Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best professional drum sets 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated April 1, 2020
Best professional drum sets of 2018
Before you spend your money on professional drum sets, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types. Following is the list of top three professional drum sets of 2018. Simply review and buy them. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this professional drum sets win the first place?
I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
№2 – OCDAY 9 Pad Portable Electronic Drum Set Portable Drum Practice Pad Silicon Roll Up Electronic Drums Pad Kit with Speaker
Why did this professional drum sets come in second place?
The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this professional drum sets take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work.
professional drum sets Buyer’s Guide
Permier series classic
Premier’s Series is its best kit ever. Choose Traditional (supported) or Classic (straight-sided) shells in maple or birch, or the Gen-X maplebirch sandwich. All shells are 3mm undersized for better head clearance and resonance. Beautiful finishes too.
Yamaha oak x kit
Yamaha has reacted to trends and produced a bang-up-to-the-minute kit on a small and relatively low-risk scale in the shape of the Oak X. The combination of the unique shell material and radical sizing makes for a contemporary-looking, modern sounding and highly-desirable kit.
Obsessively designed for maximum shell vibration, the Starclassic has wafer thin shells (just 5mm six-ply toms) and the badge is a stencil, not some heavy lump of metal. Even the air holes are maple, not metal. Then there’s a stupendous range of shell options encompassing no less than five different depths. Now available in Birch/Bubinga finish.
The snare drum is the main center of the kit. В It serves the strongest regular accents and backbone for many fills. For right-handed people, it is played with the left hand. In the drums, the snare wires are fitted for creating a snappy yet buzzing sound by the aid of bottom and drum skin vibrations.
These type of drums are also known as tom-tom drums. They are played with sticks and can be up to three in a drum set. They serve the bulk of most drum fills and solos. There are four roots of tom drums which include double-headed rack toms, floor toms, concert toms and rototoms.
Drums without snares such as octobans and gong are considered as toms.
Double bass drumming is more common in heavy metal songs. Using double bass drum pedals provides more space in performances and reduce transportation issues as well.
Some Other Drums
Octobans/Rocket toms/ Deccabons were made to extend the upward range of pitch by increasing their depth and diameter.
Gong drums are single headed mountable drums that are similar to kick drums (ranging from 20-2in diameter) but they have the same purpose as that of floor tomвЂ™s.
These type of cymbals are used for keeping a constant rhythmic pattern. Most drummers use single main ride which is located near a playable range as it is used fairly regularly. The most suitable diameter of a ride cymbal is 20вЂќ. It is medium weighted cymbal which cuts through other sounds.
These type of cymbals have two cymbals which are mounted to face each other on a metal pole which is supported by the legs. It has a foot pedal which can be pushed to move them closer when the foot is lift off the cymbals move apart. They can be played by one or two sticks or by pushing/pulling the foot pedal.
Different sounds are created by striking opening hi-hats or closing hi-hats. By striking an open hi-hat and the closing cymbals with foot pedal a unique sound is generated which is commonly used in disco or funk.
Crashes cymbals are the strongest accent markers making crescendos and climaxes, vocal entries and major changes of mood effects.
They can be played with ride cymbals or either with hi-hats to give a useful crash. Special crash/ride cymbals are designed to produce a good crash at low volumes.
Now you have sufficient know-how about drum sets but before choosing the correct one for yourself we would like to showcase three categories from which you can choose as well.
Do you want to surprise your kid but you donвЂ™t want to surpass the budget? Well, in that case, GP50BL by GP Percussion would be a prudent choice. ItвЂ™s a three-piece drum set with an astonishing blue finish.
The drum set includes 10вЂќ cymbal and high hat, bass drum pedals, junior throne, drumsticks and drum keys, a snare, a tom and a bass drum. ItвЂ™s the best partner for your child to showcase his talent and practice his skills. The drum set arrives unassembled but has an instruction manual which provides guides for easy installation in minutes. No additional tools are needed as the package includes all that is required for assembly. This set is best for children between to 10.
If you are looking for a professional partner for your kid in an affordable budget then the GP50BL by GP Percussion is the one for you.
Drum Sizes and Why They Matter
When starting out, your first question is how many drums you want and how big you want them. If jazz is your thing, you probably aren’t going to need a kit with two bass drums and seven toms. Conversely, if you plan to become a metal god, you are going to want to have more than an 18” bass drum and a couple of small toms.
Most drum sets come in packs of four or five drums, with the option of adding on other drums later. For jazz, a four-piece kit with either an 18” or 20” bass drum, 10” and 14” toms and a 14” snare would work perfectly. The most common configuration, however, is a five piece kit with a 22” bass drum, 12”, 13”, and 16” toms, and a 14” snare. This setup gives the most flexibility in terms of sound and doesn’t limit the player to one or two styles of music.
