Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big drum set test 2022. Here we present all the drum sets we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best drum set for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to when buying a drum kit.




Summary

  • Many dream of it, few have the space or the wherewithal: playing on an acoustic drum set.
  • But it doesn't have to be such an expensive purchase - even if the right premises (unfortunately) remain a must.
  • The following guide sheds light on the world of drums and shows you what to look for when buying a drum set.

The Best Drums: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a drum set

What do I need to play the drums?

Before you buy a drum set, you should have organised a suitable room. Because: Drums are, as is generally known, very loud instruments. Especially the low frequencies of a bass drum are very difficult to isolate and can therefore be heard over long distances.

Acoustic drums are very loud. Jazz drummers have an advantage over rock drummers here because playing with brooms and the smaller kick drum have a positive influence on the volume level.

Suitable rooms for drums are cellars (the deeper the cellar the better), barns or generally secluded places, as well as bunkers or garages. When it comes to sound insulation, the basic rule is that only mass insulates sound from the outside. So the thicker the wall, the more promising!

How loud is a drum kit?

Caution, this cannot really be generalised, but depends above all on the genre. Soft jazz pieces or ballads are not comparable with metal songs.

Often the cymbals or the snare are perceived as particularly loud directly on the drums. However, what the neighbours hear most are the low frequencies of the kick drum. This is due to the nature of low frequencies; their wavelength is longer and requires much thicker materials to shield them. Everyone knows the phenomenon of hearing only the boom of the kick outside the nightclub, while you only notice the details of the song when you enter the club.

Nevertheless: even in general, drums are already a very loud instrument. It's not for nothing that drummers should wear ear protection. A drum kit can get quite loud at 110 decibels, which is about the same as the volume of a chainsaw.

If you don't have a suitable basement or practice room, you should look for electronic drums. If you are willing to spend a little money, you can count on very good alternatives to acoustic drums.

What are the components of a drum set?

Generally speaking, a drum set consists of only three parts:

  • Drums
  • Cymbals
  • Hardware (stands and mounts for drums and cymbals)

So basically it's quite simple. Of course, it gets a little more specific than that.

Drums

There are three main types of drums:

  • Bass drum/kick drum
  • Snare drum
  • TomToms

The bass drum is struck with a pedal and produces a deep, in the best case pressing sound. It sets the beat and is one of the most important elements.

The snare often has a whipping, brighter and clear sound. The carpet on the underside of the snare produces the typical buzzing sound. In the time signature, the snare is usually on beats 2 and 4 (in modern pop/rock music). So if you're clapping along to a song, you're probably clapping along with the snare.

The snare is also an extremely important element in drumming. Here, not only the sound but also the feel is important, because a snare should have a good rebound so that fast drum rolls are possible.

Tom toms are mostly used in fills. Just think of "In the air tonight" by Phil Collins, then you know what makes good toms. If you are a beginner, however, you should pay more attention to the quality of the kick, snare and hihat, as these are simply used the most.

Cymbals

With cymbals, you can also distinguish between a few essentials:

  • Hihat
  • Crash cymbal
  • Ride cymbal

The hihat, together with the snare and the bass drum, is the most important element in a drum kit. The hihat is also the most complex instrument. It consists of two cymbals placed on top of each other, which can be opened or closed by means of a foot pedal.

In a classic rock/pop groove, eighth notes are played on the closed hihat. This can be opened to set accents at certain points.

You should pay special attention to the quality of the hihat, as it will be a central element in your drumming.

Crash and ride cymbals are less important than the hihat, but not to be neglected. Crash cymbals have a crashing sound that is often played after fills on the first beat. Crash cymbals come in different sizes and thicknesses - both influence the sound and resistance to hard hits.

In contrast to the crash cymbal, the ride cymbal should be precise to play and resonate with less of a "wash" sound. You can also use the cymbal to set accents with the help of the crest, but it supports the rhythm excellently. For jazz music, for example, ride cymbals that are more sensitive and not so penetrating might be more suitable.

