Thinking about buying your first electronic drum kit? Maybe your kid's got a natural sense of rhythm. Or perhaps you've got your heart set on jamming with your buddies. The $6 million question is then: Which kit do you choose? There's no shortage of choice, as you've probably discovered just having a browse online.
Thankfully, there's help at hand. At the Drum Center of Portsmouth, our specialist staff have 200 years of combined drumming experience, so we're here to help guide you through the maze. We've compiled the top four best electronic drum sets for beginners to make it easier for you. Ready to rock? Let's get started.
1 Roland TD-1DMK V-Drums Electronic Drum Set - Best Starter Kit
- Famous Roland quality and durability
- Adjustable tension on double-mesh drum heads for quieter playing
- Input for connecting your smartphone to play along to your fave tracks
- 15 pre-loaded songs to accompany yourself
- Record yourself playing to assess your technique
- Competitive price for beginners, students, and returners
- You may need Roland NE-10 Noise Eaters for extra noise damping
The Roland TD-1DMK V-Drums Electronic Drum Set is the most popular worldwide, for good reason. They're durable, sound great, and have an awesome playing feel. What's more, this satisfying drumming experience comes in a compact kit that's simple to pick up and move.
You'll find the Roland TD-1DMK includes several expressive drum kits that are all connected to Roland's double-mesh pad for snares and toms. The two layers of mesh material are there to give some 'realistic rebound' when the drum stick bounces on hitting the drum as if it were an acoustic drum kit.
There's more good news. They're quiet to play, and if you add headphones, your neighbors will never know about your late-night jam sessions. If you're hungry to learn the craft, there are onboard coaching functions, and you can connect to Melodics training software, too. Coupled with an attractive price, there's nothing stopping you from picking up the sticks and having a go.
- Weight: 7 kg
- Roland TD-1DMK V-Drums
- Single kick pedal
- Drum throne
- 5A Drumsticks
- Double-mesh drum heads for snares and toms
- 15 preset drum sets with authentic drum sounds
- Built-in metronome with adjustable tempo
- 10 on board coaching functions
Why We Love It: The Roland TD-1DMK V-Drums Electronic Drum Set is accessibly priced, durable, well-built, and perfect for beginners or returners. It's easy to set up, move around, and intuitive to use. With functions like the onboard metronome and inbuilt coaching, developing your timing skills is fun. Plus, there are free drum lessons to help you develop a sense of rhythm. These are available through the Melodics for V-Drums application via Windows or Mac.
Available for Online Purchase? Check them out on our online store, but these babies won't be around for long.
2 Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Kit - Best Kit for Improvers
- Perfect if you're moving from an acoustic to an electric drum kit
- Very well made with new drum pads for accurate transfer of you playing to the drum module
- Authentic drum sounds from the drum module
- Silent kick unit for minimal sound while practicing
- Inbuilt interactive training modules to help improve speed and rhythm
- USB to Host port for sending audio and MIDI data to your laptop, phone, or tablet
- Adjustable height for all ages and sizes
- Easy to fold away and store
- You will need a smart device, USB cable, and suitable adapter to access the free apps
The Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Kit samples cymbals and acoustic drums for the beginner drummer in your life who wants to improve their technique. There are also two app-based challenges available called "DTX402 Touch" and "Rec'n'Share" on Android and iOS. You can use these to record songs and rehearse material.
Intuitive to play, the Yamaha DTX420K's components are durable, with a pleasingly high-quality sound. The kit includes 10 inbuilt training functions to improve your expressiveness as a drummer. Other features to look out for include the drum pads with a silent kick unit. Plus, if you like options, you'll love this. There are 415 drum and percussion sounds to play with, as well as 10 different drum kits covering a range of different styles, 10 songs, and 10 training functions.
Available at an entry-level price but without any compromise on quality, this is a durable, reliable piece of kit that will have you upping your game through consistent use.
- Width: 269mm
- Height: 147mm
- Depth: 39mm
- Weight: 0.5kg
- 2 Cymbal Pads
- 1 Hi-Hat Pad &Pedal
- 3 Tom Pads
- 1 Snare Pad
- 1 Silent Kick Unit
- 1 DTX402 Drum Module
Why We Love It: Yamaha draws on their decades of experience to create a well-made electronic drum kit for beginners and intermediates alike. With 10 different training functions built into the drum module, you benefit from comprehensive support as you build up confidence and improve your technique.