The average drum set usually has three different drum types which include the bass drum, snare drum, and tom-toms. When choosing a drum set, you’ll need to decide how many of each drum type you want to have in your kit. Most drummers have at least a bass drum, snare drum, and two to three tom-toms. Larger kits usually have more toms, for example, a piece kit may have toms.
The depths of these drums vary greatly but most are two to four inches shallower than the diameter. For example, a common tom-tom size is 1by inches (1inches diameter and inches in depth).
A drumhead is a round piece of plastic or calfskin stretched across the top or bottom of the shell. When struck with a drum stick, the resulting vibrations create sound. The head struck with a stick is called the batter head and the bottom head is called the resonant head.
Mounting hardware attaches the rack toms to the bass drum or tom stand. While there are several different designs for mounting hardware, the best mounting options don’t actually pierce the shell of the drum.
Floor Tom Legs
Most floor toms have three metal legs to keep the drum upright. These can be adjusted for different height options.
These are small metal poles which attach to the bottom of the bass drum and prevent it from rolling or moving around.
Drum sets designed for beginners often include a pair of high-hat cymbals, a ride cymbal, and a crash cymbal. For a more complete description of these cymbals, please refer to the Cymbal Buyer’s Guide.
When you upgrade your kit, you should first upgrade your snare drum, cymbals, and kick pedal. You can upgrade these in whichever order you want.
These are the components that take the biggest beating overall.
One of the key signature tones of many drummers is the snare sound. Some like a tight firecracker sound, whereas others prefer a looser feel and tone. A good snare drum will last you many years and help define your tone.
Electric vs Acoustic Drums
The simple answers are price and feel. An electronic kit will often cost more than an acoustic kit. Many new students are reluctant to part with too much money when they are just starting out. The feel of the electronic kit is also very different.
So if you switch from an electronic kit to an acoustic kit, you might not have as developed a nuance for playing.
One of the biggest advantages for using electronic drumkits for music lessons is the reduced noise pollution. When you think about drums and drumming, “quiet” is seldom a thought that comes to mind.
Electronic drum kits do not suffer from this problem. Assuming that the student is playing with headphones, the most noise an electronic drumkit makes is a dull thud.
Not only does this mean that students can have lessons and practice throughout the course of the day, it also means that exam schedules will not conflict with the need to practice. In addition, it also means that two drummers can sit in the same room and practice on their own kit without disrupting each other.
Some Helpful Drum Terminology
Ply – a ply is a single layer of wood. Drum shells are typically made from multiple layers of wood so a Ply shell means it has layers.
Drum Kit vs Drum Set – these terms are essentially interchangeable and mean the same thing at music retailers.
Drum Throne vs Drum Stool – both these terms mean the same thing, it’s the seat you sit on to play drums..
Kick Drum vs Bass Drum – in terms of drum sets these terms are also interchangeable and mean the same thing. Technically a kick drum is designed to be used with a kick pedal but there are bass drums not designed for that purpose such as ones you might see played in an orchestra or marching band.
CPSIA certified for ages and up “A good starter kit for toddlers” was a common sentiment in customer reviews. Most people were happy with the sound of the bass drum and snare. Although it only has single braced hardware most people reported that it was sturdy enough for children.
Many people who know a bit about drum sets said the cymbals were rather weak sounding but that’s a common complaint with junior kits. One reviewer actually counted this as a positive because the cymbals weren’t very loud.
This is another budget kit and the highest rated 3-piece junior kit available at the time of publication.
Items Included in this Drum Set
Specifications: “Great value for the money” or words to that effect were common in customer reviews. Many people also said they found setting it up relatively straight forward.
Julian Jeun, the Principal Percussionist with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, said in his review, “Overall, I would highly recommend the Gammon Junior Drum Set to parents looking for a first instrument for kids and younger.”.
There were a number of customer reviews that complained about the low quality of the cymbals but this complaint is common to nearly all low cost and junior drum sets.
Some of the product images contradict each other meaning that they show different drums or hardware. One knowledgeable drummer who wrote a customer review said the toms he received did not match the dimensions of the ones photographed, and I saw different types of bracing in different photos.
This drum set has the most customer reviews and highest ratings of all the 5-piece junior kits on the market.
What to Look For in a Bass Drum Pedal
Direct drive is simply a piece of metal directly connected to the foot pedal. The idea behind direct drive is that there is no flex or other unwanted movement, so control and response are tighter.
A chain drive – arguably the most common drive – is a chain connected to the pedal, which makes the mechanism feel a bit smoother than a solid piece of metal. When shopping around you’ll see both single-chain and double-chain (which is exactly what it sounds like). On entry level kick drum pedals, you’re likely to see single-chain drive, which has led to the perception that it’s not as good. Honestly, that’s not really true these days. While yes, that is a characteristic of more budget pedals, single-chain drive can be very high quality, sturdy, and durable, and is actually preferred by many professional drummers.
