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Drummed and whistled!

Marching percussion instruments are specially designed to be played while moving. This is achieved by attaching the drum(s) to a special harness (also called a carrier or rack) worn by the drummer, although not all marching bands use such harnesses and instead use traditional baldrics to sling their drums. The drums are designed and tuned for maximum articulation and projection of sound, as marching activities are almost always outdoors or in large interior spaces. Articulation is paramount to producing a "clean" sound from all the drummers in the line. These instruments are used by marching bands, drum and bugle corps, indoor percussion ensembles, and pipe bands. A marching percussion ensemble is frequently known as a drumline or battery.
Festive lifts have been accompanied with music in ancient times, in Greek tragedy learned the march higher artistic design. The military march with drums, timpani, trumpets and whistles Swiss there since the beginning of the 16th Century. He accompanied a prince when moving into a town or in the field. Too late medieval processional chants and Crusaders and Landsknecht songs form the forerunner of the modern marching band, which is held in a straight (two-part) Tact. Today's march is typically performed in a two-part song form, and in addition to this "law" held a more melodic "trio", often in a different key (the subdominant). The military marches are either parade marches (Pas ordinaires), “Geschwindmärsche” (Pas redoubles, quick march) or storm marches (Pas de charge). From the number of products for special purposes and occasions marches (hard marches, marches homage, church marches; almost exclusively on stage in elevators, etc.) of the Funeral March (Marcia funebre) stands out as being particularly characteristic. In addition, there are also songs in march manner form, which are also presented as instrumental march promenade.

The Lefima program of marching or marching instruments including drums for professional Marching drummers as well as beginners and the young, mega light drums and ultra rugged instruments for marching drums and brass. And the potential in millions of color and design options and features numerous alternatives.

Find "your drum" so that you, we not only offer detailed information about the equipment and accessories on the individual product pages also a direct product comparison, which allows you to get a quick overview of the main features of all the bass drums.

Bass Drums

In German and Austrian marching and brass bands, bass drums are used as clock for the whole ensemble. In contrary to drum corps mostly one or two bass drums at most are used. So a bass drum is deep pitched and has to be loud with a great projection. Especially in southern Germany and Austria brass bands often play concert music which is transferred to a smaller sized orchestra. It can also be played outside while marching. Especially when marching over long distances like i. e. at the Munich Oktoberfest procession, the demand for light drums is high. With the invention of first ultra-light drums in the year 2000 Lefima obtained a Guinnessbook-of-Records certificate for the lightest marching drum. It is two to four times lighter than conventional drums but feature up-to-date drum technology. In 2011 Lefima revolutionized the bass drum itself. The mega-light CarboDrum combined even lighter weight with carbon fibre elements at a drum which has no longer jutting over rims. This prevent players from getting hurt while playing and because of the smaller general appearance the shell depth was increased up to 20 percent.

Bass drums used by modern ensembles come in a variety of sizes, with a 14-inch (360 mm) "universal" depth, and diameter measured in 2-inch (51 mm) increments from 14 to 36 inches (910 mm). The heads of these drums are usually made of a smooth white PET film, which gives a tonality that is mid-way between clear and coated heads. Unlike tenors and snares, bass drums are mounted so that the cylindrical shell of the drum is mounted on the player's harness and the two drum heads of the drum face out sideways. The player can then play on both heads, one arm for a drum head on either side. Each drummer plays and carries one drum, and a line is created by having several people carry different-sized drums. Such drums are called tonal bass drums. The lowest drum in a line, however, is often tuned to have a low "thump" like a traditional bass drum rather than a tone. The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps were the first marching unit to use and standardize tonal bass drum tuning. Many groups try to use the largest size bass drum that is comfortable for the physically largest bass drummer to carry as the bottom bass drum, as larger people are generally better able to carry a bigger drum for long periods of time.

In corps-style bands, each bass drummer only plays one segment of the entire bass drum part, unlike the snares and tenors. This is known as a split part. A unison refers to when all or some bass drummers play together at the same time. Lines can vary in size from as few as 3 players in small high schools to as many as 9 in very large college marching bands. A line of 5 (with individual drum sizes ranging from 18" to 32") is the most common in a drum corps. Some traditional groups, such as some show-style marching bands from historically black colleges and universities continue to use a non-tonal bass line, where each drum is roughly the same size and each drummer plays the same part.

