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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Choosing a Beginner's Instr.

12. The Drums

After the piano, the drum kit represents the biggest investment for the first time buyer, the common kit comprising of 5 pieces: kick drum, snare drum and 3 toms usually including a floor tom, and then there’s the ‘hi-hat’ and other cymbals, stand and pedals etc. It is the standard backing instrument in many genres of music including rock, soul, jazz and latin, and together with the
BassThe lowest part of the audio frequency range; in popular music, a (generally) rhythmic, low frequency melodic line emphasising the root notes of the chord progression.
bass
guitar makes up the ‘rhythm section’. If choosing the drums, make sure that your circumstances allow you the opportunity to practise and play with other musicians, as playing drums only by yourself is not so much fun! Drum kits start from around £300, and will often include the necessary stands, pedals and cymbals, but do check! Playing cymbals wears out sticks quickly, so it’s a good idea to buy several pairs (5A is a good weight to start with), and if you plan to move your kit around, you will need a set of cases.

The drum kit is the loudest of all instruments. Although the sound can be damped somewhat by using practise
Pad1) An attenuation switch found on many microphones and mixing desks, allowing a signal to be attenuated by one or more fixed amounts, such as -10 or -20dB. 2) A soft, sustained sound used in arranging or sequencing as an unobtrusive harmonic backdrop. This may be a synth sound or a natural sound, typically strings.
pads
that are placed over the drumheads and around the cymbals, it will still be a lot noisier than a flute! Alternatives to
DampTo reduce vibrations - in music this usually refers to the technique of reducing an instrument's vibrations and overtones by touching it in some way, to shorten the length of the note and deaden the timbre of the sound. For example, a percussionist may place the palm of his hand on the skin of a kettle drum, or a guitarist might use the wrist of his plectrum hand to rest against the strings. Also used to describe the effects of acoustic treatment.
damping
are the electronic drum kit, which can be used with headphones, and practise-specific ‘rhythm coach’
Pad1) An attenuation switch found on many microphones and mixing desks, allowing a signal to be attenuated by one or more fixed amounts, such as -10 or -20dB. 2) A soft, sustained sound used in arranging or sequencing as an unobtrusive harmonic backdrop. This may be a synth sound or a natural sound, typically strings.
pads
. Keep in mind though that you will need to play an acoustic kit at least part of the time if you want to develop the best technique.

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