Gear Review: Roland TD-1DMK Drum Set for Beginners

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I vividly remember hitting my school textbooks with pens and markers, pretending to drum along to ‘No More Sorrow’ by Linkin Park. Then, I knew I was bound for drum lessons. After a short stint of learning in middle school, I stopped but always hoped I’d pick up lessons again. Thankfully, I did. I’m not sure why I thought my 20s were too late to learn again, but that’s far from the truth. It’s never too late to learn, so if you’re in the beginner stages of drumming and are considering buying an electronic kit for your home, consider Roland V-Drums. I bought my first set recently and I’m obsessed.

Why Roland?

roland v drums review

When I told my drum teacher that I was finally ready to buy an electronic drum set, I showed him three options. One out of the three brands I showed him was from Roland. The Roland kit was the most expensive and he made sure I knew that this was a “you get what you pay for” kind of scenario. He had a lot of good things to say about Roland, but one thing that stood out was that he said many brands lag. The last thing you want is a drum set that doesn’t make noise when you hit it! Roland kits are accurate and don’t have a time delay that will drive you crazy.

Pros

The Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set is super beginner-friendly. You might look at other kits and think you need something fancy, but you don’t. If you stick to it, that $2,000 kit will be worth the splurge one day, but for now, I highly recommend the TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set.

Setting up the kit wasn’t too bad. As someone who can’t even put together IKEA furniture (mostly due to laziness), I put half of the kit together before I gave up and called my teacher for help. I’m sure if I watched a YouTube video thoroughly I could’ve finished, but I was too ready to start playing and wanted it together as soon as possible! After getting it together, I grabbed a pair of headphones and started playing. I was shocked by how realistic they sounded. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I watched YouTube and Instagram videos from Roland to get the feel for what they would sound like, but I was shocked that they sound like an acoustic kit.

roland v drums review
Photo Courtesy Allison Johnson

I’m very glad I was able to put the set in my bedroom. It was very roomy, but the set is still pretty compact. It’ll definitely fit in a large bedroom or small guest room. You could even put it in the living room if needed. No need to leave it in the garage! As for sound, the pads and cymbals are quiet. My roommate never complained about annoying tapping coming from my room, so I’m going to assume they’re not a bother to your household. Also, I did move recently, so taking this apart was super easy and quick.

What’s Included

A stand, kick pad, snare, 3 Toms, a Hi-hat, crash, ride, and module.

The Cool Features

What makes this beginner kit special is that it has a built-in metronome with adjustable tempo and timing settings. Totally up to you to use it, but it’ll come in handy if you need it. You’re going to love recording to hear yourself play. The module is pretty simple looking compared to many pricey kits, but you have all you’ll need as a beginner — an output for your headphones, phone, monitor, and a USB for your laptop or other devices. Recording covers will be a blast.

There are also 15 preset drum kits that all sound unique. Playing around with them is fun! You’ll feel like you’re on a different kit each time you switch it, perfect for sounding like you’re in a rock band or playing some EDM tunes. There are also 10 drum exercises. These are great if you’re taking a break from lessons!

roland v drums review
Photo Courtesy Allison Johnson

A cool feature I like is that the cymbals move when you hit them. I play rock music and bass and crash together are pretty common there. I definitely get excited when I see the crash move a bit after hitting it. It makes me feel like I’m on an acoustic!

Cons

A pedal and throne aren’t included, however, this does allow you to be picky with your pedal and throne of choice! I went to Guitar Center and bought a DW single pedal (feel free to get a double bass pedal) and the PDP by DW Gravity Series Lightweight Tractor Top Throne. Love the pedal, and the throne is super comfy and very lightweight (which is what I wanted). If you’d like a monitor, you’ll have to buy one separately as well. And lastly, you may want a drum rug if you’re upstairs.

Final Verdict

I wish I had a monitor. I’d love to know how loud they sound myself. Hopefully, I’ll get one soon!

I have yet to play on other electronic sets, so I can’t compare, unfortunately. (Maybe I’ll stop by Guitar Center and will test out some kits soon!). However, after reading reviews and getting advice from my drum teacher, I knew Roland would deliver quality. Think of the kit as a computer — would you want a cheap laptop or WiFi that can’t deliver speed? Nope! My Roland kit is worth every penny. Also, I’ve had them since the summer of 2022, and I just want to say, this is not the price I paid for them. They’re marked down across three of our favorite retailers, so if you’re looking to save $150, now is the time. I wish I had gotten them for under $600!

When it’s time to upgrade, I’ll be sure to shop some sweet deals from Sweetwater or Guitar Center.

Photo Courtesy Guitar Center

**All products are independently chosen by American Songwriter editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

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