The First Kit You Got


I only started three years ago I'm 61 but played at school a bit a millenia ago. I bought a cheap Mapex Tornado kit and have started gigging with it...sounds great with better heads etc and I've spent three times as much on good cymbals and Yamaha stands, pedals etc
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Jasta 11

Well-known member
A MIJ Maxitone blue sparkle 5 piece kit. I loved it! came with LP temple block/cowbell combo. Speed king pedal, New Beat hats, and pre-lable Zildjian ride and crash ( i guess the original A series cymbals?). It was at the top of our budget but they could see what it meant to me to get a real kit.

pocket player

Junior Member
My very very first kit was a cheap Japanese copy of a Slingerland-type jazz setup that my stepdad bought from a guy for $200. It was in a black diamond pearl wrap, the snare had been torn apart to use as a 14" tom (which sounded terrible), the hardware was sketchy, and the cymbals were the same sort of brass used in curtain rods - 12" hi-hats and a 12" crash/splash/ride. Those cymbals shredded like paper during normal use.

But the snare was a 1960's Ludwig Pioneer in blue duco. Still one of the best snares I've ever owned.

In a couple of years, my folks splurged for Christmas and bought me a Blackhawk kit from the Sears catalog. Not a Gretsch Blackhawk, though; Sears had taken that name and hung it on a Taiwanese generic kit. No matter. I ended up combining that kit and my first kit into a kind of home-improvement, do-it-yourself double bass kit. The picture shown is one of the few pictures I have left of that kit. I sold almost all of that kit in 1999 to buy my current Yamaha Stage Custom, including the Pioneer snare, which by itself netted $500. I still regret letting it go.
I think i had that same Japanese kit with regular snare, same color, my parents got it for me in the mid 60s ,my first kit ,but i dont remember the brand name ?


Well-known member
Mine started with a Ludwig Downbeat snare & stand, then I got a 18" Zildjian ride& stand. I added a Gretsch bass drum and snare which I used as a tom. No hats til I traded the Gretschs in on a new Ludwig 20"/12"/14" Blue sparkle to match the snare, my first real kit.


Senior Member
Some kind of stencil 5 piece kit in brown oyster finish, Tama Swingstar steel snare and bulky cymbals... Got it from my drum teacher in the marching band I played with at the time, back in 1992. Had it for a couple of years, until my dad decided he wanted to get back into drumming after a long break, and bought a Yamaha Power V Special kit in '94, hat I could use whenever I wanted as well. Very nice kit, and quite a quality jump with K Custom and Paiste Sound Formula cymbals. Made practice quite a bit more rewarding.


Well-known member
My first kit was a red and black tiger striped Hohner. POS. A couple years after getting it the grunge era took over and I was playing out with the most 80's looking kit there was. My band was embarrassed but I was young and broke. It haunts me to this day and I only play black or wood grain kits now. I probably should have spray painted it.

Ghostin one

Senior Member
Mij stencil kit under brand SwingStar

Neato! Wouldn't that have been considered just a "Swingstar" or maybe even a Tama, rather than a "stencil" brand?

My first set was a very used "Gambles Import Corp." around 1975. Not sure, but I think it was a stencil brand made by Pearl.

It was blue sparkle, with a bunch of decals on it.
I peeled all the decals off, and the blue hadn't faded where the decals were. Really ugly, but they sounded good. I put black contact paper on the shells, and when that wore out I spray painted them red.

Four mounted toms, two floor toms and two bass drums, with a KRUT crash cymbal - the rest were even worse!


Well-known member
my first kit was a piece of shit TKO brand drum set with a crash ride and 14 hats. got the kit in 09 and sold it about 2 months ago. I have upgraded to a Mapex Saturn IV in a transparent mocha fade. all my cymbals are Zildjian except for my 18 Sabian china

Al Strange

Well-known member
First kit was a Pearl Export that my drum teacher picked up for me back in 1988. It came with a Premier 2000 snare, that I still own/love to this day! I traded the export in for a 7 piece monster kit a couple of years later. I’ve owned 3 exports over the years, they’re just solidI, I can get great sounds out of them, and they’ve never let me down. They’re like a good Toyota. ;) I bought my 2nd export some 15 years later as a secondary kit for gigging but it had to go when my son arrived as my wife and I lived in a tiny house. We’ve since been fortunate enough to move to a bigger place so I have rekindled my Pearl relationship during lockdown by investing in a wonderful brand new export double bass effort which I’m hoping to put to good use after CV19 has blown over! :)


Platinum Member
I think i had that same Japanese kit with regular snare, same color, my parents got it for me in the mid 60s ,my first kit ,but i dont remember the brand name ?

Mine was a Westwood. But there's dozens and dozens of these stencil brands that came from the same factories at about the same time.


Well-known member
I was 14 and took back the guitar amp package I got for Christmas and went to my local drum shop an md purchased a 250 dollar set of vintage blue sparkle ludwigs (err I think they were ludwigs). The 13” Tom was from a different kit or rewrapped.

The bass drum pedal was a leather strap drive pedal. I broke it nearly instantly.

And then I decided to spray paint it black...

Wish I had that kit and didn’t beat it up like I did.


Senior Member
1986 Pearl Export in black wrap. 12", 13", 16"FT, 22" kick and a 14" steel snare. Pearl single braced hardware and a Pearl strap drive single pedal. Was an excellent kit to start out on. Kinda wish I would have kept it just to say that I had the first kit I ever owned.


Junior Member
Ah yes. My first drum set was a 1964 Ludwig 4 piece in champagne sparkle. I recently learned that a similar kit was played by Michael Shrieve at Woodstock in '69 with Santana! It was a good kit but at the time I thought it was too old fashioned looking. Now I wish I had kept it. 64Ludwig.jpg


Active member
I got my first kit in 1988 when I was 12. It was a 1960s era Ludwig Silver Sparkle 4 piece kit. This pic is not my kit but it is exactly what I had (mine had the snare too). As a kid I HATED this drum set because it did not look like what I saw on MTV. The cymbals were some budget-level brass things that didn't sound like cymbals. They were awful. Screenshot_20200813-075057~2.pngI actually sold the kit for like $40 in 1992. Little did I know what it would be worth today!!


Silver Member
My first kit
I was in college, living in a rented room and this was the only thing allowed