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noob questions [TD-6 for beginner, or...]

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  • noob questions [TD-6 for beginner, or...]

    I'm buying a drum set for my 10 year old son. I want to support his interest in learning drums, but my confidence that he will stick with an instrument is not through the roof... Niether my wife or I played an instrument, so we won't be much help (he will be in lessons).

    He wants real drums, but for household sanity I want to get him v-drums. He accepts this, but will want a set of real drums at some point if he sticks with it... fair enough, I'll agree to that.

    local shop dude recomends his last stock of Td-6 with the white mesh heads for $1650 walk out (that includes tax).

    While the hours I've poored into this indicate that is a good deal... $1650 hurts given the level of comitment from the would be drumer is quesitonable since he's 10 years old.

    I'm informed the less expensive sets with the black heads can lead to repetative motion injuries... but sheesh the cost for getting mesh heads is really high given the situation.

    So my choices right now, as I understand them:
    - suck it up and buy the TD-6... ouch... well worth it if he gets into it, but if not, a big waste.

    - buy a less expensive set with black heads (yamaha?), maybe used, and just plan to upgrade him in a few months if he is showing dedication and progress

    - buy a regular set of drums, and use the pads / means available to reduce the noise.

    I've been reading and searching all over the net for weeks now, sorry if this is too old hat of a post, but I'm kind of at the point in my research where I'm burned out and running circles.


  • #2
    First of all, welcome to the site. Always nice to see another Texan in the house.

    My first piece of advice would be to consult with the instructor who will be working with your child. They should definitely be able to give you some pointers and help you better understand how equipment choices may impact your child's instruction.

    Personally, I think your consideration of V-drums is a wise choice in that it will allow your child to practice anytime with minimal disruptions to the rest of the family. However, you should be aware that even electronic drums are not completely silent. They are far quieter than an acoustic kit, but you need to realize there will still be a degree of noise generated by the sticks slapping against the pads and cymbals.

    Because your child is new to the instrument and you aren't yet confident that he will necessarily stick with it for the long run, I personally think $1,600 is an awful large investment for the absolute beginner. However, V-drums tend to hold their value quite well. If he ditches the drums after a few lessons, you will most likely be able to resell them and recoup a large amount of your initial investment.

    Roland, Yamaha and Hart all manufacture quality entry-level kits. Resist the temptation to go with the much cheaper kits you might find at big box retailers. They are generally toys and won't stand up to much punishment, while Roland, Yamaha and Hart gear is extremely durable.

    I recommend that you keep a lookout on eBay and Craigslist for used Roland TD-3 kits. I have seen them as low as $600 on Craigslist here in Dallas, often with some accessories included. I think that will give you the (relatively) silent practice option for your son with a good quality instrument without breaking the bank.

    I don't think you should worry so much about having all mesh heads for your son's beginning kit. While it is true that he will likely want to upgrade to mesh as he advances in his skills, it will not kill him to start learning on rubber pads. Learning proper stick technique, stretching exercises and adequate warmups before playing are really more key to preventing repetitive stress injuries than the playing surface, in my opinion. And after all, many, many, many of us here did a lot of our early learning on rubber practice pads.

    I do, however, recommend getting a kit that has one mesh head for the snare pad. The mesh will allow for more expressive playing, which is much more critical on the snare than it is on the toms.

    I hope all of this helps. We're happy to see you encouraging your son to explore his interest in drums. Please let him know we wish him the best as he starts his lessons.
    >>>See my E-kit here<<<

    >>>See my A-kit here<<<


    • #3
      Thanks for wealth of info, and the well wishes. I really appriciate you taking the time to help out... I'm a bit relieved to find some support for not buying mesh heads right off, just for cost reasons. I'm more than happy to hook him up with gear if he will stick with it... I've always wished I would have learned an instrument.

      I actualy took a couple of lessons from the instructor, just to check it out. He was a bit against v-drums, but when I explained that my wife is pretty concerned about noise, his comment was to get mesh heads, his primary concern being repetative based injuries from the rubber pads. (although he doesn't play vdrums, so I'm assuming there is some personal bias in there).

      We play rockband (not that it has anything to do with real drums), but I'm assuming the noise from vdrums will be along those lines.

      Do any of these look worth looking into?




      Thanks again,


      • #4

        One of the best points he made was the fact that vDrums hold their value very well indeed. Don't be surprised actually if your child decides to stick with electronic anyway.... in which case he could use these entry level pads as other sounds as the kit grows.

        Being that your child is 10 years old would further push me to believe that vDrums is the way to go since there are various kits to play with (less likely to get bored with the same kit too soon).

