How To Setup A Drum Set : Drums, Stands, Hardware, and Drum Tuning | Ben Schlatter | Skillshare

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How To Setup A Drum Set : Drums, Stands, Hardware, and Drum Tuning

teacher avatar Ben Schlatter, Rhythm Is Everywhere

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Intro / Overview

    • 2. Cymbals and Cymbal Stands

    • 3. Hi Hats, Hi Hat Stand, Snare Stand

    • 4. Bass Drum Pedal

    • 5. Putting It All Together Bass Drum, Floor Tom, Snare Drum, Rack Toms, Cymbals, and Throne

    • 6. Sitting At The Right Height and Making Your Drum Set Easy To Play

    • 7. Tuning Drums & Replacing Drum Heads

    • 8. Conclusion, Class Project, and Continued Learning

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About This Class

How To Setup A Drum Set : Drums, Stands, Hardware, and Drum Tuning is a beginner's guide to the parts of the drum set and how to assemble and adjust them. Whether you're an absolute beginner or someone who has played for a while, this class will help you set up the drum set, and make playing it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.  In this class we'll cover:

-Names of all the instruments and associated hardware that make up a drum set
-How to assemble and operate each instrument
-Best practices for maintaining your drum set
-Tips on how to find and maintain an optimal playing position for you and your drum set
-How to tune any drum
-How to replace a drum head when it's old or broken

It took me many years to figure out how to make the most of my equipment. After 25 years of playing, let me help you get to know your equipment a bit better, and let it work with you the best it can, let's get started!

Check out my other Skillshare classes:

An Easy In-Depth Guide to Playing Beats On The Drum Set

Quick Start Guide To Drumming - How To Play Drum Set For The Absolute Beginner

or sneak a peek at my website

Meet Your Teacher

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Ben Schlatter

Rhythm Is Everywhere


Hello, I'm Ben Schlatter, a professional musician who lives and works in the Metro Detroit area. I play drum set, steel drum, piano, and vibraphone in a wide variety of groups and situations. That's one part of playing music I really love; constantly being put in touch with different people in different places.  After playing and teaching for over 20 years, I've developed ways to guide anyone on their journey to becoming a better musician.  

When not involved in something musical, I enjoy cooking with my wife, traveling, cats, talking with friends and family, biking, nature, history, science, and learning in general.



