Buying your first drum set is an incredibly exciting time for any aspiring musician.
Whether you’re trying to channel that inner rhythm that causes you to tap and bang on your closest surroundings, or you’re looking to start your child on the drums early, you’ve come to the right place!
Owning drumming gear is a wonderful investment that allows you to tap your musical potential (pun intended).
However, if you’ve never owned a drum set before, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before buying to make sure you have all the equipment needed to rock out.
So scoot right on up and take a seat on the throne (yes, that’s what we call the seat!)—because we’re going to walk you through everything you need to consider before buying your first drum kit.
1. What’s included in a Drum Set? And How Many Pieces do You Need?
The first thing to consider when buying a drum set is how many pieces you need. Depending on your level of expertise and your budget, starting small and keeping it simple might be the best option for novice drummers.
Most beginner drum sets are sold as 5-piece or 6-piece kits. The number of “pieces” refers to the number of core drums included in the bundle. For example, if you have a snare, a bass, and three toms, this would add up to a 5-piece set.
When shopping, it is important to consider how many core drums you’ll want to start out with, as well as any cymbals and other percussion add-ons you’d like to purchase.
Most inclusive packages will come with a few basic cymbals, like a high-hat and a crash/ride cymbal. However, if you’re not buying an inclusive package you’ll need to choose your own cymbals and necessary hardware.
The great thing about drum kits is that you can start small with the basics and add onto your set with more fancy bells and whistles once you get into the groove.
2. What Size Drums Do You Need?
Depending on your space limitations and who will be playing the drums, you may be better off purchasing your set in a specific size. One of the most popular sizes is referred to as “rock” sets. These are a bit larger but they produce a beautiful sound that is deep and balanced.
Fusion and Hybrid size sets are also becoming increasingly popular because they take up much less space.
If you’re buying a set for a little drummer, a Junior set may be the perfect option. These are much smaller and more compact, perfect for young musicians looking to rock out. The bass on a Junior set is usually 16” with 8” and 10” tomes.
The size of your throne is also very important and can make a huge difference when practicing for long periods of time. In fact, some consider it the most valuable investment, which is why it is essential to get an appropriately sized throne that can support proper posture and comfortable playing.
3. Things to Consider when Buying Shell Sets
In addition to all-inclusive kits, some manufacturers also sell what is known as “shell sets”. These sets basically include your drums, the holders, and that’s it. Shell sets do not include any additional hardware or cymbals, so you will need to purchase these separately.
If you purchase a shell set, make sure you also looking into purchasing the following:
● A hardware set, including a high-hat stand
● A cymbal pack with stands
● A snare stand
● A bass pedal
● A throne
Shell sets can be great if you want to customize your kit as much as possible with the right instruments/tools you need. However, if you’re just looking for the basics, an all-inclusive set might be better suited for your needs.
4. What’s Your Sound?
When buying your first kit, you really want the music to be able to resonate with your soul. For this reason, it is important to consider what sound you’re going for so that you can choose the right material to achieve that beat.
The type of wood used in an acoustic drum, for example, can impact the way the instrument sounds. Below we’ve outlined some of the characteristics of the most popular woods.
Maple: stronger lows that resonate and create bright/warm tones.
Birch: strong high frequencies and low-end punch. Ideal for dark tones.
Mahogany: very rich low-end frequencies.
The size will also have an impact on the sound.
5. Additional Add Ons
In addition to the drum set itself, there are a few vital add ons that you’ll need if you want to be a happy drummer. For example, many kits don’t come with drumsticks (surprising, we know!)
Other useful items include:
● music stands
● amps (if you have any electric drums)
● soft-bag cases for transporting your instruments
● ton rings
● dampening pads
For more worthwhile addition, check out our accessories and hardware section here.
Choosing a Drum Set That Will Grow With You
One of the greatest things about drum sets and that you can continue to add on to them and change out the pieces as you grow. While it might be tempting to start out with a rock and roll size drum kit, investing in high-quality basics first can give you all the tools you need to master the basics and find your rhythm.
At Drum Center, we pride ourselves on helping our customers create their dream set-up. We can pair you with the right kits for your needs so that you can start rocking out in no time.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, we have a wide selection of drum sets from some of the top manufacturers on the market.
Browse our selection of drum sets today to find one that resonates with you!