The Ultimate Drums and Cymbals Guide

Buying drums and cymbals, whether it is a new or used drum set, new or used cymbals, or any drum accessories, can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re not quite sure what to look for. With so many different brands of drums and cymbals, plus hardware on the market, and so many opinions, it makes the decision process even more difficult.

Drum sets and cymbals are available in a wide range of prices, but unlike most other instruments, you can buy drum equipment one piece at a time if you want and build your kit as your budget allows. So, one of the first things you need to consider when contemplating purchasing new drum equipment is your budget.

Drum sets and cymbals are available in a wide range of prices, but unlike most other instruments, you can buy drum equipment one piece at a time if you want and build your kit as your budget allows. So, one of the first things you need to consider when contemplating purchasing new drum equipment is your budget.

You can start with as little as a new snare drum for your old kit, some new cymbals, or some new hardware. All of which can be purchased on eBay.

Obviously, most of what you can purchase on Ebay is previously owned, which isn’t all bad, especially if you can get a fantastic deal. But, most people want new stuff, and unfortunately, new stuff usually comes with a higher price tag.

4 Things You Need to Do Before Buying New or Used Drums or Cymbals:

  • Get Knowledge
  • Know Your Budget
  • Get Qualified Opinions
  • Test

1. Get Knowledge

My advice is to get all the knowledge you can get before you spend a dime on new or used drums and cymbals. Don’t just take the advice of a commissioned paid music store sales rep. Their opinion can be swayed by the price tag… the higher ticketed item they sell you will bring them a higher paycheck. Now of course this isn’t true with every music store employee, but why take the chance?

Do your due diligence… Get educated first, know exactly what you are looking for when it comes to drums and cymbals before you go shopping. You could literally save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, by avoiding the wrong purchase.

2. Know Your Budget

One of the first things you need to consider when contemplating purchasing new or used drums and cymbals is… How much are you able to spend?

This seems obvious, but are you really surprised at how many people end up spending more on drums and cymbals than they expected? This usually happens for two reasons: One: They didn’t do their homework first and only relied on a sales reps opinion or recommendation… and Two: They simply got emotional and bought on impulse with no plan. It’s as simple as that!

If you’re limited on funds, here’s an idea… Since drums and cymbals are unlike most other instruments, you can buy pieces one at a time and build your drum kit as your budget allows.

You can start with as little as a new or used snare drum for your old drum kit, some new or used cymbals, some new or used hardware, and maybe even some new or used drum accessories.

There’s no need to make a huge investment into a brand new set of drums right off the bat, especially if you’re not ready financially!

3. Get Qualified Opinions

I know, I just said you cannot just rely on the opinions of a commissioned paid store employee. But, what I meant to say is, don’t take their opinion as gold. Just hear what they have to say. Once you “get knowledge,” which is the first step, then you will be able to tell if the store employee knows what they’re talking about or not.

Go to several different music stores or drum shops and get as many opinions as you can from as many different drum sales reps as possible. While you are in the drum shops beat around on the different brands of drums and cymbals that are displayed and listen for which ones are most appealing to your ears.

Since different drum sets and drum manufacturers make their shells out of different types of wood, sounds will vary. Most entry-level drum kits are made of basswood, poplar, or Philippine mahogany, which is cheaper wood that does not produce a high quality sound. Higher-end drums use more expensive wood such as birch or maple, which produce a more rich, more resonant tone, but also require a higher price tag.

4. Test

There is a minor difficulty to overcome about the drum sets on display, and that is, most display drums are not muted, or not muted properly. So, you will have to bring some felt or something with you to the drum shop along with some tape assuming the drum store doesn’t have anything you can use.

Also, ask the drum rep if you can remove the front bass drum head so you can insert a pillow, blanket, or your coat as a muffle if there isn’t something already in there to muffle it.

drums & cymbals guide
Click Here

Why do you think many drums and cymbals shops don’t have the drum sets already muted? Because they are just assuming you are gonna buy a drum set based on its looks, or its brand name. Unfortunately, this is the way most people spend their money, and needless for me to say, it is the wrong way!

When your shopping for new or used drums and cymbals be sure to bring your own drumsticks with you into the drum shop. You don’t want to use drumsticks handed to you by an employee. Those drumsticks could be much lighter, or heavier than the ones you’re used to drumming with.

When your crashing the crashes, riding the rides, and splashing the splashes, you want to get a good feel for them, and hear the tone they will produce when you hit them at the same intensity your custom to playing at… and with your own drumsticks.

A quick tip… be sure to write your name on your drumsticks or mark them somehow before you take them into the drums and cymbals store. Also, inform the drum reps at the store upon entering that you are bringing in your own drumsticks. You don’t want them to think you stole them when you leave, particularly if they look new.

The Bottom Line

There you have them… 4 things you definitely need to do before buying new or used drums and cymbals. By getting educated, knowing your budget, getting qualified opinions, and testing, you are prepared to make good choices on the best drums and cymbals that are right for you!