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1. Intro / Overview: Hi, My name's bench later, and welcome to the video how to set up your drum set and drum To me, this video is for beginners who maybe have not set up a drum set are still not quite sure about all the parts of it. In this video, we'll learn the names of the instruments, how they're set up on the stands, tips and tricks to maintaining them, and also how to tune the drone so that they sound the best that they can for each state and drone. We'll look at each part of it so that you know what it is and how it works. At the end, we'll have a project. We break down and set up your drum set as this is something you'll have to do many times as a performing drummer. So you may ask, How do we get from this to here? Let's get started 2. Cymbals and Cymbal Stands: so we'll start with symbol stands in each civil stand. At the bottom. You'll see this wing. Screw that you'll have to loosen in order to open up the tripod legs. After that Titan that wings crew again. But be careful. Don't over tighten anyway screws on your drum set. If you do that, you might strip the thread and then that screwball no longer tight. So I opened this stand up and then we'll open our second stand up whose name? The wing nut opening the tripod legs and then again, tightening that wing nut all symbol stands will have wingnuts allow stand to go up and down . As you loosen it, you can move it and then you tighten it. It will stay in place with every drum set. You should also get one of these a drum key. And if not, you can spy on for a couple bucks at a music shop and we use it here on the Cymbal stand for this thing here called Memory lock and using the drum key, we can loosen a screw that allows us to move this lock. And once we find the height of a symbol stand that we like, weaken lower the memory lock and tighten it that way. Even if we loosen the wing screw on the stand, the loan, the memory lack prevents it from going down. Ah, very useful feature. If you're always setting up and tearing down your drones and this is this stand, here is what we call straight stand. It just goes up and down. Civil stands also have apart wing screw at the top that lets you adjust the angle of the symbol, and we'll see more about that once we actually set symbols on here, and a lot of symbol stands also have what we call a telescope, where this arm slides in telescopes into the stand and by loosening the wing screws up here . But don't loosen it all the way. Otherwise, this spinning part of the stand will come on down and you have to put it back together, pull the arm Oh, and slide it back through and then we'll tighten it. We don't know exactly where it's going to go now without the symbol on it, and without the next of the drum said. But we can get it ready to put a symbol on so again, Tighten those wings, Cruz and and if you need to adjust the angle of the symbol, But then well said, the's stands off to the side and set up our other stands. Next will put symbols on these stands, and so we can see it will lower it a little bit, but each single stand should have a plastic part that screws on to the top. This plastic sleeve that screws on prevents the symbol from touching the metal and the metal, slowly grinding away this symbol. So all the symbols that you find before they started using these will have a little bit. Grab a little bit of a symbol ground away around the hole in the simple where slides on here again because it was grinding for years and years on this piece of metal. So we should also have to felt's with every Cymbal stand, and we'll put a felt time Man will put the symbol on, and we'll take second felt. Put it on, and then the wing nut goes on top to hold it all in place and a tighter. You tighten that wing nut, the more it's gonna choke the sound of the symbol by pushing those felt against it. If you want your symbol toe ring out and so that you could hear it a little bit longer, you could loosen that, and it will make it so the symbol can more freely vibrate again if we tighten, it clamps down on the symbol and doesn't make it vibrate as much. So we'll set our crash symbol off to the side. The difference between symbols uses in their size and thickness. From about 20 inches on up, you is usually considered ride Cymbals and down to about 13 inches. Those are considered crash Cymbals. Smaller than that are splash doubles. Hi. Hats can be anywhere from 8 to 14 or 18 inches. Sometimes people use crash Cymbals as their high heads, but typically high hats. They're gonna be smaller than the crash Cymbals. So next we've got a ride Cymbal again. We're gonna put it on what we call our boom. Stand with the arm and we'll do the wing nut on top. Take the first felt off again. We have the plastic sleeve in the the bottom Felt put the symbol on, but the top fell down and then through the window. If it's a ride Cymbal, usually I'll angle it a little bit more towards me so that I could really play on the surface of it. If it's a crash symbol, angle it a little bit more so that I could hit the edge of it. Really crash up again. We usually right on the top surface, but if we crash, it's good to crash on the edge of it. But since this is, my ride will keep it ankle down a little bit. If you're using a boom arm, try to make sure that that arm extends the same direction is one of the legs. If the boom arm is in between, two of the legs is gonna be a lot easier for that simple to fall over. 3. Hi Hats, Hi Hat Stand, Snare Stand: they keep the high headstand like the symbol stands. It has a wing screw, and she'll have to loosen in order to open up the legs. Tighten that wing screw back up on the high hat. We also have the foot pedal that will attach on the bottom these rods you can squeeze together. They're two holes on each side of the high headstand. Somehow I had stands also have screws that you can tighten