In contrast, in loud music styles such as rock, the cymbals should sound louder in order to assert themselves against other instruments.

Hardware

In drums, hardware refers to any kind of stands and pedals that are needed to play the drum kit. This includes in particular:

  • Cymbal stand
  • Snare stand
  • Tom stand
  • Stands for foot machines
  • HiHat machine
  • Drum rack
Snare stands

Two things are important here. First, you have to be able to adjust the height and the angle of inclination so that you can play in an optimal position. Secondly, the stand must not damage or obstruct the snare carpet or the snare drum itself.

Tom stands

Here, too, there are single- and double-braced stands. As with the others, the single-braced stand is not as stable. Also, the stands must be adjustable. You should order the stands from the supplier where you bought the toms. Most of the time, they don't offer stands in universal sizes.

Foot pedal for the bass drum

Of course, it is important that the pedal does not slip and is perhaps even fixed to the floor. It must also be solidly built and easy to operate. For this, joints and shafts should be equipped with ball or nail bearings.

With the direct drive, the connection between the pedal and the racket is fixed. Here we have listed the 3 different drives for bass pedals.

Chain Tape Direct Drive
Robustness Can break, but easily replaceable Can break, but easily replaceable Very unlikely to break
Feel Smooth to play Slightly smoother, as the weight of the tape is lighter than that of the chain Very smooth, as all parts are tight and nothing wobbles
Price Cheap to expensive Cheap to expensive Expensive to very expensive

Another criterion is whether the racket holder can be rotated and thus adjusted. The retaining spring must also be easy to reach. Some drummers also prefer foot machines where they can change the drive between chain and belt. Which of the two you prefer is a matter of taste.

There are single and double foot machines. As the name suggests, single-foot machines can only use one racket. With a double-foot machine, however, you now have two pedals, one of which transmits the movement to the second racket via a shaft. It enables very fast playing.

Hi-Hat Machine

The stand should be very stable and comes in single and double strut versions. The double-braced hi-hat stands have a lower centre of gravity and are heavier overall, which ensures a firm stand.

The spring tension and the adjusting screw for the bottom hi-hat must be easily accessible and adjustable.

If you have space problems because, for example, you use a double-legged machine for the bass drum that doesn't fit next to the hi-hat stand, a cable hi-hat is a good choice. As the name suggests, the foot pedal and hi-hat are connected by a cable. This means that the hi-hat can stand almost anywhere and does not take up any space.

Drum rack

A drum rack is a stable construction to which you can attach most parts of your drum set. It is a very stable frame that holds tom toms, cymbals etc.. This way you don't have too many stands in the way.

Schlagzeug

Children usually enjoy learning to play drums because they can let off steam. (Picture source: Suwinai Sukanant / 123rf.com)

What materials does a drum kit set consist of?

Kettle materials

Traditionally, most drum kettles are made of wood. However, there are two different ways of manufacturing them. On the one hand, kettles can be made of solid wood. This means that they are carved out of one large piece of wood. The process is time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, the second method of construction is chosen for the most part. Here, several layers of wood are glued together under pressure.

In comparison, however, the laminates are hardly inferior to the solid wood kettles in terms of sound, precision of the round shape, burrs, etc. This fact and the optimal price/performance ratio is also the reason why many top manufacturers largely specialise in laminated shells.

Many drummers still prefer the inimitable sound of a solid wood shell. However, these are very cost-intensive in comparison.

The most popular material today is maple wood.

It sounds warm and clear and brings out the low notes particularly clearly. The high and middle pitches are harmonious and supported normally.
Birch wood emphasises higher and lower registers and thus sounds somewhat more pointed than maple, but balanced. It also asserts itself a little better in the drum kit as a result.

The powerful sounds of beech are particularly evident in the low and middle registers. It is considered a combination of maple and birch, combining the warmth of maple and the assertiveness of birch.

Oak wood again supports the basses, but at the same time the trebles and middle registers are also very clear and distinct. This balanced wood is thus very versatile.

