So you’ve decided you want to pick up the drum sticks? Great choice! Drumming is an excellent form of self-expression, and it’s a lot of fun! Not only that, but it’s also a full-body workout, and drumming offers a range of physical and psychological benefits.
Or you’ve possibly already been playing for a little while, and you think it’s time to upgrade your battered, worn-out entry-level drum set for something that looks and sounds the part!
No matter what stage you are at, whether you’re simply curious about how much a drum set costs or if you’re serious about upgrading your existing drum set, this article is for you!
Read on to learn how much you should spend when buying a drum set, as well as some other helpful tips on the topic of drumming gear. Let’s get right into it!
I’m a Complete Beginner - How Much Can I Expect to Pay?
If you’re a complete beginner, or you’re buying a drum set for your child, then you’re going to want something relatively inexpensive. It doesn’t make sense to spend a fortune on a fancy drum set when you don’t know if you or your child will stick with it for a long time.
With that being said, there’s a lot of components within a complete drum set. It’s not just the drums. You’ll need a set of cymbals and a lot of drum hardware that mounts everything together.
The good news is that the top drum brands such as Pearl and Tama make it very easy to get started with the drums. They offer drum sets within the region of $400-500 dollars for everything you need to begin playing. Included, you’ll receive a 5-piece drum set, as well as cymbals, drum hardware, a drum throne, and even sticks too.
I believe the Pearl Roadshow drum set is the best value for money entry-level drum set on the market right now. It’s a little more pricey than some other cheap alternatives you might find online, but it’s considerably better quality. I’ve compiled a list of the best beginner drum sets available right now to help you with your search!
I’m an Intermediate Drummer Looking to Upgrade!
If you’ve taken up the drums and you’ve outgrown your beginner drum set, then that’s awesome news! Congrats on putting in the practice and progressing to the next level.
At the intermediate level price point, the quality of drum sets increases a great deal. However, at this price point, there are no bundle packages.
You’ve got to buy everything separately, and the drums are sold as ‘shell packs.’ This means you only receive the wooden drum shells. Intermediate level drum sets are typically constructed from maple or birch wood, and these woods produce a wonderful tone.
All of the well-known drum manufacturers produce high-quality mid-level drum set shell packs. You can expect to pay around $650-800 for one of the best mid-level drum sets.
You also have the option of choosing to keep your existing drum hardware and cymbals, or upgrading these too. It’s definitely worth upgrading cheap beginner cymbals. They are adequate for beginner drum practice, but are very harsh sounding and are not suitable for gigging!
If you choose to upgrade your cymbals to a better quality set, definitely go ahead and buy a complete set that includes a pair of hi-hats, a crash cymbal, and a ride cymbal altogether. Buying one of the best cymbal packs will save you money over buying cymbals individually.
You can expect to pay around $1500 for a mid-level drum set with cymbals and hardware all purchased separately.
I Only Have Space for an Electronic Drum Kit, How Much Should I Pay?
It totally depends on what stage you are at in your drumming journey. If you’re a complete beginner, you can get a great value electronic drum set for around $350, but you can spend as much as $5000 on a top-of-the-range electronic drum set if you’re a seasoned pro!
Electronic drum sets are great if you live in an apartment or a condo, where you need to be considerate of your neighbors regarding noise levels. They also take up far less room and are easier to store.
If you’re a beginner looking at buying an electronic drum set, go for the Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Kit - it’s the best on the market, and it includes everything you need to get started. You can check out a full review of the Alesis Nitro Mesh here.
How Much Should I Spend on a Kids Drum Set?
Children are not fussy and are generally happy to bash away on anything that remotely resembles drums! But the good news is that a reasonably good quality kid’s drum set will cost around $150-300, depending on the number of pieces included.
It’s worth noting that kids drum sets are smaller and generally only suitable for children aged up to around 8 or 9. Then it’ll be time to upgrade to a full-sized acoustic drum set.
I’m Curious, How Much is a Professional Drum Set?
Professional level drum sets are built by hand with exceptional attention to detail. They are produced with the best quality materials and adorned with costly looking color finishes.
A professional-level 5-piece drum set including drums, cymbals, hardware, and other components will be within the region of around $5,000-$10,000! But if you’re looking at huge drum kit setups like Stewart Copeland and Neil Peart, these will cost even more!
Buying a drum set is a lot of fun, no matter where you are within your drumming journey. But if you’re a beginner, the information can be a little overwhelming too. Hopefully, this article has helped clear some things up and point you in the right direction!
The great news is that there is a great range of drumming products on the market to suit all budgets, and the quality of drums is getting better over time.
If you’re savvy and know what you’re looking for, you can also save money by buying used drumming gear from online marketplaces too. But be aware when buying pre-used drums it could require some servicing and maintenance, as well as new drum heads.
Gideon Waxman is a London based drummer and music educator who holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Westminster. You can read more of his advice over at his popular online music resources Drum Helper and Strong Sounds.