How Much Does a Drum Set Cost? (Adult & Kids) – 2022 Guide


drum set cost lg

Are you, or maybe your child, interested in learning how to play drums but really don’t know where to start? If so, you’ve probably wondered how much does a drum set cost.

Beginner drum sets for older teens and adults cost $750 on average, whereas child drum kits average $175. Beginner teen and adult-sized electronic drum kits average $500. Professional drum kits, both acoustic and electronic, vary between $2,000 and $8,000. Buying a used kit can often save up to 50%.

So maybe you’re already taking some lessons but want to practice a bit more in the comfort of your home?

If you are, the first question that might be running on your mind is, “How much does a drum set cost?” While there is no single answer for this, considering various factors may give you an idea of the price range of the drum set, you wish to have.

Drum sets are finely built musical instruments with metal hardware and wood shells. Even the relatively cheap drum sets may be pretty pricey.

The cost is affected by a number of different factors, including the build of the drums as well as the raw materials that went into its construction.

In this article, we break down the various factors to consider in estimating the cost of this percussion instrument.

Which drum set is best for beginners? (And what does it cost?)

Gretch Catalina Club drums

Imagine you’ve just begun taking drum classes or jamming with other artists.

You’ll need to find great options for your first drum set—something that’s a touch better in quality but won’t cost you a fortune.

The majority of reputable drum companies have beginner kits. These acoustic kits are meant to be less expensive while providing the distinctive qualities that each company offers.

These types of kits typically cost between $500 and $1,000, and my personal recommendation is the Gretsch Catalina Club drumset from Amazon priced at under $900.

Drums of the highest caliber have been associated with Gretsch for over 150 years.

They have been providing the Catalina Club with a cost-effective introduction to this legacy for the past ten years. The drum kit comes with Remo Ambassador heads and 7-ply, 100% mahogany drum shells. The tonal depth is consistently rich.

Even when forcefully pounded, the drums keep and hold their tune, which frees rookie drummers from having to constantly re-tune their instruments, allowing them to concentrate on their playing and technique.

Although there are many configuration alternatives available, the 20″ setup is a genuine rhythmic chameleon. There is no need to search any further if you need a reliable beginner drum set.

Beginners, intermediate drummers, and professional drummers all enjoy The Catalina Club in their drumming journey, and this makes it difficult to suggest anything else above it at this price point.

CLICK HERE to see the current price on Amazon.

How much do junior drum kits cost?

Pearl roadshow junior

Junior kits, as played by children, differ from beginner drum kits both in size and quality.

Everything about them is smaller, being designed for kids as young as 4 or 5. Young children obviously need everything closer together. So both the size of each drum and the spacing between them are shrunk.

But since the average 5-year-old will lose interest in 6 months to a year (if the parents haven’t gone crazy long before then), these kits aren’t made to last.

So don’t expect your little prodigy to sound like the next John Bonham.

That doesn’t mean the kits can’t be played. And that doesn’t mean they don’t sound halfway decent. But from a musical equipment standpoint, they are seen as disposable.

My top pick for a junior drum kit that won’t break the bank but that will still sound decent is the Pearl Roadshow Junior 5-piece kit from Amazon.

Almost all 5-star ratings and currently well under $400. Plus Pearl is a quality name in drums for people of all ages and talent levels.

Which drum set is best for teens? (And what does it cost?)

Kids and teenagers may find it difficult to choose a junior drum set because there are so many other factors to take into account, and one of these is the cost.

The price range for drum sets for this level is around $500 to $1,000.

Thankfully, you don’t have to opt for the pricier end to be able to enjoy a drum set that’s of durable and excellent quality.

This 5-piece drum kit from Pearl Roadshow from Amazon is perfect for teenagers, and it comes at a price point currently under $650. Pearl is regarded as one of the top manufacturers of high-quality drum kits in the industry.

They offer top-grade kits and reassure you that you will receive well-made drums when you make a purchase from them.

They provide kits that are reasonably priced and of great quality, similar to Yamaha.

This drum kit is great for learning because Zildjian cymbals are already included, making it a great choice for beginners and teens.

This drum set altered people’s perceptions of what should be included in entry-level drum kits, and the company offers the model in both red and black.

