As of the writing of this post, I live in an apartment. But I still want to play drums, so let me go over the set up that I have to be able to do that.
I have a Ludwig Breakbeats kit. In the video above I mention that I have the standard sizes. Those are:
kick – 16″ x 14″
tom – 10″ x 7″
floor tom – 13″ x 13″
snare – 14″ x 5″
I have Remo Silentstroke heads, and Zildjian L80 Low Volume cymbals. A pair of 14″ hi-hats and a 20″ ride.
- I can work on coordination on my smaller Ludwig kit and then take what I’ve learned to my bigger DW kit. Sure the sizes and spacing on the two kits is different, but I want to be able to play on any kit and sound good. I’ve definitely noticed that what I work on first on my smaller kit is more polished when I take it to the big kit that in I go straight to my big kit and try to play it cold.
- The feel is so much better than rubber pads or Evans SoundOff pads.
- The Zildjian low volume cymbals can be a bit “harsh”, or in other words, the high frequencies can be overpowering and overwhelming when you use wooden sticks on them. That’s why I sometimes use FidgetGear Hot Rod sticks or VicFirth Universal Rubber Practice Tips. But I also use wood tips and those feel good too. Just be aware that frequencies can get out of control.
- Using a Silentstroke head on the kick doesn’t feel amazingly authentic. It’s a little too bouncy. But it doesn’t bother me too much since this is just a practice kit for me.
- The Silentstroke heads are mesh. Although they feel good overall, the stick can squick along the top sometimes when playing fast and that can be a bit annoying. Not a dealbreaker for me by any means.
If you want to keep learning more about small kits like this, search for “Jungle Kits”.
Also, check these videos from Stephen Clark for additional information on quiet drumming:
Finally, if you’re ever frustrated by how everything looks so effortless and sounds so good in drum videos, but when you try the same thing it sounds awful, you probably need to spend time first developing hand and foot technique, and then trying to play the grooves, licks, chops, fills, etc. that you see other people tearing it up with online. You CAN get there, but you need to develop the hand motions and technique, as well as the foot motions and technique that allow you to get there.