11 BEST Drum Sets & Kits For Beginners 2020: Top Picks & Reviews

Best Overall
Pearl Roadshow

Pearl Roadshow

Best Course Outline
Rise by Sawtooth

Rise by Sawtooth

Table of Contents

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Your first drum kit as a beginner will not only be memorable but it will also serve as your companion for the greater part of your drumming journey. When starting out, you will find that you will be spending most of your time around your drum set, playing around, learning, and improving your drumming skills. This is why it is so important that you find a set that will satisfy your needs.

With so many different sets on the market, so many names and so many recommendations, it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you. Sometimes the recommendations far exceed your budget as well. 

This article aims to provide you with 11 of the Best Drum Kits out there for beginners. I have divided these kits into subcategories to make it easier for you to pinpoint which one suits you best. Let us get right into it!

Top 3 Best Beginner Drum Set

The first three drum sets are truly the best of the best. These are not only popular among beginners but also for intermediate to advanced users as well. Some drummers even consider them to be good enough as a substitute set for live performances. So, what makes these sets so special? Keep reading to find out!

Compare BEST Drum Sets & Kits For Beginners

Rank Products Feature Website
Best Overall

Comes with drum heads (1 ply coated snare, 1 ply clear tom, 1 ply clear bass with self-muffling rings)

Best Premium Option

Comes with full hardware (Demonator Pedal, Convertible Boom/Straight Stand, Straight Stand, Hi-hat Stand, Snare Stand, and Tom Holder)

Best for Cheap Option

Hardware is included (Hi-hat stands, 2 tier cymbal stand, bass drum pedal, tom arms, floor tom legs, drum sticks, drum key, and a drum throne)

Best Junior Starter Drum Set

Hardware included are the following: Hi-hat stand, straight stand, and throne

Best Starter Drum Kit for Adults

Includes hardware such as a double-braced snare stand, cymbal stand, and a chain-driven hi-hat stand, throne, sticks and, key

Best Durable Option

Comes with complete hardware including stands and pedals

Best Intermediate Drum Set

Comes with a music stand, padded seat, headphones, and sustain pedal

Best for Performances

Double-braced hardware including tom mounts, floor tom legs, stands for cymbals, hi-hats, and snare

Best Sound Quality

Double-braced hardware such as snare stand, cymbal stand, hi-hat stand, and pedals

Best Versatile Set

Comes complete with stands (boom cymbal stand, straight cymbal stand, hi-hat stand, and snare stand) and pedals

Best Entry-Level Electronic Drum Set

Educational features including play-along tracks, metronome, and performance recorder

BEST Drum Sets & Kits For Beginners

1. Pearl Roadshow

Pearl Roadshow

Price: $499

Some affordable drum kits may be lacking in certain areas, but not the Pearl Roadshow. Every part of this set is good that if you want to use it as a performance set you will only need to do a few tweaks. 

The set is made of 9-ply 7mm poplar wood. While poplar wood does not sound as good as birch or maple, the sound quality of this set is still phenomenal. Additionally, with the thick shells, the durability of the set is ensured. Along with the double-braced hardware, you can be confident that this set is one that will last you for years.

The set also comes complete with everything you will need to start playing. This includes cymbal stands, drum stands, mounts, and pedals. It also comes with a few extras such as a drum throne, maple sticks, and even a stick bag. 

Features:

  • Comes in 5 different finishes
  • 9-ply 7mm poplar wood shells
  • Double-braced hardware
  • 1.6mm Triple Flanged Hood
  • Comes with drum heads (1 ply coated snare, 1 ply clear tom, 1 ply clear bass with self-muffling rings)
  • 14×5.5” Matching wood snare drum
  • 16” Crash-Ride
  • 14” Hybrid Hi-hats
  • 20×16” Bass Drum
  • 10×7” and 12×8” Mounted Toms
  • 14×14” Floor Tom
  • Comes with Maple drumsticks, stick bag, pedals, throne, and stands

Pros

Cons

2. Pearl Export

Pearl Export

Price: $799.99

By far, this drum set is the most expensive in the entire list. The reason? The extremely durable and high-quality build of the drums. These drums may only have 6-ply shells but they are 7.5mm and made with a blend of poplar and Asian mahogany. This makes the volume, responsiveness, and sound quality a step above the others on the list.

