Upgrade Strategy

diegobxr

Silver Member
IMO, it goes like this:

1) The most important:

Hi-hat
Snare heads
Bass Drum heads
Ride

2) Bass drum pedal and hi-hat stand (this if they're total crap, but in your case it doesn't apply 'cause Yamaha's are great)

3) Crash cymbals and tom heads.

So, firstly, I would get a pair of used pro level hi-hats and a new ride that goes well with it.
Then, good heads for the snare and the bass drum.

And then, one of the most important and overlooked aspects of drumming: LEARN HOW TO TUNE. It takes hours and hours to get it right.

After that, Stage Customs are great kits. With good tuning and proper heads they'll sound just fine. Get some crash cymbals and you're done for now.
 

mhdweston

Member
Yeah these guys had it spot on.. Heres the way i upgraded..
i started with a Groove Percussion 4 piece kit..
Cymbals were Zildjian ZXT: HH Ride Crash China and Splash

I first started buying a new Snare.. (actually two, got one for a raelly good price i couldnt pass it up)
Then i started looking on Ebay and Craigs List in hopes of finding good deals on cymbals or drums, and i did!!

the order i got my upgraded goes as follows..
New kit, mine was a total piece of junk and it HAD to be changed, there was no way about it..
and in the course of 1.5 years i changed my: (in this order)
Crash --> K series Dark 15" Crash (Great Deal on Craigs List, had to snach it)
HH --> Paiste signature Dark Crisp 13"
Crash --> Paiste Signature Full Crash 18" (got an AMAZING deal on Ebay couldnt pass it up)
China --> Paiste Alpha 18" (Got a free ild A splash with it, so good deal)
Crash --> Dream Bliss 17" Crash/Ride
Ride --> Meinl Byzance Sand Ride (i wish i woudl have gotten it earlier, but it took me a LONG time to find the perfect one)
Snare --> My fourth is my main now, TAMA Starphonic snare..

What i would suggest is first BE PATIENT, dont compromise to get a cymbal you THINK you might like just to get it now.. Try everything out and find your perfect one, then check for prices and all that good stuff..
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
I pretty much agree with this. You may be able to keep the 3000 Rude, if you like the sound. So I would say:

Hi hats and crash right away.
New ride next, if you don't like the Rude.
The HH stand and BD pedal next.
Definitely the snare next-there's nothing like a great snare sound.
With decent heads you may be able to keep the toms and kick drum for your needs, so those would be last.

And remember-have fun with it!
Spot on BGH and pbm2112. Cymbals and snare; and go for quality. (I might say go for the snare before the stands though... depends how your current stands are holding up!)

A couple more comments:
1. Try getting used cymbals on eBay. Most are in good condition or just need a clean, but they have the sound you need. This way you will be able to afford better quality cymbals that you may keep for a lifetime! I still remember my first upgrade - my first 'pro' piece of kit. A zildjian crash that I still have today.

2. Meanwhile, learn to get the best from what you have. Cymbals can't be tuned, but drums can. Experiment with tuning your drums (lots of advice here and on the web in general). Learning to tune well will serve you well, no matter what drums you have.

One more thing: enjoy the process of upgrading little by little! It's a process that can last some time (decades so far for me, LOL)
 
Last edited:

BGH

Gold Member
Sound wise, cymbals first definitely. Get the best you can afford, even if that means doing one cymbal at a time. There's nothing you can do to make a bad cymbal sound good, so get the best you can.

There's also a good case to go for a good bass pedal and hi-hat stand early on. These connect your feet to your kit and dictate so much about your ability to play.

Drums last. Getting some good, well tuned drum heads (nothing fancy and too expensive -Remo ambassadors top and bottom, PS 3 bass both sides) can make an average kit sound great.
I pretty much agree with this. You may be able to keep the 3000 Rude, if you like the sound. So I would say:

Hi hats and crash right away.
New ride next, if you don't like the Rude.
The HH stand and BD pedal next.
Definitely the snare next-there's nothing like a great snare sound.
With decent heads you may be able to keep the toms and kick drum for your needs, so those would be last.

And remember-have fun with it!
 

pbm2112

Senior Member
Sound wise, cymbals first definitely. Get the best you can afford, even if that means doing one cymbal at a time. There's nothing you can do to make a bad cymbal sound good, so get the best you can.

There's also a good case to go for a good bass pedal and hi-hat stand early on. These connect your feet to your kit and dictate so much about your ability to play.

Drums last. Getting some good, well tuned drum heads (nothing fancy and too expensive - Remo ambassadors top and bottom, PS 3 bass both sides) can make an average kit sound great.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yep. Upgrade your cymbals. I think you're fine in the drum department. You can always learn how to do things to make your drums sound better (tuning techniques, new heads, how you play them, etc.,...). But a bad sounding cymbal cannot be improved. This isn't to say that what you have cymbal-wise is bad, I'm sure they're good for playing, but once you step up to a professional-level cymbal, like Paiste 2002's, Sabian AA or HH, or Zildjian A, or K, then you'll have quality instruments that will last you your entire playing career if not abused.
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
my strategy,

look at the most important things first, what do i NEED, whats required, what will benefit me more in the long run.

second would be just the most expensive things, try to knock them out when i can.

then everything else, all the gadgets, all the things that make stuff a little easier, all the things that look cool.

in your case i would go for cymbals first, hh, ride and then crash in that order, then to the drums, maybe a 16" tom, 10" tom, whatever. then hardware, pedals, stands, rack, that kinda stuff. but each person is different for what their trying to accomplish so you really need to look at the kit you have and think about the kit you want and how best to get to that point. i know a lot of people are gonna say take out those hats first but if your snare is total trash, warped, cracked, it may be more important to you to get that first. just sit down with some paper or something and think about it for a few hours and write down things and try and place them on a priority list or something.
 
Hey,

Been lurking for a while, and thought of this question which doesn't seem to have a thread on it: What is your plan when considering an upgrade?

Now I know this applies mainly to starter kits/intermediate, but there's always something that we'd like to upgrade. But when you have a variety of things, where do you start? What are pieces - big or small - that you would recommend upgrading first? My example:

I have a Yamaha Stage Custom 16" snare, 12" 14" toms, 18" floor, 22" kick.
3 cymbals: Sabian B8 HH, old Paiste 1000 16" Power Crash, Paiste 3000 RUDE Crash/Ride Combo.

What should I start with? I definitely know a new crash cymbal is in order, but I don't even know if the snare is something I should look at first? Or should a new HH stand be something I should look into? I'd much rather hear your guy's opinion on the order of upgrading and the reasoning. I hope others could find this thread useful instead of just another "What should I get" thread.

Thank guys!
 
Top