Drummers are like toddlers in many respects - give them some sticks and something to hit with them and they’ll keep themselves entertained for hours. And, just like our pre-school progeny, they get ridiculously excited when Christmas rolls around.
As such, you need to make sure you meet your favourite drummer’s high expectations when present-opening time rolls around. The last thing you want on your hands on 25 December is an angry sticksmith wailing that they didn’t get what they wanted.
Fortunately, MusicRadar has scoured the most rhythmic corners of the internet and selected 15 gifts that any drummer will love. No matter how much love you want to show (or, to put it another way, how much you want to spend), we’ve got a percussive present that’ll do the job. Happy shopping.
DW 6000 Series Ultralight hardware
What’s a gigging drummer’s worst enemy? No, not the lead guitarist: loading gear. DW’s Ultralight hardware set takes the strain out of shifting your stands, and each component is available individually as well as in a set.
Weighing in at less than 10kg for a hi-hat stand, two cymbal stands and a snare stand, the whole collection comes in a carrying bag, too.
Find out more: DW 6000 Series Ultralight hardware
Overtone Labs Tune-Bot Studio
Tuning drums can be challenging, and while developing the ability to get your kit sounding great is part of learning to play, the Tune-Bot can certainly help.
You clamp it to the rim of your drum, and it will measure the pitch as you tap each lug to ensure that the head is evenly tensioned. Job done
Find out more: Overtone Labs Tune-Bot Studio
Meinl Cymbal Tuners
Meinl’s Benny Greb-designed Cymbal Tuners offer a way to get more sounds out of your cymbal setup, without having to use tape or gels to do so.
These magnets are placed on your cymbals to alter their sustain and volume. Each set comes with two ‘large’ and two ‘small’ magnets for you to experiment with, as well as a metal tube to keep them in. They work wonders on over-excited cowbells, too!
Read full review: Meinl Cymbal Tuners
If the constant piercing tone of a metronome is taking its toll on your ears, try the Soundbrenner Pulse. This wearable metronome will allow you to feel the beat rather than having to battle to hear a click in your headphones while you play.
The Pulse also features tap-tempo, and you can store setlists with individual song tempos.
Read full review: Soundbrenner Pulse
Yamaha EAD 10
Yamaha’s EAD 10 is one of the most innovative e-drum products we’ve seen in a while. A sound module, microphone, trigger, effects processor and recorder all rolled into one, it offers an incredibly easy way to mix electronics and capture the sound of your acoustic kit.
The mic/trigger unit picks up your drums, but also produces a trigger signal for the bass drum, which is then fed back to the module for processing and recording.
With added video and backing track integration via Yamaha’s free Rec ‘n Share app, if you’re looking for a simple, quality way to record a great drum sound, this is it.
Read full review: Yamaha EAD 10
Roland SPD::ONE Pads
The SPD::One series is the most affordable and portable way to join the Roland hybrid family. These little pads come in four different flavours - Kick, Electro, Percussion and Wav.
While the Electro and Percussion models offer the most versatile range of sounds (depending on your needs), the Wav will appeal to anyone looking to use backing and click tracks or their own sampled sounds.
Read full review: Roland SPD::ONE Pads
Porter & Davies BC-X
There’s nothing quite like feeling the first bass drum notes through the PA as the sound engineer brings the faders up, but thanks to Porter and Davies we can experience that level of monitoring at any volume.
The new BC-X throne brings P&D’s driver-powered drum stools to an all-new price point. Mic up your kick, run it into the included amp and feel the thump of every kick through your body!
Find out more: Porter & Davies BC-X
Tama SLP Duo Snare
Tama’s dual-purpose Sound Lab Project Duo Snare offers an innovative solution for incorporating a second snare drum into your kit.
Doubling as a floor tom, this 14” x 10” birch drum sits on floor tom legs and can be positioned amongst your kit to do exactly as it suggests - perform double-duty with the snares on or off.
Find out more: Tama SLP Duo Snare
Big Fat Snare Drum
The Big Fat Snare Drum does exactly what its name suggests, and is one of the easiest ways to add a different dimension to your snare sound.
Unlike a regular O-ring or dampening gels, the added mass of the BFSD not only kills all the ringy overtones of your snare’s batter head, but drops the pitch slightly, too. The result is, err…a big fat snare drum sound.
As well as the original version, the BFSD is available in versions with jingles, and a ‘Donut’ with a centre-cutout, or go all-out with the newly-launched kit packs for your toms as well!
Read full review: Big Fat Snare Drum
Who says drumheads have to be clear or coated white? Not Remo, with the introduction of its Colortone heads earlier this year you’ve got a simple way to add character and a splash of colour to any kit, but especially acrylic.
The heads are currently available in three variants - Emperor (8”-18” toms), Powerstroke 77 (13”/14” snares) and Powerstroke P3 Bass (18”-26” bass drums) - and in six different colour options: orange, yellow, red, green, blue and smoke.
Read full review: Remo ColorTone
British Drum Company Tomsprings
Let’s face it, mounting a rack tom on a snare stand looks great, but as you might know, the basket can also sap the resonance of the drum, causing it to sound boxy and dead. Well, the clever folks at British Drum Company have come up with a solution: Tomsprings.
These plastic mounts come in a pack of three, and are a non-permanent attachment via your tension rods and isolate the tom from the snare stand to maintain your sustain.
Read full review: British Drum Company Tomsprings
Sabian FRX Frequency Reduced Cymbals
If you find your current cymbals too overpowering for playing gigs or rehearsals in more intimate settings, Sabian’s FRX series could be the answer.
The strategically drilled cymbals have been optimised to have certain frequencies toned-down, resulting in traditional cymbal sounds, but at a lower perceived volume level. Clever, and useful!
Read full review: Sabian FRX Frequency Reduced Cymbals
Need respite from your drumming loved-one? Perhaps you’re on the receiving end of noise complaints every time you practise?
Before you reach for a full set of rubber practice pads, consider RTOM Black Holes. These tensionable mesh heads sit atop your drums with a gap between them and your regular drum head. You strike the mesh head, and the drum will still resonate, but at a greatly reduced volume.
Read full review: RTOM Blackhole
Zildjian City Pack
The ideal companion for smaller kits, the City Pack is a set of smaller cymbals aimed at drummers playing grab-and-go gigs. The pack contains a pair of 12” New Beat hi-hats, a 14” A Thin Crash, plus the newly-launched Uptown Ride. It’s versatile, and will mix well with your current cymbal selection.
Read full review: Zildjian City Pack
Roland TD-17 KVX
Roland’s new mid-level V-Drums kit pushes the boundaries of what we expect for the price. With the all-new PDX-12 snare pad, realistic VH-10 hi-hats and KD-10 bass drum pad, plus sounds derived from Roland’s flagship TD-50 kit, it’s at the top of its price category.
As well as new pads, the TD17 KVX has the ability to load your own samples, plus Bluetooth connectivity for jamming along to music from your phone or tablet. It’s hard to beat - though great to hit - and you won’t outgrow it for years.
Read full review: Roland TD-17 KVX
OK, we’re biased, but a subscription to the best drum mag in the world is the gift that appears every month!
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