Let’s face it.
Drums can be expensive, and…a daunting task for beginner drummers to shop for because of its many components.
I know, because I can still remember the confusing experience when I was choosing my first drum kit. Thankfully, I had a friend who could help. It’s way easier when someone helped point me in the right direction.
As a beginner, I was lost when I had to purchase my first drum kit. There were so many components and each of them had their own requirements, ‘ideal’ specifications, pros and cons.
Trying to buy separate drum parts and piece them together was a frustrating struggle. Forums are not helpful because everyone has their own opinions too…
We’ll cover all these in this article:
- Summary of the best beginner drum sets for adults
- Best Beginner Drum Set for Adults
- Best Beginner Drum Set for Adults (Writer’s Pick)
- Best Beginner Drum Set for Adults Under $700
- Best Beginner Drum Set for Adults For The Money
- Best Beginner Drum Set for Adults Under $300
- What you want in a complete drum set?
- 4 important features you need in an Acoustic drum kit
Complete drum kits
With these kits, you don’t have to worry about missing any drum parts like tom mounts, rims, drum heads, stands, and the list can go on…
These kits allow new drummers to immediately put their drum set together and start learning to drum.
All without having to deal with the technical aspects of drumming which can put off many new drummers.
So, in this article, I’ve put together a hit list of the best beginner drum set for adults.
Do note that this list will be focused on beginner drum set for adults, if you are getting a drum kit for a child who is 10 years and above this list might still be useful.
However, if you are getting a beginner drum kit for a child, this list isn’t for you. You might want to consider the Ludwig Pocket Kit instead.
I’ve based this selection on the key worries I had when I first started drumming and wanted to own my own drum set into consideration. These are elaborated at the end of this article.
For now, let’s dive right into the exciting part first:
Summary of the Beginner Drum Sets for Adults
|Beginner Drum Set for Adult||Drum shell pack||# of Cymbals||Other components?||My Thoughts||Latest Price|
|Pearl Roadshow Drum Set||5 Piece||2 piece||Also comes with:||Best beginner drum set for adults|
Good tones from the drums. Could sound way better if you'd just upgrade the drum heads.
|Yamaha Rydeen Acoustic Drum Shell Pack||5 Piece||NIL||NIL||Best beginner drum set for adults (My Pick)|
Expect great tones with the Rydeen. This is a 5 piece drum shell pack, you'll need to pair it with drum hardware and Cymbal Packs.
|Tama New Imperialstar Complete Drum Kit||5 Piece||3 piece Meinl HCS Cymbal Pack||Also comes with:||Best beginner drum set for adults, under $700|
Versatile beginner drum set with a good balance between quality and price.
|Rise by Sawtooth Complete Beginner Drum Kit||5 Piece||2 piece||Also comes with:||Best beginner drum set for adults, for the money|
A good beginner drum kit to start with.
|MAPEX Rebel Drum Set||5 Piece||2 piece||Also comes with:||Complete kit that is a great option as a starter drum kit for adults.|
|Gammon Percussion Full Size Complete Adult drum kit||5 Piece||2 piece||Also comes with:||Best Beginner Drum Set for Adults Under $300|
Good for a beginner drum set at its price point. You could do better with the Pearl Roadshow.
|Eastar Complete Full Size Adult Drum Set||5 Piece||2 piece||Also comes with:||Cheap. Not the best sounding kit in town.|
If you have read the rest of our drum equipment reviews and “best of” round-up lists, you would know that I value features first and playing experience second.
And this is especially useful for a beginner drum set.
Because most of these affordable drum sets are usually not on display at music stores.
And at their price points, most shops may not let you demo several kits for you to compare before you make your decision. (Unless you are lucky to know a passionate music store owner.)
Below, I’ll list the key features and give you some examples on how each drum kit sounds so that you can make the best decision when selecting your own adult beginner drum set.
So let’s get right into it!
Best Beginner Drum Set for Adults
Pearl 5-Piece Roadshow Drum Set
Thoughtfully curated for the aspiring new drummer, the Pearl 5 piece Roadshow drum set is a complete solution that allows you to start drumming ASAP!
Pearl has also included two pairs of maple drumsticks, a stickbag and even a Pearl poster (lol), so that you can immediately kickstart your drumming journey once the mailman drops you this drum set.
The Roadshow series comes with several configurations including ‘Jazz’ and ‘Rock’.
I would recommend that you go with the ‘New Fusion’ (comes with larger bass drum) for a versatile starter drum kit.
- 22″ Bass drum
- 14″ Snare drum
- 10″ & 12″ Rack Toms
- 16″ Floor Tom
- 16″ crash-ride cymbal
- 14″ hybrid hi hats
- Drum kit hardware including:
- Drum throne
- 2 x Maple drumsticks
- Stick bag
- Drum key
My Verdict on the Pearl 5-Piece Roadshow Drum Set
The Pearl Roadshow Drum set is the most value for money beginner drum set for adults in my opinion.
At this price point, the Pearl Roadshow drum kit is a steal, for two main reasons:
- Value packed complete drum kit for beginners
For about $500 (at the point of writing), you get a great sounding beginner drum set.
Although the cymbals ain’t the best, but really, you can’t fault a complete drum kit when it’s priced at a steal like this. You could upgrade the cymbals later too.
With that said, it is sufficient for a new drummer looking to pick up the fundamentals of drumming.
I love the idea that Pearl has also thrown in some basic material to help you kick start your drumming.
Another detail I love about this kit is that they have included a drum throne along with it!
This is something that many other ‘complete’ drum kit lacks.
And it can be quite a hassle to have to hunt for a chair that is of the right height…and comfortable enough for you to practice your drumming for hours.
- Drum shells sound pretty good out of the box
Featuring poplar wood drum shells, you get a nice tone with a bright sounding drum kit that is highly versatile.
This is how the Pearl Roadshow Drum Kit sounds like, right out of the box:
The toms could do with a little more tuning and perhaps some dampening, but it is pretty acceptable right out of the box. This means you do not have to spend too much time trying to optimise your new drum kit.
You can also hear the sound quality of the crash/ride cymbal and hi-hats in the video. Given that the audio was probably recorded from the camera, the cymbals actually sound quite good.
And if you’re ever looking to spruce up the kit, you could consider upgrade options like Zildjian’s S Family Cymbals in the future. The cymbal stands that come with this kit can be used to house new cymbals.
If you are starting out clueless and on a clean slate with no prior drumming experience like I did, you will definitely be wondering, “how do I set up the Pearl Roadshow 5 piece drum set?”.
Well…to help you out with that, Pearl Drums has also released a Pearl Roadshow Assembly Guide video series:
Source: Pearl Drums (YouTube)
I’ve placed the videos into a convenient YouTube playlist.
If you want more resources to help you build your drumming fundamentals, Pearl Drums has also put together a guide to drum rudiment video series which you can watch here.
Don’t just read my thoughts, you can read what more than 620+ other drummers say about the Pearl Roadshow here.
Sidenote, if you’re a parent who is looking for an acoustic drum kit for your child, this complete drum kit is a fuss free option because it comes with everything you need.
Best Beginner Drum Set for Adults [writer’s pick]
Yamaha Rydeen Acoustic Drum Set (Drum Shell Pack)
I admit. I’m biased towards this kit. Ha!
This didn’t make it as the Best Pick only because the Rydeen is no longer offered as a complete set 🙁 If you are not comfortable getting your first drum set separately, you can either head to a drum store to get help, or go for the Sawtooth drum set!
“Rydeen is the Japanese God of Thunder and these drums live up to the name.” – says Yamaha.
And they have done their best to stuff as much value as they can into the Rydeem drum shell pack.
The Yamaha RYDEEN drum shell pack is a 5 piece drum set that comes with a 22″ bass drum, 2 rack toms, 1 floor tom and a snare drum.
- 22” bass drum
- 16” floor tom
- 12” tom tom
- 10” tom tom
- 14” snare drum
- 2 x tom clamp(CL940LB)
PLEASE NOTE: this doesnt come with the snare drum stand nor kick pedal.
