Change My Mind - Paying $2K for Lessons Beats a New Drum Kit

Vistalite Black

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I've always been happy with my 75 Ludwig Vistalites with Sound Projector Scoops and concert toms. I also play some backline kits.

Let's consider a hypothetical drummer contemplating "upgrading" his or her sound by spending $2,000 or more on a new or used kit.

To me a person in that position (with a decent kit) is better off sticking with the equipment he or she has and investing $2000 in drum lessons (the rate around here is $40 an hour, so 50 lessons) with a professional instructor (even via Zoom).

Anybody want to change my mind by claiming gear does matter?
 

dirtysicks

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Depends on the quality of the original gear and the quality of the drum instructor lol. All professional instructors aren’t good, just like all professional musicians aren’t good so 50 lesson could be just as big a waste of money.
 

Jazz Turkey

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Lessons beat gear.
However...
As a small side note.
That 2k kit will be worth something in the end. Especially if you carefully buy used. You may get close to the entire 2k from the kit when it is eventually sold, essentially costing you nothing.
I say go for both.
 

Vistalite Black

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Depends on the quality of the original gear and the quality of the drum instructor lol. All professional instructors aren’t good, just like all professional musicians aren’t good so 50 lesson could be just as big a waste of money.
Thanks. I love the idea of going back to an instructor you don't vibe with 50 times. I think I saw a movie on this subject. Believe it was called "Whiplash."
 

Vistalite Black

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Lessons beat gear.
However...
As a small side note.
That 2k kit will be worth something in the end. Especially if you carefully buy used. You may get close to the entire 2k from the kit when it is eventually sold, essentially costing you nothing.
I say go for both.
Interesting point. Instead of a bachelor's degree, I could have four boutique kits in the garage right now.
 

Murat

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Good gear inspires you to play more because it is more fun to hear something nice than something that irritates you, like a Zildjian Scimitar cymbal, and you indirectly get better.
Good teachers inspire you too and opens new doors and possibilities for you so you get better.
Good of everything is good.
 

dirtysicks

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Thanks. I love the idea of going back to an instructor you don't vibe with 50 times. I think I saw a movie on this subject. Believe it was called "Whiplash."
Some drummers don’t know any better and think the instructor is good because they may be better than them and because the instructor acts like he knows what he’s talking about.
 

Pounder

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I'm glad it wasn't an either-or proposition for me. It is a valid topic though, here's why: Usually one begins one's drumming with lessons, and this intense study and lessons period peters out, and later one is either a gigging or a playing recording drummer or hobbyist who continues on without lessons. There's an assumption one has learned enough to go without the lessons. There's some overlap but as one progresses on drums then they increasingly look at the gear aspect of it, while their skills may taper off, plateau, or even start a decline; I remember well when I got to the point of practicing so much I felt that if I didn't put in the time my playing would get worse.

But the original contention that once, one has an instrument of quality, one should keep that and focus on improving one's abilities on that instrument has undeniable merit, although a person with an objective viewpoint could woodshed their ass off and probably improve tons without lessons.. So there is item "C" none of the above just practice and get better and save or spend the money elsewhere.

It's not a very popular notion on this forum though. I love this forum but it is loaded with collectors and gear heads and people who own several kits. Most people who have the means will become somewhat indulgent and vanity takes over and there you have it. Plus drums are definitely a visual thing. The sound is extremely important but the eye candy factor dazzles one, puts one in the fantasy realm and even can (potentially) help inspire ones playing.
 

Old PIT Guy

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If someone is truly motivated to learn for their love of music and rhythm, 50 lessons with a decent instructor(s) is priceless in future value. The $2k in new drums starts losing value the minute you take ownership.

Also, the potential relationship you'll have made with one or more instructors is invaluable as well. Can't get that with an Ebay score.
 

dustjacket

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As someone with a newborn, a 6 year old and a full time job, I'll take the 2k drum set. No time for homework. So, it's YouTube and the occasional drum book for me. That being said, for a 15 year old, I would give a completely answer.
 

Tornado

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With all things drums, including lessons, we will always run into the law of diminishing returns. If your budget is $2,000, buying wisely is key.

Where you are on your drumming journey matters too. If you can't play, a $2,000 kit won't make you sound better, but lessons will. If you've been woodshedding for years, and gigging regularly, it's probably time to trade in that 1988 Export.
 

multijd

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Depends on the quality of the original gear and the quality of the drum instructor lol. All professional instructors aren’t good, just like all professional musicians aren’t good so 50 lesson could be just as big a waste of money.
Sounds like someone had a bad experience with a teacher.
 

dirtysicks

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Sounds like someone had a bad experience with a teacher.
Nope, but I do have experience watching parents bring their kids to Guitar Center for lessons week after week to meet with drum teachers who weren't good at all. They could barely play, had bad mechanics, couldn't teach and typically got hired because they played in some band or knew someone who worked there. The parents nor the kids knew any better and lot's of money was wasted.
 

pwc1141

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I'm completely self taught and while looking back I should have had some lessons, 50 years of gigging did teach me some things and right now at my age I would love to have $2,000 spare for anything at all. I don't. Luckily I have the gear I love already.
 

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