Reviews of the 5 Best Beginner Drum Sets

DD1 Plus
DD1 Plus

Electronic drum sets for beginners (sometimes called junior drum kits) aren’t really all that much different from more “advanced” kits. The main thing is that they don’t cost a lot.

If you’re not sure that drums are for you or for someone who thinks they want to give them a shot, you don’t want to make a huge investment up front.

Below I’ve collected what are probably the best, most popular, and least expensive electronic sets for you to consider.

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

If you have time right now, read the article below. If you’re in a hurry, check out these links to the drum kits at Amazon.

If you want a little more information on these beginner drum kits, keep reading. You can click an item in the box below to jump to that section.

ddrum DD1 Plus

That’s not a typo in the heading above. ddrum doesn’t capitalize the first “d” in their name, even though you may see it in upper case from time to time.

The ddrum DD1 Plus is an expansion of the original DD1. It debuted in 2016. It is considered a good set for beginners, but perhaps not the very best drum kit for starters.

That said, it does have some features that some of the others described here do not have.

For example, the snare drum has dual hit zones. That means there are two areas on the snare pad that respond differently to hitting them with your drumstick.

Both the ride cymbal and the crash cymbal are chokeable. Just like an acoustic cymbal, after you strike it, you can grab it with your hand to stop the sound earlier than usual. You don’t have to let the sound die off on its own.

This black set with red accents comes with a full bass drum setup.

The sound module brain has all the inputs and outputs you would expect. It has 35 stock kits and a total of 335 sounds. The stock kits consist of 24 preset kits and 11 you can create on your own.

You can try to play along with 60 different songs.

If you’re in the market not for yourself but for a drum set for a church praise band, the DD1 would fit the bill nicely.

For a few more ideas and thoughts about the DD1 Plus, read this review.

Yamaha DTX400K

The Yamaha DTX400K is a very popular choice for beginners. This may be because of its lack of drum pad zones and chokeable cymbals. This set keeps everything simple for you as you’re just getting started.

There are 10 preset kits that you can reconfigured using the 169 built-in sounds. Many of these sounds come from Yamaha’s more expensive drums, so you get some high-quality kits without the extra cost.

You do get a few more advanced features, but they are not ones that will get in the way of a beginner. You can use the hi-hat pedal as a second kick pedal. This lets you play double kicks on the bass drum. Some owners like to use this drum set as a MIDI controller.

Read this detailed review of the Yamaha DTX400K for more information.

Alesis Nitro

With the Alesis Nitro, we go back to a set with dual zone snare and chokeable cymbals. All 3 cymbals – ride, hi-hit, and crash – have this feature.

The Nitro has 40 classic and modern kits, using 385 drum and cymbal sounds. This is the most kits and sounds of any drum set in this price range.

You get 60 play-along tracks, a sequencer (a little more advanced item), a metronome, and a performance recorder. With the CD/MP3 aux input you can even play along with your own previously recorded songs.

Once you set up the Nitro, it will take up an area from 5 feet by 3 feet to 6 feet by 4 feet, depending on how you position everything. This makes it one of the largest kits in its class as well as the sturdiest.

Check out my complete review of the Alesis Nitro here.

Behringer XD8USB

Behringer calls its XD8USB (and its cousin the XD80USB) an 8-piece drum set.

This is misleading.

It’s no larger, piece-wise, than any of the others here. The difference is that Behringer is counting the cymbals in the total, which often isn’t done in marketing these beginner drum kits.

You get 123 sounds, 10 factory presets (kits), and space for 5 drum kits you can setup on your own.

You get a dual-zone snare pad for playing drum head and rim shots. The cymbals are apparently not chokeable, however.

The Behringer XD8USB has a built-in sequencer so you can play along during practice and performance, if you like.

For more info on the XD8USB, see this review article.

Roland TD-1K

Roland touts what they call V-Drums for their sets. They use them even in “entry-level” sets like the TD-1K. (Note that the TD-1KV is the same set but with a more advanced mesh head on the snare drum.)

The cymbals (probably all of them) are chokeable in this set. The bass drum pedal does not have a beater, so you can play it without making a lot of noise compared to another beginner drum kit.

You get a total of 15 drum kits with the TD-1K. (I’m not sure how many sounds.) There are 15 pre-recorded songs that you can play along with.

Dig into the details in the full Roland TD-1K review here.

How Do I Decide Which Drum Set to Get?

You have no doubt noticed many similarities from one set mentioned here to another. There’s a good reason for that.

Drum manufacturers all know what makes a great starter set. They also know what you want and need in a good set, so they try hard to give it to you.

So how do you decide among them?

You need to look for those small differences that matter to you.

Cost will always be a significant factor. If you simply don’t have the money for a certain drum set, you can eliminate them from the competition.

If you’ve narrowed your options down to just two sets and still can’t decide, perhaps it comes to something like the overall styling. Maybe you just like the looks of one model over the other. That’s a fair determiner too.

Personally, I’d go with the Roland TD-1K as Roland is generally considered cream of the crop amongst electronic drum kits.

Go with whichever you think you’ll like best and enjoy your purchase.

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Reviews of the 5 Best Electronic Drum Sets for Beginners
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Author: Gary Sonnenberg

Gary has been playing keyboards since he was very young. He started on a chord organ because that's what his father liked. He's played guitar since he was a teenager, and he recently learned he could keep the beat on a drum set.