Buying Your First Drum Kit


Buying a new drum kit might be too overwhelming for the beginner. After all, you’re not just buying one piece (i.e., an acoustic guitar, a saxophone, etc.); rather, you’re about to buy an assortment of drums and cymbals. With different brands and various prices to choose from, you might find yourself a bit confused when you arrive at the music shop. This said, here’s a drum lesson for the first-time consumers.

I’m Ready… and so is my Wallet

Let’s start with the most important aspect of buying a drum kit: the budget. First of all, it’s best that you spend as little as possible. After all, you’ve just enrolled for a drum lesson program. This said, don’t buy the biggest, best sounding drum set available at your music shop. They’re expensive; plus, they might be too advanced for you. Rather, set your budget for a drum kit that’s worth around $300 to $600.

Now you might say: “Hey, I’ve got the money anyway; might as well spend it.” If you’re a beginner, there’s a huge chance that you’d be wasting your cash. See, if you get the best sounding drum kit and then you assume that your playing will improve then you’re definitely wrong. Though you will eventually improve with practice, playing a cheaper starter kit would make you more eager to make your sound as good as possible (since you strive to play better).

Wait, There’s no Cymbals!

A lot of beginners might get shocked upon knowing that a typical starter drum set doesn’t come with cymbals. This is because drum manufacturers generally do not construct cymbals (and vice versa). But then again, a drum set wouldn’t be complete without its own set of cymbals. With that in mind, a good set of cymbals would typically include a 20″ride cymbal, a 16″ crash cymbal and a couple of 14″ high hat cymbals.

If you’re just starting out, you can buy a combination ride/crash cymbal, separate it into two, and use these as distinct cymbals. Though it may save you a bit of cash, eventually you’ll want to get a separate set of crash and ride cymbals as you progress. If you’re buying second-hand cymbals, however, be sure to inspect it for cracks. Look around its edges for splits as well. Again, budget wisely; don’t spend over $200 on beginner cymbals.

What Piece?

If you find yourself with a really tight budget, don’t worry if you can only afford a four piece drum kit. Look at it this way: the fewer the pieces the better. See, too many drums might be too much of a temptation for you. During a drum lesson, you’d feel that you’re compelled to play with your extra toms, cowbells, and octobans-instead of focusing on the fundamentals. Don’t worry if you only have a basic drum kit, you can add more equipment later.

Asking for a Little Help

Lastly, it’s not bad if you ask for some help when you’re shopping. If you have a friend who already owns a drum kit, be sure to ask him (or her) to help you with inspecting, shopping, and even negotiating for your new drum kit. If you can, you can also ask for your drum instructor for some help and advice. After all, a drum set is something you wouldn’t want to waste your hard-earned money on.


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