Drums play an incredibly important role in worship music. While they provide the rhythm and time for everyone to lock in with, they also provide the platform for building intensity and moving congregations emotionally.
Christian Contemporary and Gospel music heavily rely on the drums in songs these days, so it’s vital to have a great-sounding drum kit in your church.
Not all churches have the same budget, so we’re going to look through some of the best drum sets for church with different prices.
What are the Best Church Drum Sets?
Church Drum Sets Reviews
Tama Starclassic Maple Drum Set Review
The Tama Starclassic Maple is a premium option as it’s the most expensive kit on this list. Worship drums need to have beautiful resonant toms, and the Starclassic has some of the best sounding toms you can get.
The thin maple shells give the drums a powerful sound that is fairly warm. While the toms resonate freely as you play around them, the 22-inch bass drum provides a solid thumping tone. That tone is excellent for four-on-the-floor patterns when you play drums at church.
Attached to the drums are Tama’s high-quality die-cast zinc hoops. These hoops ensure consistent tuning and tones. This is great as church drum sets typically stay in one place for extended periods of time, so keeping them in tune for long is ideal.
The rack toms mount to cymbal stands, which provides more adjustability when adding in extra gear such as a Roland SPD-SX.
The Tama Starclassic is one of the most popular drum sets for pop and rock music. Since most modern church music has similar qualities, it’s definitely one of the best drum sets for worship.
- Warm and powerful tones
- Easy tuning
- Heavy-duty construction
- No snare drum included
- Expensive drum set shell pack
Gretsch Catalina Maple Drum Set Review
The Gretsch Catalina Maple is a highly popular church drum set. If you watch videos of worship teams performing on YouTube, you’ll undoubtedly see a few drummers playing this kit.
The main feature of the kit is the lively maple shells. They sound incredibly vibrant when you hit them hard, giving you responsiveness that will sound great in worship songs. Many modern church tunes will have the drummer playing tom grooves, and this kit is fantastic for that.
The sound they make is further enhanced by the 30-degree bearing edges. They’re designed to enhance the tone as much as possible and make it more responsive.
One of the best parts of the kit is the snare drum. A Gretsch Catalina snare sounds pretty good when tuned low, so you’re able to get that deep worship snare drum sound.
Overall, it’s a good intermediate drum set that will fit in perfectly in a worship band.
- Responsive maple shells
- Snare sounds fantastic when tuned low
- Great tom sound
- Rack tom mounts are a bit difficult to work with
Pearl Roadshow Drum Set Review
If you’re looking for the most affordable drum set you can get, the Pearl Roadshow is a good option. It’s the best entry-level drum set available, so it’s a good choice for a small church on a tight budget.
The kit comes with everything you need including drums, cymbals, and hardware. It even comes with drum sticks and a drum throne to sit on. You won’t be needing to buy anything extra, to begin with.
The shells are made from poplar and sound fairly decent. However, you’ll get the best sound out of them if you equip them with some high-quality drum heads.
When playing the kit, you’ll realize how solid it feels thanks to Pearl’s heavy-duty hardware. The double-braced stands are what give the kit major value-for-money.
The included cymbals sound decent considering how affordable the kit is, but you’ll probably find yourself wanting to upgrade them in the future.
- Incredibly affordable
- Best set for beginners
- Heavy-duty hardware
- Included cymbals aren’t fantastic
Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Drum Set Review
The Yamaha Stage Custom Birch is one of the best value-for-money drum sets you can get. It’s known to be an affordable set that professionals can use. So, it’s a great option for using as a church drum kit.
It has punchy birch shells that come to life when you hit them with intensity. You’ll typically see many Gospel drummers playing this kit because of this. The sound of the drums is very bright and focused.
The YESS mounting system is one of the kit’s best features. Yamaha’s tom mounts are always locked in place tightly and easy to adjust. This mounting system is used in Yamaha’s top-end kits, so it’s great that you’re getting it in an affordable one as well.
