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  #1  
Old 11-20-2016, 11:55 PM
HelenaHitsThings HelenaHitsThings is offline
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Default Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Hello,

I've been drumming just over a year on a Roland TD-1KV electronic kit, but also having the odd lesson on an acoustic kit when I get the chance. I'm getting pretty good and the band I'm in are looking to start finding gigs (so terrifying!).

My question is what's the absolute minimum I need to play in most amateur venues in London? When I rehearse with my band I rent all the cymbals but the place comes with a snare, 3 toms and all pedals. Is this the kind of thing to expect at venues? Would you recommend starting with cymbals and going from there?

I've read all sorts about absolutely needing to bring bass pedals, snare drums etc but I feel this might be for more professional paid gigs?

Any advice would be hugely appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2016, 12:28 AM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Basically it is irrelevant if you gig in London, Timbuktu, Bejing or LA. A few clubs have a drumset that can be used - it's mostly crappy drumsets. Most clubs don't have them, you are expected to bring your own kit (shells, hardware, cymbals, sticks) to a concert. Unless this is a concert with several bands, then it is possible sometimes that a drumset will be shared among all the bands. In that case, you are usually expected to bring along your own cymbals, snare, foot-pedal and sticks.

If you are looking for a gig-ready drumset, buy used stuff if possible for the start. That will save you lots of money. Get a decent mid-level drumset like a Mapex Meridian, Tama Silverstar, Sonor Force-Series, Yamaha Stage Custom, Gretsch Catalina and the like. Then get yourself some decent cymbals, B20 bronze-cymbals are usually the way to go (unless you want Paiste cymbals, those are usually B8 bronze). Get some good hardware, used Yamaha and Tama stuff e.g. will last forever. Search the forum. There are tons of threads on this topic.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2016, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

If you're sharing the backline at the gig then it's generally expected that you bring your own cymbals, snare and bass drum pedal. I usually throw a light weight straight cymbal stand in the front pocket of my cymbal bag as well, in the event that the shared kit has minimal hardware with it. Some folks like to bring their own throne as well. As mentioned already, purchase stuff second hand and you're money will go farther/you'll get higher quality stuff for about the same as you'd pay for lower quality new gear.
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2016, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Dont assume anything. Most venues dont have kits. Those few that do could have a kit in any state of decrepitude. If its a kit share you will need to know what the kit is, and its always best to take at least breakables.

If you are going to gig you need your own kit, what that consists of is up to you.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2016, 09:40 PM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Oh, I forgot to mention some things that you should bring with you, too, in case that there is already a drumset available in a club: Cymbal felts, wing nuts, Hihat-clutch, Gaffa-Tape, Screwdrivers, flashlight. It will save your day.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2016, 10:26 PM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Find yourself a nice 4-piece kit with appropriate hardware and a few cymbals - hi hats, crash and ride. Spend more money on pro cymbals, and if the drums are cheap (like Pearl Exports), outfit it with good heads. Then you're good to go.
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2016, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

What Matt said. Always.
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2016, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
Find yourself a nice 4-piece kit with appropriate hardware and a few cymbals - hi hats, crash and ride. Spend more money on pro cymbals, and if the drums are cheap (like Pearl Exports), outfit it with good heads. Then you're good to go.
He may hail from la la land, but Bo knows drums. Good advice here.
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2016, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Where to start? Know what you want, in excruciating detail. Know exactly what you want and know exactly why you want it. If you don't know what you want, you're not ready to buy. Know how many pieces you want, know what sizes you want, know what finish you want, know which wood you want, figure it all out. Asking us what you want isn't it. You have to do your homework and understand what you want, or figure out what you want.

So.... what do you want and why? How many pieces, and which sizes? Finish? Wood (or not) type?
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2016, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
What Matt said. Always.
Don't encourage him! But yeah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Where to start? Know what you want, in excruciating detail. Know exactly what you want and know exactly why you want it. If you don't know what you want, you're not ready to buy. Know how many pieces you want, know what sizes you want, know what finish you want, know which wood you want, figure it all out. Asking us what you want isn't it. You have to do your homework and understand what you want, or figure out what you want.

So.... what do you want and why? How many pieces, and which sizes? Finish? Wood (or not) type?
If OP has only played on an e-kit for a year, it's very difficult for her to know what the options are and hence what she might or might not want.

