If you’re starting out as a drummer and trying to get to grips with the basics, there’s nothing better to practice with than an electronic drum set.
Instead of risking your neighbor’s temper with a regular, noisy drum set, you can simply plug your headphones into an electronic one and go over the same fills and routines without causing a racket.
All of the best drummers in the world these days will have started out on an electronic drum set to practice with and learn the essential techniques before using a real drum kit to record songs with so why not start out on one yourself?
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best electronic drum sets for beginners and going over why each one could suit your needs better than others.
We’ll be going over two main types of electronic drum sets: full drum sets and tabletop drum sets.
Each one offers a different set of features so stick around to the end to find out what you should be looking out for when deciding which kit to purchase for yourself.
Tabletop Electronic Drum Sets
As the name suggests, a tabletop electronic drum set is one you can put on top of a table or desk to roughly replicate the feel of using a full drum kit.
It’s a great option for people who don’t have a whole bunch of space at home to house a full-sized drum kit and it can even be packed up compactly and taken anywhere you like.
Of course, it won’t quite give the same feel as a full-sized drum kit but it’s definitely a good place for beginners to start out.
The first option we’re looking at is a super convenient, budget-friendly drum set that has all the essential features you’ll need for practicing the basics.
The tabletop pad itself features 7 different drum pads but the set also includes 2 pedals, 2 drumsticks, and a pair of headphones that you can reuse for a variety of purposes.
What’s great about this setup is that the tabletop pad is made of a durable, waterproof silicone material with a grippy surface on the underside to stop the drum from slipping all over your table.
This means you won’t have to worry about anything spilling on your electronic drum set and it’s even easier than a normal set to pack up and take with you while traveling.
This set is marketed as a kid's drum set but it is just as appropriate for adult beginners for learning the basics of drumming.
The set also features a series of ports to plug in headphones, pedals, and speakers. However, it even has its own built-in stereo speakers that can play your music out loud if you don’t mind making some noise.
Again, this is one of the more budget-friendly options on our list and the quality of the components does reflect that.
Some customers have noted that the pedals and headphones stopped working after a while and that this set is only really useful as a temporary, beginner setup before moving onto something bigger.
- Waterproof silicone material – The drum pads themselves are made with a very convenient material for traveling with and avoiding damage
- Sticks and headphones included – Saves you the hassle of buying these separately if you don’t already have them
- 10-hour battery life – The rechargeable battery can last up to 10 hours on a full charge
- Budget-friendly – This is easily one of the least expensive options on the market
- Durability – Some components like the pedals and headphones are a little flimsy and may break easily
- Simple features – This set really is only good for beginners and you’d eventually need to move onto a more complex set to improve further
(Also available from QoQoba.com)
As we move onto this tabletop electronic drum set, we see an option that is more advanced in some ways and less in others.
For example, this set only features 4 drum pads instead of the 7 we saw on the previous set.
However, these pads are considerably more advanced because they use velocity-sensitive technology to alter the volume of each note depending on how hard you strike the pad.
This is a fantastic feature for beginners because it gives you that chance to practice every aspect of control over how you play each note, without you having to make a whole load of noise in the process.
The set also includes a great range of beginner-friendly settings, including a drum coach, play-along songs, and tempo. You can even set the kit up with 70 different drum ‘voices’, changing the sound of each pad when you play it.
The set also includes a pair of drumsticks and a built-in speaker but does not come with a pair of headphones.
Of course, being another budget-friendly option, you’re likely to eventually encounter some durability issues, especially if you’re playing the set like a real drum kit.
However, this set should generally be seen as another temporary option for beginners to master the basics, before moving on to something more advanced.
- Velocity-sensitive drum pads – Does a good job of mimicking the sound of a real drum kit
- 70 different drum voices – Play around with a variety of different sounds to make learning the drums more fun
- Drum coach and tempo settings – Great for helping out beginners
- Budget-friendly – One of the least expensive options on our list
- Durability – Being such a low-cost option, you might find that components stop working over time
- Simple features – Again, you should probably only use this temporarily, as a beginner, before moving on to something more complex
(Also available from alesis.com)
Full-Aized Electronic Drum Sets
As opposed to the tabletop drum sets, these are much more similar to a real drum kit in terms of their size and structure.
You’ll still find a whole host of similar features like headphones jacks and similar drum pads but the whole set will be designed to look much more like a real drum kit.
Of course, this isn’t a great option if you don’t have a lot of space in your home, especially because they aren’t great for regularly taking down and storing away.
However, if you have enough space for it, this is pretty much the best way to learn the drums without using an actual drum kit.
The second Alesis drum set on our list, this one features the same responsive and realistic drum pads as the tabletop version with a much more advanced structure.
This set features 8 drum pads, including a pedal-operated bass drum and a separate pedal to play the hi-hat.
The pad is set up on a sturdy aluminum rack that won’t buckle under the pressure of being played at full pace when set up properly. In fact, the only way you can mess up using this drum set is if you don’t set up the frame properly, but even that is super easy.
The kit also comes loaded with 60 built-in tracks that you can play along to, as well as over 350 different drum sounds or ‘voices which can be programmed to produce a wide variety of musical combinations.
Even better for beginner drummers, the kit comes with 60 free virtual lessons to help you learn all the basics, including melodics and a variety of other techniques.
