15 Best Beginner Drum Sets 2024

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Getting your first drum kit can be very exciting, but there are so many options out there that it can also be a bit overwhelming. Your first big decision is to choose between getting an electronic set or an acoustic one. For now, we’ll just look at acoustic drum kits.

I’ve compiled a list of all the best beginner sets on the market. You can’t go wrong with any of the options I’m about to mention.

Tama Imperialstar – Best Overall

Tama Imperialstar

The Tama Imperialstar (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is an incredible first-time kit for drummers who are just starting out. It offers everything you need besides a pair of drumsticks, and it borders on being a suitable kit to use for gigging once you get to that stage.

Starting with the shells, each one is made from a few plies of poplar wood. They sound great on the lower end, and I’m most impressed with how beefy the bass drum sounds.

Each shell has black nickel hardware, giving the drums a sleek look that I think looks far better than most other beginner sets out there. Combine that with the pristine finishes on offer, and you have yourself an epic looking drum kit.

The included cymbals come from Meinl’s HCS line, which are beginner cymbals created for newer drummers. They provide a perfect platform to start with, and they’re far superior to the no-name brass cymbals that come with cheaper sets.

They sound a bit tin-like, but not enough for beginner drummers to be bothered.

I also love the included hardware here. The boom cymbal stand is a welcomed addition, as it gives you more control over how you position your ride or crash cymbal.

With so many unique finish options and the package even coming with a drum throne, I think this is the perfect drum kit for a first-time drum kit buyer.

Wood type: Poplar

Cymbals: Meinl HCS 14” hi-hats, 16” crash, 20” ride

Hardware: Boom stand, straight stand, hi-hat stand, drum throne, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” bass drum, 14” snare

Sonor AQX Stage – Premium Option

Sonor AQX Stage

The Sonor AQX Stage (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is arguably the most premium beginner drum kit available. The areas where it really shines are in the shell hardware and the drum tones.

With the shell hardware, Sonor has equipped each drum with the rims, lugs, and tension rods that they put on their higher-end options. It gives the drums a pristine feel, as Sonor kits are known to be luxurious instruments.

My favorite part of the kit is the rack tom mounting design. The toms are ball-and-socket connectors, allowing you to maneuver them in all sorts of ways.

In terms of tone, these drums tend to sound more resonant and musical than most of the kits I’ve suggested on this list. They sing beautifully, and they’re quite easy to tune as well.

Pairing those with the B8 Sabian cymbals gives you an excellent overall drum kit sound. These B8 cymbals offer higher-quality sounds than the brass cymbals that come with other kits.

The big elephant in the room is the fact that this kit is very expensive for a beginner option. It’s priced at a point where you’ll need to decide between getting this or a higher-quality intermediate kit for the same cost. The second option just won’t come with cymbals or stands.

Wood type: Poplar

Cymbals: Sabian B8 14” hi-hats, 16” crash, 20” ride

Hardware: Boom stand, straight stand, hi-hat stand, drum throne, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” bass drum, 14” snare

Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit – Best Budget Option

Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit

The Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a seriously affordable downsized drum kit. It’s inspired by the slightly larger Breakbeats kit that Questlove also created, but this version is purely intended for kids to use.

So, I strongly suggest getting this set for your child, as it gives you everything you need, and it’s seriously small.

It doesn’t sound amazing, but it does sound a lot better than the cheaper kids’ drum sets out there. You can also put higher-quality drum heads on the shells to improve their tones drastically.

An adult could get away with using this kit for a bit, but it would never feel as comfortable as jamming on a normal kit or a compact one designed for adults.

Something that I appreciate about this design is that the crash cymbal is mounted to the bass drum. Having it placed there eliminates the need for a separate stand, and that lowers the total footprint of the instrument.

It’s perfect for kids who have a small space to place a drum kit in their bedrooms.

This kit also isn’t as loud as full-sized sets, so it will benefit the parents in that it won’t be as bothersome as it would be if you had a child constantly hitting a regular bass drum and some cymbals.

