Bass drum

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1 Ride cymbal | 2 Floor tom | 3 Toms

4 Bass drum | 5 Snare drum | 6 Hi-hat

Crash cymbal | China cymbal | Splash cymbal | Sizzle cymbal
Swish cymbal | Cowbell | Wood block | Tambourine
Rototom | Octoban | Hardware

The bass drums are of variable sizes and are used in several musical genres (see usage below). Three major types of bass drums can be distinguishe The type usually seen or heard in orchestral, ensemble or concert band music is the orchestral, or concert bass drum (in Italian: gran cassa, gran tamburo). It is the largest drum of the orchestra. The 'kick' drum, struck with a beater attached to a pedal, is usually seen on drum kits. The third type, the pitched bass drum, is generally used in marching bands and drum corps. This particular type of drum is tuned to a specific pitch and is usually played in a set of three to five drums. The bass drum was imported from the Middle East.

In music, the bass drum is used to mark or keep time. In marches it is used to project tempo (marching bands historically march to the beat of the bass). A basic beat for rock and roll has the bass drum played on the first and third beats of a bars of common time, with the snare drum on the second and fourth beats, called "back beats". In jazz, the bass drum can vary from almost entirely being a timekeeping medium to being a melodic voice in conjunction with the other parts of the set. In classical music, the bass drum often punctuates a musical impact, although it has other valid uses, depending on the size, and how and where the drum is struck. Implements used to strike the drum may include bass drum beaters of various sizes, shapes, and densities, as well as keyboard percussion mallets, timpani mallets, and drumsticks. The hand or fingers can also be used (it. con la mano). The playing techniques possible includes rolls, repetitions and unison strokes. Bass drums can sometimes be used for sound effects. e.g. thunder, or an earthquake.[2]

Influenced by the Janissary Music the large Turkish drum was introduced into the orchestral music in the 18th century, especially into operas which required oriental atmosphere. Gradually the instrument developed into the orchestral bass drum as we now know it.[3]

In a drum kit, the bass drum is much smaller than in the traditional orchestral use, most commonly 22" or 20" in diameter. Sizes from 16" to 28" in diameter are available , with depths of 14" to 22", 18" or 16" being normal. The standard bass drum size of past years was 20" x 14", with 22" x 18" being the current standard. Many manufacturers are now popularizing the 'power drum' concept as with tom-toms, with an 18" depth (22" x 18") to further lower the drum's fundamental note. This is a misconception, however, since the frequency of vibration and hence the fundamental note of a drum is determined by the width of the drum and not by the depth. A wider drum with a larger head would be capable of a lower tuning.

Sometimes the front head of a kit bass drum has a hole in it to allow air to escape when the drum is struck for shorter sustain. Muffling can be installed through the hole without taking off the front head. The hole also allows microphones to be placed into the bass drum for recording and amplification. In addition to microphones, sometimes trigger pads are used to amplify the sound and provide a uniform tone, especially when fast playing without decrease of volume is desired. Professional drummers often choose to have a customized bass drum front head, with the logo or name of their band on the front.

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