Any Drummers Around?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by brian a, May 29, 2002.

  1. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2000
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm thinking about starting to piece together a kit. I don't play, have never played, but I have always wanted to. I've been listening to more and more music in the theater and I thought it would be great to have a kit that I could set up in there and bang along when I wanted to. I already do that with my guitar quite a bit and love it, so I thought I'd expand.
    Question is basically what kind of gear should I be looking for? I listen to mostly rock stuff. Reccomendations I've seen online are for a Ludwig Supra snare from the 60s or 70s. Pretty cheap on e-bay (~$100). That'll probably be my first purchase.
    For the rest of the kit I was thinking about building some stuff from:
    www.drummaker.com or www.amdrumparts.com
    how hard do you think that would be?
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1998
    Messages:
    5,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would forego the piecemeal approach and find a used drum kit that is complete to start with. It will cost less in the long run, and you will actually be able to play it right away.

    There is a good deal of precision required to make a good sounding drum. Unless you really know what you are doing and have the proper tools to do the job, I would not recommend trying to build your own drums, even from starter kits. The finish is one of the hardest parts of any manufacturing, which is why there are cheap kits available. What you will end up with is an expensive, poor sounding kit that you'll have trouble getting rid of. Better to get something that works and learn to play. If you really get into it, then think about customizing what you have.

    All MHO of course.
     
  3. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2000
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    How does the finish on the kit effect the sound?
     
  4. Jereme D

    Jereme D Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've played air drums for years. I just finished up a set a few minutes ago, as a matter of fact.
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1998
    Messages:
    5,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is not so much the finish affecting the sound as it is the fact that doing the final assembly of the drum - the finish (I was assuming a laquer) and mounting the hardware require specialised tools and experience to do properly, however I see that these guys sell a stick on covering, but even that runs about $70 per drum for the finish alone.

    While you may be able to assemble this stuff by yourself, you effectively end up with a home made drum kit, which, should you decide you don't have any further interest in the instrument, or are forced to sell for space considerations, no one will want to buy it.

    If you add up what it will cost to build one of these kits, you could easily buy a better quality used one for less, and still retain some resale value should you decide to sell it.
     
  6. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2000
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    I not so much concerned with the cost, and I've got nephews and such that I could gift the kit to if I couldn't get rid of it. I was looking at making a kit in much the same way that making a sub or Kit281 is interesting. It seems like you'd get a little better feel for how everything fits together and works together. not to mention a custom finish and picking and choosing the hardware that you like.


    From reading the site it seems pretty straight forward. There even offer to drill the shells for free if you buy all of other parts (hoops, lugs, tensioners, covers) from them. It would seem at that point that you just finish the shell and screw everything together. I suppose I'm missing some steps, and I didn't realize that it took custom tools. Can you fill me in a little more?
     
  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1998
    Messages:
    5,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    If they do the drilling it makes a big difference, since getting the alignment on the lugs is pretty important if you want something that will tune properly. While you could do this with a hand drill, they aren't very accurate. Finishing the shell edges is pretty important, since this determines how well the head fits, and while this too can be done by hand, it is better with a proper rig for getting an even finish. None of this is beyond someone adept at DIY projects, but you still end up with an instrument which is not professional grade for the same cost or more than a name brand.

    If your main interest is the building regardless of the useability of the outcome, then kits can be fun. However, you could also buy a pro kit, take it apart and put it back together and get the same tinkering enjoyment from it - you could even refinish it at some point if you really wanted to.

    You could also then learn the strenghs and weaknesses of the hardware already on the kit and make better choices for possible upgrades. You'll need to buy cymbal stands anyway, along with tom stands, kick pedal, hihat stand, snare stand, drum throne, and cymbals. I wouldn't be surprised if the kit version ended up costing double what a good used set would by the time you add up all the hardware and accessories needed.

    If your goal is to play drums, I'd be inclined to just buy a kit and be done with it, for the same reason I wouldn't suggest building a car from a kit just to learn to drive. Save that for later.

    YMMV
     
  8. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2000
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cool.. Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at some of the kits avaliable on e-bay. Any suggestions?
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1998
    Messages:
    5,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    It all depends on your budget and what kind of kit you want. How many drums are you thinking of? What style of music do you want to play?
    If you had the choice, I would suggest going to some music stores to see what they have. Take a look at the hardware, and see how sturdy it looks. I would stick with a name brand if possible: Pearl, Tama, Ludwig, Rogers, Ayotte, Slingerland, Gretsch.... The chances of you finding replacement hardware for some no name kit down the road may be next to nil.
    I would also suggest visiting some of the manufacturer's websites to get an idea of the different levels they offer, and note the differences. I prefer wood shells myself. You also have a choice of concert (single) or regular toms (two heads).
    Even though I probably couldn't recommend buying a kit I couldn't hear, I certainly would NOT buy cymbals off ebay. They are a very personal instrument which needs to be heard in person. Every one sounds different, and most leave a lot to be desired. If they come with the kit, fine, but try a music store for accessories.
    Also, I would avoid the bizarre finishes, especially if you think you may want more drums later. Trying to find a match for your 1970's jazz orange sparkle will be a nightmare. If you have any intention of refinishing a drum set, please don't buy a vintage one! Let someone who wants a vintage kit get it. [​IMG]
     
