Best Drum Sets for Beginners: Top Options for New Drummers

Written by: Zander Brooks

If you’re an aspiring drummer, you probably can’t wait to drop a beat on your brand-new drums. But before you go dropping too much coin, you’ll want to check out the five best drum sets for beginners.

In this article, we’re going to give you our top five favorite drum sets for beginners. We’ll tell you about their best features, the pros, and cons, and give you the criteria we used to choose them. Keep reading to the end so you can find out our pick for the very best one!


Best Beginner Drum Sets Reviewed

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5pc Drum Shell Pack – Best Beginner Drum Set for Gigs

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5pc Drum Shell Pack - 20' Kick, Honey Amber



  • Includes: 20x17 kick, 10x7 rack tom, 12x8 rack tom, 14x13 floor tom, 14x5.5 snare 
  • Includes the following hardware: TH-945B 3-hole receiver with (2) YESS tom mounts, (3) floor tom legs 
  • 100% birch drum shells with high-gloss lacquer
  • The cymbals, stands, and kick pedal are not included with this kit
  • Low mass lugs allow shells to vibrate more fully, enhancing the sound


The Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Drum Set looks and sounds beautiful with its resonant tone and high-gloss lacquer finish. First, of course, you’ll get the high quality of drum kit that Yamaha is known for. This kit is a great starter kit because you get plenty of drums for the price, including a kick drum, two rack toms, floor tom, and snare. Unfortunately, the cymbals, stands, and kick pedal are not included in this kit, so you will have to purchase them separately.

The high quality means you can take this kit to gigs – it sounds that good with its warm and bright tones and natural resonance.


  • High-quality Yamaha drums
  • Beautiful finish and tone
  • Great kit for the price
  • Great for jazz, hip hop, pop


  • You’ll need to purchase your own cymbals, stands, and kick pedal

Pearl EXX725S/C 5-Piece Export New Fusion Drum Set with Hardware and Cymbals – Best Complete Beginner Drum Set

Pearl EXX725S/C 5-Piece Export New Fusion Drum Set with Hardware and Cymbals - Smokey Chrome



  • Includes two rack toms, two floor toms, kick drum, cymbals, and hardware
  • It also includes Demonator Pedal
  • Features warm, defined tones
  • Available in a variety of finishes, including chrome, black, cherry glitter, blue, and white


The Pearl name is synonymous with drums. This drum kit is a complete set that is just perfect for getting you started, but it's also expandable if you find you need more!It includes a kick drum, two rack toms, two floor toms, and a cymbal and hardware so you can practice and gig.

These drums are durable and beautiful both in sound and finish, making them an excellent choice for beginners and more advanced drummers.


  • This is a complete kit, which includes everything you need to start drumming
  • The kit works well for all kinds of musical styles, including rock, RNB, and gospel.


  • You may prefer to change out the stock heads for higher quality heads when you have a chance
  • You may need heavier stands for your cymbals if you are a heavy hitter 

PDP New Yorker 4-piece Shell Pack - Black Onyx Sparkle – Best Mini Beginner Drum Kit

PDP New Yorker 4-piece Shell Pack - Black Onyx Sparkle



  • One of the smallest and lightest kits available
  • Includes snare, bass drum, 10-inch tom, and flo tom
  • Tones are full and heavy in spite of the small size of the drum kit
  • Available in a variety of finishes, including green, rose, black
  • A lot of drum kit at a great price


The PDP New Yorker is a big-sounding kit with a small footprint. If space is an issue for you, this might be the best kit for your situation. It’s compact and light, making it easy to tote around when needed but still offers up a rich, full sound.

In spite of the small size, it still packs a punch when it comes to big, heavy sounds. It’s available in a variety of beautiful finishes, but you’ll need to purchase cymbals and hardware separately.


