But I NEED drums!

I’ve come to a point in my life where it’s apparent I need a basic, 5-piece or so drum set. This need arises out of a new project in my life that includes being in a band. Now, I’ve played drums a few (okay, 3) times before, but have shown some aptitude towards it, and so I’ve been elected to play drums for this band. What I need now, though, fellow dopers, is some advice.

What’s a good price range for a beginner’s set? What is a good beginner’s set? Where should I look for said sets? Is there anything I should know before going ahead with this?

I think that covers it for now. (Notice the blanket question :wink: ) Help?!

[sub]Mod note: If this is better suited for IMHO or MPSIMS, feel free to move.[/sub]

Much better for IMHO. My suggestion is that you obtain a free standing structure to practice in. Hopefully this will be a house with lots of land around so you won’t be disturbing the neighbors.

I vote for buying A LOT of soundproofing first, then drums.

If you’re a neighbor to a drummer, there’s one thing worse than having a drummer for a neighbor: having a drummer for a neighbor who hasn’t got his chops together.

to second,
I have a neighbor who lives 2 blocks away and it’s still very annoying.

I don’t think you should get an acoustic set yet… :dubious:

To actually start answering the OP – cruise some music stores, see what they think. Check out www.musiciansfriend.com. My impression (I’m a guitarist, so this is secondhand) is that the actual set is fairly cheap for a beginner set, it’s the additional cymbals, toms toms and such that many drummers feel they need.

I wouldn’t really call myself a drummer, but I have played and I can at least keep a beat (I’m a lot better with guitars and keyboards). I can tell you from experience that cheap toms, a cheap snare and a cheap bass drum don’t sound all that bad, but cheap cymbols are annoying as hell and will make you want to throw the damn things out the window. Don’t skimp on the cymbols.

You’ll get more bang for your buck buying used equipment, but you don’t have the experience yet to tell if a used set is good or trashed so either buy new or take someone who knows drums with you to look at used stuff.

For the noise issue (neighbors complaining) you can get pads to alleviate that issue. :slight_smile:

Amateur drummer here (although I haven’t played much over the years. Just a little bit rusty). I agree with engineer_comp_geek about cymbals. Zildjian’s are the shit. Paiste’s are good, too. I would use a medium to heavy 16" to 18" ride cymbal, one or more crash cymbals and a good pair of high hat cymbals (I’ve had the same pair of Zildjian high hat cymbals for 30 years). Good-quality drum heads will make the cheapest drums sound decent. Look around at yard sales, or pawn shops. I once got three Paiste cymbals w/case for $35 at a yard sale. Music stores that sell used instruments sometimes will have something too.

No need to worry about noise. The vast majority of this will be in a dorm basement which is more or less soundproof. And if not, well, they can turn their music up a little louder (if such a thing is possible). I have one friend who is very well versed in the way of drums (and also already in a band, otherwise I wouldn’t be having this conversation), so maybe he can point me to some good used drums.

As for everything else, keep the advice coming!

Quite true. Buy used at first. Any cymbal with a very bronze color to it will eventually make you hate it (since the bronze content is much higher), buy a decent set of hats first, then a decent crash, and finally a ride.

To an extent this is quite true, however, if you buy a set that costs less than $200 new, the heads won’t fit right and the drums will almost fall apart.

Yard sales and classifieds are a great resource. I got a 5 piece with hats and accesories for $500 and it turns out that the shells were actually quite valuable. Pawn shops will generally rip you off, unless they undervalue what they’re selling, which seldom happens. Find a local musician’s trade web site if there’s one available.

I used to manage the drum dept of a large music retailer, we bought drums for less than their worth, and sold them for much more than they were worth, cut out the middle man.

Bottom line is, the only way you can get a decent set of drums cheap, is if the guy’s wife forces him to sell the kit for peanuts, or the guy needs to feed a drug habit. Then there’s luck.

As far as new kits go, I’d reccomend a Pearl forum kit which should run about $350 with skimpy hardware. With good heads they can sound OK and might last a few years.

Used kits vary as much as used cars do. I’ve appraised many a drum kit, and I’d be happy to do the same for you. E-mail me at my screen name at gmail dot com, and I’d be happy to give you my professional opinion.

This is probably a stupid question, but how would I transport these drums once I bought them?

Roadies :slight_smile: