If you are thinking about buying your first drum set and are overwhelmed with the choices available at stores like Musician's Friend and J&R Music and Computer World, there are some tips that can help you purchase your first drum set. There are many things to consider; the tips below will ensure that you get the drums that will offer everything you need to grow as a musician.

Make Sure the Drum Kit Is Complete

Your drum set should come with five drums: a bass drum, a snare drum, two mounted tom toms and a floor tom. There should be four cymbals included in the set: a 20" ride cymbal, 16" crash cymbal and two 14" hi hat cymbals. Some of the cymbal packs only come with three cymbals, so be sure that the pack you purchase has all four. You might see where some cymbals mention they have two functions such as crash/ride, but there is no effective way for one cymbal to take the place of two. You can get the cymbals in student packs, and while these are not the top of the line, they will still offer adequate sound.

Make Sure You Have the Hardware You Need

The hardware for your drum kit will include stands and pedals. You should purchase at least a medium to professional quality bass drum pedal. If the kit that you are buying comes with a lower grade pedal, ask about an upgrade; it will be worth the extra money. You will also need stands for the snare drum, hit hat and two other cymbal stands. Mounts will be needed for the tom toms and of course a drum throne for you to sit and make awesome music.

Where to Buy the Drum Set

Be sure that you are buying the drum set from a music store that you trust. Many people will buy their first set used from the newspaper or online classifieds, and that is a fine way to save some money, but it is recommended that you purchase your first set from a retailer that can ensure you have the best quality for your money.

What To Spend on the Drum Set

The rule of thumb for this is to stick to the ability you have and of course leave room for growth, but don't overpay for a set that you don't need (at least just yet). Many of the components, such as cymbals or pedals, can be upgraded as you need them to be. The ones that you purchase with the drum kit will be sufficient and offer adequate sound until that day comes when you have mastered the instrument. The main thing when purchasing a drum kit is to ensure that it has everything you need and offers the sound quality that you want.