I'd say look on ebay or Gumtree. If you find a kit with a brand name you recognise, that isn't damaged, and that has a finish you like at a price you can afford, I'd say that's a good enough place to start. You're most likely to find a kit that consists of snare, bass drum, two rack toms and a floor tom but you'll manage perfectly well with only one rack tom. Many used kits come complete with hardware, pedal, throne and cymbals. If you find you like these, great. Chances are that the cymbals will be dogs, so if that's the case do a bit of research to find good-quality cymbal options, then see if you can pick them up used. You'll need hi hats, a ride and one or maybe two crashes.

Whatever you do, don't be tempted to spend too much. Your tastes and requirements will almost certainly change, and you don't want to deprive yourself of future gear-shopping!

Oh, the other thing you need to do is learn to tune your drums. You may well need to buy new heads for them (you probably would do this even if you bought a new kit). Lots of information on here and on YouTube about tuning, but beware of covering everything with duck tape or stuffing duvets in your bass drum.
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2016, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Where to start? Know what you want, in excruciating detail. Know exactly what you want and know exactly why you want it. If you don't know what you want, you're not ready to buy. Know how many pieces you want, know what sizes you want, know what finish you want, know which wood you want, figure it all out. Asking us what you want isn't it. You have to do your homework and understand what you want, or figure out what you want.

So.... what do you want and why? How many pieces, and which sizes? Finish? Wood (or not) type?
Unless you are a very experienced drummer with knowledge of the tones produced by individual woods, and the intricate sounds involved in depths and diameters of shells you will simply tie yourself in knots.

As Bo says, get a cheap used kit as a starter. Put decent heads on and buy the best quality cymbals you can. If you stick with gigging you will eventually upgrade the drums. By then you may have some idea of what sound you want to hear from the drums and you will have more experience of what you need to get that sound.

I have been playing for 50 years and I still couldnt tell you what wood is what in a blind test. Heads? now thats a different ball game.
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2016, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

It depends on what kind of music you play. I would get a small lightweight kit because I hate moving stuff. Look at the Ludwig Questlove shell pack. It sounds pretty good.
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2016, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

If you aren't keen on getting a full kit yet, I'd say buy a snare, cymbals and a bass pedal.

Buy used! There are always good deals around and you might end up with a nice selection of pro cymbals, those are the most important in order to get a good sound from the (usually) crappy house kit.
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  #14  
Old 11-25-2016, 09:10 AM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

If I'm going some place where a kit will be provided, I will bring a throne, a kick pedal, sticks & drum key, extra sleeves and washers to protect cymbals. A lot of the time, things like that are stolen. In addition, I bring hi hats, a good crash and a good ride. One or the other I will use as a crash/ride. Besides all that, I will bring a good snare drum.
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  #15  
Old 11-25-2016, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
If I'm going some place where a kit will be provided, I will bring a throne, a kick pedal, sticks & drum key, extra sleeves and washers to protect cymbals. A lot of the time, things like that are stolen. In addition, I bring hi hats, a good crash and a good ride. One or the other I will use as a crash/ride. Besides all that, I will bring a good snare drum.
Hi hat clutch and Allen key too.
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  #16  
Old 11-25-2016, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
If I'm going some place where a kit will be provided, I will bring a throne, a kick pedal, sticks & drum key, extra sleeves and washers to protect cymbals. A lot of the time, things like that are stolen. In addition, I bring hi hats, a good crash and a good ride. One or the other I will use as a crash/ride. Besides all that, I will bring a good snare drum.
I was told once at a festival that a kit would be provided, so just to see how miserable I could make it, I just brought three sticks (just in case I dropped one, or it broke). MZ is right - some parts were missing and it sounded horrible, but to my credit I was able to make it work (I think). The throne and the bass drum pedal sucked, the heads were all dented. But if anybody complained about how bad the drums sounded, I'd just point the finger at the people who provided it. Easiest $$ I ever made since I carried literally nothing to play for an hour or so.
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2016, 11:32 AM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Why do people write again exaclty what was already written a few lines before? I don't get it. Snare, Hihat-clutch, Keys etc. all that was already mentioned more than once before...
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  #18  
Old 11-25-2016, 03:31 PM
HelenaHitsThings HelenaHitsThings is offline
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Thanks so much for all your advice! Really helpful. I think I'm going to build up kit slowly because, as you say, what I need might change over time, so I'll start with inexpensive stuff (except maybe for cymbals) and build from there. Once I have some of my own stuff i'll have more of an idea about what I actually like/need.

