The world has progressed to a point where we can buy all our drum gear without ever stepping foot in a music store. While it’s incredibly convenient, buying drums online is a bit daunting if you’ve never done it before.
You may be wary of buying drums online if you haven’t sat down and tried out yourself. However, many drummers follow a process of buying gear online that leaves them happy with the end result.
In this article, we’re going to look at what the process is of buying drums online, as well as name a few of the best online gear stores to purchase drumming equipment from.
The Process of Buying Drums Online
Once you start shopping for drums, you’ll find that you do a similar thing every time you buy something. Buying a drum set online is going to typically be a large purchase, so you should take your time with it and make sure you’re making the right decision.
The process will normally look like this.
The great thing about an online gear store compared to a walk-in music store is the sheer number of options that you’re given. You can browse through pages of drum sets, deciding which ones you like and which ones you don’t.
This is fantastic as you can either find a few drum sets that you like and decide which one is the best, or you can find an online store that has the specific kit that you’re looking to get.
If the store doesn’t have the kit you’re looking for, you can phone a salesman and ask if they can source it.
Certain music stores are known to stock certain types of drum gear, so you may not have as many choices with one as you would with another. However, the benefit of shopping online is that you can easily just look through all the online stores to see what options are there.
The biggest downside to shopping online is that you can’t demo the products for yourself. Nothing beats the feeling of playing a crash cymbal at a music store and then deciding to take it home with you.
The online space hasn’t been able to recreate that feeling, but the convenience factor of buying online has somewhat made up for it!
Most drums and cymbals have several demo videos floating around the Internet for you to watch, allowing you to see what all the gear sounds and looks like.
When buying a drum kit online, you should watch different demo videos where drummers are playing the kit with varying mic setups and tunings to get a full overview of what you’re about to buy.
Make sure to watch ones without studio-quality audio as many demos have mics around the kit and don’t give a true representation of what the kit sounds like out the box.
Once you watch the drum gear being demoed in different settings and configurations, you’ll have a fairly good idea of what it sounds like.
Ordering and Receiving the Drums
Now that you’ve done the hard yards, you can place an order. This part is quite simple as you just pay for the drum gear and opt to send it to a delivery address. Depending on where you live and order it from, the delivery can take a few days or a few weeks to arrive.
Drum sets that are delivered from online stores are packed into boxes and sent to you. They need to keep the drums as safe and as minimal as possible for the delivery, so you’re going to receive a few boxes that have all the drums stripped down to the bare bones inside.
Setting up hoops, shells, lugs, and hardware can be a bit confusing if you’ve never done it before. There are a few YouTube videos out there that will help you with the setup.
You can also call customer support if you need any help with your order. On a side note, customer support from all the online retailers can help you choose drum sets as well.
Where to Buy Drums Online
While there are dozens of successful online gear stores, the best place to buy drum sets would be from the stores I’m about to mention. They all have wildly positive reviews, and each of them is a favorite of many drummers.
Sweetwater is the top choice. If you’re looking where to buy drums online, Sweetwater will most probably come up first in your search. It’s such a great company that has a huge reputation for having excellent customer service.
The layout of the website is very easy and clear to understand. You can see all the drum gear they have on offer, and most of the drum items have a few reviews from other people who purchased them to read.
The main drum product demonstrator is Nick D’Virgilio. There are hundreds of videos on YouTube of him giving detailed overviews of drum sets. No other online store has such extensive content.
Plus they also have salesmen who can do their best to help you out with whatever drum gear advice you need.
The company seems to be getting bigger and bigger every day, and that is pure evidence of how high-quality their service is. You can’t go wrong with Sweetwater!
- The best online music retailer
- The best prices, plus free shipping with almost every order
- Elaborate demo videos for most drum kits
Musician’s Friend is another highly popular option to go with. They stock an extensive number of drums and cymbals, giving you a huge library of choices.
