Your first kit is a 7-piece. haha! Love it! Mr. Andrew has wonderful advice.
Benny Greb is one of the best in the world. <3
I would take all of the hoops and heads off and check to see how "true" the bearing edges are. You can do that by sitting the shell on a marble countertop or any perfectly level/smooth surface. Place/aim a light down into the bottom and look for any light leaks around the outside base. Sometimes it's readily obvious when the bearing edges are wrecked as you'll see dents, breaks, cracks. The reason this is important is if the bearing edges aren't true, the heads won't seat on the drum very well causing the head to have dead spots or weird overtones. Use this time to tighten all screws, nuts, and bolts as well as grease/oil tension rods. Clean the surfaces, inside the drums, polish 'em up if you want, and check for any cracks and other problems.
Go to a local shop and listen to the different types of drum heads already installed on the kits to get a general estimation of the tonal quality and see which ones you like. Keep in mind that drum kits are RARELY ever tuned, so it may have a somewhat negative impact on your impression.
Kick pedals and stick can quickly cause impediments, so find what works best for you ergonomically. If you don't already have an actual in-person instructor with solid credentials, it would be good to find someone to help you start off with solid technique or you may develop bad habits that will impede your progress if not actually cause physical harm later.
Mr. Andrew is right about cymbals. Some people like 'em trashy, some like them light and airy, some like them to sound like gongs, some like nothing but sound FX pies, and some like it all. See what makes you happy and compliments the sound of your drum kit and styles you want to play.
I cannot stress this enough, but do the best you can to set the kit up in a practical way that is ergonomically sound. If your toms are spread apart like Marty Feldman's eyes, that's not good. If the heads of the toms are tilted at extreme angles, that's not good. If the height of the drum throne and snare aren't right, you may find yourself slouching or your knees too high.
As far as tuning goes, there are a million ways to do it and every drum will be a little different. That's a lifetime of research to go through. hahaha Have fun!
Originally posted by Astronut on Sat 02 Sep, 2023