Drumming Glossary and Terms (2023) – The Ultimate List

There is a lot of terminology that you need to pick up when learning drums. This list covers everything from the names of different parts of your drum kit, to different styles of drumming, percussion, cymbals, rudiments, and much more!

AccentAn accent refers to the emphasis placed on a certain beat or note when drumming. Accents are louder than regular strokes.
Acoustic drumsAcoustic drums use vibrations to create sound without requiring amplification. They are played with drumsticks. They consist of a shell, a batter head, and a resonant head. Acoustic drum sets include a bass drum, toms, a snare drum, hi-hats, cymbals, and hardware.
Afro CubanAfro Cuban is a style of music that combines traditional African rhythms with Cuban percussion and melodies.
AgogoAgogo is a bell-like percussion instrument originally from the Yoruba people of Nigeria and popular in Afro-Caribbean music. It is made of metal and is usually played by hitting the bells with a pair of wooden sticks.
Air DrummingAir drumming mimics the playing of drums using one’s hands and arms without any physical instruments.
American GripAmerican grip is a French and German grip mix. When playing American grip, the drumsticks are held at about a 45-degree angle to each other. This style uses the fingers, wrists, and arms equally and is very easy to learn.
BackbeatA backbeat is a drumbeat that accents the second and fourth beats of a measure. This creates a strong, driving rhythm popular in rock and pop music and many other genres.
BarA bar is a unit of measurement that is used in music. A bar is the equivalent of four beats and is usually represented by a vertical line on a musical staff. 
Bass DrumThe bass drum is a large, cylindrical drum played with a foot pedal. It is the deepest-sounding drum in a drum kit and is used to anchor the rhythm.
Bass Drum BeaterThe bass drum beater is the stick or mallet used to strike the bass drum.
Bass drum pedalA Bass drum pedal is the foot pedal used to play the bass drum.
Bass pedal springThe bass pedal spring is the component of the bass drum pedal that provides tension to the pedal. It is responsible for returning the pedal to its original position after being de-pressed.
Batter headThe batter head is the drumhead that is struck by the drumsticks. It is the stronger of the two heads and is usually made out of a heavier material. 
BeatA beat is the basic unit of time in music. It is the length of time it takes to play one note, and musicians use this to count the notes to ensure they remain in sync.  
Blast beatsA blast beat is a drumming technique used to create a rapid, high-volume percussion effect. It is typically played on the snare and bass drums, cymbal and hi-hat; it is popular in death metal and grindcore music.
BodhranThe bodhran is a traditional Irish drum played with the hands. It has a round, cylindrical frame, and it is covered with a goatskin head. It is also commonly played with a double-headed drumstick called a beater.
BongoBongo drums are a pair of small, hourglass-shaped drums that are typically played together. They are popular in Latin and Afro-Cuban music. The drums are typically made from oakwood, and the drumhead is made from animal skin. They are often decorated with beads or sequins.
Boom Cymbal StandThe boom cymbal stand is the stand that is used to support a cymbal. It has a collapsible tripod design and a telescoping arm that allows the cymbal to be positioned close to or away from the drummer.
Bossa NovaBossa nova is a Brazilian music style that combines jazz and samba influences. The term translates to “new trend” in Portuguese.
BPMBPM stands for “beats per minute” and measures the tempo of a song. 
Drum BrushesDrum brushes are used to play the drums. They are typically made of metal or plastic and have soft, bristly heads that produce a lightly textured sound.
Buzz RollA buzz roll is a drumming technique used to create a fast, continuous roll. It is typically played on the snare drum.
CajónThe cajón is a box-shaped Peruvian drum played by sitting on it, slapping the front or back faces with the hands. It has a wooden box-like body and is typically played with hand percussion techniques.
ChimesChimes are a set of small, metal percussion instruments that are typically played with a mallet. They are commonly used to provide harmonic reinforcement in music arrangements. 
China CymbalsChina cymbals are a type of cymbal typically used as a crash cymbal and produce a unique sound. They are made of bronze and have a thin, delicate sound popular in jazz and orchestral music. 