Pipe bands and some traditional groups use a single bass drummer, who typically carries the pulse of the group. The bass drums used by pipe bands have seen an increase in size and more of a focus on tone in recent times. Typical sizes range from 12 to 18 inches (460 mm) deep by 28 inches (710 mm) in diameter. The goal is to produce a subtle deep tone which is usually in tune with the drones of the bagpipe. Various muffling techniques (sometimes referred to as "treatments") can be used on bass drums to achieve a desired sound. The most common of these involve applying foam weather-stripping, either on the head directly or on the shell of the drum. Some drumhead manufacturers make heads that are "pre-muffled." These heads usually have separate pieces of PET film or other material which are set into the head's flesh hoop and touch the head to control overtones.

Bass drums do not use the same guidelines as snares and tenors. They are grouped in a different section of the battery. The most important thing to remember is that when playing at a higher dynamic level, one is not to attempt to play with more height but with more force and through the head to get more tone and more sound. Playing correct heights is important, but if you're not getting correct sound quality this means nothing. This will naturally project the sound. Below are the guidelines for bass drum heights. Again, techniques and specifications vary between drumlines. (All fractions are based on the Forte / perpendicular height. Establish this height first and then work the others around it.) Start in “set” position with the mallets about 1 inch away from the head.

Stick heights are not only important for visual reasons but they also strongly affect the sound quality. To get a uniform and consistent sound, one must play with even stick heights on the right and left hand. To practice playing with accurate stick heights, set up your drum or pad in front of a mirror. Start with a simple exercise and watch to see if your left heights are even with your right. If you have access to a video camera, you can record yourself and watch it later. It is easier to watch your heights and critique your performance when you are not focusing on playing.

Snare Drums

For a snare drum is a drum with snares. The wooden or metal cylinder is equipped with two skins of different thickness. While the top coat, the batter is recorded, has the lower pure resonance function. This "resonance head" is set by the drums on the drumhead to vibrate, which in turn called "snares" stimulates the blades and ultimately the specific sound of the drum species accounts, which especially during vertebra is clear. Snares were previously only under the resonant head stretched cords from intestines. Due to their sensitivity to humidity, we designed it later from metal, and finally grabbed a bundle of parallel adjacent coiled steel wires to the so-called "snare" or "gut or wire snare" together, which would not only be stretched, but or a specially designed lifting and had to leave a lifting device if necessary. This increased the sound of a snare drum.

While a distinction is made in the English language does not distinguish between small drum or drum parade, exist in German, the terms "snare drum" and "drum parade." A "small drum" comes originally from the long drums and military music from the medieval Tabor, which already has a snare string, and simply means a snare drum with a slight rib depth. From a parade drum, which also has usually a "snare", can you talk if their height exceeds the size of their diameter. The terminology is not accurate, as derivatives of snare-free tenor and parade drums do also exist.

With the development of Lefima ultra-light drums from 2000, snare drums now entered the market, which are particularly suitable due to their extremely low weight to march longer distances and for youth marching bands.

