How are you going to use these drums? Think about whether you’re going to be playing primarily live acoustic, live amplified, or in the studio. Maybe it’s a combination of these, but you should have an idea of primary uses and priorities. Some uses call for more emphasis on tone, others require more projection, and where that balance falls will have a lot of influence on your design.
If you’ve decided that custom drums are right for your needs (see my previous article) it’s time for a critical next step: selecting the builder to work with. It’s not always easy. There are a lot of custom builders out there, with new ones entering – and other leaving – the marketplace every year. So making wise choices means doing your homework.
I’m not here to say that everyone should have custom drums. It’s a very personal choice and it really depends largely on your priorities and expectations. If you’re considering going the custom route – now or at some time in the future – check off the pros and cons as they relate to you personally.
I live in an area that has a lot of local breweries, and people around here talk and write about beer a lot. So recently, when I saw an article about the blurring of lines as to what’s considered a “craft brewery” and what isn’t, I realized that there’s a connection between drums and beer that I hadn’t considered: confusion about industry categories and how to describe them.