The set does not come with cymbals, unfortunately. However, it comes with complete hardware: pedals and stands included. The mounting system for this is Opti-Loc so the drums will remain steady as you play. It has low mass lugs too.

The set also comes complete with all the stands you need to get the kit set up as well as pedals for your hi-hats and bass drums.

Features:

  • 6-ply, 7.5mm blended Poplar and Asian Mahogany shells with SST shell construction
  • Opti-Loc Mounting System and New low-mass lugs
  • 22×18” Kick Drum
  • 12×8” and 13×9” Rack Toms
  • 16×16” Floor Tom
  • 14×5.5” Snare Drum
  • Comes with full hardware (Demonator Pedal, Convertible Boom/Straight Stand, Straight Stand, Hi-hat Stand, Snare Stand, and Tom Holder)

Pros

Cons

3. Rise by Sawtooth

Rise by Sawtooth

Price: $109.98

At only a little bit above $100, you will be surprised by the quality of this set. It is made specifically with beginners in mind with durable 6-ply poplar shells and a 45-degree bearing edge to help you perfect your strokes. 

This is a full-sized set that comes with all the stands and pedals you need to start playing immediately. Additionally, it comes with a couple of bonuses such as drum sticks, a drum key for tuning, and a drum throne.

Overall, this set is of decent quality. It has everything a beginner needs but could be average for an intermediate or advanced drummer. 

The quality of both the drums and the cymbals are decent so there is no need to replace them right away. In the future, however, if you would like to do some modifications to this set, it is definitely possible.

Features:

  • Hardware is included (Hi-hat stands, 2 tier cymbal stand, bass drum pedal, tom arms, floor tom legs, drum sticks, drum key, and a drum throne)
  • 14” Hi-hat Cymbals
  • 16” Crash/Ride Cymbals
  • 22×16” Bass Drum
  • 12×8 and 13×9” Toms
  • 16×16” Floor Toms
  • 14×5” Snare
  • 6-ply poplar shells with 45-degree bearing edges

Pros

Cons

Best Entry-Level Drum Set

If you are a total beginner, chances are you might not know how to use a full drum set, let alone assemble one. The drum sets in this section are not only known for their sound quality but also how easy it is to start playing on them right away. These are beginner-proof, which means they’re durable and sturdy and are sure to last you as long as you need them.

A good portion of entry-level drummers is children. For that, I have also included a few junior drum sets for kids!

Ludwig Junior

Price: $224.95

While this drum set is small in size and made specifically for kids who are interested in taking drum lessons, many adults, especially those who are interested in street performances have turned to this set. This is likely because it is easy to move around. 

Still, the quality of the set matches perfectly with the name it carries. Coming from one of the oldest drum manufacturers in the world, the sound and build quality is amazing. The cymbals need some replacement but if you are just using this set for lessons, then it definitely serves its purpose. 

The set comes complete with all 5 drums and additional two cymbals (hi-hats and one you can use either as a crash or ride cymbal). It also comes with all the stands you will need including the pedals for the bass and the hi-hat. Additionally, it comes with bonuses such as sticks and a drum throne. However, many find the drum throne to be a bit too small for their liking so you might need to change it if you are an adult who plans to use this kit.

Features:

  • 16×10” Bass drum
  • An 8×5” and a 10×5” Tom
  • 13×10” Floor Tom
  •  12×4” Snare
  • Comes with hi-hat and a crash/ride cymbal
  • Hardware included are the following: Hi-hat stand, straight stand, and throne

Pros

Cons

Gammon Percussion

Price: $257

Another great beginner set, the Gammon Percussion comes with all the hardware you need (stands and chained pedals) and some extras. You get a throne (a bit uncomfortable but easily changeable), sticks, and a drum key for tuning. The double-braced hardware for this drum kit is fantastic, equipped with adjustable memory locks that keep your drums steady as you play. 

The black, high-gloss finish is eye-catching. However, what most people notice about this set is the bad quality of the cymbals. The lugs are also pretty tight which makes the whole set secure but a bit hard to adjust. Luckily, this drum kit is easy to modify. With its durable build and the amount of modification you can do for the set, this can serve you for a very long time.

