Funny thing about my first kit


Silver Member
Got my first drum set for my 10th birthday in the 70s. Don't know the brand, just a really old, bare (grainy) wood 5 pc kit with no res heads. The pedal was an ancient Slingerland and the 3 cymbals were awful (looking back now).

But for six years it never once occurred to me to upgrade anything. And not because I was consciously content with my kit. The thought simply never entered my mind for whatever reason. I was just always happy to be playing.

At 15 I basically added on another very cheap kit to make a Frankenstein 9 pc double bass kit. I now had two of every tom (lol) and 2 kicks, and two different brand pedals. And still, it never occurred to me to upgrade a thing.

From the time I was 10 to 16 I happily played that old . . . . thing, all the while learning Rush, Zeppelin, Sabbath, Deep Purple, V Halen, etc, learning by ear to records. Finally in 11th grade I went to another drummers house with my guitar player mate, and saw a real drum set. Real cymbals. I was in awe. His kit sounded like they were miced compared to what I was playing. I don't think I blinked the whole time I played it.

I played for another year after that, then joined the military. I never did upgrade to a proper drum set, and went on to play guitar for the next 20 years.
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Platinum Member
I went through the same thing, mostly with my cymbals. My first couple of kits came with stamped b8 stuff and I used it for years, thinking it was my lack of technique or ability that stopped me from doing smooth swells, or controlling dynamics without choking.

It made me feel both deceived and happy that all of a sudden I sounded so much better, but I had to re-learn how to work sounds out of a cymbal where before I just had one-dimensional limited sounds to work with.


Platinum Member
When I was like 8, my dad bought me a Slingerland Spirit 1000. This was like 1984. The kit lived at my grandmother's house, and I would visit every weekend. I was left to my own learning, as I had no teacher or anyone to show me anything. Eventually I figured out how to play a basic beat. During the summer, my grandparents went on vacation and the house was robbed. The burglar slashed my head's with a knife. My dad said the drums were broken and ended up in a closet for like 8 years.

I eventually learned about drums, replaced the heads and started my drumming journey at 15. My sister now owns the set.


Platinum Member
I started off with a 4-piece Maxwin kit (age 9-10), and was ecstatic. Truth be told, my folks were poor and spent nearly all of their tax-return that year to see a kit through for me.

A bitter-sweet memory for me, because as broke as my folks were, they never gave up trying to do what they could do for us kids (me and my siblings).

As for cymbals, the kit came with a set of no-name 13" hats, and a general purpose (no-name), generic sounding crash/ride, and I never did see a proper drum throne until years later.

Upgrade? What in the world is that? I cut lawns, shoveled, and swept parking lots for business owners, so there was no such thing as upgrading, not that I would have known what to upgrade to, and quite honestly, the money I made went to clothing, shoes, bus passes, and other necessary needs my folks never had the means for, so the vision of ever owning a quality kit was something that never crossed my mind, though I dreamed big.

While in junior high, I purchased a used Baxter floor tom from a fellow music student in my band class, and a year later was gifted a set of 17" Zildjian Concert/Orchestral cymbals (courtesy of my band teacher), which I promptly turned into a set of hats. I played that kit until my grad year, at which time I sold and bought a used CB700 Percussion kit, complete with Zildjian cymbals and one Combo (crash/ride) sounding Paiste.

I had hit the big times.