Hey. I'm a complete beginner to the drums. I've been playing guitar and bass for 5 years, and piano for 6. So I'm not any stranger to music. Thing is, I love playing it so much. But I cannot find any drummers in the Akron, Ohio area. I want to make a band really badly, but I can't if every single person and their dog wants to be a guitarist (whether they have the talent or not). So, rather than giving up and just whining about it, I decided to learn how to play the drums, so if nothing else, I can at least record solo stuff. Could someone recommend a decent starter, full-size drum kit? Under $500 if that's possible? I want to play all styles, so I'm not sure if there are different types for different things, like there is with guitar. Also, any beginning tips, like proper drum technique and ways of learning theory would be great. Thanks.
Get lessons, I'm also a beginner and I think lessons give you the opportunity to progress fast without developing poor technique. Check the stickied threads for more info on drum kits.
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Hi, i noticed you posted this about 5 days ago. Hopefully you will come back to this!

Yes you will find that drummers are quite rare to come upon. They are noisy instruments - not to say that guitar and bass aren't but the noise they make can't really be regulated like amplified instruments - unless you get an electronic kit and they aren't usually cheap. Their noise is such that most people tend to stay away from them also like guitars they are high maintenance instruments.

I would say that they are probably more so than guitars - also their parts are a lot more expensive to replace so bear this in mind if you are interested.

For example (apologies i am not American so i cannot give prices in dollars) drum skins can range from about 13-30 pounds - which according to my conversion is about $23-47.

The bass drum skins are usually the more expensive ones. These prices will be lower in US it's just how conversion works. Sticks as well you need to keep stocked up on and the quality varies, i have had sticks break within one song and some last months. It varies.

Cymbals as well can crack and break - they aren't cheap either. Good cymbals usually cost about £200 for one - My Zildjian Z Custom 16" Crash was about £150 - $235.

Do not let this sway you however. There is cheaper stuff and the quality still lasts just be aware of this when you are thinking of sounds - it's also not something you need to worry about at beginner level.

I am not sure about kits within that price range to be honest. My first kit was a Yamaha Rydeen - i still use it. It's a good kit. Your question about types:

There are basically two kits: There are jazz kits and rock kits. Jazz kits generally have smaller drums for higher sounds. Rock kits have larger drums e.g. a jazz bass drum may be about 18-20" while a rock kit generally varies from 22"-26".

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter but the sounds are slightly different.

Most standard kits usually come with all drums and some cymbals anyway. You usually are best starting out with a 5 piece kit:

Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Two Toms, One Floor Tom - this is standard - any kit you find with this is suffice. You usually are given Cymbals as well: Usually one crash and one hi-hat.

Ride cymbals usually need to be bought separate and China and Splash i wouldn't worry about.

Stick to brand names: DW, Yamaha, Tama, Pearl etc and you cannot go wrong.

Learn to use drum tabs/sheet music. They are both read very similarly use tabs on the sites to get started with - back when i was starting was the days of mxtabs and stuff and there was a plethora of tabs - not really these days.

Also listen to drums in songs to understand how beats are constructed - obviously start with simple songs, don't look at stuff with complex timings, stick to 4/4 and 3/4. Also look at music you like because that's the fun stuff to play.

I imagine you probably do this already with guitar but play along to music. Also get ear plugs!! Your hearing can seriously be damaged playing drums, more so than guitar.

If you have any other questions just ask on my profile!


EDIT: On theory. Not really theory - but learn to tune your drums. There are hundreds of tutorials online about it, youtube it.

There isn't really much theory you need to know to begin with - at least i don't think so. Rudiments and stuff are important but you don't necessarily have to deal with those straight away and they come up in songs anyway - most in rock music have single stroke rolls and the occassional paradiddle, double stroke.
Drummer of 7 years, Bassist of 5 years, Guitarist of 4 years.
Last edited by Alowishus at Mar 9, 2012,