6 Best Beginner Drum Sets of 2024

Many people consider the drummer to be the most important member of the band. And I say this as someone who mainly plays guitar and bass!

From beginners to all-time greats, no band is complete without a competent drummer to keep the rest of the band in time, and also to add grove and personality to the song.

Think you're up to the task of taking on drums? Well you've come to the right place because in this article, I will tell you everything that no one told me when I wanted to start playing; and believe me, it would have saved me a lot of time and money.

We'll start with a list of the six best beginner drum sets. The Ludwig Breakbeats 2022 by Questlove takes the top spot, mostly for its unbelievable value.

We'll wrap up the article with a buyer's guide and FAQs about drumming, so that you'll already have a leg up on every other aspiring drummer who wasn't fortunate enough to stumble up on this short read.

How will these other hand-picked drum sets stack up against the Ludwig Breakbeats 2022? Let's find out, but first let's discuss why this phenomenal set deserves to be at the top of the list.

Quick Summary of the Best Beginner Drum Sets

  1. Ludwig Breakbeats 2022 By Questlove (Best Overall Choice)
  2. Ludwig Pocket Kit (Best Budget Beginner Drum Kit)
  3. Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set (Best Electronic Beginner Drum Set)
  4. Yamaha RDP2F5 Rydeen 5-piece Shell Pack - Turquoise Glitter (Best Looking Beginner Drum Set)
  5. Ludwig BackBeat Elite 5-Piece Complete Drum Set (Best Premium Beginner Drum Set)
  6. Pearl Roadshow RS584C/C 4-piece Complete Drum Set (Best for Gigs)

Best Beginner Drum Sets

Best Overall

A great-sounding drum set that is a whole lot of fun to set up and play. It's very user-friendly and perfect for beginners.
Why We Love It
Highly portable
Nice carrying case
Full, balanced sound


  • 4-pc drum kit
  • 7-ply hardwood shell pack
  • Snare: 5" x 14"

Designed in part by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of the Roots, this drum set is an impressively affordable entry into the world of percussion.

The rack tom, floor tom, kick, and snare all have 7-ply hardwood shells, which are solid and sturdy. They’re also substantially more compact than most traditional drum sets, which makes transportation a lot more convenient.

Speaking of which, Ludwig also included nylon carrying cases that are a real game changer. Okay, so they're convenient, but how do they sound?

Well, the drums give a very balanced tone, as Ludwig drums tend to. All the powerful low end and midrange tones you’ll want are there, despite the drums’ small sizes.

This set does have only one rack tom, while most professional drum kits have two. This is the only thing that might deter some aspiring drummers. However, one rack tom and one floor tom is, in my opinion, enough for a new drummer to rock out and build up their chops regardless.

Overall, this is a well-made, highly portable drum set that punches well above its weight class. I was very impressed with the full, balanced tone I was able to get from all the different drums that come with this kit.

It’s a whole lot of fun to play on and doesn’t take too long to set up.

Best Budget Drum Set

An unbelievably affordable way to get your foot in the door as a drummer. It even sounds good in studio settings.

Why We Love It
Compact & convenient
Simple & easy to play
Reputable name brand


  • Triple flanged hoops
  • Bass drum, floor tom, 1 rack tom, hi-hat, 1 crash cymbal
  • Snare: 12in x 5in

If you told a sales guy at your local music store that you wanted an entire drum set for $350, they'd probably just say, "That's not gonna happen."

While it's true you can't get a full-sized kit for that cheap, you can get this mini drum kit – and it's even from a reputable brand. The Ludwig Pocket Kit is one of the most cost-efficient ways to start learning drums.

So let's get the obvious shortcomings of this drum kit out of the way first. As a scaled-down drum kit, it has a bit less natural stability than other kits, especially if not set up correctly.

A hi-hat stand or cymbal stand may fall over if you really bash them. The bass drum pedal could push the bass drum forward if you play it crazy hard.

These are minor annoyances, sure, but they're a small price to pay for the fact that this drum kit is an absolutely off-the-wall value. If you don't mind playing with a lighter touch when you need to, then you can make this kit sound amazing, and you can do it with maximum convenience.

I can't tell you how many times I've been in a studio or music room and wished I had a drum set like this. With a 16in x 14in bass drum shell and a single smaller-than-average crash cymbal, this kit takes up so much less space than full-sized kits.

It allows the kit to fit into all kinds of tight spots, like the corner of a room where you keep your amps. It's also capable of being played at (relatively) quiet volumes, which is something that can be hard to pull off on larger sets.

The Ludwig Pocket Kit is what I'd recommend to someone looking for the lowest startup investment to develop your skills as a percussionist.

Best Electronic Drums

A powerful, versatile electronic drum kit that may be the only electronic set you'll ever need to buy.

Why We Love It
Intuitive interface
Perfect for limited space
Seamless DAW connectivity


  • 5-piece electronic set
  • Rubber pads for all surfaces
  • Two wireless kick pedals included

For most people, it makes sense to consider an electronic drum kit as your introduction to the world of percussion. While they can't fill the same role as acoustic drums, they're still fantastically versatile instruments in their own right.