Chops (Drum Chops)Drum chops describe a drummer’s ability to play phrases, patterns, percussive accents on the drum kit.
ClaveThe clave is a Cuban percussion instrument used to provide the rhythmic pattern for Afro-Cuban music. It is a set of two wooden sticks that are struck together to create a sound.
ClefThe clef is a symbol used to identify each line’s pitch and space on a musical staff. It is placed at the beginning of a staff to show the position of the notes on the staff. 
Click TrackA click track is a metronome used to provide a tempo reference for a musical recording. It produces a series of clicks that can be usually heard in the musicians’ headphones. 
Coated drum headsCoated drum heads are a type of drum with a thin, plastic film or coating on the playing surface. This material helps to muffle the sound of the drum and reduces the amount of ringing created when the drum is struck. 
CongaThe conga is a percussion instrument typically played by striking it with the hands and is often used in Latin music. It is made of wood and has a cylindrical body. 
CongueroA conguero is a musician who plays the conga drum. 
CowbellThe cowbell is a percussion instrument made of metal and has a clapper that is struck to produce a sound. It is named after the bell mounted on a cow’s neck.
Crash cymbalA crash cymbal is typically used to create a loud, explosive sound popular in jazz and rock music. It is mounted on a cymbal stand and is played with a drumstick.
Crash/Ride CymbalA crash/ride cymbal is a type of cymbal designed for dual purposes. It can serve as a crash cymbal or a ride cymbal depending on the situation. 
CrescendosCrescendos are musical phrases that gradually increase in volume. They are often used to create a feeling of intensity or excitement in a song. 
Cross stickCross stick is a drumming technique used to play accents on the snare drum. The drummer plays a normal stroke and then “sticks” the rebound off the snare drum head to produce a sound. 
CuicaThe cuica is a Brazilian friction drum used to provide the rhythmic pattern for Samba music. It has a high-pitched sound.
CymbalA cymbal is a type of percussion instrument made of metal and has a round, concave shape. It is often used to create a loud, ringing sound.
Cymbal bellThe cymbal bell is the small, round section at the center of a cymbal. It plays a huge role in determining the sound of a cymbal and often creates a bright, high-pitched sound. 
Cymbal FeltsCymbal felts are the small, cloth-like pads used to mount cymbals on a cymbal stand. The felts prevent the cymbal from vibrating against the metal cymbal stand. They are placed over the edge of the cymbal and help reduce the amount of ringing produced. 
Cymbal SeatThe cymbal seat is used to mount a cymbal on a cymbal stand. It helps protect the cymbal and prevents it from slipping off of the stand.
Cymbal SleevesCymbal sleeves ensure there’s no metal-to-metal contact between the cymbal and the stand, which can cause unwanted noise. 
Cymbal StandA cymbal stand is a metal stand used to support cymbals. It has a tripod base and a vertical shaft that holds the cymbals. The cymbal stand is adjustable so that the height and angle of the cymbals can be changed.
DecayThe decay of a sound is the length of time it takes for the sound to fade away. It describes how long it takes a drum to stop vibrating or a cymbal to stop ringing after it is hit. 
DecrescendosDecrescendos are musical phrases that gradually decrease in volume. They are often used to create a feeling of relaxation or calm in a song.
DjembeThe djembe is a goblet-shaped West African drum made of wood. It is played with the hands, and the drumhead is made with animal skin. Djembe is rope-tuned and has three main sounds, bass, tone, and slap.
Dotted NoteA dotted note is a longer type of note than a regular one. It is written as a normal note with a tiny dot after it.The dot adds one-half of the value of the note to the duration. 
Double bass drumA Double bass drum is when two bass drums are used simultaneously. It is often used in heavy metal and rock music to create a powerful sound. 
Double bass pedalThe double bass pedal is the pedal used to play the bass drum. It is attached to the bottom of the bass drum and has two beaters played with each foot. The double bass pedal helps to create a powerful sound. 
Double braced hardwareDouble-braced hardware is the metal framework that is used to support cymbals and drums. It has two metal braces that run the length of the stand and help to keep it stable. 
