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  • A percussionist is someone who specializes in playing instruments that require hitting or scraping. These instruments may include the konga, cajón, bass drum, bongo, timpani, marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, bells, chimes, triangle, tambourine, and other such things.
    June 08, 2021
  • Since the first "rhythm machine" (the "Rhythmicon") was invented in 1932, people have sought out a way to overlay their music with loop-based percussion parts. While the first machines could only play a limited number of rhythms, such as mambo or tango, the modern-day drum machine is loaded with thousands of preset rhythms, as well as specialized sounds to help the producer or DJ realize a finished track. Some drum machines are also samplers, allowing the user to create their own sounds and trigger them from the pads. The things to look out for in drum machines are the quality of the sound, of course, but also how easy and fun it is to use in practice. When shopping for a drum machine, questions arise such as, how responsive are the pads themselves, how intuitive is the screen interface, and what are the connectivity options in terms of a larger rig? All of the best drum machines in 2022 below satisfy the core requirements of a functional drum machine, but they differentiate themselves because of the answer to those questions, as well as the quality of sound.
    March 02, 2018
  • The snare drum stand is an important piece of hardware which, as its name implies, holds the snare drum in place. A drummer’s snare drum takes a lot of abuse as it’s usually hit a bit harder than other drums, and therefore these stands needs to be of the best quality. Snare drum stands usually come in two different heights which are drum set and concert height. Drum set height stands are meant to be played from a seated position while playing drum set. Concert height stands are meant to be played while standing, often in an orchestral setting. Obviously, drummers should look for a drum set height snare drum stand if they primarily play drum set. My picks for best snare drum stand are all drum set height stands, as concert height stands have been excluded from this list.The most important feature of the snare drum stand is the design of the “basket” on top of the stand which holds the drum in place with three arms. The stands on this list have great baskets that are easily adjusted and don’t require excessive turning of the wrist. The “tilter” device is a mechanism allowing the drum angle to be adjusted and our selections all have durably constructed tilters which can be adjusted to any angle you need.These picks od the best snare stands in 2022 are also height adjustable and don’t take up a lot of room with excess parts. Sometimes you’ll have to adjust your snare drum to a variety of angles in the middle of a gig or recording session, so all of these picks feature systems for making quick and easily adjustable. The way your snare drum sounds says a lot about you as a drummer, and I have chosen stands that allow the drum to ring properly. These picks are all durable stands from the best hardware manufacturers in the industry and are made with parts which won’t fall apart on you.
    April 08, 2016
  • Because of their technological capabilities and the simple fact they’re quiet, electronic drum sets are becoming very popular. A drummer can plug in a pair of headphones and practice without disturbing neighbors or parents with a lot of noise. And with the added technological components, you’re buying not only a musical instrument but a mini-computer as well. Choosing the best electronic drum set doesn’t have to be complicated, especially after you’ve gone through our list of the best electronic drum sets in 2022 and our buyer’s guide provided below.
    February 02, 2016
  • Cajóns are all over the retail percussion market these days. It's to the point where competition is apparently so fierce, top manufacturers are cranking out excellent low priced models. All the finalists on this list of the best box cajons in 2022 are remarkably well balanced and diverse in sound projection and tone quality. They'll all make a great workhorse for pros or solid practice tool for beginners. The basic principle behind ranking was how close each one compares to pricier cajóns by the same leading companies. Meinl's Headliner series is clearly the best value – none come close to that kind of quality for a hundred bucks.
    February 02, 2016
  • Great skins or heads on cheap drums – okay, it may sound like a contradiction in terms, but consider this for a moment – if the issue were congas, it's, of course, a different story; but because bongos require a fraction of the wood or fiberglass that congas require, the overall sound quality depends more on the skin and the player than the drum's body or even its hardware system. So again, consider the idea of not spending hundreds on high tier bongo drums. Instead buy a pair of the cheapies featured on this list for $100, and if the diameters match, invest in some quality hide or synthetic Remos. You should grab a mirror to check out the look of pleasant surprise that'll appear on your face once you start playing! Even without high-quality heads, the bongo drums here are pretty darn decent for extremely low prices. Keep on reading to figure out the right pair for you!
