Awesome luck today for putting together a cheap drum kit piece by piece

JimmyM

Silver Member
A little background...I'm 60, very recently separated and of course not doing well on money at the moment partially due to a heart condition that resulted in two stents and 3 months off my day job that's supposed to pay me temp disability but so far I haven't been able to collect. Have made money playing music since I was 16 on bass, guitar, and vocals, and spent over 20 years doing major 50's-60's-70's shows with original artists of their days on bass and background vocals. I took a day job during Covid, but it didn't work out, and I'm going back to playing music full time and already have a handful of prospects. But my first instrument was the drums, starting when I was 6, and I got pretty good for a kid but haven't played regularly since my teens, and my wife couldn't take the sound of drums so I never pursued putting together a cheap drum set to get my chops built back to some degree. Doing it now, though! I live in a small, 70-year-old house that my grandparents originally bought as a retirement house all to myself. Requires some maintenance and a major deep cleaning top to bottom, but it's solid, locks properly, and I can do a lot of the stuff myself.

Anyway, enough about me...so I'm not starting from scratch, but it's quite humble except for the snare. The two toms and kick are CB700's from the 70's, and the bottom heads are missing on all of them, which is fine by me...they fell out of favor but I like no bottom heads and a lot of fantastic drum tracks have been cut with bottom heads off. The snare is a Ludwig 8-lug 6 1/2" by 14" wood model from the 50;s originally done in black/gold Duco, but I unwisely stripped it to bare wood when I was 12 (what did I know?). Fortunately, it still sounds great, and clearly it's the only thing that classes up this humble beginning of a practice kit.

What I don't have are any cymbals, stands of any kind, or a bass drum pedal. A few days ago a longtime pro drummer friend in the area told me that he had a Tama single kick pedal or a DW5000 double pedal without beaters, both otherwise in fine working condition, and his wife had been wanting him to clear them out but he didn't want to hassle with selling them. I never used a double pedal kick or played on a two-kick kit except briefly, so I graciously accepted the Tama.

So I'm making arrangements to pick it up tomorrow, and he tells me that the he supposes he'll just take the double pedal to Goodwill and be done with it. So I'm like, "If that's all you plan to do with it, you can think of me as your own personal Goodwill who picks up your donations for you!" And he said OK!

So now I'm getting the Tama single pedal, AND the DW5000 double kick pedal tomorrow! Beaters? Hey, even I can afford beaters...in felt and wood :D Very fortunate to have a friend like that, and just wanted to let everyone in Drummerworld know how lucky I got to move another big step closer to the finish line!
 

Lefty Phillips

Active Member
Congrats!

I don't like the sound of resonator heads, either. I mean, I like the way they sound when other people use them, but the sounds I like best are from the era when resonator heads weren't a thing.
 

JimmyM

Silver Member
Congrats!

I don't like the sound of resonator heads, either. I mean, I like the way they sound when other people use them, but the sounds I like best are from the era when resonator heads weren't a thing.
Lefty, I've been hearing rumblings of that from other drummers I know, including the guy giving me the pedals. I also hear from plenty of drummers who say "Double headed toms and kicks just sound better" to them. I figure I have quite a road ahead of me just working out all the rudiments I remember from lessons a long time ago with 2b sticks on the practice pad while trying to find decent cymbals and stands I can afford. So I'll pick this argument up when I get my chops back enough to actually appreciate the differences.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Are those the same drums that you had when you were 12 years old? If so, that's pretty cool.

Keep looking for beaters for the DW5000 pedal. You can get a great sound with those.
 

JimmyM

Silver Member
Are those the same drums that you had when you were 12 years old? If so, that's pretty cool.

Keep looking for beaters for the DW5000 pedal. You can get a great sound with those.
Not the same drums but the same snare. When I sold the drums, I kept the snare. I love that snare. No other snare I've used has a sound like it.
 

JimmyM

Silver Member
Bass Drum Pedals Sm.jpg

And here they are in their new happy home! I was shocked at how smooth and easy to use the Tama is, first of all. Honestly, it feels so good I may need to tighten up the spring a bit once I get going. Don't want to make it too darn easy.

But man, that DW double kick is set up perfectly for what I need as a slightly older newb to build feet and leg strength up and is an industry standard. All it needs are new beaters, a little clean-up and maintenance, and it's good. I'd like to get the kind of beaters that have both felt and wood because both have their uses. Would like to put one on the Tama as well. All in due time. Gotta get the right foot working again first.

In the meantime, I finally got a set of 2b sticks and I can bust out the practice pad and get the hands working again. I started at age 6 with a toy set that wasn't horrible and actually sounded like drums, sort of, and I always used 5a because the teachers I had felt they were good for little kids. Joined the school band in 6th grade on drums at first, 3 months later I switched to trumpet, then went down a path of playing a little of everything, settling on bass and guitar. The band director insisted all drummers had to have 2b's or 1s's. Hated it at first but once I got them in my hands, I understood why. With heavy sticks, you have to really learn to control your dynamics or you can easily be too loud in the quiet parts. On the bright side, you can also smash the crap out of your drums with them quite easily :D But I'm not telling you all anything most of you don't know already...just organizing things I need to remember out loud.

And the one thing I will always remember is that after three months, I had a good handle on how to read drum music. Couldn't sight read it of course, but I understood the concepts. But I already knew how to play and was in the beginner class, so I learned to read for trumpet and tuba as well. And that's when everything started clicking for me. I finally understood how music works, translated it to guitar and bass thanks to Mel Bay, and I was off to the races and still am today at 60.

