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How to Buy Drums

Take the guesswork out of purchasing these percussion instruments by knowing exactly what's in a drum kit and what to keep in mind when buying one.


  • Step 1: Buy name brands Buy brand names for greater reliability and resale value. New brand name drums for a beginner will cost about $500. Used drum sets can be had for about $200.
  • TIP: It's common to buy cymbal packs or lower line cymbals. Brand name cymbals are often very expensive.
  • Step 2: Know basic components Know the basic components of a drum set. You should include a bass drum, a snare drum, two tom tom drums, a floor tom, two hi hat cymbals, a ride cymbal, and a crash cymbal. The seven pieces of hardware include the snare drum stand, three cymbal stands, the bass drum pedal, a seat, and drumsticks.
  • Step 3: Buy a set Buy a set, which is generally less expensive that buying components piece by piece. If you're buying used set, look for one that says "whole package" to make sure you're getting all the instruments and the hardware.
  • Step 4: Inspect Inspect the set to see that both the top and bottom heads are on the drums and that the drum heads are in good shape. See that none of the tuning lugs are missing. The laminate drum finish should be in good condition.
  • Step 5: Consider electronic Consider an electronic drum set, which uses rubber or mesh pads, if you're in an apartment or other place where noise may be a concern. You can plug in headphones for nearly silent practice when you're not plugged in to an amp. And it can create hundreds of different sounds.
  • FACT: Russ Prager set a world record for the longest drumming marathon by one person, lasting 120 hours in 2009.

You Will Need

  • Name brands
  • Knowledge of drum set components
  • Thorough inspection
  • Noise consideration

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