Introduction: a foreword about The best beginner drum set models

Drums are considered to be one of the hardest instruments as far as the learning curve is considered, but luckily, there are people that thought about this problem and solved it. That’s where beginner drum kits come into play.

Beginner drum sets are specifically designed to offer a pleasurable drumming experience to both youngsters and adults. These sets are usually equipped with 3 to 5 pieces, and they are often supplied with a bass drum, a snare, and a single tom.

There are various benefits of beginner drum sets, as well as the manifold of advantages of these easy drum kits (which we will discuss later on). For now, all you need to know is that these drums are usually quite cheap, and they’re absolutely perfect for drummers in the making.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 7 best starter drum sets for you so that you don’t have to search far and wide.

Let’s begin!

QUICK RUNDOWN

If you are in a hurry these ARE our TOP 5 PICKS:

Best Beginner Drum Set Reviews

Best Beginner Drum set

Best Beginner Drum Set Under $300

A short overview:

Gammon is a reputable brand that offers nothing short of quality. Much to our surprise, they’ve introduced a budget variant for beginner drummers or kids drummers – this drum kit is equipped with 5 premium-quality pieces, and, even though it’s cheap, it works like a charm.

Of course, this model can’t compare to Gammon’s top-shelf products, but it’s great for beginner drummers as it’s quite affordable and very versatile. You’ll get a Hi-hat, crash, drum stool, sticks, and toms with the set.

Build quality and design:

This drum kit is made of high-quality materials, but it’s not one of the most durable drum sets you’ll see. Of course, Gammon quality is put into the first plan here, so you won’t have to fret about flimsy parts. All in all, both the design and build quality of Gammon’s Percussion Adult 5-piece set are above average.

For more about Gammon’s Percussion Full Size, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

  • Build Quality 78%
  • Functionality 80%
  • Good for Beginners 90%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Very affordable
  • Decent durability
  • Ideal for beginners with small budget
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Mediocre performance

Best Beginner Drum Set Under $400

A short overview

If we look upon the pedestal of best drum set manufacturers, we could find Ludwig sitting right next to Yamaha, Pearl, and others. Ludwig is one of those brands that have reached to many aspiring drummers like Bonham or Ringo star during their earliest days, as they provide nothing short of quality.

The Ludwig Accent Drive drum set is one of their finest works under the beginner category of products, and there’s a very special reason why we included it in our review. It’s decently affordable, it’s functionality is off charts, and it boasts a massive value for the cash.

Build Quality and Design

Ludwig’s Accent Drive drum set was made of 9-ply Poplar shell, 45-degree inner accent, and other materials. It features great durability, and it’s absolutely perfect for beginners.

For more about Ludwing Accent Drive, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrvF7b-Royc
  • Build Quality 80%
  • Functionality 88%
  • Good for Beginners 89%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Medium price
  • Very valuable for the cash
  • Perfect for youngsters
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Not for Adult beginner drummers

A short overview:

Mapex RB5044FTCDK Rebel (or shortly just “Mapex Rebel) is definitely the best beginner drum set on the market. It’s not incredibly affordable, but it’s manufactured in such a way that it’s capable of producing strong, yet precise sound, and even the big guys at Mapex state that they had beginners in mind when they made it.

Basically speaking, the folks at Mapex intended kids of ages between 8-12 to play on these drums, as the toms, stool, and cymbals’ height will best serve them. Of course, teenagers can play enjoy this drum set too, but it’s hard to say that adults will find much use of it.

Build quality and design:

The shells of Mapex Rebel are made of Poplar while the other materials include premium-quality wood and hardware pieces. All in all, there are more durable drum sets, but there are hardly any models that are more beautiful and functional than Mapex Rebel.

For more about Mapex Rebel, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ockBmGVojuw
  • Build Quality 82%
  • Functionality 90%
  • Good for Beginners 96%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Perfect choice for Beginners
  • Comes at a very good price
  • Great design and excellent features
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Just for Beginners

A short overview

Next on our list is dDrum D2 beginner 5-piece drum set. It’s one of the best beginner drum set models for immediate beginners, as it’s decently affordable, and it comes supplied with five high-quality parts, including two rack toms, a floor tom, a bass drum, a snare drum, a hi-hat, and a ride cymbal.

Build Quality and Design

The main materials used in the construction process are basswood and chrome. The wooden pieces (on toms and drums) provide superb sound quality while chromed lugs and flanged hoops provide excellent durability.

All in all, this drum set is very durable, quite attractive, and designed in such a way that it excels in both performance and aesthetics. There is a total of four color variants for you to choose form, including Midnight Black, Blood Red, Brushed Silver, and Police Blue.

