We Know: All About Buying a Drum Set

What Should I Look For in a Drum Set?

Drum sets are sensitive musical instruments, and you should be certain to buy quality, but not spend more than the situation warrants. Most people looking for information about buying a drum set are probably seeking a drum for a beginner; don't buy the big professional set, but instead get the smaller beginner set.

Drums for beginners come with a basic 5-piece drum grouping: a bass drum, a snare drum, and a group of tom-toms set up on a stand with a foot-pedal for the bass. This basic set usually comes with a cymbal as well. Drum sticks will almost certainly be separate, but they're inexpensive.

Look in your house and make sure you have the room for the drum set you're considering. Think about acoustics, too! You don't want to set it up in your living room, for instance, and if your son's room is next to your bedroom you may not want to set it up in his room either.

Speak to the band director, if the drum set is being purchased for a member of a band. Do they have any special requirements? Drums, as percussion instruments, are limited in the sounds they make and make up for it in variety of attachments for the instrument.

More advanced or complicated drum sets should be defined by the band or the purpose for which they're being used.

How Much Should I Spend?

For a beginning drum set, you should spend no more than $500. Usually, you can find a beginning drum set for much less. Don't skimp by buying a used set; you may find yourself in possession of a set that has a broken stand, something wrong with the drums, or other problems that can make it just not worth the investment. You're better off with a cheap new set, or a used set that's been certified by a music store.

What Are The Best Drum Sets?

The industry leader is probably Yamaha. Ludwig, Pearl, and Tama Drums are all excellent as well. For student drums, your best value and best quality will most likely be Yamaha or Ludwig.


How About Drum Lessons and Accessories?

Drums are deceptively complicated, and it's not easy to learn how to play them properly from a book. Lessons should almost certainly be given in person by someone who knows what they're doing and can correct holds on drumsticks. Once the basics have been learned, though, drum lessons are less important than practice.

The most important accessory is the drumstick; you might look at getting different varieties for different sounds. A metronome, which is a device that keeps time, may prove very valuable indeed to the beginning drummer. Beyond that, if you're not the drummer, your most valuable accessory might be -- earplugs.

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