Skill level vs Gear level

Jazzhead

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It is interesting for me what you guys think of this subject.

This is subjective and no one’s business if you got the money but what’s your perspective?

Do you think the gear that the player uses should match the skill level of the player?

In other words, what would you think/feel to see a beginner drummer who barely can keep time behind a USA custom kit? or even something cheaper, maybe $2000 kit.
Or a guitar player that just started barely playing on a USA made Strat or even a vintage Strat or Gibson!?
We are assuming the player owns that gear.

My perspective is yes, it should match the skill level but if the person has money to buy that gear what’s the problem? Good gear can inspire the player sometimes.
 

drumflyer

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A pro musician can make crappy instruments sound great. A novice can make a stratovarius violin sound like crap. But if you have the money it’s ok to buy great stuff to learn on. I’ll bet there are quite a few of us on this website that learned on a Ludwig or slingerland kit in the 60s. And I’ll bet a lot of us learned on the kit from the Sears catalog. No judgement it’s all about playing drums!
JZ
 

owr

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Agree with poppies. The better I get at something, the less interested I am on spending lots of money on the "right" gear and the more I enjoy the challenge of trying to get my thing done minimally. As such, I have a drum and cymbal collection to drool over :)
 

DrummerJustLikeDad

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The slogan of my dream set, Gretsch USA Customs, is Earn Your Badge.

If and when I’m ever lucky to own them, I’ll be the very first to say I’ll have never done so, certainly in light of all the Gretsch luminaries who’ve gone before.

But I’ll sure continue enjoying the process of trying :)
 

chrisr777

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There are plenty of people who can barely play a guitar that own '50s Les Pauls. I think it's probably less prevalent among drummers than guitar players though. Generally, a father buying his kid a kit to learn on will start with a beginner's kit. An adult who suddenly wants to learn and has the means may get something better but, for the most part, I don't see many kids starting out on pro kits. I would have no problem with it either way.
 

Jazzhead

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Yea I mean it is different when a parent gets a beginner kit for the kid, that makes sense. You want to first see if the kid will continue and show interest before you drop even $1k on a kit.
 

cochlea

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It doesn't bother me if a beginner drops a lot of money on a professional-level kit. I'm bothered more by someone who buys a $5k kit who then muffles the heck out of it and adds external triggers. I do marvel at drummers who have the skills and playing technique to make even the most basic kit sound good.
 

bbunks

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As I’ve said to my dear wife about my drum buying “at least it’s not going up my nose, to another blonde or on something that goes 150 mph”.

I’m an okay intermediate player. I have expensive gear. It brings me joy.
 

Drm1979

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This is an interesting topic. I had a buddy that I met in college and at that time he was a phenomenal drummer. Light years ahead of me. He used a cheap no name entry level kit, had a decent zildjian cymbal set up replaced the stock heads with remos, and between that and his playing he made it sound like a much more expensive and higher end kit. So I think the player can make the gear better as well as high end gear can inspire a player to push to get better. It's all in the tuning and treatment of the gear.
 

Jazzcrimes

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A low skilled 40-something who wants to buy an $6k DW kit made out of logs that have been submerged in a swamp for 10,000 years or a Birdland replica Gretsch kit because it brings them joy? Absolutely. If you have the disposable income, go for it.

*beginners* are a little tougher. I believe in buying quality gear and not wasting you time on cheap stuff regardless of skill level. However, beginners will need guidance on selecting the right gear or they could end up spending too much money on something that doesn’t meet their needs and quickly become discouraged.
 

Dumpy

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Some people would hear me play my DW kits and think what a waste of an expensive kit, but it’s my money and my business on how I spend my money. In the end, you need to put work into tuning the drums and working on your chops to make any kit, cheap or expensive, sound good.
 

drumtimejohn

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I don’t find it off putting if a beginner is on a new and expensive set. Fortunately they’re just drums and can take a beating. I do recommend vintage player drums and cymbals to parents of kids learning because it is/was pro level equipment for cheap and maintains value for resale should the student lose interest. Technical, I could tour with my vintage childhood set.
 

Germandrummer

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I got a brand new "Thunder" kit in the late 1980s from my parents. It had been the best, they could afford and I`m grateful until today. Unfortunately, this kit never felt right. I couldn`t get the toms right because of a badly designed tom holder. Sounds were mediocre and I tried hard concerning tuning. Today I have my childhood dream kit a Sonor S-Class and it feels completely different playing this.
 

JazzyJeff

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I purchased my TD-20 Roland kit several years ago from a guy who hooked it up to play Rock Band (Guitar Hero w/ drums). He had the money, so why not buy the best (as it was when he bought it). I played a Pearl Export kit for years that I scraped money together over a year to buy. Studied hard, worked my arse off in life, got better along the way. Now I buy the toys I want. Has NOTHING to do with talent - has everything to do with available scratch!
 


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