In order to start drumming here is what you need:
That’s right, a drum pad. Are you surprised?
If you are truly passionate about playing drums and don’t have money do buy a drum set there’s so much things you can learn on a drum pad.
It does not have to be a Vic Firth drum pad from the image. Go to a drum store and for as low as $30 you can buy a drum pad and pair of sticks and start drumming today.
If not immediately then eventually, you will come to the moment of buying a drum set. I decided to guide you step by step and here’s what I will be covering
- Drum set cost for a beginner
- Drum set cost for intermediate
- Drum set cost for professionals
- Hardware cost
- Cymbals cost
- Percussion cost
- Electronic cost
- Microphone cost
How much does a drum set cost
Drum set for beginner cost around $300 (drum set, 2-3 cymbals, 2 stands, drum throne, drum pedal). Professional drum set goes from $1400 up to $8000 or more just for wood. The rest of the equipment is bought separately.
For the past 15 years, I’ve been playing drums. I played all from shitty drums in clubs to amazing pieces in studios. The idea behind this guide is to give you a few suggestions and top picks within each category. I want you to pick a drum set that will “do the work” no matter on which level you are. Let’s start…
Beginner drum set
- Suggested budget: $300-$400
- What to expect? Getting the full drum set enough for practice
- Goal: To buy a drum set good enough to last a few years and make your life easier
Drumming is expensive “sport” so within this price range all you can get is a basic drum set but good enough to start banging. This can hold water for a few years just to see is this for you and are you ready to invest time and money in being a drummer.
This is the only level where you get “all drum parts” in one package. Drum stores designed this to make things easier. Afterward as “drums” you get only wooden parts and the rest of the gear you buy separately and the cost rises substantially.
Here’s my top pick for beginner drum set:
Parts you are going to need
The wooden parts:
- Bass drum
- Snare drum
- Toms (high tom, middle tom, rack tom)
- Stands (cymbal stand, snare drum stand, drum throne…)
Different parts and sizes:
When you are buying “drums” in a drum store you are going to get only wooden parts and maybe a tom holder or snare drum stand.
More expensive the drums are, the better the wood you will get but with less equipment.
If you buy a 4-piece drum set, you will get a bass drum and 3 toms or snare drum and, tom and floor tom. A 5 piece drum set will include a snare drum. Basic jazz drum set will hold a bass drum an only two toms.
For around $600 to $1000, you can get a pretty solid sounding drum kit.
The price for a medium quality 4 piece set that contains 2 crashes, ride and a hi-hat cymbal would be around $500.
These are the costs if you are buying a new equipment, of course, but you can, of course, buy all gears or some of it used.
I assume that you will not get hardware with a drum set, but, in most cases, if you are buying a new drum you will get some equipment with a drum kit. Let’s assume that your drum set cost $750 and you get a snare drum stand, pedal and a drum throne with a kit.
All you need to buy is a set of cymbals, two cymbal stands, and a hi-hat stand. If you buy your missing equipment used, the general cost will be around $450. So now we are at a price of $1200 instead of $1560. You can save even more if you buy everything used. If you do that you will lower your costs to $800-$900 in total. Of course, there is an option to buy cheaper equipment.
I would strongly suggest sticking with a middle quality, against the cheapest due to huge quality difference and durability.
On what to pay attention while buying a drum set
When you go to a drum store to buy an expensive drum set, you will only get only 4-piece drum set (only wood without a snare drum) unless you pay for the rest.
When it comes to drums for beginners, they usually come with a whole package containing:
- cheap cymbals (crash, ride, hi-hat)
- cymbal stands
- drum pedal
- drum throne. (sometimes)
As a beginner on drums, you will search for a cheap drum set. Have it in mind that music equipment, in general are, is very expensive so it will be hard to buy all you need at once. For the price of cymbal package you get with a beginner drum set, you can’t buy even one decent premium cymbal.
After all, there are plenty of things that you may not get by default, here is the list:
- Bass drum pedal
- Drum throne
- Snare drum stand
- Crash and ride stand
- Hi-hat stand
Depending on stores a beginner drum kit package can vary. Sometimes with a drum set, you can get a cymbal set, drum throne or some bags for the drums.
There are no two kinds of wood completely the same. This can, therefore, cause drum sets from the same series to sound different. The second thing I want to emphasize is that heads are as important as the wood.
About sizes; if you are buying on a low budget (under $1000 new) drum set, stick to smaller toms. It will be easy to tune them, and they will not go out of the tune so easily. The larger and cheaper the drum, the more tone issues you should expect, especially when you mic the drum kit.
With a good drummer and good drum heads, any drum kit can sound good. Do not be fooled by this, there is a huge difference between a beginner drum set and an expensive drum kit . The player makes all the difference in the world if you ask me
Should I buy a beginner drum set or a pro?
These are the differences:
- Type of wood
- Finish (color)
Type of wood
The most popular drum wood for manufacturing premium series is maple. Every drum company works similarly when it comes to drum lines. The best and most expensive drum line is made out of pure maple or maple mixed with some exotic wood.
If you don’t plan to spare on buying drums, then you can choose a wood that goes into your own custom drum set. Beginner drum sets are usually made of poplar, some cheaper birch, maple, and oak.
For the beginning you don’t need to spend a lot on drums, focus on learning new stuff, practice technique and improving your dynamic and metric.
You can find maple in a cheap drum set but not completely maple, it is however not the same quality as the more expensive series. That is for sure. Also, think about some custom made drums.
When it comes to hardware expensive series have hardware that will hold a tune longer.
You will have a tough time tuning beginner drums. They will not sound as good as expensive drums when you tune them and, they will not hold a tone that you set.
The reason for this are low-quality lugs.
Only expensive drum series have some fancy, good looking finishes. Sometimes drum manufacturer will add one ply of some exotic wood in order to get a better finish.
So, when it comes to design, you can’t get much out of a $500 drum set.
Try listening to a sound in this video, see if you will notice the difference.