Features:

  • High-quality wood shells
  • Black high-gloss finish
  • 22×14” Bass
  • 14×5.5” Snare
  • 16×16 Floor Tom
  • 12×10” and 13×10 Tom Drums with adjustable memory locks
  • 12” Hi-hats
  • 14” Crash/Ride Cymbals
  • Includes hardware such as a double-braced snare stand, cymbal stand, and a chain-driven hi-hat stand, throne, sticks and, key

Pros

Cons

6. Mendini by Cecilio

Mendini by Cecilio

Price: $189.99

Here is another set that is geared specifically for kids. Though smaller and more compact than other drums on this list, Mendini by Cecilio’s drum set sounds surprisingly good for the price. This set is also perfect for kids because it is easy to assemble. 

If you are a beginner without a lot of materials to get your kit set up, do not worry as this drum kit comes complete with all the hardware you need as well as a pair of sticks and a throne that you can use.

While adults can use this kit, these are more suitable for children. The is a bit tiny so an adult playing on it can feel a bit uncomfortable. The quality of the cymbals is also abysmal so you will have to decide to change them or stick with the kit for lessons or training and then eventually move on to a more sophisticated set. 

Despite the cons of this set, kids will still surely enjoy learning from it. It also comes in several different finishes to fit your kids’ aesthetics. Additionally, with them being as compact as they are, clean up will not be a problem. 

Features:

  • 22×16” Bass Drum
  • 12×8 and 13×9” Toms
  • 14×5.5” Snare
  • 16×16” Floor Tom
  • 14.5” Hi-hat
  • 16” Crash/Ride Cymbals
  • Comes with complete hardware including stands and pedals
  • Comes with extras such as drumsticks and a throne

Pros

Cons

Ddrum D120B

Price: $299

This is one good-looking and great-sounding set. At an affordable price, the Ddrum drum set has impressed me with the quality of the drums AND the cymbals. A kit with decent-sounding cymbals can be a bit rare at this price range but this set surprisingly did not disappoint. Unfortunately, they had to sacrifice the quality of the hardware to cut costs. 

At a glance, the hardware looks incredibly cheap. If you plan to use this set for a long time, you might want to look into replacing them for better ones. The set also does not come with an assembly manual but the assembly is pretty standard for every drum kit so you can easily look up guides on the internet. 

Aside from the rather lackluster hardware, the set also comes with pretty decent extras such as sticks, a stick bag, a drum throne, and an Allen wrench for tuning purposes. 

Features:

  • 20×16” Bass drum
  • 14×5.5” Snare drum
  • 10×8” and 12”x9 Tom drum
  • 14×14” Floor Tom
  • 14” Hi-hats
  • 16” Crash/Ride Cymbals
  • Comes with all necessary hardware including stands and pedals
  • Comes with drumsticks, a stick bag, and an Allen wrench for tuning
  • Comes with a drum throne

Pros

Cons

Best Drum Set Under 1000

Are you a drummer on a budget? This section here is specifically for you. You do not need to compromise the quality of your kit just because you have a smaller budget for it. There are drums out there that are not only amazing when it comes to sound-quality, finish, and durability but are affordable as well.

For this section, I have also included an electronic drum kit for any beginner who would like to try out an electronic kit instead!

Mapex Rebel

Price: $399

The Mapex Rebel does not only look good but it is also incredibly durable with 9-ply 7.2mm poplar shells. If you are not a fan of the black finish, you have the option to turn it into red or royal blue. 

The setup for this kit is pretty easy and straightforward so even beginners will not have any trouble setting it up for play. It also comes with decent drum heads including a self-muffling bass drum head. A bit of tuning on the snare can turn this beginner kit into a performance kit and with its double-braced hardware, you will definitely shine on stage. The set comes with everything you will need to get started including stands, sticks, pedals, and a sturdy but comfortable drum throne. 

One gripe most people have with this set is the cymbals. As with many beginner drum sets, the cymbals always seem low end. However, with some decent-quality replacements, these drums can serve as your first performance kit.

Features:

  • 9-ply 7.2mm poplar shells
  • Double-braced hardware including tom mounts, floor tom legs, stands for cymbals, hi-hats, and snare
  • Remo Self-Muffling Bass Drum Head
  • Comes with a drum throne, sticks, and pedals
  • 22×16” Bass Drum
  • 16×14” Floor Tom
  • 10×7” and 12×8” Toms
  • 14×5” Snare
  • 14” Hi-Hats
  • 16” Crash/Ride Cymbals
  • Available in Dark Red, Black, and Royal Blue finishes

Pros

Cons

9. Ludwig Accent

Ludwig Accent

Price: $459

Another set from one of the most well-renown drum manufacturers in the world, the Ludwig Accent’s sound quality is impeccable for its price. Additionally, the drums are made to be durable and ready to withstand any beginner beatings and rookie mistakes with its 9-ply poplar shells. 