Wood type: Hardwood

Cymbals: No-name brand 10” hi-hats, 12” crash

Hardware: Hi-hat stand, drum throne, bass drum pedal

Drum sizes: 10” rack tom, 13” floor tom, 16” bass drum, 12” snare

Ludwig Accent

Ludwig Accent

The Ludwig Accent (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a big step up from the previous Ludwig kit we just looked at. Here’s a full-sized beginner option that comes with all the bells and whistles.

The first thing that stood out to me when looking at a few of these kits was the shiny finish options. It’s quite common for beginner kits to look a bit dull, so an Accent is a great option if you’re looking for something a bit more exciting in its appearance.

The shells are made from select hardwood instead of poplar, like most other kits in this category. The tones aren’t that different, but I found this set to sound a bit stronger in the mids.

The one thing I don’t like about it is the rack tom mounts. L mounts have always been my least favorite type, as they can often cause frustration when trying to position your toms. You just don’t get as much freedom of movement as you do with other types of mounts.

They won’t bother you if you like how your toms are set up, though.

The hardware included with the set is solid. The cymbals are nothing fancy, but they’ll get the job done for the first few months of you learning how to play.

Wood type: Select hardwood

Cymbals: No-name brand 14” hi-hats, 16” crash

Hardware: Straight stand, hi-hat stand, drum throne, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” bass drum, 14” snare

PDP Center Stage

PDP Center Stage

The PDP Center Stage (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is an almost identical kit to the Ludwig Accent. It comes with all the same parts, but you’ll find a few differences in design due to it being from a different brand.

The biggest difference is that it has poplar shells. So, you’ll get a bit more low-end oomph from this kit, especially from the bass drum and floor tom.

I also much prefer the hardware that you get with this set. The cymbal stands are standard, but the pedal designs are fantastic.

The kick drum pedal feels excellent to play with, and it’s a pedal that I wouldn’t mind using with higher-end drum sets. You get a similar feel from the hi-hat pedal, as they share a design.

One of the weirder aspects of this kit is how long the tom mounting arms are. You can see them through the batter head of the bass drum. This doesn’t really have any effect on how they sound or perform, but some drummers may not like seeing those there.

The last thing to mention is the True-Pitch tension rods. These come with all PDP and DW drum kits, and they tend to make tuning slightly easier.

Wood type: Poplar

Cymbals: No-name brand 14” hi-hats, 16” crash

Hardware: Straight stand, hi-hat stand, drum throne, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” bass drum, 14” snare

PDP Spectrum

PDP Spectrum

The PDP Spectrum (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a higher-quality beginner option from PDP. This kit sits at the beginning of the intermediate range of drum kits, making it an excellent option for drummers wanting something slightly better than the base beginner options.

This is one of the few kits in this segment I know of that combines maple and poplar for the drum shells. The maple adds so much tonal improvement compared to pure poplar drum kits, making these drums sound far more musical than everything we’ve looked at so far.

The combination of poplar keeps the drums light with a bit of boosted low-end too.

The shell hardware you get is great, including the popular True-Pitch rods, Teardrop Turret lugs, and PDP’s Floating Tom Mounts.

The tom mounts are excellent to work with, as they make positioning the toms comfortably a breeze.

Just note that this kit only comes as a shell pack. While it’s very affordable, you’ll need to pay more to get hardware and cymbals to pair with it.

Wood type: Maple/poplar

Cymbals: None

Hardware: None

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” bass drum, 14” snare

Pearl Roadshow

Pearl Roadshow

The Pearl Roadshow (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) has been one of the top beginner drum kit options for several years. The Export sets were the original inspiration for this, but this kit has been stripped down a bit compared to those to make it even more affordable.

This is one of the biggest drum kit packages you can buy at the moment, as it includes drums, hardware, cymbals, sticks, a stick bag, and even a large poster.

It’s one of those packages that just keeps on giving when you open it, making it an amazing gift to get someone who is wanting their first drum set.

The cymbals are quite weak in quality and tone, but everything else is great. The hardware stands, in particular, are solid as rocks. You shouldn’t expect anything less from Pearl, though.

Wood type: Poplar

Cymbals: No-name brand 14” hi-hats, 16” crash

Hardware: Straight stand, hi-hat stand, drum throne, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” bass drum, 14” snare

Mapex Venus Fusion

Mapex Venus Fusion

The Mapex Venus Fusion (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of my favorite beginner drum sets, mainly due to how different it is from all the other kits in the same category.

