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Budget Used Drum Set Buying Guide

Places to look:

1. Newspaper classifieds
2. Craigslist
3. reverb
4. ebay

What to search for:
1. Tama Swingstar
2. Tama Rockstar
3. Tama Imperialstar
4. Ludwig Rocker
5. Ludwig Accent
6. Pearl Export
7. Pearl Forum
8. Yamaha Stage Custom

Things to look for, heads, hardware, cymbals:

The bare minimum of what you need is – kick, snare, rack tom, floor tom, hi hat stand, 2x cymbal stands, 1 ride, 1 crash, hi hat cymbals (pair) bass drum pedal, snare stand, mounting hardware/floor tom legs, throne, Remo, Evans, or Aquarian Drum heads (avoid stock heads). Cymbal brand matters less than cymbal line, alloy and size. Avoid brass cymbals, ‘crash/rides’ (unless using as a crash), and 14″ crashes. Look for 20″ and above Rides, 16″ and above crashes.

Block out the outside world, work on music

it’s no secret there’s lots of stupidness out there right now. I’m not even going to mention anything by name. We all know what’s going on and it fucking sucks and is stupid. But here’s the deal. The sucky stupidness is like a giant magnet that can pull you in and take you away from what you really love, and what you are really here to do. You’re here to make music. You’re here to make the best music.

Great music is something amazing that transcends all suckiness and stupidness. 2020 may be a flaming bag of dog shit in many ways, but if you’re able to block it all out, the one thing a lot of us have more of is time. Time to make amazing music. I’ve been very busy during all this horseshit. I’m in the process of completing my 3rd EP since March, and after this one is done I’m going to be working on a full length….. with vocals. It’s been a long time for me to do music with vocals, but I’m going to do it. I already have some stuff in the works. One thing about this craptacular year is it’s giving plenty of material to write lyrics about.

Get yourself a journal. Write in it daily that you will not let the outside world or events beyond your control affect your work. You will stay focused regardless of everything and get things done. You’re going to get it done, you’re going to put it out there, and it’s going to be fucking awesome. Your music will connect at a level with people never before. It will bring those who hear it together over common experiences and thoughts.

You’ve got work to do, go do it. If you need some gear to get you started or to inspire you, consider getting it here at my Reverb link.

Playing drums releases frustration, anger, anxiety, and will basically just fix you


I started playing the drums when I was 10 years old. It was mostly my father’s idea, because I used to bang on things a lot, so he got me a drum set since it was a way I could put my banging to good use. I certainly did. Here I am 34 years later, still playing the drums. Drums let me tour the country playing in bands as a teen and young adult, it allowed me to perform in theatre, and professional shows as an adult, and now making my own music and running a YouTube channel.

All of that stuff is awesome, and I am so thankful I got to experience so much playing the drums. But even without all of that, the most important part of playing the drums, is it is a way to escape all my troubles and release all of my pent up aggression, anger, and frustrations. It also seems to just make anxiety fade away. Drumming is one of the best things to turn negative energy into something positive. It is the one instrument that can take literal RAGE and make it sound amazing.

Music in general is a great form of escape, whether playing it or listening to it, but playing drums especially is something magical. It’s highly physical, it’s loud, and the longer you do it, the more benefit you get. If you want to rid yourself of anxiety, sit down at the drums and learn something new. Focusing on rhythms you do not already know, will make your brain switch from worry mode, to concentration mode. The loudness and power of the instrument make it impossible to ignore. Play until you can do it right without thinking. If that happens too fast and you’re still feeling anxiety, pick something harder. Do it until you’re exhausted. You’ll find the anxiety has just vanished.

To drum away anger or frustration, start off going crazy on the drums. Let it all out, bang on everything like crazy. Do as much spastic drum soloing, or just chaotic noise as possible for about 25 to 30 minutes. But at the end of this, turn it into a groove. Play something simple, or something you can really latch onto. Stay steady, don’t speed up, don’t slow down. Evolve the chaos into something with order. This will place things in order in your mind and spirit. Play the steady groove for the equal time as the chaos. At the end of this session, if you’re still feeling anger or frustration, repeat the process. It will fade.

Drums will fix you. Don’t worry about them. Fix you. They need to figure out themselves.

NEVER Use Guitar Pedal Couplers!

Guitar pedal couplers are those straight metal male/male 1/4″ jacks that seemingly allow you to connect all your pedals together using minimal space on your pedal board. Yes, this may seem like a great idea on the surface, but it should never be done under any circumstance!

Why? Because not allowing any flex between connections of pedals, different jack height (even slight) and the constant pressure of stepping on the pedals, will destroy jacks as well as the circuit boards they’re soldered to! Needless to say, you do not want to do this.

Instead, use something like these patch cables. This way you will have flex between each connection, and there will be no risk of destroying your investments! You’ll thank me later!


The Danelectro Amps of 1998 – Dirty Thirty, Nifty Fifty, Nifty Seventy

The company Danelectro was started by a man named Nate Daniel, he made amps and guitars from the 50s until 1969, then sold the company to MCA, who closed it down just one year later. In 1997, Steve Ridinger who had made Gorilla Amps and Banana tuners bought the trademark for the name. They started making pedals first, then guitars, both of which were a HUGE success. Then in 1998, the new Danelectro briefly dipped it’s toes back into the amp making waters. They produced a trio of amplifiers, two for guitar and one for bass.

The guitar amps were called the Dirty Thirty and the Nifty Fifty. The bass amp was called the Nifty Seventy. As far as I can tell, these amps were only made for a single year (correct me if I’m wrong). They were all solid state, and all came in a really cool looking tan and brown retro-looking cabinet. The amps were very inexpensive when they came out, and still have not gained much value, but are starting to gain a cult following. You can usually find them on Reverb for between $100 and $200!

The naming scheme for these amps is completely confusing and misleading. Is it possible this is why they weren’t much of a success upon their release? The Dirty Thirty is 10 watts RMS, the Nifty Fifty and Nifty Seventy are both 15 watts RMS, however all three are far louder one might think.  I personally own a Nifty Fifty and it is far too loud to play past 1.5 in my apartment. I have also owned a Dirty Thirty in the past, and it was also quite a beast. The only one I’ve never personally owned or heard is the Nifty 70. I would love to have one though. Need to move to a bigger place first haha.


The clean tones on the Fifty are especially nice. Especially when I pair it with a compressor pedal and some light chorus and reverb.

If you have any information you would like to contribute to this page, such as more accurate history and backstory, as well as technical specifications, please comment below. I feel like these amps deserve a place on the internet.