The former standard material for the production of kettles is mahogany. But because it is quite expensive, maple is often used as an alternative today. Even though both woods support the basses, the mahogany wood is still much warmer in sound.

Besides the more expensive mahogany, there is poplar wood. It is used as a substitute for mahogany, maple and birch because of its similar characteristics and because it is cheaper. Manufacturers often use poplar in combination with the aforementioned woods, whereby the inner layers are intended for the cheaper wood and maple or mahogany, for example, are used on the outside.

In terms of tonal range, basswood resembles the sound of maple and mahogany and emphasises bass registers. Accordingly, it is another fast-growing and inexpensive alternative.

Boiler thickness

Broadly speaking, there are two common thickness grades of laminates.

These thicknesses are more suitable for rock or metal kits. A thicker wall means that the vibrations are absorbed more heavily by the head. As a result, the sound is more direct and louder. The typical wood sound falls a little by the wayside. These shells are about 7.5 mm thick.

The thin drums sound more natural and the fundamental tone is somewhat deeper and fatter. With their woody and dynamic sound, they have 5 mm thick walls.

How many layers are glued together in the laminate depends on the diameter. The larger this is, the more stable the outer wall must be. That is why more layers are needed. The number varies from small drums with four layers of wood to 9-layer shells.

The thickness of the shell does not necessarily increase with the number of layers. Manufacturers use layers of different thicknesses, for example, to be able to build a stable bass drum with fat basses and natural sounds. But this sound can only be produced by thin laminate layers.

The place where the drumhead lies on the drum is called the burr and is shaped in various ways by manufacturers to produce different sounds.

At this point, of course, part of the vibration is damped by the contact surface, but also the vibration of the head is transferred to the wood. So here you have a decisive influence on how the sound should be transmitted. An improperly made burr can worsen the sound of the drum.

The burr of a shell is essential for the resulting sound.

There are different types and shapes that have become established:

The simple 45 ° burr provides a relatively wide bearing surface. The burr consists of a surface that slopes from the outside to the inside at a 45 ° angle. Thus, compared to others, more of the sound is naturally damped and the sound is somewhat deeper.

The double 45 ° burr is built a little differently. Here, two surfaces slope down from the centre of the rim at a 45 ° angle (reminiscent of a gable roof). This shape provides a variable and open sound and is very often used for kettles today. This shape also makes it easier to tune the drums.

The rounded double 45° shell burr has a larger contact surface and sounds accordingly more muffled. Basically, it looks like the double 45 ° burr, with the difference that the top of the saddle is now rounded.

Another of the many possibilities is the vintage roundover burr. This is like an elongated semicircle that curves outwards. Here the contact area is even larger and the sound is very warm and full.

There are, of course, even more variations. Basically, however, you can remember:

A larger contact surface through flatter angles dampens the sound. More acute angles in combination with a sharply (pointed) ground burr tip provide more volume and a more open sound.

Cymbal materials

Most cymbals today are made of a bronze alloy. But by changing the mixing ratio of tin and copper, different bronze alloys with different properties can be created.

The most commonly used bronze alloy is the so-called B20 bronze. The tin content here is 20 %. Cymbal manufacturers are always fine-tuning the mixing ratio and trying to incorporate other metals in their search for new sounds. However, these processes are kept secret and so we deal with the most common forms.

As soon as the proportion of tin in the bronze mixture rises above 8 %, the alloy is two-phase. What does this mean? Simply put, the mixture, such as B20 bronze, now has limited mouldability, which makes the manufacturing process more difficult. The so-called malleable bronze was developed in order to produce lighter and thus cheaper cymbals, but to this day manufacturers have not been able to reproduce the sound of the original B20 bronze in them.

The advantages of the B8 bronze are not limited to its low price, but also to its durability. This alloy is more robust and therefore suitable for music styles such as rock, where the cymbals are struck with more force. This is also an advantage for beginners. This way, they do not run the risk of damaging an expensive cymbal by playing it incorrectly.