Drum rudimentA drum rudiment is a basic drumming technique used to create rhythms. There are many different rudiments, and they can be played on any type of drum. Rudiments are essential for learning how to play the drums correctly.
Drum SetA drumset is a collection of drum parts used to create an entire set. It typically includes a bass drum, a snare drum, two tom-toms, and a cymbal. The drumset is the most common type of percussion instrument. 
Drum shellThe drum shell is the hollow body of a drum made of wood or metal. It is where the drumhead is attached and is the part of the drum that vibrates to create sound. 
Drum SoloA drum solo is a solo performance by a drummer. It is a chance for the drummer to showcase their skills and play some of their favorite rhythms. Drum solos are often used in rock and heavy metal music. 
Drum SticksDrumsticks are the sticks that are used to play the drums. They are made of wood or plastic and have a pointed end used to strike the drumhead. Drumsticks come in different sizes and weights depending on the type of music that is being played. 
Drum TabsDrum tabs are a type of sheet music used to write drum rhythms. They are written in a simple code that is easy to read and understand. Drum tabs are a great way to learn how to play the drums.
Drum TechA drum tech is a technician who repairs and maintains drums. They help keep the drums in good condition and make sure that they are properly tuned. A drum tech is an important member of a band or orchestra. 
Drum ThroneThe drum throne is the chair that the drummer uses. It is typically made of metal or wood and has a padded seat that provides comfort while playing. The drum throne is an important part of the drum kit.  
Drum TuitionDrum tuition is the instruction given to students who want to learn how to play the drums. It can be done in a private or group setting and provides students with the skills and knowledge to become successful drummers.
Drum headThe drum head is the membrane stretched over the top of a drum. It is made of a thin piece of plastic or rubber and is and is responsible for producing sound when struck by a drumstick. Drum heads come in different sizes and thicknesses.
DrumlineA drumline is a section of a marching band made up of percussion instruments. Drumlines play rhythms and patterns that provide the beat for the band. They are an important part of a marching band. 
Drum rollA drum roll is a technique used to create a sustained sound on a drum. Drum rolls are used to create suspense or add excitement to a song. 
Drumming DynamicsDrumming dynamics are the different levels of volume that can be achieved while playing the drums. They are controlled by the force applied to the drumhead and can create a range of sounds from soft to loud. Drumming dynamics are an important part of drumming. 
Effects cymbalAn effects cymbal is a type of cymbal used to create special sound effects. They are typically made of brass or copper; effects cymbals are used in various musical styles. 
Egg shakersEgg shakers are small percussion instruments that are made of plastic or metal. They consist of a hollow egg-shaped casing with small beads or pellets inside. When shaken, the egg shaker creates a rattling sound. 
Eighth note (quaver)An eighth note (quaver) is a musical note played for 1/8 of a beat. It has a duration of one-half of crochet. Eighth notes are usually played in pairs. 
Electronic drumsElectronic drums are a type of drum kit that uses electronic sensors to create sound. They are typically played with a set of drumsticks that have built-in sensors. They are a great way to practice drumming without using an acoustic drum kit and come in different sizes. 
Endorsement (for drummers)Endorsement is when a musician agrees to endorse a product. This usually means that the musician will use the product and promote it to their fans. Drummers can endorse various products, such as drumsticks, cymbals, or drums. 
Fill (drums)A fill is a short solo that the drummer plays. It fills in the gaps between verses or chorus and adds excitement to the song. Drum fills can be anything from simple rhythms to complex patterns. 
Finger cymbalsFinger cymbals are a type of cymbal played with the fingers. They are made of brass and consist of two small discs attached to the thumb and middle finger band. When struck, finger cymbals create a high-pitched ringing sound. They are used in belly dancing and other Middle Eastern music styles. 
Flam (rudiment)A flam is a drum rudiment where the drummer plays two notes simultaneously. The notes are played very quickly, one after the other. Flam rudiments are used in a variety of musical styles. It thickens the sound of notes and is an important part of drumming. 