I always wanted to play hard rock on bass when I was younger. But you reach your rock star sell-by-date but still want to play music, and you discover that the very best gigs in the area for pay are not rock but reading gigs of all types, and you have to be able to sightread a written part or you don't get called anymore. We have quite a few reading bassists in town and we always got most of the better work that comes through. Not only that, since everyone reads, we're better at communicating with each other, and we can and often do write out parts for others to read. Like I used to write out the horn parts for the oldies band I was in before they had a regular team of players. Got paid for it, too. Not much but I took it just as a learning experience.

So I don't want to preach to you kids out there just starting, but while I had no problem picking up on the drums on records by ear once I had a year or two of lessons under my belt, reading really does open you up to whole new worlds, many of them better-paying, plus it gives you the benefit of understanding the drums or any instrument on a deeper level.

And now I get to redevelop all my processes for drums again after 40 years, and I'm super stoked! Just need cymbals and stands...the most expensive stuff of all.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Guitar Center sells drum beaters starting at about $ 10. I prefer lighter sticks, 5a's.

Check pawn shops for cymbals and stands.
 

JimmyM

Silver Member
Guitar Center sells drum beaters starting at about $ 10. I prefer lighter sticks, 5a's.

Check pawn shops for cymbals and stands.
I prefer the 5a's too, but I'm using 2b's now on the practice pad just to get myself in shape. Slowly but surely matched grip playing has improved even after one evening. One thing about 2b's is 5a's feel like nothing after a while of it. Not so fun to play traditional grip with them yet, but I did it once and I'll do it again. OK, so it was 40 years ago...but still...

And thx for the tip on the GC beaters, No Way! They're DW double sided...so awesome! Says I'll have them in 5-7 days...nice!
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
What I don't have are any cymbals, stands of any kind, or a bass drum pedal. A few days ago a longtime pro drummer friend in the area told me that he had a Tama single kick pedal or a DW5000 double pedal without beaters, both otherwise in fine working condition, and his wife had been wanting him to clear them out but he didn't want to hassle with selling them. I never used a double pedal kick or played on a two-kick kit except briefly, so I graciously accepted the Tama.
The bold text REALLY grinds my gears. What...this girl dated a guy knowing he hit things with sticks & suddenly after a married time has issues with his gear? It's his gear that HE takes care of and keeps put away if need be. I'm sure he doesn't even dare address her sewing crap or porcelain clowns all over the house, right!!??

Anyway...now that I've calmed down, I'm very happy with your new direction and gear acquisition. Those pedals will serve you very well in your new purpose. We're here for you if you need any further guidance.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'm sure he doesn't even dare address her sewing crap or porcelain clowns all over the house, right!!??
Shoes homie, shoes! You wanna break most women, get rid of their shoes.

This is a problem:

20211105_122905.jpg
Your chain is not lining up correctly with the cam. If you dont resolve this, it will damage both the cam and chain.

It looks as if someone took the pedal apart and changed the cams position on the crossbar to raise the footboard angle.
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Shoes homie, shoes! You wanna break most women, get rid of their shoes.

This is a problem:

View attachment 110121
Your chain is not lining up correctly with the cam. If you dont resolve this, it will damage both the cam and chain.

It looks as if someone took the pedal apart and changed the cams position on the crossbar to raise the footboard angle.
You're 100% right! Shoes are the key! :LOL:
Sorry if I went a bit off the rails there. Anyone getting into a relationship with a drummer better understand they were married to their kit (and everything that went with it) WAY before they met you.

Anyway...yes, get this cam realigned asap before it chews up the teeth.
 

JimmyM

Silver Member
The bold text REALLY grinds my gears. What...this girl dated a guy knowing he hit things with sticks & suddenly after a married time has issues with his gear? It's his gear that HE takes care of and keeps put away if need be. I'm sure he doesn't even dare address her sewing crap or porcelain clowns all over the house, right!!??

Anyway...now that I've calmed down, I'm very happy with your new direction and gear acquisition. Those pedals will serve you very well in your new purpose. We're here for you if you need any further guidance.
Thx man...hey, I'm not complaining about his wife! :D These are pedals I don't think he ever used, the DW was given to him, and he's got them coming out the wazoo, so not like he was offended by it or anything.
 

JimmyM

Silver Member
You're 100% right! Shoes are the key! :LOL:
Sorry if I went a bit off the rails there. Anyone getting into a relationship with a drummer better understand they were married to their kit (and everything that went with it) WAY before they met you.

Anyway...yes, get this cam realigned asap before it chews up the teeth.
Yeah, I was wondering why that happened. It bunches up and falls off, and I thought it just needed oiled. Thx to you and Mrinsane for pointing that out. I would have certainly let it go, at least till it drove me crazy and I came on here and asked about it.

So hopefully this is something I can do myself. Trying to learn all I can about them on the net, but it's a lot to absorb. Can you please tell me how to do it or link me to a vid showing the process?

EDIT: Never mind...it looks like all I have to do is loosen up the cam with a drum key and slide it over till it's even. I think even I can handle that!

EDIT: Yep, that seemed to fix it. Chain's staying on now. Thx for the tip, folks!
 
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JimmyM

Silver Member
Wow, pedals are way more complicated than they used to be! But they are so much better. The DW needs a good cleaning and lube before I use it, I think. I don't know that it needs to be taken apart completely, but fortunately there are plenty of vids on it. And it took me a long time to figure out how to adjust the tension on the Tama but I figured that out, too. At first I loved how easy it worked, but I'm going to try it with more for now. I think the DW's fine where it is for now, at least until I get it cleaned up and beaters put on it.

Also replaced the hideous Gretsch head on the rack tom with a new clear Pinstripe. The floor tom has one on it that's ancient and worn, but surprisingly, the new one sounded just like a matching set, save for a little extra brightness and slightly more ring. They actually sound like real drums now. They sure make the Remo logo big on them now, though.
 
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