Looking for Jazz Drum Set

mikemankins

Junior Member
Hello forum,

I am a band director and I am looking to purchase a new drum set for my high school jazz band. We currently have a Pearl 5-piece Export Series. It is pretty old but has served it's purpose well. I've been looking at several set, but I need a little more input on drum set, especially picking the right set for a public school jazz band. Any and every bit of input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Yamaha Stage Custom, with an 18" kick, about $500:

https://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/listing/yamaha-stage-custom-birch-bebop-121418-3pc-kit-natural-wood/878543

Breakbeats are also a good choice, but have unusually small drum sizes (16" kick rather than 18", 13" snare rather than 14", 10" tom rather than 12", 13" floor tom rather than 14"). They're designed for drummers trying to save space; it's not a "full size" kit. And you'd only save $100 over the Yamaha Stage Customs anyway.

For hardware, get the Yamaha 600 series double braced hardware pack, about $270:

https://express.google.com/u/0/product/3532230372031218320_365868631304410695_1327510?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=tu_prop&utm_content=eid-lsjeuxoeqt&gtim=CK3z-Ynl6o-A3QEQx8qHg62SwZRpGPDw3oABIgNVU0QooLfq4QUwloNR&utm_campaign=1327510&gclid=Cj0KCQiAsdHhBRCwARIsAAhRhsmfXqaV_wntcGdJZZe6kM-bgvQyCFbU-o9TH7b1I7eij0EmpVFzrysaAggyEALw_wcB

What you should definitely NOT do is buy a "starter kit" that is "complete" from Best Buy, or Amazon, etc. Yes, the prices are very low, but the hardware will probably not make through the semester, or even a month. Buy once, cry once.

Also, you'll need a throne, and a floor mat to put under the drums, to keep the bass drum from sliding away. Don't set up the kit directly on hard surface floor.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Budget first, sizes second.

Either 18 or 20 bass drum would be fine. I wouldn't go smaller than that.
The Yamaha Stage Custom bop kit was the first that came to mind.
It's a 3 pc. kit though, so you'd need a snare, a throne, some cymbals and stands, and a hi hat and stand.

All the manufacturers make something similar,and the price range is pretty large.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Having played in a public school jazz band, I'd choose a 20" bass drum over an 18", unless it's a straight up jazz band. We played a lot of pop and other non-jazz, straight-ahead stuff. Also worth noting that school drumsets are rarely, if ever, miked - a 20" will project a bit better over the horns. A 22" would probably work just fine too.

I second the Yamaha Stage Custom - pretty much the best hardware at the midrange price point, and hardware is what takes an absolute beating in school programs. Overtightened and usually adjusted by brute force rather than loosening and repositioning.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Hello forum,

I am a band director and I am looking to purchase a new drum set for my high school jazz band. We currently have a Pearl 5-piece Export Series. It is pretty old but has served it's purpose well. I've been looking at several set, but I need a little more input on drum set, especially picking the right set for a public school jazz band. Any and every bit of input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
I'd get a regular full size drum kit.
If we're talking stage band and lot's of brass,16x22 inch kick ,8x10 12x9 and 16x16.
I'd get a wrapped kit as the lacquer stuff damages easy.
The Ludwig Neusonic is a no brainer @$1K.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Welcome, Mike!

You left out a few crucial ingredients in your inquiry: how much do you have to spend? Do you already have cymbals, or will you need them, too? How about hardware and drum throne?

If you could list and show us a pic of the gear you already have, it would be a great help in advising you.

Also, as others have noted: Will the kit be used strictly for jazz, or big band, too?

You need to do this right the first time!

GeeDeeEmm
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Get a 13/16/22 configuration in any mid-level kit and make the kids learn how to play anything on it. You don’t provide horns just made for jazz, do you? Can you only have a piano that just plays jazz? The drums should be a good stock “play any genre” kit with regular white heads. The player makes it a jazz kit.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I agree that standard sizes are going to be your best bet. 22" bass drum with either a 12" and 16" or 10", 12", 16" tom toms. It's easier to get heads in those sizes and the kit itself will be more versatile.

I'd also plan on new batter heads. Being a school drumset I'd lean toward 2-ply coated heads like a Remo Emperor or Evans G2.

I think the Yamaha Stage Custom is a great kit and a lot of bang for your buck. Several schools I've taught at have had them and they're still holding up 15+ years later.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Get a 13/16/22 configuration in any mid-level kit and make the kids learn how to play anything on it. You don’t provide horns just made for jazz, do you? Can you only have a piano that just plays jazz? The drums should be a good stock “play any genre” kit with regular white heads. The player makes it a jazz kit.
Haven't you heard - this is the age of specialization.

Edit: horns just for jazz? - no. But you probably wouldn't want to use a flute to play a trumpet part either.

But ya - a good drummer should be able to play any genre on any kit - ideal or not.
 
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Haven't you heard - this is the age of specialization.

But ya - a good drummer should be able to play any genre on any kit - ideal or not.
Oh I heard that word “specialize”. I sometimes equate that to “I don’t get to work as much as I want”.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
For my school stage band we bought a Stage Custom in the 20, 10,12,14 configuration. The 20” bass suits shorter/younger students but still sounds big enough for the big band. We changed the heads to coated ambassadors (emperor on floor tom) and it sounds great. Sometimes we only use one rack tom, sometimes both, depending on the music. Very versatile kit.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Here's a typical jazz drum kit played by a jazz master. I think Tony and Bo nailed it-it's what you play not what you play on (16-24 bass drum or larger-jazz cats play on them all). Now you have to decide on jazz drum heads-since that most of the sound-so looks like black dots might work LOL. Don't forget the brushes.
 

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wildbill

Platinum Member
Oh I heard that word “specialize”. I sometimes equate that to “I don’t get to work as much as I want”.

I'm not sure that high school band/jazz band students are really concerned about getting to work as much as they want.
 
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