I recommend pairing the Rydeen drum shell pack with the following:
- Zildjian Planet Z Complete Cymbal Pack:
- 1 pair of 14″ Hi Hats
- 1 x 16″ Thin Crash
- 1 x 20″ Ride Cymbal
- Yamaha HW-780 Hardware pack:
- Hi-Hat stand with chain drive pedal
- Snare drum stand
- Cymbal stands
- Kick pedal FP7210A Foot pedal (spring control)
The total damage could cost you about ~$900.
My Verdict on the Yamaha Rydeen Acoustic Drum Set
Suitable for both beginners and intermediate drummers who want to develop their drumming skills further, this complete kit is a dream come true.
If you are serious about drumming and want a good quality drum kit without having to spend hours or even days researching each part of a drum kit, the configuration I’ve shared above would save you all that time and energy.
And oh, also perfect if you want to save yourself from mediocre sounding drum kit too. No plastic sounding drums or thin sounding cymbals that sound like they haven’t got any soul.
All you need to do is to unbox, assembly the kit, tune up the drums and start drumming away.
You can also read what other drummers say about the Yamaha Rydeen drum kit on Amazon now.
This is Yamaha’s introduction to the Rydeen drum shell pack, they also show you how to assemble the shell pack:
Source: Yamaha Corporation (YouTube)
Also, by pairing the Rydeen with a Zildjian cymbal pack, you can be sure of the quality of your cymbals. (often time, cymbals in a beginner kit are not the best sounding metal in the world) This is how the Zildjian Planet Z cymbal pack sounds like:
You get a clear, bright sounding set of cymbals that are built to last.
Oh, did I mentioned that Zildjian is the market leader of drum cymbals?
I mean if manufacturering cymbals is all you do everyday, you’d become a master sooner or later right?
Basically you have a versatile drum kit that is suitable for a wide range of drummers.
Definitely my top pick on this list.
We’ve also compared the Yamaha Rydeen vs GigMaker and discovered a clear winner between the two.
Best beginner drum set for adults under $700
Tama Imperialstar 5-Piece Complete Drum Kit
The Tama Imperialstar 5 piece complete drum kit is a good way to start your drumming journey because it can be easily expanded should you wish to in the future.
The Imperialstar series has been manufactured for years and can be arranged using various configurations.
This kit feature 6-ply, 100% poplar drum shells which are great for middle range sounds. Poplar drums are versatile for any genre of music and are often the choice of material for drum shells in beginner drum kits.
Tama is trusted for its build quality and service, this drum kit doesn’t disappoint.
If you have limited space for your kit, or have a tight budget, you may want to consider the Tama Imperialstar 4 piece kit.
- 22″ Bass Drum
- 10″ & 12″ Rack Toms
- 16″ Floor Tom
- 14″ Snare Drum
- HS40W Snare Stand
- HH45W Hi Hat Stand
- HC43BW Boom Stand
- HC42W Straight Stand
- HP200P Bass Drum Pedal
- MTH600 Tom Holder
- Floor Tom Legs
- Meinl HCS Cymbals which includes:
- 14″ Hi Hat
- 16″ Crash
- 20″ Ride
- Drum Throne
My Verdict on the Tama Imperialstar 5-Piece Complete Drum Kit
It’s a great sounding drum kit that you can get for a fair price.
Tama has a reputation for making high quality drum kits and they delivered on the Imperialstar 5 piece drum kit.
You get an excellent sounding drum kit that will last you for a long time.
Plus, this kit features drum shells made from Poplar wood that has a strong medium range, warm sound which makes it versatile for most music.
With a full sized complete drum kit like this, you can comfortably switch and play any genre of music too. That means you won’t be restricted to a certain playing style even as you evolve as a drummer.
And as you improve your drumming and develop a taste for specific drum tones, you can also change up the drum heads to fine tune your drum kit.
