice up their beats is a Ride Cymbal. This cymbal, as you may have guessed, produces a low pitched sound that rides on for a few seconds! It is generally used for the choruses of songs and can actually crack relatively easily! And when it cracks, you can hit the Cowbell as a substitute for it! The cowbell shouldn’t be used as a primary cymbal, but it will definitely spice up your drum beats a bit!

There are obviously many more pieces of drum equipment that you can buy; however, I deem these as essential tools for people that want to start drumming! The equipment from the first section is for drummers that just want the basics, and the second section is devoted to advanced equipment!

At the very least, I would recommend that you buy a drum set that includes the equipment from the “basics” section!