Generally when people think of drum sets they think of the classic image of a set on the back of the stage with the band’s logo on the bass drum. These sets usually include a snare drum, cymbals, a bass drum, and toms. Other drum sets will include additional percussion instruments such as the cow bell. Used in various combinations, this set is capable of producing a wide variety of sounds.
Drums sets are a vital component of most popular music. Generally (though of course not always) the percussive, rhythmic feel of a song comes right from the drum set. Drummers may not always get the same attention as other band members, but they are essential to making a song work. They establish patterns and keep time. Further, a talented, well practiced drummer can be just as impressive to watch and listen to as any guitar player.
The drum sets described above are called acoustic sets. There are also electronic drum sets available. In these, the sound is generated electronically rather than within the drum itself. Often electronic drum sets just a simple pad. These are useful because you can practice in a small space such as an apartment without making a great deal of noise.