There is this unexplainable joy drummer gets when buying a new drum kit. One such reason is the fact they will get the chance to explore new sounds and hopefully get more inspiration to create new amazing beats. In all this excitement, drummers can lose focus on what important and get a drum kit that doesn’t give them their desired sound or one that doesn’t suit their style of play.
This article is written to address this issue, here is a guide for buying a new drum kit, be it your first or just one of the numerous ones you have gotten, this guide will help make the right choice. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself, and they are listed below
The Factors You Should Consider When Buying a New Drum Kit:
The Kind Of Drum Kit You Need:
Some years back, this won’t have been an option because only the acoustic drums existed, but now the electronic drums have come into the limelight, and it has gained popularity among drummers and drum lovers. So when buying a new drum kit, you have to make this first choice, what do you want? An acoustic drum kit or an electronic drum kit.
They both have their pros and cons, and you have to make a decision on which you want. One thing I would advise is if you are a beginner, you should go for acoustic drums.
Let’s talk about the acoustic drums for now
What Kind Of Drum Piece You Should Consider When Buying a New Drum Kit:
After deciding to get an acoustic drum kit, there is the option of the drum kit piece that you will need. Drum kits vary from a two-piece kit of just the snare and the bass drum to a nine-piece set, all depending on what you are looking for in the drum kit. The most recommended of all this is the 5-piece set because it contains all the pieces you normally would need in the drums. It is not as complicated as the others, and it is very popular among drummers.
A 5-piece drum kit contains a kick drum, the snare drum, and three toms, which include two rack toms and one-floor tom, although some drum makers don’t give put cymbals with their 5-piece especially when buying the shell packs. If you buy the complete set, you should have some cymbals one hi-hat, a ride cymbal, and crash cymbals will give you what you need in most drums, this is a solid set.
You can easily master the basics, the styles, and rudiments you want to, but this is just my opinion if you want bigger or smaller drum kit you should go for it, it also depends on the genres you are playing as rock, metal or contemporary are well suited for drum set with more piece, while jazz or blues is well suited for smaller number drum pieces.
Type of drum shell:
The kind of wood your drum shell is made from really matter when buying a new drum kit because it could dictate the kind of sound your drum will make when you start playing it. The different woods used for the different shells have their different unique sound qualities. Let’s examine some of the popular ones.
- Maple: Maple wood is the most popular wood used for making drum shells, and it gives the drum a smooth and warm tone. It has slightly boosted the tone lows and its mid and high frequencies. This is an all-purpose drum shell kind of wood.
- Birch: Birch is also a popular kind of wood used for making drum shells. It is more dense and tough, and it adds qualities like boosted high frequency, darker tones, and a thick low-end punch to your drum sound. It is also known for its great attack. Due to its very dense nature, it creates loud, hard bright sounds, and this kind of drum shell wood highly recommended for the recording session.
- Mahogany: Mahogany is another popular wood type for the drum shells. It creates sounds is just like that of the maple, but it adds a warmer sound than the maple.
These are the major three drum wood shells used, there are more (1), like the poplar, which is a low-cost alternative to maple and birch, basswood, oak, lauan wood, falkata, ash, etc. There are more than 3000 species of timber from which drum shells can be created.
Each has their different unique properties they add to the drum sound produced. It is good you understand and know the type of sound you want to produce so that you can select the best kind of wood for that purpose. But if you are not sure about this yet, you can go for maple wood shells drum because it is excellent for all music styles.
Kind Of Drum Hardware You Need:
The drums don’t make up the drum kit alone. Most times when buying a new drum kit, the drum hardware is one of the overlooked areas of the drum kit. You should know if you buy a shell pack, you won’t get drum hardware, but if you purchase the complete drum kit, you will get the essential hardware like the bass drum pedal, drum throne, snare stand, hi-hat stand, and one or more cymbals stands and cymbals. Note this will differ from brand to brand and also the number of drum piece you are purchasing.
Buying a complete drum kit is a very good option for drummers on a budget, as it will save you more money. On the other way around if you are not on a budget, you could go for a shell pack and get the hardware separately. This is a good option because it allows you to select the best kinds available.
- For the bass drum pedal, there is a wide range of different brands and types to select. You could get the simple single pedals or the more sophisticated double pedals bass drum pedal that’s perfect for the fast beat players. It also comes with different configurations available, so the kind of kit you pick will depend on your style of play.
- For the cymbals, even if you get a complete set there is still a huge chance you will get a new set of cymbals later, there is a review on cymbals on this site be sure to check them out (add a link to the article on drum cymbals reviews). Most drum sets don’t come with cymbals set, and when they do, it is of low quality. So, you have to find the kind of cymbals that would work well for your style of music. There are at least four types of cymbals, the ride cymbals, crash cymbals, splash, and china cymbals. Cymbals create unique sounds and add colour to your drum playing. You should know a good cymbal will get better with age except when it breaks. There are the sheet cymbals and cast cymbals; the one you get should be the one that suits your style. For example, jazz players would prefer a thicker complex cymbals sound while rock drummers would prefer a bright, loud cymbals sound. There is a lot of different cymbals brands that produce very good cymbals, some like Zildjian, Paiste, Sabian, and a lot of others.
