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need some basic drum knowledge please

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by willop, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. willop


    Feb 7, 2013
    beaver, pa
    My son and some of his friends are 'getting a band together' and 'need a drummer'.

    Thinking if they had a drum kit of some kind here that would A) make gettting a drummer easier, and B) the kids would be here where I can keep an eye on them and C) i won't have run my son and his gear all over creation, have him leave it places, etc.

    Figure 'general rock' music.

    So what are good brands?
    How do the 'electronic' drum kits compare? (they take up a lot less space!) and look cool (which the kids would like I'm sure)
    For elec drums what amp do you need?
    Are they quieter (when needed)?
  2. a standard 4 in the pocket set of a 20 kick, 16 floor, 13 shell, and 14 by 5 snare will do nicely. A ride, a crash, and hi hats to fill out.

    Buying used is best. Good drum brands with good value are: DW's Pacific line, Tama, Mapex, and Yamaha.

    For beginning drummers definitely go with double ply heads.

    For cymbals the Sabian B8 package is hard to beat ;) and sound pretty decent.

    Electronic drums definitely have their advantages (controllable volume, lower weight, easier schlep) but unless you drop some coin they aren't as touch responsive and don't sound as good as even your lower end drums. Try for yourself and see how it sounds compared to the real thing.

    GC has a house brand full range amp for just under US$ 300 that's really nice, one of my local drummers uses it with very good results for his Roland V Drum set.

    Edit: if this is strictly for "in the house" usage you can go with a smaller set like an 18 kick, 14 floor, 10 or 12 tom and a 14 by 4 snare. But the sizes I listed above are also fine and can be gigged as well.
  3. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Electronic drums are wonderful for the beginning learning phase. Headphones are a godsend to parents and self-conscious students both.

    You will need a kit and an amp or PA to be heard in a band setting. A bass amp which you probably already have will work nicely in a pinch.

    As far as brands go. I'm not sure about electronic brands. Simmons was THE name in the 80's, but there's lots of options now

    As far as accoustic drums PDP and Yamaha are both excellent starter kits. IMO Even a cheap set like Percussion Plus (what I have) can sound great if properly tuned. Tuning drums is an artform and a must-learn skill for a drummer.

    Of course, with electronic kits, they always sound perfect, however You can't do the really good "finesse" techniques that the great drummers do.
  4. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    You're asking BASS PLAYERS this question? Might want to check out a drums forum.
    But, I agree with Nev375...get a starter kit of Roland V drums and save your sanity.
    If you're hoping to attract a drummer by providing the drums don't keep your hopes up for a kid that can actually play drums. I would think anyone who is a drummer would have a set of drums of his own.

    When my teenage son wanted to try drumming I borrowed an old kit from our drummer...he has 7 or 8 sets of drums. My son gave it a shot for about a year and moved on to something else, then I just returned the drums. Was glad I didn't end up with a set of drums to have to sell.
  5. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    One other thing I learned from hosting jam sessions where I provided the drums.

    Since they don't own them or have any responsibility to maintain them, most drummers consider it a license to hit as hard as they want. Be prepared to buy some new heads and sticks.

    I had to replace a bass drum head cause I think the kid was just testing to see if it was possible to break through the head with the pedal.
  6. DudeLeap


    Feb 11, 2013
    I had a practice kit for the drummers I played with seeing that my house was the practice spot and I had the same problem. Heads were super beat and neither of them wanted to replace them.
  7. I must be lucky, the drummers I work with treat my set like it's theirs. And when I play their sets I treat them like mine ;)
  8. First of all, you get the 'cool dad' award for even considering buying a drum set for your son's band.

    Second, I got a used Mapex kit on Ebay for my basement practice room, it was around $300 and it sounds fine.

    And finally, as others have said, you might want to warn the kids about bashing your drums. I went into a rehearsal studio once and there was a layer of wood splinters on the floor under the drum set, a stack of broken cymbals in the corner, and a broken bass drum head. Our drummer just stood there shaking his head, like he didn't know it was even possible to hit a bass drum hard enough to break it.
  9. willop


    Feb 7, 2013
    beaver, pa
    I can't see a parent the least bit interested in dragging their kids drums over here for a weekly jam session. I may be wrong...

    I've talked to a few parents that have told thier kids no on drums - sure, play guitar, oboe or even bagpipes - just PLEASE no drums! LOL

    So don't know if it will help them get a drummer or not- I know nothing about drums/drumming...saw a bit on youtube about keeping time and saw a wooten vid using the exact same technique. That, and drums are louder than hell.

  10. BryanM


    Dec 15, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    If you want a very affordable and very viable option for a drum set, scour used GC and used musicgoround for a Ludwig Accent CS kit (I got a set for around $70 myself a while back at the musicgoround in Monroeville) and drop the $45 or so to put a set of Evans Hydraulics heads on them.

    I'm not a huge fan of the Accent CS with most other heads and usually can't stand the Hydraulics heads, but the pair makes that $100 set sound like a $700-$1000 set easily. Pick up a used hi-hat, crash and ride at your local music go round, GC or even drum world in Castle Shannon, Zildjian ZBTs are cheap and tough, and sound alright to boot. Same goes for the aforementioend Sabian B8s, or even the XS20 line from Sabian. All in all you're probably looking at dropping about $300 to have a very suitable kit that would stand up to even reasonable levels of gigging.

    If you are willing to go a little bit higher priced and already have a PA system available for practicing, you might want to look at some of the mid level Yamaha DT sets or Roland V-Drums. Another trick that I've found is to keep your eyes open for lots of used electronic drum pads with the mesh heads on them. As for an electronic drum brain the Alesis DM5 is very versatile and actually has a pretty good sound quality for the price. A few years back you could pick one up for as little as $100 but a lot of people have gotten wise, so you might spend up to about $200-$250 for that brain.

    All told you could have a decent acoustic kit for about $300 or a decent electronic kit for about $500. It's also worth checking out pawn shops and cash for gold types of shops. A friend of mine just picked up a $4000 set of V Drums with an amp at a local pawn shop for $450 a few weeks ago.
  11. in smaller practice rooms my drummers use plexiglass shields and they really help tame the volume.

    Suspending sound absorbent baffles over the set from the ceiling helps, too. A couple of 2 by 4 foot thin plywood panels with some R11 insulation glued on, then cover/wrap with muslin drop cloths and you're good to go.
  12. dalahorse


    Apr 14, 2010
    So far, so good on the advice. I just want to chime in with... The new Simmons are NOT the original Simmons. Nothing to see there. Move along.
  13. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    ludwig accent combo, made in china, just add better heads as they break and better ride and crash if they keep playing
  14. Farfetched


    Jan 7, 2009
    How are the Gretsch Catalina club? I usually see the shell packs for around $500. Relate it to something bass like (Squire/MIM/MIA etc)
  15. another thing to keep the volume somewhat down is to use smaller sticks like 7A/B as well as those bundled sticks like Hot Rods.

    Then of course there's brushes but then they'd have to be into Philly Jo Jones, never to young to start :ninja: ;)
  16. Kentucky Ryan

    Kentucky Ryan

    Feb 12, 2012
    im a guitar player by trade but i have played drums in bands, and play bass in a band now. the drummer in my current band uses my old pearl import series (lower line). in my experience, and especially what you are wanting to use them for, any cheap drums will sound fine. a good set of heads will go a long way on some cheap drums. if you are looking for some good mid to low range cymbals i would go with zildjian zht's
  17. You can probably find a cheap set of Pearls or Ludwigs second-hand - much better value than buying some cheap, nasty set new (especially if you end up selling them down the track). If you can find a an old Gretsch set going cheap, buy them!
  18. Charley Umbria