Flam paradiddleThe flam paradiddle adds flam rudiments to the basic paradiddle rudiment. It is a very popular drumming pattern that is used in a variety of musical styles.
Flam TapThe flam tap is a drum rudiment that combines the basic flam into a double stroke roll. It is a drumming technique that combines a flam with a tap.
Floor tomThe floor tom is a type of independent drum tom. It has three legs and is placed on the floor. It is the lowest-pitched tom tom.
Floor tom legsThese are the three legs that provide stability and support to the floor tom.
Four-four time (4/4)Four-four time is a type of time signature common in multiple genres. It is also known as common time. Four-four time consists of four beats per measure. 
Frame drumThe frame drum is one of the most ancient instruments in the world. It has a large hitting surface, and its drumhead width is greater than the depth of the shell. The drumhead is made from animal skin or synthetic materials, and the shells  are traditionally made from wood. Frame drums have various shapes and sizes and are played with the hands. 
French GripThe French grip is a way of holding drumsticks where the palms face each other and the thumbs are placed on the stick. It allows the drummer to play with a greater speed and helps with finger control. 
Fulcrum (drumstick)The fulcrum is the balance point of the drumstick, and this is the best place to hold the drumsticks. It is the point of stability and helps create a smooth motion when playing the drums.
Ghost noteA ghost note is a soft, muted note played behind the main beat. Ghost notes are used to add subtlety and texture to your drumming. They are represented with an “x” on guitar tabs. 
Gong cymbalGongs cymbals are flat and round; they have a large diameter and vary in size. They are played with a mallet and produce a deep, resonating sound. Gong cymbals are a great way to add power and intensity to your drumming. 
GrooveA groove is a repeated pattern of notes that helps define the song’s feel or rhythm. Grooves are an important part of drumming and help create a solid foundation for your beats.
GüiroThe güiro is a percussion instrument made from a hollowed-out gourd. It has metal ridges scraped with a stick to produce a sound. The güiro is often used in Latin music and adds a unique flavor to your drumming. 
Half-time feelA half-time feel adds variety to a beat and changes the groove of a song. When playing with a halftime feel, the drummer cuts the pulse of the beat in half, thus changing the tempo. 
Hand PercussionHand percussion is any type of percussion instrument played by hand. They include congas, bongos, djembes, and many others. 
Hi-hatThe hi-hat is a type of cymbal that is the most commonly used part of the drum (with the kick and snare). It consists of two cymbals mounted on a stand and is played with a pair of drumsticks. The hi-hat can be opened and closed to create different sounds. 
Hi-hat clutchThe hi-hat clutch is the mechanism that holds the top hi-hat to the hi-hat stand. It enables the opening and closing of the hi-hat while playing by ensuring the top hi-hat is lowered to the bottom hi-hat when the foot pedal is pressed. 
Hi-hat standThe hi-hat stand is the stand that the hi-hat cymbals are mounted on.
Hybrid Drum SetA hybrid drum set is a drum set that combines acoustic and electronic drums elements. It allows the drummer to use acoustic and electronic sounds and offers a wider range of sonic possibilities. 
IdiophonesIdiophones are percussion instruments that create sound through the vibration of their bodies. Examples of idiophones include bells, xylophones, gong, and marimbas. 
Independence (drumming)Independence is the ability to play different rhythms on different drums simultaneously. It requires a high degree of skill and dexterity and can be challenging to master.
Kettle drumsKettle drums are a type of percussion instrument classified as hemispherical drums. They have a deep, resonant sound and provide a bass line for the orchestra. The drums are played by hitting the head with a drum stick called the timpani mallet.
Kick drumThe kick drum is a large bass drum and is the lowest-pitched instrument in the drum kit. It is played with a foot pedal and is essential for any drum kit. 
Latin DrummingLatin drumming is a drumming style based on rhythms from Latin America. It is characterized by its funky, syncopated groove and is often used in salsa and other Latin styles of music. 
Drum lickA drum lick is a short, catchy phrase played on the drums. It can be used to add flavor and interest to your beats or to solo over (i.e. play melody lines on top of). 