Two other alloys are brass and nickel silver. Both are inexpensive in production and material and therefore good for beginners. Brass cymbals have a more muted and warmer effect than bronze cymbals and are therefore not as popular. They consist of 38 % zinc and 62 % copper.

Nickel silver is an alloy of 12 % nickel and copper. This metal mixture is also cheap and can often be found in the beginners' range or, more rarely, in the high price range. In the latter, one tries to produce special sounds. The basic tone of nickel cymbals is very bright.

Assemble yourself or buy a drum set?

Once you are aware of all the limiting criteria and have decided that you are capable of practising regularly on an acoustic drum set, you are faced with the question of whether you should buy a drum set or select the individual components yourself.

Beginners would do well to buy a complete drum set to get started. Advanced drummers can assemble their own kit from the individual components.

In the ideal world, you buy a drum set for life and thus avoid spending money on second or third purchases. However, as a beginner, you first have to learn to understand the instrument in order to be able to evaluate and assess the various offers available on the market.

For this reason, a middle-class drum set is recommended for beginners. Very cheap models are not advisable, as the quality can greatly reduce the fun of playing.

What does a drum set cost?

The cheapest sets start at 150 euros, which is not exactly an indication of the high quality of the individual instruments and hardware. Also, look carefully to see if any components are missing.

Mid-priced sets cost between 750 and 1,500 euros and should be more in line with what is understood by quality. Premium products can be found at 2,000 to 3,000 euros. The recommendation, however, is: when you are ready and you want to buy a really good (and expensive) drum set, rather put one together yourself according to your own wishes.

Drummers are the engine of every band. (Image source: pixabay.com / StockSnap)

Is playing drums difficult?

The learning curve for drumming is extremely steep at the beginning, which means that you will be able to accompany a (pop) band, for example, within a very short time - provided you have the right sense of rhythm.

But if you want to play not only pop, but also metal or jazz, it's the same with the drums as with all other instruments: once you have mastered them, it will take several years with thousands of hours of practice.

Do I need to tune my drums?

Beginners may be confused, wondering how to tune a drum kit. The answer: don't worry about tuning your drums in the beginning.

Tuning the toms and snare becomes important when you want to record the drums and match the sounding frequencies to the basic tone of the piece. When you are ready: there are many instructions on the internet on how to tune the drums. In the beginning, this is less important.

However, you can play around with the tension of the snare head to shape the sound characteristics of the snare. The tighter you tension it, the brighter and clearer the sound will be.

What is the most effective way to learn drums?

The internet offers a variety of possibilities. It is also not easy to assume that a private teacher is always the best option.

A good approach is to take a good teacher at the beginning to learn the basics like posture and technique. That way you don't develop annoying habits right from the start.

Once you have the basics down, you can progress well for a while with the help of internet resources, and then keep taking private lessons as needed.

How you learn best is also an individual decision; some people don't like to be told what to do, others want to be guided, etc. So to some extent you have to decide for yourself. So to some extent you have to figure it out for yourself.

Decision: What types of drum kits are there and which one is right for you?

When you decide to buy a drum set, you are faced with the choice of which type of kit you prefer. Essentially, there are four main types of setups:

  • Minimal Kits
  • Jazz kits
  • Fusion kits
  • Rock kits

Each of these kits is designed with different objectives in mind and thus offers certain advantages and disadvantages.

Schlagzeug

Drums are an instrument that requires a lot of stamina (Image source: Vasyl Dolmatov / 123rf.com)

Advantages and disadvantages of minimal kits

The minimal kit consists only of the groove-producing instruments. These include the bass drum (18-22 inches) for the deep basic rhythm, the accentuated snare drum (14" diameter x 5.5 or 6.5 inches deep) and the hi-hat.

A minimal kit is the smallest drum set that is perfect for beginners, as it consists of few components and is therefore inexpensive. Nevertheless, it fulfils the most important criteria that are important for a beginner.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Small and handy
  • Often high quality components
Disadvantages
  • Compulsory additional purchase of cymbals and toms
  • Very limited style

With the Minimal Kit, you can train all the basic rhythms from all musical styles. Rhythm and coordination exercises are also the most important building blocks at the beginning.