The third type of drive, belt (or strap) drive, typically uses a nylon, leather, or rubber strap (or even something more extreme like the same material used to make conveyor belts). This type of drive is described as feeling a bit more “lively” than a chain or direct drive. Historically belt drives have been less durable than their chain counterparts, but modern belts are made from heavy duty materials that can equal or exceed the strength of chains. Another benefit some drummers tout is that it’s easier to spot wear and tear on a belt as opposed to a chain, leading to easier maintenance.
A cam controls the acceleration of the mallet. There are two different types of cams: round and oblong/oval (also known as linear and offset, respectively). A rounded cam is more consistent throughout the movement, which allows the musician to have more dynamic control over their drum. Oblong cams work in a way similar to that of a gas pedal where the more you depress the pedal the more force you apply to your mallet.
Pedal length is exactly what it sounds like: the overall length of the pedal. The length of the pedal isn’t as important as the drive and cam, but it will have an impact on your comfort while you’re playing. If you’re a player with a larger shoe size, consider looking for a larger pedal to compensate for that. If you have a smaller shoe size, consider the inverse.
Double Bass Drum Pedals
With the advent of heavier genres of music, the double bass drum pedal’s popularity has grown tremendously. Single vs. double bass drum pedal is probably the most obvious feature to anyone looking at drum pedals. And really, everything in the sections above applies to double bass drum pedals as much as it does to single ones. The only thing that you really need to be aware of is that a double bass drum pedal is going to be significantly more expensive than a single bass drum pedal of similar quality. So, in order to get a high quality double bass drum pedal, you’re not going to want to go for the cheapest option possible. Just use your best judgement, and be sure to always purchase your gear from a store or online retailer with a good return policy.
Components of Drums and Other Hardware
Shell: The shell of the drum plays a significant role in the resulting sound that is produced. Shells can be made from wood (e.g. mahogany, maple, birch, walnut, beech, cherry, bubinga, poplar, ash), metals (e.g. brass, aluminum, copper, titanium, bronze, steel), or a wide range of synthetic materials (e.g. carbon fiber, fiberglass, acrylic, plastics). Many bass drums and toms are constructed with wooden (e.g. plywood, stave, steam-bent, solid, segment) or metal (e.g. spun, cast) shells in different ways, all of which have influence over the resulting sound produced by the drum.
Drumhead: The drumhead (typically made of calfskin or various plastics) is stretched across the bottom and top of the shell, and are responsible for containing and releasing pressure when struck by a drum stick. The vibrations result in the sound that is produced. The drumhead struck by the drumstick is referred to as the batter head, while the resonant head is located on the bottom. Both the batter and the resonant drumhead play equally important roles in the production of sound.
Tension Bolts and Lugs: The tension bolts screw directly into the metal lugs that are attached to the shell. A drum key is used to tighten or loosen the bolts, resulting in increased or decreased tension of the drumhead, which has an affect on how high or low the pitch of the drum will sound when struck.
Cymbals: Beginner drum sets typically include various basic cymbals (e.g. high-hats, crash cymbal, ride cymbal), though mid-range and higher-end drum sets do not include any cymbals at all and must be purchased separately. Cymbals may be used in pairs (ex: pair of high-hat cymbals), or individually. They are usually round in shape, and composed of various types of alloy. Cymbals are often used in jazz bands, heavy metal and rock groups, marching groups, along with percussion and orchestra ensembles. Some forgo the drums completely and strictly play the cymbals – these individuals are known as cymbalists. For the purpose of this guide, cymbals are to be used in conjunction with a set of drums.
Mounting Hardware: The mounting hardware is needed to attach rack toms to the top of the bass drum, or an additional tom stand. There is a wide range of techniques that can be used to mount, and so mounting hardware varies in design. The best mounting hardware does not require any drilling or piercing of the shell on the drum, as this can negatively affect the drum’s overall performance, and may complicate things if you ever try to transfer it to another drum set. Some modern types of mounting hardware are designed to attach directly to the rim and may even suspend the drum for a higher-quality sound. Typically, one or two poles are used to attach rack toms to the bass drum or a tom stand. The larger the drum is, and the greater amount of stability required determines the number of support poles that are needed.
Floor Tom Legs: Most freestanding toms are equipped with three metal support structures (legs) that are in direct contact with the ground. These are usually capable of height and angle adjustment based on personal preference and the height of the drummer.
Snare Drum Stand: The snare drum stand, as you probably guessed, is used to provide a means of support and stability (and proper elevation) for the snare drum. Typically, it has three legs (sometimes more), a center post, snare basket, and some sort of tilter hardware (for angle adjustments).
Bass Drum Pedal: The bass drum pedal can be pressed by the foot, which then strikes the head of the bass drum. You purchase single or dual bass pedals based on your goals. These can be mounted to the bass drum itself, or may be simply placed under it – in many cases the weight of the bass drum is enough to keep it in place.
Bass Drum Spurs: Similarly to floor tom legs, the bass drum spurs are support structures (often made of metal) that make direct contact with the ground to prevent movement or rolling of the bass drum.
