You decided to start playing drums. The problem you face first is that you need your own drum set for training and playing gigs when you are ready. On simplydrum.com, you can find reviews of student drum sets as well as of entry-level professional sets. All of them are affordable and suitable for studying. But will they let you master the right skills? Will you have to upgrade for playing gigs or making records?
The Drums to Start With
It does not make sense to obtain an expanded drum set from the very beginning. Even if you think you are ready to go pro, your arms and legs need some time to adjust. So here is the list of the necessary drums in an entry level drum set:
- Bass drum. The bass is the boss.
- Snare drum. It is also a must, as you can hear from most popular styles today.
- You can go with just one tom for the beginning, though advanced drummers may use up to four toms.
- Crash cymbals.
- Hi-hat. Without it, a drum set is incomplete.
You will also need the hardware for your setup, as well as a stool and the sticks. While the hardware is usually included when you purchase an entire set, the stool isn’t always there. As for the sticks, let your hand do the choosing when you define several options. And get yourself an extra pair in advance!
An advanced custom drum set can have more items. But we recommend starting with a basic one that is suitable for almost any genre and style played nowadays. As you shape your technique and make up your mind about the style, you can decide what to add to your setup.
How Much Should the Drum Set Cost?
How much are you ready to invest? It depends on both your resolution and your talent, as well as on your conditions. As you can see, there are many options under $500. For this price, you get a decent new drum set.
You can also search for used drum sets, as in the quarantine times, many bands decided to cancel their activity. But, luck aside, the sum to look at is $500. If you find a decent set cheaper – well, lucky you.
Practicing and Gigging
Though there are many student drum sets (as well as separate drums and accessories), an adult beginner will feel better at an adult size drum set, even an entry level one. There are reasons to skip the student drums as a phase:
- If you start playing seriously, you can use the same drums;
- An adult-size set can be upgraded gradually, drum by drum, with no need to change your manner or habits;
- You can learn techniques from drum masters with minimum adjustment;
- You take yourself seriously from the beginning/
Still, there are accessories made strictly for learning that will help you early on your way. For example, silencing pads are great if you want to practice at unconventional time. An adult drum set with these accessories will make a great starter kit.
Choosing the Right Metal Drumsticks
Drumming is somehow similar to painting. A good drummer is an artist who owns and knows how to use various types of ‘brushes’. The type of drumsticks you use really matters to the genre you are in, as all of them produce different sound effects. Below is a concise, actionable guide by metalheads to picking the right drumsticks if your musical calling is to play metal. Drum on!
Most drumsticks you see are wooden. However, not all types of wood have the same durability height and response. Two classic choices are oak and hickory. These hardwoods are dense and highly durable, which is important for such a force-demanding genre as metal. Oak is hard to break but is also known for low shock absorption. Hickory is much better at this and feels more responsive, which makes it a better choice both for beginners and pros. Still, they’re lighter than oak, so you may lack the heaviness of the hit in some cases.
Many metal players also choose such materials as graphite and aluminum. These materials provide more rebound and withstand higher force. They usually cost more, but the lifespan is longer as well. Depending on the weight and tip design, alternative materials may grant you extra attack tone, which is quite important for speedy sub-genres.
Weight, Diameter & Length
For playing heavy metal blasts, you should be looking for heavier sticks. The most common types are thick and heavy 2B, 5B, and 5A. Actually, there are more models numbered from 1-9 and from A to CC, but the most popular heavy sticks are these three.
The length of the sticks you need mostly depends on your palm size. It generally varies from 15’’ to 17.5’’, and you have to test them to get the optimal length. Of course, longer models produce groovier sound, but the rebound is also longer. The diameter works the same. Thick sticks need more velocity than thin ones to sound loud, but the peak loudness is higher, which can be crucial for your metal style.
Without going too deep, barrel tip style offers the loudest performance. However, it’s not recommended for beginners who don’t have a steady stroke yet. If you are one of them, start with a round tip to achieve a smoother sound. Try a barrel tip when you feel the need for progress. You can also try plastic-coated tips for a sharper and harder tone.
Taper length defines the length of the stretch between the full-diameter sector and the point where the stick goes thinner near the tip. Longer taper means faster response, and shorter means extra strength, thus more stiffness. Metal drummers usually prefer short taper, but you can also start with a more versatile medium taper while going through the basics.
If you find it useful for yourself, you can share it not to forget it. It will be even more useful if some friend of yours has been dreaming of a drummer career. If you have something to add, you can just leave a comment and share your thoughts there.