The snare drum has a great crack to it. It’s a dream snare for anyone who loves playing rimshots. Another reason why the kit is so popular amongst Gospel drummers!
- Pro kit at an affordable price
- Lively and bright sound
- Easily adjustable toms
Sonor AQ2 Bop Drum Set Review
If you need a drum set that will fit in a small church venue, the Sonor AQ2 Bop might be just what you’re looking for. It’s one of the highest-quality compact drum sets.
The 7-ply maple shells have a fairly focused tone. Even though they’re small, they can be tuned to sound low and booming which is exactly what you want from a church drum set.
The kit has one rack tom that mounts to the bass drum Sonor’s SmartMount. This mounting system makes it easy to adjust the tom, and it keeps the drum resonating freely.
Most compact kits have weak snare drums. However, this AQ2 snare drum is highly responsive and has a tight crack when you hit it hard. It reacts very well to dynamic drumming.
You get a surprising amount of volume considering how small this kit is. You can also play very softly and still have all the drums sounding great.
- Good for small venues
- High-quality snare drum
- Sounds good when tuned low
- Bass drum is too small for large venues
Church Drum Set Buyer’s Guide
While most drum setups will get the job done, there are few things to focus on that will help you achieve that popular church drum set sound. Not all church environments are the same, so you need to do your best to cater to the setting you’re playing the drums in.
You should get a drum set like Yamaha Stage Custom Birch that allows you to make these minor adjustments to fit the setting. The main things to focus on would be the size of the drums, how they’re tuned, and what cymbals you’re using with them.
Tuning is vitally important in church settings. The way your drums sound will greatly impact the overall sound of the music. If you tune the toms too high, it’s going to sound distracting when you’re playing tom grooves and a four-on-the-floor kick pattern.
The toms need to sound fairly boomy so that they sit underneath the band to create a warm base to hold onto. Tom builds are very common in church drumming, and those will always sound better with low and punchy toms.
Your toms also shouldn’t resonate too much, especially in Gospel church settings. Gospel music is fairly intense most of the time, so the drums need to have a quick sound that gets out of the way. If you have resonating drums, Gospel drum fills are going to end up sounding muddy.
So, get church drum sets like Gretsch Catalina Maple that have the ability to be tuned quite low.
Volume and Size
The size of your church venue will impact the decision of how big your drum set should be. Most standard drum sets are the same size and will work well in most settings. However, you’ll most likely need a smaller set if you’re limited for space on stage.
Compact drum sets like Sonor AQ2 Bop are great options, in this case. I’d only suggest getting a small kit if you can’t fit a standard kit. Otherwise, standard kits will always be the better option to go with.
Most drum sets can be altered to fit your sound requirements with the use of good drum heads and clever tuning. Your cymbals, however, can’t have their sound be changed. So, having a good set of cymbals is arguably more important in church settings than the drum set is.
In churches that play Christian Contemporary music, you’re going to need large cymbals that have dark and washy tones. They need to blend into the mix of the band instead of cutting through it.
Gospel churches will need cymbals that are bright and lively. The music is more energetic, and the cymbals should cut through the mix instead of blending into it.
The final thing to think about when considering a church drum kit is durability. The drum set is going to stay at the church and most likely be played on by several different drummers every week. A drum kit in this situation needs to be durable.
Some drummers will play quite hard while others will be gentle. If the drum kit isn’t durable, it’s going to break from being played on too often. So, select a drum set that has heavy-duty hardware like the Pearl Roadshow or the Tama Starclassic Maple. Because these drum sets will survive all kinds of drummers.
How to be a Good Church Drummer
A final word of advice on church drumming would be to not rely primarily on the gear. While getting a suitable drum kit will help you achieve the sound you need, it’s mainly going to be your job as the drummer to play as musically as possible.
You could have the most booming and powerful kit in the world, but it won’t sound like that if you hit it too softly. So, work hard on learning how to cater best to the worship style, and your equipment will aid you along in the process.