Help choosing a drum kit needed

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by DaveR, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Hello All,

    One of my New Year's resolutions is going to be to learn to play the drum kit. As a complete ignoramus about drum kits, I have some questions I would like help with!

    1) I would like a kit that isn't too expensive, but also that I'm not going to grow out of and have to replace for a better set in 6 months time. I don't mind buying secondhand. What would you recommend?

    2) I would mainly be using it in brass bands, but would also like the option to expand into other areas of music so I would like a good all-round kit. Should that influence my decision in question 1 at all?

    3) What are the pros and cons of flats over traditional drums? I've never heard flats being played so I don't know what they sound like or how they play, but the space-saving aspect appeals to me.

    4) Is it worth buying a cheap and cheerful kit, but getting a better snare (and maybe cymbals)? Is there a sort of price bracket for new kits below which they are not worth bothering with?

    5) Finally, in an attempt to save the sanity of my neighbours, I probably ought to get a set of practice pads to dampen the sound. Any recommendations?

    Mods - I know there have been a couple of similar questions asked recently, but none really seemed to answer my questions :(


  2. Despot

    Despot Member

    Advice I was given by a pro was avoid all the cheap and nasty sets that flood the market at Xmas. They're just bought to be given up in January. (Read somewhere drumkits the most-bought-and-least-used instrument worldwide. Don't quote me on that!)

    Second hand and/or base models of any of the more reputable names should be fine.
  3. bandrh

    bandrh Member

    I am about to buy a Traps drum kit which is the flat type. Its not bad for a starter and it does not take up much room.
    I would suggest you look at ebay for s/h or visit a good drum shop or buy the Drummer magazine from WHSmith which will show you all the makes available there are loads.

    If you buy a good basic kit you can always add or sell it on ebay for a better one.

    hope this helps

  4. tsawyer

    tsawyer Member

    In my opinion, and I'm probably out of date, your main categories of choice for normal drums are:

    1) Beginner Kit. You'll be able to get one of these for £200+. If you go for this, you'll get drums that work but the cymbals will be terrible. Budget for a set of low end cymbals from a good make (Zildjian/Paiste/Sabian) as well as the drums.

    2) Quality make, entry level. These kits are entry level from the big manufacturers, the choice used to be Premier/Pearl but there are probably more now. Expect to pay £500+. You'll get quality drums that will last ages, but no cymbals and no stool. You'll have to pay for them as extras. Pearl Export is one of the more popular examples of this level.

    Have a wander around the drum kits section of

    to get a feel for what's out there. Anything that comes with cymbals is a budget kit. Those that come without are entry level or above.

    Don't forget to add in the cost of cases if you're ever going to take them outside your home.

  5. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Now that's a great tip - thanks for that! I would never have thought to ask whether or not cases were included.

    Ta to everyone that has replied so far - keep 'em coming!
  6. weenie

    weenie Member

    You can't go far wrong with a second hand Pearl Export kit. They retail at around £500+ brand new. The hardware that comes with that kit is very durable and will last for years if treated with care. Whatever you do, avoid kits like "Thunder" "Cannon" "Percussion Plus" or "CB" kits, they're ****** awful!!!
  7. Di

    Di Active Member

    We bought Adam a Traps drum kit earlier this year and couldn't be more pleased with it. It's so easy to transport and set up compared to the old kit, dismantled and packed in bags, unpacked and set up. :mad: You do have the option of buying the Traps kit with or without cymbals. Although Adam has a set of Sabians, we bought the kit complete with cymbals so that if we ever wanted to sell is ordinary kit, it would be complete.
  8. Hi,
    Have a look for a Yamaha Jungle Kit. It's a small kit, but not flats, very funky sound and enough power for a brass band gig (trust me i know a ex-thrasher who uses one to great effect.) You'll probably need a better quality snare and some decent cymbals go a long way to improving sound. Tim bought his kit (including cases and stands) for less than £500, it's a joy to play and like i sadi has a good sound, don't be put off by the size! You can probably get it packed away in to a Focus sized boot!!

    Anyway, just an idea, cheack them, out!

  9. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Thanks to everybody who has made suggestions so far.

    Dinie, I'm very tempted by the Traps kit as I live in a small flat. How do they compare to a "normal" kit, in terms of sound and playability? Is it easy - after playing a Traps set - to go to a traditional set? They look so strange in the photos I'm not sure how they compare! Are they suitable - i.e. loud enough;) - for use in a brass band? Is it possible to get practice dampers for a Traps kit so I don't drive the neighbours potty?


  10. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Oh and another question - how stable would they be in typical band gig in the corner of a cow field? A normal kit can be set up so that it doesn't wobble, how would a rigid frame cope with that?


