best advice i can give regarding drum purchases is don't be cheap. if you try to save money by going with the inexpensive stuff, you'll end up spending just that much more when it breaks and you have to buy the expensive stuff 3 months from now. keep in mind that these are things you hit with sticks and step on over and over and over and over.
if you want to go new, get yourself a Pearl Visions (VSX or VX model) kit or a Yamaha Stage Custom kit. Both will last you a long, long time and sound very good, especially considering how much they cost, which is between $429 and $699 for the shells, depending on where you shop. You will then need a hardware set (hihat, snare and cymbal stand, plus bass drum pedal), and you should budget AT LEAST $200 for that. Based on my personal experience, Pearl's 800 and 900 series stuff is excellent, but it will up your initial purchase price quite a bit. I've been using an S900 snare stand for about 6 years now, and an 800 series hihat stand for 12 years, with no problems from either. From there, figure you've got to at least have a pair of hihats, a crash cymbal, and a ride cymbal. Cymbal packs are the most economic way to go, but they'll still run AT MINIMUM $149.99, and that's for a Paiste PST3 set, which is only a pair of 13 inch hihats and an 18in crash/ride cymbal.
No joke, a decent drumset that you won't have to add bunches to, or replace parts quickly, will run you between $1000-$1200. Big investment to be sure, but what you get will be of quality, and it will last you for years, literally.
Really, you need a solid snare and bass drum. you also need a good set of hihats and a good ride cymbal. crashes you can kind of skimp on to start, but eventually you'll want to put some serious cash into those as well.
If you're looking to buy used, start trolling ebay for orphan bass drums and single snares. I would HIGHLY recommend a maple shelled bass drum. It'll have a nice and warm sound with enhanced low end. For a snare, I prefer brass snares. They're all I use, and what I'd strongly encourage you to look at. They'll work in any situation with the right heads and right tuning. You can make them warm like a wood snare, you can make them have the bite and nastiness of a steel snare, and you can do everything in between. I have eleven snares at the moment; 1 is copper, 2 are steel, 1 is aluminum, 1 is maple, 1 is mahogany, 5 are brass of varying depths, shell thickness and age.
Pearl is BY FAR the brand I recommend the most. They give you a lot of product for a relatively minimal cost, especially considering the quality.
If you want to learn, and learn quickly, pick up Tommy Igoe's "Groove Essentials 1.0" package, it's got a DVD and a book that reference one another. If you can't learn the very basics of drumming by watching this video, you probably should forget music and consider quilting as a hobby instead. Also, Ted Reed's "Syncopation" is a great book that everyone has, as is "Stick Control". Carmine Appice's "Realistic Rock Method" is wonderful, even if he is kinda a tool.
Later on, Steve Smith's "History Of The US Beat" is an incredible DVD that you'll want to pick up.
remember when starting out that you need to stay relaxed and loose and use your wrists and fingers. don't tighten up and don't swing your arms wildly. you could potentially end up doing damage to your body that will come back to haunt you later.
As far as people I look to for motivation, here's a little list:
(in my opinion, the best drummer alive today)
(for his rubber arms. a body that big should not move that fast. plus he's a super nice guy)
(incredible speed, power, and endurance)
(for his finger control and ambidexterity)
(for his feeling, and he hits the drums so hard it's almost comical)
- Hillary Jones
(for being super smooth and tasteful)
- Paul Leim
(for being an absolute pro. he's on loads and loads of records and almost no one knows who he is)
-Patrick Wilson (great feeling, especially on Weezer's "blue" record)
-Daniel Svensson (being way tasteful)
-Buddy Rich (the best ever. period.)