Do you want to be the envy of other musicians, with your perfect drum set? Are you looking to get the best percussion sounds out of it, and still stay in your budget? We can help you with some key points about the different drum sets, so you can choose exactly what you need.
A drum set is a collection of various percussion instruments, such as the different drums, hi-hats, cymbals and more, that are played by every drummer. These days, there are many types of drum sets for people of different skill levels, and with a variety of musical needs. A drum set has many components and a musician should be able to choose the right combination in a set that they need.
Let’s explore the different types of drum sets, to narrow down what you will need.
Complete drum kits come with drums, cymbals and the necessary hardware. It can be a suitable option for a percussionist, because you don’t have to look for all the different drums separately.
On average, a complete full size, (adult), drum kit includes a snare drum, a bass drum, a floor tom, and two mounted toms; also, cymbals, hardware, sticks, stands, a drum throne, pedals and drum keys. This is everything you need to start your musical career.
A complete drum set usually includes all the hardware needed. But if you already have hardware, you don’t need to buy a whole new set, you can just buy the shell. You will definitely need the hardware, when setting up your drum set.
If your child is between the ages 3 and 10 years old, and wants to start playing drums, a junior drum set is ideal for them. You can choose a 3-piece, junior drum set for children. These sets sizes are smaller, and they are more comfortable for children’s to play on. This is not a toy, but is actually a real drum set. It not only sounds like a real drum, but gives the feel of playing on a real drum set, too.
The quality of a junior drum set is no different, that a set used by adults. The size has no bearing on the quality of the sound, or the actual drums. If your child is eager to learn how to be a drummer, a junior drum set can be the perfect beginner set for his love of music.
A starter drum set is a regular five-piece set. An average combination includes a bass drum, a snare drum, a floor tom, two mounted toms, and all of the mounting hardware. Cymbals are not always present in the sets.
This is the minimum number of drums in a set, for the percussionist who wants to start small. It is always an option to add some other components to this set, at a later time.
Some professionals believe that a 4-piece drum set is enough for a beginner, or for someone who isn’t seriously into it. That components in that set are: a snare drum, a bass drum, a single mounted tom, and a floor tom.
It’s no secret, that if you are going to buy a drum set for beginners, as with any other drum set, you are going to have spend some money. If you have budgeted for this expense, don’t be surprised to see higher prices than what you might have anticipated.
So, what specific things should you look for in a starter drum set? You will definitely want it to have good sound, be durable, have all the components you want and is made a name-brand manufacturer known for their quality instruments. The pinnacle of these, is the ability for good sound. If it doesn’t have that, it’s not worth having at all.
A double bass drum set is used in modern rock and the fusion styles of music. With this set, a drummer can play a single bass drum with two beaters, for a double bass drum effect. It allows a drummer to play very fast patterns.
The first musicians that utilized the double bass drums, were jazz players. But, it is the rock drummers, that have made it a popular instrument. As noted, the double bass drums are used in some forms of jazz, punk, fusion, heavy metal and hard rock. When it comes to affordable bass drum pedals, there is a big variety to choose from, and there are also many configurations. The best way to decide which set you need specifically, is to first know what kind of music you will normally be playing.
Fusion sets are generally designed for different musical needs. Though the name “fusion drum set”, does see some associations with jazz, besides fusion. Despite the name, you can see it used in many different musical genres.
The shells of the fusion sets are made of a very unique, wood combination. The reason for this, is because the “all-around sound” from a fusion set is very extraordinary.
This magic mixture of different types of wood, consists of six-ply shells, with 7.2mm thickness. The fusion shells are generally deeper, than traditional shells, and have at least one, extra, rack tom drum. Usually this one is smaller than those that are on a standard 5-piece rock kit.
The main accessories for drum sets are:
Additional accessories are tools for caring and cleaning your set, drum keys and turning tools, grips and gloves, cases and covers, noise control tools, and more.
The type of wood used in making a drum is very important. A drummer should know what kind of wood was used for their particular drum set. There are many kinds of woods used in the manufacturing of drums. The following types of wood are explained for the reason of sound quality.
Here is a sampling of the most popular ones and their “sound” features:
Different materials and the construction process can affect the sound that a drum produces.
A drum shell, (think “frame”), is the main part of a set. Along with type of wood, is also distinguished by its thickness, and is one of the most important features of the shell.
The sound can be produced in various ways by shells from the same wood, but made with different thicknesses. The sound also depends on the layers of wood. More layers equal to a “brighter” sounding drum, where fewer layers make the drum sound “warmer”.
The next group of a drum set components is the breakables. It includes sticks, cymbals, the snare drum, drum throne, or stool, and occasionally, the bass drum pedal. Though some sets don’t include the throne, it’s not right to sit on something else but a real, drum “throne”. They are designed to make the drummer feel comfortable, while playing, and can be purchased separately, if needed.
The next part of a drum set is the hardware. Some people compare it to a “support group”. It consists of drum stands, cymbal stands and pedals.
Also, there are some additional percussion instruments that are not included. Among these a cowbell, tambourine, claves, maracas, chimes, etc.
As briefly mentioned above, the hardware of a drum set includes all the metal stands that support the percussion instruments. Generally, the term also includes the hi-hat pedal, the bass drum pedal or pedals, and the drum throne. Without the proper hardware, your drum set would be incomplete.
But, that doesn’t mean that when you are changing one drum set for a new type, that you have to change the hardware, too. A money-saving “hardware pack”, is a good solution for a drummer on a budget. These are collections of stands, pedals, and thrones that can save you money, when compared with the cost of separate pieces of drum hardware.
Hardware comes with different items in the trap case, (drum case), and the main ones included are:
It’s very interesting, that jazz drummers usually set up their own drum hardware onstage, as a general rule.
But drummers of other genres, like rock and pop musicians, mostly have a drum “tech” who knows how to set up their hardware and instruments, in the location and layout that a specific drummer prefers.
In different styles of music, percussionists use different sticks of various sizes and materials.
A drumstick is made from a single piece of wood.
Usually, that wood is hickory, and sometimes maple, or oak. You can also see a drumstick that is made from nylon. Wooden sticks have a soft and warm sound, while nylon sticks have increased durability, and focused, “cymbal” sound.
Sticks have their names and are used in different genres. For example, “2B, 3S, 5A, 5B, and 7A”. The numerical part is about the perimeter of the stick. So, the higher the number, the smaller the perimeter. A “7A” stick is smaller than a “2B”. The “3S” is actually different in this sizing scale, because it’s larger than a “2B”. The “2B” sticks are mainly used in in rock music, because of the high-volume sound that is needed. Smaller sticks usually are used in styles that require less volume, such as jazz music, folk music, acoustic music, etc.
Brushes can be used instead of sticks. They are often used in ballads, and different acoustic music styles like jazz, and the blues. Though they are also used in rock, country and pop music.
There is a variety of brushes sizes, shapes, and materials. The brush bristles are made of either metal or plastic. The handles are usually made of wood or aluminum. The top layer is normally covered with rubber. The handle may end in a loop or a ball, besides being in a “straight configuration”.
There are also designer styles of sticks and brushes, some of which have the ability to “light up”, when touched to a drum head or a cymbal. These are used for performances, more than for practice.
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