Should you buy your kids good gear?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Max, Jun 4, 2002.

  1. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    This is a question both for the parents out there and those of you who are "kid" musicians at home. All three of my kids are playing instruments with varying degrees of success. To start with, they pretty much get beginner grade instruments. My 12 year old son, however, has tons of raw talent and is getting very good on the drums. His teacher tells me he's the best of his students at his age and has him in a high school drum camp this summer. He has an old thrashed Slingerland kit I got off of the Recycler. We are not a family where they have rooms full of tvs, video games, computers or a garage full of ATVs. I am inclined, however, if he shows the dedication, keeps his grades up ("A" student) to get him something nice. I know there is a school of thought that says they need to work for it and wait til he's a grown-up and can buy his own. So I don't know, what do you think?
  2. Meet him halfway--offer to pay 50% of the cost of a good drumset. That way, he'll have to work toward it a good long while, but you'll be able to support him as well.

    My folks started me on a MIM Jazz and a Carvin 1x10 combo; all of my other gear purchases have been self-financed (and boy howdy, I have expensive tastes in amplification equipment, as my profile shows). They certainly could have been spending loads of money on gear for me--they bought a grand piano for $17k which gets played a couple hours a week--but I'd rather have ownership of my stuff.

    There was a big, long, heated thread about this a few months back, FWIW.
  3. Listen


    May 19, 2002
    That's what I did when I started out, worked fine for me
  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Yes, I agree with Peter. That sounds like a good idea.

    The thing is when buying a beginner an instrument, you don't want to go to expensive, cause they might give it up soon (and I believe you have to "earn" good gear) but you don't want to go to cheap and get an instrument that's going to hinder their techinque and desire to play.

    Personally, if I had a son or daughter and they decided they wanted to start playing bass, I would buy them the beginner Squier, I would help buy them the intermiediate Yamaha or Ibanez, but they would have to pay for the Tobias or Lakland.

    I remember this one kid I knew walked up to me about a year ago, and said he started playing bass. I asked him what kind he got and I walked away thinking he said "Warlock" meaning a Bc Rich, but then it hit me, he said "Warwick". Maybe I'm jealous, but it kind of irks me when that happens. I've been playing for 6 years (and gig professionally), and still don't own, what I would consider a "top of the line" bass.

    Oh wow, maybe he decided to give it up and that's an opporunity to make myself 1 Warwick richer. :D
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Only you know the personality of your son. If you are convinced that he is the type that will remain dedicated to playing and is responsible enough to take excellent care of his equipment, I certainly think it is appropriate to buy him a nicer set.

    Especially if you feel he would understand and appreciate the sacrifice that you are making by doing it for him.

    IMO, the expression of love and support for his interest and the lessons of responsibility and sacrifice could be just as valuable as any other lesson. Sure it means a lot to work hard for something, but it also means a lot for him to see that YOU are willing to work hard on his behalf.

    He's twelve. He isn't going to have any significant income for a while, so it is tough to see how he is going to pay for half.

    Be smart though. Buy a nice, used kit. There are plenty out there in mint shape. That way if he loses interest or discipline requires, you can always sell it and get most if not all of your money back.

    Maybe I have a tainted perspective. I know that time is worth more than anything, and I try really hard to spend as much quality time with my sons as possible. But there is something really neat about seeing the look in their eyes when you give them something that you know they really wanted.

  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Meeting him halfway should work out good.

    Im only 17 and my dad has done this before with me. I have also bought several things on my own, and this has really helped me to learn the value of money.

    Since your son is 12, it would be difficult if not impossible for him to get a job, so for him to earn money will be difficult. Do you or someone you know own or mannage their own buisiness? If so, perhaops he can get a job there working on weekends, and after school. Chores and jobs around the house aren't the best since they usually are not worth much money, and dont give the experience of working with others.

    If nothing else, I would think that helping him by trading house work for new gear (1 cymbal at a time etc..), a little at a time should work.

  7. Prague77


    Aug 20, 2001
    Waco, TX
    I say have him pay half. thats what my parents did on my first bass.

    If he pays for half of it he will respect the kit more. dont buy it for him.
  8. I started playing bass when I was 14. I'm 16 now.

    I payed 200 pounds for my first bass then sold it later for about 140. I payed about 200 pounds for my second bass. I payed about 300 pounds for my amp. This in total is 560 pounds or about US$800.