It has a bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat, one crash, three toms (including a floor tom), and one snare.

Additionally, the hardware is guaranteed for many years of use as it was built to withstand the test of time. This is mostly manufactured to work best for teenagers, and for its price range, this Pearl Roadshow definitely is hard to beat.

CLICK HERE to see the current price on Amazon.

How much does a decent electronic drum set cost?

Alesis nitro mesh drums

Electronic drums were primarily created as an alternative to traditional drum sets.

Electronic drum sets are made up of a drum module that generates synthetic or sampled percussion sounds and a set of “pads,” which are often built to resemble drums and crash cymbals.

These are fitted with sensors that transmit signals to the sound module, which then outputs sounds to the performer.

Despite various variations in the drumming experience, the pads are played similarly to an acoustic drum kit and are hammered with drum sticks, much like traditional drums.

Beginner electronic drums normally cost approximately $600, while high-quality budget electronic drum kits start at around $400.

Accessories, which typically cost $100 to $200, are also pretty much inevitable. Electronic drums for advanced and professional drummers can cost anywhere from $1000 to $8000.

Although there are affordable alternatives on the market, it’s seldom a smart idea to get a really low-cost electronic drum set.

Even in perfect condition, these drum sets tend to generate an unappealing drum sound that you won’t want to listen to while you’re training. They also tend to break extremely easily.

There are several smaller manufacturers of electronic drum sets, but their quality is often inferior to that of the more reputable brands.

The Alesis Nitro Mesh on Amazon, which is currently well under $500, is the least expensive electronic drum set I would suggest if you’re on a tight budget. It offers the best value considering its quality.

It’s also an Amazon’s Choice product, has almost 10,000 reviews (most are 5-star) and comes with EVERYTHING you need to get started.

CLICK HERE to check the current price on Amazon.

How much is a used drum set?

A brand-new drum set is not an affordable item to purchase for many people. For drummers just starting out, used drums are frequently the best option. Nowadays, numerous companies offer entry-level drum kits at lower prices.

If you don’t know what to look for, some of them are of low quality and won’t last you a very long time, essentially wasting your money in the long run.

Generally speaking, it is much preferable to spend your money on secondhand drums of greater quality and lower cost. There are different places where you can look for used drums with great deals, such as local music stores, e-commerce websites, newspapers, or even word of mouth.

The price range for used drum sets can vary significantly because there are various factors sellers have to consider.

If your budget is limited to a few hundred dollars, you’ll undoubtedly have to make some compromises. You can typically find nice secondhand drum kits for beginners in this price range, along with a few extras that are enough to learn and practice on.

Expecting top-notch cymbals on a tight budget is unrealistic, although you never know!

If you’re a bit patient and have more than a few hundred dollars to spend, you can typically find some excellent offers on secondhand drums. If you have more money to spend, you may also put together a fantastic set of secondhand drums from a few various places.

You have to remember that all equipment will rapidly lose value as it leaves the manufacturing floor.

Higher-quality secondhand drums have the advantage of frequently being in excellent condition since seasoned drummers are aware of how to play and maintain their equipment.

What are the basic pieces of a beginner drum kit?

All drum kits, whether junior drum sets, beginner or intermediate kits up to the pro level, will have a few basic components regardless of price and quality. And these things will be needed to complete any drum set.

Those things are:

  1. Drum throne – This is the seat the drummer sits on. Usually height adjustable
  2. Bass drum – Also called a kick drum. This is the largest drum that sits on the floor in front of the drummer
  3. Bass drum pedal – Also called a kick pedal. This is the foot pedal used to play the bass drum
  4. Snare drum – The snare drum is the “crack” backbeat in most rock songs. It usually sits directly in front of the drummer sitting on a stand
  5. Rack tom – A tom (sometimes called tom tom) is a more mid-range sounding drum. Rack toms are mounted on top of the bass drum. Most kits would have 2 rack toms, but child kits might just have 1
  6. Crash cymbal – All drum kits will need at least 1 crash cymbal. These are made of metal and sit on a floor stand. They are loud. Thicker cymbals usually mean more expensive, and pro kits will often have hand-hammered ones
  7. Hi Hats – Hi hats are placed just to the left of the snare drum in most cases and are used to keep a steady rhythm with the placement making it easy to go back and forth from the snare to the hit hat. Essentially 2 small cymbals on top of each other on a floor stand, a pedal is used to close them (into one another) or open them
  8. Cymbal stands – Floor stands are needed for all cymbals and hi hats

