buying a drum guide

Buying a Drum set in 2018 Guide for Dummies

Drummers are cool. There’s just no way around it: they are some of the coolest people on the planet. There’s something very mysterious and exciting about drummers, and learning to play the drums is atop many bucket lists all over the world. It can also be intimidating to take up a new instrument and learn it, especially if you are an adult. What’s great about playing the drums is that anyone can learn how to do it well; it just takes a little time and practice. Like most things in life, learning to play the drums is often accompanied by a lot of questions. We’re here to help answer those questions so that you can decide what kind of drum set is right for you, or for your children – if they are the ones interested in learning to play the drums.

Armed with all the information you’ll need, you’ll be able to pick out a great set of drums that can take you as far as you want to go with your new found love of musical instruments. We’ll provide some comparison information for good starter drum set options, and we’ll tell what to look for with different kinds of drums: electric sets, beginner sets, and how to pick out affordable drum sets.

Wondering which type of drum set suits your needs?

When comparing drum sets, it’s important to look at the material and build of the drums themselves. Some drums, like electric drums, for example, are made from a rubber product that produces an “electronic” sounding drum. Traditional “percussion” drums, which are made from wood and other materials, are what we think of when we picture drums in our minds.

Other considerations include the overall size of the drums: some people just don’t have room for a full set of drums, so a smaller, more compact electric set might be a sound investment.

Another thing to consider is any additional purchases that may need to be made in order to start learning to play the drums. Many drum sets will come complete with stools for sitting, drumsticks for playing, and electric drum sets may have additional accessories for recording or changing the sound of your drums. When you are looking to get the best value for your money, look for drum sets with added value such as stools and drumsticks.

Finally, most drum sets come complete with a standard set of drums, cymbals, and pedals, but it’s important to pay attention to the sizes if you are looking for a drum set that is not “standard” size. The sizes can vary greatly, especially with electric drums, so you’ll want to inquire about the sizes before you purchase your drums.

Electric Drum Kits

full electronic kit

When it comes to choosing the right drum kit for yourself or your children, you will want to weigh all your options. An attractive choice for people just getting into drumming is to purchase an electric drum kit. These kits are often much smaller than traditional acoustic/percussion based drum sets that are made from wood and metal. Electric drums kits offer rubber pads that when struck with a drumstick, will create the sound of a drum from an electronic library of sounds. These drum sets typically have pre-set functions and sounds that can be adjusted and manipulated to create other sounds, which can lend even more fun to the experience of drumming, in particular for beginners and younger players.

What to Look For in an Electric Drum Set

There are typically two factors that come into play when considering whether or not to purchase an electric drum set: the size and the price. Electric drum sets will range in price and size. Online shopping makes it easy to compare products and determine size quickly and easily. It’s important to measure the space in your home or apartment where you will likely place and store your electronic drum set. Do this before you start your shopping experience. Once you know how much room you have, you can begin looking for the right size electric drum set within your budget.

When you start looking for an electric drum set, you’ll want to determine the number of drums and cymbals that are included in the set. Some electric drum sets are basic and will only have snares, toms, and cymbals. Others may have a bass drum kick plate or a fuller size kick plate. The kick plate represents the bass drum and provides the sound of the traditional bass drum, without the large size. Some electronic drums sets will come with the “drummer’s throne”, which is basically a stool for sitting; and other still will come with drumsticks or other accessories.

What’s interesting about electric drum sets is that they often come accompanied by some kind of electronic module or device that enables the drummer to change the sound of the drum, or add in pre-recorded music. Younger players might enjoy this feature, and it’s a fun way to practice your timing when you are first learning to drum.

Electric vs. Acoustic

comparison between electronic vs acoustic drum sets

If you are on the fence about whether or not to invest in an electric drum set, the choice may be made for you based on the amount of space you have to actually set up the drum set. Other things that may impact your decision are if you are playing solo or with a group of people, in a band for example. While the best electronic drums are easy to move around and are about half the weight of a traditional drum set, you can’t beat the sound of a real drum set on stage. It’s a personal decision, really, but having all the information can help you make that decision more quickly.