Drum Throne: The drum throne is really just a glorified name for the stool that the drummer sits on while playing. These come in all shapes and sizes, and vary widely when it comes to build quality, and the overall comfort of the stool.
You want a model that projects well and has good resonance. In the budget-range, the XJourney Series Cajon is a great choice. A higher-end model would be the Swan Percussion Corsoba Cajon which is larger than standard models with great response.
In an amplified setting
Ready to rock? Check out the Tycoon Percussion Acrylic Cajon. Great volume and full, bold sound. This model begs to be amplified. Meinl also has a model that comes with a built-in pickup.
Several cool options here: Check out the Toca Triple Conga Cajon that you can play standing up or Meinl’s affordable Headliner Cajons.
No snare at all
This style cajon is called the Peruvian Cajon and it produces a dry, tight response. We recommend the LP Americanan Peruvian Cajon. Many other cajon models offer options to silence the strings and snare to create a Peruvian effect however we have noticed that most models that offer this dual playing option often have a slight bleed from the snare or strings even after turning them “off”.
If you want a more mild snare sound, shop for string cajons. These models feature guitar strings that run along the inside surface of the front plate offering some response but not as bold as the snare response. The Meinl Makah Burl String Cajons have a rich string response at an affordable price. The Schlagwerk 2inOne Cajon is by far the most popular string cajon.
I want to change the snare effect while I play
Couple of options for players that want to change their snare effect on the fly. Check out the Meinl Bass Pedal Cajon. You can change the snare with your foot while you play although it lacks in precision control. Toca also offers a cajon where the snare can be adjusted by hand while playing… again precision control is lacking.
I’m a pro and and am happy to pay up for perfection.
We’re finding that pro players are very happy with Kopf Birch Series, Swan Percussion Corsoba Deluxe, Schlagwerk 2inOne Macassar or the CaSela Satin Nut Cajon.
Taking time to consider these questions and referring back to the buying guide should provide a clearer path to finding a cajon that not only connects with you aesthetically, but will also deliver the sound you are seeking. Have questions? Give us a call! We have played all of the cajons and can answer any specific questions you may have about the brands or models.
Electronic drums are a great option because of their compact size and compact sound – You can turn them down! This makes them very attractive to parents and people living in close proximity to neighbours.
They also sound great on every hit. Electronic drums work by triggering a prerecorded or electronic sample which means you don’t need to know how to be abe to tune a drum or to know how to hit correctly. This makes it more enjoyable to play in some respects because it sounds so good.
The flip side of this coin is that when you move to acoustic drums it will never sound as good. The reason being that you won’t have developed the skill and techniques required to play with dynamics and make a drum sing.
NuX DMIncludes onboard drum lessons for developing your coordination and technique.
This is something that all drummer will need, all the time. How hard you hit and the technique you use will determine how quickly you’ll burn through your sticks. If you hit hard then there’s nothing you can do but keep well stocked. If you’re not a hard hitter and are still breaking sticks regularly, you may be hitting the cymbals on the edge or hitting the drum with too much rim shot.
Artist DSM5AN 1Pack of Maple 5A Drum Sticks
The other options you have for drum sticks is tip type and wood type. Maple is the lightest wood but not as strong. Oak and Willow are much stronger and a little heavier. The toughest wood on the market is Hickory, but these are much more expensive due to the scarcity of the wood.
The tip can be made from nylon or wood. Nylon tips are slightly more bounce and have more of a sharper “ping” on the cymbals compared with wood tips. These are also a matter of personal preference.
Artist BRPK Bright Rock Cymbal Pack
If you’re not sure what cymbal best suits you, then check out our Cymbal Buying Guide.
Artist BP500 Single Kick Pedal
Another popular upgrade is to change your bass drum pedal (or kick pedal). Upgrading to a more solid, stable and responsive kick pedal will really improve your playing once you’ve been playing for a while. When you’re just starting you probably won’t notice much of a difference until you build up the muscle in your legs and become more sensitive to the tension and response of the pedal.
A pedal with a solid floor plate will give you a much greater transfer of energy from your foot to the beater. The more rigid the pedal, the less energy is lost so you’ll find more power and play with greater feel.
If you’re into harder, faster music, or looking to improve your foot technique you might consider upgrading to a double bass drum pedal (double kick pedal). This lets you play with feet on the same drum. The left foot pedal is connected to the bass drum beater by an adjustable shaft.
How to Choose the Right Guitar for a Child
Electronic drum kits are particularly recommended for beginners because it is muted compared to an acoustic drum kit. By playing with an electric drum kit, a novice drummer will not have to worry about disturbing the rest of the family or the entire neighborhood.
This five-piece electronic drum set from Alesis is highly recommended for drummers who are still learning the tricks of the trade. For starters, it has everything they need to start drumming. It includes kick, snare, tom, cymbals, a hi-hat pad, hi-hat controller, kick pedal, and even a pair of drumsticks. Simply, the kit is ready to use or play after taking it out of the box.