- For the rest of the hardware like the drum rack, hi-hat stand, snare stand, drum throne, and others, you could get a good one. Getting a well-designed one, watching out for its durability too.
5. Selecting The Right Size Of Drums When Buying a New Drum Kit:
You should know the right size of the drum kit you need when buying a new drum kit, for example, if you are going for a 5-piece drum kit or any piece you pick, they come in different sizes like rock, fusion or hybrid. For the rock drum size, it has the biggest bass drum with a diameter of 22-inch, with toms of 12, 13 up to 16 inches in diameter, with a 14-inch snare drum. For the fusion, it is smaller as the bass drum is down to 20 inches and its larger tom the floor tom is down to 14-inches and a 14-inch snare drum.
The hybrid drum is a mixture of rock and fusion drums sizes. It is widely recommended to get the fusion drum size while if you want a bigger size, you should go for the hybrid drum size. There is a preference for the fusion because it is compact and can be arranged to be closer to you. It also maintains a very good tuning range, and its smaller size gives the toms a more shallow sound. it can be used by younger and older drummers of different sizes.
Other Essentials Things:
There are other things to check out when buying a new drum kit, things like the drum heads. Most drum kits don’t come with very good drum heads, and even when they do you will surely change it after some time check out the article on drum head reviews here. You should check for other additional add-ons like the drum bags, drum sticks, brushes, etc.
Getting your acoustic drum kit is a very interesting process, and one thing you should have in mind is when buying a complete drum kit most of the add-ons will be of low quality, so don’t be surprised when you might need to change some of them, also the last point is to pick a drum with lovely aesthetics that you will be sure you will like.
Apart from looking at the performance, your drum should look good and attractive to you.
Let’s Go Into The Electronic Drum
When it comes to the election drum kit there are not a lot of things to consider like the acoustic drums, the electronic drum set has a lot of advantages and disadvantages. You can do a nearly inaudible rehearsal by just plugging in your headphones. It takes less space, you can tweak the sounds you hear directly from your drum module, from your drum module you can trigger different kinds of drum and percussion sound and you can easily mix your sound.
Electronic drums make use of mesh heads to trigger most of the sounds from the drum module. Electronic drums will need to be connected to a sound system to make audible sounds, except you, prefer to connect headphones. You would also need an electronic drum monitor speaker and amplifier you should check out our guide on getting electronic drums here.
Acoustic VS Electronic Drums
When buying a drum, you have to be very clear what you plan on using it for and answer questions such as – Is it for playing at home or will you have it in a rehearsal room? Are you going to take it to your concerts? Will you use it for recordings? Do you want it to have a variety of sounds?
Differences between acoustic and electronic drums
One of the first aspects to consider is the volume of the instrument. If you plan on playing it at home, unless you have a spacious and very well soundproofed space, have no neighbours or you happen to you live with people that are more accepting of a drum sounds (and appreciate you very much), your only option will be to buy an electronic drum kit.
With it, you can regulate the volume and connect some headphones to it, helping you ensure that you do not disturb anyone.
You can always have an acoustic drum set in a rehearsal room, but of course, you will have to go there every time you want to play.
Keep in mind that the pads of electric batteries can be rubber or mesh, but in any case, they are much quieter than acoustic batteries. In addition, another important aspect is the vibrations that we can make with the bass drum pedal: while with an acoustic drum pedal, we can disturb the neighbours below (if any), there are electronic drum pedals without “beater” that help to prevent that from happening.
Another very important issue is the size of the instrument and its portability. Acoustic drums are large, rough, and take up a lot of space, both when using and transporting them. On the other hand, the electronic ones are more discreet and can be disassembled and collected to facilitate manoeuvrability. Also, they are lighter.
And that’s not all. Electronic drums can incorporate a wide variety of sounds and are easier to record since most of them have USB or MIDI cables so you can connect them to your computer and thus record quickly and easily.
Which to Choose?
That said, it would seem clear that the logical and rational option would be to buy an electronic drum, right? Well, it’s not so clear. Electronic drums have been improving and trying for years to get closer to the “real” sound that comes from an acoustic drum. But they are still not an acoustic drummer.
It will be for sound, for aesthetics, for the feeling when playing, for tradition … there are many reasons why acoustic drums, in general, like more. In fact, we were able to verify it ourselves in a survey on our Instagram account in which we asked our followers if they preferred to buy an acoustic drum or an electronic… and 74% voted for an acoustic drum!
The ideal scenario, although not all of us can afford it, would be to have one of each: electronics to play at home and recordings, and acoustics to rehearse in a venue, alone or with your group, and for concerts. Although there are also some high-end electronic batteries that have a high-quality sound, their price is usually very high, such as the Roland TD-30KV or TD-50KV.