So you’ve hit your first drum kit and you’re ready to move on to something that gives you a little more. While beginner drumming is a great place to start, your skills have progressed and you’re looking to improve your sound quality.
While it may be tempting to start looking for the best Acoustic Drum Sets right away, it makes more sense to find a kit that allows you to continue honing your drumming techniques while searching for your own style and sound.
These midrange drum kits will not only allow you to, but give you the opportunity to experience the sound and quality of the best drum brands at a price that fits your budget.
We have researched and compiled a list of the 5 best intermediate series.
These kits will give you the best value for money!
We’ll help you find a great looking kit that produces beautiful sounds as you continue your journey to become a better drummer!
Our Top Pick
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- Floor Tom - 16" x 16"
- Toms - 12" x 10" and 13" x 11
- Bass Drum - 22" x 16"
- Includes hardware and cymbals
- Colour - (Black)
- Bass Drum - 22" x 16"
- Toms - 12" x 10" and 13" x 11"
- Floor Tom - 16" x 16"
- All hardware and cymbals included
- 5-Ply Select Hardwood Shell | 45-degree inner Accent with slight outer bevel
- 16"x22" Bass Drum | 16" x 16" Floor Tom | 9" x 12" Rack Tom | 8" x 10" Rack Tom | 6.5" x 14" Snare Drum
- 200 Series Double-Braced Snare Stand | 200 Series Double-Braced Cymbal Stand | 200 Series Double-Braced Hi-Hat Stand
- Bass Drum Pedal w/Chain Drive | Throne | 16" Crash Cymbal | 13" Hi-Hats
- Kit Includes : Bass Drum : 16"x22" Tom Tom : 7"x10" Tom Tom : 8"x12" Floor Tom : 15"x16" Snare Drum : 5.5"x14" Double Tom Holder Drum Pedal Snare Stand Boom Cymbal Stand Hi-Hat Stand Drum Throne
- Cymbals Not included
- Shells 100% Poplar 6ply The full warm tone and medium attack offered by poplar wood has made it a mainstay of drum shell manufacturing for more than 50 years. Omnisphere Tom Holder The STAGESTAR's Omni-ball system double tom holder allows you to achieve almost any angle by simply loosening one T-bolt
- Colors are same as shown in images
- Sold By ChennaiMusicals
- Made of high quality, it is durable with exquisite looking.
- Simple design makes it perfect accessory for drums.
- Drum brushes with wire brush feature a long rubber handle for comfortable grip, and retractable metal loop end for easy and convenient hanging.
- Comes with a black velvet drawstring bag, not only good for storage to save space, also useful to carry the items when going out.
- Material: rubber + steel wire + bamboo.
- Description: Floor Tom - 16" x 16"
- Toms - 12" x 10" and 13" x 11
- Bass Drum - 22" x 16"
- Snare Drum - 14" x 14"
- Includes hardware and cymbals
- Delux professional kit with global level of finishing and hard gear chain, very long lasting stands with throne mostly for performers
- Super performance kit, attarctive with sit
- Global and smart kit
- Double/more coating good plywood body
- Various attarctive colours and handy by cover bags
- Ultra-portable 4-pad electronic drum kit with built in powerful speaker and dedicated headphone output for private practice.
- 4 velocity-sensitive drum pads guarantee to capture every subtle nuance of your performance.
- 70 percussion voices, 10 effect voices built in and 50 play-along songs to develop your drum skills.
- Powerful, Fun Educational Features - Coach feature shows notes on LCD screen and instructs for an intuitive learning experience; game function makes playing and learning fun.
- Power via included AC adapter or 6 C-cell batteries so you can keep drumming wherever you go
- Country of Origin: China
- 16"x22" bass drum (rhb22d)
- 7"x10" tom tom (rht10r)
- 8"x12" tom tom (rht12r)
- 15"x16" floor tom (rhf16r)
- Cymbals not included
- Complete 5-piece, 3-cymbal electronic drum kit
- LED illuminated drum and cymbal pads enhance built-in learning features
- DM Lite Drum Module with built-in drum coach with play-along patterns and 30 songs
- Pre-assembled, collapsible 4-post rack with integrated drumstick storage slot
- 1/8-inch (3.5mm) stereo aux input for jamming to your favorite tracks; USB connection for use with audio recording software & virtual instruments
- Includes drum sticks, all required cables, mounting hardware, and power supply
Beginner Drum Sets – Buyer’s Guide
What does a full drum set contain?