It can also let users interface with their computer through USB, so they can include MIDI or any other recording that they may have been on any recording software.
The price may be prohibitive to some, but for most drummers who are serious to hone their skills, it is very reasonable.
Yamaha is known as one of the premier brands when it comes to drums. Many drum enthusiasts may think that it is impossible to find a standard drum set with the Yamaha logo on it, but this unit dispels that notion.
One of the first things you’ll notice the moment this group arrives in your house is how well built the drums are. The hardware quality is very impressive, and it certainly doesn’t look like a sub product. The wood shells are well constructed, while the outer shell wraps are tight. Even the metal hoops and heavy duty ball-socket tom mounts are well built that you wouldn’t think that this is a starter kit.
However, you might need some help in tuning this instrument. The snare throw is made of plastic, which isn’t the most durable material. Other than those obvious drawbacks this five-piece drum kit should be good enough for novice players who just want to improve their skills.
This is another excellent entry level kit for drummers who want to hone their skills. Its drum shells are made from high-quality, 9-ply mahogany and finished in a classy, durable and impressive high-gloss covering. Then Pearl adds a Zildjian cymbal set (an 18-inch crash ride, a couple of 13-inch hi-hats with a free 14-inch crash) to complete the deal and make this set highly recommended for novice drummers.
There’s also a Sound Percussion hardware pack as a bonus which includes a chain-drive bass pedal, a snare drum stand, a hi-hat stand, and a boom cymbal stand. The snare drum stand, hi-hat stand, and cymbal stand are all double braced for durability and toughness.
The price is very reasonable little high Price, and because it is from Pearl, you can be assured of the quality. Overall, this is a pretty good deal for any novice drummer.
There are several good reasons why this is highly recommended to greenhorn drummers.
The drum set may be priced like a toy, but it doesn’t look and sound one. Even intermediate to experienced drummers will be surprised at how the drum set sound likes.
The tom and bass drums boast of lower fundamentals partly due to the basswood from which the shells are made of. The 4degree, rounded edges limit attack and facilitate a low pitch sound. The tuning range is also impressive, while the floor tom is very easy to dial in. The rack tunes down well, while the bass drum is very responsive.
There are some weak links like the snare drum which has an unfocused sound, and the riser which alters the geometry of the beater to the bass drum head. Still, considering the very affordable price of this drum set, a novice drummer would be foolish not to include it on his short list of prospective buys.
Tama Superstar Classic 7-Piece Shell Pack
The Superstar Classic has been highly esteemed among drummers for its superior build quality, good design, and bright projection.
Intermediate drummers won’t be intimidated by this beast, which comes in three configurations. There’s one that consists of inch, and 1inch mounted toms, a 1by 14-inch floor tom, a 1inch by the 5.5-inch snare, and a 20 inch by the 18-inch bass drum. There’s also another configuration wherein the bass drum is bigger (2x 1inch), and the floor tom measures 1by 1inches. And the third configuration features an inch by 7-inch mounted tom.
Whatever configuration an intermediate drummer decides to get, he’ll be assured of the build and design quality. Take for instance the mounted toms that make use of a black Star-Cast mounting system which suspends the drum from the angled frame. The mounting system allows the Tom to be the ring without any obstruction coming from the shell-dampening mounting hardware. There’s also Tama’s Omni-ball design for quick and accurate positioning of the Tom.
Regarding sound, the bass drum churns out deep and punchy tones. It has everything an intermediate drummer would want from a rock bass drum. The snare drum is also pretty impressive with outstanding rim clicks thanks to its die-cast hoops. The toms have defined pitches. The floor tom has clear low ends.
Mapex Horizon Fast Pack
As the name of this drum set indicates, it is an idea for working drummers who want to have an easy to load and transport drum kit. It’s not only easy to load in and out, but also great sounding.
The drum shells are blended with birch and basswood, delivering the type of tone and dynamic range that many intermediate to professional drummers want. This five-piece drum set includes a kick drum measuring 20 x 1inches; two mounted toms measuring eight xinches and x inches, a floor tom measuring 1x 1inches, and a snare drum measuring 1x inches.
The drum sizes were designed not only to provide the deep tones but to make the set up of the drum kit quick and easy. Because the drum shells are made of birch, you can be assured of good tonal qualities from this drum kit, with peaks in the highs and lows.
Other Things to Consider
Just like in buying any musical instrument, you should set a budget before starting to shop. For an intermediate player, you should be ready to part with a thousand bucks. Setting a budget lower than that may take you to longer to find the right drum set due to the limited selection.
How to Choose a Drum Set
If surrounding yourself with drums sounds like fun, then consider a five-piece, six-piece, or larger set, which add additional toms for a wider tonal range. These larger kits are well suited for heavy rock, fusion, contemporary, and metal styles.
