Uninformed Drummer Dad | Snare Question

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Wow, I'm overwhelmed by the response! Thank you all very much for chiming in. Based on the comments, I realize I didn't do the best job of explaining what his current setup looks like and, more importantly, how an ignorant Dad (hi) ended up spending WAY too freaking much for a 9 year-old kid's drum setup (again, he's now 11). I'll try to keep this as brief as possible and then I'm going to try to quote everyone in a follow-up post and respond because, hey, if you took the time to reply to me, an acknowledgement should at least come back to you, right? (Which, with apologies, means this will be a long post). I'll also attach some photographs of the two kits I mention in the story below.

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Disclaimer: Please do not feel the need to read all this, it might get windy.

TL;DR - Not rich and not too bright in the past by not doing the proper research and ending up with a ridicuously expensive setup for a (at the time) 9 year-old. Kid is now 11 and playing well, so looking to build on an accidentally already pretty solid gear base.

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Quick history to fill in the gaps above: We live in a suburb of Indianapolis. As you all I'm sure are aware, Sweetwater is in Ft. Wayne, roughly 2 hours away from us. I was on the design team for their new headquarters and subsequent additions (this was all before my son started playing). So, I was exposed to, what I now know, was basically the best of the best equipment. So, my lens was a bit skewed thinking this was just all normal percussion stuff. So, when we told my son and daughter they'd be required to play an instrument but they could pick whatever they wanted, and my son chose percussion, I immediately hit up Sweetwater.

When he started playing at 6 years old, we went with the Ludwig kids kit. He had destroyed the heads (from playing, not jacking around) within 3 months. So, I started learning a bit about heads at that time. The cymbals that came with the kit were junk and immediately bent so at that time I bought him a pack of Zildjian "S" cymbals all in smaller sizes to match the smaller kids kit cymbals. That kit treated him very well and he even played in his 2nd grade talent show (and won) with it. For fun, since he was so young, we added lights and a custom bass drum head to make it "cooler" for when he played in front of his classmates. (Note: The "Rockstar Rhythm" you see on the drum head is the nickname he gave himself at 7 years old, lol.)

Fast forward 3 years to when he's 9 and ready to move away from the kids kit. Once again, I hit up the only thing I know, Sweetwater. I saw the Gretsch Renown kit on sale, had heard good things about Gretsch, and just pulled the trigger. He was serious enough, in that I knew he wasn't going to quit, that I decided to forego the beginner kits and go with what I've been told is a decent intermediate kit with the smaller 20" bass. At this point we had a nice "adult" kit with tiny kids cymbals. Well, thinking "normal size" cymbals were all basically the same price (and moronically not researching), I saved up for a number of months and bought him:
  • 15" Zildjian "K" Light Hi-Hats
  • 18" Zildjian "K" Custom Dark Crash
  • 9" Zildjian "K" Custom Hybrid Splash
  • 22" Zildjian "K" Custom High Definition Ride
I later found out that I had basically just set my 9 year-old up with one of the best (and priciest) cymbal setups I could buy. Doh! 🤦‍♂️

So, he's played on this kit (only thing changed has been batter heads once) for the past two years, which brings us to the present day. You can see the reason he's asking for the other crash is to replace the 14" Zildjian "S". Of course he wants to match the rest of the cymbals with a 16" Zildjian "K" Custom Dark crash... but now Dad knows he doesn't have to go poor to buy cymbals, lol, so we told him he'd either have to save up and buy it himself or ask for Christmas or something. That's why he's asking for that cymbal.

The reason I'm here asking about snare drums is simply because, as a reward for making jazz band early, I thought it may be something that he could swap out when playing school jazz gigs; in other words, use the school's Ludwig kit but swap the snare for something more personal. So, it's not that I'm trying to ignore what he has asked for, it's simply trying to surprise him with something he can use in the activity for which he's being rewarded. I know, probably weird logic.

Now you're caught up. If you made it this far, you're better than me, I almost didn't make it this far!

Again, sincerest thanks to you all for chiming in.
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Attachments: Shot from the end of his talent show set (2017 on the kids kit), two shots of the current setup (ignore his messy room).

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I didn't have a right that nice when I was on tour with Kevin Eubanks lmao.

