A Beginner's Guide to Choosing a Drum Kit

So, you’ve decided to play the drums. Fantastic! Our blog post on 5 reasons you should learn to play the drums has worked!


It can be hard knowing where to start when you’re buying your first drum kit, which is why we’ve put together some advice on finding the kit that’s best for you when you’re starting out.


The Basics


The first thing to consider before buying a drum kit is where will you be playing it. Do you need to keep noise levels down? Will you need to transport it a lot? Will you be performing on your kit? Depending on how you answer these questions, an acoustic, or electric drum kit may be better for you.


Why Electric?


If you’re living in the city, or just have neighbours close by, an electric kit is often best. Electric drum kits are more suited to smaller spaces, are less noisy, and can be tuned to the different wood tones you get from an acoustic drum kit. Electric kits are also better suited to travel; they can be packed away and re-setup with ease.


Extra benefits include a built-in metronome and the ability to plug in your headphones, phone or music player. If you’ve got headphones plugged in, you can practice while barely making a sound, and your neighbours will likely thank you!


Why Acoustic?


If you’re not too concerned about noise, and plan to be performing on your kit at some point, an acoustic set may be for you. If you’re set on an acoustic drum kit and don’t want to be disowned by your family, you could also consider soundproofing the room you are going to practice in.


Your basic acoustic drum kit fit-out should include: a kick drum, snare drum, two rack toms, a floor tom, and cymbals (usually a hi-hat, ride, and crash). Acoustic drum kits can take up more space, but will also give you more room to move around when playing.


Essential Accessories


The most essential accessory you buy will be your drumsticks – good luck playing the drums without them! Most drum manufacturers make 5A sticks; these are a good all-rounder pair for beginners to start with. 5A sticks are generally good for either electric or acoustic drum kits, but if you’re buying for an electric kit, make sure you get a nylon tipped pair to better protect your drum heads. It’s a good idea to also get a nifty sticks holder or bag, and a spare pair for those times you break the sticks in hard rock fashion, or throw them into the mosh and don’t get them back.


If you’re not buying an electric drum kit you’ll want a metronome to keep time while you’re practising. There are some decent basic metronome apps out there, many of which are free, such as Mobile Metronome and Metronome: Tempo Lite. However, because microphone quality between phones varies so much, a standalone metronome is still a good idea for quality and consistency; have a look at the cherub mechanical metronome for a great entry level one.


If you’re looking for some lessons now that you’ve got your snazzy new drum kit, check out our drumming lessons available in Perth.