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  #1  
Old 03-16-2011, 08:21 PM
HRB HRB is offline
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Default Asking for advice

Hey all,

I come to you from Texas asking some big favors. I've been drumming for about a year and a half, and recently decided to start playing some gigs with a talented singer/guitar friend of mine. My question for you is what do i need to do to my drumset that i have now in order to get "gig" ready. I'm pretty tight on cash. I would love any advice i can get from some people who know the ropes. I play texas country music..

-What types of cymbals should i look into? I've been told to search for some used good ride/crashes/high hats individually on ebay. I've also thought about purchasing a cymbal pack (maybe the meinl mcs?) Right now i have a 16' Sabian B8 Crash and the rest are junk. Any help here is appreciated.. budget: $250 or less

-Also, should i look into buying some mics? If so, is a whole set necessary or could just a couple overhead mics do the trick? I realize a set of good mics and cables isnt cheap though..

heres what im working with:


If you have any other tips or advice, i would love to hear them. Thanks a ton.
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2011, 08:53 PM
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GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

I don't know how long the MCS will last or how soon you will tire of them, but I would opt for better in the used dept.
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2011, 08:53 PM
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inneedofgrace inneedofgrace is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Key to the discussion on mics is knowing what kind of sound system you will use and what type of venue you will play. I have played a majority of my venues without mics, but they are primarily smaller rooms. There is no need to invest in mics if they aren't necessary. However, the level and sound of your drums needs to be in line with the other instruments.

As far as cymbals, I would concentrate on hi-hats, ride and one crash cymbal. Look on eBay and Craigslist for used cymbals, as well as visit your local music store. Although the cymbal packs are a relatively good deal, you may not need all those cymbals, and if you are playing professional paid gigs, I would steer away from the sheet bronze and go with the cast bronze. I play with the lower tier Zildjians at church, but for playing out at other gigs, I have Zildjian A Custom. That cymbal pack was around $650, but includes 3 crashes, 1 ride and the hats. That may be overkill for what you need.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:54 PM
Homeularis Homeularis is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Only tips I would really give are, yes buy used, dont buy low or mid grade cymbals.

There are some great used deals out there and you should get you some good cymbals like A Zildjians or AA Sabians.

These are two to start with and there are many more to choose from.
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2011, 08:56 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Gig ready to me means you won't have a problem dealing with any breakdowns that may occur while you're out there.

Considering you already have a kit in decent condition, I would probably replace your snare heads (both top and bottom), and put some new wire on that hold your snare wires (those always tend to break right when you don't expect them to!). I'd replace the spring and the s-hook that goes on your bass drum pedal (had one of those break on me at a gig without having a spare - I had to play the floor tom for my bass drum beats for the rest of the gig). Carry another bass drum beater and an extra hi-hat clutch in your bag as spares, and have extra sticks. Perhaps change out your bass drum batter head too, and carry spares of both your snare batter and bass drum batter in the car.

With the amount of money you're talking about, I wouldn't worry about microphones, nor getting better cymbals - you don't have enough to make a big difference in the cymbal department. Just make sure you can handle anything breaking and have fun on the gig!

Last edited by Bo Eder; 03-16-2011 at 09:16 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2011, 09:00 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Assuming you'll be playing at small clubs and coffee shops, you might want to make a hole in your bass drum head (in case you want to mic it at some point), get a spare snare head (yours looks like it will go any minute), and buy the best cymbals you can. I don't think it's necessary to buy drum mics at this point. Chances are good that the PA at the club will be for vocal mics primarily, and may not have enough channels to accommodate the drums. I often mic only the kick on small gigs, but even then, it helps to have a subwoofer as part of the PA system, which many don't.

Every cymbal brand makes "beginner" lines (Sabian has B8 and XS20, Paiste has Alpha dn PST, Zildjian has ZBT). Buy used, high-grade cymbals if you can: Sabian AA, HH, AAX, HHX; Zildjian A, A Custom, K, K Custom; Paiste Sound Formula, Signature, 2002, and Traditional.

Of the "beginner" cymbals, XS20s sound much better than the others to me.

Vintagelogos.com will sell you a head with a mic hole for a very reasonable price.
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  #7  
Old 03-16-2011, 09:10 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Er, yeah, what Bo said! :)

I've never carried all that extra stuff, but I do keep an extra snare.

Those snare cords do break at the worst times! I've used a shoelace twice now to make a quick fix. I prefer the plastic strips now for the strength instead of the cord.

Never had a pedal break like that on a gig. But also consider that, if there are other bands, someone might be willing to lend a piece of gear if you're in need. Not a good idea to rely on this, but in my experience drummers are usually willing to help each other out.
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  #8  
Old 03-16-2011, 09:18 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
Er, yeah, what Bo said! :)

I've never carried all that extra stuff, but I do keep an extra snare.

Those snare cords do break at the worst times! I've used a shoelace twice now to make a quick fix. I prefer the plastic strips now for the strength instead of the cord.

Never had a pedal break like that on a gig. But also consider that, if there are other bands, someone might be willing to lend a piece of gear if you're in need. Not a good idea to rely on this, but in my experience drummers are usually willing to help each other out.
You'd be surprised how many times I've been out on a gig and something breaks and there's nothing to borrow and no stores open to go out and buy something. If you want to be a pro, that means nobody knows you're dealing with technical issues - let alone the artistic ones!
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2011, 09:27 PM
HRB HRB is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Wow i'm learning so much right now. Thanks so much for the helpful comments, wasnt sure if i'd get laughed at or what for asking such remedial questions :)

I'm also considering only using one mounted tom? Any feedback on that?