Great tips about all the other bits & pieces too, felts, tape, drum keys etc. Really useful and stuff I hadn't thought of! :)
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  #19  
Old 11-25-2016, 03:44 PM
Lennytoons Lennytoons is offline
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

There is a used four piece Pearl Export kit on Craigslist here for $200 that includes a Pearl metal snare. Used hardware can be found for under $200. Cymbals are the biggest expense unless you buy cheap and I don't recommend that. Last year I bought used New Beats, a 21" sweet ride and 18" A medium thin crash for $350, all in like new condition. So, adding it all up you'll spring for around $750 for a complete kit you can play anywhere. Exports can be made to sound great with the right heads, as can Yamaha Stage Customs and Gretsch Catalinas among others.
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  #20  
Old 11-25-2016, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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Originally Posted by Wave Deckel View Post
Why do people write again exaclty what was already written a few lines before? I don't get it. Snare, Hihat-clutch, Keys etc. all that was already mentioned more than once before...
I forgot to mention a hi hat clutch and Allen wrench as Magenta pointed out.

Idk, maybe I just ignore most of what you say. I'll make sure not to reiterate what's already been said if I can help it.
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  #21  
Old 11-25-2016, 04:21 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Club kits can be anything. Sometimes you get lucky. In schools, chirches, public buildings it's usually better. But if they say they got a house kit, ask questions and come prepared for nothing to work properly.

Bass drums and toms are usually ok, or something you can live with.

This comes to priorities when buying your own kit, too. The basic shell pack, bass drum and toms is the least important. With decent heads and tuning skills you can make it sound ok. I encourage to spend money on the other stuff first:

Pedals
A decent snare.
Cymbals (they can't be tuned. :-) )
A throne that works for you.

There's also a limit on how much you want to put into a kit that will travel through any sort of club. Catalinas and Stage Customs work fine.

There are also lots of accessories you need for gigging. Bags, tools, felts, trolly?, tape, washers, spare parts, extra heads...

I personally only have heavy hardware, but if you don't need it, I pretty much advice against that. It's not necessary unless you hang a lot of stuff on each stand. Anything can hold a single cymbal properly.
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  #22  
Old 11-25-2016, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Unless you are a very experienced drummer with knowledge of the tones produced by individual woods, and the intricate sounds involved in depths and diameters of shells you will simply tie yourself in knots.

As Bo says, get a cheap used kit as a starter. Put decent heads on and buy the best quality cymbals you can. If you stick with gigging you will eventually upgrade the drums. By then you may have some idea of what sound you want to hear from the drums and you will have more experience of what you need to get that sound.

I have been playing for 50 years and I still couldnt tell you what wood is what in a blind test. Heads? now thats a different ball game.

Can I change my post to state that IMO Helena should get what she thinks she wants?

I just feel it's better to follow your gut than someone else's gut. Then if you're wrong (not you Mike) you adjust your perceptions.

I think it's better to want something, get it, and not like it, than to not have an opinion and blindly get what other people suggest.
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Can I change my post to state that IMO Helena should get what she thinks she wants?

I just feel it's better to follow your gut than someone else's gut. Then if you're wrong (not you Mike) you adjust your perceptions.

I think it's better to want something, get it, and not like it, than to not have an opinion and blindly get what other people suggest.
No offence intended, Larry, apologies if it came over that way. I just though if someone was a complete novice where kits are concerned trying to get there head around wood tones and mounting types might be a distraction, If they have no experience whatsoever.
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Can I change my post to state that IMO Helena should get what she thinks she wants?

I just feel it's better to follow your gut than someone else's gut. Then if you're wrong (not you Mike) you adjust your perceptions.

I think it's better to want something, get it, and not like it, than to not have an opinion and blindly get what other people suggest.
Yes, I agree with you, Lar, but I think Helena just wanted a bit of a steer, which is fair enough - goodness knows, I've needed that myself, and got it, and then used that information to make my own mind up - and in all honesty, how far wrong can she go by asking on here? Good call, OP!