Many drum sets come in two different configurations, Standard or Fusion. The drum diameters distinguish each configuration. Fusion drum sets typically feature 10″ and 12″ mounted toms, a 14″ floor tom (suspended or standing) and usually a 22″ bass drum. Standard-sized kits feature 12″ and 13″ mounted toms, a 16″ floor tom, and 22″ bass drum. The benefit of the smaller diameters of the Fusion set is their punchy tone and articulate sound. The benefit of the Standard size set is that the larger toms produce more volume and bigger tone. Choosing the best set is a subjective process with benefits to each configuration.
The double bass drum set was pioneered by the great jazz players and popularized by rock drummers. The double bass set allows you to play very fast patterns with power and has a striking visual appearance.
A complete drum set will usually contain all the hardware you need. If you already have the hardware, buying a shell pack can save you money. A shell pack consists of the drums themselves with no additional hardware except the rims and tom mounts. If you already have a drum set but want to expand it, an add-on pack can be a good way to go since their cost is often less than buying the add-on drums singly.
If you’re shopping for a beginning drummer, a beginner drum set can make a lot of sense. These affordable drum kits usually include all the drums, cymbals, stands, and other hardware needed to start playing right out of the box.
While there are drum sets that work for a variety of styles, in general it’s a good idea to choose a drum set that fits the style of music you play. Is Slipknot’s Joey Jordison your drumming idol, or is Steve Gadd more your style? A rule of thumb is that kits with fewer and smaller drums are a good fit for jazz, traditional blues, and other primarily acoustic forms of music, while drum sets with larger drums are better for rock, metal, and other more amplified styles.
Drum Woods and Construction
Another element that you should consider is the kind of wood used in the making of your drums. Many kinds of woods are used for drum building, and all have unique sound qualities.
Drum shells are made of several plies, or layers of wood. In general, drums with more plies have a brighter sound and higher fundamental note. Drums made with fewer plies usually are fatter and warmer with a lower fundamental note.
The angle at which a drum shell’s bearing edge is cut makes a difference in the sound quality. A sharper bearing edge angle gives a brighter sound with more cut, while a more rounded bearing edge gives a softer, mellower sound.
Drums come with a variety of finishes. Covered finishes are an inexpensive treatment consisting of vinyl wraps with a great variety of patterns and looks to choose from. Covered finishes provide great durability and resist scratches and nicks better than a natural finish. Transparent lacquer finishes enhance the woodgrain for a beautiful natural look.
Drums alone do not a drum set make—hardware is another crucial component that makes up a complete kit. Unless you are purchasing a shell pack, a drum set will come with the hardware necessary to assemble and play it. Essential drum hardware includes the bass drum pedal, snare stand, hi-hat stand, and one or more cymbal stands. Keep in mind that though a complete drum set will include enough hardware to get you playing, the hardware that’s included varies from set to set.
A money-saving hardware pack is a great solution for budget-strapped drummers. These are bundled collections of stands, pedals, and thrones that save you money over the cost of separately purchased drum hardware.
We’ll next look at the most important drum set hardware components.
Bass Drum Pedals
Nowadays, there is an astounding selection of bass drum pedals to choose from. They range from simple, inexpensive single-pedal models to the sophisticated double pedals favored by rock, metal, and fusion drummers. You’ll find pedals with double beaters for use with single bass drums, double pedals with single beaters intended for dual bass drum kits, and dozens of other configurations. Reading reviews by pro drummers as well as the many customer-written reviews on the Musician’s Friend website will help you hone in on the pedal that best matches your budget and music.
Most drum sets do not include a drum throne. It’s not advisable to use anything other than a drum throne to sit on, as thrones allow height adjustment, are compact, disassemble for easy transport, and include padding to make for a comfortable playing experience. A well designed drum stool can help you play better thanks to its superior ergonomics.
Drum and Cymbal Stands and Racks
There is a stand to mount virtually any drum, percussion instrument, or cymbal known to man. Choosing the best drum, percussion, or cymbal stand comes down to your drum kit’s configuration, components and your budget.
Some modern drum sets offer an alternative to mounting drums and cymbals on stands, employing a frame-like structure called a drum rack. Racks can also be purchased separately and offer a compact way to mount multiple toms and cymbals using the least floor space. Musician’s Friend sells hundreds of different drum and cymbal stands and racks to match up with virtually any drum kit setup and budget.
The snare drum’s crisp, snappy voice cuts through any mix, keeping the groove moving, adding accents, and interacting with the soloists. This drum’s distinctive sound comes from the metal wires, or snares, that are held in place against the thin bottom head of the drum with a device called a strainer that’s mounted on the shell. The snares can be released for a high tom or timbale-like sound.
Snare drums are traditionally made of either metal or wood. Metal snare drums, made of steel, brass, aluminum, and other alloys, offer an exceptionally bright, cutting tone. Many drummers prefer the warmer, mellower sound that a wood snare offers. Snare drums are generally 14″ in diameter and range in depth from 3-1/2″ to 8″. That said, today there are a huge number of specialty snare drum sizes and materials available.