This is how the Tama Imperialstar sounds like and feels like for a new drummer:
Source: StormBlåst (YouTube)
Here’s a nicely mic-ed and tuned version:
The drums sound crisp and strong (but a little ‘dead’) while the cymbals don’t disappoint. You can read the details of what are included in the Tama New Inperialstar complete drumset here.
Here is a useful assembly video tutorial for the Tama Imperialstar drum kit by Playground Music:
Also noteworthy is the fact that the Tama Imperialstar drum kit comes with a set of Meinl HCS cymbals. Not world-class quality, but these are pretty good cymbals for a beginner kit of this price point.
Here’s a sound sample:
You can read my thoughts on it next:
Best beginner drum set for the money
Rise by Sawtooth Student Drum Kit
The Rise by Sawtooth beginner drum kit is an entry level offering from Sawtooth, a drum manufacturer known for its top quality drum kits.
In a rare offering, we get to own a good quality beginner drum kit, at an affordable price. (At the point of writing it is less than $400, click to check latest availability)
With the Rise by Sawtooth drum kit, you’re getting a 5 piece drum kit paired with Zildjian Planet Z hi-hat and crash cymbal.
This kit should last you for a long while, with proper maintenance and drumming technique.
| || |
- 22″ Bass Drum
- 12″ Tom
- 13″ Tom
- 16″ Floor Tom Drum
- 14″ Snare Drum
- Zildjian Planet Z 13″ Hi Hat
- Zildjian Planet Z 16″ Crash Cymbal
- Hi-Hat Stand with pedal
- Bass Drum Pedal
- 2 tier Cymbal Stand
- Drum Throne
My Verdict on the Rise by Sawtooth Complete Beginner Drum Kit
If you are serious about drumming and want to own a quality drum kit that allows you to continue drumming even as you improve, this is the kit to consider.
As mentioned above, the Rise by Sawtooth beginner drum kit includes everything you need to start drumming. All you need to do is to unbox, set it up and you’re good to go!
This is how it sounds:
Source: Kinte Lovechild (Youtube)
As a drum manufacturer that is trusted for its quality drum kits, it’s little wonder that most owners of the Rise by Sawtooth drum kit are raving about it.
Do note that although this is under the Sawtooth brand, it is still a beginner drum kit catered for new drummers who want to pick up drumming.
It really isn’t a professional grade drum kit, so don’t expect too much at this price point.
MAPEX Rebel Drum 5-Piece Drum Set
A versatile drum kit that is suitable as an affordable starter drum set for beginners, the Mapex Rebel drum set is easy to set up and is sturdy.
It can be used by both adults as well as children above the age of 9 years old.
It is, however, plagued with quality control issues and it comes with rather cheap sounding cymbals that really should be replaced once you have found the type of sound you like as a drummer.
- 22”’ bass drum
- 16”’ floor tom
- 10”’ tom
- 12” tom
- 14” snare
- Drum Hardware – racks, legs, pedals
- 14” hi-hat cymbal
- 16” crash/ride cymbal
- Drum throne
My Verdict on the MAPEX Rebel Drum 5-Piece Drum Set
First up, let’s listen to how this drum set sounds like, as recorded by the (Ghost) Note Drum Shop:
Mapex is known for producing great sounding drum shells and this set doesn’t disappoint as well.
Featuring poplar wood drum shells with nice mid range tones, you get a versatile drum kit that works for most genres.
On top of drum shells, Mapex is also known for providing trustworthy drum hardware and the double braced Rebel hardware feels very sturdy.
Another key feature is that this drum set is that the bass drum is fitted with a Remo drum head, which is way better than most drum heads provided with beginner complete drum sets at this price point.
However as mentioned above, the crash/ride cymbal sound kinda fake with little reverb. Upgrading the crash/ride cymbal alone will make the kit sound way better.
Also, I would recommend that you find a way to demo the actual set you’re getting before committing to it. Some users have mentioned that its drum heads may sound a little hollow. This may not be a major issue if you are a brand new drummer. (Honestly, I wouldn’t have picked that sound quality when I first started out.)
Beginner Drum Set for Adults Under $300
Before we move on, I’ve got to pre-warn you.