To start, you get a small floor tom and bass drum here, offering slightly higher tones. They also make the kit feel a bit more compact but not small enough to feel like you’re not playing a regular full-sized set.

The smaller size also makes this kit excellent for kids who take drumming seriously. All the drums are a bit easier to reach, but they’ll still get the full experience of playing a regular drum set.

The other standout feature of this set is the cymbals you get with it. They’re cheap brass cymbals, but they have a hammered design, making them sound a bit more musical than all the other brass cymbals out there.

I love how they sound. They just won’t last very long, so you’ll have to buy higher-quality cymbals after a while.

Wood type: Poplar

Cymbals: Hammered 14” hi-hats, 18” crash/ride

Hardware: Straight stand, hi-hat stand, drum throne, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 14” floor tom, 20” bass drum, 14” snare

Tama Stagestar

Tama Stagestar

The Tama Stagestar is Tama’s answer to kits like the Pearl Roadshow and Ludwig Accent. If the Tama Imperialstar seems a bit pricey for what you’re looking for at the moment, I highly recommend checking this more affordable Tama option out.

It’s an excellent starter kit, and I think the biggest thing that sets it apart from those other ones is the rack tom mount design. It’s another kit that gives you ball-in-socket mounts, and it’s the most affordable one that does so.

The hardware stands are great, matching the quality of the ones that come with the Imperialstar set. A particular standout is the drum throne, as it’s far better than what you get with the Ludwig Accent or the Pearl Roadshow.

The finish options are a bit bland for the Stagestar kits, though, barring the one lime green option.

Wood type: Poplar

Cymbals: No-name brand 14” hi-hats, 16” crash

Hardware: Straight stand, hi-hat stand, drum throne, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” bass drum, 14” snare

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch

The Yamaha Stage Custom Birch (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is the highest-quality drum set that I’m going to suggest on this list. I didn’t put it higher on the list due to it only being a shell pack, meaning it’s not the best overall package deal for beginners.

However, this is the best kit that I would recommend to a beginner drummer who wants to own and keep using their kit for as long as possible.

It’s another intermediate kit, but it’s one of the most affordable ones available. There are two reasons that I love this kit so much.

The first reason is the birch shells. They give the drums vibrant tones, having more attack than what you’d get with poplar or maple drums. This makes them sound super lively.

The second reason is the quality of the shell hardware. This feels like a professional drum set, and a lot of drummers use it in professional settings because of that.

You’ll need to get hardware and cymbals separately, but you can’t go wrong with a Stage Custom Birch if you’re looking for something amazing.

Wood type: Birch

Cymbals: None

Hardware: None

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” bass drum, 14” snare

Pearl Export

Pearl Export

The Pearl Export (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one kit that you will hear being mentioned in almost every conversation about good beginner kits. It was Pearl’s claim to fame at a stage, taking the mantle of being the most sold drum kit in the world.

In this Pearl Export EXX725S/C package, you get a full set of hardware stands, but you don’t get any cymbals. It’s the perfect package for drummers who want to buy a high-quality set of cymbals to get a fantastic overall drum set sound.

These mahogany mixed with poplar toms sound booming when you tune them low, and the kick drum sounds like a cannon. I’ve then found that the snare drum sounds the best when tuned tight and cracking.

The only thing I don’t like about this kit is the rack tom mounts. You need to remove the entire mount bracket to swap drumheads out, and that means you can’t keep the drums mounted when switching heads.

Wood type: Poplar/mahogany

Cymbals: None

Hardware: Straight stand, hi-hat stand, drum throne, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” bass drum, 14” snare

PDP Player

PDP Player

The PDP Player is another great beginner option for young kids.

The selling point of this specific kit is that it comes with a middle tom, whereas the other good children’s sets only come with a high tom.

Having a middle tom will allow kids to get used to how it feels to play with three toms instead of two.

The hardware stands included with this kit are very flimsy. However, I’ve seen how they hold up with a variety of different kids playing on them, so the flimsiness would only be an issue with adults trying to play the kit.

I also love how the bass drum is 18”. It’s one of the larger bass drums I’ve seen on a drum set for kids, further bringing the experience of playing a big kit closer to them.