Linear drummingLinear drumming is a technique where a player plays a linear melody, as opposed to the standard method of playing around the drum kit. This means the player only strikes one instrument at a time, requiring a high degree of technical proficiency. 
Low tom (floor tom)The low tom is a drum typically located on the floor and is the lowest-pitched tom in the drum kit.  
Lugs (drums)Lugs are the screws that hold the drum head onto the drum shell. They can be tightened or loosened to adjust the pitch of the drum head. 
MamboMambo is a form of Cuban music and dance that was popularized in the 1940s. It is characterized by its fast tempo and syncopated rhythm. 
MaracasMaracas are a hand percussion instrument common in  Latin American music. They are made from a pair of gourds that are filled with seeds or small rocks and are played by shaking them back and forth to create a rattling sound. 
MarimbaThe marimba is a type of idiophone made from wood and has metal bars. It is often used in classical music and has a rich, mellow sound. 
Matched gripMatched grip is the most common way to hold drumsticks. It is so named because both hands are held in the same position, with the thumbs and fingers parallel to each other. 
MbiraThe Mbira is a type of thumb piano popular in Zimbabwe. It is made from a wooden box with metal keys and is played by plucking the keys with your thumbs. 
MeasureA measure is a unit of time within a piece of music defined by a specific number of beats.
MetronomeA metronome is a device that emits a steady pulse to help musicians keep time. It can be set to any tempo and can help practice and improve your timing. 
Mid tomThe mid tom is a rack tom; it is mounted on or over the bass drum with a rack stand. It is slightly bigger than the hi-tom and has a deeper sound.
Moeller methodThe Moeller method is a drum technique that emphasizes whipping motion to improve speed, power, and accuracy. Drum instructor Sanford Moeller developed the technique.
MoongelMoongel is a sticky gel-like material that can be used to dampen the sound of drums and cymbals. It can be placed on the drum head or around the cymbal’s edge to reduce ringing and overtones. 
OctobansOctobans are also known as tube toms; they are smaller than regular toms. 
Odd timeOdd time signatures are time signatures different from the three regular time signatures, that is, duple time  (2/4, 2/8, 6/8), triple time (3/4, 9/4, 9/8), and quadruple time (4/4, 4/4, 4/8). Examples of odd time signatures are 5/8, 5/4, 7/8.
Off beatAn offbeat is a beat that occurs between the main beats of a piece of music. They are used to create syncopated rhythms and can be tricky to play correctly. 
OstinatoAn ostinato is a musical phrase that is repeated over and over again. It can be in any time signature and can be used to create rhythmic patterns or melodies. 
PandeiroThe pandeiro is a type of hand drum popular in Brazilian music. It is made from a wooden frame with metal jingles and is played by shaking it back and forth. 
ParadiddleThe paradiddle is a drum rudiment that combines single and double strokes. In this pattern, two single strokes are followed by a set of double strokes. 
Pedal (or foot pedal)A foot pedal is operated with the foot and is used to strike the drum. It is usually placed on the floor and is attached to the bass drum or hi-hat.  
Piccolo snareThe piccolo snare is a type of snare drum that is smaller than a regular snare and has a higher pitch. 
Plies (single ply/double ply drum heads)A ply is a layer of material used to construct drum heads. Single-ply drum heads are thinner and have less durability than double-ply heads. Also, double-ply heads have a deeper sound, fewer overtones and are preferred in heavier musical styles. 
Pocket drummingPocket drumming means playing in a way that sounds good with great timing and a solid groove. 
PolyrhythmA polyrhythm is a musical phrase that contains two or more different rhythms played simultaneously. It can be tricky to play correctly but create interesting and complex-sounding patterns. 
Practice padA practice pad is a type of drum pad that is used to practice your drumming. It is typically made from rubber or foam and can be mounted on a stand. It is also convenient for taking with you on the go, and some performers use it when they need to warm up before a show. 
Rim (drums)The rim is the ring that surrounds the edge of a drum head, and It is used to hold the drum head in place. It can also be hit with your hands or drumstick to create a distinct sound.
