Video: How to Choose the Right Kick Drum for Your Style

As with so many instruments, before buying your first or your next kick drum, you'll want to think about what kind of music you'll most often be playing. The same drum that excels at metal or indie rock may not be the same that excels at jazz.

Back in March, Jessica Burdeaux joined us in the Reverb studio to play through snare drum options for a range of playing styles. Today, she's back to do the same with kicks, showing off a handful of options for classic rock, funk and dance, metal, pop, and jazz.

You can browse and find individual bass drums on Reverb, but you'll also find many more options as part of full shell packs and kits. Either way, the tips discussed in the video above can help you identify the right size and construction material you should look for.

For the big, boomy sound of classic rock, you'll want a big shell, 24" or 26" in diameter, that's still fairly shallow, like the 14"x26" Tama Imperialstar. A drum with a similar depth but with a slightly smaller diameter, like the 14"x22" C&C Player Date will give you a punchier sound more appropriate for funk or dance music.

To get less resonance and a more machine-gun like attack best for playing metal, a deep kick like the 17.5"x22" Sonor SQ1 is a great choice. While the SQ1 has a thick birch shell, any darker-sounding tonewood like birch or walnut will help to give you a focused sound here as well. The quick attack and short resonance lets blast beats and double-kick patterns stay defined.

For an all-around studio choice for pop music or indie rock, a 16"x20" Gretsch Brooklyn or something similarly sized is ideal. The extra depth combined with a small diameter will get a punchy sound that retains some character. With a maple or partly maple shell, you can tune the drum a bit lower without muddying up the sound at all.

Lastly, Jessica plays a small, shallow Ludwig Classic Maple, whose 100% maple shell comes in at 14"x18". The all-maple construction will allow for a wide range of tuning possibilities for a more melodic tone.

While any of these above are great options, you can find many more for each genre below. Have your own favorites for your genre? Let us know in the comments.

Find More Kicks by Genre on Reverb
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