Image of a drum set
If you want to breath new life into your beginner drum kit, look no further than these five, easy upgrades. Click here to read more at Dawsons Music Online

There are some easy ways to give a beginner drum kit a new lease of life…

There are some great acoustic beginner drum kit models now available. Often, however, to keep the price low, some compromises have to be made.

For a beginner, these need not be an issue. When you start to progress as a player, though, it means that you can upgrade your kit, often for a relatively low price, and give it a new lease of life.

Here are some of the best upgrades to breathe new life into your kit.

1. Fresh Set of Drum Heads

Image of drum heads

A new set of drum heads is the upgrade that usually makes the biggest difference to the sound of a beginner drum kit. This is because, on the most inexpensive kits, this is the area that is the subject of the biggest compromise.

The two main brands for drum heads are Evans and Remo, both of which make great heads in a wide variety of types. A good bet for a beginner, is often a full pack, such as this Remo Pinstripe Pro Drum Head Pack Rock. Just check that they are the right size for your kit!

2. Fresh Cymbals

Zildjian Cymbals

Due to the nature of how they are made, cymbals are almost unavoidably expensive to make. This means that on beginner drum kit models, they tend to be functional rather than ‘good’.

A good set of cymbals will do wonders for the overall sound of your kit. These days, there are some great bundles of cymbals available from all of the major manufacturers.

Don’t forget, if you add an extra cymbal, you’ll need an extra stand for it.

3. New Stool/Throne

Beginner Drum Kit Upgrades - Drum Throne

Whilst it might not have been a priority when you bought your kit, after spending extensive amounts of time sat at your kit, you’ll no doubt have realised how important a good drum stool/throne is.

Treating your, er… rear not only makes your practice sessions more comfortable, and means that you can practice for longer, it can also improve your drumming posture, and thus, your playing as a result.

Tama, Mapex and Stagg all produce some great and relatively inexpensive throne upgrades over those generally included with a beginner drum kit.

4. New Kick Drum Pedal

Beginner Drum Kit Upgrade - Drummer Playing Kick Pedal

Like cymbals, the quality of kick drum pedals included with beginner drum kit models varies wildly. Again, most tend towards ‘functional’ rather that actually being good.

Cheaper kick drum pedals are usually pretty lightweight, and break more easily than higher quality examples. Crucially, though, better pedals are more responsive and have better playing action than cheap pedals.

Plus, depending on how you play, you might want to add a double kick pedal to your set-up (rock and metal players, I’m looking in your direction…)

There are some incredible pedals available from Tama, Mapex and Essentials.

5. New Snare

Mapex MPX Maple Snare Drum 13 Inch Black

It might not be the cheapest upgrade option, but along with new cymbals, a new Snare is likely to make the most dramatic difference to the overall sound of your kit. A new snare can instantly change the sonic character of your kit, and make it sound more ‘expensive’.

Check out the excellent Mapex MPX Maple Snare Drum in our online store.

Each of these upgrades has the potential to breathe life into a basic beginner drum kit, and kick your playing up a notch as a result.

Get in touch

Check out our full range of Drum Equipment & Accessories on the Dawsons website. Alternatively, head to your nearest Dawsons Store where our in-store specialists will be more than happy to help you out.

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Jack Atherton, drummer for British singer/songwriter Jake Bugg, produced several articles for Dawsons covering all manner of drum-related issues from Drum Tuning to How to Become a Session Drummer.