Drum sets might look confusing, but they usually consist of the following items:
- Snare: This is the main drum that sits between your legs. These are usually wider in length than height, and they have ‘snares’ on the bottom (resonant) head that cause a cracking sound when you hit the drum. The snare is a very important drum in your sets. Drummers often like to upgrade their gear; the snare drum is usually the first one they replace.
- Bass Drum (Kick drum): The bass drum is the most obvious drum in the set. It is the large drum (often 20″ or 22″ in diameter) with its front-head pointing outwards. It is hit with a bass drum pedal (and something two pedals using a double bass drum pedals, we will talk about that later in this article). Some bass drums have portholes in their front drumhead where you can put a microphone for live performances. You can also put muffling material such as a pillow inside the bass drum to give the sound more punch and decrease the overall volume a little bit.
- Toms: Beginner drum sets often have three toms. There are two main types of toms: Rack toms and floor toms. Rack toms are usually smaller toms that are often mounted with hardware above the bass drum. Floor toms a wider, longer and produce a lower pitched sound.
- Hi-hat: The hi-hat cymbal is one of the most critical parts of any drum set. We are talking about a pair of cymbals that are closed against each other and connected with a foot pedal. They provide a very dynamic sound.
- Crash: Crash cymbals tend to be smaller than ride and bigger than hi-hat. The primary goal is to strike them so that they can achieve a glancing blow. Drummers are using it to accent notes and transit from one part of the song to another. It is common in rock music especially in loud parts of the song. These are not always found on beginner drum kits, and large ones will have a richer sound and longer sustain than smaller ones.
- Ride: When compared with crash and hi-hat, the ride is the biggest cymbals and the fair size that you should get is at least 20-inches in diameter. In most cases, it will set on the right-hand side, and it is heavy cymbal that you can play with the tip of drumstick so that you can produce ping sound, which is distinctive in numerous musical genres and styles. Many beginner level drum sets do not feature a crash cymbal and provide one ‘Crash Ride‘ cymbal, which performs both functions. However, the quality of these usually isn’t great.
Other cymbals rarely included with beginner drums sets (they can be purchased as extras later)
- Splash: Splash cymbal tends to be the smallest one used on a drum kit, and in most cases, it is an addition that you have to make based on your playing style. You can find them in various textures and sizes. It is an excellent solution for making subtle accents, and they are small, so you will be able to place them between two crashes.
- China: Chinese or China cymbal is also a perfect addition that you can add to your drum kit. It comes with an up-turned edge, and you have to mount it upside down so that you can hit the bow and get trashy-crash sound. We can also compare it to a gong, but of course, a much smaller version.
It’s not a cymbal, but we have to give a notable mention to the one and only:
- Cowbell: You can always place a cowbell in a song, and it will sound great (or possibly, slightly cheesy if used badly!). It is a metal percussion instrument used in Latin-American music, but it is also standard in pop and rock music. The typical place to mount it is to the right of the snare or on the hoop of the bass drum. You can use it as an alternative to riding in choruses.
- Cymbal stands: The primary goal of a cymbal stand is to support you to a cymbal you wish to use on your drum kit. You can find them in numerous forms such as straight stands; counterweighted boom stands, simple boom stands, multiple boom stands and zero-offset boom stands.
- Hi-hat stand: Hi-hat stand is an essential part of your kit because without it you will not be able to set up the hi-hat. Most of them come with retractable spikes so that you can see minimalist slipping and improve the durability of a hi-hat cymbal. Since the standard hi-hat comes with two cymbals, the stand consists of mating metal tube as well as rod, which is supported by a tripod and linked to a food pedal. The bottom cymbal is on the top and is fitted with an adjustment screw which will allow you to tilt it. On the other hand, the top cymbal is mounted up on the road and closed against the bottom by creating a foot pressure on the pedal.
- Snare drum stand: The snare drum is often situated between the drummers legs, which is why it needs a separate stand. It comes with metal construction in which you can fit the snare, but you have to match the sizes. Each snare comes with compatible snare drum stand, which means that when you purchase a drum set, you will get it within the package.
- Bass drum pedal: The single bass drum pedal entered the market at the beginning of the 20th century, and it became the central part of each drum kit. The idea is that it features chain, metal drive mechanism, and belt, and as you press it the mallet will move forward and attack a drumhead. In most cases, head comes from plastic, the wood of felt, but you can find rubber one attached to the metal shaft.
