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Drums are usually made with thinner plies of wood stuck together.

If one or more of these plies separates, it can stop the drum resonating properly. Crappy hardware takes the fun out of playing, so briefly check it all out. The hardware is rarely perfect with cheaper used drums, but it should be at least functional. Have a quick look across the hardware, and test it out if you notice something off. If any of these things are in bad condition, check whether your budget can handle replacing them. These minor issues are easily fixed, replaced, or simply ignored. On a very cheap set of used drums, there might be quite a few of these issues.

On a high-end used drum kit, hopefully none. Vintage kits, even more expensive ones, can be anywhere in between.

Just Drums Store: Cymbals, Drums and Electronic Drums

Usually lugs and tension rods are easy to fix, or cheap to replace. If you notice this, take off the hoop, and check both the hoop and drum are still round. Lug and tuning rod problems can actually be a positive… The used drums might be a lot cheaper due to this. With a small amount of money and effort, you can fix these problems and end up with a great set of used drums. Common problems include bent tuning rods, rusty lugs and rods, missing screws, broken wingnuts, or lugs that rattle.

Do a quick visual check for each of the screws inside the drum too these hold the lugs in place. You can easily order these parts online, or find them at any drum store. When you hit a drum, you might notice a small rattle from the lugs. This might be a loose screw, which simply needs to be tightened.

It could also be the spring rattling inside the lug… You can remove the lug and stuff it with cotton wool around the spring to solve this problem. Noisy lugs are common with older used drum sets. Rusty lugs and rods can be cleaned up or replaced cheaply, it really just depends on how nice you want your kit to be.

If you want to check, give each tuning rod a quick turn with a drum key to see how smoothly they turn. On old or cheap used drums, some of the rods might stick a little. For a cheap practice kit, this might be acceptable. Otherwise, get some new heads and instantly improve the sound of those used drums. The drumheads will probably be the first thing you notice on used drum sets. Check the resonant bottom drumheads on the used drums too… these should hopefully be in new or almost-new condition no stick marks, dents, tape residue, or other issues.

The resonant heads need to stay in top shape to vibrate properly. This seems counter-intuitive, because you want to buy used drums that sound good, right?

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All of the things mentioned in the Important Stuff section above will affect the sound and tuneability of used drum sets. These are easily fixed! A lot of drummers myself included will barely play used drums before buying them. When you get them home, you can take your time to make those used drums sound great. Cosmetic problems can often be fixed. Especially on older used drums, the wrap can start to peel off. You can easily glue it back on I use a hot glue gun , or just leave it.

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You can either buy a full set of used drums with all of this, or piece together your own…. You can save money, and get a more personalized drum kit this way. Your email address will not be published.


What You Need To Know When Buying Drums

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How to identify mapex drums

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