Drum kit components that beginners waste their money on...

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Now that I've been playing for a while, I look back on the purchases I made as a beginner, and the purchases other beginning drummers are making, and I realize how pointless they are for a beginner.
For instance, Cowbells, Chinas, mounted tambourines(Really? I'm the only one that did that?....okay....). Beginners often spend there money on this stuff before they even invest in new drumheads to replace their stock ones.


So post what stuff you wasted your money on as a beginner and the stuff you see beginning drummers waste their money on to amuse us, and advise beginning drummers to stay away from.

I'll post the items that are most commonly listed as being "a waste of money for beginners" here, for a easy reading list so beginners know what to stay away from.
1.Double pedals(eh... arguably? )
2.Cowbells
3.Rem-O's or Aquarian Studio-X rings
4.Extra tom drums.(I would personally say a second snare is unnecessary too.
I've probably been at this longer than most people here and I agree. You don't need a double pedal, or extra drums. The rings (I usually use one on my snare), get made from old heads.

The cowbell, I don't know. I've played alot of music that requires it. You can't play latin beats for the dancers without one, and of course, you can't very well play "Honky Tonk Woman" without one, so I would say that you need one to work. It probably doesn't have to be that huge megabell they sell to the rockers, but I think you should have at least one that's 5 inches.

Cymbals are a sort of a different thing. Yes, I only use a ride, crash, and hats on most of my jobs. Maybe I'll add a china as a secondary ride because it just sounds dumb if you ride behind every soloist with the same sound - but this is a musical judgment - you can easily ride your crash or hats when people are soloing too.

But at the same time, the only reason you walk into a music store today and see all this cool stuff to buy is because people are buying it. So, if stores and manufacturers dictated to us what we should buy, the industry would be alot less exciting, don't you think? It's good for business.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
I've probably been at this longer than most people here and I agree. You don't need a double pedal, or extra drums. The rings (I usually use one on my snare), get made from old heads.

The cowbell, I don't know. I've played alot of music that requires it. You can't play latin beats for the dancers without one, and of course, you can't very well play "Honky Tonk Woman" without one, so I would say that you need one to work. It probably doesn't have to be that huge megabell they sell to the rockers, but I think you should have at least one that's 5 inches.

Cymbals are a sort of a different thing. Yes, I only use a ride, crash, and hats on most of my jobs. Maybe I'll add a china as a secondary ride because it just sounds dumb if you ride behind every soloist with the same sound - but this is a musical judgment - you can easily ride your crash or hats when people are soloing too.

But at the same time, the only reason you walk into a music store today and see all this cool stuff to buy is because people are buying it. So, if stores and manufacturers dictated to us what we should buy, the industry would be alot less exciting, don't you think? It's good for business.
Bo, it really depends on the style of music you are playing though. The stuff I listen to has double pedal all over the place. Not constantly, but still lots. More than a china, and certainly more than cowbell. You could not play in the bands I listen to without a double. That is quite a few of them.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Bo, it really depends on the style of music you are playing though. The stuff I listen to has double pedal all over the place. Not constantly, but still lots. More than a china, and certainly more than cowbell. You could not play in the bands I listen to without a double. That is quite a few of them.
Sorry. I was talking about actually working as a drummer. Which would mean you could be playing jazz, or soft classic rock in a restaurant, or at the dance club, or in the theater pit for a musical. And not to insult anyone who listens to the heavier bands and thinking those would be the requirements, but look where the money is. People who hire musicians for the most part, are looking for replications of background music for events, which is what I do. And when you know you're just one step up from the client hiring a DJ, you tend to do what you can musically to ensure that you're more than just a typical DJ. It's very rare when I've walked into a situation where it's required that I have two bass drums, or more toms than I need, or more cymbals. Mostly, I get questions like, "Can you sing?" "Do you have a tuxedo?" "Can you get a cowboy hat?".

Maybe it sounds whore-ish, but that's part of my reality.
 

jimtyler

Senior Member
I disagree with the whole premise. ANY money spent by a beginner on drumming is a good thing. If a double pedal means he will do what his/her teacher expects for 1/2 an hour every day, then spends another half an hour doing double bass work that they want to learn, where's the problem? If they get a china, it teaches them they don't have to always go to a crash cymbal, offers creativity. A kid interested in a drum dial means they are serious about working on their sound. It's all good.
Granted, there are things you don't need, but that doesn't mean that owning them at some point was a bad thing. I remember when I was 20 (by then I had only been playing set for 8 years) I bought an Indian tabla and baya. Did it make me better on the set? I say yes because it opened my eyes to the whole concept of world drumming.
I'm 60 and just bought my first ever set of O-rings. Why? Because I want to explore fast change muffling options. Maybe I won't like them, but it still doesn't make it a bad purchase, it's all a part of working toward a goal of what you want to do, what you want to be as a drummer.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Answering the OP: nothing.

