Which Drums Should I Buy?

by Jeff Poulos
(Huntington, NY)

There are many opinions out there and I have little experience with the technical aspect of drums, up to now it has been about look and name. I am one whose first new set was in 1977, Slingerland bought in box without inquiring about what type of shells they had, my 2nd set was a 1964 Gretsch kit bought from an elderly gentlemen who could no longer play, but I knew they were an investment no matter the shell. So its been years since I bought a new kit as I am funded to do now.

I am a diversified player gigging in average 9 piece wedding bands and an original progressive rock band.

I am about to buy a new set of drums:
What exactly is the distinction between maple, birch and other lesser desired wood shells?
What is the most diversified bass drum size?
What drum company really gives you the best bang for the buck?



Hi, Jeff--

First of all, congrats on the fact that you are able to invest in a brand new kit! Let's see if we can help with your questions:

1. Choice of Wood

There is a detailed discussion of the characteristics of the various types of wood at
What type of wood is best for drums?

2. The Bass Drum

Shell diameter is more responsible for pitch than any other element. Depth is responsible for the duration of the note and aids in resonance.

As far as versatility, most drummers would say that the 22 X 18 is the most versatile because it is punchy like the smaller kicks & enough low end to give the bigger kick sound.

I think that the answer for YOU depends on how you want it to sound. Of course, you can get some variation with tuning and muffling.

3. What Brand?

This is such a personal choice decision--and there are many choices.

One of my students just bought a
Mapex MP5295 Meridian Maple
set which is very impressive.

Gretsch makes this set which is also a very good set and you get a free 2nd floor tom: Gretsch MCE825PT Catalina Maple 6-Piece

I am extremely impressed by Drum Workshop products. You can go to the site and use the "Kit Builder" to design your own set.

Of course, there is always Pearl and Ludwig. Personally I would stay away from Tama and Yamaha, but that is just my own opinion. The best thing to do is go and play a LOT of sets and see which one "grabs" you. Then you can compare online prices and go from there.

Hope this has been helpful!

By the way, have you checked out our Almost Free Drum Tabs?

These are quality drum tab presented in traditional notation. They are guaranteed accurate and easy to read.

Once you experience these tabs, you will never want to go back to the inaccurate and difficult to read tabs that you find free on the internet. You can even order custom made drum tabs for ANY song!


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Aug 31, 2015
by: Anonymous

Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I'm impressed! Extremely useful information particularly the last part :) I care for such info much. I was seeking this particular info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

May 10, 2011
Which Drums
by: colleen

GMS - local company - Farmingdale

Dec 04, 2009
Why not Yamaha?
by: Russ


Why do you not like Yamaha drums?



Hi, Russ--

It is just a personal preference. I actually do not favor any instruments made by Yamaha. I think that maybe they spread themselves too thin by making so many different instruments and the quality is not up to that of companies who specialize. Again, this is just my opinion.


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