The drums are already good-sounding but with some good quality drum heads, it could sound even better. If you decide to replace the cymbals with better quality ones then this kit could be a performance/studio kit too. 

As a beginner, the set that you buy must come with complete hardware as well as some accessories. Ludwig provides you with a sturdy and stable set stands and pedals, plus a comfortable and sturdy drum throne to get you drumming right away. 

There is quite a lot of assembly required and even with the manual that comes with it, it can get pretty overwhelming for beginners. 

Considering the sound and build quality of this set, its price is more than acceptable. Some would even say that the quality of the hardware that comes with it is often seen in sets three times more expensive.

Features:

  • 9-ply Poplar Shells
  • 16×22” Bass Drum
  • 8×10” and 9×12” Mounted Toms
  • 16×16” Floor Tom
  • 5×14” Snare Drum
  • 13” Hi-Hat
  • 16” Crash/Ride Cymbal
  • Double-braced hardware such as snare stand, cymbal stand, hi-hat stand, and pedals
  • Comes with a drum throne

Pros

Cons

10. Tama Imperialstar

Tama Imperialstar

Price: $699.99

The Tama Imperialstar has recently been making a name for itself in terms of drum quality. The reason is that it can produce high-quality drums with decent quality cymbals at an affordable price. This kit, for example, does not only have good sound and build quality but with a couple of tweaks (like better drum heads), they can serve you as a performance kit. The best thing about this set is the snare. With how often you use a snare, this is extremely important for any set. 

The poplar shells are crafted with bearing edges which means you would not have to worry about the drum hardware getting in the way of your playing. Furthermore, this set comes with not just two but three cymbals (a hi-hat, crash and ride cymbal) along with stands for both the drums and the cymbals as well. 

One complaint people have about this is that the tom mounts can be a bit awkward if you are someone who likes to position your tom drums in a certain way. However, this should not matter to you if you are a beginner so you would not even notice it.

Features:

  • Poplar shells with precision-crafted bearing edges
  • 18×22” Bass Drum
  • 8×10” and 9×12” Mounted Toms
  • 14×16” Floor Tom
  • 5×14” Snare Drum
  • 14” Hi-hats
  • 16” Crash Cymbal
  • 20” Ride Cymbal
  • Comes complete with stands (boom cymbal stand, straight cymbal stand, hi-hat stand, and snare stand) and pedals
  • Comes with drum throne and sticks

Pros

Cons

Alesis Nitro

Price: $379

This is different from the rest of the drum sets in this list and that is because the Alesis Nitro is an electronic set. It may seem a bit strange to you but this is a really good kit for beginners mostly because of the lesson functions it can provide. With features such as play-along tracks, a built-in metronome, and performance recorders, this kit will surely be a great help to those who are just starting to learn how to play the drums.

This set, in particular, has an incredible quality for its price. The drum heads are mesh which is rare for electric drums of this price range. The drum module contains over 40 different sounding sets for you to choose from and more than 350 sounds for you to play around with. This makes this an extremely enjoyable set which will keep drummers–beginner or advanced–busy for many years to come.

The set is also extremely durable and comes complete with all the hardware you will need such as an aluminum rack to mount your set in, connection cables, sticks, and a drum key for tuning–yes, you can tune this electronic set. 

Features:

  • All-mesh drum heads
  • 8” Dual-zone snare pad
  • 8” Mounted Toms and Floor Tom pads
  • 10” Chokable Cymbals (Hi-hat, Ride, and Crash)
  • 40 Classic and Modern Kits
  • 60 Play-Along tracks
  • Over 350+ Sounds
  • Educational features including play-along tracks, metronome, and performance recorder
  • Comes complete with 4-post aluminum rack, connection cable, sticks, and drum key

Pros

Cons

This completes our list for the 11 BEST Drum Sets and Kits for Beginners. I hope you find this review helpful when you shop for your first drum. As always, good luck and happy drumming!

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