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How to choose the first drum kit?
Currently we have a lot of different drum sets on the music market. There are many manufacturers who have produced many alternative versions of their products.
The question is, what set to choose for yourself so that it fulfills our expectations?
Firstly you should determine what is your budget and what you expect . Also important is the music genre we would like to play, as the configuration of the set plays an important role here.
Let's start with the fact that they are very cheap kits, medium and full professional ones. When it comes to beginner musicians, it is not worth investing in top shelf hardware because the potential of such a set will not be fully utilized by a beginner enthusiast.
What is the composition of the drums?
The basic percussion kit consists of a bass drum snare drum, tom tom and floor tom. The sizes of these drums are configuration-dependent. The most popular configurations are "Fusion" and "Standard".
Bass drum: 22x18 "or 20x18" FUSION
Snare: 14 "
tom tom: 8 "10" 12 "14"
Floor tom: 14 "
Bass drum: 20x16 "22x18" and larger
Snare drum 14 "
tom tom: 12 "13"
Floor tom: 16 "
The fusion configuration has it that the sound is more subtle, focused due to the smaller volume of the toms . Of course, much depends on the tension rods used, the tune we use and the wood from which our kit is built. It also important are the skills of the player.
In summary, however, this configuration will surely give you more warmth and gentleness in tone than the standard configuration that often offers larger volumes and consequently the sound is more aggressive, blurry and louder.
Market offer a lot of different tension. Top brands are Remo and Evans. Both brands offer "coated" and "clear". Tensions are divided into different models according to the tone we care about. If you want to get a full, fleshy, loud sound, the most often chosen ones are the "clear" tensions . However, if you care about the more delicate, focused, subtle tone, then the "coated" will be a good choice.
There are many different theories about tuning drum kits. Another would like to tune high , which make that the tone is more delicate and focused. Others tune on so-called "flat tire" .They twist the screws only when the folds on the tension will disappear,what allowing for a more aggressive, fleshy tone.
The most common wood to produce the drums is a maple and a birch. Poplar, lime and ash are much less commonly used. The maple sound usually gentle, full. Birch has a powerful, loud, fleshy sound. Of course, consider factors such as the above mentioned: dress, pulls. However, wood itself dictates the type of sound itself
What is the basic percussion set and for what we use the basic cymbals?
The basic set should consist of a bass drum, snare drum , at least one tom and floor tom. The plates that should be in the set are hi hat, crash and ride. Such a configuration to start with is enough.
Hi-Hat is two cymbals set against each other on a tripod. You can play with drumsticks and with legs on hi hat closed, half open and open. Each of these ways has its own characteristic sound. The most popular size is 14 ". There are also 12" and 13 "models.
Crash is a cymbal used to emphasize or give a sharp character to a song- so called "crashing", ie continuous hitting. It has sizes from 14 to 20. The most popular are 16 and 18" models.
Ride is the largest percussion plate in the set. It is used to give character in a given song, through gentle beats to very loud noises. The most common size is 20 ", but there are also larger 22" and 24 "models.
Time to choose the instrument
Now it's time to choosing the kit for yourself. Music stores offer a set of so-called "shell sets" and complete sets.
"Shell set" is characterized by the lack of "hardware", that is, tripods and feet. Also not included in such a snare kit. There is only a bass drum and tom tom. In complete sets we find a set of drums and tripods, also cymbals. The most popular manufacturers of drums are: PDP, Mapex, Ludwig, Pearl, DW, Dam, Yamaha. It is worth mentioning that PDP is visually made like DW, but it is much lower class than mentioned DW, because PDP starts with beginner kits and ends with intermediate kicks. DW is a fully professional instrument.
Percussion forums are filled with completely different opinions of musicians. Some recommend spending money on the top, very expensive models, others recommend cheaper kits. By looking at the market, looking at the number of sets, the setup for beginner music, the best choice will be a set that will not burden your wallet. It is a true that on the our sound will be consist not only our hardware but also our skills ,properly tune,level of acoustic in our room. There are people who buy professional kits, and they are disappointed with the sound because they can not tune or pick the right tension, do not have the right techniques and acoustics of the room makes some people lose the enthusiasm for the game.
Keep in mind that with the average kit, when you've already acquired some experience, have tried out different tensions, different tunes and have a room with good acoustics, you can get really good sound like in the expensive models.
For about 1000zł you can buy a basic percussion kit. Cymbals added to such sets do not sound at all and in this case unfortunately there is nothing you can do except to buy other ones if the sound is very disturbing. However, they can be practiced at the end.
In such cheaper sets are usually added brass cymbals, which are the lowest available shelf. It is worth looking around for cymbals of bronze. It is a shelf higher than brass and made of a completely different alloy. The most common is B8 when it comes to cymbals that sounding for beginner musicians. The basic set of bronze plates B8, which will contain hi hat, crash and ride, can be purchased for about 850zł.