These days electronic kits just make more and more sense for beginners.
An acoustic kit with all the hardware and cymbals can easily cost over $2000—not to mention annoy the heck out of your neighbors if you live in an apartment.
Plus, storing your kit can be a pain if you don't feel like paying for extra space to keep your drum set.
An electronic drum kit can minimize these worries significantly and allow us to practice in the comfort of our home. I've had to deal with these problems for years, an ultimately the electronic kit makes the most sense, even for an advanced drummer like me.
So what are the best electronic drum kits for a beginner to start with? Let's organize this question in terms of price, although
We all want a good deal and there are definitely kits of value on a budget. But we also must remember that we don't want to sacrifice quality and our experience of learning to play on a crappy kit just to save a few pennies.
Luckily there are some decent electronic drum kits out there that we can choose from for our first electronic kit. Here are my preferences:
When looking for an electronic kit, making sure the kit has mesh heads is a huge benefit. Mesh heads are going to be much more similar to an actual drum head than playing on a rubber pad.
This Alesis kit comes with 10 drum sets, metronome, play-along tracks built-in, plus an auxiliary port so you can plug in your iPad or phone and jam to your own music.
The HXW kit is another budget kit that is worth mentioning. It only has one mesh pad (on the snare drum) and the rest are rubber pads, however in my experience these feel much better than other rubber pads.
In addition, this kit comes with a pedal that is used to hit a trigger, instead of the pedal being the trigger itself. This makes it much more realistic when transitioning to an acoustic drum kit, as drummers often struggle most with the kick drum pedal.
It also comes equipped with auxiliary cable to listen to music, metronome and midi like the Alesis kit.
If you are looking for a kit that is step up from the previous mentioned Alesis Kit, and at not too much of a price hike, we would recommend the Surge.
This kit comes with the same mesh heads, which are very fun to play on, but for the extra cash you get 30 extra drum kits and 50 more play-along tracks.
Roland makes very quality products that will make transitioning to an acoustic kit a breeze. This is one of the more pricey models (and they have since released upgrades to this model). The kits in these series have mesh heads on the snare and if you get the upgraded versions they have mesh heads on all the heads.
This kit is also a great kit for starting out as it has a 'coaching' feature. These features are game-like applications that make each session fun and interactive, which is perfect for all ages and skill levels.
The higher we go up on the Roland kits, the more precision and dynamics we encounter. Plus the drum samples just sound better.
If you're a total beginner, the other kits may suit you better. However, if you're a committed learner, this kit will inspire you to great lengths.
Furthermore, with its multiple zones and precise dynamics, this is almost as realistic as an acoustic kit.
Check out the drummer Beanie from the UK band Rudimental slay on these things and get inspired!
This next one is one that I personally use and absolutely love. However, it requires some ingenuity and a lot of creativity.
I wouldn't recommend this for absolute beginners, but I do use this with my students who all are beginners.
The first thing to point out is that what comes in the mail will be only drum triggers and software. You will need to purchase separately a sound interface and an acoustic drum set with mesh heads. All of this together could cost around $1500-2000.
However when you consider what you are getting it is worth it. In the other example, you are spending $2000 just on a drum set. With this setup, you have an acoustic drum set that you can play muted or acoustically, a sound interface for recording your songs and drum triggers which turn your muted kit into an amazingly dynamic electronic drum kit.
The great thing about this kit is that apart from a regular sounding kit, this comes with a ton of melodic sounding kits that are unlike anything else on the market. This may be daunting for total beginners, but surely beginners will have tons of fun messing around on this thing.
This is a great compact kit for putting in the corner of a room. It folds up super easy and can fit just about anywhere.
This kit does not have mesh heads, however the rubber pads are decent and are great for practicing rudiments.
My only problem with this kit is it doesn't feel too much like a drum set. The pads are placed in such a way that it feels a bit awkward. The cymbals are also just hard rubber pads that don't have much feeling of a regular cymbal.
That being said, because it is Roland, the sounds are all very decent and it is a fun kit to jam on if you don't have much space at home and are looking for a kit on a budget. In fact, Roland specifically made this kit to target beginner drum students.
Good luck and happy searching!
Ben Heckler is a multi-instrumentalist and musician from Portland, Oregon. Currently Ben lives in Barcelona where he teaches drum lessons, writes and records original music for his band Sea Fuzz as well as playing drums for one of the biggest Beatles tribute bands in Europe, The Flaming Shakers.
Ben is constantly creating and composing various types of music, video, and artwork for a multitude of projects that come his way. He hopes to use his platforms to share, help and inspire others to create in their own ways.