Best Electronic Drum Kits For Beginners: A Buyer’s Guide

Best Electronic Drum Kits For Beginners: A Buyer’s Guide
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Best Electronic Drum Kits For Beginners: A Buyer’s Guide

Diving into drumming? An electronic drum kit might just be the ticket. It's brilliant for practising quietly, so you won't be troubling the neighbours, and it's loaded with cool features to boost your drumming skills. But, finding the best electronic drum kit for beginners can feel overwhelming if you're new to this.

To help, we’ve created a guide explaining some of the features and terminology you’re likely to encounter when looking for your best budget electronic drum set, and then we draw attention to five electric drum kits available on ElectroMarket, so you can see each in context, understand what different features mean for each of them and also our recommendations for picking the best electronic drum kits for beginners.

Before we look at real-life examples of the types of best electronic drum kits for beginners, here are some tips to help you understand what we’re talking about and why these things matter, as well as help you understand some of the terminology.

Features of the Best Electronic Drum Kit For Beginners

You may come across budget electronic drum kits with a variety of features that you’re not sure what they are or what they mean. Our very helpful website lists all of the features and key pieces of information on each product page as you browse, but if you’re not sure what these features mean, or why they are a particular benefit, you run the risk of not making as informed a decision as you would have hoped for. Here’s a very brief rundown on these features to help you understand this information before you purchase:/p>

Budget Electronic Drum Kits and Acoustic Drums Are Different

It sounds obvious but it is important to understand that electronic drums and acoustic drums aren’t equally comparable.

Techniques and sounds learned on one aren’t always transferable to the other and this isn’t a bad thing. A drummer learning to play electronic drums should see it as a separate instrument and playing either is a discipline of its own. The reason this tip is included in this guide is because it’s a good idea to think about this early on to manage expectations. If you spent your entire life playing an electronic drum kit you will find that an acoustic feels and sounds differently and it is helpful to be aware of it.

Now, the difference isn’t so drastic you won’t be able to figure it out if you ever switch between the two, but it’s important not to get hung up on the expectation an electronic drum kit will be identical to an acoustic drum kit.

Chokable Cymbals

This feature means that there is a sensor on the edge of the cymbal pad that will detect when someone grabs it. This sharply cuts off the cymbal’s sound, stopping it from ringing out, a technique used on acoustic drum kits. It’s probably not something a beginner learning to play electronic drums will necessarily need to use immediately, but it is a technique you would be likely to encounter and so it is a desirable feature.

Single-zone and Dual-zone

This relates to the areas on a drum or cymbal pad and means how many sounds can come from the pad. A single-zone has one sound assigned to it, and a dual-zone pad has two sounds assigned to it. Dual-zone is helpful for snare drum pads particularly as it gives you a snare drum sound in the pad, whilst the rim can provide a rim-shot sound, for example. On cymbal pads it is the bow and the edge that benefit from dual-zone, meaning you can get the ‘ping’ sound of a stick on the main body of the cymbal, but a washier sound when you play on the edge of the cymbal pad.

Drum Key

Don’t worry, this isn’t anything complicated. Most electronic drum kits are supplied with a drum key, which is a metal tool that allows you to adjust the hardware on the kit. It will undo the parts that clamp to the stands and on mesh heads it can adjust the tension. This is a pretty universal tool that you’ll see listed as an item you’ll find in the box.

Percussion Voices/Demo Songs

A voice, in terms of electronic drum kits, relates to the sound assigned to the pad. It is possible to assign different voices to different pads. You could have every pad assigned to sound like a snare drum if you really wanted.

The number of percussion voices available will vary from model to model, but these give you a chance to change the sound of the kit to suit your ear, perhaps to replicate the sound of your favourite drum kit, or to have percussion sounds on pads typically used as other drums. Likewise, these drum kits also come with preset drum kits, meaning you can enjoy a whole world of ready-to-go drum kits at the press of a button, without the requirement for further customisation.

Demo songs are simply songs pre-loaded onto the module ready for you to play along to, with many being a loop, allowing you to play for as long as you wish.