As @C.M. Jones will likely magically appear to note - the S series is a professional series. So if he's replacing it for tonal purposes - then I would go for it and replace the crash as the S series realllly would stick out tonally amognst that amazing set up. If he's replacing it because it's an S and there's some perception of it being lesser quality, than I wouldn't...BUT: It very likely sticks out like a sore thumb tonally with the rest of the set up.

Then for Christmas you can maybe get something like a Yamaha EAD10 that he can use to practice and record himself since he already has a killer drum set and cymbal set up. Something Santa would think of that he might not necessarily even think of himself. :)
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Kudos for supporting your son. I like your music idea to surprise your son with a snare - give him the crash for Xmas or birthday. Given he’s got a nice wood snare metal is a great idea - the suprphonic is great and you can buy the Pearl Vision Sensitone snares (aluminum or steel) for $150 if n a budget) . Nicer metal will double or triple that cost but you can buy used too.
 

ChappyEight

Junior Member
I didn't have a right that nice when I was on tour with Kevin Eubanks lmao.
🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ Ha, I'm such an idiot. You know what's really funny? I would have never done this with something for myself. I research stuff to death when it's for me. So, being clueless about drums you'd think I'd research more.

So if he's replacing it for tonal purposes - then I would go for it and replace the crash as the S series realllly would stick out tonally amognst that amazing set up. If he's replacing it because it's an S and there's some perception of it being lesser quality, than I wouldn't...BUT: It very likely sticks out like a sore thumb tonally with the rest of the set up.
So, all along I've thought he just wanted to "match" the cymbals aesthetically. But, now that you've brought this up, he has commented a fair amount about that one sounding "weird".

Then for Christmas you can maybe get something like a Yamaha EAD10 that he can use to practice and record himself since he already has a killer drum set and cymbal set up. Something Santa would think of that he might not necessarily even think of himself. :)
💡💡💡
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
So, all along I've thought he just wanted to "match" the cymbals aesthetically. But, now that you've brought this up, he has commented a fair amount about that one sounding "weird".
Yes, we drummers agonize over cymbal sounds too. Are they bright, dark, pingy, washy, high, low, warm, cold, slick, buttery, wet, dry, so on and so forth. Some of us want cymbals that match visually as well as sonically, some of us just care about the sonic part.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
As @C.M. Jones will likely magically appear to note - the S series is a professional series. So if he's replacing it for tonal purposes - then I would go for it and replace the crash as the S series realllly would stick out tonally amognst that amazing set up. If he's replacing it because it's an S and there's some perception of it being lesser quality, than I wouldn't...BUT: It very likely sticks out like a sore thumb tonally with the rest of the set up.
I've arrived, but my appearance isn't magical; it's mandatory. The Zildjian S Family is a magnificent line of cymbals. And, as Nicholas bravely explains, the S Family is legitimately professional. I encourage anyone who desires confirmation on that point to call Zildjian and consult a representative. The deranged rhetoric that anything other than a B20 cast cymbal is a garbage-can lid must cease at once. It's a view grounded in miscomprehension. It does nothing but distribute poison. As a society of socially conscious drummers, we are obligated through our commitment to decency to cure this terminal illness. The S Family is of a dignified class. Let the village bells ring out!

As Nicholas also rightly states, the S isn't for everyone and might not be compatible with all setups. I play nothing but S's, and I wouldn't mix one with a K Dark, for instance. Each drummer must define his or her own palette of sound.
 
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TK-421

Senior Member
I didn't have a right that nice when I was on tour with Kevin Eubanks lmao.

As @C.M. Jones will likely magically appear to note - the S series is a professional series. So if he's replacing it for tonal purposes - then I would go for it and replace the crash as the S series realllly would stick out tonally amognst that amazing set up. If he's replacing it because it's an S and there's some perception of it being lesser quality, than I wouldn't...BUT: It very likely sticks out like a sore thumb tonally with the rest of the set up.

Then for Christmas you can maybe get something like a Yamaha EAD10 that he can use to practice and record himself since he already has a killer drum set and cymbal set up. Something Santa would think of that he might not necessarily even think of himself. :)
Agreed, his kit is very nice already. From the pics, the only thing that looks like it could use an upgrade is that S crash (sorry CM). And unless there's some reason why he can't take his Renown snare to school to swap onto their Ludwig kit, I still don't see why a new snare is warranted.

