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What Are Tom Tom Drums?

By Lee Johnson
Updated May 23, 2024
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Tom tom drums are drums traditional to Native American and Eastern cultures. They are beaten with the hands and were often used for signaling. In modern times, these drums have become the standard type of drum used in drum kits. The drums are generally cylindrical in shape and have one drumhead, found on the top side of the drum. Most basic drum kits feature two toms mounted on top of the bass drum and one separate tom on the floor, which is generally the largest drum aside from the bass drum. Out of the five drums on basic drum kits, three of them can be called tom tom drums.

Drums very similar to modern tom toms were used by both Native Americans and the Chinese. In both cultures these drums have been used both for music and for other things, including religious ceremonies and communication. These drums were usually beaten with the hands of the player.

In modern times, tom toms are often included in drum kits, times, which are essentially a set of drums of differing sizes and pitches. Tom tom drums have been included on drum kits since their origin in the early 20th century in New Orleans. The basic drum kit as it is known today was first established in the early 1930s. Three toms were included on this kit: two small ones and one large one. The two smaller tom toms are different sizes so they produce slightly different pitches when hit.

The shape of tom tom drums is basically cylindrical, and they are usually longer than they are wide. The longer sides of the drum are referred to as the drum’s shell, and the material stretched over the top is called the skin. The skin is the portion of the drum which is hit to produce sound on the drum. The shell is designed to hold the skin to a certain tautness to produce the desired note. Modern tom toms can be tuned to achieve the drummer’s desired pitch.

Most drummers only use three tom tom drums on their drum kits, but some players prefer to have many more. Some drum kits will feature two bass drums, each of which is capable of holding two tom toms. Drummers who use kits like this often get two even smaller or larger tom toms to increase the range of sounds they can produce. A tom tom is essentially the standard type of drum available, and it can be bought in a wide variety of sizes.

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