Available for Online Purchase? You can find them in our online store but hurry! These Yamaha favorites sell fast.
3 Yamaha DTX452K Electronic Drum Kit - Best Kit for Learning to Play
- 10 inbuilt drum kits covering all musical styles
- 287 drum and percussion and 128 keyboard sounds
- Enhanced learning wit the voice guidance functions
- Play from 30 to 300 bpm
- Metronome range from 1/4 to 9/4
- USB connector for your laptop
- Headphones output to encourage quiet practice
- You will need a smart device, USB cable and suitable adapter to access the free apps
The Yamaha DTX452K Electronic Drum Kit is ideal if you want an invaluable way to learn how to play the drums at an affordable price. Its intuitive new learning system provides challenges and rewards as you improve your technique. With its new Touch app, learning becomes fun and part of an interactive game. You pass through various drumming stages until the final phase. On completion, you'll receive a certificate from Yamaha.
There are 10 core drum kits to try, as well as 287 drum and percussion sounds, which you can mix to develop a signature style. Featuring everything you'd want in a contemporary drum kit, the Yamaha DTX452 has a three-zone snare pad, so you can play the different techniques you've just learned. Plus, it's built with the limitations of modern living in mind—quiet and space-efficient.
For the price, you get a stool, 5A sticks, and HP-170 stereo headphones. All you need to do is get set up and start playing.
- Weight: 0.5kg
- Width: 269mm
- Height: 147mm
- Depth: 39mm
- Triple-zone snare, hi-hat, three tom drums, ride, crash, hi-hat pedal plus kick pedal with kick pad
- Power Supply: PA-130 (or Yamaha recommended equivalent)
- Power Consumption: 5W
Why We Love It: The DTX module comes with 10 inbuilt training functions to improve your timing and skills. There's the Pad Gate Function ideal for beginners, the Fast Blast Function to measure your drum roll, and the Rhythm Gate Function for perfecting that sense of rhythm. Plus there's a recording function to assess your playing.
There's also flexibility with where you can place the hi-hat and snare drum in the most comfortable position for you. Learning to play the drums has never been such fun.
Available for Online Purchase? Check out our online store for deals and discount.
4 Yamaha DTX522K Electronic Drum Set - Best for Established Players & Beginners
- Sturdy build
- Budget-friendly price
- Ideal for beginners
- Silicon snare pad for multiple sounds
- 37 songs to play along to
- Tidy set up with aux and headphone port on the front of the panel
- Hi-hat is free-standing which could discourage realistic playing
- Rubber tom pads
The Yamaha DTX522K Electronic Drum Set is a solid mid-level set with exceptional sound quality that should match your budget. Compared to other Yamaha series, it offers extra flexibility and positioning options, such as being able to mount the snare on a ball joint, so you have a range of playing angles unheard of way back when.
The five-piece drum kit features three cymbals, a bass drum, three toms, and a snare. The cymbal stands are stronger and will stay in place during performance. The snare is made from three-zone textured cellular silicone to produce a range of sounds depending on where you hit it. The cymbal pads are three-zoned, too, so you can perform multiple sounds that are module-based.
To help get the creative juices flowing, the kit comes with 691 cymbal, drum and percussion samples, and presets. With 1 MB of flash memory, you can store customized presets and kits or import MIDI song files. As well as 50 factory kits, there are unique features. To build customized kits, you just mix different selections and match the sounds depending on your unique playing style. If you're a fan of EDM, these new presets are ideal for techno, drum and bass, and electro-pop.
- Width: 251 mm
- Height: 130 mm
- Depth: 48 mm
- Weight: 610 g
Why We Love It: The perfect solution for both experienced drummers and beginners alike, everything's provided to get you started on the instrument. You can import and download MIDI song tracks to which you can play along. Plus, each track features a metronomic click to improve your sense of timing. Beginner drummers will also appreciate the coaching function that monitors your tempo and delivers an immediate report on how well (or not) you're doing.
