When you’re new to playing drums, popular drum kits might catch your eyes. It can be tempting to go for an expensive new drum kit, thinking that it’s exactly what you need to get over the unavoidable learning curve, but that’s not always the case.
The best beginner drum set doesn’t have to be high-end, and it doesn’t have to include many components. In fact, 5-piece drum sets are more than enough for beginners.
With that being said, you might now be at a loss of what to look for in your next drum set. Well, luckily for you, I’m here to save the day. I went on an expedition to find the best beginner drum sets on the market, and I’m here to share with you everything that I came up with. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
At a Glance:
- Pearl EXX725S/C Export New Fusion Drum Set — Best Overall
- Ludwig Accent (LC17514) — Runner-Up
- Yamaha Rydeen — Budget Pick
- Mapex MA446SRW — Best Value for Money
- Ludwig Breakbeats by Questlove — Best Portability
The 5 Best Beginner Drum Sets in 2021
When you’re new to the drumming world, the first thing you must be looking at is the best beginner kits on the market. So, to make your journey a little easier, here’s a detailed review of my top picks, along with their pros and cons. Keep on reading to learn more!
1. Pearl EXX725S/C Export New Fusion Drum Set — Best Overall
I’m kicking off this list strongly with one of the best beginner drum sets on the market, which is the Pearl EXX725S/C Expert New Fusion set.
This 5-piece New Fusion drum set comes with a 22” x 18” bass drum, a 14” x 5.5” snare, and three tom drums of sizes 10” x 7”, 12” x 8”, and 16” x 16”, so you can learn to play all your favorite songs.
This starter drum set is made from a 6-ply poplar/Asian Mahogany shell, resulting in amazing tones and overall good sound. Besides, the upgraded cover wrap finish is just stunning.
Because every good beginner drum kit starts with a solid foundation, this set includes all of the necessary hardware with the excellent build quality. The 830-series drum hardware includes double-braced cymbal stands, a hi-hat stand, a snare stand, and even a chain-drive bass drum pedal.
As for the color option, this drum kit comes in Jet Black, Pure White, Blue Sparkle, Red Wine, Smokey Chrome, and Grindstone Sparkle, so you can play the drums in style with your favorite color.
Now, I need to talk about how stable this entry-level drum set is. Thanks to its Opti-Loc system, the three-way tom mount makes the drums stable and eliminates any wobbliness. So, new players can focus on actually playing the drums without any distractions or setbacks.
My favorite thing about this drum kit is that it can grow with you. I consider it a beginner to a mid-level kit, so you can use it as a practice kit, touring kit, or at a recording studio; just wear ear protection and go!
If there’s one thing to complain about this Pearl Export beginner kit, it would be its drum heads. The REMO drum head isn’t made with the best quality materials, and it won’t result in the best sound possible. So, try to replace the stock heads as soon as you can for higher quality sound.
I have to mention that this isn’t a full-sized kit. The Pearl Export kit doesn’t come with cymbals, so if you’re an absolute beginner and this is your first kit, you’ll have to pay some extra money to get your own cymbals, drum throne, and drum sticks, which is a bummer.
Even though this drum kit arrives in three separate boxes, it’s quite easy to assemble, so don’t worry about that.
- Suitable for beginners and mid-level players
- Comes in many color options
- Easy to assemble
- Made with high-quality materials and sturdy mounting hardware
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Decent sound quality
- The drum heads aren’t of the best quality
- Doesn’t come with cymbals
One of the best starter drum sets is the Pearl EXX725S/C Expert. Its overall quality is quite impressive, and the double-braced hardware is hard to match at this price range. This beginner drumset is perfect for everyone, from beginners to prospective touring drummers, simply because the drums sound great.
2. Ludwig Accent (LC17514) — Runner-Up
When on the lookout for a great starter drum set, you need to take a look at the Ludwig Accent LC17514 drum starter kit. The best thing about the Ludwig Accent is that it’s a full-sized kit with all the hardware and cymbals that a drummer might need. With this kit, you don’t need anything else.
This is a five-piece set with a stunning red foil finish that’ll catch all the eyes during performances or drum lessons. Also, the color will encourage younger players to practice more and more.
This drum set includes drum sizes as follows: a 16” x 22” kick drum, a 9” x 12” floor tom, an 8” x 10” rack tom, and a 6.5” x 14” snare drum. Moreover, it comes with a 16” crash cymbal and 13” hi-hat cymbals; what more could you ask for?
