Updated: November 2017

Drum Set Reviews:

What kid doesn't want a drum set for their birthday or Christmas? On the other hand, what parent in their right mind wants to buy a set of drums that is only going to make constant noise. Musical instruments are a great way for kids and adults to show their creative side. Who knows, your son or daughter could be the next famous drummer in the world. As with any purchase of this kind, you want to go with a beginner set ($100 to $200) and see how you (or your kid) actually like playing the drums. They are definitely not for everyone, but as you progress you can always upgrade to a beautiful 7 piece drum set if you want. The kids toy drum sets that sell for less than $100 get above average feedback from owners. The Gammon Percussion pink or black junior sets are priced fairly and will give your child the opportunity to bang away on some drums and see what they think. With the more expensive drum sets, you also need to consider going the electronic route. Electronic drum sets are really nice and you can always have your talented drum enthusiast put on headphones and save everyone in the family the headache of beating drums. That in itself is a huge benefit to electronic drums.
drum set

Choosing a Drum Set - First, decide if this is going to be a beginner drum set or one that will last for a decade or more. The mid-range drum sets are $250 to $400 and worth a look if you are buying for a teenager. If you have a child under the age of say 8, then the $100 drum sets could work. The 5 piece drum sets are the most popular and we think the Gammon Percussion 5 Piece Junior Set is great for beginners. Adults will want to consider something larger - like the Wine Red 20 Lug Full Size Drum Set. The configurations vary - you can get a 3 piece, 4 piece, or 5 piece drum set. The more advanced sets features 7 pieces or more. The basics are the snare drum, tom drum, bass drum, and cymbals (Hi-Hat, Ride, Crash). The diameter of the drum will also greatly affect the pitch and tone you get. Lower tones come from wider diameters and deeper drums create more volume. Drum shells are made from a variety of wood options. Maple is the most popular choice - although it is expensive. Birch is another solid choice. The foot pedals can be chain driven or spring pedals. We found great comparisons on those two options in drum forums at Drumsetconnect.com, and Drumforum.org. They offer feedback and support of both styles - worth checking into to see what attributes you prefer. View the best selling drum sets here.

Best Drum Set:

RECOMMENDED - There is really no 'best' drum set on the market. Sure brands like Peavy, Gretsch, Tama, and Pacific Drums sell quality drum sets. They typically range from 5 to 7 piece sets and cost between $750 to $2000. You can check out high quality drum sets here. We grew up on Pearl drum sets so we are a bit biased towards their brand. The Pearl Vision Birch Artisan II Standard Shell Pack is a great set at just a little over $750. The balanced sound on the Birch Ply shells and the floor toms and bass drums is what sets this set apart in the price range. Another favorite is the ddrum Dios M-Series DS MP 22 for around a $1000. Maple shells, lacquer finishes, proprietary bullet tube lug, D suspension mount, and the sound is crisp. It's always a good idea to go down to your local drum shop and sit down and listen to the sound of the drums, whether you play or have an associate bang out something. You want to hear the various drums and get an idea of what differences exist between the brands and materials.

Drum Set for Beginners:

RECOMMENDED - The Complete 5-Piece Black Junior Drum Set at less than $200 is enough to get your child started. We suggest this set for kids 5 to 12. There are adult or full size sets that sell for just a bit more and are more size appropriate for young adults to adults. Assembly is required, but nothing too hard. You get everything - 16"x10" 12 lug bass drum, wood snare drum, two hang toms, floor tom, two 8" Hi-Hat cymbals, one 10" Crash/Ride cymbal, snare stand, Hi-Hat stand, drum sticks, and bass drum pedal. Kids love banging on drums - parents maybe not so much. It's always good to have a designated room or space for the drum set. Yes, they are noisy. If you absolutely hate drum noise, then consider the electronic sets below - they can have a pair of headphones plugged in so you don't have to hear anything while your child is playing. This Gammon Percussion set is the best we found for kids. They also offer a full size drum kit for $250 and adults beginner 5 piece drum sets are similar in price. If you are not sure of your dedication to the drums, start with a beginner set and go from there. They are easy to resell on websites like Craigslist and you could always upgrade to a better set.

Electronic Drum Set:

RECOMMENDED - Yamaha makes quality musical instruments and the Yamaha DTX Series DTX400K drum set is no different. We compared it to the Alesis DM6 (quite popular) but feedback on the Alesis couldn't compare to what owners say about the DTX Series DTX400K. Many reviews say the Alesis is the best sub $500 electronic drum kit and that could be true, but the Yamaha is priced a few dollars over $500 and well worth the look. If you are a parent looking to get your child into drums, this set is absolutely the right one. Comes with JVC Full Size Stereo Headphones so your child can plug in the headphones and listen to their own drumming without having the rest of the house be subjected to it. The Drum Trigger Module comes with 297 high-quality sounds and the electronic drum kit is compact and is much easier to find space for than a traditional drum set. The kit includes a Drum Throne, 1 pair of drum sticks, the headphones, 10 inch Ride and Crash cymbals and a 10 inch Hi-Hat cymbal. The sounds are very realistic - acoustic drum, percussion sounds, electronic tones, and modern rock drums. The Voice Guidance system is a nice touch - similar to having a built in drum teacher to help train you. The Alesis DM6 is the only drum set that we could find less than $500 but as mentioned above, reviews are not as positive overall. Customers complain about parts going bad - bass drum defective or cables not working. Customer service is much better at a reputable company like Yamaha. We like the DTX400K for beginner to intermediate drummers. Nice kit to learn on.