Many drummers buy additional snare drums to use in special situations. Piccolo, soprano, and sopranino snare drums are specialty snares that are progressively smaller-sized and higher-pitched than a standard snare drum. The popcorn snare is a 6″ x 10″ specialty snare drum with popping, high-pitched tone. These specialty snare drums are used by drummers who play modern electronica styles such as drum ‘n’ bass, trance, and jungle that require a higher-pitched snare sound.
An electronic drum set (occasionally referred to as electric drums) has some unique advantages. You can plug in headphones for nearly silent practice. In the recording studio, you can run a signal directly from the electronic drum module to the mixing board, making it easier and faster to get a good drum sound.
Keep in mind that an electronic drum set requires connection to a sound system to produce an audible sound unless you’re using headphones exclusively. You will also need an electronic drum kit monitor speaker and amplifier so that you can hear yourself onstage if you perform with a band.
Drum Sticks and Brushes
Drum sticks come in as many sizes and shades as the players who use them, and drummers often use different sticks for different styles of music. In general, heavier sticks such as 2Bs are favored for rock and R&B styles where more volume is needed. Lighter sticks like 7As tend to be favored for jazz, folk, acoustic, and other styles that require less volume. Experimentation is the key here, so try out a lot of different sticks to find the types that are right for you. Many drummers like using heavier sticks for practicing than for gigging in order to develop strength and stamina.
The numbers used in drum stick manufacturing, such as 5A, 5B, 2B, 3S, and 7A, come from the earliest days of drum stick manufacturing, when a number and letter were assigned based on the stick’s size and application. The numerical part signifies the circumference of the stick. In general, the lower the number, the larger the circumference and the higher the number, the smaller the circumference. For example, a 7A stick is smaller in circumference than a 5A which in turn is narrower than the 2B. An exception is the 3S, which has a larger circumference than a 2B despite the number.
As for the letter designations, “S” stands for “street,” as these large sticks were designed for street applications such as marching band. “B” sticks were intended for “band” applications like symphonic and brass bands. 2Bs continue to be recommended by drum teachers as ideal starter sticks. “A” refers to orchestral drum sticks, which are smaller in circumference than “B” series sticks and continue to be very popular with rock and jazz players. Why does “A” stand for orchestral? Reportedly this convention reflects the preference of William F. Ludwig of the Ludwig drum company, who simply felt it printed better.
Stick tips come in a choice of wood or nylon. Wood tips have a softer, warmer sound, while nylon tips offer increased durability and brilliant, focused cymbal sound.
Lately a profusion of bundled sticks or “rods” have become available, marketed under a variety of names. They all consist of rods or dowels of various thicknesses bundled together for a sound that’s somewhere between sticks and brushes. Bundled sticks are ideal for low-volume playing and practice.
Drum Accessories and Practice Tools
Apart from obvious things like drum sticks and mallets, there are dozens of other products designed to transport, adjust, maintain, repair, and customize your drum kit as well as tools to help you become a better drummer. At Musician’s Friend we offer an unrivaled selection of drum accessories including drum care and cleaning tools, drum keys and tuning tools, drum cases, covers, and gig bags; and drum replacement parts.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of the important things to look for when considering a new acoustic or electronic drum set. Keep in mind that the thousands of customer-written product reviews from fellow musicians you’ll find on Musician’s Friend’s website can be invaluable in helping whittle down the possibilities.
We want you to be pleased with your drum kit, cymbal, or drum accessory purchase, and offer a generous return policy so you can order with confidence.
Drum Set Glossary
Bass drum » Large drum played with a footpedal. Sometimes referred to as the “kick drum” or “kick.” The bass drum is used to anchor the bottom of the music mix and interacts with the bass to build the music’s foundation.
Bass drum pedal » The pedal that you step on to play the bass drum. Uses a lever and tensioning springs.
Bass drum beater » The metal shaft that fits into the bass drum pedal, with a head that is made of felt, wood, or other material.
Bass pedal spring » The spring that pulls the pedal back after the pedal is depressed.
Bass drum spurs » Short metal legs that attach to the bass drum to prevent it from moving.
Batter head » A drum head that you hit, on the top side of the drum.
Bearing edge » The edge of the drum shell where it contacts the drum head.
Bell » The round, raised part in the center of the cymbal. Used for creating accents and variations in cymbal sound.
China cymbal » Special-effect cymbal of Chinese origin. Usually mounted in an inverted position on the stand. Has a trashy, dark, white noise sound.
Claw hooks » The hooks that hold the bass drum hoop, or rim, in place.
Crash cymbal » Cymbal with strong attack and fast decay used to create accents and crescendos.
Cymbal sleeve » A plastic or rubber sleeve that prevents the cymbal from contacting the metal rod at the top of the cymbal stand. Prevents cymbal damage and undesirable metal-on-metal sound.
