Don't look at me, I'm hideous

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
Kamak, Brian, Newlin & ID - I applaud your sane approach to the issue.

Of course the first question is are we spending more than we can afford?

And maybe number two is are we getting a good bang (see what I did there?) for our bucks?

I have a modest little hobby farm outside town where the girls can have their horses and the boys have their soccer field. Until very recently we've always been a single income family, so there really is no money for un-needed gear. As a result, I'm immune to the desire for more and better stuff for the time being.

When I start to pine for equipment I remember what Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, even Steve Gadd accomplished with very little in the way of gear and I tell myself that when I can play a simple set-up better than them (as if!!), I can justify getting more.

But hey, if you're not drowning in debt or depriving anyone else by your purchases, why not?

Keep in mind though, that the desire for more and better gear can be a serious distraction from the pursuit and pleasure of actually playing drums.

If your answer to the question "how much is enough?" is "More!", then you'll never be happy.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Of course the first question is are we spending more than we can afford?

And maybe number two is are we getting a good bang (see what I did there?) for our bucks?
It's a relative question. I could literally afford a Ferrari. I'd have to subsist on rice and beans for the rest of my life, the kids would have to skip college, etc... But I could do it if I heard the siren's call. The trick with any passion is that it's OK to chase it as long as it doesn't harm the rest of your life. Once it does, it's time to re-evaluate your situation.

Funny anecdote: Last year I went to an open mic, came home smelling of beer and sweat. When I told my wife I was performing, she say's "I'd rather you were having an affair".
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I actually have less than many people think I need.

Except for snare drums. lol

As a guitar player I've been using pretty much the same board for 15+ years and except for basic maitenance I don't really have any desire to go nuts there. I have lots of amps and the only thing I'd really in addition like is the inexpensive ML Deville for ease of gigging. I don't use anything weird effects wise, but I have a shelf with good versions ofthe typical stuff, so I'm good there.

For drumkits I only have my Catalina kit and I've started a savings account for an upcoming US Custom. Overkill, but it's more or less planned to be the last kit.

I believe in simple things, few things, but I've chosen to get what I want. There is a pretty definite end to this. I'm starting to double up on hardware and just ordered a 9002 pedal, but it's needed for practical reasons even just in regard to ease of setting up for practice

The list is something like:

4-5 more snares.
3 more guitars (I've sold most of them and really only have one left now.)
That TOTL kit which will get a friend if needed for gigs, but I'll hold off until actually needed.
A nice bass.
A nice alto sax

I already know what these things will be and I consider it pretty sensible. It's overkill for basic needs, but I will actually be able to stop. I really don't have much interest in gear. I know what I like, know what I want and then I'm done.

If I had more work right now and wasn't planning for more school I'd just borrow the money and get it done. At this point I'm just getting some of the most needed stuff. 12" aux, 9000 hi-hat stand and ML amp are in the immediate future and then I'll stop and just save everything until I know what the future holds, but I put $300 in the new kit fund every month.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Do those of you who go through gear more feel you're always after the perfect sound, or you just like lots of toys as options, or what?
For me it's all a big experiment. If something appeals to me, I buy it, and only then, after living with it for a while, can I tell if I really like it or not. I've rejected some pretty high end stuff. A Canopus Zelkova snare drum. A Tama bell brass snare from the 70's, Pearl shells, Vintage Ludwigs...

After years of buying gear, I know what I go for much more than when I started.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
The sigarette metaphor of is easy to understand.

I've simply been in a situation where I've had to prioritize other things, and haven't been able to purcjse what, which at the same time has made me more certain of what exactly I want. I'm informed, interested in pretty basic classic stuff and I'm not into new electronic toys.

Guitar players are notorious for having to try the latest new pedal, but I really totally lost interest a long time ago. That's not a need, that's a neurosis. Lost that interest about those 15 years ago that have passed with by board not changing.

Regular drums will always be the Gretsch sound. If I end up in a band where I need and extra kit I'll just pick up a Live Custom or something like that.

I'm truly a minimalist by nature. In essence a 1 guitar, one drum kit type of guy. Then you just have those few extras, a couple of guitars, a few snares, for when that one thing isn't working or you just feel like doing something different from what you usually do.

