Songwriting: Drums

As a songwriter, but also as a producer, it can be useful to be able to play an instrument. This gives you extra freedom within the creative process that is songwriting and music production. At the Wisseloord Academy there is also the possibility to improve your skills on the drums, for example.

But if playing the drums is something completely new to you, it is nice to first know the ins and outs of this instrument.

Drum kit parts

There are so many different parts that you can use for your own drum kit. Every drummer has his own preferences. This also depends on the type of song and genre you will be playing. In this article we will zoom in on the most common parts of a common drum set.

Bass drum

The bass drum is also called ‘kick drum’ and is seen as the basis of a drum set. It is the largest drum, often positioned in the middle on its side in the center of the entire drum kit.

The bass drum owes its name to its sound, as it is the lowest pitched drum of the bunch and is played with the foot using a beater. The beater hits the head of the bass drum as soon as the drummer moves the beater with his foot via the corresponding pedal.

Snare drum

The snare drum is played with the hands by striking the head with a drumstick. The snare drum, also known as snare drum, consists of a resonance box, a striking head, and a resonance head. The batter head is at the top of the drum and the resonance head at the bottom, where a snare mat is often pressed against. The snare drum usually produces a loud, sharp, and short-lasting sound.


Toms are drums without a string, which makes the sound duller and (often) fuller when struck. The heads of a tom are attached by a hoop and tuning pegs. This allows you to tighten or loosen the heads and change the pitch of the tone. Toms are often used in so-called ‘fills’, often acting as a kind of transition in the game.


The hi-hat consists of a stand with two cymbals mounted on top of each other. The upper pelvis is moved by means of a linked pedal that is controlled by the foot. As soon as the pedal is pressed, the upper cymbal is lifted away from the lower cymbal, resulting in an open hi-hat.

When you hit a closed hi-hat with a drumstick you hear high short sounds, where when you hit an open hi-hat you hear a longer open sound. This sound can then be cut off again by dropping the upper cymbal back onto the lower cymbal.

The hi-hat is often used to indicate the rhythm and play along in a song.

Crash cymbals

The crash cymbal is a thin metal disc that when struck with a drumstick gives a high, sharp, and long-lasting tone. This is often used to act as an accent, for example when the chorus “enters”.

Of course, there are many more different parts that you can add to your drum kit and there are countless variants of the parts already discussed. However, the above parts form the usual basic equipment of a drum set.

Now that you have the basic knowledge of how a drum kit is put together, you can start practicing!