What is Drum Hardware?
Drum hardware is anything that isn't the actual drums themselves. Your drum throne/stool, single or double kick pedal, cymbal stands, hi-hat stand, snare stand, and other clamps and accessories all fall under this umbrella term. They augment your kit, complimenting your current configuration. This makes investing in good quality hardware key, as they're arguably as important as your drums themselves. Without reliable hardware, you won't feel comfortable behind your kit, or be able to perform to your best.
Is Double or Single Braced Hardware Better?
Single braced hardware is usually more portable and lighter than their double braced counterparts. Double braced hardware is a bit more stable, with an increased level of durability that means it can take more of a thrashing. They can also handle more weight - allowing for heavier cymbals, or the attachment of a tom using a clamp etc.
About Drum Stools/Thrones
You might think that a drum stool (or thrones as they're usually known as in the percussion community) is not that exciting. However, choosing the right one can have a massive impact on your overall playing, comfort and posture. You want to choose a seat which will reduce the level of strain placed on your back, legs and knees - which are obviously all in use while you drum!
There are more kinds of thrones available now than ever before. From more traditional round variants, to motorcycle style stools and models with a backrest, there's plenty to choose from. It's worth considering a few different factors before you invest though.
- How heavy are you? Most thrones feature a weight capacity rating; you wouldn't want one collapsing underneath you while you play. As far fetched as that may sound, it's happened before.
- How tall are you? Achieving the correct sitting position is paramount to your playing. You need to make sure that the throne you select can be adjusted to suit your preferred height - whether this is positioning it lower or higher to suit your own needs.
- What seat type do you prefer? Motorcycle seats; round seats; square seats; split seats; seats with a backrest; they're all on offer. The best way to find out which is best for you is to sit and play for a while using one. Once you've finished, stand up. If you feel good afterwards, with no stiffness, aches or pains in your joints, thighs, or legs, then it's probably a safe bet that the throne is good for you.
- Which base design is best? Most thrones will boast a double braced, single braced, flat bottom, three-legged, or four-legged design. Each provides varying levels of stability - with double braced builds offering the most reliability.
- How portable do you need it to be? The actual size and weight of a throne will vary between brands and product styles. If you play live regularly, you might want a throne that is more portable. If you're just practicing at home though, it might be worth investing in one that's a little larger, but provides more comfort.
You should really consider all of these factors if you want to find yourself the perfect throne.
About Single Kick Drum Pedals
The humble single kick drum pedal is an integral part of any kit. This mechanised unit allows you to play the kick drum using your foot, striking the beater against the skin of the drum with each press. You shouldn't underestimate the comfort, speed, feel and fluidity of a good kick drum pedal.
A kick pedal will consist of a number of unique parts. These are usually a beater, pedal drive, cam, footboard and spring. Each will affect the characteristics of the pedal in one way or another.
- Beater - This is the long, stick-like piece that protrudes from the top of the pedal. The material of its head and the size itself will alter the sound and volume of your kick drum.
- Pedal Drive - The word drive just means the kind of system employed to convert the downward movement of your foot into the forward motion of the beater. The three kinds of pedal drive available are chain drive, direct drive and belt drive (or strap drive). Chain drive pedals have a footboard and cam linked via a chain. They're regarded as being extremely smooth to use, with drummers using them across a multitude of contrasting genres. Direct drive pedals feature a footboard that is connected directly to the beater. They offer a faster response and shift more power to the beater itself. Belt drive pedals utilise a footboard and cam which are linked via a belt. This is made out of either leather, rubber or nylon. They're characterised by a gentle bounce when the pedal reverts back to its natural position, as well as an improved level of control.
- Cam - Found on the pedal hinge, a cam connects the drive system to the beater. The two most common designs of these are either round or oblong. This shape will change the response and feel of your pedal.
- Footboard - The flat metal piece that you place your foot on. They usually come in either a traditional footboard design (found on the majority of kick pedals) or a longboard style. Traditional ones are shorter when compared to longboard variants. You may find that the size of your foot leads you towards one or the other.
- Spring - This little piece of engineering helps the beater to return back to its natural position after each hit. Spring tension strength can be altered to suit your preferred playing style. A weaker tension will be more responsive, providing you with increased control; a stronger tension will deliver more powerful, louder and aggressive drumming.
Now that you're equipped with this knowledge, you'll want to consider everything from the price, playing feel of the pedal, and the drive type itself before you take the plunge! The kind of pedal you settle on will always be down to personal preference, so it's worth trying out a few different kinds to see what works for you.