I really like NouveauCliche's suggestion of getting him a Yamaha EAD10 instead. I'm sure you don't know what it is, so check it out here.

(be sure to watch the videos)
 

ChappyEight

Junior Member
I appreciate the suggestion of the EAD10 instead of a snare. Just watched the videos and it seems like a really cool and easy way for him to practice and also have fun recording/uploading videos (obviously at 11 he's not doing any studio work).
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Switching gears ever so slightly, I saw an ear protection advertisement at the bottom of the EAD10 page and it sparked a question in my mind. To this point, we've always required him to wear ear protection when he plays. We just picked up some child-sized shooting over-the-ear muff headsets from the local sporting goods store. However, I can't believe I just now thought of it, but he can't really wear those when he plays with his jazz band because he says he can't hear the rest of the band well enough.

Do you all have any suggestions for ear protection that he can use when playing live with his middle school jazz band?
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I appreciate the suggestion of the EAD10 instead of a snare. Just watched the videos and it seems like a really cool and easy way for him to practice and also have fun recording/uploading videos (obviously at 11 he's not doing any studio work).
------------------------------------

Switching gears ever so slightly, I saw an ear protection advertisement at the bottom of the EAD10 page and it sparked a question in my mind. To this point, we've always required him to wear ear protection when he plays. We just picked up some child-sized shooting over-the-ear muff headsets from the local sporting goods store. However, I can't believe I just now thought of it, but he can't really wear those when he plays with his jazz band because he says he can't hear the rest of the band well enough.

Do you all have any suggestions for ear protection that he can use when playing live with his middle school jazz band?
I use the Vater ear plugs, which fit in the ear canal and come with different filters to customize the level of hearing protection. Though I’m sure standard foam ear plugs would also work fine.

 
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ChappyEight

Junior Member
I thought about the foam, I just wasn't sure if that would be too restrictive. (Again, I'm not a musician, so I'm guessing.)
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I thought about the foam, I just wasn't sure if that would be too restrictive. (Again, I'm not a musician, so I'm guessing.)
Foam ear plugs can definitely work, and it’s possible to position them to leave a tiny sliver of an opening in order to let in more sound. Since foam ear plugs are so cheap, you can start there, and if those don’t work for him then get him the Vater ear plugs. But I think the Vaters are like $20, so it’s not like they’re that expensive.
 

ChappyEight

Junior Member
Great idea. Thanks for letting me know about the Vaters. I would imagine the only potential hurdle is whether or not the Vaters will fit his small-ish ears.

Funny enough, he just got home and I asked if he's not been wearing ear protection during jazz band rehearsal. He said he was embarrassed to wear the huge over-the-ear deals so, instead, he's been putting his bluetooth ear buds (they have a rubber tip) in without anything turned on in them. Not gonna lie, that was a bit of a proud Dad moment both for ingenuity and not wanting to be so "cool" that he avoided altogether.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Funny enough, he just got home and I asked if he's not been wearing ear protection during jazz band rehearsal. He said he was embarrassed to wear the huge over-the-ear deals so, instead, he's been putting his bluetooth ear buds (they have a rubber tip) in without anything turned on in them. Not gonna lie, that was a bit of a proud Dad moment both for ingenuity and not wanting to be so "
This is the exact same thing I do. And if I want music or a click, I can have that also at a reasonable volume.
 

Cpb19

Active member
Wow, I'm overwhelmed by the response! Thank you all very much for chiming in. Based on the comments, I realize I didn't do the best job of explaining what his current setup looks like and, more importantly, how an ignorant Dad (hi) ended up spending WAY too freaking much for a 9 year-old kid's drum setup (again, he's now 11). I'll try to keep this as brief as possible. I've tried to either answer or address all questions/comments posted from everyone so far in the backstory below. (Which, with apologies, means this will be a long post). I'll also attach some photographs of the two kits I mention in the story below.

----------------------------------
Disclaimer: Please do not feel the need to read all this, it might get windy.

TL;DR - Not rich and not too bright in the past by not doing the proper research and ending up with a ridicuously expensive setup for a (at the time) 9 year-old. Kid is now 11 and playing well, so looking to build on an accidentally already pretty solid gear base.

