In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: March 21, 2021
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All musicians know that a great drummer is what really makes a band. Percussion is the beating heart of any musical combo, and playing the drums can give you a lot of fun. So, if you’re just starting out and looking for the best drum set for beginner musicians, you might be confused because of the variety of the products on the market. Well, stick around, and we’ll help you find the best starter drum kit.
We’ve looked at eight of the very best drum kits out there, and no matter what the style of music you intend to play, we have found a kit that will suit you. In our review section, you’ll find our Editor’s Choice, the absolutely fabulous Pearl Roadshow RS525WFC. We couldn’t help but make this the number one drum kit on our list, since it is made from 9-ply poplar, which provides a high quality of sound, and comes with four different colors available. The kit also includes everything you might need from stands to pedals. Fear not, however, if the Pearl kit doesn’t float your particular boat, because we’ve included other seven kits – each with their own specific attributes.
We’ve spent hours doing out research, checking the customer reviews and feedback for these products as well as asking experts’ opinions. We’re going to discuss the best beginner drum set features, such as the number of pieces, colors, shell materials, the recommended age for different kits, and even warranties. Stick with us, and you’ll find a detailed review section aimed at finding the best drum set for beginner drummers – but there is also our handy buying guide, which can help you find the answers to any questions you might have.
The Editor’s Choice on our list of the eight best beginner drum sets is the excellent Pearl Roadshow RS525WFC. Pearl is known as one of the world’s best drum manufacturers. The company hasn’t compromised the high quality with this kit for novice drummers. You get a practical set with this version that will be ideal for learning and will last a fair while after you get up to speed with the basics too.
The first thing to note here is that this is a five-piece kit – so you will get everything you need to start practicing right away. There are a big bass drum and large floor toms that make this set perfect for playing rock. The 6.5-inch snare drum will have enough depth to play across several genres.
You get all the hardware, plus a set of cymbals – although these will probably be the first things you will want to upgrade. Despite having the high price tag, this kit stands head and shoulders above its competitors.
The best thing about this 5-Piece Junior Starter Drum Kit is that it is designed for smaller drumming novices. You won’t need to go out and find costly additional accessories – because this is a great package that has everything included.
Another appealing aspect of the Gammon five-piece drum set is the color. This comes in a high lacquered finish that really will get younger drum students wanting to practice. Gammon got the finish and appearance of their student kit right, which will be a massive plus for parents when they look to get their child interested in playing.
This set is quite popular because it is quite sturdy. It will give a lot of joy to the beginner and impress you with the sound quality. Unfortunately, it may take a lot of time to assemble this kit.
All in all, the Gammon kit is a well-priced starter kit, but you will definitely want to move on to a larger kit as your child progresses.
Next up on our list of the eight best drum sets for beginner players is the Mendini by Cecilio MJDS-5 kit. This kit is priced to reflect the need for an upgrade later – because it is designed to suit younger children, with heights ranging from 2.5-feet tall to 5-feet tall – and if you look after this drum set, it’ll be highly sought after as a wonderful second-hand option by another student.
This drum kit is compact, and that is reflected in the size of each of the individual drums that come included with it. There are a 16-inch bass drum and a 10-inch by 6-inch snare drum. Overall, this drum kit is well sized to make learning fun and easy for smaller people, which is also excellent for parents who wish to get their child into an instrument or hobby quite early.
You will love the way this drum kit sounds. Although some people weren’t very happy with the assembly instructions, they noted that the package was amazing. The throne and a pair of sticks are being thrown in with this kit.
The Ludwig LJR1061 Junior 5-Piece Black Drum Set is a fantastic product by this company that has set up a high reputation for itself over decades of manufacturing excellent drum kits.
Although this particular kit has dimensions that suit a younger user, none of the quality in the designing process has been lost. The Ludwig LJR1061 Junior 5-Piece Black Drum Set is simply a scaled-down version of a Ludwig adult kit.
With this set, you get a 16-inch bass drum, which has a perfect, warm sound, and a lovely selection of three toms – one being floor-mounted. Everyone will be impressed by the sound. All of the hardware here is of the highest quality, right down to the included throne.
