A simple guide to building your first drum kit

Drum Kits are expensive, we all know that, but in this post I’m going to go through the best ways to create your own drum kit as cheaply as possible.

Drum Kits are broken down into many parts: Bass Drums, Toms, Cymbals, and Hardware, all of which can be very expensive – but look in the right places and you can build yourself a drum kit for not so much at all.

The best way to separate purchasing these items is into three categories: Shells, Cymbals and Hardware. These are some of the best deals you can get for each of them and some alternative options to think about.

Shells

Shells are the heart of the drum kit, they compose of the bass drum, toms and snare and often come as a pack. Here are some great options for buying shell packs.

Gretsch CT1J484SWG 2014 Catalina Club Jazz 4-Piece Shell Pack – Satin Walnut Glaze

Gretsch is known for being one of the greats in the drum kit world. When you buy a Gretsch kit you know it’s going to last and it’s going to be good! This shell pack comes with a beautiful 14 x 18″ kick drum and a punchy 14 x 5″ snare. The matching 8 x 12″ tom and 14 x 14″ floor tom really bring the kit together with the same stunning walnut finish. This shell pack comes in just under £660 which is a bargain when it comes to drum kits.

Pearl Roadshow RS525SC/C31 5-Piece Drum Set, Jet Black

Pearl are the masters of making a reliable drum kit and with this eye-catching drum kit, you start to really understand why. This jet black drum kit comes with a beefy 22 x 16″ bass drum and a slightly larger 14 x 5.5″ snare. Where the value really shows though is the addition of cymbals and hardware as this kit comes with everything you could need! This Pearl kit comes with 10 x 8″ and 12 x 9″ toms along with a 16 x 16″ floor tom. This can really add to the availability of sounds and the playability of the kit. The price is great too, with this kit on sale for around £539.

Cymbals

With cymbals, its always cheapest to buy them in a pack that includes hi-hats, a ride cymbal and a crash. Buying cymbals seperately can get you a more unique sound but can also be extremely expensive. Here are some great options for cymbal packs.

Meinl HCS Cymbal Set Up

This Meinl cymbal pack is ideal for all kits, it includes 13-inch hi-hats, a 14-inch crash, a 10-inch splash cymbal and a pair of Pro-Mark 5A Sticks. The one thing this cymbal pack doesn’t come with is a ride cymbal, but at the amazing price of just £112 for the lot, it’s worth buying a ride separately. The addition of a splash cymbal in this pack can really add to any drummer’s sound with the unique sound it creates. Meinl is a leading brand of cymbals and for this price, you really can’t go wrong!

Zildjian ZBT Series – 5 Cymbal Box Set

Zildjian is the name you always hear when it comes to cymbals. Their beautiful and honest finish is mouth-wateringly delicious to any drummer. This 5 cymbal box set comes with all you could possibly need, with 14-inch hi-hats, 16-inch crash, 18-inch crash, and 20-inch ride, you couldn’t possibly wish for more. Compared to the Meinl pack, it’s certainly a pricier option at £263 but when it comes to what you get for your money you get just as much. With two full-size crash cymbals and a huge ride, you get A LOT for your money.

Hardware

Drum Hardware refers to the parts of a drum or kit that are used to tension, position or support the instruments themselves. This includes cymbal stands, rims, pedals etc. Here are some hardware packs perfect for setting up your drum kit.

Complete Drum Hardware Kit from Gear4music

This hardware pack contains all the things you might need to set up your drum kit. It comes with 2 cymbal stands and a hit-hat stand along with a gig-ready kick pedal, drum throne, and snare stand. This ideal starter kit is perfect for any of the above drum kits and would fit nicely into any colour or style kit. The price is also good, costing just £199 the hardware pack is one of the cheapest on the market.

Union DHWP4001 400 Series Drum Hardware Pack

Hardware can be expensive and finding the right hardware can take years to finally feel comfortable with. Often drum kit makers will sell hardware specifically for the kit you buy and this may be an option, however also very expensive. This Union 400 series pack comes with the things you’re going to need to get the kit up and running – 2 cymbal stands, 1 hi-hat stand, 1 snare stand, and a Union 600 series bass drum pedal. This pack costs £135 which is incredibly cheap for a hardware pack!

Alternative Option

My alternative option is of course the electronic drum kit! Standard drum kits can be an issue for some people, especially with noise and this can offer the much needed practice time you want. Here are my options for electronic kits.

Alesis Turbo Mesk Kit

This incredible electronic kit really looks and sounds the part with responsive electronic heads and a large variation of sounds. This kit comes with 4 central pads mimicking a snare, two toms and a floor tom, along with 3 cymbal pads and two pedals. Sounds and FX are controlled by a device on the left of the snare keeping it out of the way of your sticks. The device comes with over 30 built in play along tracks so this is great for beginners. The drum kit also comes with sticks and a drum key. This all costs just £256 which is so much cheaper than buying a standard kit! The only issue with this kit is while its perfect for practice, it may not be live gig worthy and so for more experienced drummers may not be ideal.

Roland TD-4KP Compact V-Drums Electronic Drum Kit

Now, this is a drum kit you’re going to want to look at! The Roland V Drums series is an extremely popular name in electronic drum kits. This compact drum kit has 3 tom pads, 1 snare pad, 3 cymbal pads and a hi-hat pedal along with a control panel in the centre for sorting your sounds out. The only thing you need to purchase as an extra is the bass pedal. The kit also includes the TD-4 Percussion Sound Module with expressive sounds and a Record/Play function. This is totally gig-worthy and costs just £500 which may well be much cheaper than a standard drum kit. These kits are becoming extremely popular and the craze may well be for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *