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Beginners Drum Kit
Drum Kits in general
Member Name: polarbearonholid
Drum Kits in general
Date: 24/03/03, updated on 17/05/03 (13447 review reads)
Advantages: Quality, price, amount of stuff
Disadvantages: hi-hat stand, nothing else...., nothing else....
OK, Let's get one thing straight here, I am by no means an experienced or good drummer (in the grand scheme of things) having played for only one month (todays date 23/03/03).
This review is about the drum kit I am using, a Stagg/Pulse (same brand, sometimes different labelling on drums, mine are Stagg) PAO-L 20.
This kit is excellent value for money. It comes, like most beginners kits, with a snare (wooden), 20" bass, and 3 toms. The drums seem to have a good finish and worksmanship looks good, especially when you consider the price. They give a nice sound (to my inexperienced ears) and look nice as well, featuring as they do chromed lugs and hoops etc.
My kit came with a pair of 14" hi-hats (obviously) and a 16"crash cymbal. These are not brilliant, but on the other hand sound good compared to cymbals found on other kits in this price bracket. They feel nice and are very solid. One of the things I will probably add in the near future is a ride cymbal as this was something the kit didn't come with.
The hardware is solid double braced fare and is sturdy with the exception of the hi-hat stand which can wobble around a bit under violent playing. However I put this down to my kit being on carpet, which is not as suitable as a hard surface like concrete. The drum throne is a standard round one, nice and padded. Not too good in the height adjustable stakes, but will be OK for anyone 5ft8 or over. Another thing I may add soon is different throne, as, although my current one is comfortable, I prefer motorcycle-style ones.
No instructions came with the kit but in all honesty I never felt that I needed some to refer to anyway, such was the simplicity of assembly.
The kit came with a pair of sticks, which are not great qualtiy but OK for practising with on pillows etc. when your mum has had enough for one day. The shop also threw in another pair, by Performance Percussion (5A type) which although f
eel nice, have begun to splinter around the bottom and the tip has split in two on one stick. I find this rather dissapointing. I am now using Vic Firth 5AN (N for nylon tips) which both play and look good. Just experiment to find your preferred stick type/make etc.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Stagg PAO-L 20 drum kit. I paid £300 for mine which I consider to be exceptional value considering the amount of stuff you get with it. I wouldn't think twice about recommending it to anybody, despite some small niggles (which pale into insignificance when compared with the rest of the kit). I would also recommend the service of Eric Lyndsey's music shop in catford, South East London. They were knowlegeable and friendly and full of good advice. Good job lads!
I hope this review is found helpful by all.
It's now 16/5/03 and I thought it would be a good idea to give people a bit of inforamtion as to what they may need buy in the couple of months after they first take up the drum kit.
1) A ride cymbal/crash cymbal. If your kit came with a crash then buy a ride, if it came with a ride, buy a crash...simple! You will need the other sort of cymbal quite soon, but it is possible to practice ride technique on the bell of a crash cymbal. If you don't know what the difference is between the sounds, here goes....a crash cymbal makes a loud sound, often used to end fills or sections of a song, we all know what it sounds like. A ride cymbal makes a "ting-ting" sound. It's used like a hi-hat would be, for kepping time. Price - £100
2) A metronome. Not an old fashioned one used by boring old pianists...a decent drummers metronome should have crotchers, quavers and semiquavers as well as triplets and you should be able to change the tempo. These are very useful for playing along to loops, and for harder grooves. Price - £3
3) A decent snare. For the first couple of months you won't notice anything, but soon after you will begin to hear a "buzz" sound after you hit your snare. A good snare should have an instant attack (the crack sound) and an instant decay (it shouldn't buzz for half a second after a hit). You will really notice the difference of a new snare. Price - £100
4) Not as important as the above items, but will make for a generally nicer playing "environment", is a new throne. I personally find the motorcycle/tractor style seats the most comfortable. At first you may entertain the idea of a throne with a back rest but as your playing posture improves, you will realise it's not really necessary. Price - £50
All this wil set you back roughly £300 which is a lot. The first thing to go for would be the cymbal followed by the snare, but you should aim to get all the kit sooner or later. It's a lot of money I know, but it's worth it in the long run.
I hope this has been a useful addition.