    February 02, 2016
  • The sad fact is, many affordable conga drums are poorly made. They'll have cheap hardware that will easily strip and stock skins that aren't at all responsive, a pain to play especially if you're a beginner. The best congas in 2022 on this list, though, will last a long time and can take serious abuse if you're a pro who gigs a lot. The main criteria for the higher finishers was the quality of the factory-issued skins, as well as overall durability and sound quality. The top tier drums here do cost a bit more than the featured bargain models, but $300 is the "budget"-level limit.
    February 02, 2016
  • The metronome is a powerful musical learning tool and within the last few years, the technology behind it has advanced considerably. Digital metronomes are becoming more common than mechanical metronomes because of the variety of features they are equipped with. Be sure to practice with these best metronomes on a regular basis, but be sure to use the right model which will force you to think and challenge your ability to keep time. Scroll down to our metronome buyers guide for additional information to help you find the perfect model.
    February 02, 2016
  • Of any drum, the snare is the one with the most character and the main component in defining a drummer's signature sound. Most professional drummers prefer to use different drums for specific genres of music and snares are no exception. The best snare drums in 2022 are versatile enough for use with multiple genres of music with the four main genre-specific categories being rock, jazz, metal, and hip-hop. We've compiled the following lists of the best genre-specific snare drums available and provided a buyer’s guide loaded with information to help you in your search.
    January 29, 2016
  • As a drummer, I think a lot about the type of shoes that I wear when playing. I played barefoot for most of my young life. While in college, I recorded a rock album with my band in a professional studio. My first time recording,  I played barefoot for the first half hour. I decided to switch to shoes when I first heard playback as my kick drum was pretty solid, but it just wasn't consistent enough. I needed every hit to be extremely powerful, and my foot just wasn't enough by itself so from that day forward I switched to wearing a pair of shoes every time I played.There are many types of shoes that are great to wear when playing drums. Most drummers want footwear that gives them some extra power without interfering with the foots natural motion while other drummers like a thin shoe that feels like a glove for the foot. Obviously, different people prefer different feels, but there are some common characteristics that most drummers look for in a pair of shoes.We chose the following best shoes for drummers in 2022 because of their comfortable feel which will allow you to focus on playing consistent patterns and perform advanced techniques picks. These shoes are all extremely lightweight as well so your feet won’t be left feeling weighed down and sluggish when playing. Traction is also a very important consideration and while these picks allow for some sliding to perform doubles, but still have enough grip to keep your foot firmly in control of the pedals.
    January 19, 2016
  • The first time I thought about getting cases for my drums was before my first gig in high school and my rock band was booked to play a set at a local coffee shop. I had to bring my drum set to the venue, and that meant I needed some cases put my drums in while I drove them to the gig. Heading to the local drum shop, I was surprised at all the questions they had for me! Expecting the clerks to just to hand me a set of bags and a bill for $10, I actually had to go back home, measure my drums, determine what kind of bags/cases I needed, and finally borrow some money from my parents because my $10 budget just wasn’t going to cut it!There are two main types of protection for drums to consider. Hard cases are often called “cases” and soft cases are generally referred to as “bags”. Hard Cases are made of a molded plastic material with most hard case manufacturers offering the option of lining the inside of the case with protective foam. While expensive, it’s highly recommended for individuals seeking the most protection. Hard shell cases with foam lining offer the most protection of any case option because those without the foam lining don’t offer protection against scratching.Soft bags are made of a synthetic fabric or nylon material. They’re lined with padding and are typically a cheaper option than hard cases. Soft cases are also much lighter making them easy to move around. It’s important to choose cases that are appropriate and cost effective to the drums you are protecting. For example, I have hard shell cases with foam lining for my expensive drums and soft cases for my inexpensive drums.The best drum cases in 2022 can cost you about $50-100 per case, but in most situations the price of admission is worth the initial cost. I have several snare drums that are custom built and one of a kind. If they were damaged in any way, they could not be replaced. I have had some of my cases for 20 years, and they look brand new. I have quality cases for these drums. These cases have lasted countless plane rides and 2 cross country moves.It is important to measure your drums properly before you purchase cases. It is also a good idea to talk to the company or venue about things like mounting hardware and snare strainers. Sometimes these items can determine the size of the case that is needed. The actual size and weight of a case is very important for the gigging drummer. Hard cases are going to be more bulky and heavy than soft bags.We chose the following best drum cases for the superior level of protection they provide thanks to their durable construction whether hard or soft shell, their generous sizes which can comfortably accommodate most any setup. These picks are all the lightest options available which allows for easy transportation without compromising their level of protection.