Besides, these drums also come with high-quality double-braced hardware like a kick pedal, a snare stand, a cymbals stand, a hi-hat stand, a drum throne, two tom holders, drum sticks, a drum key, and much more to get you set up and ready to play.
Now let’s talk about the sound because that’s what we’re all here for. These Ludwig drums have good tones and excellent sound quality.
The drums are made with 9-ply 8-millimeter wood shells that result in a great sound. The kick drum sounds are hard to match, while the included cymbals are made with high-quality materials. Also, this drum set is one that’ll last for years without showing any signs of wear.
Going back to the hardware, even though the quality is decent, at some point, you’ll have to replace some components, like the cymbal stand. However, the hi-hat stand and the drum throne should easily last a few years, so don’t worry about that right now.
I have to say that when I first received this Ludwig drum set, I had a hard time setting it up. The set doesn’t come with instructions, which makes it difficult for a beginner to get started.
- Great sound output
- Durable bass drum pedal
- Stunning red finish
- A full-sized set, complete with sturdy hardware and cymbals
- Doesn’t come with instructions
- The cymbal stand can only last so long before it needs to be replaced
The Ludwig Accent LC17514 is the perfect starter set for any awesome drummer. It’s a full kit with all the extras that you might need to start your drumming journey, including hardware, cymbals, and even a drum throne. Moreover, this drum set produces high-quality sounds, especially the kick drum. Overall, this is one of the best drum sets you can opt for.
3. Yamaha Rydeen — Budget Pick
On the lookout for an affordable drum kit? I’ve got just the one for you! The Yamaha Rydeen beginner kit is the way to go if you want good quality and value for money.
First things first, let’s talk about the construction of this drum set. Don’t let its affordable price point drive you into thinking that it’s made with low-quality materials that’ll just wear down after a few months of drumming; that’s not the case at all.
Construction-wise, the drums are made with 6-ply poplar wood shells that are 7.2-millimeter in thickness. These drum shells result in excellent tones and high-quality sound that’s hard to match, especially at this price range.
This five-piece kit comes in two configurations: Fusion and Standard. The Fusion configuration consists of a 20” x 16” bass drum, a 14” x 13” floor tom, a 14” x 5.5” snare drum, two rack toms of sizes 10” x 7” and 12” x 8”, and two CL940LB tom holders.
On the other hand, the Standard configuration comes with a 22” x 16” bass drum, a 16” x 15” floor tom, a 14” x 5.5” snare drum, two rack toms of sizes 10” x 7” and 12” x 8”, and the same tom holders as the Fusion configuration. The Standard option is more of an adult drum kit because its kick drum is larger.
It doesn’t end there! You can choose to get this drum set with the hardware bundle that includes two cymbal stands, one hi-hat stand, one snare drum stand, and a bass drum pedal. Of course, this is the better option if you’re a beginner, and this is your first drum kit. Keep in mind that you can always purchase some extra cymbals if you want to.
To catch all the eyes during your drum lessons, you can choose one of the following finish options: Black Glitter, Hot Red, Burgundy Glitter, Fine Blue, Mellow Yellow, or Silver Glitter. At the end of the day, who doesn’t love a high gloss finish?
However, I have to mention that the included hardware isn’t of the best quality. It’ll surely get you started as a beginner, but you’ll have to replace the hardware if you advance in your drumming journey.
- Affordable price point
- A decent quality instrument with 6-ply poplar shells
- Good tones and sound
- You can get a hardware bundle for a full-sized starter kit
- Durable drum material
- The hardware bundle isn’t the most durable
If you want the best drum set for a beginner without breaking the bank, the Yamaha Rydeen is the way to go. These affordable drums are perfect for any beginner because they produce excellent tones, and they’ll last for a good while before needing an upgrade.
4. Mapex MA446SRW — Best Value for Money
The Mapex MA446SRW is another one of the best starter drum kits you can use as a beginner. It’s incredibly comfortable to play, and you’ll find yourself sitting at the drums for hours on end without suffering from fatigue, and let me tell you why.
Before we get into its design, I have to mention what this drum set consists of. It’s only a 4-piece set, which is more than enough to get you started with drumming, but it’s no secret that you’ll have to upgrade as you get more experienced. This set consists of a 24” x 16” kick drum, a 14” x 6.5” matching snare drum, a 12” x 8” mounted tom, and a 16” x 16” floor tom.