Rack (drums)A drum rack is a metal frame used to hold a drum set. It typically has arms that extend from the frame to hold the bass drum, snare drum, and tom-toms. Drum racks allow you to position the drums in any way you like and can be customized to fit your playing style. 
Rack TomA rack tom is a type of tom-tom designed to be mounted on a drum rack. It is typically smaller than a floor tom and has a higher pitch. 
Remote Hi-hatsRemote hi-hats are mostly used for open-handed playing. They are typically used in place of regular hi-hats and can be placed anywhere on the stage or in the studio. They allow you to position the hi-hats in any way you like. 
Resonance (drumming)Resonance is the natural vibration of an object. It can be caused by sound waves or other vibrations and creates a deep, rich sound. In drumming, resonance is often used to amplify the sound of the drums. This can be done by using a resonant head on the drum or a microphone to amplify the sound.
Resonant headA resonant head is a type of drum head designed to amplify the sound of the drum. It is typically made from thicker material than a regular drum head and has a hole in the middle. This allows the sound waves to resonate freely and create a deeper, richer sound. 
RhythmA rhythm is a pattern of musical beats repeated over time. It can be simple or complex and is often the foundation of a song, and can create interesting grooves and patterns. Rhythms are typically played with the drum kit and percussion instruments in drumming.
Ride cymbalThe ride cymbal is a type of cymbal used to create the main groove in a song. It is larger than the crash cymbal, played with drumsticks, and has a large, bell-shaped cup at the center, creating a sustained sound. It is used to play rhythms and melodies and has a distinctive sound often used in jazz music.
Rim shotA rim shot is a drumbeat played by hitting the rim and head of the drum simultaneously with a drumstick. It can be used to create a sharp, percussive sound. 
Rings of feltRings of felt are a dampening material that can be used on drums. They are typically made from wool or cotton and help reduce the drum’s sound. They help to reduce ringing and overtones and create a more mellow sound. 
Roto tomsRoto toms are tom-tom types with a rotating drum head. This allows the drummer to change the drum’s pitch by rotating the head. They have no shell and are typically smaller than floor toms. Roto toms are used to create a variety of sounds and rhythms. 
RudimentA rudiment is a basic drumming pattern used to create rhythms and grooves. Dozens of rudiments can be used to create different patterns and sounds. Rudiments are an important aspect of drumming and are the foundation of drum beats, fills, and patterns. 
Salsa drummingSalsa drumming is a drumming style used to create rhythms for salsa music. It is based on Latin rhythms and patterns and often uses percussion instruments to create a syncopated groove. Salsa drumming can be played with a drum kit or traditional Latin percussion instruments. 
Samba drummingSamba drumming is a drumming style used to create rhythms for samba music. It is based on the Afro-Brazilian drumming style and uses a variety of hand and stick techniques to create the groove. It can be played with a drum kit and traditional Latin percussion instruments. 
ShakerA shaker is a percussion instrument used to create rhythmic patterns and sounds. It is a small, handheld instrument made from wood, metal, or plastic and has several small beads or pellets inside it. Shakers are often used in Latin music and can be played with one hand. 
Shell pack (drums)A shell pack is a drum kit consisting of a bass drum, rack toms, floor toms, and sometimes a snare drum. It does not include cymbals, stands, or other hardware. Shell packs are one of the most popular types of drum kits and are the standard configuration for most drummers. 
Shuffle (drumming)Shuffle is a popular drumming pattern where the beat is broken into three subdivisions. Each beat of the bar is split into three notes, usually called triplets; it is played on the ride cymbal or hi-hats. The shuffle groove is often used in blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and jazz music.  
Side drumA side drum is also called a snare drum. It is a type of percussion instrument typically used in drum sets to create rhythmic patterns and sounds. It is a small, cylindrical drum with metal wires (snares) stretched across the lower head, producing a rattling or vibration effect.
Single stroke rollThe single stroke roll is among the most basic and most popular drum rudiments and is the perfect start for a beginner.  It is played in beats, fills, grooves, and drum solos; the striking pattern alternates between the right and left hand. 
