Let’s say you’re intrigued with music and its many forms, you want to try your hand at something interesting—and you love the deep bass of drums. Given a choice in this situation, you’d choose drums, and let’s face it, for a beginner, buying a drum is not an easy task. Add to this the fact that when you’re a newbie, every drum looks the same to you.
Fortunately for you, if you look carefully, and check out certain characteristics, you’d be able to see the differences between each drum set. You would also not be asking random people ‘which drum set should I buy’ and make a practical choice. So let’s get started with the basics!
Types of Drum Kits
A. Acoustic Drum Kits
If you are a part of a traditional live band or have been to one, the typical drum kit that’s used is acoustic. This is the conventional type of kit found and acoustically much louder than an electric drum kit. You’d also need more space to set it up and play it.
B. Electric Drum Kits
Well, if you are a beginner trying your hand out at experimental music, then an electronic drum set is the perfect kit for you. It’s not too loud, so your neighbors won’t complain, and if they do, all you need to do is turn the sound down. Also, you don’t need to set it up and have sound proofing installed. You should opt for this if you are enthusiastic, but have never played drums before this kit.
The Basic Components of a Drum Set
Any drum that you try out has three basic components. They are the backbone of a drum set and are upgraded once the musician’s skill increases. Check them out:
1. Snare Drum
In simple terms, the snare drum is the main drum that you see in a drum set. It produces a sharp, loud sound and is mounted on a stand, just between the drummer’s knees.
2. Bass Drum
This is also known as the kick drum. You can identify it by its size because it’s the biggest drum in the set. You need to play it with a foot pedal, and it produces the basic downbeats and the deepest notes.
The hi-hat is a specific pairing made from two cymbals positioned beside the snare drum. All you need to do is clash these two cymbals together and then hit it hard with a pair of drumsticks, and you’d have the best sound around.
Just like drum kits, there are two major types of cymbals found in starter drum kits—crash and ride cymbals. Crash cymbals come in different sizes and are mounted on top of toms, while the ride cymbals are kept near the floor. Also, crash cymbals are typically smaller than ride cymbals, and each of them creates a different sound.
Now that you have a basic idea of drum kits, and how they function, let’s check out what you should keep in mind before you buy a drum kit:
This is the determining factor when it comes to buying a drum set. Acoustic drum sets cost more than electric drum sets because of a variety of reasons. With acoustic drum sets, you’d need soundproofing, and that requires a fair amount. Additionally, the brands differ, and that leads to a price range difference. However, if you are a newbie in the drumming field, you should go with an electronic drum set, which is not only easy to modulate but also costs less.
2. Size Matters
Although this would sound awkward to you, yet smaller drums can sound better if you use the right heads and toms. Drum sets come in different sizes and configurations. The two most common configurations are fusion and standard.
The configuration depends on the drum diameters. For example, fusion features a 10” and 12” mounted tom and a 14” floor tom. Contrary to this, the standard drum set features a 12” to 13” mounted tom and a 16” floor tom.
A Fusion set with smaller tom diameters can provide a punchy tone, while the standard set can provide more volume and tone. Depending on your purpose, you need to choose the size and the set.
This is also one of the major determining factors. Are you buying it for a kid who is just interested in playing as a hobby? Then you would like a junior drum set, which is not only affordable but also comes at the size fit for children. However, they are also built solidly, and not like the toy store variety and offer the sound equivalent of a full sized kit.
If you want to try out your hand at drumming, but are a beginner, you can try out the beginner drum set, which includes all the necessary stuff to play it as you like.
Lastly, if you are a pro and trying out a drum set for your professional needs, then the complete drum set would be the perfect choice for you. If for some reason, you have the hardware for assembling the drum set, try out a shell pack, which will save you some bucks, while providing you with all the necessary items on your checklist.
The construction of the drum also matters because the wood of your drum set defines the tone of sound emitted. Maple is one of the popular choices and provides a warm and balanced tone. Birch, which is tough and dense, provides a brighter and harder sound compared to mahogany or maple.
Mahogany, on the other hand, has an enhanced mid-range to low-end tone with reduced highs. The sound is a wee bit warmer than that of maple and has a vintage character to it. Other than these, the different woods which are used to make a drum set include:
So, now that you have little knowledge about how a drum set works, and what it is made up of, you can choose a drum set for your requirements. After that, all you need to do is get started with it, and practice!