that will push through and make it so that a pointy tip comes out the bottom and we'll dig in to whatever surface you're playing in. As you play the high hat, it might slide away. So I highly recommend bringing a rug that you can put under your drum set that all the stands will fail. Some high hat stands have a tension adjustment where you can lift up a rod and then slide a plastic piece so you can adjust the resistance that you feel as you push the hell down. So high hat works by this pedal being attached to a rod on the inside, and then using this piece we call the clutch, we attach a symbol place, a symbol on the bottom and then pushing the rise. It brings that you Cymbals together. But if you're hi, head isn't assembled. When you get it, you have to take this high hat rod and screw it in. There's another rod in this tube here that connects down via the chain to the pedal. You have to screw in that round. This rod can sometimes get bent. So what? Your store, Your high hat. I highly recommend taking this, too, this part of the stand and raising it as high as you can and tightening it. And then at the top, we'll slip the clutch on and tighten that as well. That way, that Rod is protected inside this to next will have the symbols and your hat slows be marked top and bottom. So we'll take the bottom, slide it over the ride so that it lays on this felt you notice there's a little screw here . That screw pushes up there should also under that fella be some type of plastic or maybe even metal, uh, circle so that the screw pushes up on the and it changes the angle of the symbol. This could make it so you get more of ah sound when you close the high hat with your foot. If the two symbols are very even against each other, they won't make much of a stick sound when there are pressed together next week. At the top, I had symbol using this piece called The Clutch, and on the clutch the bottom part screws out. Or on this one, you can just push and pull it releases. And there are two screws that so that you could have just how high up on the clutch the high hat goes. And then there's a felt, and we should put our symbol with one felt on top, just like the other symbols. One fell time bottom, and then we'll put the bottom of her clocks back and screw it, or this one. You can just push it into place. Then we'll add that clutches a top symbol to our high hat and finally will push down on the pedal a little bit and tighten the clutch. That way, the top symbol lift off, and it shouldn't lift off more than maybe about an inch or so, depending on what style or your personal preference, you may like it open or close a little bit more, so you have to play with that. But generally we don't want to open so that it doesn't take a lot of work to close those symbols. Oftentimes, when you're playing the high hat, you'll have to screw this rod in a little bit. Sometimes as you're playing, the symbol turns like this overtime. That'll unscrew this right here. So as you're playing from time to time, you may have to tighten that back in. Another thing that commonly happens with a high hat is that Theo clutch becomes a little bit loose on the bottom with this one. It won't happen because it snaps into place and there's no screwing, but with the ones that you have to screw on. Sometimes those become loose and the pieces fall off so that the high hat doesn't respond as good as it should, so we'll set that off to the side. Next we have the snare drum stand, and just like the simple stands, we have the wing screw at the bottom that allows the legs to open up. We'll take that again, and then we have another wing screw that allows us to raise and lower the stand, and then we also have these arms that hold the snare girl and on the bottom here you see, there's a screwing mechanism that you can tighten or loosen those arms so that they can fit around the snare drum. I notice there's also another screw where you can adjust the angle. So by unscrewing that we could tell the drone. Generally, I like to have a flat, but some drummers like to have a tilt, so we'll set that aside. 4. Bass Drum Pedal: and next we have the bass drum pedal, and oftentimes the beater of the bass drum pedal will be separate. So you have to attach it. Maybe eaters have multiple materials that you can use. This one has a hard plastic and felt for a softer sound and a harder, more tacky sound. You'll hear the actual beater hitting the drum a lot more with this side and on this side. This will give you more a a dull and Bumi. Where is this? Will give you a more break in a tacky kind of bass drum sound. So we'll take the beater and all basement pedals will have a little hole that the Peter goes into and make sure not to stick the beer too far through when you do that and then you play the bass drum, and when it comes back, this beater can rip a hole in your bass drum. I've done it before, so learn from my mistakes. So we push the beater in and will tighten it with our drunk e. And many base for pedals may have these that arrives much like the high hat, and this one has also stoppers on the outside so that these metal rods can't come out. If you're pedal has metal rods like this, make sure you put them in the holes in the side. The bass drum pedal hooks onto the base room with this claim here, and to make sure that the clamp it doesn't chew up the hoops or the edges of our bass drum , you can buy these pads. Or you can also just go to a hardware store. And this is plumbers rubber, which you can buy in a big sheet and then cut little pieces. I'll put that between the clamp and the hope of the bass drum just to protect the bass drum . All right, so we'll set that aside. Now that we have all of our stand set up, we'll start adding drums. 