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

Arky

Platinum Member
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.
There is. It just depends - as always - what your goals are. I thought: Why wait years until getting a double pedal? To then have the typical problems like "getting your left foot into shape as it was always used to sit on the hihat pedal"? I see some sense getting into double pedals right away (if you need it genre wise - but even if you don't, why not develop both feet equally?).

Similar to crossed/open handed playing. The sooner you start with open handed (doesn't mean giving up crossed playing) the better.

So what's wrong for beginners to check out different ways of playing, sound sources (e.g. cowbells)? Some might take a liking in it, some might learn a lesson whether to stick to it or give it up. But as has been said - everybody HAS to do this lesson for him/herself. Reading advice in favour of/against something is one thing, actually checking it out is another thing. Which makes the whole thread obsolete in some sense.
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
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

That's a good point, but to be fair to the OP I'm guessing his intention was to elicit exactly the kind of responses that people have given: i.e. how they have all indeed learned through trial and error by buying things they perhaps could ill afford or at least expected to solve a problem that could be better addressed by simply taking advice from someone with more experience.

After all, isn't that the point of a discussion forum? Trial and error is of course one way to learn but it isn't necessarily the quickest or most efficient. Every example of wasteful purchases on this thread were brought about by people who didn't know any better at the time. If they impart this experience to any beginner who chooses to read this forum then I see no harm. I doubt it would stunt anyone's learning unless that person happens to believe everything they read.

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?
Because the sole purpose of the internet is to remind us all that life is very very serious.
 

Arky

Platinum 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?
Because some people (musicians included) are more narrow-minded than others, thinking what is right for them must be right for others. --- I also don't like many threads to go into a philosophical/religious direction. I thought musicians tend to be more open-minded... seems I'm wrong.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Double pedals, student-grade cymbals (especially new; new anything for that matter), weird-size drums, ridiculous cosmetics.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum 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?
Because some people (musicians included) are more narrow-minded than others, thinking what is right for them must be right for others.
Exactly.

Because the topic is not straight forward, it is judgmental. What is right/wrong for one drummer doesn't mean it's right/wrong for someone else.

If you only got into drumming to play latin music, a cowbell is NOT a waste, it's a requirement.
If you only got into drumming to be a metal drummer, a double pedal is NOT a waste, it's pretty much required.
If you got into drumming for other reasons, than perhaps a cowbell and a double pedal is waste. Or not. Who is anyone else to decide for you?

I will say there are certain brand/models of products that are a waste because they are of such poor quality relative to other options in the market place.
 
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Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
Okay let me put it this way, if you don't think that as a beginner, you could have spent your money a little more wisely. Than either your a well informed beginner(and the purpose of this thread is to inform beginners) or you're just ignorant of your own mistakes. Yes I used my cowbell when I first got it, yes I used my mounted tambourine when I got it. But now looking backing on it, I realized I would have been much happier if I had invested that money in something that would actually help me improve and not just "something else to smack"

And to learn how to play Latin, you have to know how to play basic non-genre oriented stuff.
To play Metal, you have to know how to play basics non-Genre oriented stuff.

If you intend on just playing one Genre, and start your drumming off by learning how to play THAT genre, than your drumming is going to be tasteless, and stereotypical, THAT, is being narrow-minded sirs.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
And to learn how to play Latin, you have to know how to play basic non-genre oriented stuff.
Tell that to someone who lives in Latin America or is of Latin American heritage, where it's not just a genre, it's part of their culture.

To play Metal, you have to know how to play basics non-Genre oriented stuff.
Sure, but that doesn't change anything.


If you intend on just playing one Genre, and start your drumming off by learning how to play THAT genre,
Just because someone starts off in one genre doesn't mean they can't later expand.
And besides, who cares? Plenty of people have had success sticking to one genre.

No one thinks any less of Buddy Rich because he primarily stuck to big band, even when Big Band music went out of popularity. Why judge other people's tastes in music?


than your drumming is going to be tasteless, and stereotypical, THAT, is being narrow-minded sirs.
That is your opinion, and perhaps backed up numerous examples, but it is not an all inclusive fact.

Well, OK, say you're right, and there are rules to which all drummers should follow. If everyone followed the same rules, where is the variety?

