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Top 8 Best Beginner Drum Set of 2023

Starting out on the voyage of adventure that is drumming? Get ready for our review of the best beginner drum set IN THE WORLD!!!

Whether you’re shopping for a loud and raucous teen or for yourself, an adult who has been slapping your knees for decades, you’re in the right place. Our guide to the best kit for a first-time drum owner is all you need to get ready to make a major life purchase.

Forget diamond engagement rings. Forget cars. Your first drum set may be the most pleasing purchase of your life!

best beginner drum set

Top 8 Best Beginner Drum Set of 2023

1 Ddrum D120B 5 Piece Drum Set

What you get…

  • Bass drum 20″x16″, snare drum 14″x5.5″, two toms 10″x8″ 12″x9″, floor tom 14″x14″.
  • Hi-hat stand, one straight cymbal stand, two tom arms, snare stand, bass pedal, throne (that’s the seat!)
  • 14” hi-hat cymbals, 16” crash cymbal.


Black or red wrap; black coated hardware

Ddrum offers up a great beginner drum set here. The drum shells are made from 8-ply basswood, which provides a very warm, booming sound to the drums. At this mid-range price, we were really impressed with the quality of the sound from these drums.

At the same time, this kit has the smallest bass drum and floor tom of all the drum sets we looked at. For some styles, like fusion, these are just fine. But for a big booming rock sound, we’d like to have something a bit more robust.

Quality heads…

The kit comes with ddrum stock heads and cymbals. The heads are surprisingly good. But then again, ddrum is known for electronic and hybrid drums where head quality is so important.

The stock cymbals included with the kit are your basic, low-cost and low-quality cymbals. They actually sound OK here, but quality-wise, these will not hold up to a hard hitter. Still, you’re probably best to bash them to pieces before upgrading.

They get the job done…

The kit looks great, and the design and connections are well thought out. For the most part, the hardware seems strong and durable. One thing that irked us, though, was when extended up fairly high, the hi-hat stand became floppy. Not good.

Ddrum D120B 5 Piece Drum Set
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Surprisingly great sound from solid shells and decent heads!
  • Mostly strong hardware and impressive construction.


  • Smallest bass and floor tom in our review gives a smaller sound.
  • Only red and black? Maybe you can… paint it?

2 Pearl Roadshow Rock Set

What you get…

  • Bass drum 22″x16″, snare drum 14″x6.5″, tom 12″x9″, two floor toms 14″x14″ and 16″x16″.
  • Hi-hat stand, one straight cymbal stand, one tom stand, snare stand, bass pedal, throne.
  • 14” hi-hat cymbals, 16” Crash-Ride cymbal.


Bronze metallic, charcoal metallic, red wine, aqua blue glitter, or jet black wrap; chrome hardware.

Pearl has been a leading name in drum sets for decades. There’s a reason. They make great sounding, durable kits, and have focused on the high-quality beginner market for years.

Does the Roadshow hold up?

Though this is Pearl’s bottom-end product, you’ve still got some very solid gear here at a very good price.

The cymbals are basic but OK sounding. The drums are made from 9-ply Poplar, which gives good attack and clear, crisp sounds. They seem really well-constructed, and all of the finishes look really high-end. The stock heads provided are adequate, but when they wear out, upgrade.

This all makes for a great sound that really rocks. The Rock version of this kit features a tom on a stand and two floor toms. This set-up is great for some heavy-handed booming sound. But admittedly, this is an unusual set-up and may not be the easiest for a beginner.

What about hardware?

Everything is chrome, and all the stands have double-braced legs for strength. This hardware is not as heavy as the Pearl Export (also see below) but still features thick and relatively dense tubes. You’re going to have to work hard to break them!

Pearl Roadshow Rock Set
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Great-sounding, flashy kit for the price.
  • Durable and strong, so bash away!


  • Rock version, with no ride toms, is not going to be the easiest kit to learn on.
  • Both cymbals and heads provided are just adequate and will need upgrading.

3 Pearl Roadshow New Fusion Set

What you get…

  • Bass drum 22″x16″, snare drum 14″x5.5″, two toms 10×8″ and 12″x9″, floor tom 16″x16″.
  • Hi-hat stand, one straight cymbal stand, two tom arms, snare stand, bass pedal, throne.
  • 14” hi-hat cymbals, 16” Crash-Ride cymbal.


