A good drum kit is the heart and soul of countless bands. The ability to set and keep a groove, with unlimited scope for embellishment through extemporisation, with ample solo opportunities, is a powerfully satisfying stimulus. Drums and other percussion instruments offer a rich palette for the skilled drummer, equipped with the right drum kit.
Drummers have been assembling their instruments into groups since the middle of the 19th century, spurred partly by the desire to have one percussionist to do the work previously done by several, and partly by the need of the American military for marching music.
The modern drum kit can be said to have arrived with the Ludwig Brothers’ invention of a workable bass drum pedal. The early years of jazz saw a parade of improvements to the design of drums. Firms such as Leedy, Slingerland, Gladstone and Gretch vied with one another, bringing many features that have stood the test of time and remain with us. Brushes, for instance, came about because the drum kit, no longer a parade ground training aid, needed to blend its voice to those of its new ensemble companions, the piano, string base, clarinet and so on.
What to Look for in a Drum Kit
If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need a full drum kit, of course. For novice drummers an affordable starter or junior drum set is often a great choice. For the experienced drummer wanting a professional drum kit, a number of things need to be considered.
The wood used for the shell - Maple is generally reckoned the best material, but birch has its enthusiasts, producing a brighter sound. Those wanting a classic, warmer sound often favour mahogany. Oak is sometimes used as an alternative to maple, and all these woods have low-cost analogues.
Whatever the wood the shell is made from, the sharpness with which its bearing edge is cut affects the brightness of the drum’s tone.
Then there’s the hardware –
Drum pedals – these come in a bewildering variety of designs, each suited to a particular style of drumming. It’s vital that you choose the right pedals for your purpose.
Drum thrones - these should be ergonomically designed, allow plenty of height adjustment, and be easily transported.
Drum and Cymbal Racks and Stands – these should be designed to be as versatile as possible, as well as easy to assemble, disassemble and manipulate.
Cymbals – these may be cast, or made from sheet metal. Cast cymbals have a unique timbre that many prefer to that of the sheet variety.
At Music Mart we have complete drum kits, and expansion options, to suit every budget and drumming style.
To learn more about Music Marts range of drum kits or to make a purchase, give us a call on (08) 9250 2015 or send us an email enquiry.