Waste implies that there is no value in all the things mentioned here. But none of these things are a waste because that is how we learn: by doing. We buy stuff that we think will make our kits better and learn by making mistakes. You have to try stuff on to find out what works for you. It's not like double pedals, cow bells and dampening rings are a waste for everyone or even every beginner. Those things would only be purchase mistakes if one bought them and never used them. But then that is how we learn what not to buy. There is no waste in that.

Looking back at my incredibly long list of purchases, every one has value to me. Even that ridiculous set of agogo bells I got when I was 15.
Another two thumbs way up!

Reminds me of the Dead Ringers I put on my single-headed toms back in the day. At first I thought they were novel and cool, but quickly came to see the depth and horror of their true evil. All good - lesson learned. Price of an education and all that.
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
Regarding the arguement about the whole premises of the thread I will say this.

Perhaps "waste" is a inaccurate word, the money spent on the things listed here could definitely be spent more wisely than being spent on cowbells, or roto Tom's.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The issue is, as with all the large v small kit debates, and the 101 threads on double pedals is they are all attempting to tell people how to do their music, without any regard to music itself.

We all became drummers to be involved in the art form of music. Some may choose to be in an orignal band, other smay choose to become a working dummer for hire, others may just express themselves from their basement. No one path is right or wrong, as long as you follow the path you choose.

And because this is art, it is subjective. yes, for a commerical art, i.e. being a working drummer, a lot of accessories usually aren't required. But those rules don't neccessarly apply to an orignal band. What is right for a piano trio gig isn't the same as what is right for a metal gig. Who is to say if a pice of gear is a waste or not when the context is not discussed?

But even when there is context, since when does drumming have rules? The drum kit is based on no rules.

Look at how a drum set first came to be, it was bass drum, a snare and whatever else was available to make sounds.




Just because Charlies Watts has a 40+ year career playing a 4 pc and Neil Peart has had a 30+ year career playing a large kit doesn't make either decision on a piece of gear more or less releveant.

People have the right to choose whateve gear they wish to fit their musical path. I really don't see the point in telling other people their choices in gear are somehow wrong or a waste because it doesn't fit your own musical path.
 

Drummertist

Silver Member
...and the thread comes to a screeching halt. I have a cowbell and woodblock but haven't learned how to use them very well. I bought them a couple years back and while I can't use them yet, I at least have them there for the future. I just got a hihat tambourine and it makes a lot of sense to have especially in my church setting such as when I'm on the ride and I'm counting on the hats. I don't think that any of them was a waste. I use the woodblock for kids to keep them on the beat and the cowbell for doing "don't fear the reaper" (because it always needs MORE COWBELL).
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
It's OK, I've come to expect you say someting negative about double pedals in the same way I expect Sticks to say thing nice about Mapex in nearly every thread.

We all have our quirks. LOL.
Come on. I am getting better aren't I? I have been praising my Black Beauty ever since I got it! :)
 

ChaosDecides

Senior Member
Double bass pedal. Single biggest waste of money for a beginner.
If your double pedal costs more than your kit then I'd agree, otherwise I'd have to disagree. If you want to learn double pedal from the start I don't see anything wrong with it, as long as you don't neglect other aspects of the drum set. Double pedals can be broke down into singles usually so you can play both ways.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
What puzzles me is that many (not all) of these unnecessary purchases will often come from the same beginners who claim they're too broke to pay for lessons. Well...to each their own I guess.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I agree with Andy on the premature kit upgrades. You first need to figure out how to tune what you've got and understand what your kit's strengths and weaknesses are before you're ready to zero in on a new one. Once you understand what you've got and where you want to go, then you won't be posting here saying, "My Catalina sounds crappy and my new band is playing shows, what should I get, lol?" Okay, so your going to go from a Catalina to a DW Collectors that will sound just as bad. Or, get the DW and then feel the need to learn to tune it properly, discovering in the process that if you had done that to the Catalina, it would've actually sounded pretty rippin'.

+1 on the 6/8/10 rototoms. The most heinous addition to any kit. (tho I wouldn't mind a 12/14/16/18 for an alternate setup)

I don't have heartache with double pedals. When I was noob, most of my drum heroes had them (Peart, Bozzio, Morgenstein, Simon Philips). They were some of my biggest inspirations, why not try to figure that stuff out? None of them were slouches on the hi hats either. If I was just coming up nowadays, I think I'd be wanting to figure out how Tomas Haake does some of his stuff. It's just fun and isn't that the point?
I can't wait to get the 6/8/10 rototoms. They'll go great with my concert toms.
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
Why must all of the threads on this forumn that should be very straight toward and simple always turn into a philosophical debate about the morals expressed in the point of thread?
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
If your double pedal costs more than your kit then I'd agree, otherwise I'd have to disagree. If you want to learn double pedal from the start I don't see anything wrong with it, as long as you don't neglect other aspects of the drum set. Double pedals can be broke down into singles usually so you can play both ways.
I view double pedals as having lots and lots of toms. It's a monster kit type thing. Yeah, looks cool, but if you're just getting started, there's really no need for it. That is, if you're just getting started.
 
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