  • Lightweight and compact kit takes up little space and is easy to move.
  • Offers deep, full tones in spite of its small size


  • You may need to do a little work on the drum stands to make them sturdy enough

Tama LJK28S-AQB Club-JAM Mini Drum Kit – Best Beginner Drum Set for Small Budgets

Tama LJK28S-AQB Club-JAM Mini Drum Kit, Aqua Blue



  • This is a great kit at a budget price
  • This kit includes a kick drum and snare drum
  • No cymbal or drum throne are included you will need to purchase them separately
  • The tones are deep and clear
  • Great for smaller venues or practice
  • Compact size requires very little floor space
  • Available in a variety of finishes such as blond, blue, charcoal, and silver to suit your taste


The Tama JAM mini drum kit is a great starter kit for anyone looking to gig in small spaces. The tones are deep and clear, which is surprising for the small size of the drums. In addition, you may love its vintage appeal and finish which look as good as it sounds


The Tama Mini Drum Kit is a paired-down kit, but it is inexpensive, so it works well for tiny budgets and tiny spaces. You can easily add on pieces as you need them. 


  • Great for jazz, funk, and any smaller gigs where floor space is an issue
  • It has a fun, vintage appeal
  • This kit offers bright, clear sounds


  • It might not be heavy enough for rock drummers but will work for practice

Gretsch Catalina Club 4pc Drum Kit – Highest Quality Beginner Drum Kit

Gretsch Catalina Club 4pc Drum Kit Piano Black



  • Uses Remo drum heads
  • Includes bass drum, rack toms, floor tom, and snare
  • This is a smaller size kit with outstanding quality
  • The drums are made of birch drum shells which provide resonance
  • Hardware and cymbals are not included; you’ll need to purchase them separately if you want them to be a part of your kit


The Gretsch Cataline Club is a four-piece drum kit made with excellent quality. The birch drum shells provide excellent resonance. The Gretsch Kit is a smaller, paired-down kit that is great for smaller gigs or rehearsal spaces, but you can upgrade and add on to it as needed. It’s a pricier kit, but the quality is worth the investment.


  • Beautiful birch drum shells provide excellent resonance
  • Gretsch is known for its outstanding quality
  • This is a well-known drum brand which inspires confidence in your drum set


  • The price may be formidable for some beginners
  • This kit is considered to be a shell pack—hardware and cymbals are not included
  • This kit might just be a lot more drum than you actually need as a beginner

Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit – Best Electric Drum Kit for Beginners

Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit - Electric Drum Set with USB MIDI Connectivity, Mesh Drum Pads, Kick Pedal and Rubber Kick Drum, 40 Kits and 385 Sounds



  • Includes all-mesh drum heads
  • Complete eight-piece drums et with three toms, three cymbals, ride cymbal, hi-hat, and snare
  • The drum set includes 40 built-in classic and modern drum kits and 60 tracks to play along with
  • Electronic kit never needs tuning
  • Includes built-in metronome
  • Features included digital drum lessons
  • Includes all hardware you need to play your kit


The Alesis Electronic Drumset is a great kit for beginner drummers. First of all, this is a complete kit with everything you need to get started, including sticks and lessons. It includes sounds for 40 different kits, so you can use it for any type of music you desire. It also has a built-in metronome and tracks to play along with.

If volume is an issue (and it probably will be if you live in an apartment or other shared space) you may prefer an electric drum set over an acoustic one. You’ll be able to practice without all the noise.


  • This is a complete kit right out of the box
  • It never needs tuning


  • You will need a sound system or headphones for practice and performance

Criteria for Choosing The Five Best Beginner Drum Sets

When you are purchasing your first drum set, there are certain characteristics you’ll want to look for. We’ll tell you what characteristics we took into consideration when making this list so you can choose the best one for you.

Who will be playing these drums?

The first question you need to ask yourself is, who will be playing these drums? Is this a brand new drummer with no other experience? Or someone transitioning from marching band to rock band?

If you are purchasing beginner drums, is this for an adult or a child? You may want to consider smaller drums for a smaller child, but you’ll need something that is bigger and sturdier for an adult.

What kind of music is this for?

Of course, you also need to think about what type of music you will be playing. For example, if you are looking for a set that can accommodate heavy rock music, you may need bigger drums. On the other hand, if you are looking for light jazz or just smaller, more intimate gigs, you might want something with smaller drums and a smaller footprint.

Or perhaps this will be for all kinds of music, but your rehearsal space is small and needs something a little on the quieter side.

Will you be transporting these drums to gigs or just using them at home? Will they be kept in a studio or bedroom? How big of a space do you have available for drums?

