You (or your little one) have decided to become a drummer – congratulations! Learning to play the drums is incredibly rewarding and as a drummer, you’ll have an important role in any band you play in. Maybe even the most important? Now that you’re a drummer, you’re going to need a drum kit. As great as they are, pots and pans aren’t quite going to cut it, especially if you’re planning on playing at Glastonbury. With so many fantastic drum kits for beginner drummers, how do you choose? We’ve gone and handpicked our Top 6 Drum Kits For Beginners to narrow it down for you.
Whether you want to play pounding rock, laidback hip-hop, aggressive metal, elegant jazz or polished pop, we’ll help you find the right drum kit.
What makes a drum kit good for beginners? You’ll want it to be durable as, surprise surprise, drum kits will take a lot of hits over their lifetime. Also, the way the kit feels to play, sounds and looks are key factors, especially as a beginner drummer. Simply put, if you like the sound the kit makes and it looks cool – you’ll want to play it more! And the more you play, the quicker you’ll improve. Finally, it always helps if a beginner drum kit is affordable.
Whilst our picks for our Top 6 Drum Kits For Beginners cover a range of budgets and needs, we’ve made sure they tick all boxes.
Top 6 Drum Kits For Beginners | Part 1 | Acoustic Drums
We recommend going for an acoustic drum kit as, after all, this is the way drummers are supposed to do it, right?! If you have the space, aren’t worried about the noise and want to play in a band, there are no substitutes for an acoustic drum kit. Plus, they can’t be beaten (pardon the pun) when it comes to playability. If you start on an acoustic kit, you’ll become used to the way actual drums and cymbals sound and respond.
All In One
All the acoustic drum kits we mention are “complete kits”. This means that they come with everything you need to get started. In addition to the essentials like shells and cymbals, you also get hardware, sticks and a stool. It’s a convenient way to get going, especially if you may not be familiar with the ins and outs of drum gear yet.
If you browse for drum kits on our site, you’ll notice some manufacturers offer “shell packs”. A “shell pack” only comes with, you guessed it, the shells and nothing else. You get a kick drum and toms. To create a complete drum kit with a shell pack, you’d have to pick up a snare, cymbal set and hardware separately.
You may wonder why all kits aren’t offered as complete kits. Surely it’s a bit of a faff having to grab all the individual parts that you need? The reason is simple – customisation! Whilst a complete kit is ideal at the start, as you develop as a player so will your preferences.
For example, some drummers prefer bright, cutting cymbals whilst others opt for mellow, dark ones. Some drummers like the crystal-clear treble of a Birch snare, others favour the vintage warmth of Mahogany. There are so many options out there! Being able to customise your kit is definitely one of the wonderful things about being a drummer. As a beginner drummer, you may need time to develop your ear and figure out what feels and sounds right for you as a player. Eventually, you can put together a drum kit that truly reflects your sound and style!
- A versatile drum kit with a big, punchy sound.
- A complete package that comes with everything you need to start playing!
- Made by a top-tier drum company.
- High-quality double-braced hardware that stays in place.
The Pearl Roadshow acoustic drum kit is a robust and versatile choice for the new drummer. This kit can handle practically any style with ease, which is ideal if you’re starting out.
It comes in a variety of eye-catching colours and includes everything you need to kickstart your drumming journey right out of the box – five drums, two or three cymbals, a kick pedal, drum throne, hardware, sticks and even a stick bag! This complete package takes the hassle out of buying all the important drumming accessories.
Pearl are one of the leading drum manufacturers, so you can count on your Roadshow kit to be sturdy and dependable. The 9-ply Poplar shells project plenty of power and punch. Plus, the hand-cut 45° bearing edges make tuning dead easy. The high-impact snare and kick are a highlight, providing a strong foundation for your sound.
Cymbals can be hit-or-miss with beginner acoustic kits. That’s why our Pearl Roadshow kits come with premium Sabian cymbals. Because you’ll be starting out with high-quality cymbals, you won’t have to worry about upgrading as soon.