    I had no significant income but I bought it all myself with money I had saved as my parents refused to spend anything on musical instruments as I had shown no interest in learning anything previously and they were unsure as to how long I would want to carry on playing bass as guitar, bass, drums etc. are concidered teenage fads.

    I think that me having bought my own gear was a good thing in that I don't feel obliged to practise when I don't want to (I do it for fun only, but I practise a lot anyway) and my parents don't give a damn as to how often I practise either as it means nothing to them... so we're both happy.

    Unfortunatly my parents won't ever contribute to my gear, but hey, I'll live.

    If I were you, I'd make your son pay for his own kit all by himself with money he has saved, or find ways in which he can earn money from you. I think that way he'll feel more inclined to play it and have fun with it, you won't resent him not playing it and he'll feel that he has actualy worked for it and that HE owns it as opposed to having had it bought for him.

    However, if the question is should you buy him expensive gear I say no. If you are gonna get him something, get him something that's an Ibanez or Yamaha equivilent... damn good but cheapish.

    and FWIW... You really shouldn't buy him Pearl. If you do decide to get him something... I say Tama all the way. Top quality instruments and fairly cheap for their quality.
  9. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Sure. I'm 14, almost 15, now and I love having this great gear (check my profile to see what I got now). I have no problem with "kids", or teenagers, owning exceptional gear as long as they can appreciate it. I've been playing for 5 years on guitar and about a year on bass now, but I've been through crap, maybe not as long as some of you, but I have learned the great difference in lesser-quality equipment to higher-quality equipment. What I do have a problem with is kids that are spoiled and have everything they want because they're parents are filthy rich. It just angers me how they have some exceptional gear but don't even fully recognize how lucky they are.

    edit: Some more stuff I have to say about this is that the kid should show some dedication to his musical interest. If not, then don't get him the best.

    BUT another very IMPORTANT thing I have to say is this. Your son is 12, correct? When I was 12, I was 2 years into my guitar, playing on a 10 watt Crate amp with a Crate guitar (came in a kit.) I was satisfied with it at the time, but then I shortly fell out of the whole music thing for a few months. I just lost interest because I had recently moved, got new friends, everything changed. But then I got back into it, and my parents noticed that, so we decided that we should take a step up and get a nice 40w Fender amp (which they payed for) and a new Fender Fat Strat (which I payed for).

    My suggestion is to wait until he's 14 or so because his mindset might change completely. When I was that young, I wasn't thinking straight, but now I've changed.

    One more thing is that when this happens, when your kid is old enough to get good gear, have him research it alot and research the crap gear and compare, just so he sees how good he's got it. I did this on initiative, I don't know if he would as well, but its a good idea to have him do this.

    Oh yeah, and I'm looking to purchase a diamond (between D or G color, .27 to .75 carat, SI1 to VVS1 clarity, and Ideal cut, just for your information ;)) right now, and pay for it myself, so I think you can take this information I give to you as being as real as it gets. :)
  10. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    At age 12 it might be difficult for him to earn that kind of cash and getting a job would just be more time away from studies and music. Since keeping his grades up is a priority working might be counter productive. As a dad, I think it's a kids "job" to be a good kid and it sound like you have a really good kid. So he should be rewarded for a "job" well done with a decent kit. Now I'm not saying go and spend thousands of dollars, and I understand the "if he pays for some he'll respect it more" thinking. I'm just saying a decent kit. My dad did it for me way back when and I took really great care of it because I knew we didn't have much money and he sacrificed for it and I knew that would be the only one. So if I busted it I was S.O.L.. In return for my dads' generosity I tried harder in school and helped more around the house. I plan to do the same for my two kids. Anyway just one dad's opinion.
  11. If he's twelve and he has a lot of potential, it would appear that he is certainly developing a passion for music and playing the drums. If you think his drumset is hindering his ability to move on to the next level of playing, then I say go for it. Although, as many others have stated, I don't think you should buy him top of the line stuff - he can work for that.

