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Great Woods For Drum Kits by Thaddeus W Johnson



There's no doubt about it, drum kits made from quality woods produce incredible sounds. Depending on the type of wood, you may experience warm resonant tones or short sustains on your drum kit. Two of the best woods that you'll find in Yamaha, Gretsch, Ludwig, Tama, Pearl, and DW drums are birch and maple. Though there are other types of woods used such as oak, beech, African bubinga, mahogany, walnut, and cherry, the majority of drum sets are manufactured with birch or maple.

Birch and maple drumsets

Play a kit made of birch and experience great tonal qualities. This is the wood of choice for sounds requiring high frequencies, warm mids, and a good low end. If you're looking for a drum set with deeper lows with even mid and high frequencies, then maple is the way to go. Each wood is superior in quality and will deliver what is necessary for required applications.

Wood thickness and characteristics

Aside from the woods themselves, the number of piles definitely have an effect on the projection of the drum set by the exchange of energy from the attack on the drumhead. There are three different wood thicknesses for the kit and each exhibiting their own characteristics.

Drumming on a set of 4 ply shells (thin), you'll find that it does well for recording and close encounters such as clubs and small venues. The tones are sharp and the shells have higher vibration qualities. Try a kit of 6 ply shells (medium) and experience an all-around set that can be applied anywhere. There's greater projection and less shell vibration. The 8 and 10 ply (thick) shells of a drum set are heavily favored for large venues, outdoor and indoor, because of their ideal projection and response. Those are the standard shell thicknesses, though they can be custom-made to order.

Cost

The price of each drum set with it's specified shell thickness will vary from one manufacturer to another. You might expect higher cost for a custom-made kit.

Type of music

One might take into consideration when purchasing a set of drums the type of music to be performed. This is an important step in determining the ply thickness of the shells. Thick shells would be ideal for heavy metal and rock. Medium ply will work well for all types of music. Use thin plies for a kit to play jazz and easy listening music.

Which shell thickness do pro drummers choose?

There are so many different types of music as are the many drummers, and pro alike, that have their own preferences of shell thickness. Pro drummers are aware of the characteristics of the shell plies and apply that to the make-up of their kit. The rules are not cut in stone of how these drummers make their choices, but knowing the characteristics is a strong starting point.

The right set for you

Make an intelligent decision when purchasing a drum set by knowing these 3 points: (1) type of wood, (2) wood thickness and characteristics, and (3) the type of music to be played. With these attributes in mind, you'll have the confidence in choosing the right set.

About the Author:
Thaddeus W. Johnson is a drum teacher providing tips and valuable info of the best drum sets such as the Tama drum set and woods for drum sets.

C 2006 Thaddeus W Johnson


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