- A keenly priced acoustic kit that comes in a variety of sizes.
- All-in-one package for beginners – just buy one thing!
- Made by a widely renowned drum company.
- Sturdy and reliable build-quality that’s great for live use.
The Mapex Tornado drum kit is a more affordable alternative to the Pearl Roadshow. It’s a great option if you want an acoustic kit on a tighter budget. Like the Pearl Roadshow, the Mapex Tornado kit is equipped with everything a beginner drummer needs.
Mapex is another renowned brand in the drumming world, with countless pros using their excellent gear. There’s no doubt that the Mapex Tornado kit will see you through your early drumming days and beyond.
As an added bonus, every Mapex Tornado kit is outfitted with high-quality Remo heads. As well as delivering a bold sound, these heads will last for ages. Each version of the Mapex Tornado also comes with the 200 Series double-braced hardware pack. This ensures all your drums and cymbals will firmly stay in place, no matter how hard you hit!
This kit is offered in three types – Rock, Fusion and Compact. The Rock set has a big, bombastic sound, the balanced Fusion set can cover a lot of bases and the Compact set is perfect if you need to save space. In addition, each set can come in either Black, Royal Blue or Burgundy so you can tailor your kit’s look to your personal style.
Tiger DKT28 Full-Size 5-Piece Kit
- A keenly-priced introduction to drumming for teenagers and adults.
- Available in a variety of colours, including black, red and purple.
- A complete, full-size kit at an attractive price.
- Comes with all the accessories you need to start playing, including a drum throne and sticks.
The Tiger DKT28 5 Piece acoustic drum set is a great choice for teens and adults who are looking to start their drumming career with a durable, great-soundng kit. The DKT28 comes in three colours – black, red and purple – so you can choose the perfect kit to match your individual look.
In addition to the drums and cymbals, this top-value kit also includes a set of sturdy metal hardware to mount it on, a pair of wooden sticks and a handy tuning key. All the essential accessories to start rocking out! You don’t need to be Terry Bozzio’s drum tech to put the DKT28 drum kit together. The included instructions and straightforward design make assembling this drum kit a breeze.
- Very affordable starter kit that’s perfect for children between 3-10 years old.
- Like a full-size kit, just smaller!
- Comes with robust chrome hardware that can take a wallop.
- Includes accessories such as sticks and a stool.
The Tiger JDS14 is a junior drum kit that’s perfect for kids aged between 3 and 10. The JDS14 is incredibly simple to assemble and comes with everything you need for your little drummer to start playing. Whilst the JDS14 is catered to children, it boasts the sturdiness and sound that you’d expect from a full-size kit – just shrunk down to a kid-friendly size!
With its resonant wooden drums, heavy-duty chrome hardware and rugged drum heads, the Tiger JDS14 drum kit will keep your young drummer inspired until they graduate to a full-sized kit. If you’re after a reliable, robust and affordable starter drum kit that’s a top-notch learning platform for kids, you can’t go wrong with the Tiger JDS14.
Top 6 Drum Kits For Beginners | Part 2 | Electronic Drums
An electronic drum kit offers a quieter and more flexible alternative to an acoustic one. Because the sound of an electronic drum kit comes from the included module, you can practice a lot quieter with headphones. This is a huge advantage if noise or neighbours is a concern!
Unlike an acoustic kit, you’ve got a lot more sonic flexibility with electronic drums. Most electronic drum kits come with a selection of kit sounds that cover a broad range of styles. Some even come with drum machine-style kits so you can transcend traditional drum sounds. If the kit has MIDI or USB functionality, you can hook it up to a computer to expand your range of sounds even further. Plus, a lot of drum modules feature handy practice tools such as a metronome and looping.