        It doesn't surprise me that his instructor is a bit against electronic and prefers acoustic. However, he's also not your neighbor and would definitely be singing a different tune if he were. Rest assured that your child will be able to transfer all of his vDrumming skills to an acoustic set when he's ready (if he prefers at that time).... by that time he may be into recording or playing with some friends in which case the vDrums are more versatile.

        Also, did you mention RockBand? I'm not 100&#37; positive cause I haven't played those console games but I'm pretty sure you can use these kits for that game.

        I am 100% sure v-drums is the correct answer for this situation.

        Edit: BTW - I like the idea of the new TD-6 or a new TD-3... something with at least a mesh snare.


        • #5
          Try a TD-3 kit with a mesh snare.


          You should be able to get it for [slightly] under $1,000, which should help: http://drums-percussion.musiciansfri...Set?sku=447838

          If he's sticking with it for more than a few months, you can upgrade the toms to mesh too. After that, if he really gets into it, you can think about dealing with an acoustic kit! Hopefully he can play an acoustic kit at his lessons, so he can equate what he's doing at home on his V kit to a "real" kit.

          The TD-3 is cheaper than the TD-6, and while less capable, is newer (the TD-6 kits have actually been dropped from Roland's website already) and argueably has better sounds.

          Good luck to you and your son!

          BTW: the instructor isn't wrong about the rubber[black, as you say] pads in the long term, but it's hardly like your wrists will get stress fractures in a few weeks unless you're wacking on them hard (too hard) 24/7. In other words, they should be fine to check things out. But if he's going to be playing all the time for months on end, I personally would definitely upgrade to all mesh heads (in fact, that's exactly what I did for myself!).

          One nice thing about V-Drums is that, except for the entry level HD-1 kit, whatever kit you buy is completely upgradeable, piece by piece, until you get up to [the very professional level] TD-20S kit.
          Last edited by dmt; 10-18-08, 11:26 AM.


          • #6
            My son had acoustic drums many years ago and soon lost interest in them. I tried them but didn't much care for the drums. A year an a half a go I did buy a TD-3, became infected with GAS and now have a much nicer (expensive kit).

            Looking for a used kit might be wise. If you get one used and you or your son don't take to it you can get most if not all your $$ back. (I sold my TD-3 for $500, that's quite a bit less than $1650). Also you need a throne, amp, kick pedal which adds up too.

            I replaced the snare/toms with mesh and it made the kit much nicer. Most of the modules/drums/cymbals are compatible with each other so you can always get a better snare/cymbal etc. and improve things over time.

            The v-drums aren't silent so there still may be some noise issues for apartment dwellers.

            good luck.
            Last edited by Picksorsticks; 10-18-08, 02:26 PM. Reason: typo

            TD-12/Gibraltar rack/Pintech Concertcast drums 12" snare, 1 12" tom, 2 10" toms, 8" mesh kick, Visulite cymbals, 14" dual zone crash, 13" hi-hat, 18" 3 zone ride and 2 Dingbats, Roland PM-10, iPod, Zildjian anti-vibe sticks, Roc-N-Soc throne with backrest, Yamaha snare stand, Tama Iron Cobra pedal and HH75W hi-hat stand, Sennheiser HDR 110 wireless headphones. V-expressions 80's and 90's Giggin' Kits and Both Top 50 drummers (hopefully functional soon)


            • #7
              Originally posted by unbdm View Post
              I'm assuming there is some personal bias in there
              You're probably right with that observation. You'll find plenty of purists who will turn their noses up at electronic kits though they likely know very little about them. He's entitled to his opinion, but your family members are the ones who will have to live with the noise of a 10-year-old drummer each night, not him. Plus, it's not his money buying your kid's kit, so it's easy for him to rattle off the suggestion for a more expensive all-mesh kit.

              Again, many of us learned the basics of drumming on old rubber practice pads. The idea that a 10-year-old is going to wreck his wrists on rubber e-drum pads is a bit much in my opinion. If the instructor knows his stuff, he'll teach your son proper sticking, stretching and warmup exercises that will guard against injury. If your son sticks with the drums and continues to progress, THEN make a bigger investment in equipment.

              Originally posted by unbdm View Post
              We play rockband (not that it has anything to do with real drums), but I'm assuming the noise from vdrums will be along those lines.
              Yes, I'd say the noise will be quite similar. It's just that we have had folks show up here before who were somehow expecting complete silence from their V-drums only to be disappointed when the neighbors downstairs were still complaining about the noise - especially vibrations from the bass drum that can reverberate through the floor.