Parade Drums

Marching snare drums (parade snare drums) are deeper in size than snares normally used for orchestral or drum kit purposes. This gives the drum the big, full sound necessary for outdoor use. Standard sizes (listed as diameter x depth) are 13x11 and 14x12 inches. They can weigh anywhere from 16-45 lb. Smaller sizes such as 13x9 have become increasingly popular in recent times with the proliferation of indoor drum lines.
The modern "high tension" snare was developed in response to the higher head tensions made possible with the development of Kevlar and other high strength fibers bonded into the drum head. These high tension drums were first developed for pipe band snare drums. High tension drums began and were perfected in the pipe band market and later moved into the marching band and drum corps areas. The bottom (or resonant) side of the drum has a tightly tuned head and synthetic gut or metal snare wires, which are often secured to the drum using a strainer to limit their movement and make the sound more staccato. For outdoor use, a piece of curved plastic, called a "scoop," may be attached to the back of the bottom hoop to help project the sound forward to the audience. In 2001 Lefima created the lightest high-tension snare drum called “PowerSnare”.
Snare lines vary in size from as few as 2 or 3 drummers in small high school marching bands to as many as 12 or more in very large college marching bands. Lines of 4–5 are common in high school marching bands; 7–10 is most common in drum corps and college marching bands. The snare drum section is part of the "upper battery" or "flat battery", which refers to the snare drums and tenor drums.
The lead snare player in a battery is almost universally referred to as the "center snare" and is often the drum captain (leader of the battery and sometimes the front ensemble) and the snare "section leader." In modern competitive drum lines, the center snare has many duties to keep the musical aspect running smoothly during a performance. The other members of the snare section will "listen in" to the center for dynamic and timing interpretation of their parts. They are instructed to play "like your center". Center snare will determine stick heights (which affect dynamics) as well as actual stickings of patterns that are unclear, (much like the concertmaster in an orchestra determines bowings).
Another element the center snare is part of is the control and determination of on-field and parade tempos for the whole corps or band. This is done by having certain communications with the drum major. In this situation, the drum major will watch the feet of the center snare, and get their tempo from this. The rest of the corps is listening back to the group furthest back (and/or the battery) and watching the drum major for the tempo.
While marching on and off of the field, and while marching in a parade, the center snare will play on beats 1, 3, and 5 and will often invent a complex-sounding yet simple "tap-off" to signal the battery to play the cadence, or street beat. The other members of the battery are listening into their "centers", (there is also a center tenor), with the bass drums sometimes getting tempo from the feet of the group immediately in front of them.
Snare drums used in pipe bands are similar in construction to standard marching snare drums, with two key differences. First, the drum has an additional set of snares, directly under the batter (top) head. Second, the snares under the bottom head are made of coiled steel wires, similar to a drumset (as opposed to the synthetic "gut" snares on a corps-style drum). These differences tend to give the pipe drums a "snappier" snare sound, emphasizing the higher frequencies of the drum. Recently, corps-style drums have been produced with steel wire snares underneath the batter head (while remaining the gut snares under the bottom head). These snares are able to be switched on and off separate from the bottom snares, which allows units to use the second snares as a specific effect or as a permanent modification to the sound of the drum.
There are two common types of grips for holding the sticks used to play a marching snare; traditional and matched. When playing matched grip, both hands of the drummer hold their respective stick in the same way, thus the name "matched grip." The stick is held between the thumb and index finger to form a fulcrum. The rest of the fingers loosely wrap around the rest of the stick. Traditional grip is, of course, the traditional grip for snare drum. Snare drums were traditionally slung around the drummer in a way so that the left side of the drum was tilted much higher than the right side. In order to play in a comfortable position, the drummer flipped his left hand over so that his palm faced upward. The traditional grip involves holding the stick in the left hand between the thumb and index finger and resting the stick on the ring finger. The right hand is held in the same way as the matched grip.

