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Old 07-15-2010, 04:04 PM
Chief2112 Chief2112 is offline
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Default Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

I've only been playing a little over 3 weeks now. I purchased an entry-level set. It's a ddrum set that ran me about 400.00. No biggie. Fine for me to start on to see how it goes. The shells seem pretty nice anyways. The cymbals are kind of crap and I'm already starting to replace those.

Anyway, is there an advantage or should I even worry about replacing the drum heads? I've read some advice in other places that say to just go ahead and replace the heads immediately on the lower priced kits and that it will make a big difference sound and quality wise.

Just wondering what the opinions here are and if you have any suggestions of what kind of heads to buy? Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

I didn't start to replace heads on my drum set for like a year so I obviously don't think it's of vital importance. That being said it does make a big difference in sound quality when you finally do start to change the heads on your set.

Now on to head advise. In order to give you good advise on snare and bass drum heads I would need to know what genre you like to play but for the toms most people just go with a Evans G2 on the batter and a Clear Evans G1 on the resonant side.
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

Learning to change heads, tune, and get drums sounding good is another important drumming skill that needs to be learned along with all the obvious ones.

If money is tight, its not vitally important to have the best heads if you're just practicing alone in your basement... And getting a decent sound out of low quality stock heads is possible, just harder.

If you can afford it and want better sounding drums then go for it.

Also remember, you don't need to replace them ALL at once. I think of them in 3 categories: bass, snare, toms. If you really hate the sound of one of those categories, and can't seem to fix it with the existing heads then just get new heads for that one category.

As for what heads to get... That's personnel, depends what sound you want.

For the toms, if you're not sure what you want, then try experimenting with diff heads on one tom until you find the sound you want, then do the rest instead of buying full sets of heads.
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:58 PM
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Pyjama4 Pyjama4 is offline
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Default Re: Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

Take your 12" or 13" to the nearest drum store and get the resident drum geek (there's always at least one) to try out the whole spectrum of heads. Find which combination of batter and reso suits you AND YOUR DRUM best.

Ian Paice (yes,the real one) told me years ago that your drums, no matter if you pay 50 or 5000, will only ever be as good as the accompanying snare and cymbals, along with the fool on the stool. Unfortunately I was only sixteen at the time and could only afford a set of Zyn cymbals and a 'snare' from Poland. I think next in importance is a good set of quality heads.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:41 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

I advocate just budgeting for new heads when you buy the kit. Your drums will sound completely different and "as they should" with a new set of pro-grade heads.

However, the advice given here is sound, if you don't really mind and you're not playing out with others yet, you can get along with what you have. That said, a new set of heads will get you alot closer to the sound you're hearing on recordings, if you use that as any kind of inspiration to play.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

If you've only been playing a little over 3 weeks, then a better-sounding kit probably isn't your first priority. I'd recommend just learning to play for now, and in a few months or a year when you notice your heads are wearing out and/or dead, when you get new heads THEN, you'll notice MUCH more of a difference!

Also, I'd be planning ahead to replace the drums in a few years...Ddrum's beginner kits are notorious for having bad edges, so you'll never quite get them to tune right and sound good, unless you happened to get lucky with your particular purchase. Even so, you'll want to upgrade before you start playing out, I'd imagine. I'd prioritize upgrading your cymbals at the moment, though...
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

I wouldn't bother too much with sound yet, if I were you. Learning how to play is vital. Sounding good doesn't make sense if you can't play.
I only got interested in sound when I was playing over 4 years. If I were you, I woudn't buy new heads. I would replace the entire kit after you've played for 3 to 4 years (depends on how motivated you are).
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

replacing the heads will definitely sound better, only if you know how to tune. learning how to tune comes in time along with learning how to play. once you understand the fundamentals of how to tune, then you should think about getting new heads.

I agree with Fuo, think of the kit in the three categories. when i replaced the heads on my kit, i did the entire snare first(wires too), then the bass batter, then tom batters, then tom resos, then bass reso. i'm not saying you should get them in that order, i just did it by what i thought needed improvement first.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:45 AM
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Winston_Wolf Winston_Wolf is offline
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Default Re: Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

First of all, welcome to playing drums!

I would probably go ahead and replace the heads if your budget allows. The heads contribute probably 90% of your sound, so why not have the best heads possible?

I'm not very familiar with the ddrum kits, but I think it's safe to say the heads it came with aren't professional quality and most likely won't yield a very professional sound.

I'd start with tom batters, something versatile like an Evans G2 or Remo Emperor. They're pretty easy to get a nice tone out of, and they're durable enough to last you for quite a while. I'd keep the stock bottom heads for a while, since I don't think the improvement in sound is worth doubling the cost of buying new heads just yet.

I'd try to get a new snare batter head sooner rather than later, but I don't think you'll hear as dramatic difference in tone there as you will with the toms. New bass drum heads are dead last to me. New heads can improve your sound just like the rest of the drum set, but between tuning and muffling normal for a bass drum the effect is harder to notice.

I'm not sure if you are considering changing the heads because you're really unhappy with the sound of the drums or just because so many people talk about changing heads, but I think if you really concentrate on trying to get a good sound now you'll see a lot of rewards in the future.

I don't know anyone that can enjoy playing (or listening to) a musical instrument if it doesn't sound good. Obviously if you're going to get any enjoyment out of playing drums you're going to have to like the sounds you're creating, and it goes far beyond just the simple mechanics of hitting things in rhythm. It's never too early to start thinking about your sound, yet it often goes ignored for far too long.

I meet far too many drummers that were never taught to consider the sound of their instrument and the range of sounds possible. Too often drummers view playing strictly as a physical exercise, ignoring tone completely, which is sad, because the biggest difference between hitting drums and playing drums is the quality of the sound of the noise you're making.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Replacing drum heads on a beginner set?

If the drums sound OK to you, then I wouldn't stress changing the heads out. Read the "drum head threads" as they appear here on the forum. Plenty will be said about coated/clear/Pinstripe/G2/yadda/etc ..... take that all into account. Process that information while you're burning up your factory heads. That way, when you do need to replace your heads, you'll know a little more about the "why" you chose one head over another.
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