Getting your first drum set is something you will never forget. Whether you are 8 years old or 80 years old, anyone can learn to play the drums. When it comes to getting a beginner’s drum set, you’ll want to get something that looks and feels like a full-size, professional drummer’s set, but without the expensive price tag and investment. In this review, we’ll tell you everything you need to consider when purchasing a beginner’s drum set for yourself or a family member, plus we’ll tell you about the best beginner drum sets on the market today.
Best Beginner Drum Set Reviews
Knowing the basics of what to look for in a beginner drum set is an important step so that you can be sure to get exactly what you want. Let’s look at the best beginner drum sets in several categories: best overall, runner-up for best beginner drum set, best middle-of-the-road beginner drum set, best transitional beginner drum set, and best economical beginner drum set.
Best Beginner Drum Set
Runner-up for Best Beginner Drum Set
Best Middle-of-the-road Beginner Drum Set
Best Transitional Beginner Drum Set
Best Economical Beginner Drum Set
1. Best Beginner Drum Set
Pearl is known as a leader in the drummer community. This beginner drum set includes all the hardware to assemble the drum kit. It is made from 7mm poplar shells and has sturdy, double-braced hardware for maximum performance. The bass drum measures 22 inches across and 16 inches deep. There are three Tom drums including an 8 inch Tom, 12 inch Tom, and 16 inch floor Tom. The snare drum is 14 inches across and 5.5 inches deep. There are 2 cymbals included in this drum set: the hybrid hi-hat measuring 14 inches, and the 16 inch crash-ride cymbal in brass. The stands also come with this drum kit for all of the drums and cymbals included in the set. What’s more, this drum kit comes with the drummer’s throne, as well as drum sticks made from maple wood. It comes with a drum key to tighten the drum faces, the bass kick pedal, and it’s an appropriate size for drummers of all ages. The one complaint about this beginner drum set is that it might be difficult to add additional drums to this set as you progress through your drumming career. Pearl is really specific about how they build drum kits and it’s sometimes hard to add pieces onto an existing drum set. Still though, given the great components available in this beginner drum kit, we like it for our pick of the best beginner drum set overall.
2. Runner-up for Best Beginner Drum Set
This full-sized beginner drum set comes with everything you need to get started playing the drums. The bass drum is a great size measuring 22”, and it looks great sitting at the front of the drum set. The tom tom drums measure 10 inches, 12 inches, and 16 inches, so there are lots of options for playing and experimenting with sound and music. The snare drum is a 14” stand drum, and the cymbals include a 13 inch hi-hat, as well as 16 inch crash cymbal. This beginner drum set is stunning in red foil color, and everything comes with the drum set to get it set up in only a few hours. This set doesn’t come with instructions, but you can download them off the internet easily. You do get drumsticks with this drumset, however, it doesn’t come with a throne, so you’ll need to invest in a seat for the drummer in your life. Using a kitchen chair or stool is not going to give you the same effect as a drummer’s throne because other kind of chairs are too high to play the drums properly. The Ludwig 5 piece drum set is great for beginners because it doesn’t have too many components to overwhelm first time drummers, and because it’s a full-sized drum set, it’s great for drummers who are a bit older, or adults.
3. Best Middle-of-the-road Beginner Drum Set
When you are in the market for a beginner drum set, sometimes you don’t want to invest in a top-of-the-line model, and sometimes you don’t want the economy model either. That’s where a middle-of-the-road model comes in handy. And the ddrum D120B has got you covered. It’s like the sweet spot of beginner drum sets. Not only does it come with everything you need, including the hardware stands to set it up and play, it looks great too. The deep red color of the drum set looks great anywhere. This fusion-size drum set features 5 drums and cymbals. The bass drum measures 20 inches, the snare drum measures 14 inches, and the 3 tom toms measure 10 inches, 12 inches, and 14 inches. This beginner drum set comes complete with the drum sticks, as well as the kick pedal for the bass drum. It also comes with the drummer’s throne, which is a great feature given that there are more expensive models that don’t come with a throne. The one drawback of this drum set is that it doesn’t come with assembly instructions; however, you can find them online easily enough. That seems to be the trend with drum sets these days. You’ll also get a drum key for tightening the drum faces, and an allen key to make sure the hardware is installed properly and tightly. Overall, this is a great option for someone who is not ready to invest a lot of money, but still wants a great value for their purchase.
4. Best Transitional Beginner Drum Set
Investing in your first drum set is an exciting prospect. When you decide that you are going to put money into your musical dreams, it is sometimes a good idea to invest in a beginner drum set that can grow with you when you need it to. While some beginner drums sets are suitable for younger children and teenagers, if you plan to play the drums for any length of time, you will want to invest in a drum set that will carry you into adulthood. The Mendini complete drum set can do that. This full-size drum set offers a 22 inch bass drum, 12 inch tom tom, 13 inch tom tom, and a 14 inch snare drum. There i also a 16 inch floor tom, as well as 14.5 inch hi-hat and 16 inch crash cymbal. That’s literally everything you need to get started. You’ll also get the bass drum kick pedal and all of the hardware to set up the drum set and start playing right away. It comes with a throne and a pair of drumsticks as well. What’s great about this beginner drum set is that the throne is adjustable, so even your smallest player can sit comfortably at the drumkit. It also means that adults can enjoy this drum kit too, and everyone in between. This drum set does come with instructions to set it up, and the shells are made from durable PVC, which will last a long time. Want even more from this beginner drum set? Well, it comes in 7 different colors: black, red, dark red, blue, green, white, and silver.