This drum kit has a 2 Up and 1 Down configuration that ensures that the toms will stay close to you and within reach while you’re playing. Do you know how your drums can move away from you from the force of hitting them? That’s eliminated with this drum set.
The Mapex MA446SRW drum set is constructed with birch 6-ply shells with a thickness of 7.2 millimeters. Moreover, it has a SONIClear bearing edge, meaning these drums result in excellent pitch, especially at lower tuning. If you’re looking for a good and deep bass drum with increased resonance and powerful tones, this is the drum kit for it, thanks to its SONIClear tom suspension.
One of my favorite things about this drum set is its bloodwood color. The color is so stunning, and it’s the perfect shade for rock or metal drum sets. Also, if you opt for the hardware pack, you’ll be receiving the following pieces: a hi-hat stand, a snare drum stand, and two cymbal stands.
If I’m nitpicking, I have to say that the fact that these drums don’t come with a bass drum mount was pretty disappointing, but it’s not a deal-breaker by any means.
- Good value for the money
- High-quality materials
- 2 Up and 1 Down configuration for your comfort
- SONIClear design results in good pitch and sound
- Deep bass tones
- Doesn’t come with a bass drum mount
To get the best bang for your buck, you have to check out the Mapex MA446SRW 4-piece set that comes with a kick drum, a matching birch snare drum, a mounted tom, and a floor tom. Its overall design is comfortable and stable enough that you can practice for hours without fatigue. Besides, its tones are just incredible, especially the deep bass tones.
5. Ludwig Breakbeats by Questlove — Best Portability
Any student that keeps going back and forth from drum lessons knows how vital portability is in a drum kit. If you’re one of these students, you need to look at the Ludwig Breakbeats designed with the help of the one and only Questlove, the Roots drummer.
This beginner drum kit is made with 7-ply poplar shells and fitted with REMO heads, ensuring excellent tones and durability all in one kit. This 4-piece kit’s drum shells have a stunning wrap finish and will last a good while without showing any signs of wear.
Now, let’s talk about what this kit consists of. With the Backbeats, you’ll be getting a 14” x 16” bass drum, a 7” x 10” rack tom, a 13” x 13” floor tom, and a 5” x 14” snare drum, along with Vic Firth American Classic 5A drumsticks to get you started.
This compact kit is also designed with your comfort in mind. The bass drum comes with a riser for natural alignment and optimum reach. Besides, the drum sizes ensure that you can still have a jamming session in tight places, whether it’s a studio or your room.
Also, these drums come with velvet storage bags where you can store your drums while on the move to make your travels easier and more convenient. Besides, these bags protect your drums from external factors, like moisture, that can affect the kit’s performance over time.
Another thing I enjoyed about this kit is its bearing edge design that’s cut to a 45-degree angle, resulting in a sharp edge for a flat and even surface.
However, this instrument kit doesn’t come with hardware or cymbals, so you’ll have to purchase them separately before you can start jamming.
- Compact size and easy to transport
- Good construction for comfort and portability
- High durability thanks to the poplar shells
- Comes with a set of velvet bags
- Doesn’t come with hardware or cymbals
The Ludwig Breakbeats drum instrument kit was created with the help of Questlove to ensure portability. Besides, the included velvet bags add to the drums’ portability so you can carry them around easily. Moreover, their sound output is impressive; you can easily use this kit for a good performance.
How to Pick Beginner Drum Sets?
Young drummers might find a hard time when trying to look for drum kits. That’s especially true if you don’t know what to look for in a new kit. So to make your search a bit easier and more organized, here’s what you need to look for to find the best drum kit for your needs.
The most basic drum set for beginners should consist of a kick drum, a snare drum, and two toms, but that’s just the general rule of thumb, and it doesn’t apply to everyone. For an absolute beginner who never owned drums before, here’s what you should be on the lookout for.
First of all, there are many different kick drum shell sizes that you may not know where to begin. Well, the size of your bass drums is determined by the type of music you play.
For example, rock music requires a heavy bass sound, which can be achieved with larger bass drums, around 22” or larger. On the other hand, music genres like jazz need a more subtle bass sound, which can be achieved with a 16” kick drum.
There are also fusion kits, which are supposed to work with most music genres because their sizes are around 20”, so they’re in the middle of the road between a heavy, full sound and a soft, subtle sound. Plus, make sure you’re getting a kick pedal to play the bass drum!
Also, snare drums and toms are crucial parts of any drumming kit, so make sure the included snares and toms are of high quality and perform well.