              Originally posted by unbdm View Post
              Do any of these look worth looking into?.
              The TD-6 in Spicewood doesn't look like a bad deal, though I'd ask them to send you some additional photos so you can get a better look. You want to make sure it doesn't appear to have been abused, and it would be great if it has a mesh snare pad.

              The TD-7 is a much older generation of kit (don't be fooled by the number). I have never played on one, so I'm sure there are more knowledgeable folks here who could comment on its quality. I think it's a decent collection of older pads, but my concern is that the TD-7 module may not be as user friendly as newer models. I'm not sure how easy it would be for a 10-year-old to navigate through it. Plus, no mesh snare.

              The last ad says both TD-6 and TD-5. I believe that is an older model TD-6 (blue case on the module as opposed to the newer version in a black case). That kit looks like it's got some miles on it, but it still may be fine. Personally (and this is just me), I'm bothered to see it photographed in a garage. I don't like the idea of storing electronic equipment in a garage in Texas given our harsh climate. But, again, that's just me.

              Of these three options, if it were me making the purchase, I'd look into the one in Spicewood first. But keep your eye on Craigslist for new deals daily. I bought my current kit on Craigslist and you'd be surprised at how much I DIDN'T pay for it.

              Advice on buying used: Deal in person if possible so you can test drive the kit before making your purchase. Hit every trigger pad to make sure everything is firing as it should. Wiggle cables and jacks to check for shorts (cheap and easy to replace a cable as long as you can determine that is the only problem). You may want to look up the instructions for resetting the module you'll be looking at before you go. I've come across a lot of used modules where people had messed with the settings and it didn't appear to be working correctly, but it worked like a champ after a quick reset. If you find rubber pads that are structurally sound but the rubber looks worn, be aware that a little 303 cleaner will have them looking good as new in no time (don't use Armor All).

              Again, best of luck.
              >>>See my E-kit here<<<

              >>>See my A-kit here<<<


              • #8
                Originally posted by sopranos View Post
                Now, if I could just get my wife to say that ...
                >>>See my E-kit here<<<

                >>>See my A-kit here<<<


                • #9
                  Thanks for all the comments to help me come up with a reasonable approach to this.

                  I'm going to keep looking for a used set for now, TD-3 or TD-6, with a mesh snair drum.

                  Thanks again,


                  • #10
                    Agree with most of what has been said above. Having rubber pads for the toms won't be a big deal while starting out as most of the tuition will likely focus on sticking, timing and developing independence, which will most make use of the snare, hi-hat and kick drum. I would look out for a second hand kit, such as a TD-3 or TD-6, but also consider the TD-8 which would give you mesh head pads all round; although I would rather have a larger snare (10 or 12 inch) and nice hi-hat pad (CY-5 or VH-11) and make do with rubber toms than spend money on getting 8 inch mesh heads all round on the snare and toms.


                    • #11
                      thanks for info, i'll look for a 10-12" snare, and add TD-8 to my filter list.

                      One of the things that concerned me was in the lessons I took it was all snare, high-hat, base, and the home spot for my left foot was introduced as holding the high-hat down. Will some of that be missing when learning on v-drums without a real coupling between the high-hat foot piece, and the high-hat.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by unbdm View Post
                        Will some of that be missing when learning on v-drums without a real coupling between the high-hat foot piece, and the high-hat?

                        No, I don't think so. The feel isn't exactly the same, but the basic idea is certainly the same.


                        • #13
                          I would agree with rubber pads for the short term. The nice thing is that if your son looks like he is going to stick with the drums, you (or he) can always upgrade individual pads to mesh down the road. If you are not against buying online, you might also want to check on Ebay where you can still find new in-the-box Hart Prodigy mesh sets with an Alesis DM5 or TD-3 for about $800 (Hart has discontinued this line). These are nice starter mesh sets. It's how I started!
                          Hawk snare, toms, and bass; Hart ECII crashes & ride; VH-10 Hihat; Iron Cobra double-bass.
                          "I never play the same thing twice...sometimes because I simply can't remember it." - John Paul Jones


                          • #14
                            Definitely search out ebay. When I was searching for a mesh kit for myself, there were a great many TD3 kits that I saw new or like new in the $650 range, not too shabby!
                            You can always swap out rubber pads for mesh at your own pace with the slew of available pieces on ebay. Maybe it becomes a sort of "incentive" for your son...After "x" weeks, if he's still practicing and learning then you buy a mesh pad or new cymbal on ebay to grow and personalize his kit.