5. Putting It All Together Bass Drum, Floor Tom, Snare Drum, Rack Toms, Cymbals, and Throne: first up is the bass drum, and the bass drum has two heads, resident hand on front and the batter head on the back. Better head is the one that we hit my better head. I have a little bit of ah had here to help maintain the head for a longer period of time, deal with a lot more wear and tear that way, and to tell which is the front or back the name of the drums almost always faces the drummer. And if that doesn't give it away, this hole on the top should be farther away rather than closer to you. It's not very apparent on this drum. You can see it is slightly closer to this side. Miss Side. Another giveaway could be legs base from legs. Have a wing. Screw that you'll have to loosen, and then you could push the legs forward. My baseball happens toe have little grooves. Tell me exactly where to go, but if years dozen put him at a forward angle and then make the opposite side, that same angle, and also the bass drum legs should give you another indication. Which side is the front on which side of the back. The legs will be closer to the front of the drug. Notice that based room legs also have pointed little feet so that whatever surface you're playing on again, hopefully a drum rug. But whatever surface you're playing on, these conjugate in and really grip so that you based room isn't sliding, so it will set that up. Next, we have the floor town and the floor. Time needs legs attached to you. See their three legs for floor, not gone so far as to mark the height that I like these floor times that I wouldn't do that right away. First, find height that works for you. We'll talk a little bit more about that later. I would find the correct height, but you left experiment around a little bit, especially if you're young rubber and you're growing. You won't want to do this right away, because as you grow, you need to adjust your drums so these legs slip into a clamp that again has a waist group that will tighten, and then we'll entered floor time to ourselves. Next, we'll look at the Tom Tom my arm, and this will insert into the bass drum, and then each time we'll insert under each of these rods. And we also have a memory like here so that you can position your time in the same place each time and that most times have some sort of mechanism here. This one's a ball in socket. Some just have on arm that moves up and down. This will allow you to move the town any place you need to make it comfortable to reach. So we'll add this to our bass drum. Next, we'll add our snared wrong tour snare drum stand and again make sure that the arms were open enough to have the foot snare. Don't fit on the stand, but make sure it's close enough that the snare drum is on the black part of those arms. Sometimes it gets stuck just before him can make it so that your snare drum doesn't have a correct angle for its not laying flat. So again we'll tighten this screw on the bottoms that the arms were you ever on the snare grow and then they're attached quite well, although I wouldn't carry it like this. I'm actually broken a snared around that way, trusting a little bit too much in my stand, so again learned from my mistakes. And if you're carrying a snare drum, understand, carried up, right? So the stared Rome is a special drum out of the drum set because on the violin has these snares. He's metal wires stripped across the head and to hold those in place, we have what we call the snare throat, and this pushes the stairs so they're hanging and not touching. So they are so remember, just like to play with them off most. The time had come on and on the side of the throw. There's also this little knob this dial that if you turn it to the right, it'll pull the snares tighter against the head, creating a tighter snare sound. Whereas if we loosen it, it'll let the snares come off of the head and give it a looser, more rattling sound. It's not too readily. Well, you can really control the amount of the snares rattle that way. Sometimes you may have to readjust how tight the snares are to do that. Sneers are up, but then loosen the snares quite a bit. They loosen the screws opposite the throw and pull on this little plastic tab really tight , trying to make the snares as tight as you can and then tighten it back down. Sometimes this could be a two person job. Maybe you could use a player players on that little plastic tip on the little plastic tab if you can't get a good grip, but by doing that at a loose setting, then it's tighten it up. You got a lot of a lot of room to play with, so add that to or set. Next, we'll add the two town times. Come times will always have a clamp that you can put Tom arm through and then take the wing screw so that it stays in place. Slut will slide time on our. So when we're putting the town on the time arm, we'll tighten the ball and socket first. So this doesn't move, and we have a memory like here that could be adjusted with the drum key. That way, when you get your time in the place sliding it on, it won't go any farther than that. Remember exactly where you want it, and then you can tighten the wing screw. So at the time stays in place. Once that's in place, you can use the ball in socket or whatever mechanism you might have moved in the town in the correct position when you got it. Take me back up. But remember, don't over tighten it because it's very easy to strip threads on the screws. Same thing with our second time. Have to move the arm a little bit so it doesn't scratch based room, but again we'll put it on. And then we'll adjust the times so that the relatively close together and easy to reach and try to make roughly as fled askew can well, still making them accessible and setting up your drones so that everything is comfortable and doesn't touch each other. We'll take a little bit of time. We're trying to take that time to get your set up right, because playing comfortably is one of the most important things about dropping. All right, now that we have, all the drums in place will enter symbols