Another advantage of this kit is that you can easily expand it. In addition, you can then buy a floor tom (e.g. 16 inch) and a ride/crash cymbal as needed. This way you can possibly avoid double expenses - nevertheless, you are severely limited with a minimal kit. Many drummers say that what is really most fun are the fills - which are mostly played on toms or cymbals.

So if you want to play drums for a long time, you should definitely buy toms and additional cymbals.

Advantages and disadvantages of jazz kits

The jazz kit/bebop kit also has a suspended tom (12 inch). Thus, it was and still is very compact and very suitable for small stages and frequent transports.

It should still be noted that for jazz, a filigree, accentuated style of playing should be produced. Accordingly, the bass drum and all other shells should have a relatively small depth in contrast to normal or rock kits.

Advantages
  • Still quite small and handy
  • Perfect for jazz
Disadvantages
  • Not a multi-talent
  • Restrictions for various styles that require several toms, for example

On the one hand, the pitch is higher overall, but more importantly, the volume is lower and the sustain is shorter, which enables precise playing. The cymbals should also be relatively thin and lighter so that they are easier and more precise to play.

The relatively clear assessment of such kits: If you want to play jazz, you should get a jazz kit. Although you can play other genres on a jazz kit, if you mainly want to play other genres, you will not be satisfied with a jazz kit.

Advantages and disadvantages of fusion kits

Probably the most common type of drum kit is the so-called fusion kit. Here, in addition to bass drum (20 - 22 inches), snare drum (14 inches x 5.5 inches or 14 inches x 6.5 inches), hi-hat cymbal and ride/crash cymbal, two suspended toms (10 inches and 12 inches) and floor toms (14 inches and/or 16 inches) are available.

The idea behind fusion kits is this:

To get more tonal variability and versatility in drum kits, many drummers have added three or even four toms to the drum kit. By cleverly tuning them differently, the character of a drum set can be significantly changed, enhanced, or emphasised. Think again of "In the air tonight" - you need at least one fusion kit for fills like this.

Advantages
  • THE standard drum kit
  • Stylistically diverse
  • Wide range of customisation options
Disadvantages
  • Good quality can cost a lot here
  • large and unwieldy
  • usually much louder than jazz or minimal kits

This means that the toms in fill-ins, i.e. solo passages, transitional passages or improvisations, subsequently determine the timbre of the set. Assessment:

A fusion kit is the standard drum kit and is recommended without reservation for beginners and advanced players!

Advantages and disadvantages of rock kits

With rock kits, it is important to produce banging and loud sounds that, on the one hand, stand up well to the other relatively loud instruments and, on the other hand, can embody the intensity of a rock song.

This effect is achieved with larger drums; both depth and diameter of the drum are significantly higher. When a shell is deeper (or longer), not only does the volume increase, but also the length of the sustain.

Longer-sounding drums also sustain better and carry the sound further, but unfortunately you have to make a loss in the attack. This no longer sounds as precise as with the jazz kit. But this is fine for rock drums. In addition, the deeper the drum, the deeper the fundamental.

The cymbals in rock kits are also more stable, heavier and thicker. The reason for this is that, in contrast to jazz, in rock the drums and cymbals are worked or struck harder. Accordingly, they must be stable enough to withstand the drummer's enthusiasm in the rock frenzy.

Advantages
  • Assertive, loud sound perfect for rock and metal
  • Many elements, so a variety of playing styles possible
  • Great look
Disadvantages
  • The large drums are not ideal for every genre
  • Price at the upper end of the spectrum
  • Large and unwieldy

Of course, thicker cymbals lose the wash effects that you want to create with crash cymbals, for example. It also becomes harder to get the cymbals to swing at all, which means that the stroke will no longer be smooth. Two other changes that come with thick cymbals are a stronger ping sound and longer sustain.

