What drumkit to buy as a beginner?

madidus

Senior Member
Cheap electronic kit

A bit over 12 months ago I got back into drumming after a 10 year break. I bought a cheap electronic kit to practice on for the following reasons:

1) Low noise levels: you won't go deaf, neither will your family and neighbours.

2) Built in metronome that you can practice to.

3) You can plug in an iPod or CD player and play along to music without needing an amplified system to compete with an acoustic drum's noise level.

Sure, on a cheap electronic kit the pads are not particularly good, but it's good enough to practice on. Once you have the skills and decide to start gigging, you'll know a lot more about drums, cymbals and the sound you're after so that you'll be able to get the kit you want then.
 

maulikplays

Junior Member
Hey guys, I've got two options in this budget of mine: 1) Mapex Horizon 2) TAMA Swingstar. What should I go for?
 
N

nhzoso

Guest
Hey guys, I've got two options in this budget of mine: 1) Mapex Horizon 2) TAMA Swingstar. What should I go for?
If your buying from guitar center (which is where I looked at them) I would go with the Mapex Hands down..A little higher cost but comes with pretty much all you need plus they are Birch/Basswood and I think the Tama's are Mahogany although they do not advertise it so I am not sure. Plus the Mapex finish looks much better and I know first hand the Mapex hardware is excellent.
 

LinearDrummer

Silver Member
I'm fond of the Tama Imperialstar compact sets. These were called Stagestar until a few years ago- if you can find some used, I'm sure they're an excellent value. They're cheap (<$600 new), they come in jazz/flexible/fun sizes- 10/12/14/18 or 10/12/14/20, they're not available in any jive finishes which hurt you when you try to resell them. To me they sound better than the more popular Gretsch Catalinas.

. tb
Im finally getting a chance to go from an e-kit to an acoustic but I need something compact to lug around case I have a sports car.

Anyways you are right! the Imperialstars are perfect and sound pretty good for and entry level kit. And the 18" bass drum fits in my car.

The Yammie hip-gig/Catalinas are way overpriced imo...much better value with the Tamas.
 

maulikplays

Junior Member
If your buying from guitar center (which is where I looked at them) I would go with the Mapex Hands down..A little higher cost but comes with pretty much all you need plus they are Birch/Basswood and I think the Tama's are Mahogany although they do not advertise it so I am not sure. Plus the Mapex finish looks much better and I know first hand the Mapex hardware is excellent.
I'm from India and my drum teacher is getting the kit for me. He has connections to this store called 'Furtados' which is the leading company for musical instruments here. And Im going for the Mapex one only. They look really classy and plus the Tama Swingstar is an old series now. Also I read about the Horizon online and they say pretty good things about it. Im getting the kit for Rs. 29,000 plus Rs.10,000 for 3-piece cymbals pack of Zildjian.
 

JTaylor

Member
I just bought my first kit about 4months ago and I went with the Tama ImperialStar (brushed chrome). I watched Craigslist for months and went and saw some used kits in person. For the money, this in my opinion was the best buy.. It's a nice kit, I don't see any problem with the hardware as mine is pretty beefy. It came with Meinl cymbals, which are alot better than I expected for stock cymbals.. the snare in my opinion sounds great with a stock head on it, but I'm looking forward to changing the head on the bass and toms. So I ended up with a 5pc kit, high hat, ride/crash, crash, splash, and throne for right at $700.

When the King is on his Throne...the King is HAPPY!
 

Zunardo

Junior Member
I'll throw my perspective in the ring - when I started to learn on my own 2 years ago, I did a lot of window shopping and Craigslist searching - but my wife solved the problem for me by getting me a five-piece no-name kit for free from a co-worker's husband who'd had it for years and wanted to get rid of it.

I ended up putting a hundred bucks into it for new Evans Gplus heads, wing nuts, and cymbal felts, and a key. After I took everything apart, cleaned it good, and put the new heads on, it didn't sound too bad. For a duffer like me who isn't ready to play gigs yet (my instructor says I will one year from now, but I'm doubtful), the kit is perfect for learning. The drums themselves sound perfectly adequate - the hi-hats and two crashes are generic, but they still make a noise when you hit them. Like LinearDrummer said, it gets the job done.

So, my beginner kit has cost me $100, and I don't play any worse for it as of yet. If I improve enough a year from now to justify spending a bit more on a decent used mid-range kit, especially on hardware, I'll certainly consider it then.

I have played twice on my instructor's Yamaha Phoenix 7-piece kit. It is simply georgeous and I must say I looked good behind it. It didn't make me play better, although my mistakes sounded more professional. :)

Lest you think I'm a sniveling cheap miser - well, maybe I am - my 14-year old is on his 6th month of guitar lessons, and he's making do with a beginner Gibson knock-off and amp that we paid 100 bucks for brand new at Target - he can learn as easily on that as he could on a genuine Les Paul. Of course, he wants to upgrade, and I'll certainly consider it in a year if he sticks with it.
 

JTaylor

Member
I know what you mean Zunardo....I've got my 9yo daughter in piano lessons and there's no money left for drum lessons for me..so I have to make due on the internet and two dvds!
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
My advice is: for a first kit, buy used. You will get a great kit in good condition, for less money. Pearl Export, Tama Rockstar, Yamaha Stage Custom. There are lots of these on eBay on any given day. A used kit may also come with some cymbals, which will get you started.

As some have said here, your first kit will be a learning experience. You'll learn to play them, learn to tune them, and learn what you like and don't like about them (sound, hardware, etc). Save your big money for later on when you know exactly what you want (the first time I bought a kit brand new was my fourth kit, after 13 years of playing!)

As you learn, you can start to upgrade anything that you want to change - often these upgrades involve cymbals first (again, look for used pro cymbals on eBay - lots of bargains to be had here too). Eventually you will want to change drums - either a snare or the whole kit. Either way, use this first kit to get into drumming, play, and learn.

Good luck!
 
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