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If you’re looking to get your first drum kit, an electronic set may be a great option. Electronic kits don’t make nearly as much noise as acoustic kits, so you’ll be able to learn how to play drums without bothering your neighbors.
The best electronic kit for beginners is one that has an affordable price tag yet offers enough playability features to make it easy to learn. I’ve compiled a list of six great drum sets that match this description.
I’ve compared them according to their drum modules, sound quality, value, and build quality.
- What are the Best Electronic Drum Sets for Beginners?
- How I Tested and Selected the Best Electronic Drum Sets for Beginners
- Best Beginner Electronic Drum Set Reviews
- Best Electronic Drum Set for Beginners Buying Guide
- What Makes a Beginner Electronic Drum Set a Good Buying Option
- Features to Look Out for in an Electric Drum Set for Beginners
- Best Electronic Drums for Beginners FAQs
What are the Best Electronic Drum Sets for Beginners?
How I Tested and Selected the Best Electronic Drum Sets for Beginners
After years of teaching beginner drummers, I gathered up a strong list of electronic and acoustic drum sets that I would regularly recommend.
When testing electronic kits, I mainly looked at their cost, as most beginner drummers aren’t likely to spend more than $600 on a new set.
After that, I checked how easy each kit was to set up. Drum sets can be very overwhelming at first, so I inspected each part along with the module to see how simple it was to get everything running.
I then looked at module features, scrolling through all the options to see if there were tools to help beginners with practice.
Finally, I checked out the sound quality and responsiveness of the pads. Beginners don’t worry about this aspect too much, but I still made sure that each kit was fun to play.
Best Beginner Electronic Drum Set Reviews
Many people see the Alesis Nitro Mesh as the best starter electronic drum set, purely due to how valuable its features are compared to how low it’s priced. It’s incredibly popular with its low price tag, and it’s a great option for drummers looking for their first kit.
The standout feature of this kit for me is the mesh drum pads. I always have so much fun playing on them, and they’re responsive enough to feel authentic.
All of them are tunable, meaning you can adjust their tension settings to make them feel closer to how acoustic drumheads feel. There aren’t too many cheap kits that have these.
The drum module is fairly simplistic, but it gives you a total of 40 preset drum kit sounds, which is a very large number.
Many of those kits sound relatively poor, but they’re still fun for beginners to sift through. Having so many sounds to mess around with often keeps new drummers interested.
You also get 60 play-along tracks to jam out to. They range in difficulty, with many of them being quite simple to play.
One thing I’ve noticed about the Nitro Mesh is that the rack doesn’t allow you to place the pads very high, leading the kit to feel quite low at its highest position. This is something that may affect taller drummers, but it’s actually a great feature for kids and shorter people.
- Responsive mesh pads are a bargain at this price
- The 40 preset drum kits are fun to play around with
- The kit sits quite low, so it’s excellent for younger kids
- Specifically designed for beginner drummers
- Durability can be questionable on some models
The TD-02K kit is one of Roland’s newer entry-level options. It’s an updated version of the old TD-1K, and it’s a far better kit for beginners to pick up.
I love this set for its small size. It doesn’t take up much space, making it ideal for drummers with limited room.
With the kit being so affordable, I think it’s a fantastic option for kids that want to have a drum set in their bedrooms.
The other key quality of this kit is the sound quality of the preset drum kits. I found these kits to sound much better than any other comparable ones on other kits.
The rubber pads aren’t ideal, but they’re not something that kids will worry about. The only worrying drawback is the trigger pedal. While it’s responsive to dynamics, it gives a very different feel to what a drum pedal offers, and switching over may be tough if you’re only used to using this trigger pedal.
Apart from that, I think this kit is an incredible option to consider. You can even use a Bluetooth adapter to connect your phone to the module. That will let you stream songs through it or use wireless headphones. That’s a new feature that we haven’t seen on many beginner kits before this one.
- Incredible sound quality for an inexpensive drum set
- Small footprint allows you to fit the kit into tight spaces
- You can use wireless headphones with the Bluetooth connector slot
- The arms that hold the cymbal pads are very thin
The prices of electronic drum kits may scare you, so getting something that costs less than $200 may seem like a good option. However, I strongly discourage you from doing that, as those kits are always poor in quality.
If you want to get the most affordable kit possible, the Alesis Turbo Mesh would be my top recommendation.
It’s not the most impressive kit around, but it offers most of what you need to get an idea of what it’s like to play a drum set.
