Here a few more things to think about as you go drum shopping for the first time. If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can find it here.
Spend on drums, not cymbals
Especially for your first kit, get the best drums you can get. Don't worry too much about cymbals. The more you play and the more you hear, the more your taste in cymbals changes.
Also, you can get cymbals one by one, but adding an extra drum that matches your kit is potentially very expensive.
Don't worry about the heads. You'll replace them anyway
Think of the heads on the drums like tires on a car. If it's a great car but the tires are worn, you still buy the car - but maybe you negotiate a better price!
How many drums and cymbals to buy?
You don't have to get crazy. You don't want Terry Bozzio moving in, right? A standard four or five piece kit* is plenty for a beginning player.
As for cymbals, you need at least a hi-hat, a ride and a crash. Sometimes you can get a great deal on a set of drums without cymbals (as long as you get the hardware - the stands that hold everything up and together) and then get an inexpensive box-set of cymbals like this. Cymbal companies are getting innovative, though, and if you're looking for a little more bang for your buck, this is an amazing deal for a beginner.
* Only actual drums count as "pieces," not cymbals, hardware, sticks, etc. A five-piece kit usually has a bass drum, snare drum and three toms. A four piece has bass, snare and two toms. Here's a great discussion on the complete drum kit.
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Here a few more things to think about as you go drum shopping for the first time. If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can find it here....
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