Cymbal stand (straight and/or boom type) » Holds the cymbals. Boom stands have a movable arm, or boom, that extends from the stand at an angle, allowing you greater flexibility in placing your cymbals.
Double Bass Pedal » Bass drum pedal with two beaters and two footboards. Used in modern rock and fusion styles. Allows the drummer to play a single bass drum with two beaters for a double bass drum effect.
Drum module » An electronic controller used to generate sampled and synthesized drum sounds.
Drum rack » Used in some modern drum sets to mount multiple tom drums and cymbals as opposed to individual stands.
Drum throne » A padded, height-adjustable, armless seat for drummers.
Dry sound » Drum sound that has little or no ambience or effects.
Floor tom » The largest tom in a drum set, usually 14″ to 18″ in diameter. They usually have detachable metal legs for free-standing use or can be suspended from a tom or cymbal stand.
Footboard » The part of the bass pedal or hi-hat pedal that is pressed with the foot.
Fundamental note » The tuning at which a drum produces its most open and resonant tone. Determined to a large degree by the drumshell design.
Hi-hat stand » The stand that is used to mount and play a pair of hi-hat cymbals. An integrated footpedal is pushed down to close the hi-hats and raised to open them.
Hi-hat clamp (or clutch) » The part of the hi-hat stand that holds the top hi-hat cymbal.
Isolation mounts » Tom mounts that allow the tom to vibrate freely by isolating it from the tom holder.
Mounted toms » Toms that provide various voices and timbres within the set, most often used in playing fills and solos. Mounted toms generally range from 6″ to 14″ in diameter, and commonly mount on the shell of the bass drum.
Piccolo snare » A high-pitched specialty snare drum, usually with a 3-1/2″ depth.
Ride area » The large, slightly curved area of a ride cymbal that offers a balanced, consistent tone with good definition.
Ride cymbal » A cymbal with sharp attack, fast decay, and clear stick definition. Generally 20″ or 22″ in size, ride cymbals create a continuous “riding” pattern and are often used for accompanying instrumental solos.
Resonant head » The bottom head used on toms, snares, and on the front of bass drums.
Rim » The metal rim that holds the drum head in place and can be tensioned for tuning.
Shell » The actual drum cylinder. Usually made of wood.
Shell pack » A set of drums sold with minimal hardware usually including only the rims and tom holder.
Snare drum » Drum with a metal or wood shell and bright, cutting tone. Has a characteristic buzzing sound created by the sound of the snares on the bottom head.
Snares » Coiled metal strands that vibrate against the bottom (snare-side) head of a snare drum.
Snare side head » Thin head attached to the bottom of a snare drum.
Snare stand » Stand with an adjustable basket that holds the snare drum.
Snare strainer (or throw-off) » The device that holds the metal snares against the bottom snare side head. It has a lever that allows you to tighten or release the snares.
Soprano snare » Small specialty snare drum, usually with a 12″ diameter.
Splash cymbals » Small, thin crash cymbals with a quick decay.
Tension rods » The rods that are used in conjunction with the lug nuts to tune a drum.
Tom holder » Mounting hardware that holds one or more toms on the bass drum shell.
Washer » A metal disk that fits between the head of the tensioning rod and the rim.
The bass drum is also often referred to as a kick drum because it is the floor drum with a kick pedal. There are a wide array of both single and double kick pedals.
There are many different options to consider when it comes to the snare drums you may want to see included in your drum set. Snares are generally made from steel, brass, aluminum, or wood.
The wooden snares generally offer a mellower sound, which is more preferred by most drummers. The metal snares usually provide a cutting tone. There are also snares that drummers may keep on hand for special occasions or performances such as the piccolo, soprano, and sopranino.
However, if you are an experienced drummer you may find that you like four or more toms. Toms are used for fills to help transition from one part of the song to the next. More toms are also popular when playing rock, fusion, contemporary, and metal.
If you have decided that it is time to grab one of these, then surely you must have had a deep thought. If not, you need to juggle some questions in your mind as to why the move. For a drummer to get the best electronic drum set, it would need lots of comparisons and planning.
More so, goodies are always better on the drawing board and you don’t have to wait until a need arises. Do you know of prototype and obsolete? Technology is on the wake and you should enjoy the trendy instruments as more come up. However, consider these before making a purchase.
Number of audio outputs
This is especially to those who want to perform in big venues. Multiple audio outputs would mean multitasking and a unique end result. You can know from the module specifications as they ought to be indicated.
It would be ideal to get one with more outputs just in case you need to use all later on. Imagine getting a kit with fewer outputs and then realizing later that you wish you could have more. Remember outputs cannot be upgraded like the other parts.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your professional drum sets wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of professional drum sets
- №1 — Rise by Sawtooth Full Size Student Drum Set with Hardware and Cymbals
- №2 — OCDAY 9 Pad Portable Electronic Drum Set Portable Drum Practice Pad Silicon Roll Up Electronic Drums Pad Kit with Speaker
- №3 — Zildjian Drumstick Wax