It comes with ten preset drum kit sounds. Most of them are acoustic sounds that have different tunings that match certain musical styles. There are also 30 drumless tracks to play along with. Most of them are very simple, so you can get playing in no time.
These preset drum kit sounds aren’t great compared to other drum set options, though. There’s a bit of latency in the triggering, and that makes them sound quite robotic.
Like the Nitro Mesh, this kit also has an impressive set of mesh heads which I really enjoyed playing on. They felt responsive and highly intuitive.
The structural quality of the kit is impressive for the low price tag. Apart from the mesh drum pads, all the mounts and clamps are solid and durable. You can also fold the kit up and store it very easily.
- Most affordable kit on the market with mesh pads
- The drum rack can be folded for easy storage of the kit
- Decent playability for new drummers to experience
- Relatively poor sound quality compared to the other beginner kits
The Roland TD-1DMK is another highly popular e-kit for beginners, but I think the DMKX version is a strong contender for the title of best entry-level electronic drum kit. The selling point of this kit is that it comes with three cymbal pads, whereas every other beginner kit only comes with two.
You get two crash cymbal pads and a larger ride cymbal pad. The larger ride makes the kit feel a lot better to play, as you can lay into the pad and get a similar feeling to what you get with an acoustic drum kit.
The module is very simplistic, only offering 15 preset drum kits with a few onboard coaching features. However, Roland has kept the price down by giving you a simple module with higher-quality pads and cymbals.
This makes the kit a great option for drummers who would rather have better playability than a long list of module features.
This kit gives me a great feeling of authenticity, making it the best affordable replacement for an acoustic kit.
The only gripe I have with this kit is its small bass drum pad. It latches onto one of the legs of the drum rack, limiting the space you have to position it. It feels great to play once you have it in a comfortable position, though.
- One of the most inexpensive electronic drum kits that lets you play ride bell sounds
- Incredible playability
- High-quality module samples
- The rack-mounted bass drum pad can be difficult to position comfortabl
Yamaha’s DTX452K kit is an interesting option to consider. It has a full set of rubber pads, which would typically rank it lower than other kits that are similarly priced. However, this kit arguably has the best features out of all the available beginner kits.
Those features come when you link the module with Yamaha’s Touch and Rec ‘n’ Share apps on a device. The Touch app allows you to change how the preset drum kits sound and perform. It also has a fantastic challenge feature where it will give you ratings on how well you perform certain songs and patterns.
The Rec ‘n’ Share app lets you record videos of yourself playing with your phone while getting the high-quality audio from the drum module.
The app integration has always been what puts this kit on the map for me. It’s just something that no other affordable kit seems to offer.
Regarding the kit itself, the rubber pads are surprisingly responsive. They don’t feel as good to play on as silicone or mesh pads, but the triple-zone snare drum pad offers you more playability than all the other snare pads on this list.
The cymbal pads also feel great to play, as they’re relatively thin, causing them to wobble as acoustic cymbals would.
This is an excellent kit, but you’ll only get the most value when you utilize Yamaha’s apps as much as possible. If you don’t plan on using those apps, the Roland TD-1DMKX would be a much better option with its mesh pads.
- High-quality drum kit samples coming from professional Yamaha acoustic sets
- Great playability from the triple-zone snare pad
- The app integration is unique to the 402 line of drum kits
- This kit would be rated much higher if it had mesh or silicone drum pads
Roland advertises the TD-07KV as a beginner drum kit, but its high price tag puts it out of reach for many aspiring drummers. I strongly recommend considering this drum set if you can afford it, though.
I’ve met a few beginners who would prefer to start with the best kit possible, and I’ve always had this kit down as my recommendation for them.
It has incredible build quality in both the pads and drum module. The drum pads all have mesh surfaces and are dual triggered. The cymbal pads allow you to play the bells, and they’re weighted to sway like acoustic cymbals.
The kit comes with Roland’s KD-10 bass drum pad. This is the bass drum pad that gets used on many of their high-end kits, and it feels much better to play than every other bass drum pad we’ve looked at so far.
The TD-07 drum module has 25 preset drum kits, along with 25 open slots to create your own kits. There are 143 sounds that you can use for those open slots.
The module also has onboard Bluetooth, meaning you can wirelessly connect your phone without having to use any adaptors. This is very useful for streaming songs that you want to play along with.
If you want to get an electronic kit that you can continue to use after gaining a lot of drumming experience, this is the one. Most of the other kits we’ve looked at will get grown out of a lot quicker.
