Acoustic drum sets, electric drum sets, and hand percussion sets are the three basic types of percussion kits. The words kit and set can also be used interchangeably. A percussion kit is a collection of drums that can be used in a variety of ways to create a rhythm.
A snare drum, a floor tom, a rack tom, and a bass drum, also known as the kick drum, are typical components of an acoustic drum set. A crash, a ride, and hi-hats are the basic cymbal setup, but many drummers will use additional cymbals. Cowbells and wood blocks, for example, can be attached to the cymbal stands or placed on their own stands. The drum set can also include cymbal stands or drum racks.
When an acoustic drum is struck, it produces sound and does not require amplification. Mics can be placed on these drums for added amplification during live performances in medium to large-sized clubs and concert halls. In small rooms and practice studios, it is not necessary to mic the drums. The terms “drum set” and “drum kit” are both correct.
Another type of percussion kit is an electric drum set. These kits are designed to look like acoustic drum sets. Plastic, rubber, or mesh skins are used. When a musician strikes the drum’s skin, it activates a preprogrammed, prerecorded sound for the drum in question. When the electric snare drum is triggered, for example, a prerecorded acoustic snare hit will reverberate. Electric drums have multiple channels or settings that allow the drummer to get a variety of tones and drum set sounds.
Electric drum kits are ideal for practicing because they give the user complete control over the volume. They can be directly connected to an amplifier or sound system. A kick drum, snare drum, cymbals, and anywhere from three to seven toms are commonly included in these kits.
Hand percussion kits are made up of congas, bongos, and other skinned percussion instruments that are played with the hands alone. These drum sets allow the musician to position any number of drums parallel to his or her chest, waist, or belly level. Bongo kits usually consist of two drums: one with a lower tone and the other with a higher tone. Conga kits typically have more drums and are occasionally played with sticks. Hand percussion kits are commonly used in world and reggae music, as these genres are driven such instruments.