Kits Can Range
If you’re a beginner drummer, you may be wondering how much is a drum set. The truth is, there is no simple answer. Drum sets can range in price, especially depending on the quality and features you’re looking for.
Here’s The Truth
In general, you can expect to pay around $350-500 for a good quality entry-level drum set, and close to $1000 or more for a mid-professional to professional grade set.
How Much Does A Drum Set Cost? Things That Vary!
This can really vary based on a few variables such as: The brand you’re considering, are you looking at junior kits, intermediate kits, professional drum sets, or electronic drum sets?
There are also some other things to look at as well when determining the overall “drum set cost.” These things include whether you have to buy your own drum hardware, cymbals, etc., or if they’re included, but we’ll get into that shortly!
How Much Is A Drum set Already!?
With anything, there are exceptions and the first question you may need to ask is, who is the drum kit being bought for?
You typically wouldn’t buy a top-of-the-line professional drum kit for beginner drummers, just like you wouldn’t waste your time on cheap drum sets for more professional drummers (cheaper price often equals cheaper quality).
All I’m saying is, the price range varies depending on who we’re talking about. (I’m definitely not saying cheap drum sets are a bad thing, it just depends).
How big of a kit do they require and what style of music will they mainly be playing? Also, are you willing to buy used drums or not?
Lastly, there are other things to look at such as hardware, cymbals, and if there is a snare drum even included (we’ll discuss shell packs).
I wanted to just go over different types of drum kits first. We’ll start from the cheapest and then move on over to discussing another great option, electronic kits and their many benefits and versatilities.
Most of these brands we are covering are the top drum companies in the industry. You can definitely find cheaper options out there, but I would be cautious.
The top brands I’ll be talking about are tried and true, but your drum set cost may be higher. You get what you pay for is true with the drums, just like other musical instruments.
With all that being said, I wanted to break this down into 6 different things to look at (along with other topics included in one or some):
- Are You Considering Used Drums At All?
- Junior Drum Sets and Club Kits (Also, briefly discussing hardware and cymbals)
- Beginner Drum Sets
- Intermediate Drum Sets
- Professional Drum Sets
- Electronic Drum Sets
Some Things To Note About Hardware and Cymbals
I briefly talk about hardware and cymbals. I talk more about the actual cost of the drums. If you are looking for cheap beginner cymbals, you could spend a couple hundred bucks and tack on a couple hundred more for cheap hardware (although used is always cheaper).
If you want intermediate cymbals, you could spend probably $400-$600 for cymbals and then tack on maybe $300 or more for hardware.
If you’re looking for professional grade cymbals, expect to spend upwards of $1,000 and then tack on another $400 for hardware.
All of this is relative though. I could spend more money on hardware and cymbals because I want more gear, while someone else spends way less.
Also, you could find way better deals or order through brands lesser known with more affordable prices. I don’t have top-of-the-line professional drums or hardware and I’ve been drumming away for over 20 years.
Everyone’s taste and pocketbook is different. With that being said, I hope this helps you some!
- Buy Used Drums Or Not?
The first decent kit I ever got was a used Pearl Export kit (was a gift) for under $500. This was actually a great price considering it came with all the hardware (cymbal stands, drum throne, bass drum pedal) and even a few Sabian B8 cymbals.
I would have still considered myself a beginner then.
If you are not against the idea of owning a used drum kit, I’d highly recommend this route, especially for young children just getting started.
You could easily buy a used Ludwig, Tama, or any popular brand kit along with everything else you need for around $500 still, if you really look. Try the used section of sites like Musician’s Friend, or even eBay and Facebook marketplace.
However, if you are more experienced, your price point will probably be higher. That $500 is considering you’re buying the most basic/entry-level gear and cymbals/hardware can be more pricey as you step up the quality ladder.
The point is, if it’s a first drum set, it’s probably not a bad idea at all to save some money and go the used route.
How much is a drum set becomes less important when you’re saving a ton of money on a used drum set. You’re also giving it a good home!