But lets take it to the next level, and be judgmental about drumming. Conventional wisdom says one should not even bother playing drums because it's usually a thankless career, with low pay, and few ever make any money do it, it's noisy, drummers are the usually the butt of bad jokes, machines can do it better, and computers are making it nearly obsolete, etc.

To most people in modern society, the component beginners waste their money on is starting drum to begin with.

But we don't see it that way, do we? Of course not.
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
Tell that to someone who lives in Latin America or is of Latin American heritage, where it's not just a genre, it's part of their culture.

Sure, but that doesn't change anything.



Just because someone starts off in one genre doesn't mean they can't later expand.
And besides, who cares? Plenty of people have had success sticking to one genre.

No one thinks any less of Buddy Rich because he primarily stuck to big band, even when Big Band music went out of popularity. Why judge other people's tastes in music?



That is your opinion, and perhaps backed up numerous examples, but it is not an all inclusive fact.

Well, OK, say you're right, and there are rules to which all drummers should follow. If everyone followed the same rules, where is the variety?

But lets take it to the next level, and be judgmental about drumming. Conventional wisdom says one should not even bother playing drums because it's usually a thankless career, with low pay, and few ever make any money do it, it's noisy, drummers are the usually the butt of bad jokes, machines can do it better, and computers are making it nearly obsolete, etc.

To most people in modern society, the component beginners waste their money on is starting drum to begin with.

But we don't see it that way, do we? Of course not.
Sigh*

Your elaborating on something that doesn't need to elaborated on, someone wants to start drums okay? Drums are expensive, drums are easy to get carried away with and buy a lot of stuff. Why not help beginners spend their money wisely? You know what? After someone gets a good sounding kit, and can play the drums "well" go ahead, get cowbells, more Tom's, more random crap for your kit if you Desire, have some freaking fun with the immense world of percussion.

For God's sake, you cant tell me right now that it doesn't sadden you a bit when you see a beginning drummer with tons of crap, and you know he could have invested his money much more wisely, yet, instead of just helping beginners get their moneys worth, you're over here saying,"Op is a judgemental poopie head that doesn't like beginners who have cowbells!"
 
I haven't managed to read the whole thread but I'm going to post some of my opinions on what beginners waste money on.

Double-bass pedal being one... They focus more on that then technique and it later lacks them into being able to play well single. For example, I play gigs with a single pedal and I always have kids (beginners, as they add me on Facebook) ask me "Why is your foot so fast?" and I'm like "because I don't own a double pedal and don't see myself wasting money on it, if I can master my single foot first... Then maybe I'll buy one, but definitely not soon."

I also know many beginners who buy cheap stuff like stands and cymbals so they can fill they're drum kit with things they don't need.
Like, they'll have 2 splashes, a crappy ride (which is NOT good), crappy hats and like 4 crashes that sound like a trash can and occasionally as HORRIBLE china. Then they wonder if they can get much money by reselling them but they see my cymbals and like "HOW DID YOU AFFORD THOSE!" And I say "I stuck with Paiste 101's and Sabian B8's I got with my drum it to start off with, for about 3 years or something I played with them. Still have them, while I made enough money to get myself a good drum-kit and good cymbals instead of throwing cash on things I didn't need." and they pause, and think about it. Makes sense, they have like Paiste 101's or Solars or whatever. And too many and don't realize they don't need what they have. For me, 2 crashes, a ride, hi-hats are my live set-up. Also got a splash I got with my kit, but I don't use it very often. Only got it for accents in latin music really.

Last but not least, not paying for lessons because they think watching metal drummers go really fast or whatever will make them be a good drummer when I watch them and I can feel the pain in the wrists and elsewhere. Not to mention timing usually sucks.

What they COULD buy instead of forking out so much money on stuff they don't need is :
a metronome
drum lessons
and then they could keep money a-side for they're next drum kit.

I mean, I didn't really start getting all the gear I have now til about 2 years ago, and I still find it hard to believe that I have what I have. Then kids ask me how I got it, abit self-explanatory.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Sigh*
Why not help beginners spend their money wisely? You know what? After someone gets a good sounding kit, and can play the drums "well" go ahead, get cowbells, more Tom's, more random crap for your kit if you Desire, have some freaking fun with the immense world of percussion.

I do help beginners spent their money wisely.

I have over 4000 posts on this forum alone of advising drummers.
I spent 8 years working drum retail advising beginners.
I've helped countless beginners get off to a good start.

