When it comes to total cost, electronic drum kits are going to be similar in price to beginner acoustic drum kits. But, for the young musician, there are several key advantages to going the electronic route:
1. Electronic drum kits save space. This is true even when the electronic drum kit is fully set up. But, typically with minimal effort an electronic drum kit can be folded up to fit easily in a corner or a closet. For more long term storage, an electronic drum kit can be reduced to the size of a typical plastic storage bin.
2. Electronic drum kits are typically more quiet. Ultimately, electronic drum kits need to be plugged into some sort of speaker to be heard and the speaker will have a volume control. Student can also use headphones during practice to avoid disturbing other family members.
3. Electronic drum kits can more easily be used to practice along with other music. If you are practicing with an acoustic drum kit and want to play along with recorded music, you either need to crank up the volume on a stereo and try to play the drums softly or use headphones to hear the music (which typically causes students to play more loudly to hear both at the same time). On the contrary, most electronic drum kits have an input where you can connect a phone, tablet, computer, or other music device and more precisely control the volume of both the drums and music soundtrack simultaneously.
Additionally, most electronic drum kits have USB or MIDI connections to allow the device to be connected to a computer for use with learning tools and production software.
Below are the best electronic drum kit options for a beginning drummer.
Please Note: I have not tested all of the instruments and options recommended below. I have chosen these recommendations mostly based on three factors: included features, overall perceived value, and word-of-mouth/online reviews. I encourage everyone to do their own research before making a purchase.
If you indeed choose one of the options listed below, please use the links in this post to make your purchase. A small portion of the purchase amount will go towards a budget for improvements and upgrades to the instruments used during private lessons.
Lowest Cost Electronic Drum Kit
RockJam’s parent company (PDT) is relatively new to the music industry. But, in recent years, they have begun to dominate the market for low cost beginner instruments.
The RockJam keyboard made it on my list of best beginner keyboards and new to the stage is their mesh head drum kit.
I have not tested this kit, but the specs are quite impressive, especially compared to a similarly priced electronic drum kit from the brand Pyle that I previously recommended. The Pyle kit came with only 5 pads that all looked the same (for both drums and cymbals) and the layout felt nothing like a real drum kit.
The reviews also mostly claim it has impressive sound quality for a beginner instrument.
My only concern with this drum set is the durability. Some of the reviews seem to indicate that the mesh drum heads are easy to break and the frame seems less sturdy than other options.
Note: There appears to be quite a discrepancy as to how to count the parts of an electronic drum kit. While the above listing title indicates that there are only eight pieces, I count nine (4 drums, 3 cymbals, and 2 pedals) and other sections of the listing suggest there are nine parts included. In this case, I assume they are either counting both pedals as one part or they are suggesting that the pedal for the hi-hat cymbals naturally accompanies the pad for hi-hats.
In other listings below, you will find a similar electronic drum set is described as having only seven parts, presumably not counting the pedals at all.
It should be noted that, for all electronic drum kits listed on this page, you are looking at a full drum kit setup. Most students will never need anything more.
Cheapest Electronic Drum Kit from a Trusted Brand
Alesis has been a trusted brand in electronic instruments for almost 40 years. And, this drum kit is a fantastic place to start for the beginner drummer.
At an only slightly higher price point to the RockJam kit, this electronic drum kit is definitely a quality kit with a decent sound and feel.
Additionally, it is extremely compact and appears as though it will fold up nicely for storage.
While I would have some minor concern about how well the joints would hold together after heavy use, this is definitely built to be more durable than the RockJam kit.
Best Affordable Electronic Drum Kit Overall
At its core, this electronic drum kit is very similar to the previous kit. But, for again only a slight increase in price, you are getting quite an upgrade.
From the start, the frame will clearly be more sturdy as it has additional legs to support the snare drum, hi-hats, ride cymbal and low tom.
It also had a much more realistic bass drum feel as the kick pedal has a pad attached.
Plus, it has a hundreds more drum sounds to choose from, more play along drum tracks,
The only minor sacrifice you are making with a high quality kit like this is space. While it can be folded to be store much more compactly than a full-size acoustic drum kit, the extra legs will definitely take up more space than the previous kits.
Top of the Line Electronic Drum Kits for Beginner and Intermediate Drummers
The above drum kits will work well for most beginner and intermediate drummers. But, just in case you are looking for something more serious, here are a couple electronic drum kits that will look, feel, and sound a lot more like a traditional acoustic drum kit:
Clearance & Used Items
There are many places to get used electronic drum kits and other musical equipment at a discount. Check out my Buying Used Musical Instruments Guide for more details.