KamloopsDrumConnection.com and You!
BEFORE YOU PURCHASE A DRUM:
- Know what you should be paying for your drum
- Know about quality in drum skins and wood & their impact on the sound & on your health
- Know what a tuned drum feels like and sounds like
- Know what type of drum body makes for a good investment
- Know what size, height, and weight is good for your body
- Know where to shop for a quality drum
CHECK OUT THE INFO BELOW FOR INFO ON DRUMS
DRUM $: You will usually get what you pay for when you buy a drum. A professional large to extra-large drum ranges from 400 – 800 dollars. A beginner medium-sized drum is a minimum of $150 – $350.
PREP WORK: Before buying a drum, it’s very important that you learn how to play a djembe. It’s important you learn how to hold your hands so you can play a rim, tone, bass, and slap sound. You want to know how to play about three drum testing rhythms on the djembe so you can hear the pitches and hear what your djembe should have as an instrument. Learn what to look for that says don’t buy this drum, and what says yes this drum has quality. Know what kind of sound you want, wait for that sense that says, “Ahhhh, that’s my drum!”
DRUM STOOL: Your armless & portable stool or chair (light to carry) should allow you to sit comfortably with your arms and thighs almost horizontal/parallel to the ground or floor. Your back should be comfortable; you may want a chair with a back rest. A pillow (or drum bag) under your back bum cheeks will allow your spine to align.
Canadian Tire has lollipop style stools or ones with backs – black and white ones, 10 – 20 dollars for a light folding chair. The folding stool with a back looks great and has that bit of back support. An example of this stool is shown below on the left side of the picture.
WHERE TO BUY A DRUM:
- KNOW WHAT TO LOOK AND LISTEN FOR BEFORE YOU PURCHASE
- Check all music stores and cultural stores. Check online for the list of all music stores wherever you are living. Think of stores, online sales groups, and thrift stores and cultural stores. Kamloops – Long and McQuade, Lee’s Music, Golden Buddha, Penny Pinchers, The Smorgasbord Deli -1000 Villages
- You need to check out prices in many places because some non music stores do not have a realistic price on the drum. They are sometimes $200 more than what they should be valued at.
- Purchase drums through connections with Raven and drum teachers in Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, and Penticton
- Make sure you know the return policy and the guarantee time on the drum. Get something in writing.
- You may want to get a drummer to try the drum with you.
- Ask if you can have the drum for a few days to figure out if you like the sound and want to keep it.
- Most stores have a month return policy.
- The warranty on drums do vary. Get something in writing.
DRUM RENTALS: See Long and McQuade Music Store, ~ $15 – $18 / month, prices will change
DRUM CRITERIA TO THINK ABOUT WHILE YOU ARE SHOPPING:
- WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR DRUM, ARE YOU A SERIOUS DRUMMER AND WANT TO LEARN IT ALL OR DO YOU WANT TO GO TO DRUM CIRCLES ONLY NOW AND THEN AND CONNECT WITH A DRUM ONCE IN A WHILE? THIS INFO WILL LIKELY DICTATE WHAT YOU WANT TO SPEND ON A DRUM.
- YOU SHOULD GET A DJEMBE THAT HAS A HEAD BIG ENOUGH TO FIT TWO ADULT HANDS ON THE DRUM
- YOUR INVESTMENT IN A DJEMBE IS THE BODY/WOOD OF THE DRUM, THAT’S THE MOST EXPENSIVE PART OF THE DRUM
- THERE SHOULD BE NO CRACKS IN THE WOOD
- THERE ARE MANY TYPES OF DJEMBE WOOD AND MANY PROCESSES ARE USED TO MAKE DJEMBES. AFRICAN DJEMBES ARE ONE UNIT OF NATURAL WOOD AND ARE NOT PIECED. THEY ARE MADE OF NATURAL AFRICAN WOOD AND A PRO DRUM IS HEAVY AND MADE OF A HARD WOOD SUCH AS MAHOGANY
- YOU CAN STILL BUY AN AFRICAN DRUM WITH A LIGHTER WOOD BUT THE SOUND WILL BE A BIT DIFFERENT
- THE WOOD BARREL OF THE DRUM IS CLEAN, NO SAWDUST EVIDENCE OF BUGS SHOULD BE SEEN,
- THE WOODEN NECK OF THE DJEMBE, BETWEEN THE STEM AND THE BARREL SHOULD BE THE SIZE OF A FISTED HAND,THE AIR IS RELEASED AND THE SOUND RESONATES BETTER
- A NATURAL (African), NON BLEACHED GOAT SKIN HEAD IS BETTER FOR YOUR HANDS, WHITER DRUM HEAD SKINS HAVE HAD MORE CHEMICALS AND THE BOUNCE BACK /RESPONSE IS NOT AS NATURAL, YOUR HANDS MAY GET SORE AFTER A WHILE. THE SKIN MAY BE THINNER
- IS THE DRUM SKIN SMOOTH, NO UNCOMFORTABLE SPOTS SHOULD BE PRESENT, YOU CAN ALWAYS SHAVE OFF UNWANTED HAIR, SEE A DJEMBE MASTER FOR THIS TECHNIQUE
- THERE MUST BE NO PINHOLES IN THE SKIN, HOLD THE DRUM (they’re heavy!) UP TO THE LIGHT, LOOK INSIDE THE BARREL TO LOOK FOR PIN HOLES ON THE SKIN
- THE DRUM HEAD SHOULD HAVE A TIGHT SKIN, WHEN YOU PUSH DOWN ON THE HEAD OF THE DRUM WITH YOUR FINGER TIP. THE SKIN SHOULD NOT DEPRESS MUCH, THIS MEANS YOUR DRUM IS TUNED
- THE DRUM SHOULD HAVE A PITCH YOU ENJOY ON THE RIM AND ON YOUR TONE SOUND AND SLAP. A PRO DRUM WILL HAVE A BELL SOUND WHEN YOU VARY YOUR PLAYING HAND AND FINGERS ON THE RIM. THE TONE SOUND AND BASS SOUND SHOULD BE ONE YOU ENJOY.
