Drum Sets on a Budget: A Few Cost-Effective Options to Consider


Talent and practice are the two most important requirements for any budding musician, but they are not the only ones unfortunately. Perhaps the world never got to see its greatest drummer because he/she could never afford a drum set and was way too busy trying to make a living for himself/herself. Hypothetical as that situation may be, it is undeniable that a lot of musical talent around the world never even sees fruition because of money troubles.

Be that as it may, times have changed a lot recently and thanks to both globalization and mass production, drum sets are not as expensive as they once used to be. Make no mistake about the fact that the world’s best drum sets are still untouchable for most of us! The good news is that you don’t need the world’s best drums to practice, perform and make a name for yourself. While there is a significant difference, the difference between affordable and unaffordable sets is not big enough to stop anyone with determination and talent. While good drum sets are never cheap, we have a few suggestions which might just let you snag the most cost-effective bargains.

Best Option When You are On a Budget: Put Together a Used Set

Before we start naming the products, let’s make it clear that you can always find a better deal on them if you choose to buy second-hand. You can further lower the financial pressure by putting together only a few pieces of the set at a time. Aside from being cheaper, this also allows for personalization as well. Whether you are buying first-hand or second-hand, there are a few things that you must keep in mind. For example, do you know how to choose your drumsticks?

Since your choice will affect your performance, you can improve your drumstick skills by watching this video on Pirate.Com about how to hold drumsticks. In the video and the article, Jaleesa Gemerts, aka Lady Groove, goes into detail regarding how to choose your drumsticks, what your options are, how to find the fulcrum and much more. While most drum sets do come with generic drumsticks, they are seldom any good. Make sure that you find the right pair of drumsticks because a drummer should always practice the forty drum rudiments and expand on them with the type of drumsticks that they plan to use for the foreseeable future.

Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece

One of the most popular options for high performance at affordable rates is the Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece poplar and hardwood Drum Set. Although it’s not the cheapest choice out there, the 5-piece drum set offers an excellent proposition as far as value for money is concerned. The set comes with two rack toms (10×8 & 12×9), one floor tom (16×16), a bass drum (22×16), a snare (14×5.5), hi-hats (14), a crash/ride cymbal (16), and the kick pedal. Most users suggest that you change out the cymbal for something better, but it’s okay if you can’t do so right away. Other than the main pieces, the Pearl Roadshow also includes all the basic holders and stands, alongside a pair of drumsticks in a bag.

Ashthorpe 5-Piece with Remo Batter Heads

As you can probably guess from the name itself, the main attractions of this set are the UT-series batter heads from Remo. Although it’s not the costliest option on this list, the set is good enough for even pro-grade practice. If you are only getting started, you could be saving yourself the cost of having to upgrade anytime soon. The 5-piece set includes a floor tom (16×16), two rack toms (13×10 & 12×9), snare (14×6), hi-hats (14), crash/ride cymbals (16), an eight-lug bass drum (22×16), and chain-drive pedals. Ashthorpe is throwing in a pair of drumsticks, all stands and racks, as well as a pretty nice padded tool for the price.

LyxJam 8-Piece Electronic Drum Set

Speaking of value for money, it is difficult to beat an 8-piece, electronic drum set for adults that also comes with in built tutorial guidance at about $350! Now, keep in mind that this is not going to be the first choice of someone who is already an expert drummer, but for a beginner, the price-to-value proposition is too good here. The main selling point for the LyxJam is that it comes loaded with electronic educational features like a prerecorded song collection, song recording capabilities, an inbuilt metronome, 448 different sounds and several other features dedicated to help you learn the craft.

If you have ever wished that your new drum set also came bundled with a teacher, this would be the set you are looking for! Other than the electronics, the main set includes three mesh toms (8×8), a mesh snare (10×10), a pair of crash and ride cymbals with edge and choke (12×12), hi-hat with controller (8×8), a kick pad, a sound module, a padded tool, and of course, a pair of drumsticks. All connectors, cables, stands, etc. are also included for an easy setup.

Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit

The Alesis Drums Nitro is a mesh kit, but it is one of the better ones. Similar to the LyxJam 8-Piece detailed above, it also comes with a range of electronic educational features such as 385 different sounds, 40 classic kits, a playlist of 60-songs and more. The set itself consists of a dual-zone snare pad (8×8), three toms (8×8) three crash and ride cymbals with choke (10×10), a hi-hat, a kick drum, and a kick pedal. As is the norm with these sets, this one too comes with all the cables, connectors, stands, racks, a pair of drumsticks, and the throne tool.

For those wondering, it should be made clear that the sets mentioned here are indeed ranked from top to bottom. The best options are on top, and it descends from there onwards. Nonetheless, you can’t really go wrong with any of these as a beginner and all of them do come with the drum key for tuning. Once you start to gain some momentum in your skills though, you should be able to add more pieces at a time and upgrade as you go.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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