Question on a first set for a 10 y/o

TWerner

Senior Member
My son has been learning on a drum pad for about 9 months now. He is doing well and still enjoying lessons, but it is getting a little boring for him. Even so, he practices 5 days a week on the pad and still plays piano 3 or so times a week despite the fact that piano lessons stopped during the summer. He's been playing piano for 4 1/2 years, and it is very interesting to me that playing the drums has clearly made him a better pianist.

His drum teacher felt that now was a reasonable time to start looking for a 4 or 5 piece drum set, so I've been doing a lot of reading here and on other forums. I'm not looking to buy something obscenely nice for a kid, but I am always of the cry once mentality on musical instruments. I've followed CraigsList, but all the sets have 22" Kicks, and I want to get him a set with a 20".

In looking at the sets by many mfgrs, I found one that seems very nice, and has a 16x20 B, 14x14 FT, 9x12 RT, and 8.5x10 RT, plus a 14" snare. I'm wondering if the 20, 14, 12, 10 sizing was as good as the sets that have 20, 16, 12, 10, and a 13" snare. Those sets all have 20 x 20 bass drums, which seems silly to put in our bonus room. Will not having the more typical 16FT be an issue?
Thanks!
PS) I'll shop for used cymbals
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
What's your budget? If you can buy used, you'll save a bundle. Entry and intermediate level kits are all over the used market. People "upgrade" out of their kits, and they can be found for half what a new kit would cost. Craig's List and eBay can be your friend.​
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
No mention of budget. So I would recommend a classic Ringo kit from Ludwig. I've seen shell packs of 14x20 bass drum, 8x12 tom, and 14x14 floor tom for $1500-ish, add a matching snare for another $400, and then hardware and cymbals, maybe another $1000 and your kid will be stylin'.

I'm kidding.

If your kid is like any drummer I know, he will want to upgrade on his own sooner than later, so I would get a good starter set and let him have at it. When he figures out what he really wants, then he can start saving money for it. If you only want to spend say, $1300, you can get him a nice Sonor Safari shell pack ($339), add the necessary hardware and good cymbals (do NOT buy those cheap starter cymbal packs, get at least A. Zildjians), put good heads on that kit and he'll still be stylin'. You didn't break the bank and you won't be so disappointed when your kid wants to get his own set in the future.
 

HMNY

Silver Member
Just want to add your son is lucky to have a great Dad who is encouraging his playing! I would add a plus 1 for Craigslist, possibly expand your search area, take a little more time to find the elusive 20. Not sure where you are located, but it might be worth searching out your local 5 star drum store, more info here: http://www.fivestardrumshops.com/

or even looking at Guitar Centre or Sam Ash for kits that have been traded in, and of course, continue to use this forum for advice and opinions.

Good luck with the search
 
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TWerner

Senior Member
No mention of budget. So I would recommend a classic Ringo kit from Ludwig. I've seen shell packs of 14x20 bass drum, 8x12 tom, and 14x14 floor tom for $1500-ish, add a matching snare for another $400, and then hardware and cymbals, maybe another $1000 and your kid will be stylin'.
Too funny, and thank you for the feedback. I do have a budget, but I'm actually embarrassed to expect this to cost me around $1300. I see a lot of people who are much older and more experienced than my son, who have a lot less to spend, so I didn't want to say that. I do know I could likely buy higher quality used. There was a 6 piece Tama Starclassic set an hour away that somebody bought new 2 months ago, with A Zildjian hats, rides and crash, an extra Tama SLP 7x13 snare, a throne, and soft cases, posted for 1500. Even though it is probably better than what I'll get new, it was still an 18x22 kick, and that's a big drum for a 10 year old to play in the bonus room. The kit did sell pretty fast.

So I'll give you more details. I'm actually looking at the Taye Pro X 5 piece shell pack. It seems really nice and I can get a fantastic deal on it with hardware. It has the 16x20 kick which I want. If I budget $300 for used hi hats, ride and crash, add a throne and some Mutes, I'm still comfortably under that $1300 mentioned above. I'm convinced from what I've read that those choices will give him a pretty high quality set, especially for a 10 year old. I also know that the heads make a huge difference, so we can replace them, once we learn to tune the drums.

It wasn't clear earlier I guess, but my real concern is the sizes. With no experience playing drums, how they mix is something I don't understand well. I know the basic physics, larger diameter = lower pitch. Problem is I can't find any commentary on whether a 10/12/14/20 shell pack is a reasonable size progression. Since all the other sets are 10/12/16FT/20B it worries me.