Pros and Cons

Electric drum sets have a number of pros and cons, like any product on the market. Here’s a short list of the pros and cons to consider when thinking about purchasing an electric drum set.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to move around
  • Numerous sounds
  • Playback and recording features
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable


  • Doesn't provide full experience of playing the drums
  • Can sound "electric"
  • Not ideal for stage performances

Beginner Drum Kits


It is so exciting to learn to play the drums. It can also be overwhelming to consider all of the options available in purchasing a new drum kit. There are few essential pieces you will need to start learning the drums. Even if you already know how to play the drums, but aren’t ready to upgrade to a full professional set, beginner drum sets are often a good way to gain more experience. Beginner drum sets are also perfect for junior players, and older players, who might not need a full drum kit to enjoy all the comes with tapping on a musical instrument. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a beginner drum kit.

What to Look For in a Beginner Drum Set

Most drum sets come with a standard set of drums and cymbals. These typically include a bass drum, of varying size, a snare drum on a stand, 2-3 cymbals including a “crash,” “ride” and “high hat” cymbal, and a number of Tom Tom drums. To get started you’ll want to make sure you have at least a bass drum, snare, 1-2 cymbals, and a Tom drum. You can always add more to your drum set later, but these will get you started. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all drums are created equal. Some drums are made of plastic, while better drums are made from wood.

You’ll also want to look for indicators of size. When you are investing in a beginner drum set, you’ll want to take measurements of the space you hope to set your drums in. This is important so that your drums don’t end up sitting in the middle of your family room because there wasn’t enough room for them in the spare bedroom like you had hoped. Go out shopping armed with all of the information you need to make your decision.

A few other things to look for is the kind of accessories that come with your drum set: does the stool come with it? Are there any instructional materials to help you get started once it is home and set up? Do you need to purchase any drumsticks or are they included in the kit?

Pros and Cons

No matter how hard you try to make it one, a beginner drum set is not going to be a professional set. But that’s okay. They aren’t meant to follow you through your rock star drummer career. They are intended to get you started on your journey to finding your love of drumming. Here are a few pros and cons about purchasing a beginner drum set to consider.


  • Affordable
  • Adjustable and you can add pieces on later
  • Typically comes with everything you need to get started
  • Good for young players and adults


  • Not always made from wood
  • Might not sounds as good because of cheaper materials
  • Might not last as long as you hoped

Affordable Drum Kits

cost of a complete drum kit

Like many purchases people make, they want to know they are getting the best drum set for their money when they decide to invest in a set of drums for themselves or others. The best way to get a good value is to purchase a whole drum kit, rather than the parts of drum kits individually. It can get quite expensive to source and purchase separate pieces, and you might find it hard to get “similar” style drum pieces. Overall, buying a drum kit means you get a great price, a high-quality product, and you’ll often get some extras like the stool, drumsticks, drummer’s keys, and more.

What’s more, when you purchase a cheap drum kit, be sure to purchase one that has the ability to be expanded or to easily swap out drums, should one become damaged or you want to upgrade it. Buying a well-known brand of drums will ensure you have lots of choices when it comes to upgrading or swapping drums. With a good brand, you will almost always get a good warranty and customer service, should there be any issues.

Drums are actually a pretty affordable instrument to get started with: while some instruments can cost thousands of dollars to take home; for example, pianos, drums can be purchased for far less than you might think.

Learn How to Play Drums

If you are interested in learning how to play the drums, you’ll want to check out our courses here. This course will get you started on playing the drums, and you’ll be rocking out in no time! You will also find valuable information on how to choose a drum kit for yourself or your child, and you’ll be able to more about the benefits of playing instruments and learning new skills as you go through the course.