The only drawback the Ludwig kit has is that it doesn’t come with the assembly instruction, so it will take some time to put it together. However, this kit would be hugely sellable once the time came to upgrade in size.
What we liked:
The smaller version of the professional Ludwig kit
Rise by Sawtooth Full Size Student Drum Set is going to be a kit that appeals to many aspiring young drummers – because it really does look like it would fit any stadium stage or downtown music venue. The Sawtooth has got the classic rock look just right.
As the name suggests, this kit is a full-size version, which makes it a great option for those students who are near the point where they will grow out of a small kit. It’s also obviously going to be a wise choice for any adults who want to practice and improve their musical skills.
In terms of kit, this is an inclusive five-piece package with everything you need to get started. It also comes with a marvelous Zildjian ZBT cymbal pack, which many professional drummers use for their live performances. On the other hand, the kit is quite pricey.
In the end, the Sawtooth option is one a lot of people will be taking.
The Ashthorpe 5-Piece Full-size Adult Drum Set will appeal to most adults out there who wish to take up the art of drumming as well as to bigger kids. This is a lovely looking drum set that has everything you’ll not only need to grasp the basics of the discipline, but also make some genuinely beautiful sounds. That’s mainly because you get Remo UT-series heads with this kit – which is a big advantage of this set.
In fact, there is not really much stopping a student from using this set for many years once they have learned the basics and started to play professionally. This kit is engineered well enough to be at home on most stages, and you can upgrade it if you like. It looks great, too, and there is a choice of several colors. The Ashthorpe 5-Piece Full-size Adult Drum kit requires minimal efforts to assemble, and you’ll be playing pretty soon after you get it all out of the box.
The GP Percussion GP55WR is a basic five-piece beginner drum set that has a budget-friendly price tag and is a good option if you want to make sure your child is going to stick with the program before you spend anything more.
The package you get with the GP Percussion GP55WR is wonderful, and that means that students will be free to get started learning as soon as you get this kit out of the box and assemble it. It can be put together really fast. You will like the metallic red color as well as the sound of the drums.
Not everyone will expect to get a high-quality, durable product at this price. Nevertheless, the kick pedal and cymbals feel cheap. Still, you can easily find the replacements for them.
This set will definitely get your youngster interested, but remember, you will need an upgrade when they outgrow it.
For those of you looking to learn how to play the drums, we have this electronic option. The Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh kit is a state of the art because it has much going for it, and that starts with the fact that it’s manufactured with mesh heads – which are at the pinnacle of electronic drum set technology. You’ll get a very realistic sound with the Alesis kit.
This is an eight-piece set-up on a rigid rack that allows you to adjust and customize it. You can select from the 40 different kit sounds and 60 play-along tracks to practice, which is a nice touch. It also has a sequencer to record what you want and a metronome to improve your timing and controls. However, the quality of the drums could be better.
To sum up, this kit is a great option. There is a headphone jack so you can play this anywhere without disturbing the others, and that is going to bring a heck of a lot of buyers.
What we liked:
Low noise level
Includes many different sounds and play-along tracks
Has a sequencer and a metronome
What could be better:
The quality of the drums could be better
Things to Consider
When it comes to finding the ultimate kit to learn playing drums, no matter whether you want it for an adult or a kid – this buying guide will maximize your chances of success. Keep reading, because we are going to talk you through the essential features, aspects, and all the things you need to know about before making your final decision.
How to pick the best drum set for beginner
Looking for your own drum kit doesn’t have to be an ordeal. As with buying any product, having a clear idea of what you want from your new kit will significantly improve your chances of finally choosing the right one. There is no magic formula since each drum kit is different and unique.
Everything will depend on your own preferences and needs. So, let’s dive deeper into the features that will be useful for you.
Pieces of the drum set
If you are just starting out your drumming journey, the truth is that you do not need to be overly concerned about getting larger sets. All drum kits that you are looking at will feature at least five pieces, and that is going to be exactly enough for you to begin learning and practicing.