    As many others have stated, my parents bought me my first beginner's bass and amp (aria pro II and peavey 50W amp, respectively). Everything after that has been my purchase.
  12. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Well, my parnets don't buy me gear, period. I had to buy everyhing. It's cool parents buy their kids gear. Wish i had cool paretns.
  13. lazybassass


    Jan 23, 2002
    Im 14 years old. My mom bought me my squier p bass package which comes with a 15 watt amp when i was 12 1/2. As a kid and im sure you guys understand that its hard to get and or save money, especially when you have alot of stuff going on. Ive been playing for 2 1/2 years and im still on my squier but moved up to a nicer amp. I'd love to have a steady flow of income for myself but i cant seem to find a job in my relatively small town, i dont know where you live but i bet for a twelve yeard old itll be even harder. My parents will usually pay for half of what i buy which is a real help. Also keep in mind that it might be hard for your son to keep a A average throughout his years to come. Im a relatively smart kid and apply myself to school quite a bit and still dont seem to get a A average and if my parents held me to a A average for everything i ever wanted it would hold alot of unwanted stress on my life.I hope this helps.
  14. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    When I was a teen, my parents rented (and eventually bought) a functional but funky bass and amp for me. They were just good enough for my garage band days. I am so glad I have better gear now!

    I think I agree with Liquid Midnight. You want to get a quality inexpensive instrument and amp. Used is fine - as long as it's not too abused. It needs to be good enough that the kid won't get disgusted or learn bad habits to work around the instrument's flaws. But it doesn't have to be anything special, and in fact it shouldn't be anything special! That way, you give the kid incentive to earn something better; and if it gets destroyed or stolen, it's no great loss.

    Fortunately there are a lot of quality inexpensive instruments these days.
  15. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'm 16 now, i started out with my Fender Jazz [Mexi] that my dad bought me & my Fender BXR 15 [pos] that i paid for. Since then [1997] I've paid for my ashbory upfront all on my own, then the pilot + 5 i didn't have the cash but i couldn't pass up the deal & i told my dad & we talked about it so he loaned me the $80 more that i needed & sprung for a setup & strings & all those things that need corrected [$80] [the pilot + 5 was $160] Then this past christmas he got me a Fender BassMan 200 as a christmas/birthday present [birthday was this month] & i appreciate it a ton since i'm heavily involved in school bands & needed something better. I think since your kid is 12 doing what has been said above with the make him earn it but i think it might work if you did something like this...I'm not sure how your kids are graded at school if it's by the semester or 9wks or what but if it's by the 9wks after the first 9wks if his grades are good enough [A's i take it] get him the core of the set-the battery [toms, bass, snare etc] & like a crash/ride with a decent set of hats. Then after the 2nd 9 wks get him a ride then after 3rd a crash, then after the 4th let him get a drum set thing of his choice whether it be a china, splash, pic. snare, better drum throne, another crash,x-hats, more toms, double bass pedal etc. This would give him a gradual way to be rewarded for keeping his grades up & to me it'd seem like a sweet way to work & if you wanted could contine for many years becoming a very good incentive for good grades, sadly i haven't been able to keep my grades as high as your son [believe i have a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale]. Now only if i can talk my dad into something like that [only he'd pay maybe $300 if i can talk him into it as a christmas present] with the DP. Now keep in mind i know very little about drums so the details of what i said could be 100% wrong i'm by no means a drummer. Have Fun
  16. Make sure your son wants the upgrade. Then I'd get a good, but used, set for him, with the understanding he's to pay you back with allowance or lawn mowing cash, or whatever, somewhere between 50% and 75% (don't tell him that, decide how much you want to cover). He gets a good set, and still takes on the responsibility for paying you back.

    At least, it sounds like a good idea to me. :)
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Sonor for the kid. Your nickel. Money CAN buy you love.
  18. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I agree with some of the things being said here, but not all of them. First of all, if he's only twelve, where is he going to get his half of the money? Second, if you've taught him right, buying a new kit for him is not going to make him not take care of it or appreciate it. The people that have everything handed to them on a silver platter are the ones that don't know how to take care of something. You can get a gift and take care of it and respect it just the same as if you bought it yourself. Third, if he's really into the drums (and I don't see how his talent level has much to do with this), strike a deal with him -- "If you keep your grades up and your interest in the drums stays up, I will agree to upgrade your kit" (whether it's new or used).

    Good luck!
  19. I.'.I.'.Nakoa

    I.'.I.'.Nakoa Guest

    Aug 10, 2000
    Fort Worth.
    Fro the kids point, i remember when i was young wanting something, its hard to get anything. I would buy him the set, get him a good one, a cheap one would just end up not wanted in a while. Buy him a Sonor set, double bass pedal, paiste and zildjian cymbals( were taking chinas, splash,crash, rides, various sizes) a big rack for it, piccolo snare... the works, and hey, if he gets tired of playing,take up drums, you would have a great set!
  20. Julien


    Dec 29, 2001
    come on buy it........!!!!
    time to leave those stupid principles!!:))