Hi hat clutch and Allen key.
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  #25  
Old 11-25-2016, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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No offence intended, Larry, apologies if it came over that way. I just though if someone was a complete novice where kits are concerned trying to get there head around wood tones and mounting types might be a distraction, If they have no experience whatsoever.
I'm almost unoffendable so no offense taken Mike, and I understand your response. This thread reveals a pet peeve of mine, people with no opinions lol.

I always knew what I want, or at least what I think I want, when it comes to drums. I just can't comprehend a person not knowing what they want.

Like I want an 11" tom. How do I know that? I never played one. Yet I want one, and have for some time.

My ex wife, she used to ask our server what she (the server) likes on the menu. I'll never understand that. It's one thing to have a question about a dish, but to just put the decision to an uninterested party is wacky to me. Maybe I'm the wacky one.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Hey Helena - you weren't taking your grade four drum exam today by any chance? If so, how did it go?
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Start here. 10 years worth of information. Enjoy. You will see a lot of things repeated there. I hope Wave Deckle doesn't mind.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/f...splay.php?f=14
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

You may find on Gumtree or other site, some Premier APK or XPK, Tama Rockstar, Sonor Force 2000 or Pearl export for cheap.
spend more money on cymbals and new sets of skins.
Eventually, get a better snare (wood snare, for most of those kits had metal snare that could be too aggressive)
You should also choose the kind of kit you'd like : standard 22 12/13/16, fusion 20 10/12/14 for instance, the later would be easier to carry around.

I have had a very good experience with Premier mid level kits (build quality, sound) , being in England, you should find some easily I guess.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

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Originally Posted by Wave Deckel View Post
Why do people write again exaclty what was already written a few lines before? I don't get it. Snare, Hihat-clutch, Keys etc. all that was already mentioned more than once before...
I also hate it when people repeat other posts.

Oh, and be sure to take allen keys, a snare and high hat clutch.
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

I've got an old Tama Royalstar white kit that I picked up for 200 bucks! (shells only) 2 rack toms and a 16" floor tom, 22" kick with ten lugs, it's really nice and fat. It's all beat up, but because it's white, it becomes the color of the lighting that's on it. I put the isolation mounts on the rack toms, and I use a Gibraltar rack as well for consistency of setup. I use Evans EQ heads on the top and believe it or not Evans oil-filled heads on the bottom. Been doing that since the 70's! It gives you a huge fat quick "studio" sound that doesn't have much over-ring, it's great for miking, because the gates are easier to set.

I have a nice maple DW Pacific kit at home, the older one with ten kick lugs, etc...but it's too nice to haul all over town and set up in clubs, so that kit is my home kit only.
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  #31  
Old 12-05-2016, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Yeah what they all said.
Buy used yada yada.
But remember, all drums sound the same, but all cymbals sound different.
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Old 12-05-2016, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Start here. 10 years worth of information. Enjoy. You will see a lot of things repeated there. I hope Wave Deckle doesn't mind.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/f...splay.php?f=14
Good God that's a lot of reading!
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  #33  
Old 12-05-2016, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Buy low or mid level used drums (depending on how committed you feel you are), used good cymbals. Here is a list I got from someone on here and added to it. I have this list on the wall in my drum room and while most of my gig packing is done without much thought from doing it I always take a quick look at the list just to be sure. And for all of the goodies others have mentioned I have a multi-compartment case I use to put them in, felts, cymbal sleeves, drum key, spare springs etc.

Drums
rug
hardware case
Throne
cymbal bag
drum cases

mixer
Mics
Cables
Personal headphone monitor
Headphones
ear buds


earplugs
two drum keys
coaches tape
Duct tape
gaffers tape
plastic wire ties
spare wing nuts
spare felt
spare cymbal sleeves
spare hi-hat clutch
screwdriver pliers and vice grips
pencil
bandaids

Fan
flashlight small and big
stage lights

music stand
led task lights (2)
paper
charts

Extension chords
Power strip

Extra Sticks
Snare head
Bass drum head

towel
extra shirt and pants
Hat
Ibuprofen

Spare kick pedal
moon gel
spare pedal spring
plumbers tape
spare snare wires
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  #34  
Old 12-05-2016, 04:32 PM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Buying kit for gigs- where to start

Wow! That's a lot of stuff, dude.
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