My name is John and I am a 22 year old College Student. The other night I went over to my friends house and "jammed". Being musically stunted, or so I thought, "the guys" stuck me on a bongo drum and commanded me to "keep rhythm". Now I must admit that I have had some musical experience. I played Piano as a kid and a little Guitar as an adolescent; in short, rhythm wasn't entirely foreign to me. So we started playing and it turned out to be "one of the best sessions they've ever had". For me the whole night was borderline spiritual and I am inspired to follow that feeling.
I'll keep this part short but recently I've been reading about Religion, and in particular Christianity and Buddhism. What I am discovering is the whole idea behind these Religions is to "lose yourself", the ego, in an understanding that powers beyond the grasp of the human mind are at work. What inspired me most about the drums was how much "I" got lost in them. It was as if I wasn't even playing and whatever came out came from some other place. In the wise words of Radiohead... "I'd be crazy not to follow, follow where you lead." Whatever that feeling was, I am convinced it is both healing and spiritual and I want more of it.
So I come to you guys... The Drummers. Here is my situation: I graduate in May and live a plane flight away from home. Odds are that I won't be staying in College town this summer and will most likely end up back with the rents. Or if I am feeling particularly ambitious, Ill end up with my cousin playing drums on the West Coast (I'm in the East). The thing is, I want to start playing... Now... But I don't have a drum set nor do I know anything about drums. In other words, I need to be enlightened about the "getting started" process.
Noise is most likely going to be an issue so right off the bat an electronic kit will likely be the road I am forced to take. I want something that is going to be worth my money but not so far beyond my skill level that I won't even be using or noticing some of the features... Preferably in the $300-600 range(is that right?). Also do all E-kits connect to headphones? How about an input cord to an Ipod, or in my case, A Samsung galaxy so I can play along to my songs?
Portability is also a major concern of mine. Like I said I will be taking a plane to an unknown destination come May. I'm assuming E-kits aren't so simple as packing them up in a duffle bag and you're good to go. How hard is it to travel long distances with E-kits? Will I have to ship them? How expensive would that be? Is it worth even buying them now or waiting until I have a concrete location?(but a concrete location doesn't look to be in my near future)
Furthermore, how about portability from one house to another? Let's say I want to go play with my friends again but also want my kit at home to play. Is it easy to pack in the car and bring it back and forth?
These are just some preliminary questions that I know I should get an experienced opinion on. Basically what E-kit would you recommend for my situation and any advice would be much appreciated.
As portability is your main priority, it's worth checking out multipad percussion controllers like these: http://www.sweetwater.com/c645--Perc...ontrollers/pn2
Some have the percussion sounds included whereas others can control virtual drums software on a computer: http://www.sweetwater.com/c715--Virt...rum_and_Rhythm
So if you own a laptop computer, the multipad & software combo would be a compact option that you can play with hands or some with sticks.
A percussion pad is nothing like a real drumkit, so if that's what you're looking for and you're serious about it, evaluate your options.
In your budget, there doesn't seem to be much I could recommend, since I am by no means an expert. The used market is a good option, but only if you can check the piece and it is functional in all respects. Should probably be able to land an Alesis DM10 or a Yamaha DTX500 in your budget. The DDrum DD1 should probably suit you as well.
As far as portability, I guess it depends on you. I would never cart around my e-kit. I consider it more of a practice tool than an instrument to be played out. Transport increases the chances of damage with electronic gear like modules.
If you're going to be moving soon, I'd say wait before you buy. It'll be better than buying, paying shipping twice, worrying about warranty repairs, etc.
Most kits will have a way to hook up to an ipod or other playback device, so don't worry about it.
If you enjoyed keeping time and jamming then maybe just getting some hand percussion for the time being would be good. That way you'll keep the percussion bug at bay till you are more settled. I teach in local schools and take my ekit there with no problem. So if you do get one taking it to rehearsals wouldn't be a problem.
If you do want to learn kit. Then maybe get some lessons and a practise kit. That way you'll get the experience of real drums before you move and it'll help you keep inspired.
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