----------------------------------

Quick history to fill in the gaps above: We live in a suburb of Indianapolis. As you all I'm sure are aware, Sweetwater is in Ft. Wayne, roughly 2 hours away from us. I was on the design team for their new headquarters and subsequent additions (this was all before my son started playing). So, I was exposed to, what I now know, was basically the best of the best equipment. So, my lens was a bit skewed thinking this was just all normal percussion stuff. So, when we told my son and daughter they'd be required to play an instrument but they could pick whatever they wanted, and my son chose percussion, I immediately hit up Sweetwater.

When he started playing at 6 years old, we went with the Ludwig kids kit. He had destroyed the heads (from playing, not jacking around) within 3 months. So, I started learning a bit about heads at that time. The cymbals that came with the kit were junk and immediately bent so at that time I bought him a pack of Zildjian "S" cymbals all in smaller sizes to match the smaller kids kit cymbals. That kit treated him very well and he even played in his 2nd grade talent show (and won) with it. For fun, since he was so young, we added lights and a custom bass drum head to make it "cooler" for when he played in front of his classmates. (Note: The "Rockstar Rhythm" you see on the drum head is the nickname he gave himself at 7 years old, lol.)

Fast forward 3 years to when he's 9 and ready to move away from the kids kit. Once again, I hit up the only thing I know, Sweetwater. I saw the Gretsch Renown kit on sale, had heard good things about Gretsch, and just pulled the trigger. He was serious enough, in that I knew he wasn't going to quit, that I decided to forego the beginner kits and go with what I've been told is a decent intermediate kit with the smaller 20" bass. At this point we had a nice "adult" kit with tiny kids cymbals. Well, thinking "normal size" cymbals were all basically the same price (and moronically not researching), I saved up for a number of months and bought him:
  • 15" Zildjian "K" Light Hi-Hats
  • 18" Zildjian "K" Custom Dark Crash
  • 9" Zildjian "K" Custom Hybrid Splash
  • 22" Zildjian "K" Custom High Definition Ride
I later found out that I had basically just set my 9 year-old up with one of the best (and priciest) cymbal setups I could buy. Doh! 🤦‍♂️

So, he's played on this kit (only thing changed has been batter heads once) for the past two years, which brings us to the present day. You can see the reason he's asking for the other crash is to replace the 14" Zildjian "S". Of course he wants to match the rest of the cymbals with a 16" Zildjian "K" Custom Dark crash... but now Dad knows he doesn't have to go poor to buy cymbals, lol, so we told him he'd either have to save up and buy it himself or ask for Christmas or something. That's why he's asking for that cymbal.

The reason I'm here asking about snare drums is simply because, as a reward for making jazz band early, I thought it may be something that he could swap out when playing school jazz gigs; in other words, use the school's Ludwig kit but swap the snare for something more personal. So, it's not that I'm trying to ignore what he has asked for, it's simply trying to surprise him with something he can use in the activity for which he's being rewarded. I know, probably weird logic.

Now you're caught up. If you made it this far, you're better than me, I almost didn't make it this far!

Again, sincerest thanks to you all for chiming in.
----------------------------------
Attachments: Shot from the end of his talent show set (2017 on the kids kit), two shots of the current setup (ignore his messy room).
From one dad to another, this makes me feel great, as I've got a 15 year old with Mapex Saturns and and assortment of Zildjian (new beats, A's and K's) and I thought that I was nuts and am somewhat embarrassed by her riches. I've got 2 other kids to fund with their music gear, so that keeps me (somewhat) in check. The way I justify it is by spending no money on myself (which I'm perfectly fine with).
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I've arrived, but my appearance isn't magical; it's mandatory. The Zildjian S Family is a magnificent line of cymbals. And, as Nicholas bravely explains, the S Family is legitimately professional. I encourage anyone who desires confirmation on that point to call Zildjian and consult a representative. The deranged rhetoric that anything other than a B20 cast cymbal is a garbage-can lid must cease at once. It's a view grounded in miscomprehension. It does nothing but distribute poison. As a society of socially conscious drummers, we are obligated through our commitment to decency to cure this terminal illness. The S Family is of a dignified class. Let the village bells ring out!

As Nicholas also rightly states, the S isn't for everyone and might not be compatible with all setups. I play nothing but S's, and I wouldn't mix one with a K Dark. Each drummer must define his or her own palette of sound.
"miscomprehension": is that definitely a word? And if so, did you just invent it? :)
 
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