Bronze metallic, charcoal metallic, red wine, aqua blue glitter, or jet black wrap; chrome hardware.

Let’s get straight to it. This is essentially the same drum set as the previous one: same quality, same colors.

The difference is the set-up…

The New Fusion version of the Pearl Roadshow features two ride toms (mounted on the bass drum) and a single floor tom. The ride toms are smaller and so are higher in tone and less rock-appropriate. We liked the Pearl mounting system for tom arms, which has strong locks to get your toms into whatever position you need.

The snare drum is also an inch shallower than the Rock version snare. This leads to a higher, brighter sound. Generally, this makes the New Fusion version more adaptable to a multitude of styles of music, while the Rock version is best for playing heavy.

Great all-rounder…

Other than that, we’re talking the same Roadshow kit as above, with a somewhat different playing experience. We think this kit is going to be a more versatile all-rounder than the Rock version, but still capable of rocking.

Pearl Roadshow New Fusion Set
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)


  • Great-sounding, flashy kit for the price.
  • Durable and strong, so bash away!


  • Both cymbals and heads provided are only adequate and will need upgrading with time.

4 Pearl Export EXX New Fusion

What you get…

  • Bass 22″x18″, snare 14″x5.5″, tom 10×7″ 12″x8″, floor tom 16″x16″.
  • Hi-hat stand, boom cymbal stand, straight cymbal stand, snare stand, bass pedal.
  • Cymbals and throne NOT INCLUDED.


Smokey Chrome, Jet Black, Pure White, Mirror Chrome, Grindstone Sparkle, High Voltage Blue, Burgundy; chrome hardware.

Wow! That list of finishes is as impressive as a nail polish catalog.

But is the Export the best beginner drum set on the market?

Apparently, the Export is the best-selling drum kit of all time. With 6-ply Poplar and mahogany shells covered in luxurious, durable wrap, these are some slick looking and sounding drums!

We liked the sound from these drums the best of all the kits on our list. They’re warmer and darker sounding than the others but still have great volume and reverberation.

As a step up from stock Pearl heads, they come with quality Remo coated heads. So that great sound is also going to last a lot longer.

As for hardware…

The trained eye might not notice much difference with the Pearl Roadshow, but the trained carrier of things will. These double-braced stands are all thick and heavy, and that means tough. You’re also getting an extra cymbal stand with a built-in optional boom (can also be used straight), which really helps with cymbal positioning.

But no cymbals and an affordable quality set (hi-hats, crash, and ride) could cost an additional $300.

Quality costs more…

This kit comes with a substantially higher price, and that’s evident in the quality. But we would have at least liked even a cheap place to sit. Come on, throw us a throne!

Pearl Export EXX New Fusion
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)


  • Great sound, exceptional quality.
  • Durable and beautiful.


  • For the higher price, you’re getting a lot less – no cymbals or seat.

5 Ludwig Accent

What you get…

  • Bass drum 22″x16″, snare drum 14″x6.5″, two toms 10″x8″and 12″x9″, floor tom 16″x16″.
  • Hi-hat stand, one straight cymbal stand, two tom arms, snare stand, bass pedal, throne.
  • 13” hi-hats and 16” crash/ride cymbal.


Black, red, silver, or blue wrap; chrome (except black coated throne).

Ludwig is another heavy hitter in the drum world, having produced some of the most amazing top-end kits around.

But how does their beginner drum kit stack up?

We have to put this one head to head with the Pearl Roadshow. After all, both drum sets are made from shiny wrap over 9-ply poplar shells. Both come with stock heads and stock cymbals. Side-by-side, they look pretty darned similar.

So what’s different?

Sound-wise, almost nothing. Seriously, the nearly identical size and construction of the two sets leads to a very similar sound. We only really noticed that the Ludwig has a louder, meatier snare than the Roadshow New Fusion set.

But that’s not all she wrote…

The Ludwig cymbals were of lower quality, and the hi-hats really didn’t have a nice sound.

The hardware here is noticeably thinner, lighter, and less-adjustable than the Pearl drums. For the slightly cheaper price, there is a big sacrifice in quality. And the throne – black-coated and single-braced, it simply doesn’t match the rest of this kit in look and quality.

Head to head, the Accent loses out to the Roadshow in just about every category.

Ludwig Accent
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)


  • Great sound and flashy-looking well-made drums for a decent price.