- Best playability out of every kit on this list
- Professional-quality drum module
- Very sturdy kick drum pad that feels solid to play
- Most expensive kit on the list
Best Electronic Drum Set for Beginners Buying Guide
Buying a drum kit for the first time can be incredibly daunting, as there are so many options available that offer various things. As a beginner drummer, there are two main things you should know.
Firstly, make sure that you don’t buy a kit for over $1000. Kits at that price are intermediate and professional options, and they have features that you most likely won’t even notice are there at first.
It’s better to start with something affordable and to make sure that you actually enjoy drumming before dropping a large amount of money on a higher-tier set.
Secondly, you’ll be safer when buying a kit from Roland, Alesis, or Yamaha. These three brands have far more reliable drum kit options, especially in the entry-level range.
What Makes a Beginner Electronic Drum Set a Good Buying Option
- Beginner electronic drum sets are typically more affordable than beginner acoustic drum sets.
- They don’t make as much noise as acoustic drum sets.
- They all have multiple drum kit sounds to play, whereas acoustic drum sets only have one sound.
- Beginner electronic kits have various drum module features to help you practice and improve.
Features to Look Out for in an Electric Drum Set for Beginners
All drum modules differ depending on what electronic drum kit you buy. When checking out drum modules, you need to look at the preset drum kit sounds, what practice features are offered, and what connectivity features are built in.
The preset drum kits will give you an idea of what the sound quality of the drum set is like. Don’t be fooled by how many preset kits there are, as some drum kits with dozens of presets sound quite poor.
For example, the 10 preset drum kit sounds on the Yamaha DTX452K sound much better than any of the 40 preset drum kits on the Alesis Nitro Mesh.
However, some new drummers will prefer having more sounds to play with. It will keep things interesting and exciting, even though the sound quality won’t be as good.
Drum and Cymbal Pads
The main thing you need to take note of when looking at drum pads is what material they’re made of. The three main materials are rubber, mesh, and silicone.
You’re mainly going to see rubber and mesh pads when looking at beginner electronic drum sets.
Mesh pads feel more authentic to play on, as they resemble acoustic drumheads a lot better than rubber pads do. If you want the best playability, you should get a kit that has mesh drum pads.
All Alesis kits have mesh pads, so they all feel excellent to play. However, their mesh pads don’t feel as good as Roland’s.
Yamaha and Roland offer rubber pads on their most affordable drum kits. They compensate by giving the kits better sound quality and features. The Roland kits with mesh pads are a lot more expensive.
Some beginner kits have bass drum pads, while others only have kick trigger pedals. You’ll mostly find kick trigger pedals on very affordable kits.
These aren’t ideal, as they don’t mimic what it feels like to play an acoustic bass drum. There’s no resistance from a bass drum beater, so it’s also more difficult to play quick patterns.
Transitioning from a kick trigger pedal to a regular bass drum pedal can be tough for drummers that have been playing a trigger pedal for a long time.
However, the benefit of a kick trigger pedal is that it’s easy to position, so they work very well with small electronic kits.
If you want authentic playability, then you should get a drum kit that needs to be played with a regular bass drum pedal.
The final thing to check out when buying a kit is to see what it comes with. Unfortunately, most drum kits don’t come with everything you need. This is true for both acoustic and electronic sets.
Thankfully, electronic sets come with most of the required parts to have a complete setup. They just don’t come with drum thrones. So, keep a bit of cash aside to get a good drum throne when you’re ready to buy your kit.
You may also need to get a bass drum pedal. The only brand that includes bass drum pedals with their beginner sets is Alesis, and those only come with the most affordable options.
Finally, you’re going to need a pair of sticks. These come with many beginner kits, but the included sticks are never that great. I’d suggest getting a decent pair from Vic Firth, Promark, or Vater.
Best Electronic Drums for Beginners FAQs
How Do You Choose a Good Electronic Drum Set?
You should decide how much you’re willing to spend and then look through all the options that fall within that price range. Look at all the sounds and features of each kit, and then pick the one that appeals to you the most.
The best electronic drum sets have mesh pads and multiple trigger zones on the cymbal pads. The best beginner electronic drum sets also use proper bass drum pedals instead of kick trigger pads.
What are the Best Electronic Drum Kit Brands?
Alesis, Roland, and Yamaha are the leading electronic drum set brands. They have the most extensive product ranges, and their quality control tends to be a bit better than most other brands.
Out of those three brands, Roland is the best one. Most drummers agree that the quality of Roland drum kits tops all the competitor options.
However, Alesis is a good brand to choose if you’re looking for the most affordable drum kit possible. Yamaha falls somewhere in the middle of those two brand options.