Wood type: Select hardwood

Cymbals: No-name brand 10” hi-hats, 12” crash

Hardware: Straight stand, hi-hat stand, drum throne, kick pedal

Drum sizes: 8” & 10” rack toms, 12” floor tom, 18” bass drum, 12” snare

Pearl Midtown

Pearl Midtown

The Pearl Midtown (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a great entry-level compact drum kit option. It’s a set that can be played by experienced drummers, but the low price tag makes it an ideal option for first-time drum set buyers as well.

I’ve used a Pearl Midtown kit to play several gigs in the past, but it also works wonderfully when set up for my beginner students.

You get a surprisingly big kick drum sound with this set, and the two toms have always been very easy to tune.

The snare drum is the weak link, but that’s only something that experienced drummers will feel. If you’re a beginner, you’ll love how the snare drum sounds.

Just note that you’ll need to get hardware and cymbals separately, as is the case with most compact drum sets.

Wood type: Poplar

Cymbals: None

Hardware: None

Drum sizes: 10” rack tom, 13” floor tom, 16” bass drum, 13” snare drum

Sonor AQX Micro

Sonor AQX Micro

The Sonor AQX Micro (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the smallest compact drum sets available. While the AQX Series is a regular line of drum kits for drummers of all ages, I think this specific set is one of the highest-quality options you can get for kids.

The whole set is centered around the tiny 14-inch bass drum, and having such a small bass drum is what makes this kit work wonderfully for young kids.

All the drums sound very popping and high-pitched, but they have far more depth of tone than what you get from actual kids’ drum sets. The shell hardware quality is also much better.

The only included piece of stand hardware you get is a boom arm that mounts to the bass drum. It’s surprisingly heavy, making it a wonderful addition to the set.

Wood type: Poplar

Cymbals: None

Hardware: Boom cymbal arm

Drum sizes: 8” rack tom, 13” floor tom, 14” bass drum, 13” snare drum

PDP New Yorker

PDP New Yorker

The PDP New Yorker (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is my final suggestion for this list. It’s also a compact kit that works wonderfully for kids who are just starting out, but for a different reason than why the Sonor AQX Micro works so well.

It sounds a bit shallow, but I’d mainly suggest that someone gets this kit due to the color options. It’s one of the few affordable kits that comes in a pink finish, making it an excellent choice for parents looking for a kit for their daughters.

While the color of a drum kit doesn’t affect how it sounds, it does affect how much a child loves it. The more they like it, the more time they’ll want to spend with it, encouraging them to practice.

It helps that this set feels great for adults to play on too.

Wood type: Poplar

Cymbals: None

Hardware: None

Drum sizes: 10” rack tom, 13” floor tom, 16” bass drum, 14” snare

What To Look For In a Beginner Drum Set

Kids vs Regular Drum Sets

The first thing you need to do when looking for a beginner drum set is understand the differences between regular sets and ones designed for kids. They’ll always be grouped in the same categories when searching online, so you don’t want to accidentally get yourself a kid’s set when you didn’t plan on it.

The biggest difference is that kids’ drum kits are much smaller. They also have flimsier hardware on the shells. They’re perfect for kids that are too small to feel comfortable on regular kits.

You’ll also find kits called compact sets, but these have the same quality in their shells as regular kits. They’re intended for grown people to play.

If you don’t have the opportunity to play the kit yourself before buying it, the only real way of knowing if it’s a kids’ set is by reading it in the name. It sounds fairly obvious, but I know people who have been caught out before.

Just make sure that you’re getting an adult-sized set if that’s what you’re looking for. If you’re buying a beginner set for a small child, they’ll most likely enjoy a dedicated kid set a lot more.

On the flip side, you could skip kids’ drum sets altogether and get one that your child could grow into. That will save you a bit of cash in the long run.

Buying In Person or Online

There are pros and cons to both options, with online shopping for gear becoming more and more popular every day. I’ll explain both so that you can choose which route to take.

The biggest benefit of buying a drum kit in person is that you get to try it out before buying it. You’ll feel how the kit performs, and you’ll hear how the drums and cymbals sound. This sounds like an obvious draw in the direction of getting your kit at a music store.