SnareThe snare drum is one of the most popular parts of a drum set. It is a cylindrical drum with wire strands (snares) stretched across the bottom head, which are activated by the drummer’s playing action and produce a “snapping” sound. The snare drum is typically used to provide a backbeat or accentuate the rhythm. The drum’s depth and its construction materials affect its tone and pitch.
Snare BuzzA snare buzz is caused when instruments close to the snare drum, such as tom-toms, create a harmonic frequency that vibrates the snares and produces a “buzzing” sound. 
Snare compingSnare comping is a technique used by drummers to provide accompaniment or “comping” for other instruments or vocalists. The drummer plays a rhythm on the snare drum that compliments and supports the melody being played by the other musicians. It is mostly used in jazz music.
Snare StrainerA snare strainer is a component of the snare drum that is used to adjust the tension on the wire strands. It is typically a metal lever or knob located on the side or top of the drum and allows the drummer to tighten or loosen the snares to create different sounds.
Snare WiresSnare wires are the wire strands stretched across the bottom head of the snare drum. They are a key factor in determining the sound of the drum and are activated by the drummer’s playing action. They can be tightened or loosened to change the pitch and tone of the drum.
Splash cymbalA splash cymbal is a small, thin cymbal used to create short and sharp accents in the music. It has a bright and piercing sound and is usually struck by a drumstick to create a loud and explosive sound. A mini-crash cymbal enhances your fills and riffs and adds special drumming effects. 
Spurs (drums)Spurs are small metal rods or posts attached to the legs of a drum to provide stability and prevent the drum from moving. They are also used to elevate the drum off the ground to be played more easily.
Stack cymbalsStack cymbals are a pair of cymbals mounted on top of each other on a single stand and played together. They create a loud and powerful or a really dampened sound when struck together. 
Steel drumThe steel drum is a type of percussion instrument that is made from an oil drum. It is bowl-shaped and played by striking with pan mallets to create different notes and sounds. The steel drum is most commonly used in Caribbean music genres such as Calypso and Soca.
Sticking (drums)Sticking is the technique used by drummers to play the drums. It combines hand and arm movements that create the rhythms and beats on the drum kit. Many different sticking patterns can be used to create different sounds and rhythms.
Straight cymbal stand:A straight cymbal stand supports and holds a cymbal. It is a simple, basic stand with a single upright post with a clamp to secure the cymbal. It is ideal for simple setups and is the most common cymbal stand used in most drum kits.
Sub kickThe sub kick is a low-frequency microphone used to capture the sound of the bass drum. It is placed close to the batter’s head to pick up the deep and low frequencies of the drum. This microphone is used to improve the richness of sound and resonance. 
SustainSustain is the length of time that a sound or note lasts. It is determined by the energy put into the sound and how long the vibrating object retains that energy. A sound with a lot of sustain will last longer than a sound with little sustain.
SyncopationSyncopation is the displacement of the regular rhythmic pattern of a musical piece. It accentuates unexpected or unusual beats in the music to create a more interesting and dynamic rhythm. Syncopation is often used to add excitement and interest to a song.
Talking drumThe talking drum is a type of drum that originates from West Africa. It has a unique hourglass-shaped body and is played by squeezing the drumhead to create different pitches. The drummer can also change the pitch by altering the position of their hand on the drumhead.
TambourineThe tambourine is a type of percussion instrument that is made from a frame, typically metal, with metal jingles attached to the frame. It is played by shaking the instrument or hitting with your hands to create a ringing sound. It is used in different music types like rock, pop, gospel, and folk music
TangoTango is a music style that originated in Argentina and Uruguay. It is a slow, rhythmic dance usually accompanied by guitar and bandoneon music. The tango is typically danced in close embrace and features intricate steps and movements.
Temple blocksTemple blocks are a type of percussion instrument made from wood and originated in East Asia. They are small, rectangular blocks, and one end of each block is left open. Temple blocks are played by striking them with a pair of beaters. They create a high-pitched sound and have been used by jazz drummers and modern orchestral music.