For intermediate players, check out the Fast Blast function, which monitors your speed and accuracy, and then grades your progress. Remember to look at Rhythm Gate mode, which drops your playing if you deviate too far from the metronome. All in all, a very versatile and customizable kit for a competitive price.
Available for Online Purchase? The Yamaha DTX522K are always in high demand—and no wonder! With our huge discounts, these electronic drums are a steal.
What to Consider When Buying an Electronic Drum Kit
Starting with your first electronic drum kit can be incredibly exciting—it puts you one step nearer to the dream of becoming a musician. But it's important to get the kit that's right for you, and there's a whole world of choice out there. Factor in the following, and you're well on your way to getting the best electronic drum kit for you:
Space and Size
If space is at a premium where you live, then the smaller footprint of an electronic drum kit is a definite bonus. They're easy to set up and dismantle after practice to save space in your home or studio. They're also simpler to carry around with you for practice and gigs.
Refining Your True Sound
An electronic drum kit will allow you to play hundreds of drum sounds, from birch kits and maple kits to metal kits and more. Plus, you can easily change musical genres and experiment with a variety of pre-loaded drum kits and sounds.
There's also plenty of opportunities to hone your technique using the inbuilt metronome, or the option to play along with your favorite tracks or plug in an MP3. As your expertise and confidence grow, you can also customize your kit to develop as you do.
Invest in the Best
There's no doubt that an electronic drum kit is an investment, so it makes sense to buy the best kit that you can afford. You want a kit that's not just great to play and suits your requirements, but also has plenty of pre-loaded drum kits. That way, you can try out different sounds on your existing set-up without breaking the bank.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The beauty of an electronic drum kit is that once you've plugged in your headphones, you could be in the zone, practicing your fave Iron Maiden track for the twentieth time and no-one need know. Practice sessions are helped with various features of electronic kits, such as the inbuilt metronome, mix input to play along to your top tracks, and onboard rhythm coach to assess your playing.
Try It Out
It's classic advice, but if you're shelling out cash, you need to be sure you're making the right choice. So make sure you sit down in the shop and try it out. If it sounds and feels great, and encourages you to want to spend many hours practicing, then you're probably onto a winner.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Prices of Electronic Drum Kits?
They vary, from $499.99 at entry-level to $699.99 and $799.99 to over $4,000. As always, it depends on your budget and how much money you have available to spend.
How Are Electronic Drum Kits Powered?
At the back of the sound module, there is a DC-in jack. Just use the AC adapter to connect to your nearest wall socket, and you're in business.
Are Electronic Drums Loud?
They're far quieter than acoustic drums, and electronic drums never need tuning—but some brands are noisier than others. To end all noise as you know it, you'll need to buy a Noise Eater sound isolation board or KT-10 Kick Trigger Pedal. It may take an extra $200 to make your playing space acoustic-friendly.
What Is a Sound Module?
Sometimes known as the 'brain' of electronic drum kits, the sound module converts the impact of your drum stick into sound. Some modules will let you shape your sound with effects and virtual instruments, as well as enable you to play along to backing tracks or simulate acoustic drum kits using inbuilt technology.
Is It Easy to Fix a Broken Pad?
Yes. The pads don't wear out easily, and they're covered by the manufacturer's guarantee for a year. Without warranty coverage, you just replace the worn-out pad.
Can I Integrate an Acoustic Drum Kit into My Electronic Kit?
The answer's yes. You'll need to buy a few additional stands, so you can position your electronic drum and cymbal pads around your acoustic kit. The drum module must be placed in a convenient position, plus a monitor for electronics, an amp, or sound system access.
Can I Play Acoustic Drums Through My Electronic Drum Module?
Yes, you can use triggers attached to your acoustic drum and wired to the drum module.
Should I Use Regular Drum Sticks?
Yes, they're fine to use. Wood and nylon tips work well on both V-Cymbals and V-Pads, though there are companies who have developed sticks specifically for use with electronic drum kits.
The Last Word
Any questions about choosing the right electronic drum kit? Don’t hesitate to ask us. We live and breathe drums at Drum Center of Portsmouth. All we want to do is help set you up with the best tools you need to make great music.