The more pieces you buy, the more confusion you can get if you have never held drum sticks in hand. To start with, though, you will need to work out the rudimentary functions of percussion on a five-piece kit. Work on your hi-hat, snare drum, and cymbals and learn the art of using the toms with the bass drum. For example, consider the Pearl Roadshow RS525WFC as your very first option. It has the standard number of pieces and provides perfect quality of sound.
With practice, you will be progressing to bigger and more complex things – and that might even require expanding or upgrading your drum set.
Age of the beginner
Learning the drums is just like discovering the basics of any other musical instrument, sport, or skill. Methodical learning and practice will get you to your end goal, and you’ll become proficient if you go about the task of learning the fundamentals first. To do that, you will need to get the drum kit that matches your age, or, to be specific, your height. While some kids and teenagers have the build that can handle a full-size drum kit, some smaller people will greatly benefit from choosing a smaller option that isn’t quite scaled up to the size of an adult kit.
In that case, you might want to take a look at the Gammon 5-Piece Junior Starter Drum Kit. This set will impress you with the color and high gloss finish quality and the package, which includes everything for your kid to start playing right away. If your kid is quite big and tall, or you want the drum set for yourself, go for the Ashthorpe 5-Piece Full Size Adult Drum Set, which will last you a long time.
Acoustic drums vs. electric drums
It’s a quite common topic with most musical and percussion instruments and sets on the market in the twenty-first century – while there are many acoustic versions available, you will also find a range of electric options to buy too. As technology has progressed, electric musical instruments have become widespread, and drum sets are no exception. You will find the pros and cons of buying both acoustic and electric drum kit versions.
One of the biggest advantages of practicing on an electronic drum set is the option to play in headphones. Therefore, you will not disturb your neighbors and other family members, and your opportunities to play won’t be limited. A con of digital drum sets is that they will not give you the feel of the authentic acoustic drum set. Still, they do not require any knowledge of how to maintain them. If you want to get an electric drum kit, we recommend the Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit that has a sequencer and a metronome to make your practice more fun and effective.
The acoustic versions are more upgradable and have a fantastic vintage sound.
They require some adjustments and tuning. But as soon as you master that, you will enjoy the feeling that you get from playing. Therefore, think about sets like the Rise by Sawtooth. You will be fond of the rich-sounding Zildjian ZBT cymbals that come in the bundle.
The shell is the main part of the drum, and the materials used in production the drums significantly influence on the quality of the sound. While you can find metal and carbon shells, we will focus on the wood, since this material is most commonly used for acoustic drums.
Wooden shells are constructed of several layers, which enables the manufacturer to manipulate the material more easily. Each layer is called a ply, and different drum sets will feature drum shells with varying numbers of plies. Generally, the higher the number of plies is, the more costly the drum will be. The species of wood will affect the final price of a drum set too. With the drum kit like the Pearl Roadshow, you can be sure that this is a high-end product. It is made from the 9-ply poplar and provides a wonderful sound quality.
Drumming is an art form that varies a lot when it comes to playing the myriad of styles of music out there. For example, not all drum kits are suitable for playing thrash metal music, and you will often see kits played by drummers within that genre, which is hugely complicated and requires a double bass drum set-up a bass drum pedal for both drummer’s feet.
When you look toward drummers who play mostly jazz music, they often get away with a relatively small drum set – often just a basic five-piece set. However, you can also notice that they tend to have upgraded cymbal set-ups, and you’ll see them playing some pieces of music with brushes.
In popular music, electronic drums are widespread. The truth is that when it comes to musicians’ creativity, their possibilities are endless.
The excellent news for drummers is that their instruments are one of the most upgradable, customizable, and creative pieces of musical equipment out there.
When you are starting out playing the drums and looking around for your first set, it is very easy to be tempted by some of the drum kits from major manufacturers. Those drum sets are often fantastic and well-made. Among all the instruments in your rock band – and even in classical ensembles – the drum kit is usually the one that catches the eye first. Try to remember, however, having the best looking or the most expensive equipment isn’t that important – and those lovely kits from the major market players are going to be the most costly options. To learn playing the drums, all you will need is a modest but well-manufactured set, like the Ashthorpe 5-Piece, and you can always upgrade it later when you develop your skills.