and we'll start with the high head. Next, we have the crash symbol and notice some of these heights look a little bit weird and will adjust those in just a moment. Then way Have the ride. Cymbal. Well, attacks the bass drum pedal. So when we're clipping on the bass drum pedal, we want to put a piece of rubber down. You can see the previous owner did not put any type of rubber down, so we'll put that on and then we'll lift up the base from a little bit. Allow the pedal the slide under it. Sometimes that rubber is a little tighter, and I'd like to be. But what's the time? Well, screw down the clamp so that the pedal stays onto the base room and won't detach. If you have to move the bass drum, I highly recommend taking the pedal off first. I've seen hoops break with the pedal on top on um, because people just lifted up. Based Roman didn't take this off. Next, we'll set up our seat, otherwise known as the throne. And just like the symbols, it has a way Screw will loosen, open the legs and then tighten again. Many Thrones also have a couple of screws, this one here so that you can adjust the height many, many Thrones. You can adjust the height simply by spinning it other ones. You'll have to loosen a screw and move the throwing up and down. Many Thrones also have screws of top here so that the seat won't swivel on top of this ride . Be careful when you're touching the, uh the ride of a throne. Oftentimes use graphite on there. Get your hand Pretty dirty. Finally led a throne. 6. Sitting At The Right Height and Making Your Drum Set Easy To Play: When you sit down, sit at a height to where your legs are pointed down a little bit. We don't want an angle at this with their legs, either straight ahead or maybe pointing down a little bit that way. We're not fighting gravity, and we're as relaxed as possible. Next, pick up the drumsticks and make roughly a right angle with your elbow and extend the stick straight out. That's roughly worried. The drums in front of you. Your snare drowned and your floor time should be, so we'll have to do a little bit of adjustment. The all the other instruments should be easily reachable just by turning your body. We shouldn't have to reach for anything, so let's make a few adjustments. If the angle on your arms isn't exactly a right angle, that's OK. It could be slightly obtuse. We just don't want to create an acute angle, cause that'll create tension in her arms that we don't want your snare drums at a good height looks like four times to come down a little bit, losing each of the clamps on the legs, and sometimes I'll angle the floor time towards me a little bit I like to keep it pretty flat. It was check good there with our feet. We want to make sure that we're not spreading our legs real wide to make. It's true that the pedals a reachable or were not crushing them together. You want to just have relaxed stance as possible and then move the pedals to accommodate that states. Sometimes you may have to move to snare drum a little bit to make sure it's not touching your knees and then our crash symbol as it is right now, it was a little low. We'll raise that up and we'll change the angle a little bit like I mentioned earlier with a crash nimble, You want toe hit the side of the stick. I signed the simple, you know, loosen it up so I get a little bit more sustained of the symbol and pretty good. One more ride Cymbal a little bit. I like to have my symbols is close to the drums as possible, and we'll lower it a little bit as well. That way, moving from the Tom to the ride Cymbal will be very easy. So again, everything should be very reachable. We shouldn't have to extend Oh, our reach really far for anything. We just want to be able to turn our body, move our arms and play and play anything. We could move our arms side to side, but we don't want to stretch them out really to reach anything. Here, everything is in within a comfortable reach, and I can stay nice and relaxed while I play a trick you can use if you don't have a rug and you're afraid of your high hat and your base room sliding. I used to do this. Take a strip of tape hope, preferably Gaff tape, because that's the strongest. But duct tape works, too. Head lay a strip along the pedal board and make that stretch. Run all where your seat is, and you could put the feet of your seat on that tape. That way, if this takes us stick itself, it's still held down by your chair. And that actually does a pretty darn good job. It's not the most beautiful thing, but it'll keep your your drop, your bass drum and your high hat from sliding away 7. Tuning Drums & Replacing Drum Heads: next, we'll talk about tuning drums and also replacing drum heads if necessary. The sound of the drum comes from three main things. The size of the drone, the material the drum is made of and type of head of time. And the thing that we have the most control over once we buy our drums is the type of head and how we to you could see how my Thomas that I have two different types of heads. Usually I use only four drones, so this is a bit extra. But since many drum sets are purchased with five drums included this and here I have a clear head, and this is a coded head. Clear heads air, usually a brighter sound coated heads or a darker sound. This one is also a one ply hand or one layer. This one is a two ply head or two layers. Again, it'll make it a bit of a darker sound If you play hard. This to play head will last a little bit longer as well. So over time you'll have to replace your heads, and that'll require tuning them up as well. So here I'll show you how to replace the drumhead and also how to tune the drum tuning and replacing ahead requires us to screw and unscrew. He's outside. We tried to do that in a way that has even tension around the drum, whether we're tightening or loosening. So whatever screw you undo first, don't do it all the way. But do it may be a turner or