How do you prefer to see drum sizes represented?
Shell depth x head size (5" x 14") 1
Head size x shell depth (14" x 5") 11
Total Votes: 12
You must be a logged-in member to vote

New Poll: Drum Dimension Controversy

Posted: December 21, 2010 03:09 PM

Andy Doerschuk_1

  • Sr. Member RankRankRankRank
  • Total Posts: 312
  • Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008

A number of years ago we asked our readers to straighten out a discrepancy that continues to baffle drummers to this day. It’s the way drum companies represent the sizes of their instruments. Some list the shell depth first and the head size second, while others do just the opposite (i.e. 5” x 14” vs. 14” x 5”). We heard back from a surprising number of you, and the outcome was that our readers prefer to see the head size listed first. We have followed your instructions ever since, even though we still have to take some heat from certain drum purists because of it. Just wondering ... do you still agree with that decision? Or would you prefer for us to reverse the dimensions again?


Andy Doerschuk
Editorial director, drummagazine.com

Posted: December 25, 2010 09:37 AM


  • Newbie Rank
  • Total Posts: 9
  • Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2010

For me; first head size and then shell depth works best. I don’t know, maybe it’s because i’m dutch and we use a different metric systeem, centimeters instead of inches to determine the size or depth, or lenght for that matter.
I know what size of toms and basses i want on my next kit (when able to buy one grin ), i only have to think and decide about the depth. That’s still a tough decision to make, but i have some time to think it over, more time than money.
But maybe in the end it’s not a very big deal, if all the drum fabricating companies would use the same system, then all i have to do is get used to whatever they will decide.
Head size - shell depth is what i know now, shell depth - head size, i need to keep in the back of my mind when i will buy a new kit.

Posted: January 14, 2011 03:39 PM


  • Newbie Rank
  • Total Posts: 22
  • Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2010

Yes, the head size should come first.  We refer to our drums that way.  I have a 14” snare, a 12” tom, a 14” tom and an 18” bass drum.  Peace and goodwill.


Mark Wellman ><>

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Posted: January 18, 2011 03:47 PM


  • Newbie Rank
  • Total Posts: 16
  • Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2010

Probably best to leave the status quo. I never was able to wrap my head around depth first, but that is predominant in drum sizing. No point in confusing the issue.