May 04, 2015
Pads, Stools, and Sticks: Beyond the Drum Set
So, you just bought your child a drum set. Now what? Even if you can’t imagine spending another cent on the drums at this point in time, there are a number of drum accessories and tools that will make learning (and playing!) the drums easier on you and your child. At the end of the day, you don’t need every expensive accessory or toy available on the market, but there are a few items that are almost a necessity. From drum pads and stools to sticks and gig bags, here are a few essential drum accessories for every new drummer.
Did you know that drums need to be tuned? Over time, and especially as the seasons change, the heads of a drum set expand or contract. As the shape of the drum heads change, so does the sound produced. You never know what kind of tuning situation your child will run into at a gig or during practice, so it’s essential that they carry around spare drum keys. Additionally, drum keys are also needed to loosen memory locks on the drum hardware. Throw a drum key into your child’s stick bag, gig bag and, for good measure, their pocket so they always have the option to tune their drum set.
Carpet or Rug
If you’ve ever seen a drummer’s practice space firsthand, you’ve likely noticed that they place a rug or carpet underneath their set. Not only does this prevent the drum set from moving during use, but it’ll help protect your tile or hardwood from damage. Although some companies manufacture drum carpets and rugs that are made specifically for drum sets, spending the additional cash on this type of rug isn’t necessary. If you have an old rug or spare pieces of carpet taking up space in your attic, pull it out and place it underneath your child’s drum set- your floor will thank you!
Unlike some instruments, being a drummer means working with a lot of different tools. From drum heads that need to be tightened to pedals that need adjusting, there’s almost always a part of their drum set that a drummer needs to tighten, loosen, adjust, or replace. With a nifty all-in-one drummer’s tool, your child will have access to all the tools they need in one handy tool. Since many of these drummer’s tools come with a limited warranty, they can get the tool replaced if any of the pieces break, stop working, or go missing within the specified time period, so keep your receipt and paperwork.
As a parent, you understand that practice is an important part of the learning process. But, what if your child’s practice time coincides with your newborn baby’s naptime? Whether you live in an area with noise restrictions or just prefer to keep a quiet household, finding the perfect time for your child to practice the drums isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. Fortunately, any time can be a good time with drum pads– a practice tool that’s designed to soften the sound of a drum set. As an added bonus, many professional grade drum pads have a realistic bounce and come in multiple sizes.
If you’ve ever sat in an uncomfortable chair, you’re familiar with the back pain a poorly constructed chair can cause. Unfortunately, many drum thrones can cause that same exact pain. If you’re concerned about your child’s health and safety, consider purchasing them a drum throne. When purchasing a drum stool for your child, keep an eye out for a lot of padding, a die-cast memory lock, and double-braced legs. Although heavily padded, well-built drum stools are more expensive than their entry-level alternatives, investing one could prevent your child from having back problems down the line.
Once your child starts performing at recitals or clubs, the sound environment will vary from place to place. As a result, the sound your child’s drumset produces may be radically different than what they’re used to hearing. Sometimes it can be helpful for them to wear earplugs. Additionally, if your child enjoys playing high-volume music at home, earplugs can help protect their hearing while they practice or jam with friends. If you’re concerned about your own hearing, buy a spare set of earplugs for yourself and the rest of your family. While earplugs aren’t a necessity for drummers, they’re a great option to have.
One word of advice: your child can never have too many drumsticks. Whether they’re already performing in front of a live audience or are still in the practicing stage, spare drumsticks are a must. Most professionals have a pair they use as their primary set, and carry 1-2 spare sets with them wherever they go. While you’re at it, purchase them a bag as well. This can be where they keep all their extra drum kit parts so they’re not scattered around your home. Also, many drummers carry a selection of sticks, like brushes or mallets, in case they end up playing in a quieter environment than anticipated.
You just spent a lot of money on a drum set for your child, and the last thing you want is for your child to break or damage it accidentally. Especially important for drummers who are constantly transporting their gear from place to place, drum and cymbal cases will protect your child’s drum set from harm. Even if your child doesn’t transport their drum set, or doesn’t plan to anytime soon, a drum case can still be used for storage around the home. For example, if you’re going on vacation or need to clean the space, simply place the drums in their respective drum case to protect them from dust, damage, and exposure to the elements.
Need a kit too? Check out our Drum Kit Buyers Guide.
Want more info about snare drums? Check out this video: