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How to measure a drum correctly

(It is the same for toms, bass drums and snare drums)

If you are not sure of all of the different parts of a drum and or do not know some common drum terms then click here.

To measure a drum correctly you should remove the drum head from the top or bottom.

Once the head is off of the drum then measure just the shell from the outside edge directly across the center of the shell. This is the drum width.

[click image for a larger view]

Then measure the depth from the inside of the drum from the shell top edge and bottom edge.

[click image for a larger view]

It is more common when you list drum sizes to put the drum Depth first then the drum Width.

Looking at the photos above the drum is 8" deep x 12" wide. This is an 8" x 12" tom.

So a 5" X 14" drum is 5" deep with a 14" width. The width is also referred to as the head size. So that is usually called a 14" drum.

On American made drums you will see more common depths of 5", 5 1/2", 6" or bigger. You will not normally see a drum that is 5 1/4" unless someone measured it wrong. Smaller depth drums can go as low as 3" or 4" etc. and usually called piccolo snare drums.

Other then that you will commonly see people list drums like this.

22,13,16 or 13,16,22. This would mean a 22" inch bass drum, 13" mounted tom and 16" inch floor tom.

You will see all sorts of different drum measurements and ways of displaying them, so if you are not sure then just ask.



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