  11. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    There are a few nice kits on Ebay right now. A couple of Pearl Export, a Premier kit, a Ludwig (used to be the best available in my youth) and a Traps for £329 with cymbals and free delivery! :eek: I'm almost tempted to buy a kit myself, but it would mean Divorce! On a side note, I found that Electronic drums were OK for Rock etc but couldn't respond fast enough to tell different rolls or the more elaborate stick strokes. They may have improved by now though.
  12. kevthedrummer

    kevthedrummer Member

    |You Will find that the Traps Kit is Only for Practice not very Sutibal for a brass band gig. It dont Give the same Quality sound as a standerd kit My best bet is a perl Thay do a nice Fusion Kit. That dosnt take too much room. Or a grech Is Reguarly used in a brass band. Hope this helps anf good luck !!!! :tup

    Kev Percussion Lanner silver band
  13. Di

    Di Active Member

    Adam takes his Traps to all his brass band do's now. Even played them at the Wychavon contest where he got "excellent kit" on the remarks. ;):clap: The quality of the snare is good, which is something Adam is quite fussy about. Add to that a good set of sabian cymbals and Adams conductor is happy with the quality of sound produced and so are we. But if you do want a "superior" sound for a higher section band, by all means, do spend more money. ;)
  14. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Mmmm, getting some conflicting advice here ;) .

    Maybe I need to go down to my local drum shop and see what they sound like for myself. Thinking about it, although I do play for a higher section band, it would be some time before I'm let loose on them playing kit, so it probably wouldn't matter too much. They also have a kit (which isn't very good) but could be used in the meantime...

    Maybe I'll get a set of Traps for use at home and see how I get on with them. I can always sell them if they don't meet up to expectations! The idea of getting a good set of cymbals to go with it is a good one.

    I think I can see my annual bonus shrinking here.....

    Thanks to all who have responded so far! :tup

  15. Di

    Di Active Member

    Sound advice you've given yourself there. Get yerself down to a drum shop and try some out. ;)
  16. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    That's what I thought! I just didn't want to go to a drum shop and have no idea what I was talking about at all! Now, thanks to the power of tMP, I feel I can speak a little more knowledgeably!

  17. Sonor

    Sonor New Member

    Right here goes. This could be a long one...............

    My advise to you is not to buy budget. The hardware generally tends not to last, the shells are questionable, you'll need to buy a new set of top heads if not straight away very quickly which will cost you in the region of £80+ depending what brand you go for and if you but a kit with cymbals you will invariably be getting cheap brass cymbals that sound **** and will last five minuets.

    Its the old saying.............. you get what you pay for.

    As has quite rightly been pointed out for around the £500 mark you can pick up a Pearl Export, Premier Cabria, Sonor Force range, a decent Mapex M series or Yamaha Stage Custom. All of these kits come with good hardware and decent heads to give you a good start. The only other outlay you will probably have will be a stool. At present Mapex have an offer available that if you buy a five piece kit they will chuck in an extra tom free of charge if you are looking to expand fairly quickly. What you need to be looking at is the shell material (brich, maple etc.).

    However the best kit available in this sort of price range is the Tama Superstar. Birch shells, die cast hoops, matching wood snare and superb hardware all with good heads. I know this for a fact.............. I have one (along with a Tama Starclassic pro kit). For those features alone yo will find them hard to beat!!!

    The other thing you need to consider is sizes. This will depend on what you want to use the kit for. My advice is that if you intend to use the kit with a brass band, go a five piece kit go for mounted toms ie. 10" 12" and 14" toms as you will find that gives you a lot of versatility from concert work to contests. As for bass drums I prefer now a 22" bass for a little more depth.

    Finally, buy the kit from a drum specialist (ie. Northampton Drum Centre) as you will get not only the best advise, you will get the best choice and the best deals. Most of these guys also have websites so that you can see what you're buying and if you go to the store you will be able to play the kits. The shell material has a great deal to do with the sound so try before you buy. You need to as its expensive if you can't get onm with a drum sound as I have found out.

    With cymbals a lot of the above goes for chosing cymbals. Stick with the major manufacturers and you won't go wrong: Zildjian (my prefered choice), Paiste, Sabian and Meinl. And again try before you buy. The advantage with buying the budget ranges is that you will be able to buy a pack to start and then expand as you need.

    And do not forget cases. Soft bags (such as Protection Rackets bags) are great for transporting in cars but for chucking on vans etc then go for Hardcases - the best drum and hardware cases made.

    If you want any more advise contact me and I'll be try to help in any way I can.
  18. Sonor

    Sonor New Member

    In addition to my previous reply your best bet down in Reading is Drumwrighton the outskirts of Reading.

    They are a DW specialist so check out the Pacific Drums range. Great value for money.

    All the best

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