We’re now stepping into the real amateur drum kit zone, drum sets below $300 are not likely to be impressive in terms of sound or even quality.
So always keep in mind that you are really getting yourself a ‘toy’ drum set of sorts.
And if you are considering any drum set in this category, always remind yourself that you will need to upgrade to a real starter drum kit with acceptable tones later.
Or, you could save yourself the pain and select a complete drum kit that costs at least US$300.
Gammon Percussion Full Size Complete Adult drum kit
The Gammon Percussion Complete Kit has a sound profile that is similar to the Eastar Complete kit, but it costs slightly lesser. Again, I think this is another OEM product.
But, if you have a tight budget but don’t want to suffer back aches with a compact or a junior kit, this kit could be the answer to kickstarting your drumming journey.
It is also a 5 piece drum kit paired with 2 pieces of cymbals.
And having a full sized acoustic drum kit means that you have the best flexibility to adjust the distances between your drum setup. So this kit will be comfortable even for taller adults.
Of course, if you are getting this kit for your child, it might be a little too big for them. The recommended height for a child to use this kit is at least 4 feet (~120cm) or a child at 8 year old and above.
- Full Size Real Wood Drums
- 22″ Bass Drum
- 14″ Snare Drum
- 12″ Small Tom
- 13″ Mid Tom
- 16″ Floor Tom
- 12″ Hi-Hat Cymbals + Pedal
- 14″ Crash or Ride Cymbal
- All required stands
- Drum Stool/Throne
- Bass Drum Pedal
- Drum Sticks
- Drum Key
My Verdict on the Gammon Percussion Full Size Complete Adult 5 Piece Drum Set
First up, this is how the Gammon Percussion Full Size Complete Adult Drum Kit sounds right out of the box:
This video is one of the most accurate ones out there, without any obvious acoustic / post production audio touch up. It may sound a little echo-ey due to the direct recording from the camera.
I would say, for its price point, this drum kit actually sounds acceptable.
The cymbals sound kinda high, light and…generally wimpy if you are more of a heavy metal or rock drummer. But for a beginner, it is good enough. As with the Eastar, you might want to use a dampener like the SlapKlatz Pro on the cymbals.
The drums okay and should satisfy any beginner drummer. Although I would recommend that you save up a little more and get the Pearl Roadshow instead.
Once you’ve a better understanding and foundation for drumming, you should have a clearer idea of the genre of drumming you’d like to go for. That’s when you can consider to upgrade from this kit…if you have the budget.
Gammon Percussion also provides an assembly guide that will take you through the drum kit set up, step by step.
Next up, coming in at a similar pricing, we have:
Eastar Complete Full Size 5-Piece Adult Drum Set
The Eastar complete drum set was created for adults who want to start drumming with a low cost complete drum set. It was also awarded the “Amazon’s choice” for its good value.
It comes with an adjustable drum throne as well as drum hardware so that you can adjust it to suit your height and start drumming comfortably.
Despite being ‘adult’ sized, it is also suitable for children above 9 years old.
However, you should note that it isn’t the best sounding beginner drum set out there.
If you are playing in an apartment or if your house is located very close to your neighbour’s, this drum set is NOT for you. Save your relationship with your neighbours and get a better drum kit like the Pearl Roadshow complete drum set for adults.
- 22″ bass drum
- 10″ and 12″ tom toms
- 14″ snare drum
- 16″ floor tom
- 14.5″ hi-hat
- 16″ crash/ride cymbals
- Drum throne
- Drum sticks
- Bass drum pedal
- Hi-Hat stand and pedal
- Cymbal stands
My Verdict on the Eastar Complete Full Size 5-Piece Adult Drum Set
Truth is, i think this is probably an OEM product. Don’t get me wrong, OEM drum sets tend to be cheap and affordable, however these often tend to be lower quality products.
So, if you just want a drum kit to play around with (or if you really hate your neighbours) then go ahead with this super budget beginner drum set.