Let the cymbal search begin, rock on.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2011, 10:02 PM
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inneedofgrace inneedofgrace is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by HRB View Post
Wow i'm learning so much right now. Thanks so much for the helpful comments, wasnt sure if i'd get laughed at or what for asking such remedial questions :)

I'm also considering only using one mounted tom? Any feedback on that?

Let the cymbal search begin, rock on.
No one should be laughing here. You are just getting started, and the purpose of this site is to share information and opinions.

There is nothing wrong with only having one mounted tom for many types of music. It really depends on what style of music you are playing. I prefer two mounted toms, but use only one during rehearsals.
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2011, 09:49 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
You'd be surprised how many times I've been out on a gig and something breaks and there's nothing to borrow and no stores open to go out and buy something. If you want to be a pro, that means nobody knows you're dealing with technical issues - let alone the artistic ones!
This reminds me of when my teacher removed the spring from the pedal, and then told me to play, while bouncing the beater back with every bass drum note so I could continue playing! Fun times! I thought I was learning pedal technique, but really I was learning to survive in gig-land! Anyone else get that lesson?
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2011, 11:37 AM
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braincramp braincramp is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

You may want to make drum mics a latter priority if your playing bars.. I would start with a good set of hats and a crashable ride..X20's were mentioned you may want to look into paiste alpha's also.. but buy used..then make sure you have a back-up pedal and snare..what kinda snare do you have now?) you may even want to buy a higher quality used snare a Ludwig acrolite or even supra if you can afford it and make your current snare the back-up.. then maybe start thinking of a mic for bass and snare (if needed)..good luck and welcome aboard!!
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2011, 07:41 AM
HRB HRB is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Right now i have the TAMA Rockstar Snare.. but not real sure how it sizes up to other snares. I like the sound.

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  #14  
Old 03-18-2011, 09:31 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

Those Rockstar snares are pretty solid. Nothing fancy, put good heads on it with a good tuning and you probably couldn't tell it was a Rockstar.
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2011, 11:24 AM
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braincramp braincramp is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

I played a rockstar set for a couple years though it had a pork pie snare that came with it..they were great drums..in fact sold them to my bass players son who is subbing for me on a gig in May...I'm going out this weekend to put new heads and tune it up for him..really looking forward to playing that set again..you should be good with that snare and set with good heads..so go for cymbals!
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  #16  
Old 03-19-2011, 03:02 AM
eamesuser eamesuser is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

You can make one mounted tom work,epecially if you are doing a lot of old school country,I have tuned and set up a few rockstar snares,they are a darn good snare for the money,and are really good sounding and responsive when you find the sweet spot.You will spend most of your time on the hats if you are playing new country or traditional country,I would look for a used set of zildjian new beats,should cost around 100.00 to 125.00,you can't go wrong with those,you may find some Sabian AA's even cheaper,or HH's around that price range.You can probably find a good all purpose ride 20 or 22 inch medium or heavy Zil A or sabian AA 85.00 to 125.00 easily.with that you would be good to go.Also you may want to get some multi rods,if you can borrow one you can go to a hardware store and make them out of plastic end caps,wood doweling and electrical tape,for about 2.00 to 3.00 a pair.
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  #17  
Old 03-19-2011, 09:55 AM
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dcrigger dcrigger is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

one tom - two toms - makes no difference - whatever's most comfortable for you, or works best for the music.

As much as we sweat over this drum or that drum - it really is 90% about heads and tuning - and the touch of the player - drums don't get gigs, drummers do.

Cymbals - sounds like you're comfortable with your 16", so to me that means your priority would be a good all around ride and set of hats. If you have the time and are patient there are certainly good deals to be had on Ebay - of course, I always cringe about buying cymbals without playing and hearing them - but I've had some reasonable luck with this the past few years (though a few I've bought, I ended up just relisting as they just weren't for me.) I'm more a Zildjian guy, so I'd be looking for a 20" K ride, or K Dark ride, or A Custom (there are many other "flavors" - "K Custom" "A", etc - but I favor the one's I listed)

As for hats - someone mentioned New Beats - which would be a great all around choice.

If you go the Ebay route though just be sure to shop around enough retail to no where prices sit, so you're not paying as much for a used cymbal unseen and heard for what you could get one (that you can try out) in a store.

Microphones - simply put.... you don't need any microphones. Not to start gigging.... and quite honestly not for lots of gigs period. If as you get going, you'll later find the first (and maybe only) mic you'll need is a BD mic. In a small room or club - cymbals and snares should cut through pretty good - or often way too good, compared to the BD - so that is usually the first thing that needs help.

IMO if you've been playing a year and a half, you're best investment is in good, meat and potatoes get-the-job-done gear, but more importantly in your self. Which means if you aren't or you haven''t - take some lessons. If you are - good for you. Cause like I said earlier, when it comes to getting (and keeping) gigs, it's not the bow, it's the Indian.

Good luck,

David
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  #18  
Old 03-20-2011, 11:05 PM
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Zickosdrummer Zickosdrummer is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

I thought everything was bigger in Texas. I'd get a bigger rug. :-0 Just somethng from an Okie.
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  #19  
Old 03-21-2011, 06:19 AM
HRB HRB is offline
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Default Re: Asking for advice

any suggestions on the heads for now? especially for a rockstar kit.. my toms now have evans ev2 coated heads and my bass drum has a remo weatherking

I'm really appreciating all this feed back. It's helping a ton and there's nothing i love more than talking music or drums. Cheers

and @Zickos hmm..note taken.
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