    January 08, 2016
  • The bass drum beater is the part of the bass drum pedal actually striking the head, making it an important element in determining the sound and feel of a drummer’s bass drum. All bass drum pedals come with a beater but vary greatly in design, so purchasing a new bass drum beater is a great way to change the sound and feel of your existing pedal.There are several different types of bass drum beaters. They mostly vary in the type of material that strikes the head with the most common options being felt, plastic, wood, wool, and metal. There’s also beaters available which have multiple surfaces on the same beater. These types are great because you can switch the surface during a gig with one simple turn of a drum key. You can also find beaters made out of a soft synthetic fur material and look like a beater for a concert bass drum.The material the beater striking the head is what determines the sound you hear. It’s recommended you have several bass drum beaters because you’ll need to produce a different sound for each style of music you play. For example, a felt beater is good for general playing because it’s very versatile and you may usually only want to use a plastic beater when your felt beater isn’t cutting through. While plastic beaters have a “ticky” sound, they’re a bit louder than a felt beater. A wooden beater can be used for a raw, articulate, open sound that’s ideal for simulating a concert bass drum. If you’re someone who enjoys playing loud heavy metal music, look to a metal beater for your needs.These for picks for best bass drum beaters in 2022 come available in a variety of different striking materials to suit the sound you’re looking for. They’re also all constructed to be extremely durable, meaning the surface will not wear down over years of playing with them; durability is extremely important with a felt beater because it’s the most susceptible to wear from normal use. Therefore, all of my felt picks are made with quality felt that will retain their sound over time. Lastly, these picks also all have the proper balance of size and weight to ensure consistent sound every time.It is important to note we’re only focusing on beaters intended to play the drum set bass drum. These are often called “kick drum” beaters. Concert bass drum beaters that are used in the orchestra will not be discussed in this review.
    January 07, 2016
  • A practice drum pad can be a wonderful tool in developing technique and speed while at the same time allowing a drummer to practice anywhere, and not worry about making a lot of noise. A practice pad looks like a thick drumhead that a drummer can hit to simulate the feel of playing on a real drum. Most drum companies have their signature practice pad available in multiple sizes. Usually the sizes range from 6-12 inches. The most common pad surfaces are rubber, plastic, and an actual drumhead. However, it’s important to note a practice pad is only a tool for practice and not an acceptable substitute for an actual drum. While practice pads are great for practicing stick control exercises and speed building workouts, they cannot improve sound production.Recently companies have been making practice pads with multiple surfaces to simulate the feel of playing on different types of drums; for example, snare drums feel different than tom toms and often require different techniques. Therefore, some of our picks have multiple surfaces on one side while others are double-sided with a soft surface on top and a hard surface on the bottom. Most rubber surfaces are soft and are good for speed building.It’s important to note some soft pads aren’t designed to feel like a real drum, but rather are designed to help build better technique. Hard plastic surfaces are good for simulating the feel of a marching snare drum or cymbals. The actual drumhead surface does a great job of simulating an actual drum and can often be tuned to different tensions.A drummer should have several pads for practicing different techniques. It’s preferred to have multiple surfaces on a pad so one can practice multiple techniques in a given practice session. Another hallmark of a good pad are mounting options for cymbal pad stands. I usually prefer 6 inch double-sided pads for gigging. They are small and don’t take up a lot room in my stick/hardware bag. Small pads are perfect to have for a pre gig warm-up backstage and you’ll usually want to keep larger practice pads in your studio at home.We chose these best practice drum pads in 2022 for their responsiveness, drum-like feel aimed at helping you build better technique, they offer multiple playing surfaces to simulate different drums, and their overall durable construction ensures each pick will last you many years.
