For any parent seeking drum lessons for kids, it can be overwhelming to get started. When starting drum lessons, there are some core pieces of equipment your child will need in order to be successful in their drum lessons. Consider these pieces a drum lesson starter kit, adaptable to any budget. You can begin with the first items on the list and purchase more equipment as your child improves and practices more. You don’t need all of these items from the start, but you should plan to purchase all of them at some point as your child progresses through his or her drum lessons.
Essential Equipment for Drum Lessons
1. The Basics – Sticks, Practice Pad, Metronome
It’s not really possible to play a drum kit without sticks, and a good set of sticks like the Vic Firth 5A are a great, versatile tool for new drummers. In addition to new sticks, preparing for drum lessons for kids will involve purchasing a new practice pad. If a new practice pad is outside your current budget, an old mouse pad will do in a pinch. Last but not least, a metronome for tuning your young drummer’s inner clock is a great first purchase. Practicing with a metronome from the get-go will help your drummer improve faster.
2. A Bass Pedal
A new drum bass pedal is the next purchase after collecting the basics. If your drummer is completely new to drum lessons, it might be best to go with a cheap or used pedal first. If your drummer is more seasoned, and your budget allows, a kick pedal is a good buy.
3. A Drum Throne
Once your drummer has been practicing and going to lessons with his drum teacher for some time, a drum throne is an essential purchase. But, where other cheap or used equipment is acceptable, only a new drum throne will do here as new drummers tend to practice a lot.
4. A Used Drum Kit
If your drummer has made it this far with the basics, a bass pedal, and a drum throne, then it might be time to consider purchasing a drum kit. A used drum kit is a great, economical way to upgrade and update the drum setup. When looking for a good, used, starter drum kit, pay close attention to the quality of the shells. As long as the shells of the drum kit are good, you can replace an old or defective head.
5. A Drum Carpet and Recorder
Once your drum kit is set up, you may want to purchase a drum carpet and recorder soon after. Depending on where your child is practicing their drum lessons, there may or may not be some significant sound reflection. A good drum rug doesn’t have to break the bank- some run as little as $50. Another helpful purchase is a recorder for recording your child’s practices. Playing back the recordings for your child to hear and learn from is helpful for mastering technique. If you have a smartphone, they can always use this instead.
6. Decent Drum Heads and Dampers
Now that you have all of the core features of your drum kit in place, you can start to make improvements and upgrades that will have your drums sounding better than before. If you indeed purchased a used drum shell, now is the time to invest in replacing the heads with high-quality ones, like the ones produced by the brand Moongel. Add a new damper into the mix, and your drum set will be sounding better than ever. Just make sure your tuning hardware is in good working condition when replacing these parts.
7. Decent Cymbals
After you’ve upgraded your heads and dampers, it’s time to purchase nice cymbals. Upgrading cymbals is simply replacing cymbals with new ones. This is an area in which you do not want to skimp because a poorly made cymbal will sound terrible and might turn your child off from playing. Look for a professional line of cymbals from manufacturers.
8. A Drum Kick Pedal
Once your child has worn out their cheap, original kick pedal from their drum lessons for kids, it’s time to invest in a new bass drum pedal. There are three types of pedal drives to choose from. A chain drive’s mechanism is similar to a bike chain and, when maintained properly, can last for years. A belt drive uses a belt instead of a chain and is comparable to a chain drive. A direct drive pedal has a solid arm connecting to pivots at each end. These tend to be more precise than chain and belt drives.
9. A Hi-Hat Pedal and Stand
Once your drummer has progressed beyond practicing daily and is looking to join a band or pursue live performing, a solid hi-hat pedal and stand are necessary.
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