Posted December 15, 2020 by Chris in Features

Setting Up a Drum Kit: What Matters Most

So, you have just unpacked your drum set. It may not be your first one you have played, but setting it up is still not so easy. Even if it’s an entry level drum kit, it takes a pro approach to get it ready to rock.

The good thing is that you probably have all it takes to start. The necessary tools are either very common or included. A kit does not need much extra space for setting up. So, let’s go from drum to drum.

Bass Drum

Not only does the bass drum set the beat, but it also acts as the base for the kit. It’s the first one you should install when assembling the entire set. And its installation starts with the pedals. To choose the perfect place for the pedals, set the stool, sit on it comfortably, and position your feet where you feel the pedals should be. Then lay them there – the bass drum pedal is usually under your right foot, and a hi hat pedal under your left (though it’s movable).

Place the bass drum, so its pedal is where you want it to be. Mount it on its feet but not in the way of yours. Assemble the bass drum set, so it’s in front of you. The height seems not to matter much, and it only does only for installing the toms right.

Snare Stand

The snare stand is usually between the two pedals. The distance between them is 15-20 inches; that’s enough to fit the stand between. On this stand, you should mount the snare drum. It will be closer to you than other drums, as mostly it is to be hit with the stick in your right hand (assuming you are right-handed).


As we go with the standard setup, I’d recommend the option of installing the toms above the bass drum. It’s the most ergonomic position for them, and many kits offered at Simply Drum come with tom mounts for the bass drum. In the end, they should appear just above it, at about the same height, well accessible for your right and left stick equally. It’s better to adjust the height right away, as you are mounting them.

Cymbal Stands

These are to be positioned wherever they want them. It depends on the music you play, as it defines which cymbals and how intensively you will play. The standard practice, though, suggests you put the hi hat stand to the left, where its pedal is. To the right, it’s the place for straight cymbals and other cymbals if present.

When it comes to cymbals, you can enjoy the most freedom. Hi hats are used in all the mainstream genres, and their position is standard. Cymbals to the left are also a default option. The height should be set up so you can easily reach any of them from the stool. So if you use two cymbal stands to the right of you, the closer one should be significantly lower, so you can reach the other above it.

The Final Check

After you have assembled your kit, try to play a passage that requires all of them. You should feel comfortable while playing on your stool. The balance should be kept well, with no need to lose it while reaching out for any drum or cymbal. If you find any inconvenience with any of them, adjust its position.


It’s too short an article to cover all the aspects of setting up a drum kit, so I stuck to making it the most mainstream way. If you have anything to add, recommend, or argue with, feel free to drop a comment. A good jam is always the right thing.


I listen to and write about music!