    Charley Umbria I'm Really a Drummer Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Rock City, TN
    Lots of good advice above. I'd avoid going the electronic route for two reasons. First, you'll need to buy a good amp or P.A. to keep up with the rest of the band. Electronic drums need a full-range system that can handle everything from bass drums to splash cymbals, plus the high-end transients from snare drums, etc. Most guitar or bass amps and cabs aren't suited to this kind of work. A keyboard combo, like a Roland, works well, but they're not cheap. Also, putting the drummer through the P.A. is never a good idea, unless the mixing board is well out of his reach... Second, electronic drums aren't nearly as durable as acoustic kits. Most of their mounting hardware is lightweight aluminum and the pads themselves aren't designed for abuse (i.e. they are not the best drums for metal!).

    As with basses, used drum kits can be a great bargain, and that's what I'd recommend. As a general rule of thumb, maple and birch shells are used in higher-end drums. Mahogany, basswood, beech, and "select hardwoods" are used in lower-end kits. There are some exceptions, but, for a novice shopper, shell material is a good place to start. Used kits may also come with extra hardware (stands, drum throne, mounting clamps), that wouldn't have originally been sold as part of the set. This can save you some big bucks. The last time I was in our local Sam Ash, they had some screamingly good deals on used drums. GC has some, but the prices aren't that great. If you've got a good local drum shop (not GC!), stop in and tell them what you're looking for. They can probably steer you in the right direction and may even have a bulletin board with "for sale" notices. Older professional-grade Ludwig and Premier kits are often under-appreciated and, consequently, under-priced!

    When buying a used kit, make sure that anything that has a visible thread, wing nut, or T-handle turns freely. If you really wanna look like a pro, bring your own drum key. If the seller doesn't know what it is...walk away! Look inside the drum for cracks or splitting in the wood. If you have time, take off both heads and make sure that the bearing edges (the rims of the drum shell, where the heads sit) are cut cleanly. The wood at the edge of the shell may be cut to a sharp or rounded profile, but it shouldn't be uneven or have dents. The metal rims/hoops on the drums should be perfectly round and rest flat on a flat surface (such as a countertop). If you set the rim down on a flat counter and it rocks back and forth, that's bad!

    Cymbals are pretty easy. They shouldn't be cracked and the center hole should be round, not a keyhole shape. Heavier cymbals may last longer than thin ones, but it's really more a matter of how you hit the cymbal than how thick it is. Almost anything by Zildjian, Sabian, or Paiste should be fine for beginners. As far as drum heads go, Emperor or Pinstripe heads from Remo are durable, two-ply heads that also sound good for most rock music. Any brand-name medium-weight clear head will work on the bottom side. Beginner and semi-pro drum sets often come with mediocre heads. Putting a good set of heads on any new or used kit can make a huge difference.

    If you're going to get a new student or semi-pro kit, Premier, PDP, Gretsch, Tama, and Pearl all make some good stuff. I've listed them in my order of preference. However, I may be biased when it comes to Premier... :D


    Almost every company imports a crap Chinese or Taiwanese kit and then puts their name on it. As with basses "Line Name by Big Brand Name" (i.e. Maxwin by Pearl Drums) is usually a bad sign. Try stay away from these, and go at least one more rung up the ladder. You should be able to find something you like. I've been playing and gigging as drummer for about 35 years. If want any more suggestions, feel free to post or send me a PM.

    One last thing (and you probably already know this...): in the wrong hands, drums can be insanely, dangerously loud. You probably can't control all of the kids who come over, but if you're going to lock your son in the basement with hormone-addled, teenage Dave Grohl wannabees, please protect his hearing. The SureFire EP3 or EP4 Sonic Defender earplugs are super comfortable, damn near invisible (cool factor!), last forever, sound decent, and cost less than fifteen bucks. :bassist:
  19. willop


    Feb 7, 2013
    beaver, pa
    Great advice- thanks!!!