Drum set color
While it definitely is not wise to go out and blow an absolute fortune on an expensive drum set as a novice drummer, there is certainly nothing wrong with selecting the color you like, since many manufacturers offer multiple color options for their products.
One way to get the street cred and draw admiring looks from those who watch you play, without losing a whole chunk of your hard-earned cash, is to buy a modest kit in an awe-inspiring color. If you are a parent looking to get your child into learning an instrument, and that instrument happens to be the drums, then choosing a great looking kit might well be the difference between them sticking with the practice, and losing interest. The budget-friendly Mendini by Cecilio MJDS-5 offers a variety of colors, so your kid can find a favorite one.
Let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy posting a cool picture on social media? Remember that a practical learning drum set definitely doesn’t need to look drab.
No matter which drum set you buy because, as with any purchase of that type, a warranty is an essential consideration. The peace of mind in a warranty is all about the fact that it protects you against faulty workmanship or component failure. Remember that it’s always worth checking out the terms of the warranty for each product you look at.
Accessories are important when it comes to your purchase because what’s included and what’s not will define how much additional cash you will have to spend to get drumming.
Remember to look at packages for things like whether pedals and thrones (stools) are part of the deal.
Some manufacturers even go so far as throwing professional cymbal sets in, making the kits more versatile for practicing in different genres. You can get the Zildjian ZBT cymbals with the Rise by Sawtooth.
You may also get drum sticks included, brushes, and items like cymbal stands and tensioning keys. Keep an eye out.
There are several kits available around the $200 mark, and you can even opt to get a full-size kit for this sort of money, such as the GP Percussion GP55WR, although top-notch kits like the Pearl Roadshow will cost way more. But you definitely will get what you pay for because it is hard to compare this set to any of the abovementioned in the list. You will get an impressive sound quality, and this kit will last you a long time.
This is going to depend on what musical genres you are playing. Not all drum sets will be viable for every type and style of music out there, and it is not realistic to expect that your first drum kit will last you for the whole life. That period is different for everyone. You may find that when you get better at drumming, your standards will become higher – and that’s when you might find yourself justifiably looking toward a more expensive set-up.
If you are playing simple genres, it will be enough for you to do some minor upgrades. On the other hand, if your favorite style is complicated and requires a better technique and equipment, you will find yourself looking for a new set or new accessories sooner.
Drum skins will last varying amounts of time, depending on how well you take care of them and how hard you play. Drum sticks can break really quickly if you hit the drums hard and often get unexpected rimshots. The shells and hardware of your drums can last you a while, as long as they don’t become physically damaged, and you handle them correctly. Cymbals can last a lifetime if you play them gently. If your favorite genre is quite aggressive and fast, prepare yourself to change those pieces more often. The right technique can prolong the life of your drum kit.
Upgrading the sound of your kit is possible, even if it didn’t cost a lot of money to buy. You can purchase new heads (or skins), change the cymbals, and adjust drum tension. Some snare drums have an adjustment for tightness, which can dramatically alter the sound it has, and many drums have dampeners to fine-tune their sound and resonance. One of the best ways to change the sound of a bass drum is simply to put an old pillow inside. With drum sets, the possibilities are endless, and the most basic changes can have a significant effect – so, experiment and just have fun with it.
The Pearl Roadshow RS525WFC topped our list of the best eight beginner drum sets because it’s an all-around star. It’s a brilliant kit for beginners, which will serve you for many years. All newcomers out there will love the perfect sound of this kit as well as the flawless design.
The Pearl kit was closely followed by our second-place pick – the Gammon 5-Piece Junior Starter Drum Kit. It’s a purpose-built beginner drum set that offers everything a young starter needs to get playing right away. Many customers admit that this kit was above their expectations.
The Mendini by Cecilio MJDS-5 found itself in third place on our list because it gives many advantages to the novice drummers and is very modestly priced.
We hope that this review helped you to find the best drum set for beginner musicians and start your journey towards becoming a professional drummer.