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Beginner Acoustic Drum Kits

It’s that time of year where you ask your youngest what they’d like from Santa and they give you the reply “…I WANT A DRUM KIT”. A phrase that instills terror in the mind of parents (and neighbours) but FEAR NOT! Your pals at Drummers Only have your back with some kit options that won’t break the bank (or your ear drums). Let’s dive in…

For the beginner drummer who has nothing but pots & pans and a willingness to learn they’ll need not only the acoustic drums but other add-on’s that you might not initially consider when first browsing such as cymbals, stands or “hardware” and a throne. I’m going to focus on three of our most popular choices and why you’ll be on to a winner no matter which you go with.

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We’ll start with Pearl Export. The Export is the best selling drum kit in the world and a name of kit that almost everyone knows, even people who don’t play drums (I heard a rumor the queen has a Pearl Export set up in the palace for when Philip does her head in). Not only does this kit sound incredible for the money but it comes with many high-end features to ensure consistency and familiarity across all their range of drums. The shells are made from a blend of premium Poplar and Asian Mahogany that allows them to keep the cost low but the sound quality at an all time high. The toms are fitted with an “OptiLock” mounting system, allowing he or she to position the toms in any way they find comfortable to them (comfort is key when learning). This kit comes with Pearl 830 series hardware, which is without a doubt the most sophisticated hardware ever to be offered on a kit at this price point. It comes with a P-930 bass drum pedal, which is modeled after Pearl’s high-end “Demon Driver” pedal and the 830 stands come with features similar to their OptiLock. The gears are toothless, which means the snare drum and cymbals can be angled in any position that feels comfortable. Speaking of cymbals, the Pearl Export also comes with a full set of Sabian SBR cymbals. In the set you get a pair of 14in Hi Hats, a 16in Crash and a 20in Ride Cymbal. These cymbals are the ideal starting point for any budding drummer as they are built to the same quality as cymbals on the higher end of the budget, so they won’t break after 6 months. The Pearl Export is available in multiple configurations and finishes such as High Voltage Blue, Smokey Chrome, Satin Shadow Black, Jet Black, Artic Sparkle and Black Cherry Glitter. Please note, this kit does NOT come with a throne or “seat”, which would be purchased separately. You can check out the full range of Exports here

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If the Export isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps the Yamaha Rydeen is more your speed. The new Rydeen by Yamaha is exactly what any beginner or intermediate player would love to play. It’s made from Poplar ply shells to create uniformed, optimal tones no matter what the shell size with long sustain. The medium strength of wood is ideal for those drummers wanting a strong, rich tone with good attack and projection. The Rydeen kit includes genuine Yamaha hardware allowing you to customize your setup and find the perfect configuration. It includes original ball clamp tom holders to offer amazing freedom when setting up the drums while also offering stability. The HW680W hardware set features two locking resin cymbal tilters with felts, a professional hi-hat clutch, a single bass drum pedal and a snare stand. The stands are double-braces to ensure extra stability. This kit also features a full set of Paiste 101 Cymbals, which include 14in hi-hats, a 16in crash and a 20in ride. This kit also requires an additional add-on drum throne. The Rydeen comes in a couple configurations and multiple finishes such as Silver Glitter, Black Glitter, Burgandy Glitter, Hot Red, Fine Blue and Mellow Yellow. Check out the full range of Yamaha Rydeen here

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Finally we have the limited-edition Mapex Storm kit. It’s a 6-piece Rock Fusion kit in Deep Black. You’re essentially getting an extra drum for your money with the inclusion of an extra floor tom AND….a throne (yay!). This kit is the best complete drum set for the first time player who needs absolutely everything to get started. The poplar shells come with the Mapex SONIClear bearing edge making tuning the kit very simple and giving the drums plenty of tone. The drums are fitted with single point contact lugs to maximize resonance from the shells. This kit also comes with BLACK hardware instead of the traditional chrome. 400 series double-braced hi-hat, snare and cymbal stands,a P400 bass drum pedal AND a T400 drum throne really set this kit apart from the rest and make it the best value (and quality) for the beginner drummer. What’s more, it also comes with a set of Paiste 101 cymbals. Featuring 13in hi-hats, a 16in crash and a 20in ride cymbal. Check out this kit here

As for additional extras, the Pearl Export & Rydeen all require a drum throne which you can spend as much or as little as you desire (as I said above, comfort is key for learning). If the kit you choose will be set up in the house and you don’t have the friendliest of neighbours or you can’t handle a lot of noise, the addition of silencer pads may be an option. In essence, they’re a set of rubber pads that sit on the drum heads and cymbals reducing the noise of the kit DRAMATICALLY to keep away complaints and encourage learning at all hours in the day. If budget is extremely tight, then a low budget option would be a Mapex Tornado kit which comes with everything you need (yes, including a throne AND a pair of sticks!) and even a DVD on how to build it up. It also comes with an unbranded pair of hi-hats and a crash/ride cymbal. Basic and affordable for when budget is tight. Check it out here

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So there you have it, your guide to starter kits. All of these kits and more are available online but we encourage you to pop down to the shop and have a look at these kits for yourself to decide which may be the best option for you. We’ll definitely be able to point you in the right direction and even help you out to the car!

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