turn and 1/2 and then go across the drum and do the out. Do the screw opposite that. Then we're kind of create a star pattern loose in there and then go across from that loosen and then we'll go next to the one we losing underside and go across from there next, along with losing on this side crossing. At some point, you may have to use your fingers. It don't pull the screw all the way out. Loosen it so that it comes out of the thing that it screws into but trying to make it stay on this metal rim. That way, you don't have to chase your screws all over the ground with very little easier to keep track so you can lift the Remo and all the screws will stay in there And if you need to replace the head, you can lift it off and put the new one on there. And every so often I recommend looping up thes screws so that they continue to screw in inside of the drum. Nice and smooth, probably every 2 to 3 years is enough unless you use the drum set in a lot of different weather conditions. That's one thing you could do to keep all your drums working nicely. So if we have the new head on, will place the rim back on being careful not to lose any of the screws, and then we'll finger tighten each screw, and it doesn't really matter. The Pitre, you figure, tighten them in because attention is not gonna be enoughto to bend anything or mess anything up. So make sure each screws in the whole of it's supposed to go into and then figure Titan each screw again. It doesn't matter the patter, but making as tight as you can with your fingers. Sometimes it's easier if you hold us screwed a little lower than the actual head, but your figures will also get a little dirty. A little soap can wash off and don't force these screws. Sometimes they need. It takes a second to catch the thread, but each screw should be able to go in nice and smooth and tighten with your finger. This process is the same for any drone that you to snare drum Tom's bass drum any drum. You can do the same process and notice I've done this with the snares off. That way, it's much easier to hear the tone of the drum once everything's figure tight will pick a screw, and we'll give it a full term on some drums. That might be too much, but I know that I'm this drunk. I could give it a full turn and I'll still have room to go. And then again, whatever screw I started on, I'll go across from it and then I go next to it for full turn across Matt for full turn. I'll go next to the last one. Be down this side to a full turn. We're crossing that full turn, and then the last one we'll turn and crossing their alter. Your snare drum might not have eight screws like this. Sometimes they only have four. Sometimes they have up to 12. Generally, the more screws there are, the better the stairs room is because you could more finally to so we'll see what this drill sounds like. Snares on. I like to have the top head or the batter head pretty tight, so that balance is good. And then the lower head of the resident had on the snare drum. I also like to keep it pretty tight so that the snares have something tight to press against. And to really make sure this drum is in tune will play either with a drumstick. Or you could use the tuning key in front of each of those screws, and we'll listen to see if they sound the same. First I go around and I see if there's one that sounds worse than the rest or more often, the rest. Let's see, it's pretty darn good. That was a little bit low, and so I just want a little bit. If adjusting one screw doesn't give you the result you need, sometimes he'll have to adjust the screws next to it and also directly across from. But let's see if that's closer to the ones around. A little bit more turned this one up just a little bit of Well, that's pretty good. And this one is pretty simple. I think this is his head is still relatively new, even though it might not look like it, Um, the newer, the head that easy Richard. Stay in tune as heads get played and they they start to get warped or dented. Or if they've been through a lot of weather, and it will be a little bit harder to get each screw to sound the same. It's just to give you a better example of what really out of tune. Screw would sound like this one quite low, so tune it back up. Try to get to sound like the others way. If you can sing with notes, sometimes that's helpful. Way go so you can drive yourself a little bit mad doing this, and as you do it more, it'll get easier. But if you do find yourself pounding your head against the drum, not knowing which log is out, maybe take a quick break and then come back to it. That process is the same for the top head as well as the bottom head. Different drummers will two in the top and bottom differently, depending on how they want their drum to sound. But the head and tuning of the head is the biggest way that we can affect the sound of any drum. Me personally, I like to have a two ply coated head on top and a single ply clear head on the bottom. But many drummers have their own preference, and you may have to experiment with different drum heads to see what sound you really like . 8. Conclusion, Class Project, and Continued Learning: now he should be able to set up your drums. You should know all the parts of the drum set, know how they work and also know how to get your drums to sound like the way they should. As a project, I'd like you to break your drum set down like it came in the box and set it up again without watching the video. If you need help, consult the video. Try to remember on your own how things were set up. The quicker you could do this, the easy it's gonna make your life as a performing drummer. Now that your drums were set up, if you'd like a quick way to get going on drumming, check out by video. Quick start guide to draw me. I hope this video helped you set up your drum set to know what's what and how everything works. Thanks for washing and see you next time