Buying a new drum set is a little different than buying most instruments. It’s not just that you’ll need a van to drag the whole thing home; you’re making an investment that’s not going to be put away in a closet or shoved in a garage in the next few years. You’ve got to live with your drum set, so it’s important to follow the tips listed below before you make a purchase.
Look at Your Budget
Your journey towards a new drum kit should always start with cold, hard cash. Try to come up with a workable budget that has very definitive ceiling before you even start looking. If this is your first drum set, take the time to educate yourself about the average price of a kit. If you’ve got a set already, try to factor in the money you’ll make by selling your current drums into your budget. If you’ve got a strong enough budget, you should be able to eliminate some of the kits that are realistically outside of your range.
Think About Utility
Why are you getting a new drum set? Are you just looking to replace something that was stolen or damaged? Are you looking to finally upgrade to something that’s worthy of being on stage? Are you just looking for a set on which you can learn? There are different drum sets for different types of drummers, so don’t get sucked into the idea that only one particular set will do. Find the kit that actually meets your needs so that you won’t have to go shopping again any time soon.
Do Some Triage
How much of your current kit really needs to go? While it’s great to have a totally matching set, buying a new set piecemeal might be better for your budget. Take a look at your snare, your hi-hat and your cymbals before you go out and start shopping – if any of them are in good condition, you might actually be better off replacing individual pieces of your kit instead of buying an entirely new drum set. If you need to replace more than one or two pieces, though, you’ll probably want to replace the entire thing.
Try Something New
Finally, be willing to throw caution to the wind if you can find a great deal. If you’re not looking for something that’s gig-ready, you’ve really got a ton of different alternatives out there. If you want something that’s a little more friendly for neighbors and roommates, for example, you might want to try an electronic kit. If you really care about how your drums look, you might want to go vintage. If you’re willing to ditch your preconceived notions of what makes a good drum kit, you might find something that’s a lot more fun to play.
Don’t get stuck on a single idea. Put together a budget, look at what you have, figure out what you need, and be willing to accept new ideas. If you can do all of that, you’ll be able to find a drum set that matches and exceeds your needs.