Electric kits are cost-efficient, lightweight, extremely compact, and easy to transport. They also open so many doors on the music production end of things.

MIDI drum kits give you alterable MIDI notes in your DAW that retain the exact timing of your playing. This is every bit as powerful as it sounds. You can really let your musical inspiration run wild.

Not to mention, there's the option of silent practicing (or as close to silent as a drummer can basically get). Now no one can tell you not to play past quiet hours!

For those interested in looking into electronic drum kits more, let me save you some time and recommend the Yamaha DTX402K. It's particularly good for beginners because it is simple enough to jump right in, but it also has so many advanced features that you won't need to replace it down the line.

Yamaha is arguably the MVP of making affordable instruments for first-time buyers. Their gear is renowned for being long-lasting and feature-rich, while still being simple to use.

That's definitely the case with the DTX402K electronic drum kit. You'll be able to use the interface pad to select from 10 preset kits, operate a built-in metronome, and even take advantage of some impressive digital features.

It integrates with an app to give you access to tons of exclusive lessons and training routines, as well as songs to play along to.

Best Looking

A full drum kit with very solid hardware for the investment. This is a set that just about any drummer will be happy to play.

Why We Love It
Durable 6-ply drum shells
Good cymbals and hi-hats
So many colors available


  • 5-piece shell pack
  • 5.5in x 14in snare drum
  • 2 crash cymbals, 2 rack toms

The RDP2F5 Rydeen 5-piece set is a very solid mid-low budget drum kit that's available in seven different eye-catching colors.

Yamaha's operational efficiency is rock solid, so they're able to produce an impressive number of these drum sets, all with gear that is sturdy and ergonomic. The fact that you can get one of these fully functional drum kits in any color you want, all for less than $500 with the click of a mouse is kind of mind-boggling when you think about it.

I'll spare you the rundown of every gear spec here, but the main takeaway is that once again, Yamaha has delivered in the value department. I appreciate having two rack toms, two crash cymbals, and a smoothly functioning high hat.

And with this many options for the paint job, it has to win best best-looking drum set overall.

You can choose the color that most closely matches your band's music (I like the turquoise shells), and it will go a long way for your band's aesthetic. (You may want to cover up that Yamaha logo with something a little cooler though.)

While this set is far cheaper than a "professional" grade drum kit, if set up correctly, it will sound so good that listeners won't be able to tell the difference.

Best Premium Set

A full-sized, full-featured drum kit that will always get the job done.

Why We Love It
Rock solid hardware
Great cymbals
High-quality poplar shells


  • 22in x 18in bass drum
  • 14 in x 6.5in snare drum
  • Poplar shells

If someone were to ask me, "What's a good drum set that's right between beginner and intermediate?" this would be my answer.

It doesn't have to be this exact set, but something in the $800 range from one of these big-name drum brands would be your best bet. The Ludwig BackBeat Elite 5-Piece set would be a killer first drum set.

It's somewhat of a gateway drum set into the high-end products. No one would look at this set and think, "Nice budget drum kit." They'd simply think, "nice kit!"

The solid poplar shells are the first thing people will notice, as they look high quality to any observer. Ludwig preserved the grain and pores in the wood, making for quite a flashy kit. It also comes with an industry-standard kick drum pedal.

If you want a full-sized drum kit for your house or studio, perhaps one that multiple people will be playing over the years, then this is a great choice for you. You can get everything you need from a drum set without spending upwards of a thousand dollars for the high-end kits.

This Ludwig kit is one of the best beginner drum sets out there, and it's truthfully a great set for intermediate and advanced players as well.

Best for Gigs

A compact set that makes setup and breakdown so much faster than typical sets.
Why We Love It
Ergonomic and compact
Quality Pearl hardware
Good at lower volumes


  • 4-piece kit
  • 5" x 13" snare drum
  • 6-ply poplar shells

Sometimes when you're playing local shows or touring the area, you might not want a full-sized drum kit if you can get away with a more compact one. There is a huge premium on convenient setup, break down, and transportation of your gear, and it is easy to overlook.

If you're itching to start playing shows, then The Pearl Roadshow RS584C is a great drum set to pick up. You can get straight to practicing, and potentially only need a few months before you're playing shows.

This roadster from Pearl is a fun solution for relative beginners who are already playing shows. It has high-quality drum shells from Pearl, and the drums themselves sound quite solid. Pearl made this set very compact by including only one rack tom and one rack crash cymbal.

If you don't mind using a scaled-down set, then it will definitely feel nice barely needing any time to set up and take down all your gear. Bands who are efficient before and after sets will have a way easier time getting more bookings.

You could set this up in about 10 minutes, learn a Sugar Ray drum part, and be jamming with your friends before sundown. Drum sets this convenient are hard to come by!

Best Beginner Drum Sets Buyers Guide

What's more important than anything is that you get a drum set you're happy with. Here's a list of qualities to consider while you browse all the different sets out there.


While I don't usually recommend going with the cheapest options for first-time instrument buyers, drum sets are a bit of a special case. Studio-quality drum sets can cost thousands of dollars, and there are far cheaper options out there that are totally suitable for beginners.

