A Rototom is a frame drum without a wide frame ("drum shell", "snare shell"). In its place there is a skin support ring made of cast aluminum or plastic. It is centrally and rotatably mounted, whereby it moves towards or away from the skin tension ring by rotating against a second cast hoop. He presses more or less strongly the - mostly multilayer - plastic skin against the tension ring. Turning the head support ring-head-head tension ring unit changes the head tension and thus the pitch over a wide range. Even small rotations result in a significant change in pitch, which is also possible while playing and therefore with the skin vibrating. This results in glissando effects that are reminiscent of the West African talking drum . The Rototom is played with drum sticks .
Because of the open construction, a Rototom sounds purer and quieter than a normal Tomtom , which is why it is usually used as a set of three to an existing drum set . Drum kits that only consist of rototoms are rare. Rototoms are originally a development by the fur manufacturer Remo .