Just like kit drummers, marching drummers use snare drums, toms and bass drums. The sizes of the drums are indicated in the same way. So a 14”x12” snare drum has a 14” drum head, and the shell is 12” deep. Shallow marching snare drums are available too, such as the Stagg 13” x 6”. A deeper drum shell makes the drum sound deeper.
You can carry a marching snare drum using a strap and a special leg rest that keeps the drum from bouncing against your leg. The strap often comes with the drum. The leg test is an option. As an alternative, the drum can be mounted on a special marching carrier that you hang from you shoulders.
Similar carriers are used for marching toms and tenor drums. Marching toms or timp toms have one drum head only. The front side of the shell is cut out. This makes the drums project better. Stagg makes a marching trio tom set with 8”, 10” and 12” toms mounted on a aluminium lightweight carrier.
Tenor drums are similar to the rack toms of a drumset, featuring a batter head (the top head) and a resonant head at the bottom. Tenor drums look like deep snare drums, but they don’t have snares.
Marching bass drums come in various sizes, from 18”x10” to a whopping 26”x12”. Larger drums allow for lower pitches. Many marching bands use bass drums in various sizes for melodic patterns.
Marching cymbals are used in pairs, just like hi-hat cymbals. You play them by holding a cymbal in each hand, hitting one cymbal with the other. This sounds a lot easier than it is!