This time of year is usually when complete PANIC sets in for parents. Remember in the 90’s when the Ninja Turtles were the most sought after prize; trying to get a complete set of four was STRESSMAGEDDON for any parent involved. I imagine it’s a similar feeling for parents when their child says “I want a drum kit” when asked what they want from Santa, so we’ve made this helpful guide to make the process a bit easier so you at least know what you’re looking for…
Before we get started…yes, we’ve seen the advert and YES we LOVE IT! Whatever gets kids into playing drums is what matters to us so we’re all for it. We’re the place to go for the next step up! We see it all the time, parents walk through the door and their whole demeanour changes to the same of a deer in headlights. Drums EVERYWHERE!!! Not only that that but there’s a bunch of cymbals on the wall, some drum kits that are towered, some on raised platforms, a whole wall of individual drums of varying colours/material, some drums look like a bunch of rubber pads with wires poking out of them…all in all it’s a bit of a situation. I’m not into cycling or mountain biking of any sort but I imagine the feeling would be similar if I were to walk into a bike shop as I’d be completely out my comfort zone. Fortunately there’s some key words or phrases that’ll help guide you in the right direction before you even walk in the door.
Firstly, consider what it is you actually NEED. We have hundreds of different options available for each step to help you make the choice but here’s some basic things to figure out before you come in. If you’re just a beginner then chances are you’ll need EVERYTHING, which includes the Drums (obviously) along with Hardware or “Stands”, Cymbals, Pedal, Sticks etc. The other alternative to getting everything from the digital perspective would be an electronic kit, which is great even if they currently have one and are looking for a serious upgrade. Alternatively if you have a set of drums currently and are looking to upgrade to either your first mid-end or high end kit then a shell pack is where to go! A Shell Pack is what we refer to a drum kit that doesn’t come with any additional cymbals or hardware (the stands, pedal & throne), it’s literally just the drums. Typically these are more expensive and can be up in the thousands of pounds as they are made from high-end materials and are a bit more special in terms of finish/uniqueness.
Next up would be your Budget, or how much you’re looking to spend. We’ll start with Acoustic drums. For an acoustic set of drums that comes with everything you need to get started which includes the drums, stands, cymbals, pedal, throne and sticks the first price kit is the Natal EVO set. A fantastic starting point just under £300 that includes everything required in the box. Crafted from basswood shells that provides just the right amount of sound detail needed to learn efficiently! Mapex Tornado. Available in three different colour options and three different bass drum sizes (18in, 20in & 22in) to suit any size of room from bedroom to garage. The Tornado makes it the perfect entry level kit for anyone looking to learn for under the £350 mark. The next and most popular kit that comes with almost everything is the Pearl Export. The biggest selling drum kit in the world, so popular that when Pearl discontinued it they were forced to bring it back into production due to how much demand came for it, which is why we’ve sold them year after year. They’re extremely consistent, well made drums that come with a high-end hardware and cymbals manufactured by Sabian, a huge cymbal brand. The only component this kit doesn’t come with is a seat, or “drum throne” but for £699 it’s a total bargain!
If the Natal Evo or Pearl Export was last years present and you’re really looking to step it up going into 2020 then a Shell Pack is the best way to go, particularly if you already have the high-end stands & pedal that came with last years Export! If you’re experienced enough to know what you want and have researched enough to have brand preference then you’ll already have an idea of where you want to go for a shell pack. If you’re still unsure then one of the best buys in the shop right now hands down is the Mapex Armory. With a list of high-end features including hybrid shells which essentially allows two different materials to work in tandem with each other allowing for a combination of different sounds, SONIClear Bearing Edges to allow the drum heads to sit nice and flush on the drum for super easy tuning, Stunning Veneer lacquer finishes and the inclusion of a Mapex Tomahawk Steel Snare Drum (steel being the most versatile of all the metal varieties of drum) it’s a total no brainer for something like this at it’s £849 price point.
Over in Electronics world, the world is quite literally your oyster. For beginner Electronic Kits a fantastic starting point for us is the Yamaha DTX 400 series. They’re an amazing starting point with quiet rubber pads ideal for practicing and a module filled with high quality drum samples. Yamaha put a focus on sound first before image. As such, they recorded all the drums in their library to put within the module resulting in high-end drums squeezed within a wallet friendly kit. The most popular model within the DTX 400 range for us is the DTX452 as it has some physical improvements such as the bass drum being simulated by a tower that you strike with a real bass drum pedal and an improved snare drum sensitivity pad, all of this for £479. On the higher-end of the spectrum is the Roland TD-17KVX which is a phenomenal electronic drums EXPERIENCE. It’s fitted with Dynamic Prismatic Sound Modeling technology meaning that the drums are designed to feel like REAL drums and the translation from striking the head to hearing it SOUNDS like real drums. This kit is not just fit for the bedroom, but the stage too! It’s probably one of the closest electronic kits you’ll get that resemble the feel of an acoustic kit with features taken from Rolands flagship TD-50 kit. Complete with a tunable 12in snare pad, Bluetooth connectivity, newly designed KD-10 kick pad, Warm-Up menu that provides daily practice exercise routine and the rest! It’s a LOT of kit for £1671, and a MIGHTY upgrade!
Those are just SOME examples of knowing where your budget can take you, but something to keep in mind as well is longevity. Spending just a little more can be the difference between something lasting 6 months or 6 years, so if you decide a drum kit is what Santa is bringing this year then come and see us. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can help point you in the right direction of what they think would be the best for your situation to secure a very Merry Christmas for everyone!