One cool thing about this store is that they do a thing called “Stupid Deal of the Day”. They put a lucrative discount on one item every day, and occasionally it’s a drum kit. So, it helps to check the page every day to see what it is.
You can also become a Rewards member to get free shipping and a few dollars off all your purchases.
They also have decent customer support, but it’s not as good as Sweetwaters.
- Stupid Deal of the Day has massive discounts
- Become a Rewards member for free shipping
- Good customer support
Amazon doesn’t need any introduction. It’s the most popular online store in the world, so you’ve probably bought items from there already. It’s a great place to buy drum gear, as they stock almost everything you can think of.
However, you’re not going to receive any advice from drum experts. You can’t phone anyone for advice about what drum gear you’re about to buy. So, Amazon is better to buy small items that you can’t find anywhere else.
If you’re a beginner drummer, you should also check out all the cheaper kits on Amazon. Those kits don’t get sold by the popular gear stores.
- Stocks most drum gear on the market
- Great for buying small items in bulk
- Has cheap kits that aren’t available anywhere else
Reverb is the best place to buy used drum gear. It’s the most popular online store to find incredible deals, so it’s always a good place to look whenever you’re thinking of buying drum gear online. You can also buy brand new drum gear there, but most people go there to find used gear.
Buying used gear from people directly is often a bit risky, especially if you’re making a deal with a stranger. So, a site like Reverb offers you safety and security from buying cheaper drum gear online.
They have a great buying process. It works the same way it would when you buy from the other main stores, except the drum gear you’re buying will be much cheaper because it’s used.
Reverb is another online store that you should check daily to what amazing deal you may be able to score.
- Great for buying used drum gear
- Safest and most secure place to acquire used gear
- Has amazing deals
You’re going to find the cheapest deals on eBay on used gear, with drums being sold directly from the previous owners.
Sites like Reverb will still try to make a profit from used gear whereas eBay will often have people desperately trying to offload their used gear.
The great thing about eBay is that you can bargain and negotiate prices with the sellers. You just need to be cautious of who you’re buying from and take safety into account when you’re getting your gear delivered.
- Has the cheapest used gear available
- You can negotiate prices
- You can sell your own gear
Potential Additions When Buying Drums Online
Unless you’re buying a fully equipped entry-level drum set, you’re going to need to buy a few extra things along with your drum set. Be ready for the price of the kit to be a bit bigger because of these.
Most stock drum heads aren’t amazing. The drum manufacturers typically save on cost here by supplying mediocre heads. The best way to make your new drum kit sound the best it can is to purchase a new set of heads to come with it.
You can typically buy heads in packs. The best thing to do is to buy a tom pack and then carefully select a snare drum head to go along with those tom heads.
If you’re buying a shell pack, you’ll need to purchase a set of hardware to be able to set the drum kit up.
Only entry-level and some intermediate kits come with hardware, so it’s very possible that you’re going to need a set of hardware.
Thankfully, many drum companies sell hardware packs, making it a bit easier and cheaper to get a full set.
Similar to getting hardware, you’re going to need to buy a set of cymbals if you’re only buying a shell pack. Be careful when choosing cymbals as they have the potential to cost more than the drum kit itself.
The best thing to do when buying a full drum kit is to get a cymbal pack. Cymbal packs are cheaper than buying individual cymbals. They also supply you with every cymbal you need to have a full drum kit setup.
Unfortunately, in-person music stores are not as successful as they used to be thanks to the rise of online shopping.
You may find that your local music store doesn’t have what you’re looking for in stock. So, you’ll need to look online to get the exact drum gear you need.
Gear stores like Sweetwater will make you feel at ease when you’re looking to buy drums online. It has become such an easy process, and you’ll probably find that you’ll do it more often after your first online purchase.
Just remember to do extensive research beforehand so that you know what the drums that you’re buying sound and look like. You have to somehow supplement the experience of going into a store and trying the drums out for yourself.