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What Are Quad Drums?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated May 23, 2024
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A quad drum is a set of four drums. These sets can come in various shapes and sizes. They are often part of a multi-drum unit for a drum kit or set. Most quad drums are made for marching bands or other portable performances, and come with specific fasteners that attach to the player’s body.

One common type of quad drum is called a field corps drum. These models often have quality steel design for the drum bodies, and hard standard plastic for the drum heads. Where some drum kit quad drums are usually hit with simple wooden drumsticks or wire drum brushes, field corps quad drums are often hit with mallets, which have softer ends. These quad drums are made to resonate and provide more percussion for an open space.

Quad drums are made up of individual drums that are often called toms. A tom is a standard kind of single drum that has a body and a drum head. Unlike the snare drum, where a metal set of chains at the bottom of the drum provide a rattling sound, the tom drum typically provides a single simple percussion tone. The toms in a quad drum typically have slightly different percussion tones. These drums can also usually be tuned to change the tone or sound.

The toms, or drums, that make up quad drums are also commonly called tenor drums because they have higher tones than bass drums. One of the benefits of a quad drum is that four tenor drums are situated right next to each other. This allows the player to easily switch which between drums. Some musicians use these drum units to perform drum solos or similar performances. Musicians may also use tenor drum sheet music to perform on these kinds of drums.

Usually, quad drums also include varying sizes of drums. Often, the size of the drum influences or signifies the relative tone. Quad drums are sold in a variety of colors with custom attachments for field play. Shoppers can evaluate specific quad drum models by looking through the catalogs of major drum manufacturers who provide these multi-drum units. Various accessories will help with the challenge of adding these drum instruments to a marching band or drum line.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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