If you’re looking for used electronic drum kits over an acoustic drum kit, you can normally find the more entry-level kits with everything included more easily (drum throne, bass drum pedal, etc).
If you look around, it’ll typically be older Roland TD models people are selling and these can be in really great condition used!
Like I said, that $500 should go further with purchasing those basic electronic kits.
2. Junior Drum Sets & Club kits
Junior drum kits are perfect for young children because they are made smaller than full-size kits.
The other good thing about these junior kits is they tend to be cheaper too. You can get a 5-piece Pearl Roadshow Junior drum kit with everything included for $389 over at Zzounds.com.
This is the perfect first kit for a kid’s drum journey. If your personal preference is to not use the brass cymbals included, you could always opt to purchase a couple B8 bronze cymbals.
They sound better and they aren’t too pricy (a little over $200 to replace the hi hats and crash cymbal for Sabian B8X).
The Ludwig Pocket Kit by Questlove is another good deal currently at around $300. You get a 4-piece kit, along with cymbals (crash and hi-hats just like the Pearl kit), and all hardware you need. It also comes with a 6-part lesson plan online! Grab it here.
It’s a 4-piece because you’re only getting a snare, bass, rack tom, and floor tom. The Pearl comes with 2 rack toms.
To me, it still seems like the better deal (but I’m also a Ludwig guy myself). I also have a tad bigger Questlove Breakbeats Kit and have used it as my practice kit in the past. I think it sounds really great for such a low price. Both kits have a fairly big sound, even with the pocket kit being smaller.
If you want to go with a club kit (almost the same as a junior kit, but not exclusive to just kids and higher quality (usually)), you have a ton of options.
They are normally pretty compact (“club”) kits and I’d recommend any kit from Tama’s Club-JAM line. They have a ton of different series available with different sizes.
The only thing is, you’d have to buy some cymbals because they don’t include those or hardware.
I had a Tama Club kit for a while and would play it with a pair of hi-hats and a couple crash cymbals (or sometimes just one).
Tama is a solid staple brand in the drumming industry and I actually went more in-depth about their company in this post here.
You can expect to pay $350-$500. How much is a drum set with hardware and everything else included? This can vary depending on what type of cymbals we pick.
If this is your route, It’d be best add another few hundred $ for the hardware and cymbals. If you want to save hundreds on cymbals, I recommend you check out my post and breakdown of Saluda Cymbals here.
There are a ton of other companies such as PDP, Gretsch, Sonor, Ddrum, etc. who make these club-type drum kits, so you have several choices.
With that being said, I’d recommend any of the above as rock solid choices for a kid and even adults.
3. Beginner Drum Kits
If you want to buy a regular-sized kit over a junior kit/club kit, you have several choices as well through a specific price range.
You can get some great beginner kits with everything included closer to $500. Specifically, Ddrum’s D2 kit and Ludwig’s BackBeat.
Both are cheap drum kits, but perfect for anyone just starting out. The Tama Imperialstar, Pearl Roadshow, and Mapex Venus are another string of 5-piece sets, which are complete that you can get for between $600-700.
You have even more options between $700 and $1000, including Ludwig Element Evolution, Yamaha Stage Custom, and PDP Concept, among many others. I’m not including every single line from every brand, but you have several great options!
Other things to note:
All these brands have different lines meant for a beginner market and the price may vary depending on shell material, number of drums, whether it’s complete, etc.
You may see poplar for the shell material a lot in these more affordable entry-level kits because it’s not as expensive as maple or oak. You’ll still see maple and other woods in the beginner kits, but know that poplar will be in the lower price-range.
The more pieces that are included in a kit, normally means you can expect to pay more (although it’s not always the case). On a side note, how much does Neil Peart’s kit cost (God rest his soul) considering it has so many pieces?
4. Intermediate Drum Set
An intermediate set can be identified by having higher prices than beginner kits. Usually, these kits are made with an assortment of hardwoods like oak, maple, cherry, walnut, etc.
The hardware is normally better in this price range (drum lugs, hoops, snare hardware, etc.) because you’re paying more for higher quality.