  • Weak hardware for the price.
  • Inferior throne – what about the beefier drummers out there!?

6 Tama Imperialstar

What you get…

  • Bass drum22″x16″, snare drum 14″x5.5″, toms 12″x8″ and 13″x9″, floor tom 14″x16″.
  • Hi-hat stand, bass pedal, snare stand, boom cymbal stand, straight cymbal stand, double tom holder, throne.
  • Meinl HCS 14″ hi-hats, 16″ crash , 20″ ride cymbal.


Black oak, burgundy walnut, vintage white sparkle, candy apple mist, hairline black, hairline blue, or dark blue wrap; chrome hardware.

The Imperialstar has to go up against the Export. At a similar price-point, these are your high-end beginner drum sets, and don’t they look it! The Imerialstar definitely has the style. This is one shiny, bright, impressive, and beautiful drum kit. It LOOKS expensive and will impress on stage or even just in your garage.

It sounds great. Shells made from 6-ply Poplar have a big attacking sound. We still prefer the Export’s somewhat warmer tones, but this is a close second! The Export’s deeper bass drum and wider floor tom provided more boom. And brand name heads offer clearer tones.

But wait…

The Imperialstar snare turns things around. This is easily the best sounding drum in any set we sampled! Thinner, tighter, and brighter, this Tama snare drum is a real masterpiece.

Tama’s stands are thinner but still heavy and tough. We wouldn’t say there is any lack of quality for the price you pay. Despite this, the tom rack actually doesn’t offer the flexibility of positioning that individual arms do.

Cymbal stands AND cymbals!

But this is the only kit on our list that offers three cymbal stands AND the cymbals! And they’re quality. Despite being the lowest-end Meinl product, they’re still a nice-sounding durable set that you’ll be able to use for years.

And sorry, Export – there’s a seat!

Tama Imperialstar
Our rating:4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)


  • Beautiful, great-sounding, and durable.
  • Best snare, best cymbals.


  • Limited tom positioning.
  • Pricey.

7 Gammon Percussion Adult 5-Piece Kit

What you get…

  • Bass drum 22″x14″, snare drum 14″x5.5″, toms 12″x10″ and 13″x10″, floor tom 16″x16″.
  • Hi-hat stand, straight cymbal stand, two tom arms, snare stand, bass pedal, throne.
  • 12″ hi-hats, 14″ crash/ride.


High-gloss black, metallic blue, wine red, metallic green wrap; black coated hardware.

Suddenly the price drops considerably.

So, how does the sound and quality of the Gammon kit hold up?

It’s safe to say this is not the best beginner drum set in terms of quality. But price can still be a major consideration. Who’s the kit for? How sure are you that the drummer is going to stick to this hobby? In six months, are you going to find the kit you bought stuffed into storage like the skateboard and the karate outfit?

If you’re focused on the price, be sure you know what you’re getting for your money.

The sound a little… cheap!

First, these drums really fall behind in sound quality. Yes, you can (and really should) replace the low-quality heads. You can add tape and foam and a pillow stuffed into the bass drum. But you’ll still be left with a kit that sounds, well, cheap.

The cymbals here are really low-quality and sound tinny and awful. They will dent, warp, and split easily and won’t last long, so factor that in.

Lightweight stands…

The hardware is all light, floppy, and single-braced. These stands will likewise be easily damaged by a constant barrage.

Still, some people SHOULD buy a very inexpensive drum kit. After all, the parts are all in the same places. For training someone how to hit things, that’s the biggest part. Try it and bash it. When it dies, if you’re still into drumming, upgrade! This makes it one of the best options available for anyone on a budget or unsure if little Johnny will stick to it!

Gammon Percussion Adult 5-Piece Kit
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Only the price.


  • Lowest quality, poorest sound, least durable.

8 Mendini by Cecilio MDS80

What you get…

  • Bass drum 22″x18″, snare drum14″x5″, toms 10″x8″ and 12″x9″, floor tom 14″x16″.
  • Hi-hat stand, straight cymbal stand, two tom arms, snare stand, bass pedal, throne.
  • 14.5” hi-hat and 16” crash.


Bright red, wine red, green, black, blue, silver, or white wraps; black-coated hardware.

Well, hang on now. For a low-priced beginner drum kit, this one certainly comes in a lot of colors.

But is that the only thing good about it?