- Tom brackets: Some higher-end kits come with a drum rack that will allow you to install toms, whereas most are attached to the bass drum via hardware. You will be able to adjust height based on your playing level and style.
- Floor tom legs: Since floor tom is standalone, it comes fitted with legs.
Shell Packs vs. Full Drum Sets
You see a great drum set offer online, and you ask yourself “Is this too good to be true?” Check if it is a shell pack.
Shell packs contain ONLY the drums.
Full/Complete drum sets contain everything you need to get started:
If you are buying a drum set for the first time, then it is highly recommended that you buy a complete drum set.
The only shell pack set from our list of recommendations is the Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5pc Drum Shell Pack, all of the other options above are FULL drum sets.
Get good pairs of drumsticks
Even if your drum set comes with drumsticks, it is still definitely worth investing in a few pairs of decent quality ones. I generally recommend the Vic Firth 5As for beginners. Check out our article on how to choose a drumstick for more information.
Get a good drum throne
Great posture is a core for both drumming health and performance. Don’t just use any old chair lying around, a good drum throne should not be an afterthought. Check out our article on the best drum thrones.
Get hearing protection!
Get custom fitted hearing protection, or at least pick up a cheap pair of musician earplugs. Musician’s earplugs are really handy when attending concerts too.
Get a practice pad
A practice pad is one of the most important items that every drummer should own. They are a fantastic, quiet way to practice your rudiments and technique. Check out our guide on practice pads to pick the best one for you.
Drum keys are necessary to tune your drum set and fasten hardware in your set.
They always go missing! It is worth having an extra one lying around, or put one on your keyring.
Most drum sets do not come with cases. They can be useful if you are going to move your drum set around and protect your equipment frequently. However, it is optional. You can get away with transporting your drum set to gigs without cases.
How To Choose The Best Drum Set For Your Kids
For many parents, the drums represent an instrument that is physically challenging but yet fun to play. It’s no wonder that so many parents are choosing to introduce their kids to drumming at all ages. In this article we will discuss what makes a good drum set for kids to play and what you should think about when purchasing the first drum set for your child.
Drum sets come in all shapes and sizes. You can get beginner sets and professional sets, and everything in between. Drum kits can also be made from a variety of materials too. Most standard drum kits you will see on television are made from wood, although they can also be made from plastics and metal – which are called an ‘acoustic’ drum set.
We are going to go over some of the basics of drum sets and then focus on drum sets that are just for kids. The more you understand about the terminology and features that are offered, the better purchasing decision you can make.
Electronic Drum Sets
One type of drum set is the electronic drum set. Electronic drum sets are usually a lot smaller in size to acoustic drum sets and provide a number of benefits. The sound levels generated from an electronic drum set are way lower than an acoustic set and for this reason they are a popular choice among many consumers. Electronic drum kits are ideal for use as a practice tool in areas where noise levels must be kept down.
Acoustic Drum Sets
Looking at a standard acoustic drum set, we notice that there are many components that make up the instrument in its totality. Acoustic drum sets are the most common but can be unique in what they offer.
Below are some more common pieces found in a traditional acoustic drum set.
The biggest drum on a drum set is called the ‘bass drum’. This is usually anything from 16 to 22 inches in diameter. This drum is played by using a bass drum pedal. Bass drum pedals are designed to be played with your foot and there is a beater which strikes the drum when you press down on the pedalboard.
Every drum on an acoustic drum set has at least one drum ‘head’. These heads are sometimes referred to as ‘skins’ because in many hand drums they were and are made from actual animal skin. Drum heads are tightened to the top and bottom of each drum in order to produce a music tone.
On a drum kit, the drummer usually only plays on one side of each drum. For this reason, the drum head on the top, or the ‘batter’ head, is usually thicker and more durable than the head on the bottom, the resonant head.
The snare drum is the most played drum on most drum kits. It usually sits directly in front of the player so they can easily reach it. The snare drum has a unique sound. It’s the sound you think of when you hear a march. There is usually a snare strainer on the bottom of the drum that sits just on the resonant head. This strainer changes the sound of the drum and makes it sound much more like a marching snare drum.
On most drum kits you will have more drums, usually five in total for more professional sets. After the bass drum and snare we have the toms. On a five-piece drum set there are three toms. Two of these toms typically are mounted to the bass drum and are often called the Rack Tom. The third is often called a floor tom. You will recognize a floor tom as it will usually be one of the bigger toms, and often it will have 3 supporting legs.