This isn’t objective, but I’d say $1000+ can include intermediate drum kits, although you’ll find intermediate kits marketed with professional kits and this is where it can start to be confusing.
At a little close to $1,100 you can get a Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Drumset. The Mapex Armory Line is another one at this price point too, with 6-piece kits! For $100 more, you
Yamaha has been making drums for over 50 years and their name is tied to a lot of famous drummers like Steve Gadd and Mike Michalkow. They also make solid hardware.
Mapex is another brand that has become one of the most innovative with their drums/hardware. There are also a ton of big name drummers who use their products.
This is also where you will start seeing more shell packs being sold. Most of the time, these shell packs don’t include a snare drum.
If you see a 3-piece shell pack, it’s usually a kick drum, a rack tom, and a floor tom. Just keep adding toms from there (e.g. a 4-piece shell pack – 3 toms and a kick, etc.).
So, if you’d like to have a snare drum included, avoid those shell packs, unless you plan on buying a snare separately.
An example of a mid-line (intermediate) shell pack would be the Ludwig Keystone X shell pack I purchased a few years ago.
It was around $1,500 and since then Ludwig has discontinued that line and basically replaced it with the newer Neusonic line as their intermediate flagship series.
5. Professional Drum Set
These are normally the priciest kits and depending on what drum brand you’re going with, you can expect to pay several thousands.
This is regularly a company’s ultimate flagship series and normally their most expensive. Although, they can still have professional lines that aren’t exclusively the most expensive.
This is also where companies can make a good profit. A lot will offer a 3 or more pieced shell-pack and then you’d be left without a snare drum. So, how much does a drum set cost with well-known brands and their professional lines?
A Ludwig Classic shell-pack starts at a little over $2,500 and goes well over $3,000. Their top-of-the-line Vistalite starts at around $3,400 and go up to $4,000.
DW’s top of the line series is even more pricey at, starting at $4,000 (Collector’s series) and ranging to over $10,000! Their Performance Series, which is the line under that, starts at almost $2,300 and goes to $4,000.
Remember, these are just the shell packs, so they don’t even have a snare drum. This is what you’d expect to pay for the big dog brands’ top tier shell packs, but that doesn’t mean it’s your only choice and you don’t have any cheaper options.
If you are just starting on your drumming journey, there is no need to spend this much on a drum set or shell pack. I can’t even justify spending that much and I’ve been drumming for over 20 years.
6. Electronic drum sets
If you’re not looking for an acoustic kit, but an electric you have choices too.
Electronic drum kits are a good idea if you want to keep the noise down some. There are so many price ranges for the electronic drums available on the market.
These may be marketed as beginner, intermediate, and professional as well and you can expect to pay much for any brand’s professional line.
The good thing about these is you don’t need to spend that much to get a decent e-kit.
You can spend anywhere from roughly $300 to $1,200 and get a good beginner and even intermediate kit.
For a beginner, you could spend $330ish and get a decent beginner kit like the Alesis Turbo Mesh. At around $1,200 you can get the Roland TD-17KV and it would make a perfect beginner or intermediate kit.
At around $3,000 The Roland TD-27KV would make a perfect kit for anyone, including professionals. Yamaha makes great electric kit too and I still play the Yamaha DTX 532 kit I got several years ago for $1,200.
The prices then can climb all the way up to over $9,000 with Roland’s V-drum Acoustic design series.
With electric kits, you start paying more for mesh heads vs. rubber heads. Mesh drum heads offer a more realistic feel and response.
How Much Does A Drum Set Cost
So, how much is a drum set in the end? That is completely up to you and who you buy your drums from.
Whether they are new or used, complete full kits, or shell packs are a few things to look for.
There are also a ton of lesser known drum companies who make acoustic drums for way more affordable prices.
Most of this is based on the big name brands we always bring up here on the blog. Whether you go to the music store or order online, you’ll surely find something.
Your Experiences And Moving On
How have your experiences been with the drums? Have you been able to find the right set? Feel free to ask me any questions, especially if you come across anything drum-related! Let me know in the comments below!
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Until next time!