What are the Types of Marching Band Drums?

Marching Band Drums
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What are the Types of Marching Band Drums?

What are the Types of Marching Band Drums?

Before we get into the many varieties of marching band drums, let’s understand what a marching band is. A marching band comprises a large volume of members who march while playing music. Each member plays a different style of the drum.

What Type of Drums does a Marching Band Percussionist Play?

As previously stated, the marching band’s percussionists play drums of various sizes. The following is a list of the several types of drums used in marching bands:

Snare Drum

Marching Band Snare Drums

This drum is considered one of the most prominent drum sets among its peers. It has a tight surface that produces high-pitched sound. Therefore the player who plays this kit receives the majority of the attention.

The snare drum is also equipped with a harness that enables the musician to suspend it at an angle over their shoulders. As a result, traditional grips are used while drumming the instrument. 

Bass Drum

Marching Band Bass Drums in Public

After the snare drum, the bass drum is the most sought-after in the band. The harnesses on these drums allow the player to situate the drum between his or her chest and stomach. Because they hardly utilize muffling, they are heavier and provide a thinner tone. They also come in various sizes, resulting in a wide range of tone variations.

Compared to an acoustic bass drum, you’ll notice that they’re lighter. On the other hand, this lightness has no bearing on the creation of similar sounds.

The drummer who is playing this tune must strike both sides of the drum simultaneously. As a result, greater strength is required to hold and play the piece.

Tenor Drums

Tenor drums, also known as quad drums, are made up of four drums of various sizes that are aligned to produce a distinct pitched tone. Each drum has been tuned to provide a crisper sound when pressed against the surface. It’s typically utilized in marching bands to perform patterns.

Their sound necessitates pitching in through the rest of the ensemble, so they have a higher tune. Tenor drums are similar to snare drums in that they have several tone possibilities.

The four drums’ normal dimensions are 10″, 12″, 13″, and 14″. Another drum with a diameter of 6″ is known as the “rock,” and it’s used to create minor effects.


In addition to the traditional drums described above, several marching bands incorporate timpani drums into their repertoire. Among marching band drums, they are by far the most sound-producing. Timpanis are often played by remaining in a single position.

This drum has five massive drums that can be tuned to different tones. They can also be tweaked by altering the pedals beneath each timpani, allowing the player to tune in the middle of a song and provide a variety of tones.

Read more on How to Choose the Best Marching Drum

If you want to be a drummer in your school’s marching band, learning about the many types of drums will help you pick which instrument you want to play. You can also watch marching band videos to better understand their duties in the band and develop your own opinions. In either case, you must be in shape to keep up with the team.

You can also read: What are Power Amplifiers, and what is their usage?

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