A realistic budget for an entry-level drum set is about $250 to $800. It's true, drum sets are some of the most expensive musical instruments because there is just so much that goes into their construction, in terms of both time and materials.

So for a budget-savvy musician looking to take up drumming, there's usually no need to spend more than $800-$900.


Since you'll be hitting your drums with sticks about a thousand times a day, you'll want to get a set that is highly durable.

Over time, wear and tear can cause warped drum heads, rusted tension rods, or wobbly and creaky hardware. Most kits in the $350 - $800 have solid durability overall. It's not until you get below the $300 mark that durability can become, in my opinion, subpar.

So how can you reliably tell how durable your kit is going to be? One way is to look at user reviews from drummers who have owned the set for a long time.


Just like guitars, drums have their own intonation. This refers to how long the drums will stay in tune before needing to be retuned.

Bad intonation is one of the tell-tale signs of a subpar instrument, across the board. A properly tuned drum set will have distinct, defined notes that are played when you strike each drum.

An out-of-tune kit will have a sloppy, dissonant quality to it that will take away from your performance, even if you're playing perfectly.

The drum sets with good intonation have higher quality, more resilient materials, so they generally come with a higher price tag. Fortunately, every set on this hand-picked list has decent intonation, so you shouldn't have to worry about tuning your set more often than every 6 months or so.

Deals & Discounts

Sometimes drum sets will go on sale if retailers have excess inventory they're trying to move. If the price of a set has recently dropped, the seller will usually indicate this online.

Alternatively, you can always buy used gear as another way to save some money. Drum kits are some of the best instruments to buy used because they're naturally durable and have no electronics that can be faulty or damaged.

What's Included

See what's included with the drum kit before you make your purchase, as some kits include more drums than others. Pretty much all sets will have a bass drum, snare, and hi-hat, but there is some wiggle room when it comes to toms and cymbals.

Some sets have ride cymbals, crash cymbals or splash cymbals, while others have no cymbals at all.

Additionally, a full set will have a floor tom and two rack toms, but some more budget-friendly sets will have only one or two toms.

You can also see if the set you like includes various other accessories, like drumsticks, a drum throne, or a double kick pedal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take to learn drums?

The reality is that everyone has a different learning curve when it comes to musical instruments, and drums are certainly no exception to that. It may take someone 6 months to get to the level of proficiency that someone else can reach in just 3 weeks.

But don't worry about all that. While this question has no definitive answer, one thing's for certain: The only way to learn is to practice consistently.

If you stick with it and practice every day, even if it's only for 15 minutes or so, then you'll see massive improvements in your drumming capabilities. Practice an hour a day for a month, and suddenly you'll find yourself able to play along to simple songs without messing up at all.

As I said, everyone is different, but as a ballpark estimate, it takes around 6 months of routine practice to become proficient at playing simple drum parts for songs.

To become an intermediate or advanced player takes years of practice, but it is well worth it! No band is complete without a drummer, and you'll be able to really bring each song to life if you get good at it.

What are some tips for learning drums?

My number one tip, simple as it is, is to just start playing if you haven't already. Use whatever kit you have access to, even if it's in your friend's garage or it's something you got at a yard sale for $50. Your gear doesn't have to be perfect for you to be able to learn, that's for sure.

Another tip is to play what you're interested in. Drum teachers can be fantastic for developing proper technique and speeding up your learning curve, but a passion for music is something you can't teach. The best drummers out there became so good because they had a love for the music they played.

So tell your drum teacher or bandmates what kind of music you're most passionate about, and you'll be able to incorporate those styles into your drumming journey.

And finally, incorporate a metronome into your practice routine at least some of the time. A metronome is great for developing your internal sense of timing, which is more important for drums than for any other instrument.

Are there things I can do to make my drum set sound better?

Yes there are.

First, make sure your kick, snare, and toms are all tuned up. To do this, you'll need to use a drum key. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you do this, as well as helpful drum techs at local music shops.

Another thing you can do is dampen your kick drum by putting pillows or towels inside it. This will make it less reverberant and shorten its reverb tail, which can be advantageous in certain settings (if you're in an echoey garage competing with other instruments, for example).

There are even some accessories that can help you tighten up your sound. One of my personal favorites is snare rings, which are plastic rings that rest on top of the snare drum. They tighten up the sound a good bit, reducing the snare's reverb tail so that it doesn't drown out the other sounds.

You can also try adjusting the position of your kick pedal, hi-hat, snare, and drum throne to fit your personal preferences. A comfortable sitting position, as well as a level of pedal sensitivity that works for you, can make a huge difference in the perceived quality of your playing.

In Conclusion

Whatever your situation, if you have the opportunity to learn drums, you should definitely go for it. Good drummers are always in high demand because every band needs one. I often joke that a band is only as good as their drummer.

I hope you've found something from today's read that will help you learn drums in some way. If you get your hands on the Ludwig Breakbeats 2022 By Questlove, I'm sure you'll see why it's my top choice for the best beginner drum sets. The value is just awesome.

Good luck on your percussion journey, wherever you are along it. Do you have experience with any of these kits? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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