New Drum Set? How to Assemble Your Kit Straight Out of the Box(es)

Now, of course, you just ordered all the pieces for your drum kit, but what they never taught you in school is: how to assemble a drum kit from the box. It is one of the few things in life that do not come with an instruction manual. The manufacturers just assume that you already know what you’re doing, which is odd. Don’t worry, here are picture instructions that take you through the journey of assembling your kit for the first time:

The things they don’t tell you in music school.

What You Will Need:

  • Vice grips or an adjustable wrench
  • An old pillow, large piece of fabric, blanket, or quilt (you’ll see why later)
  • A piece of carpet or a large rug

Here are the boxes you will have:

There will also be a box each for the throne and the cymbals. They do not come with the set. You would have likely already realized that you have to choose cymbals and a drum throne when purchasing.

Assembling the bass drum

The most work will be assembling the bass drum. There are a number of things that you are never told you need. For these steps you will need the old blanket or fabric, and the rug or carpet.

The next part is securing the head to the drum shell:

Tightening the Head

The pattern in which you should tighten an 8-lug drum.

Make sure you check the tightening pattern above. The next part is making sure the head is tight enough.

It seems odd, I know, to put your old stuff inside the drum. This gives it the proper amount of dampening to give it the sound it needs. The dampening should not take up the entire volume of the drum. A little less than half seems to do the trick.

Setting up the Bass Drum

The Rest of The Drum Kit

The most time-consuming part is complete. The rest of it looks intimidating but it really isn’t. Take a look:

Adjusting and Attaching the Bass Drum Pedal (Kick Pedal)

Now that you have most of the kit assembled, here is how to assemble the kick drum pedal:

The Floor Tom and Snare Drum

Hardware and Cymbals

These are fairly straight-forward, but there are a couple of strange quirks that I will explain:

First, there are three main types of cymbal stands: hi-hat stand, straight stand, and boom stand. The stands that come with most modern drum kits have a hybrid capability. They can become both straight or boom depending on your need.

For this, you will need one of each.

First, The Hi-Hat

Hi-hat stands are the ones with the pointy stick-looking thing and the foot pedal. Some assembly required:


The crash cymbal should go on a straight stand to the left and the ride on a boom to your right. Then locate the drum thrown, adjust it to you or your student’s height and play away!

Congrats, you did it.

One of the only instruments that takes this much assembly out of the box.

If this was helpful, I want to hear about it. Let me know!

Until next time, Happy Drumming!

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