A 10-Item Equipment Checklist For Aspiring Drummers

Learning how to become a drummer is a good way to explore the world of music. It’s also a highly rewarding activity that can offer some psychological and social benefits.

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With drumming, people can easily express themselves and keep in touch with their emotional state. Furthermore, if you start playing the drums, chances are you’ll eventually be able to meet new people who can help you grow as a musician and hone your skills. You may even find yourself joining a percussion ensemble or forming your own band.

Nevertheless, if you want to become a drummer, you must have all the necessary equipment for drumming. If you have no idea what you should be getting, just keep reading.

For all aspiring drummers out there, here’s a list of equipment you need to keep in your arsenal:

  1. Practice Pad

This is one of the most important things you should have if you’re looking to become a drummer. If you don’t have a drum set, you can use a practice pad. This can be a good alternative for snare drums. In fact, the two feel almost the same. Usually, a practice pad is quieter compared to a snare drum. It’s also easy to carry around, so you can keep up with your training anytime, anywhere.

A snare drum or drums in general may cost you a pretty penny, so if you’re just starting out, investing in a practice pad is a practical option.

  1. Metronome

When practicing pieces, a metronome can help you in keeping the tempo. This is a crucial accessory for any musician. For as low as USD$20, you can get yourself a metronome. But if you’re trying to save as much as you can, you can download a digital metronome offered in app stores that works on the majority of mobile devices.

On the other hand, if you have an electronic drum set, it’s likely that it already has a built-in metronome, so make sure to use that. For beginner drummers, keeping up with the rhythm and beat is important when learning how to play the instrument. With that in mind, make sure you invest in a high-quality metronome for better results.

  1. Cymbal

Sometimes, a cymbal is included in a drum set. But as you become a more experienced drummer, you may need to buy additional cymbals. When it comes to the price of the equipment, it will differ depending on the type of cymbals you choose.

To give you an idea, below are the kinds of cymbals you can choose from. In case you can’t decide which one you should get—which is normal when you’re just starting out—don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from the physical or online shop you’ll be going for.

  • Crash Cymbal

This is the most common kind of cymbal ranging from 8-inch to 24-inch options. Usually, it’s positioned on the left part of a right-handed kit. As for the sound it produces, it will change depending on the cymbal’s size.

  • Hi-Hat

A hi-hat is another type of cymbal that comes in a pair. This is used to maintain steady beats and is quite lighter than the other kinds. Also, this cymbal ranges from 13 inches to 16 inches in diameter.

  • Ride Cymbal

Aspiring drummers who want a large cymbal can opt for this one. Usually, a ride cymbal is positioned on the right of a right-handed kit, next to the floor tom. This type can also be used to sustain steady patterns, and the sound it’ll produce depends on which part you hit the cymbal.

  • China Cymbal 

This is the most recognizable type of cymbal. A China cymbal comes with a cylindrical bell and an upturned edge. It sounds very explosive and has crash-like tones.

  • Splash Cymbal

A splash cymbal is actually the same as a crash cymbal. This type is typically used to offer accents to a music piece. It can also offer short yet sharp sounds, and it ranges between 6 inches and 13 inches.

  1. Headphones

Aspiring drummers need to know that among their most important roles are to create, implement, and maintain the beat of the music. And as with any other hobby or endeavor in life, you need to have the best tools if you want to perform at an optimum level. For aspiring drummers, you should have a good pair of headphones. With the help of the best drummer headphone, you’ll be able to keep the beat steady and deal with constant and extreme noise around you.

In order to enhance the quality of your drumming, it’s important for you to protect your hearing. So invest in headphones that have excellent sound isolation and are designed to fit around your ears comfortably.

  1. Drumsticks And Finger Tape

Any equipment checklist for would-be drummers won’t be complete without mentioning drumsticks. Drumsticks are crucial tools for drummers of any level. These are made using different materials and come in various sizes. With that said, if you’re just a beginner, make sure to conduct thorough research or ask a seasoned drummer regarding which drumsticks will suit your experience level.

On the other hand, during your first drum lesson, you need to learn how to hold the drumsticks correctly. Nevertheless, the majority of drummers opt for noncolored wooden tips since they don’t leave marks on the drums.

You’ll also need some grip tape. This can be a great help for drummers as it prevents them from dropping their drumsticks. Drummers will have looser grips when their hands get sweaty, and the grip tape can save them from potential drumming injuries in their arms and hands.

  1. Snare Drums

Though they’re quite expensive, snare drums are perfect to use when practicing. As a matter of fact, they can also be used on their own. Snare drums are the ideal instruments if you want to learn how to play the drums. Another good thing about them is that you can easily use snare drums with other instruments. They can be utilized as timing tools, and they can help a drummer perform effectively.

  1. Bass Drum Pedal

The bass drum pedal is one of the crucial pieces of equipment in a drum kit. This will form an important connection between your kick drum and half your limbs. The same with drumsticks, the kind of beater and pedal as well as its possible adjustment settings will depend on your own style and preferences. So make sure to choose the right one carefully since it may either make or break your performance when you play the drums.

  1. Drum Throne

A drum throne refers to the seat that a drummer uses to sit around their instruments. People who don’t have any interest in playing the drums think that this equipment is just a normal seat. But drummers know the real value of a drum throne.

When you’re practicing, a drum throne will make you feel comfortable throughout your practice session. It’ll also affect your footwork while giving adequate support for good posture. But it should be placed in an area where you can reach the bass drum pedal easily and hit the cymbal on top with the drumsticks.

  1. Drum Tuner 

For some drummers, tuning a drum is quite a difficult task. Drums are usually tuned by several lugs across the bottom and top skin. As a matter of fact, tuning a drum is an art.

Drums that are tuned badly may cause inconsistent sounds and bad ringing. In order for you to achieve maximum accuracy, see to it that you have a drum tuner, especially if you want to become a skilled drummer someday.

  1. Drum Cases

Playing the drums is far from easy, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that it’s an exciting, adrenaline-pumping activity worth putting a lot of effort into. Nevertheless, drums are undoubtedly among the hardest instruments to set up and transport. With a great set of drum cases, however, you’ll be able to transport your drums with ease and, most importantly, protect them from damage.

Final Say

Once you have all the needed equipment, it’s time to practice. Like when you’re learning how to play the guitar or another instrument, having good practice habits is the key if you want to become a good drummer over time. When practicing, you can start with some essential drum beats as well as easy drum songs for beginners. Another great way to hone your drumming skills is to practice with your favorite music.

While you’re practicing, it’s important for you to use the right techniques, such as the proper way to hold the drumsticks. However, if you’re serious about improving your drum skills, consider working with a professional and experienced drum instructor. They can offer you relevant feedback about your performance and give you a clearer path to drum mastery.

Also, keep in mind that no matter where you’re headed, always bring a pair of drumsticks with you. In that way, you’ll be able to work on various beats whenever you’re idle or taking a break from your day-to-day tasks.

Written by

As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.