The order of things....

Butters

Junior Member
Hi all!
First post outside of intro's and I'm looking for some advice please.
I'm looking for guidance on the order in which to upgrade my kit.

I have a starter kit from Tiger. It came with awful "cymbals" which i have replaced with the help of a friend who gifted me his first upgrades - Zildjian Scimitar bronze hats and a ZBT 16" crash.
With no ride I did a lot of research on sound rooms and You Tube, before going to the nearest Drum Centre and trying as many rides as I could. I treated myself to a Paiste Signature 20" Full Ride which I love.

It's from here that I need a little guidance.
There doesn't seem to be hard and fast rules but from info I have gathered I think I'd be looking at the following order (excluding my ride):

Hi-hats
Crash
Upgraded heads
Snare
Rest of kit

Anything else I should consider?
Any other opinions?
Thanks in advance!
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Yes, broadly speaking, that's what I'd do, but for me it would depend how awful the crash was compared to the hats. You use the hats more, but you hear the crash more. Whichever is more egregious to the ear is the one I'd replace first.
 

Butters

Junior Member
Yes, broadly speaking, that's what I'd do, but for me it would depend how awful the crash was compared to the hats. You use the hats more, but you hear the crash more. Whichever is more egregious to the ear is the one I'd replace first.
Haha! That'd be the crash then!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
The other things to give consideration:

Hat stand, kick pedal, throne. Feeling good/comfortable is part of playing well.

You've gotten the gist of it. Upgrade the items you use most frequently prior to the items you use less frequently.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Pretty much every serious drummer needs a serious snare drum. The center of most drummers kits, that's where I would begin anyway.
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
Snare then hats. Those are not the worst hats that you have now. Kick, snare , hi-hat is the majority of what your going to play, so make improvements on those three things first. Snare first then new heads for the kick and tune it properly. You'll have a vastly improved sound.
 

Beam Me Up Scotty

Silver Member
Yep, I'd recommend snare and hats before anything else as well. You can make a beginner kit sound nice, with good heads and tuning, but a nice snare will always be better.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Well, I must disagree with the suggestion to buy a snare first. Like the rest of the kit, you can do wonders with a cheap snare by using proper heads and wise tuning. If you hate the crash cymbal worst of all, then go for that next. Then the hi hats.

As a fellow in another thread pointed out, you can tune and refit drums, but cymbals are fixed in sound. By all means, work on those first. And may I recommend staying with the better Paiste lines so that you are practically guaranteed a good blend with your ride cymbal? And since Paistes are so consistent from one cymbal to the next within a series, do consider buying used. Audition the cymbals in a music store, then buy the same cymbal used if you can find one in good condition. (And try the best you can to buy at the music store. Those guys do us all a tremendous service by simply being there.)

I'd then move to purchasing good hardware. Like most of us, you will use your cymbals and hardware through any subsequent drumset purchases, so buying good stands should be paramount. As with cymbals, buy the best hardware you can afford and then keep it forever.

Finally, buy your next drumset. Then, another drumset. Then another....until you're old and can't play anymore! :)

GeeDeeEmm
 
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brentcn

Platinum Member
Whether to buy a snare depends on the snare you have now. A good snare:

- has snare "beds" carved into the bottom of the shell where the snare straps are.

- has a throw off which operates smoothly, and allows the snare wires to be set to the appropriate tension.

- allows drum heads to seat easily on the bearing edges.

- can be tuned evenly.

- doesn't buzz for a long time after you hit it (sympathetic buzzing when playing other drums is annoying, but normal).

Probably your snare isn't so great, but occasionally a snare on a beginner kit (such as the one you have) will be just fine. Take it to a drum shop and kindly ask the guys behind the counter to tune it, make adjustments, and replace heads if necessary. After it's been shown a little "love", you may like it more.
 

Butters

Junior Member
Thanks all, again it seems to be a personal preference thing.
The piece i dislike the most is the crash, but i'll hunt for some bargains and see where that takes me.
 

geezer

Senior Member
I think a nice bass drum pedal makes all the difference, nothing worse than feeling like you're struggling against the pedal. Heads are another good one - I was trying out for a new band the other night, and we just went to a nearby rehearsal place that supplies back line - the kit was not surprisingly a low budget entry level one but it had new heads on it (Evans all around) and was well tuned so it sounded quite good. I always bring my own cymbals and pedal, so combined with the new heads the kit was really playable (looks like I got the gig as well, so I'm now in 3 bands).
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I was in the same position when I started and what I did was not replace things until I had most things added that I wanted. There's more than one school of thought on this. Some will keep their kit small opting to replace everything with top of the line stuff before growing the kit to whatever its eventual size may end up being. My thought is that the playing is more important than the gear so let your playing be the driver. For me, I'd rather have a B8 crash and another good crash than doing nice hats first while still being limited to one b8 crash, despite that hats are more "important".

I'd want more than one crash, so instead of replacing your crash, I'd get another one. I'd get a good 18" crash - probably used if I was on a tight budget. That would be next for me, but a lot of people are cool with just one crash, so if that's you, then I'd skip that and go for new heads next.

My pedal was total garbage (and I mean almost unplayable) so that was high on my list. If yours is in at least good working order, you can skip that. As already mentioned, it's a really good idea to keep in mind that you need to have a reasonably playable kit.

Again, the idea is to get all the pieces in place that you want so you can at least start getting into your head what your kit setup will be before you start replacing things. I had some pretty bad B8-type cymbals that I kept around for a long time, but it was higher priority for me to have things sounding and playing properly first before dialing in higher end sounds.

Funny thing about cheap cymbals is that once you're used to them, putting a nice one in there may sound really odd at first and take some getting used to. I remember not liking my first good Zildjian at first and it was a nice thin buttery crash that I'd give my left arm to have back now!



Just make sure that whatever upgrades you start making, that you don't add anymore garbage - anything you buy should be a keeper so it stays with you as you move forward with the rest of your upgrades.
 

JacobDB

Member
Just make sure that whatever upgrades you start making, that you don't add anymore garbage - anything you buy should be a keeper so it stays with you as you move forward with the rest of your upgrades.
I started playing when I was about 9 years old and obviously didn't have a ton of money to throw around. I just bought things as I could like more crappy entry cymbals, entry level hardware, etc. as the years went on. When I started actually buying nicer stuff in my later teens, I realized I wasn't nearly as bad of a drummer as I thought, ha. If you're going to upgrade, make sure it's not what you can afford but what you actually want. There's not point in buying another B8 cymbal, you might as well just wait and save up to get what you would keep long term and be happy with.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
The only B8 cymbal I found to be remotely satisfactory was the 22" ride. It was pingy, and had a bell and a bow that were not offensive.

I did not care for the 14" hats. While they were workable when completely closed, they were extremely shrill when opened. The edges were super sharp which ate my sticks and littered my carpet with "dandrumff". The 16" crash wasn't completely unpleasant. but it's best kept as a spare or used as a secondary crash.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Pretty much every serious drummer needs a serious snare drum. The center of most drummers kits, that's where I would begin anyway.
Thing is, nobody but the drummer really knows the difference. Cymbals are a lot more noticeable in terms of audience impact. People know when they like a snare sound, but don't even tend to notice if it's not the "best" snare sound they've heard.
 
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