Is there some problem with the intervals of your fundamental pitches, using a 14FT instead of the 16FT. Is a 14"FT to a 12"RT a minor second or something that sounds really bad? It would explain why all the other sets use a 16" FT.

Thanks,
Todd
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
There are lots of options,but without a buget in mind,the discussion is a mute point.I'm a big proponent of buying used gear,which can double your buying power.Let us know how much you want to spend.

Steve B
 

TWerner

Senior Member
There are lots of options,but without a buget in mind,the discussion is a mute point.I'm a big proponent of buying used gear,which can double your buying power.Let us know how much you want to spend.
Steve B
Hi Steve,
Guess you were typing at the same time as me. Sorry. I explained more above.
Todd
 

larryz

Platinum Member
I'd look for a used Yamaha hipgig or a new Sonor Safari kit. Those are very good quality smaller kits. tama makes a nice Silverstar bop kit too. All would cost no more than $500. Can't go wrong there and he could keep them into adulthood and beyond. Though I'd imagine your son would love opening boxes of a new kit. Might leave a nice lasting impression. Good luck. You're a good dad :)
 

TWerner

Senior Member
That Safari kit sure gets a lot of love. It has 10/14/16/14S and their Bop kit is 12/14/18/14S.
If I find a used one with hardware, it will clearly make a great first kit for my son!

If I don't find a used on, the 4 piece Safari kit with a low priced Dixon hardware pack will save me a bit less than $200 compared to the 5 piece Taye Pro X kit with the 10/12/14/20/14 which looks like it has slightly nicer hardware than the Dixon. The Bop kit would save me $150 with the Dixon hardware. The price difference isn't enough to make the decision there, so I guess the question is, would the Sonor be a better sounding drum set, or would my son have a much easier time with one of the Sonor kits, since they have a smaller bass and only 1 rack tom? I know the smaller bass puts the rack toms lower.

I should add that since I love woodworking, I'll be making him a 6.5x13" stave snare drum. I have some local Black Walnut that's been drying for 5 or 6 years that should be perfect for one, and I can add in some maple or purple heart for contrast between the 8 or 16 staves. I figured a 13" snare can't hurt and would put him a little closer to the toms and cymbals.
 

rock fan

Junior Member
Do you have understanding neighbours acoustic drums are loud yes you can quiet them down with mutes but then the bounce from the skins goes .Drums are only an investment re there acoustic qualities not financialy id start basic and build deffo talk to neighbours and explain .Pad you can play at all hours v v quiet acoustic drums deffo not( i had this problem so ive had to buy an electronic kit )
 

TWerner

Senior Member
Good point but thankfully we'll have no neighbor worries. The smallest lots here are about 1.5 acres and pretty well wooded. They may hear him, but it will be very distant. And we're moving to an isolated 11acre lot in a year or so. Until then, he'll only bother his mom, who wanted to wait until we moved to the next house. Maybe I'll buy her some shooting earmuffs.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I'm going to go with the Safari too. The smaller bass drum will be raised so it won't be quite like having a 16" bass drum on the floor. It's probably more like playing an 18" or a 20" bass drum. In my experience of playing 16" bass drums though, it is comfortable and lower than a 22" bass drum.

Make sure that he can reach the pedals comfortably. It might be a good idea to 'fit' the kit so that it's definitely comfortable, although at that age it's hard to give too much advice with all the variables!

The Safari is a very well-made little kit. Lots of love for it at this forum.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'd like to point out that when I owned both the Safari and the Bop kits, the Safari ended up being the winner of the better bass drum sound. Right out of the box, the Safari 16" bass drum comes with a riser and this allows your bass drum pedal to efficiently hit the center of the drum. The Bops' 18" bass drum doesn't come with a riser and consequently right out of the box, your bass drum beater is hitting about 3" - 4" from the top of the drum. I know players for years have been dealing with that situation and managed to get a good sound, but the 16" bass drum on a riser just negates having the larger 18" size. I mean, a two-inch difference is not going to mean much anyway sound-wise, so the better and easier acquisition of the right sound wins. Besides, Steve Smith and Jojo Mayer can be seen playing with their little 16" bass drums, so if that doesn't tell you anything.... ;)
 

larryz

Platinum Member
I think it's about time the folks from Sonor reward the regulars here at DW for all the praise for the Safari. Kits on the house!
 

