In this article, we try to give some information regarding the constructive characteristics of the drums of the battery to those who for the first time face this world.

We have seen how a battery is composed, what are the pieces and how many are, now we will try to enter a little more in detail and to explain in broad terms how the sound varies according to the  diameter  and depth, responsible respectively for the note and the duration of sound and its sound depth.

Knowing that every craftsman who builds batteries can indulge himself and experiment with all the possible measures, what we have analyzed concerns those that are usually considered standard measures.


Measurements, as mentioned above, are expressed in inches (1 inch (2.54 cm)), and can go:

  • from 8 “to 16” for the toms
  • from 14 “to 18” for the timpani
  • from 16 “to 26” for the speakers

The snares usually ranging from 12 “to 15”, even if the standard sizes are 13 “and 14”.

standard rock configuration consists of 12 “and 13” toms, 16 “tympanum, 22” case and 14 “snare drum. For jazz drums, the measurements will be smaller while for hard rock it is not uncommon to see larger sizes.

Famous are the 24 “or 26” cases (e.g. John Bonham ). 5-piece sets with 10 “and 12” sizes for toms and 14 “and 16” for timpani and 22 “for the case ” are also very common.


When you are a beginner it is easy to consider the depth secondary. We are so focused on choosing diameters that we forget that this feature has a decisive role on the sound output. It is, in fact, responsible for the volume, power, and resonance of the shaft.

Until the 1990s, measurements of battery drums defined as “power” , ie with greater depth, were widespread.

The sound is more full-bodied and with more volume, the sustain of the emitted note is longer because the energy of the shot is retained longer than a short barrel.

They have a lot of diffusion seven the smallest sizes, more suitable for those who need less volume, less sustain and to let the performance be perceived even at very low volume.

We are thus able to choose, and in the case of a 12 “tom we can have depths of 8”, 9 “or 10”.

“The length of the stem affects speed

response of the drum and the duration of the note

produced, but with the same diameter influence

also, the pitch of the drum itself “


In general, if you want a more articulate sound or if you are a beginner, we recommend the power toms, on which you can act varying the sound if only a little. They have greater control over the overtones (without having to act directly on the skin, with various sings) and you will have a deeper sound.

At the moment they are also the most common measures so finding them will not be a problem. They are easier to tune.

No one will ever tell you which is the best solution for your needs, even here it depends on the genre , the skins used and the way of playing of every drummer, so also, in this case, the rule is: Go to the store with a person more experienced than you and try before you buy .

Now that we have seen these aspects, we can only see the construction and finish of a shaft in detail. On this page, we talked about the layers, how the corners are finished and what sound characteristics derive from them.