Bass Drum

The origins of the bass drum probably emanated from the Middle East in ancient times. It is a fundamental part of the orchestral percussion section. A symphony bass drum may be of 18″ in depth and 40″ in diameter, but this can vary greatly. The drum can stand upright on a trestle or be mounted on stand that can be adjusted for angle. Generally calfskin heads are preferable rather than plastic heads. The tone of the drum should be open, full, and resonant with a low indefinite “boom”. The musician striking the drum can use the free hand to mute the head if so desired. The bass drum is played with a large lamb wool beater, much heavier than timpani mallets.