In detail, very large bass drums with a diameter of 24 to 26 inches are often used. Furthermore, the stand toms are also slightly larger than normal at 16 to 18 inches. Rock sets with two foottoms are also played. Another popular change in hard rock and metal is the use of two bass drums.

This double bass drum kit allows faster and even more voluminous playing. Contrary to expectations, this kit originally comes from the jazz genre and only later established itself in rock kits. Another possibility to play faster is a double bass drum kit. With it, you can play a bass drum with two beaters and two pedals at the same time.

Rock kits can do one thing really well: make rock music. This is their strength, this is what they were designed for. However, the hard and loud sound of such kits is not ideal for every genre. But if you like listening to rock music and want to develop your drumming in this direction, you should think about buying a rock kit.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate drum sets based on these factors

Especially for beginners, it is difficult to judge whether a drum set is good or bad. The quality of a drum set is determined by the quality of the individual components. This means that you may well get a high-quality snare in a set, but the bass drum leaves a lot to be desired.

Therefore, it is best to get an overall impression of the drum set by evaluating the individual components in terms of workmanship, sound and playing style.

Quality of the bass drum

The bass drum consists of a wooden shell and a strong batter head and a thinner resonance head. The drum also includes the foot machine, which translates the footfall into a beat. Mostly you find size ranges in diameter from 18 inches to 24 inches. Of course, there are exceptions.

When you hit the resonance head with the mallet, you should hear a deep, pressing sound. Ideally, this sound should also be reasonably compact and not fade out for long. By fitting a new (and better) soundboard afterwards, you can still change the sound considerably. Of course, the sound is also influenced by the pedal and the size of the bass drum. The bigger the bass drum, the lower the frequency.

Ideally, the shell of the bass drum is made of solid wood. However, this will undoubtedly not be the case with most drum sets. Pay less attention to the head of the bass drum (this can be easily retrofitted), but how the head is clamped.

Does the mechanism hold? What kind of screws are used? Are they in simple plastic threads or is metal used? In addition, pay attention to the finish of the shell and whether certain materials feel "cheap" in general.

With the bass drum, the quality of the playing is determined more by the quality of the pedal. Nevertheless, you should check which bass drum head is used, so you can make sure whether you have to invest money in heads again directly after purchasing the drum set.

The main function of the drums in a band is to create a basic rhythm that carries the band and, together with the other instruments of the rhythm section (bass and keyboard), creates the supporting groove. (Picture source: pixabay.com / Pexels)

Quality of the snare

Directly in front of the drummer, in the centre of the drum kit is the snare drum. With hits on the second and fourth beats, it is another metronome that drives the groove forward. It stands out sonically from the rest of the cymbals and drums and is also used for accents.

The distinctive sound is due to the mostly metal snare carpet, which gives the drum its characteristic buzzing sound. Snare drums are also usually ten inches to 14 inches in diameter by default.

The snare drum is the only element of the drum kit whose shell can also be made of metal (rather than wood).

Most snare drums in drum kits are made of wood or steel; more expensive versions are made of bronze, copper or brass. Initially, you shouldn't worry too much about the nuances here and just make sure that the overall build quality of the snare is right.

The same applies here as with the bass drum: check the tensioning screws and the general quality of the paintwork. Are there any irregularities? Are many parts made of plastic? These things can tell you how long your snare drum will last.

The sound is at least as important, but the sound can still be positively influenced afterwards; for example, by using different tension rings, a different head or a new snare carpet.

With the snare, the tensioning screws are especially important; be sure that they hold well and do not come loose, otherwise the sound of the snare will change when you play it.

Quality of the Hihat

Next to the snare and the bass drum, the hihat is the most important element in your drum set.

To the left of the player is the hi-hat machine, consisting of a stand, a foot pedal and two cymbals held apart by a spring. When they meet, a chick sound is produced. Depending on how far apart the cymbals are, accents can be set with the help of the sticks in addition to the beat character.

Like the ride cymbals, the hi-hat cymbals are made of bronze, brass or nickel. The standard sizes range from 8 inches to 16 inches in diameter.

