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Old 11-27-2010, 08:20 AM
ARStewart ARStewart is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Default First Kit for Jazz, World, and Funk

Hello everyone!

Despite having wanted to learn to play drums for several years, I was never willing to fully commit since I have focused exclusively on stringed instruments since I was young. I've decided that I am finally ready to make the plunge and invest in a complete kit. I'm currently borrowing an entry-level Pearl kit from a friend and I will soon be starting lessons with a very talented instructor in San Diego named Simon DasGupta. I've realized that this is not just a phase for me, so I am looking at investing in a kit that will carry me through my first few years of learning the essentials. The problem is that I have no idea where to begin or what to be looking for. I'm hoping that all of you can help guide me in my search.

I've primarily focused on jazz, funk, reggae, and "world" music so far. Something along the style of Art Blakey, Dave Weckl, Sly Dunbar, or Carter Beauford. As such, I would like to find a kit that is oriented towards the warm, punchy, and mildly dark tones associated with those drummers and genres. I am also a fan of drummers like Damon Che (Don Caballero) and Chris Hainey (Maps & Atlases), although I'm not sure if I want to focus on that type of playing.

Right now I am thinking that a four-piece Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz in maple would be a good choice as it is affordable (especially on Craigslist, where I plan to buy a good amount of gear) and it seems to be a well-regarded kit for amateurs and seasoned drummers alike. If anyone has another suggestion, please let me know.

For a snare, I've really love the tone of piccolo snares but I'm not sure if I would be limiting myself if I chose to use a piccolo as a primary snare. Does anyone else do this and would I be making a bad decision in not using a standard size snare?

Cymbals are a tough choice for me, but I know that I rarely use a crash so I think that I will wait until later to invest in one. I'm set on a ride since a good friend is selling me his Zildian K dry ride for a great price, and I love the tone of it. I'm most interested in the hi-hats. Eventually, I'd like to utilize unique hi-hat patterns and grooves when tastefully possible. Carter Beauford's hi-hat style is one of the first things that attracted me to drumming, so I would like to emulate that once I am more experienced. If anyone has any hi-hat recommendations that they think would fit well with what I am looking for, I would love to hear what they are. I'd like to purchase a splash as well, but right now that is not particularly important.

Sorry for posting such a long thread, but I am truly excited to immerse myself in the process of learning a new instrument. I hope that I can become an active member of the DW community and I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say.

Cheers!
Adam
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