Best Beginner Drum Sets (Updated for December 2022)

Published on 08 December 2022

If you're looking for the best beginner drum set, you've come to the right place! Electronic Drums are one of those instruments that have an undeniable gravitational pull. Everyone loves drums! It’s a primal action-and-response thing to want to continuously hit out at stuff that responds back at you with a nice sound.

It’s also an unsubstantiated and largely subjective fact that inside every guitarist, bassist and keys player lies the soul of a frustrated drummer, aching to get out and brutalise the nearest set of tubs in a rhythmic frenzy. It’s inside us all, and we say unleash your inner animal!

This blog is for more than just beginners, as it will also hopefully be of service to existing drummers who have yet to try a digital kit. We’re going to look at an eminently affordable digital drum kit first, and then move on to check out a few kits from market leader Roland. Sound good? Excellent, but firstly, why choose digital drums?


Why Choose Digital Drums?

Why indeed? Why choose a digital set over an acoustic (referred to by most people as ‘normal’) kit? Well, there are a few reasons, and the most obvious one is volume. Electric drum sets are heard by plugging them into either a drum amplifier, a PA system/PA speaker or a set of headphones. The actual physical noise emitted from playing digital drums amounts to far, far less than you’d ever expect from an acoustic kit. It's basically just the impact sound of the drum sticks on the rubber or mesh drum heads, so whilst it’s not entirely silent, it’s a different universe of sound compared to a traditional kit. If you have neighbours within relative earshot, a digital drum kit can mean the difference between being able to play at all or not.

Secondly, there is the convenience. Most digital kits - particularly the more beginner-friendly ones - are smaller and easily collapsible, so you can quickly set them up and take them down if your practice space doubles as a living or dining room. Even if you plan to leave your kit set up, a digital set will take up less floor space in your property, and that’s always a welcome factor!

The third reason to choose a digital set is the variety of kits and sounds you can use. Every digital drum kit will have a collection of different kits available to select and use. These will range from real-sounding sampled acoustic kits to digital drum machine noises for more ‘electronic’ sounds. This is useful at all points in a drummer’s process but particularly so at the beginning, since the extra sounds offer more fun and inspiration, not to mention a certain element of novelty.


Practising and Recording Made Easy

Two of the most compelling reasons to ‘go digital’ involve practising and recording. Many drum modules (the ‘brain’ unit to which everything is plugged) offer practice programs, where a guide beat is provided and a player’s accuracy in following it is assessed. This is a very handy function for the fledgeling drummer, as is the simple metronome (otherwise known as a click track or simply ‘click’), which is essential in developing good timing and avoiding bad habits!

Pretty much all contemporary electronic drum kits are equipped with USB outputs to allow you to connect them to your computer. This serves a number of features - including allowing for firmware updates - but the most creatively significant one is the ability to connect to recording software and then record your performances via USB-over-MIDI. Whether you want to create songs with performed drum parts (as opposed to using simple programmed beats) or critically assess your playing by recording and listening back, this is an extraordinarily useful feature. And no micing up of drum kits! Yay!


A Great Kit for Beginners

We’ll now look at one or two kits in a little bit of detail. This will outline just what is included with digital kits, so you can know what to expect and even what else you might need to buy. First up is our current choice for beginners.

The Carlsbro CSD25M is an entry level digital drum kit that offers loads of value for money. It’s a full kit, so you get a kick drum, snare, three toms, hi-hat, crash cymbal and a ride cymbal. The kit is easy to set up, and a major bonus is that the drum heads are made from mesh, a real upgrade from the rubber heads you’d normally see at this price point. Mesh heads are more realistic because they have a better ‘bounce’, meaning they’ll respond to you hitting them with a drumstick by bouncing the stick back at you, something that acoustic drum skins also do. This is a really important part of the feel of playing a kit, so this is a great thing to have right at the start!


More Advanced Choices

For those wishing to delve further and get themselves a kit that’s more advanced, most drummers will attest that Roland are the brand to check out. Genuine innovators within the field, Roland still make the best hardware, the most reliable gear and the greatest sounding kits. Roland offer a wide choice when it comes to drums, and their naming conventions can be a little bewildering (lots of kits have very similar names) but we’ve chosen two here that we feel are great buys.


Roland TD-1DMK

Welcome to the Roland TD-1DMK V-Drum kit. This is Roland’s most affordable mesh-headed kit, and it’s fair to say that you should notice a fairly clear improvement over our beginner’s choice kit. This is fair enough, since it’s double the price!

The extra spend gets you ‘dual layer mesh’ on the drum heads, which basically means that there’s another level of sensitivity onboard to get you a more dynamic, nuanced performance. Dynamics are everything to a drummer!

On top of that, you’ll notice a more robust build all round, and kit sounds that are a cut above, too. This kit will certainly outlast any beginner stage in your playing, so consider this one if you are either already on your path as a drummer, or want to buy an instrument that won’t require an upgrade once you’ve improved your skills.


Roland TD-17

Moving up into an altogether more professional bracket, we’ve included this more advanced V-Drum kit from Roland because it’s a great buy for experienced drummers looking for their first digital kit. The TD-17 is available in a few iterations (the name TD-17 actually refers to the module or ‘brain’ itself), so we’ve chosen the Roland TD-17KV, as we feel like it represents an excellent price to performance ratio.

The TD-17KV has next-level sounds onboard, thanks to Roland’s Prismatic Sound Modelling Technology. Drummers with a taste for subtle dynamics will welcome the detail, and players who read from the John Bonham book of drumming will adore the realism and feel.

You can create your own kits and save them to the module, which we love! You can even stream music to the kit via Bluetooth and play along on headphones or whatever amp or speaker you use. The cymbals and kick drum unit are beyond anything in this price level, and as an instrument, it’s just very pleasurable to play on.

If you’ve been playing for a while, this kit is an excellent choice to take you into the digital realm. 


Start Playing Drums Today!

If you want to bring the fun and discipline of drums into your life, we believe a good digital kit is a cost-effective and neighbour-friendly way to do it. The kits above are all great choices for you, depending on where you are on your musical journey. As always, contact us if you want to know more: we’re here to assist you, and let’s face it, the world needs more drummers!

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Features Editor, Warehouse

I'm a musician and artist originally from the South West coast of Scotland. I studied Visual Arts and Film Studies at...

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