How to Buy A Starter Drum Set
OK now you know what to look for and what elements you need to buy what next for your starter drum set?
Not got time to read the detailed buyers guide? Can’t wait to get out the door and go purchase that new kit? Then read on for quick tips below for buying a starter drum set NOW!
Set your budget and stick to it – $200 – $600 should be plenty.
Judge the kits by sound not brand. Each kit has its own unique voice.
Play the kit you want to buy. Give it a good test drive.
Look for a package deal – You’ll get everything you need plus a good music store will throw in extras such as sticks…..
If your not going for a package deal don’t forget to budget for – Hardware / Cymbals (go for a package set) / Throne / Bass Drum Pedal / Sticks.
Don’t be afraid to haggle most music shops expect this. I used to teach drums in a music store and the mark up was massive on some stuff. They can afford to drop their price!!!!!!
If it’s not right for you WALK AWAY
Well before you burn a whole in a hole in your pocket with your stash of cash you should read this section on ‘How To Buy A Beginner Drum Set’.
Buying a drum kit can be a daunting task and you can often end up spending more than you need and more importantly buying stuff you don’t.
Step One …
Before you go out and buy that drum set you’ve been eying up make sure you are ready to take the plunge. It might seem obvious but many people buy a drum kit without having a taster lesson or even getting on a kit and learning at least a groove or two.
It might seem obvious but if you’ve never played a drum kit or even picked up a set of sticks you could be dropping that cash and ultimately wasting your money. If you can’t play a drum kit at all the danger is you’ll become frustrated and lose interest fast. Which would be a massive shame; so go find a School, College, rehearsal studio or mate that has a drum kit and give it a bash. Better still get yourself down the local drum dealer to eye a few drum sets and give a couple a go! When you are ready go out and off load that cash that’s been burning through your pocket!
Pearl P2002C Eliminator Double Bass Drum Pedal – Buy this when you’ve master playing with just one!!
Step Two …
So I’m in the music store what now?
Firstly don’t buy the first kit you see or the one that is in your favorite colour.
Set a budget and stick to it. For you first kit you should be spending no more than $200-$500
Find a few kits you like that are within your budget and TRY THEM!!!!! It’s so easy to be intimidated by music store staff but they are usually lovely people only too happy to help and even give you some cool tips that they pick up from others!
Judge the kit by its sound not the brand name. Some ‘cheap drum kits’ can and do sometimes sound better than one twice its price. So don’t be wooed by that brand name. As long as the drum kit is tuned well and the tones are pleasant then you’re on to a winner.
LOOK FOR PACKAGE DEALS – This is by far the best option because you get the beginner drum set including stands, cymbals, stool, kick drum pedal etc etc. Often with these deal you get a good choice and the flexibility to add if you want to. For example adding another cymbal. These deals also are good for bargaining as the music shop often buys in bulk from the manufacturer enabling them to mark up expecting you to bring them back down. Or and better in some cases they offer to throw in a freebies such as drum set sticks, stick bag, drum cases etc. So don’t be afraid to barter.
If you are buying a five piece kit and cymbals separately make sure for your first set of cymbals is a package set. There are many good brands out there offering deals so my advice would be shop around and see what’s out there. Just make sure the set includes Hi-Hat, Ride and Crash although this is standard for most package beginner drum sets.
I’d rather buy on EBAY or buy my mates used drum kit down the road?
If you are looking to buy a used drum kit follow these quick tips. Firstly if you are patient and willing to shop around you can sometimes end up with a higher priced quality kit for the same price as a starter drum set. Here are a few things to look out for.
Firstly and as above TRY IT OUT AND JUDGE THE DRUM KIT BY ITS SOUND QUALITY! Obviously if you are buying from Ebay this is an impossibility, so I would Google user reviews it will give you an idea at least as to how the kit sounds and plays.
Make sure no drum set parts especially the tuning lugs and tension rods are missing.
Make sure both top and bottom drum skins are in good condition. Although you may need to purchase a new set of drum heads which can be expensive ($100+) you will get some idea as to the kind of abuse the kit has gone through based on the condition of the skins.
Check the hardware is in good condition and sufficiently sturdy. Also check all moving parts and that all locking mechanisms are in good condition.
Check the finish still looks fresh and is blemish free.
In this case buying a brand name will serve you well. The reason being you get more for your money, the quality of workmanship is usually higher and YOUR re-sale value will remain in tact.
This may seem like a dumb thing to say but try to find out a bit about the person you are buying from. If they are an experienced mature drummer chances are the kit has been looked after and you in for a real bargain. On the other hand they may own an overly gigged drum kit in need of some real maintenance. Only you can be the judge.
Always remember your the one with the money and if it don’t fit……..DON”T BUY IT!