But if someone is taking lessons already, who am I to tell them what to buy?
Why judge their musical interests?

For God's sake, you cant tell me right now that it doesn't sadden you a bit when you see a beginning drummer with tons of crap, and you know he could have invested his money much more wisely, yet, instead of just helping beginners get their moneys worth, you're over here saying,"Op is a judgemental poopie head that doesn't like beginners who have cowbells!"
Context. Is said person taking lessons? If so, then does it matter?
Why is it sad?

If someone thinks buying a new piece of gear will make them a better drummer, then yes, you are 100% correct. New/different gear generally does not make someone better.

But if they are already taking lessons, own some good books, and have some instruction material, then how does buying a new piece of gear a waste?

Context is key.

One of better drum performances I've ever seen was a guy who was playing drums that looked like he found them in the dumpster. Does that mean I should tell everyone look for drums in the dumpster? No, gear doesn't make the drummer.

I used to have two students, they were the same age, started at the same time, had the same hair cut, and were dang near identical (but not related). If I showed them a new beat, kid #1 would pick it up in 5 minutes and be ready for the next one. Kid #2 would take 3 weeks to get a new beat down.

So after 3 months, both of them had only been playing three months. Both, still beginners. One was much better than the other one. DO I give them the same advice if they asked about a purchase? No, different context.
(FYI kid #1 stopped drumming, kid #2 went on to play drums in numerous bands).


You said "But now looking backing on it, I realized I would have been much happier if I had invested that money in something that would actually help me improve"

And Ok, but what is that? Lessons? OK, I'll agree. And instruction DVD? OK, I'll agree.
But you didn't say that in the OP.

And cowbell, come on, context. 600 million Latino's might disagree that cowbell is a waste. Latin music is a key part of their culture for some people. A point blank assertion that a cowbell is a waste doesn't apply to everyone or people in every country (and this is an international forum).


Sigh*

Your elaborating on something that doesn't need to elaborated on,
I don't think so. This forum is full of people who's parents didn't support their desire to become drummers. I've met countless people at gigs who said "I wanted to be a drummer, but my parents wouldn't let me..."

But here is the real question:

So at the time you went to purchase your cowbell, if a random person told you not to, would you have listened?

I bought my cowbell when I was still a relative beginner. Someone did try to talk me out of it. But, I bought it anyway. Did I really need it at the time? No, not at all. Do I regret it? Not all at. I still own it 20 years later.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Because some people (musicians included) are more narrow-minded than others, thinking what is right for them must be right for others. --- I also don't like many threads to go into a philosophical/religious direction. I thought musicians tend to be more open-minded... seems I'm wrong.
I think you are being way too judgmental about this thread.

Some people will have opinions as to what gear is unnecessary for beginners. Some won't have an opinion. Some will think it is a question that should not be asked, that any imaginable variation of drums and accessories is all good, for whatever reasons. And it's all good to me. I think double pedals are goofy and unnecessary except for a few genres like metal, which is the goofiest genre of music anyway, so it's a good fit. If you don't share that opinion, or even think that opinion might be offensive to state, I think that's all good too.

I like being judgmental. Only another judgmental person would criticize that. Which is fine with me, because as a judgmental person I can relate to that.
 

Nuka

Senior Member
I'll defend most of the previous demonised things.

I use my cowbell a lot in my work, always have my double pedal at least for offbeat things, sprints and tripplets, got a jam block that I don't use all the time but it's there just in case. Got my splashes, bells, china etc.

The worst thing I have bought is probably two Mapex Tornado stands. Cheapest I could find at £21 and while good for a beginner (or rather the first few months) as you learn your own style and how heavily you hit and where to place things, those cheap stands just dont cut it. And they're 6mm threads which is awkward if you loose the wing nuts and can't afford a new pack xD

One thing I will say about the double pedal is not that it's a bad idea to get one, but it's a bad idea to get a bottom range one. I made the msitake of buying a Mapex 500 double. Again because it was the cheapest. A year later and I'm looking to upgrade because the quality and durabilty just isn't up to my demands.

I realise now I should have spent the extra £30 or so to get a Mapex 710 or equivalent. But that's a lesson you have to learn.