What is the commitment level of the drummer?

If your beginner drummer is committed to a life of playing drums, you might not mind a big investment. On the other hand, if your drummer is just dabbling in the drum scene, you might want to make less of a financial commitment.


Let’s face it. Drums can get expensive fast. There are so many parts you need to consider – the actual drums themselves, their heads, cymbals, kick pedal, and all of the hardware that goes with them. If price is an issue, then you may want to look at some of the more paired-down drum sets. They’re smaller, include fewer items, and cost less.

If money isn’t a factor, then the skies are the limit, and you can use the other criteria for choosing the drums you want to buy for your aspiring drummer.

More expensive beginner drum sets will probably have more pieces and be made of better quality than the less expensive drum sets. However, that doesn’t mean that less costly sets are bad or won’t get the job done. You have to figure out how much you are able to spend and what pieces are critical for your musical style.

Bundled sets are usually less expensive than purchasing individual pieces, but you can always purchase a smaller set and add pieces as you expand your abilities, repertoire, and gigs.

Quality and Brand Name

Quality is important because if your drum set is made poorly, it just won’t be as fun to play. And you don’t want to be in the middle of a gig and have your kit fall apart (yes, that happened to my band!). So consider the quality – and the name brand – that you are purchasing.

An off-brand kit might get the job done, but how much better would a set be that’s made by Yamaha or Pearl?

Bundles or What’s Included in Your Kit?

You may also want to think about which pieces are included in the kit you are buying. What are the parts that are most important to you? For example, if you need cymbals but your kit doesn’t have any, then that’s going to be an added expense for you.

On the other hand, if you don’t need two-floor toms, why invest in a kit that has them?

Think about the pieces of kit you need for your style of playing, and look for a bundle that includes those specific pieces, if possible. This way, you aren’t wasting your money on unnecessary stuff, but you still have everything you need.

Keep in mind that you can almost always add on to your drum kit, so if you need to start, that’s ok!

A few examples of what may be included :

  • Drum and cymbal stands and racks
  • Cymbals
  • Snare and tom drums
  • Drum heads
  • Drum thrones
  • Brushes and sticks

Electric Verses Acoustic

You may need to choose between acoustic and electric drums for your beginner. Acoustic drums are probably better for learning good technique and control when it comes to playing a drum kit. You’ll learn good muscle control, volume control, and rebounding.

On the other hand, there are benefits to learning on an electric drum set, too. First of all, if you live in an apartment or other small space, you may need to keep the volume absolutely quiet. In this case, an electric kit with headphones would be a great way for you to practice without bothering your neighbors.

Electronic drums also give you lots of flexibility to experiment with different sounds, and different styles, and play along with lessons and drum tracks.

Both types of drums have merit for beginners. You just need to pick the one that fits your circumstance best. Click here to read more!

Our Pick For the Best Beginner Drum Set

If you had to, you could learn to play drums on a few simple drum pads. But playing an actual kit is a lot more motivating! So while all of the kits on this list are great for starting out, we have a favorite.

We love the Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5pc Drum Shell Packas the best kit for beginner drummers.

Although it isn’t a complete kit (the cymbals, stands, and kick pedal aren’t included), you have everything in it that you need to get started learning how to play set. And you can always add in a cymbal or hi-hat when you’re ready for it.

There are a few things we love – first of all, it’s a beautiful set with its high-gloss lacquered finish. But the birch drum shells and low mass lugs allow the set to resonate beautifully. It includes a kick drum, two rack toms, a floor tom, and a snare so you can practice your beats, grooves, and technique to your heart’s content.

It isn’t a huge kit, but it's beefy enough to handle adult beginners as well as younger beginners. You can use it for any style of music, but it really shines when it comes to jazz, hip hop, and pop styles. Overall, it’s an excellent kit for the price, and you just can’t go wrong when it comes to the musicianship and craftsmanship that Yamaha is known for. And that is worth the coin. 

Written By:
Zander has been playing drums for over 20 years. He is passionate about music and uses his years of experience to teach his students. While he is a full-time instructor, he is also working on growing a YouTube channel where he shares his insights. You can see him playing there, or on Instagram where he posts daily videos.

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