Every drum set needs a set of cymbals too. The minimum amount of cymbals with any professional drum set is usually three, but there is no limit!
Most drum sets for kids under 16 or so do not usually have that many cymbals included.
Hi-hat Symbol – The hi-hat is made up of two cymbals placed on top of each other in a cupping manner. Both hi-hat cymbals are then placed onto a hi-hat stand to be played. The hi-hat stand will have a pedal that controls the top hi-hat cymbal and allows you to open and close the cymbals together for different sounds.
Ride/Crash Cymbal – Along with the hi-hat you will typically see a ride cymbal and a crash. These cymbals are similar in nature although usually the ride produces more of a controlled ‘ping’ sound. The crash is used to accent parts of songs and is used in big orchestras too.
A typical 3-piece drum set or sometimes known as a “trap kit” will usually have a Bass Drum, a Snare Drum and a single Tom Drum. A 5-piece usually contains the Bass and Snare drums but will also have 2 Rack Toms and a floor Tom.
An individual drum will usually include the following components:
Shell – this is the outer core of the drum and is usually metal or wood in better sets and is what everything else attaches to.
Tension Rods & Lugs– the tension rods screw into the lugs which are attached to the drum shell. This allows the user to properly tune and tighten the drum head.
Hoops (or Rims) – the rim mount or hoop is what allows the drum head to be secured to the drum shell. They are often made of metal or wood.
Top & Bottom Heads – this is the part of the drum your child will be hitting, they will hit the top (commonly called the batter head) and the sound will resonate to the bottom head.
Mounts – these are the pieces that the suspension hardware will be attached to.
Some drums may have additional parts like the Snare Drum will have additional parts like a throw lever and snare wires.
Additional Hardware Parts Typically Found In Drum Sets
Most drum sets will need assembly and we have outlined below some of the more common parts you can expect to find depending on the kit you purchase.
- Stand for the snare drum – this is a 3-legged stand that your snare drum will sit on.
- Floor Tom Legs – The 3 usually curved legs that attach to the Floor Tom to stand it up.
- Rack Tom Mount and Holders – These are the “arms” that attach the Rack Toms to the Bass Drum.
- Feet & Pedal For Bass Drum – the feet will be two small metal pieces that attach to the bottom of the drum that will raise it off the ground a bit to prevent scuffing on the floor. The pedal is attached to what is called a beater that is then used to strike the drum when the pedal is pushed down.
- Stand For Hi-Hat Cymbals – usually a 3 legged stand with a pedal that will control the open and closing of the cymbals when pushed.
- Cymbal Stand – The 3-legged stand that suspends the Ride or Crash cymbal (occasionally an arm mounted to the Bass Drum on lower-end kid’s drum sets).
- Seat – these are not always included in all children’s drum kits but when they are they may need to be assembled.
What To Consider Before Purchasing A Drum Set For Your Child
When you are looking for a drum set for your child it’s important to keep in mind certain factors. The most important thing is finding a drum set that is physically the right size for your child. This means selecting the right sized drums and cymbals, as well as a suitable drum throne and sticks.
Also, will you be putting them into a more formal music program or teaching them the drums at home? This can make a difference in what you need as well. If you are considering more formal drum lessons either with a school or teacher, it may be beneficial to get recommendations from them to ensure your child has a drum set that will help them in their lessons.
Children up to 6 years
Luckily there are drum kits aimed at all ages and all sizes. For smaller kids up to around 6 years old, you can pick up ‘toy’ sets that are aimed at this age group.
These sets come with everything the child will need to get started although they will not be the most robust sets. Usually a toy drum set like this is a good introduction to drumming for many kids and will eventually be outgrown.
Toy drums are considered those that are typically under $100 and are most commonly made of plastic. We really only recommend this for kids up to 5 or 6 year olds. Because of the lack of features it will not do well in growing with them so any drums that are in this category should be considered a temporary drum.
Children up up to about 11 or 12 years
For slightly older kids, or kids that are showing great progress on the toy kit, you can look at a ‘junior’ acoustic drum set. These kits usually come with smaller sized drums to adult drum kits. You can find acoustic drum sets with smaller 16 inch bass drums and 6, 8 or 10 inch toms. These smaller sizes will make it easier for the child to reach each drum.
Children 12 and up
If your child is ready for the step up, you can go for a full-sized drum set. It’s not unusual to see a child of 10 or 12 years playing on a full-sized adult drum kit. It really depends on the individual, their size and their ability.
