First Drum Set: A Guide for Beginners

First Drum Set: A Guide for Beginners

A Guide to Your First Drum Set

If you're interested in learning how to play the drums, you'll first need a drum set. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one to buy. In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about buying your first drum set, from the different types of drum sets to the best brands and accessories to get you started.


Drumming is an exciting and engaging musical activity that requires skill and practice to master. Selecting your first drum set can be intimidating as a beginner, but don't worry; we've got you covered. In this article, we'll guide you through finding the perfect drum set for your needs.

Acoustic vs. Electronic Drum Sets

Before we dive into the different types of drum sets, it's essential to understand the difference between acoustic and electronic drum sets. Acoustic drum sets are the traditional type of drum set, consisting of drums made of wood, metal, or other materials and cymbals made of metal. They produce sound by striking the drumheads and cymbals with drumsticks. On the other hand, electronic drum sets use electronic pads to trigger sound samples, allowing you to play with headphones and adjust the volume.

Acoustic drum sets are generally louder and more responsive than electronic ones, providing a more immersive playing experience. On the other hand, electronic drum sets are more versatile and quieter, making them an excellent option for those who need to play quietly or want to experiment with different sounds.

Types of Acoustic Drum Sets

Regarding acoustic drum sets, there are three main types to choose from: complete drum sets, shell packs, and junior drum sets.

Complete Drum Sets

A complete drum set includes everything you need to start playing, including drums, cymbals, and hardware. They're the most popular choice for beginners because they provide a complete package and are generally the most affordable option.

Shell Packs

Shell packs only include the drums and hardware, allowing you to choose your cymbals. They're an excellent option if you want more control over the cymbals you use or if you already have cymbals.

Junior Drum Sets

Junior drum sets are smaller versions of complete drum sets designed for children or beginners with limited space. They typically include fewer drums and cymbals than full drum sets but are an excellent option for those on a budget or with limited space.

Best Brands for Beginner Drum Sets

There are many brands to choose from when buying a drum set, but some are better suited for beginners than others. Here are some of the best brands for beginner drum sets:

  • Ludwig
  • Pearl
  • Yamaha
  • Mapex
  • Tama
These brands are known for their high-quality beginner drum sets, affordable prices, and excellent customer support.

Essential Accessories for Your First Drum Set

In addition to your drum set, you'll need a few essential accessories to get started.


Drumsticks are essential tools for playing the drums. They come in different sizes, materials, and shapes, and choosing the right ones can significantly impact your playing. As a beginner, it's best to start with standard 5A or 7A drumsticks, which are lightweight and easy to handle. Wooden drumsticks are the most popular choice, but synthetic options are also made of materials like carbon fiber or nylon.

Drum Throne

A drum throne, also known as a drum stool, is a seat that supports you while playing the drums. It's essential to have a comfortable and adjustable drum throne to maintain proper posture and avoid back pain. Look for a throne with a cushioned seat and adjustable height to fit your playing position.


Cymbals are a crucial component of any drum set, providing accents and dynamics to your playing. When starting, you'll need at least a hi-hat and a ride cymbal. As you progress, add more cymbals, like crash cymbals or splashes. Look for cymbals made of high-quality materials like bronze or brass for a better sound.

Practice Pad

A small, portable practice pad mimics the feel of a drumhead, allowing you to practice your drumming skills without disturbing others. It's an essential tool for beginners who must work on their technique before playing on a complete drum set. Look for a practice pad with a non-slip base and adjustable tension to simulate the feel of a real drumhead.

Drum Rug

A drum rug is a large, non-slip mat that protects and keeps your drum set in place while playing. It's essential for acoustic drum sets, which can move around and scratch floors. Look for a rug with a thick and durable material that can withstand heavy use.

Tips for Setting Up Your First Drum Set

Setting up your drum set can be challenging, but with the right approach, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help you set up your first drum set:

  • Start with the bass drum: The bass drum is the foundation of your drum set, so start by setting it up in the center of your playing area.
  • Add the pedals: Once your bass drum is in place, attach the pedals for your hi-hat and bass drum.
  • Set up the snare drum: Place your snare drum between your legs and adjust the height and angle to fit your playing style.
  • Add the toms: Depending on the number of toms you have, place them on either side of your snare drum, adjusting their height and angle.
  • Install the cymbals: Attach your cymbals to their stands and position them above your drum set, within easy reach.
  • Adjust your hardware: Adjust the height and angles of your hardware, like your cymbal stands and tom mounts, to fit your playing style.

Maintaining Your First Drum Set

Taking care of your drum set is essential to keep it sounding great and prolong its lifespan. Much like maintaining an acoustic guitar, here are some tips for maintaining your drum set:

  • Clean your drum set regularly: Wipe down your drums and cymbals with a clean, dry cloth after each use to remove sweat and dirt.
  • Keep your drum set in a dry place: Avoid storing your drum set in damp or humid environments, which can cause rust and corrosion.
  • Tune your drum set regularly: Learn how to tune your drums properly to keep them sounding great and avoid damaging the drumheads.
  • Replace worn-out parts: Over time, drumheads, cymbals, and hardware can wear out and lose their quality. It's essential to replace them as needed to keep your drum set in top condition.


Buying your first drum set can be an exciting but overwhelming experience. By following this guide, you can make an informed decision and choose a drum set that's perfect for your needs. Remember to consider your playing style, budget, and space requirements when selecting a drum set. And don't forget to invest in quality accessories and take care of your drum set to potentially play drums in a rock band


Do I need to buy a complete drum set or can I buy individual pieces?
You can buy either a complete drum set or individual pieces like a shell pack. It depends on your budget and personal preferences.

What size drumsticks should I use as a beginner?
Standard 5A or 7A drumsticks are best for beginners because they're lightweight and easy to handle.

What brands are best for beginner drum sets?
Some of the best brands for beginner drum sets include Ludwig, Pearl, Yamaha, Mapex, and Tama.

How do I set up my first drum set?
Start with the bass drum, add the pedals, set up the snare drum, add the toms, install the cymbals, and adjust your hardware.

How do I take care of my drum set?
Clean your drum set regularly, keep it in a dry place, tune it regularly, and replace worn-out parts as needed.

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