Electronic drums also have an edge with it comes to home recording. Whilst there’s no denying the sheer magic of a great acoustic drum sound, there’s a lot that goes into achieving one. You need multiple microphones, a desk or interface to plug them into and an acoustically-treated room to record in – for a start! Whereas with an electronic drum kit, there’s way less hassle involved. Simply record the sounds directly from your module or use your kit as a MIDI controller.
If you’re a beginner starting on an electronic drum kit and want to also play acoustic, you’ll have to get used to the adjustment between the two. Whilst beginner electronic drum kits have come a long way, there’s still a difference in response.
- Ultra-compact, lightweight and expressive drum kit.
- Intuitive onboard practice tools.
- USB-MIDI for computer connectivity.
- Adjustable pad height – works for kids and adults!
The Roland TD-1K electronic drum kit is part of the acclaimed TD-1 series. This kit is seriously compact and straightforward to assemble. It’s an excellent option for beginners that are looking for their first kit, as it gives you Roland‘s famous build-quality and playing experience at a keen price. The TD-1K can also be expanded down the line with the optional Roland OP-TD1C Cymbal.
This kit is packed plenty of with intuitive and beginner-friendly features. A highlight is the TD-1 module, which delivers 15 expressive drum kits. The kits respond to a variety of techniques, including cymbal chokes, buzz rolls and swells so you can incorporate your new tricks as you learn. With these V-Drum kits at your disposal, you can authentically play along to an array of genres (from rock to jazz to world-music). When you want to practice along with your favourite music, simply plug in your audio device using the Mix In jack.
The module also includes useful practice tools, including an onboard coach function, recorder and metronome. You’ll be improving your drum skills in no time! Using the USB-MIDI functionality, you can access extra practice features and use the TD-1K as a cracking controller.
The TD-1K has a sleek, ergonomic design that can easily fit into a cramped bedroom. It’s also very lightweight, making it a great option if you’re on the move. The drum rack’s height can be quickly and easily adjusted, so you can tailor it to both children and adults. The reliable rubber playing pads themselves have a realistic and durable feel.
Alesis Nitro Mesh
- Affordable electronic drum kit with acoustic-style playability.
- Expressive mesh pads with adjustable tuning.
- Customisable sounds and MIDI I/O.
- Onboard practice tools and option to play along to external audio.
Out of the box, the Alesis Nitro Mesh is equipped with a whopping 40 drum kits. Not only do you have these carefully crafted kits, but you can also design your own from the 385 drum, cymbal and percussion sounds. If that wasn’t enough, you can use the Alesis Nitro Mesh as an expressive controller.
When it comes to practising, the Alesis Nitro Mesh is no slouch. The module comes with 60 jam tracks, an onboard metronome and you can plug in your phone/tablet/computer if you want to practice your favourite songs.
Whilst the Alesis Nitro Mesh kit is packed with tonnes of features and flexibility, the stars of the show are the mesh pads. This is a feature that you’d normally find on a much pricier kit. The mesh heads realistically emulate the feel of an acoustic drum head and can be tuned for a different rebound response. They’re also ultra-quiet, making the Alesis Nitro Mesh a brilliant home practice kit. The dual-trigger snare drum is a highlight, as it allows you to pull off techniques such as buzz rolls and rimshots.
In addition to the kit, you also receive a pair of sticks, cables and a drum key for tuning the heads. If you fancy adding an extra cymbal and pad, you can enhance your Alesis Nitro Mesh kit with the Expansion Pack. Connecting up the Expansion Pack is no fuss at all, thanks to simple plug-and-play compatibility.
Top 6 Drum Kits For Beginners | Part 3 | Wrapping Up
We hope our Top 6 Drum Kits For Beginners has brought you closer to choosing your first kit! As you’ve probably guessed, there are a lot of amazing starter kits out there. Whilst this can be a surefire way to achieve Option Paralysis, having so much choice is a great thing. No matter your budget, space or size – there’s a kit out there that’s perfect for you.