However, you most likely won’t know what you’re even looking for if this is your first drum set. Beginner drummers won’t be able to recognize good tones from bad, and all kits you try out will feel awkward to play.

So, I wouldn’t say trying before buying is a huge benefit to beginner players.

The only benefit of this route is that salesmen in a music store can help you make a decision. They’ll answer any questions you may have, and you’ll find some good ones that are more than happy to help you.

I think buying online is a much better option, though. You get far more variety, as you’re not limited by what a music store offers. You can also read user reviews and guides (like this one) to know what all the best kit options are.

You then have the benefit of not having to lug an entire drum kit from a music store to your home. It will just arrive at your door after you order it.

Full Drum Kits and Shell Packs

Here’s another very important concept to understand regarding the purchase of a drum kit. Some drum sets come with everything you need, while others only come with toms, a snare drum, and a bass drum.

The latter option is called a shell pack, and this is the most common way that you’ll see drum sets being sold.

All the pictures you see online can be very misleading, as stores always put hardware and cymbals with the images of shell packs. If you buy a shell pack, you need to buy hardware and cymbals separately.

If you buy a full drum kit package, you’ll get the following in most cases:

  • Snare drum stand
  • Kick pedal
  • Hi-hat stand
  • Cymbal stand
  • Drum throne
  • Cymbals

Some full drum kits don’t come with a drum throne, so make sure to check for that when you get one. Others come with two cymbal stands instead of one.

You’ll also get a few options that don’t come with cymbals, but they will come with cymbal stands. These are perfect for drummers that want to invest in higher-quality cymbals but still need stands to place them on.

If you’re a beginner with no gear yet, a full drum kit will be the better choice to go with. If you want to get something a bit higher in quality, you may need to get a shell pack and then purchase the extra things separately.

Shell Material

All drum sets are made up of shells that are crafted from various woods. The type of wood used greatly affects how the drums sound. As drum kits get more expensive, the variety of wood types becomes far greater.

Typically, all beginner drum sets are made from poplar wood. It’s a type of wood that gives the drums relatively soft high and mid frequencies. It also gives a lot of boosted low frequencies. Because of this, poplar drum kits often sound the best when tuned quite low.

This is only true for the toms and bass drums, though, as poplar snare drums mostly sound quite bad when tuned low.

If you’re looking for pricier options, you’ll find other woods being used. This includes maple, birch, and mahogany.

Here’s what you can expect from each of those:

Maple – Overall warm tones with a good balance between each frequency range. Typically, the easiest to tune well.

Birch – Accented high frequencies that create punchy sounds. These drums sound a bit more vibrant and livelier.

Mahogany – Boosted low frequencies. A lot more emphasis on low tones than poplar drum sets. 

The types of drumheads and tuning you use arguably make more of a difference in the sounds you get, but it’s good to know what these wood types offer as a baseline.

Included Hardware

I briefly touched on kits that come with hardware earlier, but here’s more information that you should know about.

Firstly, you should only choose a kit that comes with double-braced hardware. This refers to when the legs of every stand have two metal pieces instead of one. Double-braced stands are a lot sturdier.

You get some high-quality single-braced hardware options, but you won’t find those in the realm of beginner drum gear. So, always looks for double-braced stands.

I also mentioned some kits not coming with a drum throne earlier. Make sure to get a good drum throne if your kit doesn’t come with one.

This is so important for your body’s health and the comfort levels you feel when playing drums. A bad drum throne has the potential to mess your back up over time. If you were to splurge a bit of money on one thing at the start of your drumming journey, I’d suggest doing it on a good drum throne.

Kick Drum Pedal

The kick drum pedal falls into the same category as included hardware, but it’s such an important piece of gear that looking at it a bit closer can help you choose between certain kits.

If the kit you’re buying comes with a kick pedal, there are a few components to look at that will help you establish how good or bad it is.

All the best kick drum pedals have things called baseplates. This is a piece of metal that rests underneath the pedal. It makes the pedal feel more secure to play, as the baseplate helps with balance.

Unfortunately, most kick pedals that come with beginner kits don’t have baseplates. They just have two thick rods that keep the pedal secure to the floor. You should get a pedal with a baseplate if you need to buy one separately.