- DO NOT BUY A DRUM THAT HAS TOO MUCH OF A METAL SOUNDING TONE ON THE RIM, YOUR DRUM MAY SOUND OUT OF PLACE WITH A GROUP. A BELL SOUND IS GOOD ON THE RIM – BUT NOT A METAL SOUND
- DRUMS CAN HAVE A HEART SOUND ON THE BASS WHICH IS THE FRONT MIDDLE OF THE DRUM, BUT THE HUM SHOULD NOT CARRY LONG OTHERWISE THIS INTERFERES WITH THE LAYERING OF RHYTHMS WITH OTHERS
- THE HANDLE ON THE DRUM SHOULD HAVE ENOUGH ROPE ON THE DRUM TO ALLOW YOU TO HAVE THE DRUM TUNED IF NEEDED
- GET A DRUMMER TO PLAY THE DRUM TO SEE WHAT IT WILL SOUND LIKE WHEN YOU GET GOOD AT DRUMMING
- CHECK THE RIM DROP OF THE DRUM ON THE HEAD TO MAKE SURE IT IS COMFORTABLE AND TALL ENOUGH TO MAKE A GOOD COMFORTABLE SLAP SOUND
- MAKE SURE THE RIM DOESN’T HAVE A SHARP EDGE, IT NEEDS TO BE ROUNDED
- THE RIM AREA SHOULD BE SMOOTH, FREE OF SHARP DRUM SKIN AND OF LUMPY ROPES ON THE RIM
- CHECK THE HEIGHT OF THE DRUM FOR YOUR BODY, WILL IT SIT ON THE FLOOR ON ITS FRONT EDGE WITH IT BEING HELD BETWEEN YOUR KNEES. IF NOT -, CHECK TO SEE IF YOU CAN YOU HOLD YOUR DRUM BETWEEN YOUR KNEES BECAUSE IT’S LIGHT ENOUGH TO HOLD OFF THE FLOOR
- THE DRUM SHOULD BE ALMOST 2 INCHES ABOVE YOUR THIGHS WHEN YOUR PLAY, ONE FIST HIGH ABOVE YOUR THIGHS, THE DRUM SHOULD BE NOT TOO TALL AND NOT TOO SHORT
- CAN YOU CARRY A HEAVY DRUM, THINK OF THE WEIGHT YOU’D PACK AROUND AND BE MOVING
- SOME NATURAL FIBERS IN THE ROPE MAKE IT EASIER ON THE HANDS AND THEY GRAB BETTER FOR A HOLD BETWEEN THE LEGS RATHER THAN STRAIGHT NYLON
- A TUNABLE DRUM WITH THE METAL PEGS ARE A LITTLE HARDER TO HOLD BETWEEN THE KNEES
CARING FOR YOUR DRUM:
- PROTECT YOUR DRUM, DRUM BAGS ARE AN EXCELLENT INVESTMENT
- KNOW HOW TO CARRY A DRUM, THE HEAD SHOULD BE IN FRONT OF YOUR BODY AND HUGGED TO YOUR CHEST WHEN GOING THROUGH A DOOR SO THERE’S NO CHANCE OF YOU HITTING THE DRUM ON A CORNER
- WATCH FOR EXTREME TEMPERATURES, NO EXTREME HEAT, COLD, OR MOISTURE, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DRUM IN A CAR, NO QUICK CHANGE IN TEMP, THE SKIN MAY CRACK
- LET THE DRUM WARM UP SLOWLY IF COMING FROM A COLD CAR ETC., OPEN UP THE DRUM BAG LID ONLY, LATER TAKE IT OUT PART WAY ETC.
- WARM UP YOUR DRUM WITH YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU PLAY
- NATURAL BODY OILS FROM YOU HANDS SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR THE DRUM SKIN, A SMALL DAB OF NAURAL SHEA BUTTER RUBBED ON YOUR HANDS, THEN RUBBED MINIMALLY ON THE SKIN IS FINE, YOU DO NOT WANT A STICKY DRUM SKIN
- DO NOT CLEAN YOUR DRUM SKIN WITH CLEANERS, USE WATER ON A DAMP CLOTH IF NEEDED AND WIPE OFF MOISTURE