I offcourse buy all sorts of small percussion things all the time, but that's not really money. Cheap stuff, but very usable for the typical soft gig.
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
I rarely buy new gear, and feel oddly attached to the gear I've been playing for "x" number of years.
I'm with you on that one. I've had the same one kit for over 20 years and even that was a hand-me-down. It's not even high end or sought after but I cherish it. I find that when you get new cymbals (6 is the highest number I've owned at a given time) and heads for it, you kind of re-invent it anyway.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
I picked up a DW solid snare the other day and decided to sell my 40 yr old Ludwig supraphonic to help pay for most of it. Didn't bother me much to see the old Ludwig go. I have had most of my cymbals for a long time and don't use too many so I'm good there. I'm down to two kits and three snares. I enjoy them all and can gig any of the stuff I have. I'm not real sentimental about gear, nor am I into museum type collecting. I like a good/great deal on stuff that works for me.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
What'd get for the supraphonic? Thought about pm'ing you when I saw your Craigslist ad.
Was listed for one day. asked for 4, got 4. I threw in a couple free heads I had laying around. Nice young guy who was a pretty good drummer. I let him try it out on both my kits. I'm pretty sure he enjoyed that and I liked being able to stand out front and listen to them too. Was a nice day, I got some cash, he got a great snare and my kits sounded GOOD! :)
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
I grew up without much money and as a result, I learned to really appreciate, care for and use the f@#$ out of what I did have. I'm super lucky to have more these days but even so, for any big purchases, the biggest deciding factor for me is assessing how much meaning and richness the "thing" will contribute to my life experience as a whole.

As a result, I spend the most money on ongoing education and training related to my day job, musical instruments and bicycles. I reckon we never know how much time we've got left here so my aim is to get as much as I can out of life while it's still there to be gotten!
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
I'm now at that stage in my life where if I want to have a new drum/cymbal/whatever, that I can buy pretty much whatever I please. That doesn't mean that I am profligate and simply accumulate gear for no apparent reason- I do only own one drum kit, although I do own every tom from 8" to 18" and a number of snare drums and an extensive array of top notch cymbals. I don't currently feel the need to add to this or change my kit or whatever and my only current expenses are consumables, but I may well decide to change my kit at a time in the future if the mood takes me and circumstances allow.

I don't feel any embarrassment at all. I work hard for my money. There have been years when I couldn't afford to buy gear at all- my kids etc come first. I neither drink nor smoke. My family are my first priority and want for nothing that is reasonable and are all indulged on a regular basis. If my situation changes then I would focus on what is really important- the well-being and security of my family. If it came to a choice on holding onto the kit or selling and feeding the family it would be bye-bye drums. Its that simple.
 

Destroyer772

Gold Member
I'm now at that stage in my life where if I want to have a new drum/cymbal/whatever, that I can buy pretty much whatever I please. That doesn't mean that I am profligate and simply accumulate gear for no apparent reason- I do only own one drum kit, although I do own every tom from 8" to 18" and a number of snare drums and an extensive array of top notch cymbals. I don't currently feel the need to add to this or change my kit or whatever and my only current expenses are consumables, but I may well decide to change my kit at a time in the future if the mood takes me and circumstances allow.

I don't feel any embarrassment at all. I work hard for my money. There have been years when I couldn't afford to buy gear at all- my kids etc come first. I neither drink nor smoke. My family are my first priority and want for nothing that is reasonable and are all indulged on a regular basis. If my situation changes then I would focus on what is really important- the well-being and security of my family. If it came to a choice on holding onto the kit or selling and feeding the family it would be bye-bye drums. Its that simple.
Totally agree with you, I gave this hobby up for 20+ years to focus on my Job and my Wife/kids. Im at the stage now were I can buy myself something and not feel to bad. It amazes me the level of gear teenagers have these days. When I started playing in the mid 80's I was fortunate enough to have a 3 piece red sparkle ? something. At the school talent shows my band would borrow the schools Ludwig drum kit and Zildjian cymbals.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
.
My gluttonous, greedy, over-consumptive mode typically flares up when initially enthused over a new, or renewed interest.

Sanity resumes fairly quickly when I allow myself to catch a breather and assess the situation.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
You should all put each other on your ignore list, such shameful opinions should never see the light of day. How are we supposed to justify the purchase of ever increasing improvements in the drumming realm with this nonsense being bandied around. what should i do?? sell everything and bolt some hardware and heads on a set of tupperware? Yes, Google it, it has already been done. sheesh! but what head choice should i utilise? which hardware goes best with a nesting tupperware kit? What cymbals should i choose? See ! it just starts all over again. Obtain drums , lots of them !! people and play them.. You are after all drummers are You not?
 

GeoB

Gold Member
Since drumming is an avocation for me, I set some sane limits.

I could invest $3k to start up.
I have a ~$5k ceiling on gear
I can only invest $1k a year to cover resale losses.

So basically, I will never own >$5k worth of gear for this instrument, and if I do, then something needs to be sold. If I'm sitting at $4700 invested and want a $1200 somethinorother , I need to sell something to recoup the $900.

I have the same rule for guitars and basses. It's quite easy to get carried away.
Good thing you're not a pianist. The basic quality acoustic piano costs around $5K, electronic set up as in keyboards, amps, peripherals, ancillary gear etc... another easy $5K... maintenance costs etc... it gets expensive. I'm not a keyboardist but I know a few and it is far more expensive than any instrumentalist set up in a modern group.
 
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