Now, let’s talk about cymbals because they can sometimes be overlooked. Not all drum kits come with good-sounding cymbals, and some kits don’t come with cymbals at all! Double-check that the kit you’re going for has the kinds of cymbals you need unless you’re looking for just a shell pack and nothing more.
If you don’t know where to start, beginners should opt for crash cymbals, hi-hat cymbals, and ride cymbals. These three kinds should be more than enough, and you can always get more later on.
The most vital one is a crash cymbal because it’s used in most genres. Also, if your kit of choice doesn’t come with a ride cymbal, that’s fine; you can definitely do without a ride cymbal for a good while.
The last thing I’ll talk about in this point is the difference between adult drum kits and junior kits. Younger drummers might not be able to reach all the components comfortably on an adult drum set, and that’s where you might need to consider opting for a junior kit.
If you’re shopping for kids, you need smaller gear, shorter stands, and a lighter stick so they can play the drums comfortably.
The mounting hardware is one of the most important factors to make sure that beginners’ drumming experience is as smooth as possible. Things like drum heads, cymbals, the kick pedal, and even the drum throne can make or break the jamming session for beginners.
I’m not saying that you need the best hardware to ever exist; decent high-quality heads and metal can be more than enough to make for long-lasting hardware and entry-level cymbals.
The heads can strongly affect the sound and tone of the drums, and you might not even be aware that the drum head is the problem if you’re not experienced. If you’re a student, make your teacher take a look at the drums’ hardware and judge whether it’s good or not.
Either way, the hardware of drums isn’t that expensive, so don’t be shy to play around with different gear and sticks until you reach the best tone possible.
Quality instruments are hard to miss because they sound great, offer high durability, and last for years without any signs of wear and tear. So, when drummers are on the lookout for a quality drum set for beginners, you need the best possible construction that you can afford.
Look for drums shells that are made with excellent wood, like poplar wood shells. Those shells are durable, affordable, and result in warm, full tones that many people love.
Beginner drummers have different expectations and goals than professional drummers, so you shouldn’t pay for a professional instrument or a full touring kit when you’re just learning and practicing.
If you’re on a budget, you can easily find a good beginner set that doesn’t break the bank without sacrificing durability, longevity, or playability. Besides, you can find sticks, pedals, and more components for affordable prices if you’re in a pinch.
Electronic VS. Acoustic Drum Kits
There’s no one perfect drum kit that fits all tastes. For example, some people prefer acoustic drums because they sound more “real,” while others prefer electronic drums because they take much less space and they’re miles more portable.
Moreover, acoustic drums are much louder, and they produce a lot of noise, so you might not be able to practice at home if you have neighbors nearby. In that case, an electronic drum kit is a lot more convenient for all parties.
To keep it straightforward, go for an electronic kit if you want as little noise as possible or if you’re tight on space. Otherwise, nothing compares to the feel of playing acoustic drums and how the drums respond to each hit you make.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Beginner Drum Kits Any Good?
Beginner drum kits are more than just good. Some beginner kits out there are excellent, and they’ll last for years without suffering a scratch. You don’t need high-end drums to start practicing and having some fun in your free time, so don’t hesitate to get beginner drum kits.
What to Look for in Beginner Drum Sets?
When looking for beginner drum sets, the first thing you need to check is the construction of the drums and the drum configuration. Make sure you’ll be getting at least a 4-piece set along with the required hardware to get you started.
Is a 5-Piece Drum Set Good for Beginners?
Yes! As long as the set includes the basics like a bass, a snare, and two toms, you’re good to go! Of course, everything beyond that isn’t necessary for beginners, but it’s definitely a nice addition.
So, that was my guide on the best beginner drum sets. Finding a suitable drum set is nowhere near an easy task. However, I hope you now have a clear idea of what to look for in your next kit. Still, here’s a quick recap of my top picks to make your decision a little easier.
First of all, all new drummers out there need to take a look at the Pearl EXX725S/C Export New Fusion set. This 5-piece set can grow with you as you train your muscle memory and slowly advance as a drummer. It has an excellent sound output and is constructed with superior materials; what more could you ask for?
The second place on this list went to the Ludwig Accent LC17514 set. This is one of the best sets out there for beginners, thanks to its unmatched sound and tone. Besides, it’s a complete kit with all the hardware and cymbals that a beginner might need.
Lastly, the Yamaha Rydeen is the way to go for new players who are bound by a budget. This affordable set is made with decent quality materials, and it produces great tones and sounds.