The main thing to look at with kits that include a pedal is the beater type. Some pedals have dual beaters holding rubber, plastic, and felt sides. Others will just have a single beater type. Certain beater types aren’t better than others. They all just offer various textures and tones when you play the bass drum.

It’s always better to have a dual beater than a single material type one, though, as that offers more versatility.

Drumsticks

Some beginner kits come with drumsticks in the package, but most don’t. You’re going to need a pair of drumsticks to be able to play, so I strongly suggest ordering a pair at the same time that you order your new drum set.

Choosing a suitable pair of drumsticks is a whole new wormhole to dive into, as there are thousands of different drumsticks available.

If you’re just starting on the drums, don’t worry about that. You just need to get a pair of 5A or 7A sticks, and you should be good.

5A is the standard size for drumsticks. Most new drummers are more than happy with these, as they feel very comfortable to use.

7A sticks are a bit lighter and thinner. They’re better for kids than 5A sticks are, but you could also get them as an adult if you just want something a bit easier to play with at first.

Drum Sizes

Drum kits come in various shapes and sizes, and the size of each drum shell will affect its tonal range. In the drum world, we have general terms that describe kits with certain shell sizes. These terms are standard, fusion, and compact.

Here’s what you can expect from a standard kit:

  • 14” snare drum
  • 10” rack tom
  • 12” rack tom
  • 16” rack tom
  • 22” kick drum

Here’s what you can expect from a fusion kit:

  • 14” snare drum
  • 10” rack tom
  • 12” rack tom
  • 14” floor tom
  • 20” kick drum

Standard and fusion kits are very similar. The difference is that the bass drum and floor tom are smaller in a fusion setup. You get slightly higher tones, and the overall footprint of a fusion kit is a bit smaller due to the bass drum size.

Here’s what you can expect from compact kits:

  • 13” or 14” snare drum
  • 8” or 10” rack tom
  • 13” or 14” floor tom
  • 16” or 18” kick drum

Compact kits have a much broader range of sizes, but the one constant feature is that they never come with a middle rack tom. Kids’ drum sets will have similar sizes to compact kits.

Drumheads

All beginner drum kits come with poor-quality drumheads. It’s one of the main reasons that drum kits in this category don’t sound as good as high-end sets.

The good news is that you can buy better drumheads to dramatically increase the sound quality that you get.

However, you can also use muffling to make the drums sound better, so you don’t need to invest in new drumheads straight away. Muffling is when you place tape or gel on the drums to cut down on the nasty overtones.

The more you muffle a drum, the less it will ring. That will make it sound more pleasant, but taking away the sustain will also choke the drum and make it sound less musical. There’s a point where muffling will make the drum sound worse, so you need to add enough of it before getting to that point.

One other thing to mention about drumheads is with regard to the resonant head on a bass drum. If you plan on recording a beginner set that you buy with microphones, make sure to get one that has a port hole on the end side of the bass drum.

This port hole will allow you to place a microphone inside the bass drum, and that will make getting a good bass drum sound a lot easier when mixing.

It’s not very common for beginner kits to have portholes, but some of them do. A good example is the Pearl Roadshow.

Cymbals

All beginner kits that come with cymbals have cymbals that are made from brass. It’s the worst material that can be used for cymbals, as it always produces cymbals with unresponsive tones and sounds.

However, beginner drummers won’t notice these poor sounds at first, so drum companies include these cheap cymbals to give drummers full setups.

A lot of drummers refer to beginner cymbals as target practice tools, as they train you where and how to hit cymbals before you eventually buy some higher-quality ones.

However, I’ve been getting more and more impressed with some of the brass cymbal options out there.

You’re going to have to upgrade your cymbals eventually, but some kits come with ones that last a lot longer than others.

A good rule of thumb is to get a kit that comes with cymbals from a big brand like Sabian, Meinl, or Zildjian. Those cymbals will sound a bit better, and they’ll be a lot more durable.

If you get a kit that comes with no-name brand cymbals, the chances are high that they won’t last very long structurally. It’s very normal for those to break after a few months of heavy bashing.

Used Drum Sets

Another big decision to make is whether to buy a brand new drum set or a used one. As with buying in person or online, there are benefits and drawbacks to both.