How the Easter complete full sized adult drum kit sounds
The following video does not feature the Eastar complete drum set, but the Mendini. They are of the similar quality. This is how the drum kit sounds with a pro drummer behind it:
Here’s what other drummers say about the Eastar on Amazon.
And here’s a video review in which you can hear the sound quality:
My view is that the Eastar is a great choice as a play set, or a kit that you don’t mind allowing your kids or nieces/nephews to trash on.
But if you want a drum set that is versatile and still be useful even as you improve as a drummer, the Easter Complete drum set isn’t for you.
That’s all the drum kits we’ve picked. But before you go, to help you better select your first drum kit, here’re some pointers:
What you want in a beginner drum kit?
If you are completely new to the drums, this section will get you up to speed so that you can choose the most suitable drum set for your own use.
A complete drum kit ideally comes with everything you need included so that you don’t have to do extra work to research and get missing bits to the kit, especially hardware like the stands.
Once you have the stands, you can save some money in the future and purchase shell packs instead of complete kits. Just make sure the shells fit your stands.
You will also need to note that some complete drum kits do not include the drum throne. You can use any chair that is of a comfortable height or purchase the drum throne separately.
Price / Budget
What’s the budget you have to spend on your drums?
If you have a bigger budget and want a higher quality drum kit, go for the Yamaha or Tama drum kits.
These are well established brands and you can generally trust that you will get better quality with their drum kits. Plus, they tend to last so you can keep drumming on them over the years.
In my opinion, 5 piece drum kits paired with a 3 piece cymbal pack are the ideal drum kits for any beginner because it includes all the essential components of a pop music drum kit.
And it also happens to be the most versatile.
Of course, if you’d want to argue, it would also be safe to say that a barebones drum kit would really only include a snare, bass drum, with a hi-hat and a crash cymbal.
But I’ve found that beginner drummers grow out of a ‘barebones’ drum kit fairly quickly. Or their passion sizzles off early.
It’s really not surprising considering that you are limited to just 5 different surfaces to hit.
It’s perfect for practicing and building your foundations and drumming basics, but not exactly the most fun kit to drum with.
Do yourself a favor and get at least a 5 piece drum kit to start with.
How long do you expect to use the drums?
Are you committed and want to someday perform live with a band, or do you just want to learn the skill and drum at home or jam with a couple of friends?
OR are you likely to stop touching the drum kit after a while?
These considerations are major deciding factors that could affect your budget.
4 Important Features To Consider in an Acoustic Drum Kit
With acoustic drum kits, there are 4 important features you will need to note:
1) You need to learn how to tune your drums
Acoustic drum kits feature (usually) wooden drum shells fitted with a batter (top) and a resonant (bottom) drum head.
You will need to tune both heads by tightening the lugs along the circumference of the drums.
2) Sound / Potential disturbance
If you have neighbours who are sensitive to noise, or stay in an apartment you might need a soundproof room to play the acoustic drums.
If a soundproof room is out of your budget, consider an electronic drum instead.
Regular drum sets will require a fixed space because assembly and disassembly can take a while.
You will need to set aside at least 6 ft by 6 ft drumming area for comfortable drumming.
Of course, you can consider cocktail drum kits but these usually come in noval drum configurations and are not the best option to build your fundamentals on.
Alternatively, consider compact drum kits. These may feel slightly cramp if you are taller than 7 feet.
4) Other Must-Have Equipment for new drummers
As someone who has gotten used to playing on an electronic drum set, I’ve come to realised how pampered I’ve become.
With an e-drum, you get additional features like having multiple drum kits to trigger, metronome, drumming exercises and much more with the drum module.
We have also researched and compiled a list of the best e-drums for beginners previously.
With that said, you’ll definitely get the best drumming experience with an acoustic drum kit.
However, you should note that you’ll need to purchase additional learning equipment that will aid your mastery of the drums.
We’ve researched and compiled 7 different beginner drum sets that are suitable for adult drummers above.
I hope that we have given you a good headstart to choosing a suitable drum set for your own use.
Feel free to leave a comment below, or skip back to the comparison table of the best beginner drum sets for adults.