Ultimately, this allows you to practice technique whilst enjoying dynamics in your playing whilst also getting a feel for how an acoustic drum set will sound in context with other instruments. The essence of any drum kit, electronic or otherwise, is its sound. For beginners, it's crucial to look for a kit that offers quality sound samples. This ensures your drumming sounds great and as realistic as possible. Additionally, check for a variety of sounds. Most kits offer a range of pre-set drum sounds, allowing you to experiment with different styles from rock and jazz to electronic music.

Why Are You Learning to Play Electronic Drums?

It’s always helpful to know what you want to get from your electronic drum set as this can help you pick the kit that is best for you. For example, someone who is solely looking to play at home purely for their enjoyment may not need a full studio-quality, gig-ready set-up that is capable of a lot more than what it will ever be used for.

Likewise, someone who is looking to eventually play an acoustic drum set in a gig setting may prefer to purchase a kit with mesh heads, kick drum pedals and hi-hat stands so that they can practice on a drum set that will be as close to an acoustic drum set as possible.

Knowing how you wish to use your kit will help you buy the right equipment for the task, saving you from buying more than you need.

Right Gear for the Job

It’s best to use good quality headphones, these will give you a great sound of the drum set but also help to block out outside noise, helping to keep you immersed in the music. Likewise, good headphones will help you hear how your technique is improving with greater clarity.

If you have mesh heads consider using nylon-tipped drumsticks, and try to use a plastic beater on the kick drum pad. These will help to protect the heads in the long run. Similarly, avoid painted, colourful drumsticks as this can leave visible marks on the pads

Mesh vs Rubber Pads

Electronic drum kits come with either mesh or rubber pads. Mesh pad drum kits are generally preferred due to their similarity to acoustic drum heads, offering a more realistic feel and quieter operation. Rubber pads, while usually found on more budget electronic drum kits, can be a bit noisier and provide less realistic stick bounce. Consider which type of pad might be more comfortable for you and fit better with your playing style and requirements.

Durability and Build Quality

As a beginner, your drum kit should be able to withstand the learning curve. Yes, you may need a basic electronic drum kit now, but in a few months as you improve, you’ll no longer be a beginner! Cheaper kits might be tempting but consider investing a bit more in a kit that will last longer and remain consistent in performance. The build quality can significantly affect the lifespan of your kit.

Best Budget Electronic Drum Kits To Consider

Now you know the terminology and hopefully have an idea of what you’re looking for, here is a list of 5 of the best budget electronic drum sets, each with a different set of features:

Carlsbro Club100 Beginner Electronic Drum Kit Set

The Carlsbro Club100 Beginner Electronic Drum Kit Set is an excellent choice for newcomers to drumming. It comes as a complete package, including headphones and a drum stool, making it a convenient and cost-effective option for beginners. The kit features five drum pads, 108 percussion voices, and 10 preset drum kits, providing a variety of sounds for different musical styles.

It’s designed for easy setup and storage with a compact and foldable frame, ideal for use in small spaces. The kit also includes educational features such as a built-in metronome and the ability to play along with tracks via an AUX input, enhancing practice sessions.

An entry-level beginner electronic drum kit, this is a fantastic instrument to pick up and hit the ground running with. Yes, it is basic compared to other kits in this list, but it is budget-friendly, it has a small footprint and can be easily tidied away and it has 10 preset drum kit styles making it a great place to start.

The pad layout: 2 cymbal pads, 3 drum pads and two pedals, give the drummer the chance to practice limb coordination and technique and the inclusion of a metronome in the module will allow hours of great, quiet practice.

Carlsbro CSD130 R-PLUS Electronic Drum Kit + Stool & Headphones

A small step up in cost amounts to a much greater increase in functionality with the Carlsbro CSD130 R-PLUS Electronic Drum Kit. It is an ideal choice for beginners with 250 high-quality percussion voices and 20 preset drum kits, which can be customised to suit any musical style. Additionally, the drum kit features 20 demo songs and the capacity to save up to 10 custom drum kits, enhancing practice sessions.