About Double Kick Drum Pedals
The double kick pedal is now synonymous with metal, or any heavier genre of music for that matter! They provide you with a whole other avenue of possibilities when compared with their single kick pedal cousins. You'll be able to deliver different rhythms, from gallops, to intensive blasts and speedy, extended double patterns.
The major obvious difference between a single and double kick pedal is just that; there's two pedals instead of one. One pedal itself features two individual beaters. The left beater is triggered using your left pedal, the right beater is triggered using your right pedal.
Apart from that, you'll need to consider the same factors that are outlined above in the section on single kick pedals.
About Cymbal Stands
Whether it's for your crash cymbals, a ride, or any number of effects cymbals, you're going to need some relevant stands for them. You'll either be using boom stands, straight stands or a combination of the two.
Booms stands have an extendable arm, allowing for more precise placement of your cymbals. This makes them a far more flexible option. Straight stands are just what it says on the tin. Most drummers will use a straight stand for their crash cymbals and a boom stand for their ride cymbal.
About Hi-Hat Stands
Your hi-hats are always going to be one of the the most played parts of your drum kit. This means a good hi-hat stand is imperative to your drumming success. A hi-hat stand is operated using your foot, allowing you to open and close your hi-hat cymbals when you either press down, or release - allowing for a contrasting range of sounds when you play.
When looking for a hi-hat stand, you'll want one that's extremely reliable, with a smooth mechanism. This is because you'll require a level of response that ensures effortless drumming, while simultaneously allowing for more dynamics within your playing.
Integrated memory locks are also another handy feature to look out for too. These can be adjusted quickly and easily using a drum key. They let you lock your stand at a certain height. This means when you come to set up your gear again next time, you'll be able to position the stand at exactly the same height as before. You'll find this incredibly useful if you play lots of live shows or take your kit to rehearsals. Ultimately, once you find a height you like, you can then stick with it! This feature is also present on many snare and cymbal stands as well.
Leg designs will vary among hi-hat stands too. They will either have three or two legs. Three legged stands are more stable, whereas two legged stands take up less room, giving you more space to arrange your gear. The latter are especially good if you like to use a double-kick pedal.
About Snare Stands
Your snare is arguably the centrepiece of your drum kit, so you're going to want a worthy snare stand to support it. A snare drum stand differs from the others that make up your kit. They feature a basket design which is meant to snugly cradle your snare - holding it securely in position while you play. This basket is made from a trio of metal arms with rubber ends on them, which are there to stop the drum from being damaged.
For your snare stand, we'd recommend one with double braced legs and a fully adjustable basket angle. You'll also want to make sure it can accommodate any snare drum from around 12" to 14"+ in diameter, as these are the most common/popular snare sizes about. This means if you decide to upgrade your snare, you won't have to upgrade your stand too!
About Drum Hardware Packs
A drum hardware pack will deliver everything you need hardware-wise in one affordable, convenient package. Most contain a hi-hat stand, snare stand, a single kick drum pedal, as well as a couple of stands for your ride and crash cymbals respectively.
When it comes to drum hardware, you'll want to keep them uniform across both the brand and price. This is because you want them to all function in the same manner, and look the same in terms of appearance. Mismatched hardware can not only be detrimental to your performances, it can make your setup look a little less impressive as well!
About Clamps, Arms & Accessories
Clamps; arms; risers; cables; base plates; bass drum claws; clutches; and everything in between. You'll never know what small replacement (or additional) piece of hardware you're going to need. Whether its a clamp to attach a cowbell to your bass drum, a chain for your pedal, or a new boom arm, we've got every hardware eventuality covered.
About Drum Hardware Cases
A good hardware case is important if you are serious about gigging and find yourself regularly lugging your gear to a show. Most modern-day sets are extremely durable, ensuring you can store and then safely transport your stands, pedals and thrones to any venue.
Speaking of transport, many are equipped with wheels - making it a breeze to move equipment from your car into wherever you're performing. We stock a variety of hardware cases from trusted brands, including industry stalwarts Hardcase and Protection Racket. Both companies take slightly different approaches with their products though.
Hardcase offer (you've guessed it from their name) incredibly protective cases crafted from rock-solid exteriors and reinforced straps. Protection Racket cases are made from more lightweight materials - making them a bit easier to move around - but are no less rugged.