    January 07, 2016
  • The cymbal bag is perhaps the most important case a drummer can own as protecting one’s cymbals is usually the highest priority. It doesn’t take a lot to scratch a cymbal, so it is important to protect then during travel. Since most drummers spend a lot of money and time to find cymbals, protecting them adequately is of the utmost importance. Fortunately, there are many different cymbals bags to choose from on the market.The two main options of cymbal bags are soft and hard shell. The hard shell is usually referred to as a “case.” Hard shell cases are made of a hard plastic material and offer more protection. Soft cymbal bags are usually made out of leather or a synthetic material that is lighter and generally easier to carry. I own both hard cases, and soft bags. Soft cymbal bags are usually fine if you will be the only one handling your cymbals. Soft bags are usually easier to open, often only having a zipper. Hard cases usually require a strap or screw being undone, and the case being separated into two separate parts. This can be a hassle and can lead to a lot of time spent fussing with your cymbals. I find hard cases are better for touring and airline travel.Most cymbal bags/cases can accommodate cymbals as large as 22 inches, and that’s the size bag that I recommend. If you are one of the few people that have a 24 inch cymbal, then obviously you should purchase a bag that specifies it can hold a cymbal that large since some bags can only accommodate cymbals as large as 18 or 20 inches, which in my opinion are too small for normal use. If you don’t have a 24 inch cymbal, you shouldn’t buy a matching 24 inch soft cymbal bag. The extra room in a soft bag allows the cymbals to move around, and that leaves the door open for a lot of scratches and dings.A cymbal bag should also be as light as possible since they usually become extremely heavy when they’re loaded down with cymbals, so the bag itself should be as light as possible. When I first started playing gigs, I would always bring a cymbal bag with a shoulder strap which led to a lot of unnecessary pain in my shoulder when I’d be playing a gig. This is the reason that most of my picks have wheels. While some bags also have backpack style straps, I find these usually break from the continual heavy weight of the cymbals. Another helpful convenience is a front pouch for high-hats or sticks.These best cymbal bags in 2022 were chosen for their durable construction which provides a superior level of protection for your cymbals, generously sized interiors sizes to accommodate most cymbals, and they’ve all been designed with features which makes them convenient to transport from one gig to another.
    January 06, 2016
  • A drum throne is a fancy name for the stool that drummers sit on while they play. After all, since you’re sitting on a throne, you should feel like a king! A good drum throne will position the player in an upright and comfortable position. The three main variables that distinguish drum thrones from each other are: seat design, height adjustment mechanism, and legs; these often change within models provided by a particular company.The most important part of the throne is the padded seat (for obvious reasons) which vary by design and the amount of cushion they provide. Ideally you’ll want to have several thrones you can use for different gigs. For example, if you have an intense rock gig, you may prefer a firm seat and vice versa a soft seat for musical theater or pops concert gigs.One common seat design is a round pad that looks similar to the top of a barstool. The other design you’re likely to see is called a bicycle seat or “tractor style”, although it’s actually much wider and more comfortable than a bicycle seat. A bicycle/tractor seat design is triangular in shape, and feels drastically different than a round top. I have thrones with both seat designs and I usually use the bicycle/tractor style for longer gigs because they’re more comfortable.The seats height adjustment mechanism is sometimes hydraulic (similar to a modern office chair) with a lever that you pull to raise and lower the seat. This mechanism adjusts the quickest but it will most likely start to fail after several years of consistent use. There’s also an extended pole design similar to a cymbal stand and other pieces of drumming hardware. This design can be difficult to adjust but it’s often the easiest to set and remain level if you have a locking bracket. Finally there’s the screw type design that spins to adjust the height. In my opinion this design often moves around slightly height-wise but is more durable overall.The last variable to account for is the number of legs on a throne. Thrones typically have three, four, or even five legs which can usually be folded so the base can be neatly packed into a hardware bag. Many thrones also have a backrest that you can purchase separately and is highly recommended if you spend a lot of time playing. One thing to note is some companies are experimenting with tilting thrones but we’re going to be focusing on the traditional design for this best list.The criteria we’ve used in choosing these best drum thrones is their level of comfort, ease of adjustment, and overall durability. Comfort is important when you spend long hours practicing and playing gigs and these picks feature the perfect amount of support and padding, both the resting position and while you’re playing.Drum thrones also need to be height adjustable for obvious reasons, and all of these picks of the best drum throne in 2022 are easily adjustable; you may find yourself plating gigs that don’t allow a lot of space to get off of your throne to adjust the height so this is a key feature to have. Lastly, each of these thrones are durably constructed because who doesn’t hate situations in which you reach to pick up your throne, and the seat separates from the base?