Another advantage for beginners is the inclusion of a Commander 130 Sound Module, which supports various connectivity options like USB and MIDI, allowing integration with other music production software and equipment. The ability to record and playback on the drum kit itself makes it perfect for self-assessment and improvement. The collapsible design of the drum rack ensures it's easy to transport and store, making it ideal for small spaces or moving around.

The inclusion of a kick drum pedal, albeit one hitting a smaller pad vertically, means this kit is a step towards the feel of an acoustic drum set. It also has pre-recorded songs that you can play along to which is a really helpful and fun way to practice.

Carlsbro CSD210 Electronic Drum Kit - 8-Piece Set

The Carlsbro CSD210 8-piece Electronic Drum Kit is an excellent option for beginners due to its wide array of features geared towards enhancing the learning experience. This kit features 458 high-quality percussion voices and 26 preset drum kits, providing plenty of sounds to cater to any musical style. The drum pads and dual-zone cymbals offer a tactile experience close to an acoustic drum set, which is crucial for developing proper drumming techniques.

With the Carlsbro CSD210, we find the number of pads has increased, along with the number of percussion voices and preset drum kits, but also a notable feature is the kick drum pad taking a similar position to that of an acoustic kick drum. From a technique perspective, this is helpful for practice.

The four-legged rack is sturdy but it takes up minimal space and allows for easy positioning of the pads. Finally, the slightly larger pads are helpful for beginners as they give a little more room for them to apply the dual-zone feature, which gives two sounds per pad, which is why this is one of the better budget electronic drum kits available.

Carlsbro CSD500 Mesh Electronic Drum Kit - 8-Piece Set

In terms of enjoying the realistic feel of an acoustic drumkit but with all the quietness of an electronic drum kit, mesh heads are the way forward. The Carlsbro CSD500 Mesh Electronic Drum Kit 8-Piece Set includes five mesh drum pads and three dual-zone cymbals, providing a realistic playing experience that mirrors acoustic drums but with the benefits of electronic sound control.

The mesh heads are the part of the drum pads on the drum kit that you hit with the stick, and they provide a similar stick response to that of a drum head on an acoustic drum kit which is why this is one of the best electronic drum kits for beginners. This is an ideal feature for drummers who are learning on an acoustic kit at a drum lesson, or if they plan to play an acoustic drum kit in the future.

Another added improvement is the pedal for the kick drum operates in the same way as a pedal does on an acoustic kick drum which makes this kit a great means of practicing good kick pedal technique.

Carlsbro CSD600 Mesh Electronic Drum Kit - 9-Piece Set

Very similar to CSD500, the Carlsbro CSD600 Mesh Electronic Drum Kit - 9-Piece Set expands the number of cymbal pads and drum sounds available, but it also has another key difference which will help the aspiring drummer hone their skills. The CSD600 includes educational tools such as a metronome, recording and playback capabilities, and a coaching function, which can guide you through learning rhythms and techniques effectively. These features are not only helpful for practice but also enjoyable, making it easier to stay motivated as you learn.

Another key feature is the inclusion of a hi-hat and hi-hat stand. For drummers learning to play electronic drums but who are looking to play acoustic drum kits, this is a helpful feature to have on their electronic drum kits since it helps the left leg to get used to how a true mechanical pedal feels, much as the right foot is learning how the kick drum pedal feels.

This best electronic drum kit for beginners comes with the ability for you to plug in your phone or MP3 player, allowing you to play along with your favourite songs. What's more, it is possible to use this kit in live performances or in the studio, opening up a whole world of possibilities for the beginner drummer with aspirations of being heard outside of their practice room.

Conclusion

With the information in this guide, pointing you towards the right kit for you and the correct considerations to help you decide, you should be more than ready to begin your exciting journey into the world of electronic drum kits! As you can see from the five examples of electric drum kits, even subtle differences can make a big difference in playability, sound and even technique, and so it’s important to understand what you’re looking for and how you want to use it.

We have a great range of beginner drumkits here at ElectroMarket, so why not browse our collection today!

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