Field Drum

The “lansquenets” German Landsknechte (German plural, singular Landsknecht), meaning "servants of the land", were colourful mercenary soldiers with a formidable reputation who took over the Swiss forces' legacy and became an important military force of the late 15th- and throughout 16th-century Europe. Consisting predominantly of German and Swiss mercenary pikemen and supporting foot soldiers, they achieved the reputation for being the universal mercenaries of early modern Europe.
What made the Landsknechte so conspicuous was their elaborate dress, which they adopted from the Swiss, but later took to even more dramatic excess. Maximilian I exempted them from the prevalent sumptuary laws as an acknowledgement of their "...short and brutish" lives. Doublets (German: Wams), deliberately slashed at the front, back and sleeves with shirts and other wear pulled through to form puffs of different-colored fabric, so-called puffed and slashed; parti-colored hose (or Gesses); jerkins (German: Lederwams); ever-broader flat beret-type hats (German: Tellerbarrets) with tall feathers; and broad flat shoes, made them bodies of men that could not be mistaken.
The rope drums, the lansquenets used, were of a high shell depth and painted as colorful as the clothing of this soldier type. They were carried at the side of the drummers body and were played with a pair of mallets in the so-called traditional style.
The term is from German Land (land or country) and Knecht (servant, cognate to 'knight'), recorded from ca. 1480. It was originally coined by Peter von Hagenbach and intended to indicate soldiers of the Swabian part of the Holy Roman Empire as opposed to the Swiss mercenaries. As early as 1500, the misleading spelling of Landsknecht became common because of the association with Lanze "lance".
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 to 1519, formed the first mercenary Landsknecht regiments in 1487. He called upon Georg von Frundsberg (1473–1528), sometimes referred to as[who?] the Father of the Landsknechte, to assist him in their organization. Landsknechte later went on to fight in almost every 16th-century military campaign, sometimes on both sides of the engagement.
The Landsknechte, formed in conscious imitation of the Swiss mercenaries (and, initially, using Swiss instructors), eventually contributed to the defeat of the redoubtable Swiss, whose battle formations – over-dependent on hand-to-hand fighting – became vulnerable to the increased firepower of arquebus and artillery. French artillery or Spanish firepower dealt serious blows to the Swiss formations, and the Landsknecht pike blocks were there to fight off the depleted Swiss attack columns once this had occurred.
The Landsknechte were always rather conservative in their usage of weapons and contained a large majority of pikemen. However, they inclined more to the tactical use of firearms than the Swiss because Landsknechte relied less on the precipitous rush to close combat. As Imperial soldiers, they often fought in formations mixed with Spaniards during the reign of King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. These Spaniards made a good widespread use of the arquebus and later, of the musket.
Ambivalence towards the Landsknechts is reflected in this German figure apparently from a group representing the Stoning of Stephen, c 1520 (Walters Art Museum)
Landsknechte typically came from Swabia, Alsace, Flanders, and the Rhineland, but ultimately the regiments were made up of men from all parts of Europe.
Their battlefield behavior was highly variable. Sometimes, such as at the Battle of Pavia (1525), they performed exceptionally well, fighting to the death on both sides of the conflict, even after their allies fled the field, as was the case for the French employed Landsknechte. The Imperial Landsknechte were instrumental in the Emperor's victory. However, on many other occasions, (such as in the later Italian Wars, French Wars of Religion and the Eighty Years War) their bravery and discipline came under severe criticism, and the Spanish elements of the Imperial army regularly deprecated the battlefield usefulness of the Landsknechte—it was said that the Duke of Alba hired them only to deny their services to the Dutch enemy, and put them on display to swell his numbers, not intending to fight with them. The Huguenots scorned their Landsknecht mercenaries after these were immediately routed by the battered Swiss mercenary pike-block they had been sent to finish off at the Battle of Dreux (1562).
The army of the Holy Roman Emperor defeated the French army in Italy, but funds were not available to pay the soldiers. The 34,000 Imperial troops mutinied and forced their commander, Charles III, Duke of Bourbon and Constable of France, to lead them towards Rome. The Sack of Rome in 1527 was executed by some 6,000 Spaniards under the Duke, 14,000 Landsknechts under Georg von Frundsberg, some Italian infantry and some cavalry.
The regiments often expanded from 4,000 to 10,000 men according to circumstances, or even larger, e.g. the 12,000 Landknechts raised by Frundsberg in 1526 for his campaign in Italy. It was this flexibility which allowed them to be used in various battle conditions. Oberste (colonels) were given recruiting commissions by the Emperor to form regiments, with a lieutenant-colonel and various regimental staff, and units divided into Fähnleins (companies) with a Hauptmann (captain) in charge, as well as lieutenants and Fähnriche (ensigns). Other ranks included majors of the court-martial and officers in charge of camp followers.
The Tross were the camp followers or "baggage train" who traveled with each Landsknecht unit, carrying the military necessities, the food and the belongings of each soldier and his family. The Tross was made up of women, children and some craftsmen.
Landsknechte were trained in the use of the famous long pikes and used the pike square formations developed by the Swiss. The majority of Landsknechte would use pikes, but others, meant to provide tactical assistance to the pikemen, accordingly used different weapons. For example, an experienced Landsknecht could be designated a Doppelsöldner, an armoured soldier who served as the backbone for the formation and in addition to the pike as more recent recruits, they could also be alternatively employed wielding a 6-to-8-foot-long (1.8 to 2.4 m) halberd or partisan, or, more famously, a Zweihänder (literally: "Two-hander"), a two-handed sword as long as 180 cm (6 ft). These great war swords could be used to hack off the heads of enemy pikes; or more likely to knock the pikes aside, creating disorder among the tightly-arranged enemy pikemen in order to break through their lines. Other Doppelsöldner were armed with an early matchlock firearm called an arquebus or crossbow would lay ranged fire support by the flanks of the pike square.
However, the primary use of the two-handed sword would be to serve as the guard for the standard bearer, as it is a weapon that allows for a few to oppose many.[5] The Swiss adversaries to the Landsknechte had specifically prohibited the use of these swords during the late 15th century, as they deemed them unsuitable for the constricted manner of pike warfare, though they continued to use the shorter longswords into and throughout the 16th century. "Doppelsöldner" meant "double pay man", because they were paid double the wages of their less-experienced counterparts. Landsknechte also used Kriegsmesser longswords (German for War knife) a long curved sword clasped to the belt, the blade shown naked without a scabbard in some woodcuts from 1500–1520.
Design for a stained-glass window commemorating the Landsknecht Christoph von Eberstein, by Hans Holbein the Younger.
Other Landsknechte would use the arquebus, the precursor to the musket. When the Landsknechte were first formed, arquebusiers composed up to an eighth of the total number of soldiers, but the number gradually grew to be about a quarter.
The universal Landsknecht weapon was a short sword called a Katzbalger, carried in addition to the Landsknecht's main weapon. Indeed, the Katzbalger was seen as the very symbol of the Landsknecht, Swiss illustrators being careful to depict it to indicate that a mercenary was a Landsknecht rather than a Reisläufer.
Landsknechte were a very powerful force due to powerful weaponry. Landsknecht Paul Dolstein wrote of the siege of Älfsborg in July 1502, fighting for the King of Denmark: "We were 1800 Germans, and we were attacked by 15000 Swedish farmers ... we struck most of them dead".