    January 06, 2016
  • Many companies manufacture drum sets, and they each produce several different types and models. As long as you have all the necessary information, picking out a drum set can be a very fun experience. Backed by 20 years of playing experience, I've looked at current drum sets on the market and have picked out ten that I think to be of very high quality. I've also broken down the more important aspects of a set of drums in the accompanying buying guide; I talk about the different types of drums, optimal configuration, what makes up a drum set, as well as general things to keep in mind like price. I pulled information from the manufacturer's website, dozens of different reviews, as well as sourced information from myself to pick out my top ten sets of drums. Read on to pick one out for yourself!
    November 24, 2015
  • When selecting a bass drum foot pedal you have three playing styles to choose from. A single bass drum pedal allows one foot to play a single bass drum, a double bass drum pedal allows the use of both feet, and, finally, the option of two single pedals to play two separate bass drums. There are also three bass drum drive types which include the chain, strap, and direct link. If all of this information sounds a bit confusing, no need to worry— we'll go over all of this and more in our buyer's guide. Beginning players should be fine with one bass drum and a single pedal, but eventually, beginners may want to explore double bass options as today’s drummers utilize double pedals for a variety of musical genres. No matter your skill level, check out our list of the best bass drum pedals in 2022 and our buyer's guide below for more details on choosing a bass drum pedal best suited for you.
    November 23, 2015
  • Snare drums, bass drums, and toms all have heads designed specifically for great sound so it's important to choose heads matching your kits individual elements. Before purchasing a head, the diameter of the actual shell needs to be accurately measured and may require removing the rim or old drumhead. Once you’ve determined the head type and size, there are many options to choose from among various brands and specific models. Our list of the best drumheads in 2022 and our buyer’s guide below will help you navigate through the sea of choices and ultimately help you select the drumheads best suited for your needs. 
    March 17, 2015
  • Nothing is more important to a drummer than their cymbal's sound. The right cymbals will stay with you for your entire career and will always sound great. However, choosing the right cymbals can be a challenging process because every cymbal sounds different. To help you choose the right cymbals for your drumming needs, check out our list for the best cymbals in 2022 and the buyer’s guide below.
    February 23, 2015
  • Cymbal stands are the most abundant piece of hardware present in any drummer's setup. The following lists provide a selection of the best cymbal stands in 2022 for straight and boom varieties as well as the best hi-hat stands on the market. For additional information to help you in your search, check out our cymbal stand buyers guide provided below.
    January 22, 2015
  • Drums are crucial in any music, and therefore drum sticks are an integral tool you have to have on hand. Because drums make up the rhythms and beats of a song, you need the right drum sticks to get the job done. There are loads of types of drum sticks from all sorts of brands, which can make the search for the right set a challenging task. For more help selecting the best drum sticks for your style of play, check out our list for the best drumsticks in 2022 and the buyer's guide below. We've listed products and tips for every type of musician so you're bound to find the best sticks for your next gig or practice.
    January 22, 2015