What to consider when choosing your first drum kit
The drums are the literally beating heart of the band, so you want to make sure your new kit is fit for purpose.
If this is your first kit you definitely don’t need to run out and buy the biggest most expensive kit as there are lots of bits you won’t even know how to use yet. you want to start off with a standard kit and add it to the kit as you progress.
BEGINNER DRUM KIT
Drum Kits are pretty versatile and can be customised to suit the person who will be using it. Your first drum kit will be pared down and simplistic to start with but as you develop your drumming skills you will be able to add to your kit.
If your kit is for a child you can buy an inexpensive junior kit that will have pretty much everything with it, that being said you may want to upgrade the crash and ride cymbals as they are sometimes not the best quality.
If you are buying a drum kit for an older learner you can sometimes get everything you need in one package but most of the time you will buy a kit with the main drums (shells) but then have to purchase the cymbals and such separately.
Any drum kit whether it is junior or standard size should consist of cymbal stands and cymbals, drum stool, bass pedal, then the drum shells, hi-tom, mid-tom, low-tom, bass, and snare.
DRUM KITS FOR KIDS
It’s always best to get your little drummers to try out a kit before you buy to decide if they need a junior kit or a standard size especially if they are around 11 years old. if your child is starting out very young ( between 5 & 8 years old )Its a safe bet that a junior kit will be needed as these are scaled down so that younger drummers can reach the pedals and comfortably ready the cymbals and drums.
Here are a few manufactures to consider when buying your child’s first kit.
• Gammon Percussion
• GP Percussion
BEST BEGINNER DRUM KITS FOR TWEENS/ADULTS
There are plenty of different makes and models of adult drum kits that are cheap to buy for a tween/adult beginner
Here are a few manufactures and models to consider when buying an adult kit.
• Gretsch Catalina Club
• Ludwig Breakbeats
• Pearl Export EXX
BUYING DRUM KITS ONLINE
If you’re shopping online, be sure to read the list of what’s included. Some of these sets have more in the online photo than actually ships with the set.
1. As with most things you purchase the price you pay is generally a good indication as to its quality.
2. Lower priced models will probably require you to upgrade the hardware (cymbals and stands) sooner rather than later depending on how dedicated the drummer is, this being said the shells will be perfectly adequate for quite some time.
3. Take a closer look at the hardware, when browsing online make sure you can see that each of the legs three on the cymbal stands are made up of two pieces of metal. If you can only see one piece of metal they probably won’t last too long.
4. You can get pretty inexpensive hardware and cymbal bundles just make sure you look out for those legs though.
BUYING DRUM KITS IN PERSON
We totally understand that you might want to surprise your child with a drum kit on their birthday or Christmas but if they are at that tween stage it might be best to go and try a few kits out first, you need to make sure your drummer can reach everything.
If you or your child are a beginner and you can’t decide between kits there will be very obliging staff on hand who will be able to give you a demo at full force so you can hear the sound quality of each drum kit.
When you make your decision make sure you ask the sales assistant if you getting a brand new kit already boxed up or the kit in the showroom, if it is the kit already in the showroom check it over for scratches or damage.
Needless to say, a drum kit takes up quite a bit of space, make sure you have transportation big enough when you collect and unless you’re already planning your first gig you won’t need to buy drum cases just yet.
Choosing your first Drum Kit can be daunting, if you need any additional advice please give us a call!
NEW VS. USED DRUM KITS
A used drum kit will offer big savings but its very hard to know if that kit will be right for you or your child without a bit of expert guidance, plus if you get it home and there is a problem with it you are not going to get after-sales support or warranties like with a new kit.
TYPES OF DRUM KITS
As far as colours, sizes, and hardware there are many different configurations but in respect of types of drums, there is only two options. Electronic drum kits that allow you to produce a wide range of sounds and an acoustic drum kit, a fusion drum kit, and a standard drum kit.
Standard kits have larger tom diameters which is perfect for rock music as they produce big sound, Fusion kits are good for all genres of much but produce sharper punchier tones. Acoustic drums whether its standard of fusion are easy to set up, they are made using wood and metal and give an authentic sound, but be warned can be very loud.
Electric drum kits are ideal if you haven’t got somewhere out of the way to play as loud as want., they have built-in headphones socket and use rubber heads that dampen the external sound.
BEST WOOD FOR YOUR DRUM KITS
Believe it or not, the type of wood your acoustic drum kit is made of can affect the sound it produces. You don’t normally see the wood as the drums are usually wrapped in vinyl as this protects the wood.
Birchwood will produce a loud and balanced sound great for recording music,
Bubinga wood will give you punchy notes and a mid-range sound.
Maple wood offers highly versatile sound with warm and bright tones and
Mahogany is pretty rare but will provide warm and dark tones.
Cheaper woods such as poplar are used on more inexpensive makes and models, it can be difficult to determine the sound they will individually produce.
MAKING AN ACOUSTIC DRUM KIT QUIETER
There are various silencers available, these can be placed over the drum head or cymbals to dampen the sound particularly useful if you live in a smaller home or let’s face it if your kids just started to learn and it’s not sounding quite like a song yet. Here are a few options but you can always ask your drum teacher or music shop assistant.
Drum Mutes are neoprene rubber pads that are placed directly on top of the drum head or cymbals, it does alter the feel slightly but is a quick solution to a noisy problem.
Damper pads or moon gel are gel pads that stick to the drum head and absorb some of the vibrations
Mesh drum heads can be purchased to replace the original drum heads. They were originally created for electric drum kits but work really well with acoustic kits and don’t alter the feel when playing.
We hope you’ve found our guide on choosing your first Drum Kit useful, be sure to speak to our music tutors if you want any more pointers.