The worst aspect of buying a used kit is that you could buy something that isn’t in great shape. Thankfully, drum sets don’t decrease in quality too much over time. You’ll just get a few rusted parts and slightly warped drum shells.

Rusted parts can easily be replaced, so that isn’t a big deal if the problem arises.

The good part of buying a used kit is that you can find an amazing deal. You can even buy a kit that comes with hardware and cymbals where the original version of that kit wouldn’t.

With that being said, there’s nothing quite like unboxing a brand new drum kit for the first time. You also have more options when buying new, as buying used limits you to whatever is available at the time.

I think it’s a lot safer to buy a brand new beginner drum kit, but you should get a used drum set if you find an offer that you can’t refuse.

Price

If you’re buying your very first drum kit, you’ll need to budget between $600 and $1500. You’ll pay $600 for the most beginner-friendly budget kits out there, and higher-quality options will tip over the $1000 mark when you include hardware and cymbals.

You should always take resale value into consideration, as you won’t stick with a beginner kit forever if you start taking drumming seriously.

It’s incredible how many options are out there, so you’ll easily find a good kit that fits in whatever budget you have. It will just be very difficult if your budget is lower than $600 for an acoustic set.

In that case, you’ll need to look at a few cheap electronic drum set options. Brands like Behringer and Alesis offer very affordable beginner sets in that area, and you don’t need to worry about hardware and cymbals for the most part.

Best Beginner Drum Set Brands

There are about nine big and popular drum brands that you can find all over the world, but a few of them only offer mid to high-end drum kit options.

Here are all the good brands to check out that offer multiple sets with affordable price tags.

Pearl

Pearl has always been on the cards as one of the greatest drum brands out there, but they’re a particularly good choice for beginners to look into.

The Roadshow is one of the best entry-level sets I know of, and the Export kits aren’t too shabby, either.

However, it’s the hardware quality of the brand’s beginner sets that always impresses me the most. I still use a cymbal stand from a cheap Pearl kit that I got over a decade ago.

Mapex

Mapex certainly isn’t one of the most popular brands, but they’ve cemented themselves as an affordable alternative choice to most of the others.

They offer a few good intermediate drum sets that any beginner would be happy with if they were okay to spend a bit more than expected.

I also love the hand-hammered brass cymbals that you get with the brand’s signature beginner kit. They’re not the best sounding cymbals out there, but they offer more musical response than all other cheap brass cymbals.

Tama

Tama is another powerhouse brand that you’ll always find being mentioned in the same settings as Pearl.

While this brand also offers incredible hardware quality, it’s their large number of compact kits that makes drummers interested in them.

Compact kits are a lot cheaper than regular kits most of the time, so they’re great options for beginner drummers with small budgets. You’ll be spoiled for choice when looking through Tama’s product range.

Yamaha

Yamaha is the final Japanese drum brand worth mentioning. The brand has offered a few good entry-level kits over the years, with their current one being the Rydeen.

However, I think their Stage Custom is the ultimate kit that crosses the borders of being useful for beginners, intermediate players, and professionals. It has such an affordable price tag, but it offers top-tier sound quality that fits right in on professional stages.

PDP

PDP is a sister company to DW. The goal is to create affordable kits that take design inspiration from high-end DW ones. Some of the brand’s sets are meant to be used professionally, but they offer a few beginner options that are excellent for newer drummers.

The selling point of this brand is that you get to touch a few features that you’d normally get on some luxurious DW drum sets. The costs are kept lower by having the drums produced overseas instead of in the US.

Sonor

Sonor is one of the more expensive brands that I’m mentioning. If you’re happy to spend a bit more than you would on other brands’ beginner set options, I highly recommend checking out the Sonor drum kits.

They offer amazing tonal quality, and they’re kits that most drummers will be happy with for longer than they would be with cheaper options.

Top Beginner Drum Sets, Final Thoughts

While every single kit I mentioned works very well for beginners, some of them may cater better to your circumstances than others. To get the most out of all my suggestions, you should read my buyer’s guide and sift through all the kits to compare them to line up with your needs.

Remember that a beginner drum kit will most likely not be the last drum set you buy, so it’s okay to get something a bit cheaper that you won’t keep using for decades.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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