Quite surprisingly, no!

For an inexpensive kit, these drums actually sound reasonably OK. Laminated Poplar shells put them into a similar category as Pearly and Ludwig, even if the construction isn’t nearly as good. The lamination looks poor, and some of the wraps seem a bit loose which will create buzzing noises in your drums.

But for all that, we still get a decent sound. A special treat is the 18” deep bass drum – it actually boomed almost as big as the Pearl Export!

The hardware here is middle-of-the-road…

The stands are much sturdier than the Gammon, but still pretty lightweight. Most concerning is the hi-hat stand, which is overly floppy and also has an inexplicably limited range for adjustment.

The cymbals provided, though, are not much better than the Gammon set. They will need replacing, likely sooner than later. The same goes with the stock heads on these drums. They won’t weather a beating.

All told, though, this is a surprisingly good-looking and pleasant kit to play for the price you’re going to pay.

Mendini by Cecilio MDS80
Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)


  • Pretty good sound for such a low price.
  • Durable and attractive construction for this price point.


  • Poor quality cymbals and heads will not stand up to the test of time.
  • Hi-hat stand might need to be replaced before long as well.

Buying Guide For The Best Beginner Drum Set

As with any major purchase, there are countless features and factors to consider when buying a drum set. But don’t let that scare you – let it free you.

Anyway, we’ve done the legwork for you to assemble a guide to the major points to consider.

Here goes!

beginner drum set

Sound Quality

What does it take for a beginner drum kit to sound good?

Well, when you hit bash the drums, are they loud, clear, and resonant? Or is the sound flat and lifeless like thumping a plastic tub? Quality drum heads help, but so does drum size and construction. Softer woods like Poplar will give the shells a brighter and often louder sound, while hardwood is warmer and deeper.

Most importantly, the snare drum should be loud and bright and cut through all other sounds. You want a deep, reverberant boom in your bass drum. These two components create the most feel to your beats.

Cymbals should ring out brightly and reverberate, not die on impact like pie plates.

So sound is obviously highly linked to construction.

Construction Quality

Wrap that isn’t glued all over the surface of your shells may vibrate and create annoying buzzing sounds. Cheaper materials can make your drums and cymbals sound lifeless. And cheap cymbals can really subtract from a decent-sounding set of drums.

Aside from sound, construction quality also dictates how well your drum kit will stand up to a beating.

After all, you’re going to pound this sucker!

As a general rule, heavier and thicker hardware means better hardware. Stands with double-braced legs won’t bend over time and can take way more abuse than single-braced legs. Remember that you may very well have to move your drum set often. You need hardware that can stand up to transit, striking down, and setting your kit back up.

You also want strong, dependable locking bolts on all your stands. Who wants their drums to slip around and move in the middle of a song?


A drum set isn’t a tuck away kind of instrument. Set up, a 5-piece kit takes up about 18 square feet.

You’re going to see it.

So choose yourself a drum set that you love to look at, too. So many finishes and colors are available you can even find one to match the furniture!


Lastly, you’re going to be touching this drum set (with sticks) all the time. Drummers play with a range of different styles and position their drums and cymbals in the places that feel natural.

A drum kit with lots of adjustability will provide the range for you to find your perfect set-up. So you can worry less about where the drums are and more about smashing them!

Looking For Some Upgrades

Beginners kits are a great way to get going on one of the best instruments in the world, but with time you will probably want to upgrade parts of it to make it sound even better. Some of the kits we’ve reviewed also don’t come with items like cymbals or a throne, so please check our our reviews of the Best Snare Drums, the Best Cymbal Packs, and the Best Drum Thrones currently available.

You may also be interested in our reviews of the Best Drum Practice Pads, the Best Kick Drum Mic, or even the Best Drum Set for Kids on the market.

So What’s The Best Beginner Drum Set?

Hard choice – we’ve seen some incredible kits!

The Mendini is a good option for someone not ready to pay more to get more or if you’re unsure of how long playing drums will be the ‘new thing.’

The Tama Imperialstar just barely beats out the Pearl Export for best high-end beginner drums.

Ddrum offers a good mid-priced option, but for a little more, the…Pearl Roadshow New Fusion…set will get you the most bang for your buck. And we do mean bang! This is hands down the best sound and durability you’ll get for a beginner price.

Whatever you decide – best of luck on your drumming adventure!

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