Then you can flesh out those basics with any of the following:

  1. Floor tom – A larger version of the rack tom providing a deeper, more tribal sound. This one has legs built onto it and sits on the floor, often to the right of the bass drum and a little back
  2. Ride cymbal – Like a combination between a hi-hat and a crash cymbal. Ride cymbals are also often used to keep a regular rhythm and don’t usually get struck like a crash cymbal
  3. Additional crash or splash cymbals – Pro kits or even intermediate level kits will often have additional crash cymbals or splash cymbals. Splash cymbals are tiny crash cymbals. Generally speaking, the smaller the cymbal, the higher the pitch will be

Of course, professional drum sets might have double bass drums, additional toms, and might even mix in some electronic drums with acoustic drums or percussion instruments too.

And no matter what level of drum kit you choose, while all drums will come with drum heads and drum sticks, plan to replace those somewhat regularly.

What’s the difference between cheap and expensive drums?

There is a myriad of things that separates an expensive drum set from a cheap one. Allow me to break them down for you:

Drum shells

Most entry-level drums likely make use of cheap woods to keep costs down, such as poplar wood. Similarly, high-end sets typically employ expensive woods like Bubinga, mahogany, and maple.

Cymbals

Brass is typically used to make cheaper cymbals.

As the quality and price advance, the cymbals level up to B8 and B20 bronze. B8 has a clear and brighter tone and is commonly found in mid-range cymbals. Meanwhile, B20 gives off a warm and soft sound which makes it cost the most.

Cheap cymbals are hammered into form after being stamped from metal sheets. Premium cymbals, on the other hand, go through a casting process.

The casting process makes for a sturdy cymbal in exchange for it being pricier.

Hardware

Although it’s rare, you could occasionally find that cheaper drums skimp on their hardware. They could be constructed from flimsier materials, or they could deteriorate with time. So, in essence, pricier hardware offers superior longevity and durability.

Finish

There are three types of finishes: staining, lacquering and wrapping.

The first two can be laborious procedures that frequently require several cycles of polishing and coating. Wrapping, in contrast, only covers the shell with a thin vinyl sheet. The cost of the drum increases with technique complexity.

Sound

And a talented drummer can make practically any set work for them.

But these more expensive kits are frequently the industry standards for a reason if you want something that has been tried, tested, and proven.

They already have everything needed to sound well, therefore, it doesn’t take much work to make them sound incredible.

Why are drum sets so expensive?

Drum sets are quite costly, primarily due to their high manufacturing costs.

They have a lot of different parts, and the better sound the parts produce, the more added cost there is. In addition, the price is certainly influenced by costs surrounding product research and development.

Not all drums cost a lot of money though.

A drum kit typically costs between $300 and $1,000. Price is frequently influenced by a number of things such as the number and quality of shell packs, the durability of drumheads, custom builds, hardware inclusion, and whether they are hand-made or not.

Second, why do drum cymbals cost so much? 

Making cymbals requires a great deal of knowledge, effort, and time. Companies must turn a profit at every level of the production and distribution process, as well as, of course, compensate their skilled workers.

The cost of labor is the main factor in the overall price tag of new cymbals.

Unfortunately, excellent cymbals are rather costly, but depending on the music you play, how you play the cymbal, and the sticks you use, you may not need the most expensive ones out there.

An expensive cymbal is not always the right cymbal for you.

Conclusion

Depending on factors such as build, sound production, materials, and finishing touches, different types of drums come in varying price tags.

It may range from as low as $300 up to $1000. While it may be a bit expensive, the good news is you can opt for used drum kits if the budget is a bit stiff without compromising much of the quality.

In the end, it all boils down to your personal preference.

There are multiple great options out there in different price ranges. Buying your first drum set is definitely a milestone, so make sure to put your money into something that will serve you best.


Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Hi, I'm Jeff Campbell, a former DJ, music journalist, musician, and music lover. I'm old enough to have seen all the cool bands and young enough to still remember them.

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