TimpToms, Timbales

Modern marching bands and drum corps use multi-tenors, which consist of several single-headed tom-toms played by a single drummer. The bottoms of the shells are open and beveled to project the sound of the drum forward. Double-ply PET film heads are typically used for increased sound projection and durability. They are typically played with wooden- or aluminum-shafted mallets that have disc-shaped heads made of nylon. Mallets with felt or fleece heads, drum sticks, drum brushes, and other implements are occasionally used to achieve different timbres. The playing technique used for multi-tenors is somewhat different from that of a snare drum, and more like that of a timpani because the drumhead is struck closer to the edge instead of in the center. This creates a sound with more overtone, as opposed to striking the drumhead in the center, which produces a very short, dull sound with few overtones that is considered undesirable for multi-tenors.
A full-size set of tenors consists of 10, 12, 13, and 14-inch (360 mm) toms arranged in an arc, often with an additional one or two smaller (6 or 8-inch) toms called "gock", "spook", "shot", "spock", or "sprock" drums inside of the arc. Because a full-sized set of tenors with a carrier can exceed 55 pounds, smaller and lighter versions of tenors outfitted with 8, 10, 12, and 13-inch (330 mm) toms are often used by lines with smaller or younger players. All multi-tenors based on the four-drum configuration are called quads despite the fact that there may be a total of five or six drums counting the shot drums. Sets with one gock drum are called quints, and sets with two gock drums are called sextets,"squints", hexes, or sixpacks. To produce different sounds between gock drums with the same diameter, the head type, shell depth, and/or tuning between the two drums may vary. A common name for all multi-tenors is simply, 'Tenors'. Tenor drums have often been compared to the Latin percussion Timbales, as many musicians, including Tito Puente use a setup similar to modern marching tenors.
Lines of as few as 1 or 2 tenor drummers are common in high schools and junior high schools. Many large college marching bands have 5 or more. Most drum corps consider 4 or 5 tenors to be optimal.
Modern multi-tenors evolved from horizontally mounted dual single-headed bass drums first used by the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps in the late 1960s. Early multi-tenors had shells with a flat bottom. These drums sounded a lot like timpani, so they were called timp-toms. As drum sizes got smaller, more drums began to be added to multi-tenor configurations. The largest sets of multi-tenors had 7 drums and were carried by both the 1977 and 1992 Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps tenor lines.
Scottish pipe bands use a single tenor drum as part of their drum corps. Traditional marching bands and drum corps may also use single tenors, which are double-headed drums much like snare drums without snares. Some show bands such as those at historically black colleges and universities use both single tenors and multi-tenors.


The design of a musical instrument was next to his sound has always been the most important feature. Since the man had started about 30,000 years ago, cave walls to decorate and make-up, he decorated his weapons, everyday objects or musical instruments.

In ancient times it was all colorful. Temple had colored applications, all components were often colored statues were colored clothing or human skin they tried to imitate marble figures. Even instruments such as the Roman tympanum were painted in bright colors. The tradition of color in architecture and instrument continued in the Middle Ages.

Of the modern era to modern times, the focus shifted to the color of the ornamentation. However, drums have always had one or more colored hoops or colored decorated boiler or frames with intricate painted coat of arms and pictures.

Had Germany's oldest drum factory attention has always been on the individuality of the percussion instruments. This, of course, included a Vielfals of different designs for boilers and hoops. The designs were applied in complex manual work with stencils and brushes.

Since the turn of the millennium, the offer on boiler and tire design has also extended and now applies to other components of a drum or tambourine in the overall visual concept with a. These include clamping elements such as columns, lugs or bolts and eardrums.

The computer age then provided with adhesive films, the possibility of moving from expensive custom made to cheap mass production. With adhesive films, however, can be realized only insufficiently complex motives. Although printed labels solved the problem, but they changed the sound characteristics of boilers and especially the skins by the additional mass and the associated impairment of the vibration behavior and hence the sound.

Lefima now offers the option of a whole-area photo print of any kind of patterns, designs and texts directly on the skin or the drum shell. A pressure is substantially thinner than a section of the film or sticker, and vibration characteristics of boiler fur are practically unaffected. The pressure also has the ability to present complicated graphics or even photos into extraordinary brilliance. At the same time a printed drum design is to produce very low, resulting in a totally individual design of drums in their entirety, including all components of such a musical instrument is now possible.

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