If you are a beginner drummer interested in drum set accessories or looking for gifts for the drummer in your life, this article will help!
There are many drum set accessories available, and we have outlined ten popular options below - some are fun, and some are just practical. Some are a few dollars, and some are a little more. Before we dive in, don't forget our free glossary is available to help with unfamiliar terms.
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1. Sticks, brushes, and rods.
Our blog on buying your first drum set highlighted that drum sticks might not be included with your purchase. It's like getting an electronic gadget for your birthday and discovering that batteries are not included! This article can help you with your selection, and it is always a good idea to buy some spares because sticks can break. Also, buying a pair of brushes or rods (the latter being sticks made up of multiple thin dowels of wood) can give you some interesting options for experimenting with different sounds.
2. Stick bags or stick holders.
You need somewhere to put your sticks, brushes, and rods. Stick bags usually open and close with a zip and often have hooks so that you can attach them to your floor tom. Deluxe stick bags are oversized for increased capacity, and feature shoulder carry straps and mini compartments for spares and accessories. Stick holders are different. These are devices that clamp to your hi-hat stand (or nearby cymbal stand) and allow you to reach for a spare stick in the event of any drumming mishaps like broken sticks or the errant drum stick that you threw in the air and didn't return as planned. (Yes, it happens to all of us when doing our best Neil Peart impressions).
Let's face it - spares are not particularly exciting, so we often overlook them. That is until we realize that we have forgotten a hi-hat clutch, damaged a drum-head, lost some cymbal felts, or we experience the classic situation of lost wing nuts from cymbal stands. Yes, these are all the delights of packing and unpacking your drums, and you will be glad that you picked up some spares! Specialist drum stores and popular online retailers will stock these parts, but don't be surprised if general music stores do not. While looking at spares, you might want to pick up a couple of extra drum keys, as these are easily lost, and you will find it impossible to tune drums and adjust bass drum beaters without them!
4. Music stand.
Once you have experienced a stiff neck from trying to read the music you sticky taped to the wall or placed on your floor tom, you will quickly understand the value of a real music stand. They are height adjustable, easily positioned to sit conveniently above your hi-hat stand, and the "Conductor" models are usually bigger to accommodate multiple pages. It's also a convenient place to rest your metronome or smartphone. We recommend the Conductor models - they are sturdy and less delicate than the collapsible/foldable models you may have seen at school. You can also buy some cool LED lights that clip to the stand!
5. Sound dampening pads.
Yes - they don't make much sound and won't be a feature of your drum solo, but your neighbors and fellow family members will love you at times when they may not want to hear you. It also means that you can practice while keeping the noise to a minimum. You may also want to pick up a practice pad to work on your technique when you cannot access a drum set. You can read our blog on sound control for more information.
If you want to support your brand with pride or tell the world you are a drummer, you might consider the extensive collection of available drum apparel! T-Shirts, hats, hoodies, sports towels, key chains, jackets, and gloves are all commonly available. Slightly more off-the-wall but extremely fun include baby onesies and jumpsuits, dog collars, dog tags, bandanas, ID/lanyard holders, wallets, and car stickers. Seemingly, if you can slap a logo on it, those cunning marketers will happily oblige!
7. Tuition books and DVDs.
There are some fantastic books available to feed your hunger for drum knowledge. Whether you are looking for a tuition book, a biography on a famous drummer, a history of the drum set, or a transcription of a favorite album - there will most likely be a book that suits your needs. There is also an extensive library of performance and instructional DVDs available, although most of this media has inevitably appeared online.
If you have read our blog on timekeeping, you will already understand the importance of working with a metronome. There are online options and various metronome apps for your smartphone, but if you want to go old-school and get a digital metronome, most music stores and online retailers stock them. The prices can vary from $15 for a basic model to $100 for a more advanced model, usually having more volume and preset functions.
9. Mountable hand percussion.
It's fun to experiment with hand percussion, and certain items come with brackets and an optional mount so that you can attach them to your cymbal stands. Popular choices include cowbells, tambourines, and effect blocks. We all know the world needs more cowbell, and this is your chance to deliver!
10. Drum tuner.
As a beginner drummer, you will be new to drum tuning and the nuances involved in making your drums sound good. Books and instructional DVDs have been dedicated to this field. Nowadays, there are plenty of good online tutorials too. Yet, it still takes time and a good deal of trial and error to get tuning right. Fortunately, some drum tuning devices can simplify the process and get us a quick and accurate tuning once we know how to use them properly. We discuss some of these options in our blog on getting a great drum sound from your starter drum set!
Buying drums and accessories does open up a can of worms that can be endless! There is always room for expansion on your drum set and a new cool addition that you either need or want. It's all part of the fun and wonder of drumming.
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