The most important criterion here is that the pedal holds the hi-hat in the given position and that nothing slips. After all, you choose how wide you want to open the hihat with a certain intention. Apart from that, there is nothing special to consider with the hihat for the time being; because in an emergency, you can also retrofit cymbals here, for example.

Quality of the TomToms

The tom toms are placed above the bass drum and to the right of the drummer. There are deeper and larger standing toms and smaller hanging toms. Together they are not there for the basic beat but for accentuation and form the sound of the drum set.

How many toms you need depends on your taste. In standard sets there are usually two smaller hanging toms and one larger standing tom. They also have a wooden shell and usually two heads.

For all elements other than the kick, snare and hihat, you can make compromises when buying a drum set. Toms and crash cymbals are played much less often. Otherwise, the same applies here as for snare and bass drum: the quality of the screws and threads is particularly important so that once a head has been tensioned, it will hold its pitch.

If you are at the lower end of the price range, you should not expect too much from your toms; but that doesn't matter, because you can easily replace them in the course of your drumming career.

Cymbal quality

Cymbals are easier and cheaper to upgrade than the bass drum or snare. Therefore, don't worry too much about these elements when buying a complete drum set.

In addition to the hihat, a distinction is made between crash cymbals and ride cymbals.

Ride cymbals are usually located between the bass drum and the stand tom to the right of the drummer. Its clear, defined sound supports the rhythm. It is mounted on an often straight cymbal stand.

Ride cymbals can be found in ranges from 18 inches to 24 inches in diameter. In addition, they are often made of various bronze or brass alloys. The most popular and at the same time the most expensive is the B20 bronze. However, this is also more delicate than the cheaper B8 bronze, which is easier to vary and produce. Therefore, the latter is also better for beginners. Other materials are brass and nickel.

A rock kit always includes at least one crash cymbal. It is smaller than the ride cymbal and produces a washy, rushing, explosive sound that quickly fades away. The crash cymbal is usually only used for accents.

A boom stand is often used for this cymbal. Sizes here range from 14 inches to 20 inches. The crash cymbals are also either made of high-quality B20 bronze or cheaper bronze, nickel or brass alloys.

Nevertheless, don't worry too much about ride and crash cymbals in the beginning and concentrate on getting a good bass and snare drum, as well as a high-quality hihat for your money.

Quality of hardware

The quality of the hardware is basically quite easy to judge, as it has no influence on the sound of the kit. The hardware is needed to bring stability to the drum set and make it easier to handle. Besides foot machines and stands, this includes all parts that hold the framework of instruments together.

When deciding on the features you need, you should always ask yourself if you will need to transport the drum set often (for example, when performing). In this case, it is advisable to keep the weight relatively low.

But maybe you have heavy cymbals or you play with a lot of intensity (e.g. rock songs). In this case, you should go for sturdy and heavy hardware.

Each piece should be non-slip and adaptable to your playing style. That means you can adjust the height, position, stop angle, etc. Of course, these features also depend on price. More expensive models have simpler, easy-to-reach and multiple adjustment options, but even inexpensive hardware will do the job.

Tip: If you have problems with slipping drum kits, the purchase of a drum carpet may help you. This ensures that your drum kit does not slip while you play.

Facts worth knowing about drums

How can I record my drums?

If you've been playing drums for a while, it's understandable if you want to record your playing. It's also a great way to reflect on your playing. Especially playing and recording together with a metronome is a great practice method and has already exposed one or two drummers.

For such purposes, a single microphone that you can connect to your computer via USB is already suitable. However, if you want high-quality drum recordings, you will (unfortunately) have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. You need:

  • An audio interface
  • Several microphones (preferably 7-8)
  • Microphone stand
  • Microphone cables
  • A DAW (recording software)
  • A pair of headphones

The whole thing can cost up to 3000€ - and it's only worth it if you have a reasonably acoustically isolated room. Acoustic insulation can be achieved with rock wool, which you cover with plastic foil and fill into IKEA bookshelves.

Image source: unsplash.com / Gabriel Barletta

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