For more about dDrum D2 Beginner Drum Set, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVi3RX8tMFs
  • Build Quality 75%
  • Functionality 80%
  • Good for Beginners 92%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Good Value
  • High level of durability
  • Standard size
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Perfomance limitations

Best Beginner Drum Set Under $500

A short overview

If you’re a drummer and you own a Yamaha drum kit, you’ve surely experienced quite a lot of envious looks. Yamaha is one of the world-class leaders in the percussion and drum sets industry, and it’s not a surprise that most drummers start with one of their models.

Here we have Yamaha’s Gigmaker, one of the best beginner drum set models on the market. Actually, the name says it all – it literally “makes” gigs. Once you take it on stage, you will light your surroundings with the flames of positive energy, funky rhythms, and deep vibes.

Basically, it’s one of those beginner drum kits that is not exactly cheap, but not so expensive either, you will surely find it very valuable for the cash.

Build quality and design:

Yamaha’s Gigmaker comes in three color variants and two bass drum variations. The “Blue Ice Glitter 22″ kick” we’re looking at is one of the best models, as it features a slightly larger bass drum (when compared to the “Fusion” variant that comes supplied with a 20″ bass drum).

The two toms are 12 and 13 inches in diameter, the floor tom is 16 inches in diameter, and the snare is 14 inches in diameter. Sadly, there are no stands or cymbals in this set, but you can always purchase them standalone.

Furthermore, the materials used in the manufacturing process of Yamaha’s Gigmaker are poplar shells and pure basswood. These materials provide great reliability and high level of durability.

For more about Yamaha Gigmaker, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYHzfow4DUA
  • Build Quality 85%
  • Functionality 92%
  • Good for Beginners 94%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Superior performance and functionality
  • Premium-quality features
  • Five-piece set
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Comes without cymbal stands

Short Overview

Until now we’ve mentioned three big boys: Yamaha, Mapex, Ludwing. But someone’s missing….Pearl.

If you know anything about drumming you’ve sure heard about the brand. In our opinion we are used to see very quality sets for the different price points from them. And with this model they definitely did an awesome job.

This is the kind of set that you can count on to start learning as a beginner and that will also give you enough freedom to keep playing it as a more experienced drummer.

It is definitely in the beginner-intermediate sweet spot.

Although the cymbals are a little bit low quality they come included in the kit as well as the cymbal stand. For someone who’s just starting this is a very welcomed feature.


Build Quality and Design

It has a classic design with a perfect size for both teens and adults and the holders are made of chrome

This set has very good build quality for it’s price point. Poplar is the wood of choice and you can appreciate an overall high quality feel.

We love the snare drum on this drum kit it sounds so much better than other beginner drum sets.
The kit can be used for traveling when playing on different gigs and doesn’t present any issues with the proper care.

For more about Pearl Roadshow, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSnBTlpFjwA&t=214s
  • Build Quality 90%
  • Functionality 96%
  • Good for Beginners 98%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Sweet price/value ratio
  • Comes with cymbals
  • Very good snare drum
  • Perfect for beginner and intermediate drummers
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Would be perfect if the cymbals where better quality

Best Beginner Drum Set Under $600

A short overview

Mapex Mars 5-piece Crossover is somewhat better when compared to “Mars Fusion” and “Mars Rock”, as the configuration allows beginners to easily get acquainted with the basics of drumming. Anyhow, there are plenty of things to like on this drum kit – superb durability, state-of-the-art technology, a configuration that’s ideal for youths, beginners and adults. You get the point.

Build quality and design

The design of Mapex Mars 5-Piece Crossover is the thing that makes it so valuable. It’s comprised of a 22″ bass drum, 14″ snare, 12″ mounted tom, 14″ Floor toms, 16″ Floor toms, and 12″ hi-hat. On top of that, the material used in the construction process is 100% Birch, which not only provides durability, it makes Mapex Mars look exquisite and elegant.

If you got the budget this is a really intelligent pick. This set will follow all the way when you gain drumming experience and will keep up all the way to a semi-pro drummer.

For more about Mapex Mars Crossover, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X9CMNs76uo
  • Build Quality 92%
  • Functionality 98%
  • Good for Beginners 94%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Superb construction and configuration
  • Durable materials
  • Several finish options
  • Just Beautiful
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Not for the beginner on a budget

Best Beginner Drum Set Under $700

A short overview

Pearl is a synonym for superb drums among the pros, and Export series is a perfect representative of such a thing. This drum kit comes in five color variations, each equipped with 22″ bass drum, 10″ tom, 12″ hi-hat, 16″ and 14″ cymbals. On top of all, you’ll also get the premium Demonator pedal if you’re up to some fast-paced kick action.

