Want to start your own garage band? Here’s the gear you’ll need to get going – or to go pro!
Whether you’re starting up a garage rock band, forming a hip-hop duo with your buddy or simply going solo as a one-woman (or one-man) band, you’ll need to invest in some musical instruments if you’re going to have any enjoyment or success. Set yourself up the old-school way, with drums, guitar, bass, piano and vocals.
Start with the beat. A full drum kit – including drums, cymbals and throne – like the Stagg Student Kit (R4 595, Paul Bothner Music), is great for beginners or practising pros. For hardworking drummers who’re expecting to spend a good few years bustin’ out the beats, pick up the unbeatable Pearl Export five-piece kit (R13 450, Paul Bothner Music, pictured).
If you’re not yet ready to pick up the real-life sticks like Questlove, go electronic with something like the Alesis Nitro (R5 995, Paul Bothner Music), which looks like a traditional kit but includes a massive 385 drum, cymbal and percussion sounds. The next step is the Alesis SamplePad Pro (R5 845, Paul Bothner Music), which has eight isolated pads with full compatibility with all MIDI-equipped triggers, sequencers and instruments. The USB connection even lets you upload your own custom sounds.
Just starting out? You don’t have to go electric right away (just ask Bob Dylan!). Stay unplugged with the Yamaha C40M classical guitar (R1 595, Paul Bothner Music), with its rich, natural sound and great feel – or pick up every guitarist’s favourite first instrument, a Jack Daniel’s Ukulele (R1 799, Makro, online only, pictured).
You have loads of options when it comes to electric guitars, with instruments available at all price points. Start with the iconic Caraya SEG-288TSB (R1 495, Paul Bothner Music) or the metallic red Jackson JS12 Dinky (R3 750, Paul Bothner Music), before graduating to Fender’s iconic Olympic white Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster (R19 710, Paul Bothner Music). Its unique appointments are based on Hendrix’s “flipped-over” setups. Even if you can’t sound like him (don’t stress, nobody ever will), you can at least look like him!
You will, of course, need to also invest in the various pedals, preamps, plugs and simulators. Opt for the portable Boss GT-1 Guitar Effect Processor Pedal (R3 780, Paul Bothner Music) or its even more versatile cousin, the Boss GT-100 (R8 395, Paul Bothner Music).
If you’re all about that bass, then let your RCS Card treat you to the Fender Squier Classic Vibe Jazz Bass 60s (R6 500, Paul Bothner Music). This four-string electric bass guitar looks like it hasn’t changed since the golden age of Motown soul... and that’s just how we like it. For hard rockers, there’s the four-string Cort GS-Punisher-2 (R3 845, Paul Bothner Music).
It worked for Kanye West in “Runaway”, and it’ll work for you as you add texture to your music. The entry-level Roland F-20 weighted key piano (R11 895, Paul Bothner Music) produces best-in-class recording and metronome functions, on-board rhythm accompaniment and a huge selection of non-piano sounds. For pros, there’s the Casio AP-460 Celviano digital piano (R33 999, Makro, online only, pictured), or the investment of the 88-note Roland RD-800 (R41 995, Paul Bothner Music), which has Roland’s famous hammer-action design for feather-light weighted touch. The sounds on this unit are incredible; if you can hear it, the RD-800 can play it.
At some point, you’ll want to mix your tracks – and that means you’ll need to hear what’s going on. If you’re a serious muso, grab a set of Bose QuietComfort 25s (R6 500, DionWired, pictured) or Bose SoundTrue around-ear headphones (R2 890, DionWired), shut out the outside world, and get lost in the sound of your own musical amazingness. For a gentler bump to your budget, go for the Skullcandy Hesh 2 (R1 799, Incredible Connection) or the Philips A1Pro Armin DJ (R1 499, Incredible Connection). Hey, if it works for superstar DJ Armin van Buuren, it’ll work for you!
Finally, there’s the greatest musical instrument on earth, your voice. Record it with the Samson C01 condenser microphone (R995, Paul Bothner Music), which has two ultra-thin sensor membranes to pick up every noise you make.
At some point you’ll want to put out an album, EP or demo tape… and that’s where you’ll want Paul Bothner Music’s Studio Bundle Deal (R6 495), which includes a USB mixer, active monitors, the Samson C01 mic, Samson SR 450 headphones, a MIDI keyboard controller, mic stand and all the necessary cabling.
Get a Raidmax Hybrid 730W power supply unit (R1 299, Incredible Connection) to pump power to your vital studio equipment, and stock up on HiFi Corp’s Sansui portable multimedia PA system PPA150 (R849) to get the crowd hyped at your live events.
Got it? Good. See you on stage.
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* Paul Bothner Music prices valid for online purchases only. All prices were correct at time of publication, and are subject to change.