If you want to learn how to drum, it may feel slightly overwhelming at first deciding where to begin.
For instance, do you think you’d like to learn how to drum with electronic drums or acoustic drums? Knowing the types of drum sets available is just one of the hurdles to overcome.
There are other questions you might ask yourself too, such as whether you’re hoping to learn to play a particular style, or if you’re just looking to learn how to master the basics of drumming and progress from there?
Although it can feel as though there are lots of decisions to be made before you even start learning to drum, remember that you can always change your mind down the line – you’re not stuck with electronic drums for instance if you decide that you’d rather play acoustic!
However, if you think that you might like to learn how to play on fusion-sized drums, then this article outlines what you should know.
Why Choose A Fusion Drum Kit?
If you’re new to the world of drumming, then you may well find that a fusion drum kit is perfect for you. This is because it is a great kit for beginners.
The other advantage of a fusion drum kit is that it is also great for children from around seven or eight years old. So if you have a child that would like to learn to play the drums or start practising with a junior drum set, suggesting a fusion drum kit might be the way to go.
Having said the above, it’s worth noting that a fusion drum kit is, first and foremost, known as a kit that allows drummers to play fusion music. That means that regardless of whether you’d like to play:
- Rock fusion;
- Jazz fusion;
- Funk; or
- A combination of musical styles,
You can certainly do so on a fusion drum kit.
What’s more, you don’t have to be a novice drummer to play music on this type of kit – in fact, any ability level should be able to play on a fusion drum kit successfully!
Ultimately, if you like playing different styles of music and would like to have a versatile drum kit, then a fusion kit could be right for you.
What To Look Out For
A fusion set is somewhere in between a standard rock n roll set and a smaller jazz set, with one of the greatest variations being the size of the bass drum.
Its smaller size compared to a standard drum kit can make it easier to travel with and can also make it easier to tune. This can be helpful, for instance, if you gig regularly or have to attend a roadshow.
Below we highlight some of the main features that you might find in a fusion drum kit, including:
- The bass drum;
- The tom-toms;
- The snare drum; and
- The cymbals.
Although we outline some of the standard features that you might expect to see in these elements below, that’s not to say that there isn’t some room for personalisation if you would like to customise your kit in any way.
After all, music is a form of self-expression, so don’t feel as though you absolutely have to conform to each of the standards below. Rather, see them as a guide and make your own mind up as to whether that particular type or size drum would work for you and your drumming style.
For instance, if you'd rather use an electronic drum set to play fusion, then, of course, you are free to, even if it may be preferable in some instances to use a dedicated fusion drum set.
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The Bass Drum
Arguably, the bass drum is the most important part of a fusion drum kit. It is the drum that has the deepest tone. Generally speaking, a fusion bass drum should measure around 20 inches, falling halfway between a jazz bass drum (usually 18 inches) and a rock bass drum (usually 22 inches).
As a fusion kit tends to be smaller than a rock kit, it’s also common to see a fusion kit produce a quieter sound than a rock kit, which is something to bear in mind.
A fusion drum set usually features three toms, the same number that you tend to find in a standard drum kit. However, the difference with the toms in a fusion kit is that they are generally smaller. Usually, you’ll see 10-inch, 12-inch and 14-inch toms.
The Snare Drum
Another important element when it comes to a fusion drum set is the snare drum.
Generally, you can expect to see a snare drum in a fusion kit measuring in at 14 inches. However, selecting a snare drum is a very personal choice. As a result, don’t be afraid to try out different snare drum sizes and shell thicknesses to find the combinations that work best for you.
There are plenty of different cymbals that you can add to your drum set to create new tones and personalise your own sound.
If you’re starting to put a fusion drum kit together, one of the safest options is to start with buying two essentials – the hi-hat and the ride cymbal.
When it comes to the hi-hat, you can usually buy one with a size of anywhere between 8 and 16 inches. However, when it comes to a hi-hat used in a fusion drum kit, you’re more likely to see one that falls between 10 and 14 inches.
Equally, the ride cymbal usually measures between 18 and 24 inches, and will likely be the largest cymbal in your fusion drum kit. Bear in mind that in some fusion kits the ride cymbal might not be particularly durable. In such cases, have a think about whether it would be better to invest in a thicker cymbal that isn’t at as much risk of breaking with the slightest tap of a drumstick!
Aside from the hi-hat and the ride cymbal, there are other cymbals that you could add to a fusion drum kit to personalise your kit if you wanted to. For example, you could add a splash or crash cymbal. Generally speaking:
- A splash cymbal measures between 8 and 12 inches; while
- A crash cymbal measures between 13 and 22 inches.
Regardless of what cymbals you end up choosing, try not to buy any cymbals before you’ve at least had a chance to try them out. This way, you’ll know that what you’re buying is best suited and personalised to you and how you would like to play.
Which Fusion Drum Kit Is Right For Me?
There are so many different ways to build up a drum kit. Often, how a person chooses a drum kit or how they decide to buy one will be a very personal decision.
For instance, you might really value the ability to personalise your fusion drum kit as much as possible. In such cases, you might be better off buying each element of a fusion drum kit separately, so you have a chance to build the right sound and set-up for you.
Equally, if you’re happy to work with a more standard fusion drum kit, you might find it much easier to buy an off the shelf kit that’s complete with all the standard elements you’d likely see in a fusion drum kit.
What’s more, there are other factors to take into consideration, such as:
- How much room you have for a drum kit at home or in a studio;
- Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced drummer;
- How far your budget will stretch when it comes to buying a drum kit; and
- Whether you’re set on buying a particular brand, such as Mapex, Zildjian, Rolanda, Yamaha, or Gretsch.
All of these elements end up making a drum kit choice incredibly personal, so make sure that when the time does come to buy your next drum kit, you think about whether you’re happy with the price you’re paying, what elements you’re getting, whether you want to buy any other instruments, and how comfortable you are playing with the kit.
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It's also worthwhile trying out the various items of drum hardware if you can before you buy them. Regardless of whether you're looking at buying a complete drum set, snare drums, drum head, drumsticks, a new pedal, or even a metronome or microphone, testing everything out is a great way to know whether it's the right purchase for you.
Although it can take time finding the perfect percussion instrument for you, spending some extra time researching and trying out different types of kit can pay off in the long run.
If you found this useful, why not check out our blog on how to drum without a drum set!
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