5. Best Economical Beginner Drum Set
Gammon Percussion Full Size Complete Adult 5 Piece Drum Set with Cymbals Stands Stool and Sticks, Black
Choosing an economical drum set for a beginner is a great option if you aren’t sure if the drummer in your life — or you — isn’t going to be playing very long. Some people just like to try new things. Or, it might be that your budget doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room, but you really want to get started with playing the drums. Either way, we’ve done the work for you and found a great value full-sized beginner drum set with a sticker price that won’t break the bank. This great looking drummer’s kit offers full-size drums, including a 22 inch bass drum, 14 inch snare drum, two mounted tom drums, one measuring 12 inches and the other measuring 13 inches. As well, this drum kit comes with a floor tom measuring 16 inches. The hi-hat cymbal is 12 inches and the crash symbol is 14 inches. You’ll also get all of the hardware, drum key, and stands to set up your drum set as soon as you get it home. You’ll get a pair of drumsticks, as well as the drummer’s throne. Economy options don’t always include the extras like a pair of drumsticks and a drummer’s throne, so it’s a testament to the great value you are getting here in this beginner’s drum kit. Want even more from this drum kit? You’ll get an instructional DVD to walk you through your first few lessons, and it even comes in several different colors to suit your tastes: blue, green, red, and black.
Drum Set Buying Guide
The components of beginner drum sets are pretty standard, but the sound quality and construction are two big things that vary from model to model. Some models come with everything you need to get started playing as soon as you get home, while other models come with components, but you need to buy the stands separately. And don’t forget about the throne, or stool, so you can sit and play your new drum set. Let’s look at what you need to think about when buying your beginner drum set.
Deciding How You Will Use Your New Drum Set
When it comes to playing the drums, it usually doesn’t take much to convince someone to give it a try. If you are in the market for a beginner drum set, you’ll want to ask yourself why you want to play the drums, and what you hope to do with them. If you want to just dabble on the weekends in your family room, you won’t need much more than a beginner set, but if you are hoping to play in a band, or are going to play in a band with your buddies, you’ll want a more transitional drum set that will allow you to learn the ropes and can grow with you for a little while until you get the hang of things. You’ll also want to consider where you will be setting up your new drum set. If you live with others, you might want to consider putting your drum set somewhere in the house or garage where people won’t hear you practicing. If the drum set is for your children, it’s best to put the drums somewhere in the house that won’t disturb you or other family members; being told to be quiet all the time when someone is trying to practice will discourage them from wanting to play.
Almost every drum kit comes with the bass drum. It’s the heart and soul of any good drum set. It’s the large drum that sits on its side in front of the drum set, but the one thing you need to watch out for when buying a beginner drum set, or any drum set for that matter, is if the drum set comes with the kick stand for the bass drum. Some drum kits don’t include the kickstand, so you’ll get your drum set put together and have no way to play the bass. Watch out of that.
The snare drum comes standard with most drum sets. It is the one that sits in front of the drummer and is used the most in most songs.
Most drum sets come with at least one tom, sometimes referred to as tom toms, but some sets have as many as three toms. Depending on your playing level and what you intend to do with your drum set, one or two toms are usually enough to get you started.
This is the dual cymbal set that is used by kicking the pedal – which may or may not come in the drum set you buy – and drummers also hit it with drum sticks depending on the songs they are playing.
There are varying sizes of crash cymbals, and depending on what kind of songs you want to play or what you intended use of your drum set is, you will want to get at least one or two of these in the drum set you choose.
This cymbal is very large and produces a lower sound than the crash or hi-hat cymbals. Most drum sets come with this cymbal, but they do vary in size.
It seems silly to think that you have to buy drum sticks separately for your new beginner drum set, especially since beginner products usually come with everything you need to get started playing right away, but some drum sets don’t include drum sticks. Check on this before you buy so you aren’t let wondering if your leftover chopsticks will do the trick.
Beginner vs Junior
One thing to pay attention to is whether a drum set is for a beginner, who might be a full-sized adult, or a junior beginner, who is a child or teenager. Obviously a young child wouldn’t be able to sit at a full-size beginner drum set, so when you are looking to buy a beginner drum set, knowing who it is for helps a great deal. Adults wouldn’t appreciate a junior drum set anymore than a child would appreciate sitting at a full-sized adult drum set.
Drum sets come in a variety of sizes, and one of the things that contributes to the overall size of the drum set is the number of components that are included in the kits. If you are short on space, pay attention to the size of the drum set when it is fully assembled. Some drum sets allow for various configurations and set up, so if you need to move pieces around to accommodate a small space, it is possible.
Finally, some drum sets don’t come with stands for the cymbals and hi-hats, toms or snares. Some kits have some stands, but not all, and some don’t have any. Shell kits are drum sets that don’t have any stands included; these are typically more affordable at first, but you will need to spend more money to get the stands you need. However, shell kits are great for transitional drum sets for people who already have a beginner kit, or a junior kit, and are ready to move up to the next level without having to invest in a full drum set.
Whenever you head out to buy your first drum set, take your time to consider your options and what drum pieces you need to get started. Be sure to check to see if the drum set you invest in can be upgraded or added to later on, so your drum set can grow with you. If you have a teenager who is getting into drumming, make the investment in a full-size drum set so that it can stay with them for longer. If you have a younger player, invest in a junior size drum set. They will be good for several years, and you can also upgrade hardware and thrones later to accommodate growing bodies. Overall, we like the Pearl RS525SCC31 Roadshow 5-Piece Drum Set because it comes from a well known brand, and it comes with everything you need to get started. Because it’s a full-sized drum set, it can grow with you. Of course, any of the drumsets on this review will be a good choice for beginners, so whichever one you choose, you’ll be sure to be getting a great deal. Remember to look out for hardware inclusions such as stands, and opt for the most comfortable throne you can so that you are comfortable playing the drums for years to come.