  10. Gregory E

    Gregory E Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brian,
    I would also advise against building your own kit. It's a big job and mainly for experienced drummers who know exactly what they want. Drummer's develop very specific tastes for equipment over time. You might want to look into some entry level kits made by Mapex or Pacific. For more info and a good message board for drummers, check out www.drumweb.com . Good luck!
    -G
     
  11. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2000
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    I started looking into some of the kits. I'm really only looking for a 3 piece, but everything seems to start with 5. I'm probably looking for something around the perl export level or the Mapex M series. I'll keep shopping around a little and maybe hit a local shop or two to check them out this weekend.
     
  12. Gregory E

    Gregory E Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, it's gonna be hard to find anything less than a 5 piece. I play a 4 piece and there's really no way to get one unless you do a custom order (expensive) or build your own. Don't worry about it. Just get a 5 piece and don't use one of the toms. Keep it in good condition and you can sell it with the set later on. [​IMG]
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    How do you know the stage is level?

    There's drool coming out of both sides of the drummer's mouth.

    How do you know when there's a drummer at the door?

    The knocking speeds up.
     
  14. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's some more for you, Phil:

    How is a drum machine better than a drummer?
    You only have to punch the infomation into the drum machine ONCE.

    Did you hear about the bassist who locked his keys in his car?
    It took him three hours to get the drummer out.

    Regarding entry-level kits, Yamaha also makes some fine drums. Try to find a kit that has an even number of lugs around the head - some only have five. An even number makes tuning more precise, as each lug has another directly across from it. The wood type also makes a difference. Maple is kind of warm, mahogany and basswood are very warm and fat with lots of bass, and birch and beech are brighter accentuating more stick attack. With name brand kits, you'll get a quality drum shell - that's pretty much a given. Find the wood type that matches the tone you want, and make sure the hardware can be securely fastened and easily operated. Some of the gearless tom arms and cymbal tilters can slip rather easily. Also, some tom mounts (like those damn Gibraltars) require a tuning key to remove the tom from the arm. Quality hardware can make or break a kit!
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    I could hear the same dumb drummer joke 100 times and I'd still laugh. [​IMG]
     
  16. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1998
    Messages:
    5,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know about their tom hardware, but we've been buying a lot of Gibralter cymbal stands lately. The newer ones are extremely well engineered, and they cost far less that the Pearl stuff, which isn't as well built. I'm not a huge fan of the gearless stuff for anything but small accessories, but then it's usually too bulky.

    Since you aren't building a percussive monstrosity, you should be able to get decent quality hardware within a reasonable price. I agree about the even numbered lugs, and I would look at the difference in the hoops between a low end kit and a higher end kit. The cheap ones have a tendency to bend, especially with novice users, which renders them pretty much useless.
     
  17. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2000
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
  18. Mike Main

    Mike Main Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2001
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey me too. I always wanted to play, and started taking lessons last fall. I took about 10 and started to get the hang of it. But u have to practice, my problem was that I was losing my free time ( to what I dont know). I have to get back on the ball and start again. I saw new sets from $500 - 800 that were decent sets. I figure if u spend enuf money on all this HT stuff, u got spend some on a drum set.

    Mike
     
  19. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1998
    Messages:
    5,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wouldn't disagree with most of what that guy says. I do agree it's better to spend a bit extra for both the upgrade in quality and resale value. I have no experience with Taye, this is the first I've heard of them, but I haven't been in the market for a new kit for more than a decade, and wouldn't be looking at that range of instruments if I were, so I can't really give an opinion one way or another.

    We use a lot of Sabian's AA, AAH and AAX line for cymbals. Their B series is good for chinas. I find Cymbals are really a matter of taste. Some like a lot of complex overtones, some prefer a cleaner, more focussed sound. The sound is also affected by what types of sticks you use; plastic or wood tipped, and the weight. Again, this is all a matter of taste once you establish your ability to play and discern the differences.

    I would also agree to ignore adverising, including this guy's for the Taye sets.
     
  20. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff, I dig Gibraltar's stands. I've got several myself, including a monster snare stand that could survive nuclear war! I also love those wonderful Roc-N-Soc thrones...

    And now, here's one in defense of drummers...
    What do a vacuum cleaner and a guitarist have in common?
    They both suck when you plug them in.
     

Share This Page