Our Beginners Guide To Buying Your First Drum Kit

Welcome, aspiring drummer! This guide is your first giant leap into the music world through drums. The thrill of buying new gear is incomparable, right? So many choices and things to consider, but where do you even start? As early as now, you should understand that you need to start off with a suitable drum set to achieve your goals smoothly.

Now, it’s normal to feel slightly overwhelmed over buying a drum set, especially if you’re a beginner. You might also be a parent or guardian seeking a beginners drum set for your toddler. Either way, you’re not lost anymore because that’s precisely what this drum set buying guide is for.

In this article, we’ll go over the things you need to consider before buying a drum kit, what are the parts of a beginners drum set, how to buy a drum set, and other questions that you need to answer before buying.

If you’re looking for a guide on how to set up your drums, you can read this article instead: How To Set Up Your Drums.

Your Ultimate Drum Set Buying Guide: A Checklist

  • Define your practice environment.

Where would you practice after your purchase? Do you need to set the volume down? Is your space big enough or too small? If you need less noise and have limited space, your best option is the electric drum kit. Another alternative is the acoustic drum set, but with muting pads.

  • Settle your intention with your situation.

Looking at it from a developmental perspective, it’s wiser for a novice to start with an acoustic drum set. This option is a more suitable first instrument investment, but under unfavourable situations wherein space and noise would be a problem, you can opt for an affordable electric drum setup.

Suppose you’re still contemplating whether you or your aspiring drummer will continue playing in the long run. In that case, an electric drum kit might be your best option.

  • Select your ideal drum set and inclusive hardware pack.

A beginners drum set can come with various inclusions, depending on the type. While some come as shell packs, some batches come with hardware. Note that shell packs only include drums and holders, further requiring a separate set of hardware. 

On the other hand, a starters drum set hardware pack usually comes with a bass drum pedal, cymbal stand/s, hi-hat stand, and a snare drum stand. Rare sets also include a throne, but don’t forget to add this essential to your list.

If you choose a complete drum set with a hardware pack, you’ll only need to add a seat, a cymbal pack, and the drumsticks. Save yourself from disappointment by checking all these items before you go.

  • Pick the correct drum sizes.

The most basic drum kit for beginners is a five-piece and comes in sizes referred to as Rock, Fusion, and Hybrid.

A Rock Drum Set generally has slightly bigger drums - 22-inch bass drum, 12/13/16-inch toms, and a 14-inch snare drum.

The Fusion Drum Kit includes a 20/22-inch bass drum, 10/12/14-inch toms, and a 14-inch snare drum.

Lastly, Hybrid Sets usually come with a 20/22-inch bass drum, 10/12/16-inch toms, and a 14-inch snare drum.

With Fusion and Hybrid sizes, you can create a more compact setup and maintain a good tuning range. It’s one of the reasons why these two are the more trending variations. Their 10 and 12-inch toms are up to two inches lower than the Rock’s, allowing a lowered position that’s more desirable for younger players.

  • Set your budget.

It can be easy to get adrift in the moment and spend more than you intended to in the first place.

By the time you finish this checklist, you must already have an idea of the price range of drum kits for beginners. It’s recommended to set your expectations and have a limit to abide by.

What’s in a Drum Kit for Beginners?

Before you make this investment, you should also understand even the basics of drum set pieces. You must know what and what not to look for in the setup that you picked.

For now, we’ll walk you through the inclusions of a five-piece starter set.

1. The Bass Drum

Also known as the kick drum, it’s the largest of all the drums and is played by operating a foot pedal affixed to the rim of the drum.

2. The Tom Toms

More commonly known as ‘toms,’ they come in a wide range of sizes from Rock to Hybrid. A five-piece drum set should have a high tom, mid tom, and low tom. The low or floor tom is either mounted or on the floor.

3. The Snare Drum

One of the most essential drums on a set, the snare drum forms the centre of the kit and can be played in various ways. It’s usually 14 inches in diameter and 6 inches in depth, but the snare comes in a wide range of sizes, too. Remember that the snare drum always has a top (batter) and bottom (resonant) head.

4. The Hi-Hats

They are a pair of cymbals that slam against each other using a foot-operated pedal. Hailed as the most dynamic element of the drum kit, hi-hat cymbals produce a wide range of sounds. They are generally 14 inches in diameter, but there are also other sizes available.

5. The Ride and Crash Cymbals

The Ride Cymbal is the larger one and usually sits on the right-hand side of the drum kit. Typically, it’s a heavier cymbal that you play with the tip of the drumstick to create that signature ‘ping’ sound.

Meanwhile, the Crash Cymbals are typically more miniature than the Ride cymbals with a standard 16’ diameter. They are commonly used as accent notes and hit hard with a fleeting blow from the stick shoulder.

6. The Drum Stool

Of course, the throne upon which you will unleash your musical talents. This round-padded stool often comes with three chrome legs. You can pick its height out of your personal preference. Still, you must ensure standards by placing your feet flat against the floor and having your thighs slightly sloping downwards.

How to Buy a Drum Set in Australia

Now that you know what to consider and look for in a beginners drum set, you’re almost ready to bring that new gear home! But first, how do you buy a drum set? Here at Melbourne Music Centre, you can either pick it up from our retail store or deliver it straight to your door.

For the Click & Collect option, simply select “pick up” as your delivery method at the first check out window. Don’t forget to fill out your contact details before proceeding to the payment page.

To have your order delivered to your preferred address, just proceed with the checkout path, and you’re all set. If you need expert assistance, you can reach out to our staff of musicians. Contact us at the Melbourne Music Centre today, and one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members will be more than happy to offer any advice needed to help with your purchase.