choose a drum set Guide: How to Choose Drums

Experienced drummers know there’s more to drumming than just entering a music shop and purchasing the first set that appeals to the eye. Drumming is as sacred and varied as playing the guitar, piano or even the sensational violin. If you’re a seasoned drummer, however, you want to make sure you have the appropriate gear and attire for all your gigs; something appealing that should match your genre, character as well as style, and prove to be durable. You also need to consider the design and elements of the drum as well as the size. What’s more, you don’t want to be impressed by something your pockets can’t handle; you obviously want to take a pick that’s within your budget line.

When these factors are put into consideration, then the drums serve the exact purpose they were made for. With that said, how do you go for the perfect drum in the market made just for you?

Drum Set, Things to Consider

The Size & Purpose Matters

Who are you buying the drums for? Is it for your massive weekend performance which have touring different parts of the country or is it for your 12-year old kid who has developed a sudden liking to the art? Size is an important factor when determining which drum to go for. As a matter of fact, they might all be big but luck some essential drum sets.

A full-sized drum kit will be particularly suitable for artists measuring up to 120cm in height. This ensures they can freely adjust the stool to reach the kick pedals as well as the rack toms. Whilst the bass drum here measures 22 inches, the bass drum for a junior sized drum kit measures approximately 16 inches making it suitable for a player of 80-120cm in height. There is also the artist mini drum kit which will have your kids perfecting their drumming skills in no time.

Electronic Versus Acoustic

As a beginner, you might be tempted to go for the easier option to eliminate much hassle. This would basically involve you going for an electronic drum whose sound you can easily control if you have nearby neighbours. They also have a compact size which enables them to fit in lesser-spaced rooms. The electronic drums work by triggering a pre-recorded or electronic sample which generally implies you will never learn how to tune a drum or otherwise hit it to bring out the diverse sounds.

If by any chance you decide to switch from an electric drum to an acoustic one, the difference even in how you play, will be easily notable. It never sounds as good as it used to, simply because you never went through the necessary training. Hence, the electronic drums might not be such a good option if you are seeking a career in the drumming music industry.

That notwithstanding, electric drums have added advantages including rubber pads which prevent you from breaking sticks, offer the best option for recording using connector cables plus the availability of different sounds built into the onboard sound module. However, they aren’t as responsive to your play as compared to the acoustic drums. They also present another challenge since they usually don’t allow space for expansion – additional electric cymbals or drums might come in real handy for your gigs, but this might be impossible with most electronic drums.

choose a drum

The Construction

In the making of a good drum, four variables come into play to determine the level of perfection for the specific drum made:

  • Shell construction
  • Woods
  • Finishes
  • Rims

The ideal drum shell wood relies upon three factors:

  1. Tone: The sound produced has to bring about a nice taste obviously.
  2. Abundance: It should not be too rare or upgrading some parts might be difficult; should also not be very expensive.
  3. Workability: Molding the drum into a shell should not be a hassle and when molded, it should maintain its shape for a long time.

In assessing the best wood for making drums, the following most appealed to us and emerged as the highest rated:

  1. Marple: Most popular with a highly-versatile make and happens to have a properly-balanced tone.
  2. Birch: Ideal for recording because of its accentuated highs and lows plus are sufficient enough to be used on both dear and cheap kits.
  3. Mahogany: Scarcer than the two mentioned above and is hooked with a warm vintage tone.

If the above doesn’t appeal to you, you can try premium options such as basswood, poplar or even falkata.

The quality of results when designing the shell primarily depends upon 3 factors which are the shaping technique, the thickness, and the bearing edge. Finishes on the outer coating, on the other hand, is done through one of the following 3 ways:

  • Staining: An easy process which could even involve rubbing some tung oil on the drum.
  • Lacquer: A more sophisticated process involving lots of layering and buffing.
  • Wrapping: A thin vinyl sheet comes in handy to cover the shell.

Rims, otherwise referred to as hoops, come in three common design categories which are wood, die-cast and flanged.</> The former two are considered much stronger than flanged hoops. They also maintain a firmer grip on the drum head’s outer edges. This brings about a more focused sound with a lesser level of sustain plus a stronger projection with rim-clicks and more tuning stability.

Drum Accessories

You cannot have a drum set made up of drums alone. A couple of things need to accompany your set for making a meaningful kit. You’re not going to be using your hands to hit the drum, are you? The accessories also need prior research before buying any, to come up with the right combination for your plays. They range from drum heads to bags, cases, and drumsticks. For starters, if you’re going to be moving from place to place with your drum, you need to stop budgeting everything into the slickest drums to be found and set aside a small portion for cases that will withstand time and different other modalities.

Drumsticks also come in different sizes with each particular size, suitable for a certain type of play. The 7A sticks are very light and recommended for playing jazz. The 5A sticks are also light and all-rounders but don’t work well with hard hitters. 5B sticks, on the other hand, are of medium weight and offer a quality experience for rock artists and hard hitters. The 2B sticks happen to be among the heaviest in the market and are appropriate especially for marching drums and the very hard hitters.


Now that you know your drum, are you ready to learn how to play too? Playing can only be as good as the equipment is. If you go for sloppy tools, they won’t last, and you won’t become the drummer you are aspiring to. Don’t be in a rush, therefore; take time, save up and buy yourself a drum worth your dreams. It shouldn’t take you that long to master the beats and hits required – patience will eventually pay.


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