Instruments 7 Posted on May 22, 2020 by Helen Smith There are different sorts of drums that can play in an orchestra The most common are the timpani. You usually get at least two timpani and they look like a giant metal bowl with a skin on top. Do you know their other name and how they are played?They are sometimes called ‘timps’ for short, but their other name is ‘kettledrum’. The timpani player sits on a chair and hits the timpani with a beater from above. Do you know what the largest drum in the orchestra is called and how it is played?It is the bass drum. The bass drum player stands up and hits the drum with a beater from the side.