Most of the time, when you play the drums you are working with a series of instruments, rather than just one. Drums come in sets and with multiple accessories.
So what do these drum sets include?
Drum thrones, drums, cymbals, percussion sticks, are just the basics. Most beginners start out with simple five-piece drum sets and as they become more experienced they graduate to larger sets.
It is important to keep in mind the price of all the essential drumming accessories because all of this equipment also adds to the cost of drumming lessons.
For those drum beginners, here is a sneak peek into some of the equipment that you might come across in your first few classes and beyond.
Drumsticks are one of the most essential pieces of equipment for a drummer of any level. Drum sticks come in a variety of sizes and can be made up of different materials, so if you are a beginner, make sure to ask your drum teacher about which drum sticks they recommend you purchase.
During your first drum lessons, you will start off by learning the proper way of holding your drumsticks.
If you are an advanced drummer you will have to take into consideration if you want a wood tip drumstick or nylon tipped drumstick. Most drummers choose to go with non-colored wooden tips. Drumsticks with colored tips can leave marks on your drums.
If you are looking to purchase some drumsticks, here are a couple of the best brands:
- Vic Firth
If you own an electric drum, those might require a different type of drumstick.
Also, keep in mind that a drum set might include drumsticks that can be used on all drum heads.
A practice pad is another essential if you are looking to be a drummer. Starting off as low as $15 it the equipment most commonly used by beginners if they do not have a drum set of their own.
A practice pad is a substitute for a snare drum and they feel almost the same. They are usually quieter than snare drums and easy to travel with, so you can keep up with practice just about anywhere.
A drum set, and even a snare drum, can cost a pretty penny, so a small investment in a practice pad can be a good start while you figure out how much you are going to want to commit to the drums.
A good practice pad will help a drummer develop stroke techniques and help practice timing and dynamics.
Here are some of the top-rated practice pads:
- Evasn Realfeel - 2 sided Practice pad 12"
- Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Pad
- Vater Chop Builder Practice Pad
A metronome can help a drummer keep tempo when practicing a piece. A metronome is one of the most important accessories for any musician.
You can purchase a metronome for about $20. But if you want to save the twenty bucks you can download one of the many digital metronomes provided in app stores for most mobile devices.
If you own an electronic drum set, there might already be a metronome built in to help keep all the rhythms in check.
Keeping up with the beat and rhythm specified in the sheet music is crucial when learning how to play the drums.
Snare drums are the most commonly used by drummers. It is the starting point for percussion enthusiasts.
Snare drums average at about $150 and $250. Snare drums made for beginners usually come alongside a kit of other useful equipment.
Beginner kits include:
- Snare drum,
- snare drum stand,
- a practice pad,
- and a bell set.
Drum kits can easily be found on eBay, Amazon, or at a music store near you.
As a beginner, it is ok to purchase a used drum kit. A used drum kit can save you a lot of money; it can be close to 50% of the price and just as good. In order to stay a little closer on budget, you can also look for a place to rent your kit. If you belong to a music school, they probably have some drum sets you can rent out in order to be able to practice at home.
Cymbals are sometimes included in a drum set but as you become a more experienced player you might be required to purchase additional cymbals.
Cymbals average at around $150 each. The price may vary depending on the type of cymbal it is. There are numerous kinds of cymbals and they each serve their own purpose. Ask for recommendations and look over all of your options before taking the leap to purchase.
Here are some of the most common cymbal types:
- Crash cymbal - this is the most common type of cymbal. They range from 8” to 24”; the size for a cymbal changes the sound it produces. They are usually placed on the left of a right-handed kit.
- Ride cymbal - these are some of the largest sized cymbals. It is usually placed on the right side of a right-handed kit, right next to the floor tom. Ride cymbals are used in order to keep steady patterns. The sound produced depends on where you hit the ride cymbal.
- Hi-hat - these types of cymbals come in pairs. They are opened and closed with a pedal placed on the floor. Like ride cymbals, hi-hats are used to keep steady beats. Hi-hats sound a lot lighter than heavier cymbals and they range from 13” to 16”.
- Splash Cymbal- these cymbals are used similarly to crash cymbals. They are used to provide accents to music pieces. They produce sharp and short sounds and range from 6” to 13”.
- China Cymbal - these cymbals are the most recognizable. They have an upturned edge and a cylindrical bell. It holds a crash-like tone and can sound very explosive. The name comes from their origin in Chinese gongs.
Most of these are placed on cymbal stands. The piece set might include anywhere from one to eight cymbals, depending on the musical styles and skill set of the drummer.
Drum thrones are the seats that drummers use to sit surrounded by their instruments. To non-drummers it’s just a seat, but true drummers know about the importance of the thrones.
During hours and hours of practice, drum thrones can help you feel comfortable through all of the practice sessions you are about to take on. A drum throne also affects your footwork and should give you support for good posture.
Drum thrones should also be positioned so that you can easily reach the bass drum pedal and hit the cymbals on top with your drum stick.
Keep in mind that these are just the most commonly used equipment. More advanced drummers use other percussion instruments such as bass drums, tom-toms, bass pedals, and other accessories.
Maintaining Your Drums
The above equipment includes items that you are going to be using constantly as you continue onto the road of becoming a great drummer. With so much use during practices and lessons, your equipment might start to take a bit of wear; this is why it is so important to carefully maintain your instrument and equipment.
Cleaning, polishing and lubricating are all parts of the process in caring for your instrument.
The hardware needs to be careful maintained in order to prevent the replacement of parts in the future.
Drums and cymbals are usually chrome plated and need constant polishing. If these items are not constantly polished and cleaned, they will eventually become dull. The dulling of these parts can greatly affect the sounds created by your drums.
Your stands and pedals will also need maintenance. The key to keeping them in the best shape is to consistently lubricate the moving parts. Place a small bit of lubricating oil on the joints of your equipment every once in a while.
Cases and bags also play a big role in helping you maintain your equipment in the best shape possible. It is the best preventative measure.
Once you have all of your equipment ready, the next step is finding the right person to teach you how to use your new bass drum, toms, drum pedals, and all the other parts of your drumset. Find your perfect drum tutor right here on Superporf.