Did you know "percussion" is actually a plural term?
It not only includes drum set but also rudimental snare, timpani, keyboard percussion (e.g., marimba, xylophone, vibes, glockenspiel), and orchestral auxiliary instruments (e.g., triangle, tambourine, concert bass drum, crash cymbals), and more!
Drummers are a type of percussionist who can choose different areas of focus:
Any drummer will need to invest in having their own drum set and accessories for practice during the week. Without applying the information learned at the lesson during the week, progress will be stunted. Drummers who practice progress more quickly!
When searching for drums, we know the options can become overwhelming! We also recognize that the quality of the instrument needed may change as a student progresses; therefore, we have shared multiple options at a variety of price points.
Our percussion instructor, Kyle, who has his masters degree in percussion performance, has shared his expertise and recommendations below in order to help you make the right decision for your needs!
To note, this post contains affiliate links for items that we recommend and use. We may earn a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you.
Types of Drums
There are two basic types of drum kits. For each type, we have shared pros and cons to consider when choosing the right instrument for your student and your family.
Acoustic instruments make sound without the use of electricity or amplification.
Electronic instruments require external amplification in order to be heard.
Bass Drums: The common Bass drums sizes are 18”, 20”, 22”. Drummers usually choose the size by what style of music they play. Small bass drums are commonly used for jazz or smaller venue settings whereas larger bass drums are used for rock/pop and such.
It is recommended for Young students to start out with a smaller 18" drum set because it is easier to adjust the toms to an appropriate height for a smaller body. Large drums such as a 22” bass require the toms to be higher up making the player sit higher as well. This can be very uncomfortable for shorter students.
Toms: Toms also come in many sizes as well. Drum sets will usually come with either two or three toms. The sizes are typically 10” and 14” (for two toms) or 10”, 12” and 14” (for 3 toms). Sometimes on 22” bass drum kits, the 14” tom is replaced with a 16” tom making the tom set up 10”, 12”, and a 16”. Any tom configuration is acceptable but it is recommended for younger students to have no more than 3 toms.
SHELL PACKS VS. DRUM KITS
A shell pack is simply the drums by themselves and usually is purchased by intermediate to professional level musicians. A shell pack doesn't include cymbals, bass drum pedal, throne, or hardware (cymbal stands, etc.). If you choose to purchase a shell pack, you can find separate pieces of hardware and cymbals. It will pay more, however, you have the ability to choose quality equipment.
Drum kits are more complete, however, less customizable. They are a great option for beginner drummers and have a more affordable price-point. If looking for a value, find a set that includes hardware and cymbals. Usually the quality of the cymbals and hardware are not top of the line, but it will be more than enough to get a student started!
There are many brands of drum sets and the top companies have different levels of drum sets. These levels include an entry level kit, intermediate / semi-pro kit, and their professional line. The entry level kits of these companies are very well made and will last players for several years. Many drummers believe that a premium level kit will sound exponentially better than an entry level kit, however, with appropriate drum heads and proper tuning, an entry level kit can have an excellent sound.
Drums for Purchase
We have listed our recommendations below from most affordable to most expensive with links to Amazon since they have quick delivery and good customer service for returns. Compare the features to decide which is the best instrument for you!
HARDWARE PACK, if needed
CYMBAL PACK, if needed
Thank you for taking time to read our recommendations and we hope you will find the right instrument that best fits your budget and your needs. Additionally, if you are not already a part of the SC Music Lessons LLC studio, check out our instructors who all have a degree in music or have taught for 5+ years. With virtual lessons, we can teach anyone anywhere!
If you have any questions or need additional assistance, just reach out - we are here to help: email@example.com