The control panel might seem a little overwhelming at first when twitching the vast array of buttons on display but it only takes a couple of hours to play around and practice with before you can come up with your own styles and sounds.
As you’d expect, this set is a lot more expensive than the tabletop versions we’ve already looked at but for the extra price, you do get a much more authentic and realistic feel for playing the drums.
- Sturdy aluminum frame – Keeps the whole set together and stable, without having to worry about playing gently
- 8 drum pads and 2 pedals – A wide range of drum pads and pedals to use, just like a real drum kit
- 60 built-in tracks and 350+ drum sounds – Gives you hours worth of content to try out and experiment with
- 60 free virtual lessons – A great feature for beginners who are still mastering the basics
- Price – This might be more expensive than a tabletop drum set but is still a reasonable price if you have the right budget for it
- Space – You’ll need plenty of space to set this setup and you won’t want to be constantly taking it down and putting it back up after each session
(Also available from alesis.com)
The final drum set we’re taking a look at is the Donner DED-90, which features the same realistic drum-kit setup as the previous product, with a slightly more compact frame.
This set only features 7 drums, including 4 drum pads and 3 cymbal pads, as well as 2 pedals to operate the bass drum and hi-hat.
The real appeal of this kit is how much emphasis the manufacturers have placed on creating a realistic-sounding drum set.
They have used plenty of sampled audio from real drum kits to create a set with over 250 built-in sounds and 15 completely unique-sounding drum kits.
This product is even an upgrade on some of Donner’s previous models because it features a new and improved pedal which is way more comfortable and durable than previous products.
The pads themselves are made with a double-layer mesh high-density structure, meaning they feel almost exactly like hitting a real drum and are very unlikely to be damaged easily during normal use.
While this kit does also use a sturdy frame, the whole set is much easier to take down and store away because it can fold up into a much more compact size than the other full-sized kit we’ve looked at.
In fact, this whole set is slightly smaller overall due to having slightly fewer drum pads included.
Another great thing about this particular drum set is that you aren’t as restricted to a beginner setup as some others we’ve looked at.
The whole device is compatible with other music software, meaning you can plug it into a computer and use the kit to create and record your own music, leaving the possibilities pretty much endless.
- Double-layer mesh high-intensity structured pads – Makes the drum pads feel even more realistic and way more durable than normal
- Compact frame – Takes up less space and is much easier to fold away after sessions
- DAW software compatibility – Plug your computer or laptop into the kit via USB and create your own music with it
- Budget-friendly – This kit is less expensive than the average for this set of features
- 7 drum pads – This isn’t as many as the previous product but is still enough to get by with, especially for beginners
(Also available from techandcharmsdealz.com and idonner.eu)
If you’re still not convinced by anything you’ve seen on our list, don’t worry. There are still plenty of other electronic drum kits out there, all with a host of different features that could suit your personal needs better.
If you do want to go out and look for your own set, here are some of the key features you should be mindful of:
Tabletop Or Full-Sized?
As you will have seen, the main two varieties of electronic drum sets are ones that you can use on any table or desk, and full-sized drum sets that are designed to mimic a real one.
In general, full-sized drum sets are better for any level of drummer, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or expert.
This is because they give you a better chance to feel what it’s like to play on a real drum kit on stage or in a studio.
However, these take up a lot of room and are a whole lot more expensive than the tabletop versions.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide which is best for you depending on your budget and how much space you have available in your home.
Most advanced electronic drum sets will come with their own built-in songs or tracks that you can play along with.
These are great for beginner drummers because they give you the chance to put all the fundamental techniques into practice with a real piece of music.
In general, you should look for an electronic drum set with a lot of these tracks so you won’t end up getting bored of playing the same pieces over and over.
Pedals are an essential part of any real drum kit for controlling the bass drum and hi-hat, so it’s definitely something you should look for with any electronic drum set.
Some sets, especially tabletop ones, won’t include these pedals or won’t even have compatibility for you to plug your own in.
You should avoid these drum sets at all costs because you’ll never get a chance to practice this fundamental skill for playing on a real drum kit.
Some of the more advanced drum sets will have USB ports and software you can download to create and record your own music.
These are great for those who want to be able to experiment with new sounds and ideas and be able to record them with other electronic instruments through the software.
Of course, most beginners won’t be ready to make and record their own songs but it’s always a good idea to have this option available for the future when you will have learned a lot more about drumming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Electronic Drum Sets Good For Beginners?
Electronic drum sets are the perfect way for beginners to learn how to play the drums. They won’t create nearly as much noise as a regular drum kit so you can practice at home without fear of disturbing your neighbors.
Also, plenty of electronic drum kits have built-in features that will help you learn like play-along tracks.
How Much Should I Spend On An Electronic Drum Set?
This depends on whether you want a tabletop drum set or a full-sized one. A tabletop drum set shouldn’t cost more than $150 and you can even get plenty of adequate ones for less than $100.
Whereas, a full-sized electronic drum set will cost a lot more and the average for a high-quality beginner’s kit is around $400-$500.
Those are some of our top picks for the best electronic drum sets for beginners. There are plenty of other options out there that we didn’t have space to include so don’t be disheartened if you didn’t find anything on our list that ticks all the boxes for your needs.
However, we’re sure that if you follow our guides to the best electronic drum sets for beginners, you’ll be well on your way to rocking out in no time!