Drum Terms

accent 
Emphasis placed on a particular note that gives it more stress than the others.
acoustic drums
drums / drumsets that are void of electronic components. Usually made of wood or synthetic material only. And electronic drums are void of acoustic drums.
backbeat
a consistent rhythm that stresses beats 2 and 4 in common time. In other “common” time signatures, the backbeat will land elsewhere. For example, the backbeat lands on 4 and 10 in 12/8 time on the drumset.

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bass drum
(kick drum) – the lowest pitched drum in a marching band or with a drumset.
bata drum
– a double headed, hour glass shaped drum originating from Nigeria. It later migrated to Cuba and eventually to the US. These drums can be played in the lap or with a strap around the neck.
batter head
the edge of the drum that the head sits on. Bearing edges are often sharpened to a smaller angle for greater attack, projection and evenness of tone.
bearing edge
a consistent rhythm that stresses beats 2 and 4 in common time. In other “common” time signatures, the backbeat will land elsewhere. For example, the backbeat lands on 4 and 10 in 12/8 time on the drumset.
beat displacement
a term popularized in drumming over the last 10 years. It refers to permutation where all beats will move forward say, one eighth note. This method will create numerous variations of rhythmic possibilities on the drums.
beguine 
music incorporating a bolero rhythm.
acoustic drums
drums / drumsets that are void of electronic components. Usually made of wood or synthetic material only. And electronic drums are void of acoustic drums.
bells
an instrument that consists of tuned metal bars mounted on a rectangular frame such as the glockenspiel, xylophone or marimba.
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bodhran
(bodhrán) – an Irish drum covered with goatskin.
bo-diddley beat
this beat was popularized by Bo Diddley, the famous blues guitar player. It stems from early forms of Latin and afro-Cuban rhythms (clave) derived from their respective countries. This rhythm was also used for years as the playful music knock,”Shave and a Haircut”,…”Two Bits”.
bolero rhythm
a slow ballad suitable for the bolero dance or similar music
bones
or castanets. A pair of wooden instruments that are held in the hand (between the thumb and forefinger) and are clicked together in rhythm.
bongocero
a bongo player
bongo drum or bongos
a pair of small drums that are connected in the middle and played with your hands. Very common in Afro-Cuban music and Latin percussion.
Boomwhackers
long colorful tubes that produces various tones. Popular kid’s percussion instrument common in musical education. Many elementary schools and junior high schools incorporate BoomWhackers into their music curriculum.
boom
(or boom stand) – An arm that extends from the cymbal stand to allow greater positioning around the drumset. Most drummers use it to bring the cymbals in closer to them.
bossa nova
the bossa nova rhythm accompanies the famous bossa nova dance. It stems from the Samba and has it’s origins in Brazil. Also applied to the drumset.

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brushes
brushes as they relate to drumming have wire bristles that fan out and are used mostly with traditional jazz drumming. Drummers that play brushes utilize “snaps” and “sweeps” to create a unique art form that we call “brush technique”.
buzz roll
one of the 40 drum rudiments. Often confused with the double stroke roll, it is played by executing multiple bounces in each hand and then speeding up. Other names for this roll are the “crush roll”, the “press roll” and the “multiple bounce stroke”.
cabasa
(or afuche) a Latin percussion instrument consisting of a round cylinder on a handle. There are metal beads (actually a chain) that surround the corrugated cylinder. It is held with one hand and rubbed with the other to create various rhythms.
cascara
a Latin percussion pattern often played with the right hand on the side of a timbale. This rhythm can also be played on drumset.
castanets
– or bones. A pair of wooden instruments that are held in the hand (between the thumb and forefinger) and are clicked together in rhythm.
cajon
– a hollow wooden box that has the tone of a conga. Non tune-able as it has no drumhead. With the popularity of cajones over the last few years, you’ll now find them including snares, port holes and adaptive drumming accessories. Origin: Latin America
cha-cha
– a medium tempo, Afro-Cuban rhythm, as heard in Tito Puente’s infamous “Oye Como Va” song.
chimes
– long metal tubes that are struck with a special hammer. This percussion instrument is common in school bands and orchestras as well as symphonies.
china (or china cymbal)
– also called a china crash or a pang cymbal, this odd looking cymbal creates a often harsh, trashy sound.
chops 
– your drumming technique or rhythmic vocabulary. Ex. “That kid has great chops on the drums!” Chops can refer to percussion performance on drumsets, marching percussion or Latin drums.
clave (clave’)
– a rhythm made up of a 2 bar phrase played as 2:3 clave (ex: 1 2, 123) or 3:2 clave (ex: 1 2 3, 1 2 ). Once the song starts, the clave will not change. Latin America countries often clap their hands to clave during the music.
claves
– percussion instrument; a pair of cylindrical wooden sticks (usually around and inch and a half thick) that are clicked together to make a high-pitched sound marking clave in Latin music or just as percussion accents in pop music. Claves are sometimes made of synthetic material.
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