Step One: Find a drum set. I know, you already know that. But let’s talk about what we mean by “drum set”. Here is a drum set:
I count six drums, five cymbals, and a pair of hi-hats.
Here is another drum set:
Here we only see four drums, two cymbals, and a pair of hi-hats.
And we can down-size even more.
I have played gigs with just a bass drum, snare drum, and hi-hats and it came off without a hitch. Those three instruments are a great start to building your drum set if you are on a budget. After bass, snare, and hi-hat I would get a ride cymbal.
The tom drums are fun and add a lot of color and expression but they aren’t necessary if you are just starting out and learning to play your first grooves.
There are also several drum sets out there that fit kids better than the standard sized drum set–check them out here, here, and here.
So there you have it: bass drum (also called a “kick drum”), snare drum, and hi-hats. That’s really all you need to get started. Find a pair of sticks and something to sit on and get to work having fun!