If you do purchase a larger sized kit for your child, you can lower the components on the drum set to suit their stature. The drum throne can be lowered. Likewise the snare comes with a stand that can be lowered. The toms and cymbals can be repositioned for more comfort too.
Differences Between Adult Drum Sets and Kids Drum Sets
There is just no way around it – no matter what you think, there are plenty of differences between adult and kid versions of drum sets. The pricing of kids drums just do not warrant the finest quality or sound, but are typically good enough for most younger players why may not have the ears yet to hear the difference.
Quality and construction are the most common complaints when it comes to these kits. Reports of having to replace drum heads is common since the drum heads are typically made of a thinner less durable material than the adult sets. Cymbals and foot pedals are also commonly complained about due to damage after repeated use.
Drum Kit Brands
You should give thought to the brand of drum you decide to get – it can definitely effect the sound and future sales opportunity when your child outgrows it. Many of the low cost off-brand drums do not have the best sounds as are available in more notable brands – their goals are to produce a product that entertains, not one that builds skills and passion for learning.
At some point your child is going to want to upgrade, and it would be great to ensure that you can recoup most of your money by reselling their older set. Name brand searches for specific drums are more common and by purchasing a more commonly known brand like Ludwig or Gammon can help you sell it a bit easier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These are some of the frequently asked questions about small drum kits of adults.
Q. How to Choose the Best Small Drum Kit for Adults
Here are the most important things that you need to consider when buying a small drum kit.
One of the factors that must be taken into consideration is the size. Thus, if you want to have the best one, we highly recommend that you opt for the smallest possible option.
Type of setup
Keep in mind the drum kits are not the same. They usually come as up to 2-piece up to 9-piece setups. But if you are just starting out, you should invest in a five-piece small drum kit. However, these shells usually don’t come with a cymbal. Meaning to say, you will need to buy it separately.
The materials used in making the drum kit will also affect your decision. Drum kits are made from different types of materials.
If you prefer low-end frequencies go for a kid that is made from either birch or mahogany. Maple, on the other hand, is highly suitable for relatively boosted high and low frequencies.
Q. Why One Should Invest In A High-Quality Small Drum Kit?
There are lots of reasons why you should invest in a small drum kit for adults that is of high-quality. Here are some of them:
Increase confidence and comfort
High-quality small drum kits will surely make you enjoy playing more since they will attend to your requirements and needs. Not only that, but they will also guarantee comfort during your entire performance.
On the other hand, whether you are a professional or a beginner drummer you will need to practice constantly so that you will be able to achieve greater standards.
With that in mind, choosing the best small drum kit is one part of your success as you gain more confidence.
You can practice anytime and anywhere you want
If you opt to invest in a well-made small drum kit, you will be able to play your favorite music anywhere and anytime you want without worrying about your instrument being damaged.
As mentioned, you will need to practice to become a better drummer, and one great way to do is invest in a high-quality drum kit.
Easy to transport and store
Another great thing about a high-quality small drum kit is that it is very easy to transport and store. That is why, if you want to perform or you are playing in the band most of the time, having such a drum kit is extremely beneficial.
Q. How much does a small drum kit for adults usually cost?
There is actually no exact answer to this question. But on average you will need to spend between $500 and $800 for a decent and high -quality small drum kit. However, if you find it a bit expensive you may want to consider buying a second-hand unit. But this is not always the best option if you want to save because some use drum kits don’t perform efficiently and there might be some issues when it comes to sound quality.
Q. How to set up a small drum kit?
When it comes to set up, every small drum kit and even the bigger ones will slightly differ. The good thing is that when you buy a drum kit of any size, usually, it comes with instructions for assembling the product which is very easy to follow.
In general, you will need to seat your drum heads on the shells and then tighten the lugs. However, some toms are pre-tuned as well as already constructed. But most of the time, the floor tom and the bass need a bit of adjusting so that you will be able to obtain optimal tones. You have nothing to worry about because this task is very easy to do.
What’s more, there are tons of tutorials online most especially on YouTube that can help you in setting up your small drum kit.
With our selection of best small drum kits for adults, we have tried to tackle the biggest selling and most common options on the market.
Nevertheless, all the above-mentioned can be a worthy investment. But make sure that you choose the best small drum kit that will suit your needs and more importantly your budget.
We hope that with the help of this article you have already decided which small drum kit should you buy.