Most people ask “why is Pearl so good for beginners”, and the answer is quite simple. These guys rock making drum sets, with a huge experience their products accommodate from beginners to pros like Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) in a perfect way. The accurate craftsmanship of Pearl engineers seldom yields anything but perfection, which you will see and recognise as soon as you start using this drum set.

Build quality and design

Well, Pearl’s drum sets are famous for their impeccable durability and reliability, and the same goes for this model. The standard design is classy and fashionable, so it’s safe to say that this drum kit boasts majestic performance in aesthetics and hardiness.

For more about Pearl 5 Piece Export, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agHr6Wd5qLs
  • Build Quality 98%
  • Functionality 97%
  • Good for Beginners 90%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Extremely durable
  • Comes in different colors
  • A complementary feature is included
  • Exceptional features
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Costly for a Beginner

Buying Guide:

How to choose a drum set for beginners?

First of all, you need to be clear on one thing – there’s a huge difference between “standard drum sets” and “beginner drum sets”. This difference can be seen in the number of pieces, but you can also see it in the price of the particular model.

Simply put, you don’t want to overpay your first drum kit, as you probably don’t even know what you need. For starters, you’ll only need the most basic parts, such as a hi-hat, a couple of toms, a bass drum, and a snare drum.

These parts are sometimes called the “vital components” of drum sets, as all other parts are just “extensions”. Once you’ve understood the basics, you can upgrade your set with as many toms and cymbals as you like, but make sure to look for 3 to 5-piece drum sets if you’re completely new to the whole thing.

Also you need to decide if you prefer entering the drumming world with an acoustic drum like our list right here or with electronic drums that brings lots of different aspects to the table, not better not worst, just different.

The difference between drum sets for adults and kids – things you should know

This one’s easy. First of all, you should always try the drum set you want to buy. If that’s not the case (for instance, if you’re ordering your drum kit online), you will face some difficulties with determining whether the set is made for adults or for youngsters unless you know what to look out for.

Primarily, the size of the parts should be considered above all else. If you’re an adult, you won’t have any room to manoeuvre with your hands and feet if you’re sitting behind a kid’s drum set. That’s a two-way street, as kids will find too much room when they try playing adult beginner drums.

Next, you’ll need to know the parts. If you’ve been paying attention so far, you could have noted down the “vital” parts and “upgrades and extensions”. Just in case you’ve forgotten, let’s see what are the basic parts of beginner drum sets:

Bass drum

The bass drum is the largest part of any drum set. This part is sometimes referred to as the “kick”, as it’s the only part that’s operated by legs. Anyhow, “the larger, the better” doesn’t apply here, as the materials and durability are far more important.

Snare Drum

If you don’t know how a snare sounds, just playback any rock song. Do you hear that “punching” sound? It’s hard to express how a snare drum sounds, but it’s even harder to accentuate it’s importance to any beginner drum set. Basically, you will be practicing your rhythm skills on this drum part. Needless to say, this is one of the most crucial drum parts.

Toms

Toms are sometimes referred to as “timpani” or “timpans”. The origins of their name is quite obvious, as the sound they make resemble “tom” and “tim”. You should have at least one tom (floor or high) in your set, as drumming will be fairly difficult with snare and bass drum alone.

Toms are also considered to be both vital components and extensions, as you can have as many timpans as you like. Some professional drummers are literally surrounded by a dozen of toms while on stage.

Cymbals

Even though cymbals are not considered to be “vital” to a drum set, they’re always welcome. Immediate beginners might find it difficult to coordinate between hitting the drums and cymbals simultaneously. Just like toms, you can have as many cymbals as you like in your drummer’s arsenal.

Cymbal Stands

Cymbals are, plainly speaking, useless if you don’t hang them on a cymbal stand. Just because cymbals aren’t considered to be a vital part of a beginner drum set, cymbal stands share the same fate.

Conclusion:

Beginner drum kits come in various shapes and sizes, from various manufacturers. Look out for important names such as Pearl, Yamaha, and Ludwig, and make sure to search for sets that come with all “vital” parts.

If you follow these instructions, you’ll find your perfect drum kit for beginners in no time.

On top of all, make sure to keep the price in mind. If you’ve never hit a drum with a stick, you don’t want to overpay your set. If you’re down on ideas, you can always consider the models we’ve reviewed for you.

If you enjoyed this buyinge guide be sure to check our Electronic Sets Guide, Our Picks for the best double bass pedals and percussion articles.

Anyhow, we wish you good luck in your search!