How Are Drums Measured? – Complete Review & 2 Easy Steps

If you’re a drummer, then you know how important it is to have your drums properly measured. Measuring drums is an essential part of setting up your kit, and it’s something that every drummer should know how to do.

There are many reasons why drums need to be measured, but one of the most important is ensuring that the drums are not too tight or loose. When drums are not tensioned correctly, it can lead to a number of problems, such as sound distortion, loss of tuning, and even damage to the drums themselves.

Why Is Drum Measurement So Important?


Drum measurement is so important because it is a key factor in the quality of the drum sound. The drum’s size, the drumhead’s thickness, and the drumhead’s tension all affect the drum’s sound. If any of these factors are not correct, the drum will not sound good.

When purchasing a drum, there are many things to consider, and size is an important factor. Here are some things to keep in mind when making your decision:

Drum size determines the pitch of the drum. The larger the drum, the lower the pitch.

Drum size also affects the volume of the drum. Larger drums are typically louder than smaller drums.

The size of the drum also dictates how much tension can be applied to the drumhead. Heavier drums can handle more tension than lighter drums.

Finally, the drum’s size affects the drum’s overall sound. Larger drums tend to have a fuller, richer sound, while smaller drums have a sharper, more cutting sound.

When choosing a drum, it is important to consider what sound you are looking for and what size will best fit your needs.

Drum set in the room

Drum Sizes Explained

The sizes of drums are typically measured in inches and correspond to the diameter of the drum head. The size of a drum has a direct impact on its sound.

What Is a Drum Head?

A drum head is a protective layer that is stretched across the top of a drum. It is there to protect the drum’s skin from being punctured. A drum head can be made of synthetic or animal skin. Animal skin is more expensive than synthetic skin, but it is warmer and more responsive.

How to Measure Drum Heads?

Step 1: Find the Size of the Drum Head.

There are a few ways to find the size of the drum head. You can either measure it yourself or look it up online. To measure it yourself, you will need a ruler or tape measure.

Step 2: Compare the Size to the Size Chart.

Once you have found the size of the drum head, you will need to compare it to the size chart. The size chart will tell you the size of the drum head that is recommended for your drum.

Two drums in the studio

Drum Dimensions

Snare Drum Sizes

The snare drum is a key component of the drum set, and its size can greatly impact the sound it produces. Smaller snare drums tend to have a higher pitch and a sharper sound, while larger ones have a lower pitch and a fuller, rounder sound. Here’s a quick guide to snare drum sizes:

14″ snare drums are the most common size and a great all-purpose option. They’re versatile enough for any style of music, and they’re affordable too.

13″ snare drums are a good choice for jazz and funk, as they have a slightly lower pitch than 14″ drums. They’re also popular with drummers who want a more compact setup.

12″ snare drums are ideal for rock and metal, as they have a deep, powerful sound. They’re also great for recording, as they cut through the mix well.

10″ and smaller are typically used as auxiliary snare drums, or for special effects. They’re not as popular as the other sizes, but they can still be a lot of fun to play around with.

No matter what size you choose, make sure you try out a few different drums before you make your decision. The best way to find the perfect snare drum for you is to experiment and find the one that sounds best to your ears.

Snare drum on the ground

Toms Drum Sizes

The smallest tom drum is the piccolo tom, which is typically 4″ to 6″ in diameter. Piccolo toms are often used in jazz and funk music and can be mounted on a stand or played with a drumstick.

The next size up is the rack tom, which is typically 8″ to 12″ in diameter. Rack toms are the most common size of toms drums, and are typically used in rock and pop music.

The next size is the floor tom, typically 14″ to 16″ in diameter. Floor toms are often used in blues and jazz music, and are typically played with a foot pedal.

The largest toms drum is the bass drum, which is typically 18″ to 22″ in diameter. Bass drums are often used in rock and pop music and are usually played with a drumstick.

While the sizes and shapes of toms drums vary, they all produce a deep, resonant sound. If you’re looking for a versatile drum that can be used for a variety of genres, a toms drum is a great option.

Two tom drums on the drum set

Bass Drum Sizes

Bass drums come in a variety of different sizes, each with its own unique sound. Larger bass drums create a deep, booming sound, while smaller bass drums produce a more subtle, mellower sound.

The most common bass drum size is 22 inches, but they can range in size from 18 inches to 26 inches. Bass drums can also be divided into two categories: concert bass drums and orchestral bass drums.

Concert bass drums are typically larger in size, measuring around 24 inches to 26 inches in diameter, and are used in marching bands and drum corps. Orchestral bass drums are smaller, measuring around 18 inches to 22 inches in diameter, and are used in classical orchestras.

Bass drums are often used in popular music to create a sense of power and excitement. They can be used to underpin the rhythm section or to provide a backing for soloists.

Bass drum in the room

Tenor Drums Sizes

Tenor drums are an essential part of any drumline, and they come in a variety of sizes to fit any drummer’s needs. The most common sizes are 10″, 12″, and 14″, but there are also specialty sizes like the 16″ and 18″ drums. Here’s a look at the different sizes of tenor drums and what they’re best suited for.

The 10″ tenor drum is the smallest size and is often used by beginners or as a second drum in a drumline. It’s a versatile size that can be used for a variety of rhythms and sounds.

The 12″ tenor drum is the most popular size and is a good all-around choice for most drummers. It has a good balance of volume and weight, making it suitable for a wide range of playing styles.

The 14″ tenor drum is the largest size and is often used as the lead drum in a drumline. It’s the heaviest and loudest of the tenor drums, making it perfect for creating a powerful sound.

Specialty sizes like the 16″ and 18″ drums are typically only used by experienced drummers who know how to get the most out of them. These drums are larger and heavier than the standard sizes, so they require a lot of strength and stamina to play.

No matter what size tenor drum you choose, you’re sure to add a new level of excitement and energy to your drumming.

Tenor drum with drumsticks

Frequently Asked Question

How Do You Measure Drum Thickness?

There are a few ways to measure drum thickness. One way is to use a micrometer. Another way is to use calipers.

How Do Drum Sizes Work?

Drum sizes are determined by the diameter of the drum shell. The most common sizes are 22″, 24″, and 26″.

Does a Bigger Drum Make a Louder Sound?

A bigger drum can make a louder sound, but not always. It all depends on the drum’s material and how it is played.

What Is the Large Drum in a Set Called?

The large drum in a set is called the bass drum. It is a cylindrical drum that is played with a drumstick. It is often used in rock and roll music and is the deepest-sounding drum in a drum set.


Most musicians would agree that one of the most important aspects of playing any instrument is having a good sense of timing and rhythm. This is especially true for drums, which are often the backbone of a band’s sound.

Nonetheless, the size of a drum is a critical part of setting up your kit. It’s something that every drummer should know how to do, and it can make a big difference in the sound of your drums.

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