Nearly four years into playing drums and that's my only real regret I suppose. Cheap stands that fall over and you can't place properly and cheap double pedal that... well doesn't work as fast as you do :p
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
@drumeatdrum(I'm not going to torture people with quoting all of that lol)

Um, yeah, I think we should talk about this for about another 3 days even though we obviously aren't going to change each others minds......
 

Mikecore

Silver Member
I bought a terrible toy kit off of a friend for 25 bucks because I could add a second bass to my kit, and maybe another tom if I worked it out right. The shells were heavy cardboard, the one cymbal that came with it was useless for anything but an effects cymbal, and the bass drum pedal was the kind of stamped metal affair that Pearl used to offer on their lower-end kits back in the early days.

Combined with my Fibes kit, I ended up with 10, 13 and 16" toms, 12" and 14" snares and 19" and 22" bass drums.

Not too far from what I'm now playing 25 years later: 8/10/13/16 toms, with an 18" bass, 22" remote bass and a 13" snare....and most of the cymbals that other drummers had no use for (like Sabian Radias).

No regrets.
 

Brundlefly

Senior Member
That's a good point, but to be fair to the OP I'm guessing his intention was to elicit exactly the kind of responses that people have given: i.e. how they have all indeed learned through trial and error by buying things they perhaps could ill afford or at least expected to solve a problem that could be better addressed by simply taking advice from someone with more experience.

After all, isn't that the point of a discussion forum? Trial and error is of course one way to learn but it isn't necessarily the quickest or most efficient. Every example of wasteful purchases on this thread were brought about by people who didn't know any better at the time. If they impart this experience to any beginner who chooses to read this forum then I see no harm. I doubt it would stunt anyone's learning unless that person happens to believe everything they read.
I don't think my response was unfair to the OP, regardless of intentions. It's just an observation that none of the things people have posted are wasted purchase in and of themselves. All of those things can have value to a beginner.

It also wasn't an argument against the thread, a suggestion that harm was being caused or that people's learning experience stunted. That would be a fairly liberal extrapolation of what I wrote, which was really a contrarian point of view. If beginners are going to read this thread and benefit from it, then it would only do them justice to have multiple views represented.

Are there more efficient ways to learn? I think that is debatable. We may take advice from time to time, but when we do, we haven't really learned for ourselves. We've only adopted what someone else may have learned for themselves. That comes with both good and bad implications.

When you get right down to it, this all comes down to how one views mistakes in general: as problems to be avoided or learning events that should be embraced and even celebrated.

I quote Pixar, "Fail early, fail often."

(they probably got it from someone else, but I heard it from them)
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
If beginners are going to read this thread and benefit from it, then it would only do them justice to have multiple views represented.
Well said.

Are there more efficient ways to learn? I think that is debatable. We may take advice from time to time, but when we do, we haven't really learned for ourselves. We've only adopted what someone else may have learned for themselves. That comes with both good and bad implications.
You raise a very good question: i.e. how would a beginner know whom to trust (if anyone)? Does he listen to The Guy who says seeing as buying a drum kit is comparatively expensive here's a couple of pointers about gear that might help you out in the long run, or The Guy who says The World is your oyster, son: buy whatever you want - it's your money, your life, your time - knock yourself out?

Obviously one cannot guarantee which would be the better way to learn in any given scenario but really what we're talking about is doing vs. not-doing. In the same way that I don't think you were advocating blind-doing as the best way of learning anything in particular I feel that informed-doing is as good a way of learning as any. This way of learning is clearly beneficial when it comes to learning how the play the drums - hence drum teachers: so perhaps the same approach to what drums to play can be beneficial as well.

It makes no difference to me whatsoever what some stranger on the other side of the planet chooses to spend his money on, but one thing I believe is that sometimes - especially for the young and/or inexperienced - too much choice can be a bad thing. Infinite choice gives the illusion of freedom and satisfaction yet the more time a person spends agonising over the choices he has [see the numerous threads on internet forums titled "Help! Do I buy the Mapex or the Tama?" etc] without making a decision the less happy he becomes: largely because he spends most of his time deliberating and never actually gets on with doing anything.

This thread is about beginners - people who by definition know little or nothing about drums. Given there is no inherent right or wrong when it comes to buying drums I feel it is perhaps kinder to offer informed advice to those who care to hear it rather than allowing them to flounder around in the bewildering forest of trinkets that can be found in the local music shop.

Although I have no problem with cow bells. I have a cow bell. It's nice.
 
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