The rhythm and thumping backbeat to every song, the drums are a hugely important part of any band. Just think of your favourite jazz band without the toe-tapping beat or your favourite rock band without the loud and proud crash.
Want to follow in the footsteps of the greats? Then you’ll likely be investing in your own kit soon. It can be a bit of an investment but if you’re passionate about it we have some tips for you.
Below are some things you will need to know before building your kit.
Components of Your Kit
A big part of building your kit will be researching what parts you will need. If you’re just starting, you probably don’t need anything too fancy. A standard 5- or 6-piece drum kit without all the bells and whistles will do just fine.
However, if you’ve already had enough lessons and practice and want to build up your kit, you should probably shop around. You’ll be thinking about the orientation, if you’ll need extras, what style of music you are playing and if that impacts you. So much to consider!
To help get you started in your construction, below are a couple of things to think about.
- Drums: Less of an obvious statement and more a not to consider what orientations you will want. There are some custom builds that will have multiple small and large drums or simple individual drums so think about what you will need. Also, have a look at different brands, each one will have their pros and cons.
- Cymbals: How many do you want, what style and what brand. High hats, crash, ride, china, splash and sizzle – what do you need for your kit? When it comes to brands again each of them has their way of making a cymbal. You can choose a smaller company, or you can go with one of the top tier producers. Companies like Paiste, Sabian, Zildjian, and Meinl make approximately half of the cymbals on the market. Have a shop around, test some out and see what suits you.
- Extras: Do you need anything else? This only applies should you need something specific for the type of music you are playing. Pedals, drum rugs, bells, etc can be added to the ensemble should you need them.
Whatever you need, make sure you test many different options before you commit.
Drums are loud. Obviously. So, if you care about your ability to hear you may want to invest in some ear protection so that you don’t end up going deaf way before you need to. The occasional drum session without headphone or ear defender is fine but prolonged exposure is a bad idea.
You massively increase your risk of hearing loss due to the noise by becoming a drummer. You can also start to suffer from Tinnitus (ringing ears). The simplest way to avoid this is, if you are playing regularly, get yourself earplugs. A small investment that can save your hearing.
If you are worried in any way about your hearing or think you are suffering from some hearing damage, talk to your doctor.
You need to think about yourself but also consider other people in your house or neighbourhood. If you are committed to your drum practice or your bad is practicing a lot, get yourself some soundproofing.
Soundproofing your room can be as easy as padding the walls with thick blankets to dampen the sound. However, if you are going to be drumming a lot it’s a good idea to get soundproofing materials. They aren’t as expensive as you think, and you won’t be kicked out of your apartment thanks to noise complaints.
As with any investments and instrument, there is plenty to think about to make sure that are getting the most out of them. As a drummer there a couple of extra things to think about. Good luck with your drumming career.
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