TempoTempo is the speed of a piece of music. It is measured in beats per minute (BPM) and refers to how fast or slow the music moves.
Throne (drums)The throne is the seat that a drummer sits on while playing the drums. It is typically elevated and allows the drummer to better view the drum kit. The throne is also adjustable to be tailored to the height of the drummer.
TimbalesTimbales are single-headed drums with a metal casing  common in Latin music. They are played by striking the metal shell, the rims, or the drumhead to create a sharp, ringing sound. 
Time signatureThe time signature is the symbol that indicates the meter or rhythm of a piece of music. It is written as two numbers separated by a slash. The top number indicates the number of beats in a bar, while the bottom number indicates what type of beat each beat’s type. So, for example, 4/4 time would mean there are four beats in a bar, and each beat is a quarter note.
TimpaniTimpani is of the percussion family and is categorized as a hemispherical drum. They are typically large and have a membrane stretched over a bowl made from copper. Timpani is common in orchestras, and each drum in a timpani set has different pitches. They are played with a special drumstick called the timpani mallet.
Tom TomA tom tom is a cylindrical drum that may have only one drumhead. They are popular and are a key part of the 5-piece drum set. Tom toms are often used in rock and pop music, and they come in different sizes like small, medium, and large. Tom toms can be used in many ways, and they add excitement and color to a performance.
traditional gripThe traditional grip is the most commonly used grip when playing the drum set. It is a two-handed grip where each hand grips the drumstick at a different angle. This grip is best for control and speed and is popularly used in jazz music.
Trap setA trap set is a type of drum kit; it is a collection of drums and percussion instruments that one drummer can easily play. The trap set usually consists of a bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat, two tom toms, and a cymbal. 
TripletA triplet is a musical term that refers to three notes played in the time of two. Triplets are common in jazz and blues music and add syncopation and excitement to a piece.
Tubular bellsTubular bells are percussion instruments with a series of tuned metal tubes. They are played by striking the tubes with a mallet to create a sound. They create a deep, resonant sound and are often used in religious ceremonies and classical music. 
Tuned PercussionTuned percussion is a type of percussion instrument that is tuned to a specific pitch. This means that the instrument will only produce sound when played at that pitch. The most common tuned percussion instruments are xylophones and glockenspiels.
TympaniTympani is also known as timpani; it is a percussion instrument with a large drumhead made from animal skin stretched over a metal bowl. They are typically played with two drumsticks called timpani mallets and are common in orchestras.
UduUdu is a clay pot drum from Nigeria played with the hands. It has a round, hollow body and a single, open head.  
UpbeatThe upbeat is the last beat in a measure; it is the unaccented beat before the downbeat.
V-drumsV-drums are electronic drum kits that use digital pads to create sounds. They come in many different sizes and styles; they are often used in live performances and recordings.
Vibraphone The vibraphone is a type of percussion instrument with tuned metal bars mounted on a frame. The bars are hit with mallets to produce sound, and the instrument has a unique, mellow sound. It has a similar shape to the xylophone and is often used in jazz music. 
Wood blocksWood blocks are a type of percussion instrument that is made from a single piece of wood. They are played by striking the wood with a mallet, creating a sharp, high-pitched sound.
World drummingWorld drumming is a type of drumming that uses drums from different cultures and styles. This type of drumming is popular because it allows drummers to explore many different rhythms and sounds.
X-hatThe x-hat is an attachment that enables you to mount two hi-hat cymbals in a closed position on a single stand. This allows you to play the hi-hats even while using both feet on the bass drum pedals. 
XylophoneThe xylophone is a type of percussion instrument that is made from wooden bars. The bars are hit with mallets to create sound, and the instrument has a bright, ringing sound. Xylophones are often used in classical music pieces.

Mike O'Connor
Mike O'Connor

I've been playing drums for over 18 years. I work as both a session drummer and a drum teacher, and I love to share my knowledge and tips on this site. You can also find me on the Electronic Drum Advisor YouTube channel.

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