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How to measure a snare drum, bass drum or tom tom

Note: Some of this material can be applied to measuring drums to get an idea of the size of cases for drum storage.

This guide is to help you understand the way to measure a drum to sell on eBay. (Based in the USA. Other countries list drums differently)

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

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

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

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 are 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" inch 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 the seller how they measured the drum.

It is very common for sellers that do not sell drums regularly to measure them from the top hoop to the bottom hoop and not the actual shell.

 
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