TWerner

Senior Member
Maybe Sonor could donate a kit and let the site give a Safari away in a contest. You guys could get one entry for every 10 posts you've made or something. I know of a hockey site that does something like that.

I guess I'll talk to my son's drum teacher tomorrow about that Sonor kit. He was pretty low key about specifics. Basically, anything workable is fine, and if we wanted to buy new and didn't mind the price, that the Tama ImperialStar set with a 20" bass was a good intro kit. He didn't know I'm a musical instrument nut. Serous GAS ... Part of why I was looking for a 20" was because he said it would be a little more versatile than an 18 or a 22. I also figured it puts the toms a bit lower. Now I'm thinking about 16" bass drums when my initial question was is a 14" floor tom ok. Something nobody actually commented on yet. Learning ...
 

slowrocker

Silver Member
I'd look for a used Yamaha hipgig or a new Sonor Safari kit. Those are very good quality smaller kits. tama makes a nice Silverstar bop kit too. All would cost no more than $500. Can't go wrong there and he could keep them into adulthood and beyond. Though I'd imagine your son would love opening boxes of a new kit. Might leave a nice lasting impression. Good luck. You're a good dad :)
I agree with what was said about opening a new set a drums up. I remember how excited I was when I opened my first set of drums. I think that you may make him happier with new ones rather than used. If he isn't always excited about new stuff though, just go used.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Maybe Sonor could donate a kit and let the site give a Safari away in a contest. You guys could get one entry for every 10 posts you've made or something. I know of a hockey site that does something like that.

I guess I'll talk to my son's drum teacher tomorrow about that Sonor kit. He was pretty low key about specifics. Basically, anything workable is fine, and if we wanted to buy new and didn't mind the price, that the Tama ImperialStar set with a 20" bass was a good intro kit. He didn't know I'm a musical instrument nut. Serous GAS ... Part of why I was looking for a 20" was because he said it would be a little more versatile than an 18 or a 22. I also figured it puts the toms a bit lower. Now I'm thinking about 16" bass drums when my initial question was is a 14" floor tom ok. Something nobody actually commented on yet. Learning ...
Toms can always be made to work, that's why I didn't make a big deal out of 14 or 16 floor tom. A 14 might be more manageable anyway. Just remember all those early Beatles songs were done with 12 and 14 toms and a 20 bass drum, and those sounded good.

If you're really bent on a 20" bass drum, Yamaha has the Gigmaker series of drums and I thought I saw a 10, 12,14FT toms with a 16x20 bass drum and a matching snare for $400 too. Try looking at Cascio Interstate Music, they had them in stock. Or on eBay.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
I will agree with all posts above. My son plays my gretsch kit (14,16,18,26") all day.

I might go used on the whole deal in case he doesn't stay with it. Resale will be much less painful and you can still blow his mind next Christmas.

14" is fine. Probably be better too if he ever has to move the kit.

We are Good dads (patting myself on the back)
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The Sonor Safari is a great kit, at a great price. And if he's 10, any kit will make him happy. I wouldn't be too worried about kick size, however. I was 10, and playing a Ludwig 22, 12, 13, 16 in a marimba band, and my "home" kit was a Japanese stencile kit, 22, 13, 16. I'll also add, I'm not a tall guy (5'6").​
Now, as far as cymbals, he's really too young to know "what sound he wants", so darn near any cymbal(s) will do. With a budget like you mentioned, buy him some decent hardware, some mid to high end "used" cymbals (hats, ride, one crash maybe). Turn him onto Billy Martin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtnOF4M-SrE You don't need a big kit to play drums. And if he wants to do that later .... then he can go big, later. You can probably get this done for under $900.​
To address the "kick drum" versatility question, mostly, whatever size a drummer plays is the size he'll say is the most "versatile". Which is why I own 20, 22, 24 and 26 inch kicks. You mentioned GAS? Yeah, I'm working on my 8th acoustic kit right now. Sure, all drums are versatile, but some do a particular task better than others. I bought my "adopted" nephew (5) a starter kit. 16, 12, 14 .... he loves it. When he gets a little older, and if he keeps up the drums, I'll probably send him a Luddy 18, 12, 14. A little "jazzette" kit. So, about the 14 floor, an excellent size. I own 4 of them.​
 
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