Purchasing a drum kit with too many bells and whistles before you know how to use it can hurt your chances of learning to play successfully. By opting for a cheap drum set with just the basics, you can keep things simple while you develop your skills.
Drum sets (sometimes referred to as drum kits) vary in color, size, price, and quality. No matter your age, when you’re at the beginning of your drumming journey, buying a budget-friendly drum set without breaking the bank is not easy. In that case, affordable drum sets are the best option.
To help you save a good few hundred dollars from spending, we’ve compiled a list of the best cheap drum sets with some tips, pros, and cons.
8 Cheap Drum Sets for Adults
1. Pearl RS525SCC706 Roadshow 5-Piece Drum Set
The Pearl Roadshow five-piece drum set represents incredible value for professional quality. It comes with a bass drum, three toms of different sizes, a crash-ride cymbal, and a hi-hat, as well as all the necessary hardware to unpack it, set it up, and start playing immediately.
It’s perfect for a student or beginner who shows dedication to drum set studies. The drum heads included work well as long as they are tuned properly. If you feel like the heads aren’t to your taste, try changing the top heads to improve the sound on a budget.
The bases on all the hardware are sturdy for good practice and posture habits. The cymbals are stock and not the best quality, though, so it’s a good idea to replace these right away (cymbals can’t be tuned to sound better like drums).
Overall, the Pearl roadshow is one of the cheapest drum sets around when you consider the value of the package. It’s easily customizable for growth, and an excellent choice for a growing, dedicated drum student.
Check out my full Pearl roadshow review.
2. Alesis Nitro mesh drum kit
The Alesis electronic drum kit is a sturdy kit with plenty of room for growth. The mesh drum heads mimic acoustic drum sets so that you don’t lose out entirely on that part of the experience. The heads are very responsive, too, so you don’t have to hit too hard for a pleasing sound.
Alesis Nitro comes with a snare pad, three tom pads, and three different cymbals. The diversity in this kit should meet all your needs. The only thing it is missing is a drum throne. A beginner may not think to check for this, and it is an inconvenient realization to have later when you are all ready to play.
The educational features are part of what makes this drum kit a good option for beginners. It will help any drummer looking to sharpen their skills. There are 60 play-along tracks, a sequencer, a metronome, an auxiliary input, and a performance recorder included with the kit.
If you register your set, you’ll get 40 lessons that you can access from any smartphone.
All the hardware you need comes with the drum set, too, including cables, an aluminum rack, drumsticks, a drum key, and a power supply. The cables match the recommended kit setup, so there is not too much customization needed (unless you buy your own cables).
As far as connectivity, the Nitro kit relies on cables alone—there are no Bluetooth options. Alesis makes up for that with versatility, though. You can play any genre with almost 400 sounds. However, there is no tambourine option, which is an interesting choice since it’s a major percussive instrument.
The issues with this kit are minor for the value. It is a versatile drum set that any player can adapt to their needs.
3. GP Percussion GP55WR 5-Piece Drum Set
If you have a toddler in the house that wants to get into music, this is one of the best starter drum sets. It comes with a bass drum pedal, snare drum, two cymbals, three tom drums, two drumsticks, and a drum key. All the equipment is stock, but it still makes a decent sound for its target player age.
The drum set is fairly easy to put together, but the instructions included are hard to follow. Your best bet for a seamless building experience is to consult online videos if you’re having trouble figuring it out.
Once you get the drum kit together, you’ll notice that it looks different from the photos. The color and on-kit branding differ from the stock photos. The quality of the snare pedal and the bass pedal are also different—the bass pedal is flimsy, while the snare pedal is sturdy.
Unlike some other kid-friendly cheap drum sets, this choice is sturdy. It should get through a few years of reckless playing before you need to replace any parts.
The size should last until your child is around five feet tall. The drum throne is a little unsteady, but it may not be an issue until your child is bigger.
Overall, this drum set is an affordable option for a young entry-level aspiring drummer.
4. Mendini MJDS-5-BL by Cecilio
Another solid option as far as cheap drum sets for beginners is the Mendini 16-inch five-piece set. It has a range of color options, which add an attractive element for younger drummers.
The kit includes a bass drum, bass drum pedal, a pair of wooden sticks, a floor tom, two tom-toms, a snare drum, and a crash cymbal with a bass drum-mounted stand. It also comes with a padded, adjustable throne (great for kids, which tend to grow quickly in this age group).
This drum set is designed to accommodate players up to five feet tall. The setup is also easy.
Overall, the quality of this drum set is excellent for the price. As a kid’s set, it still produces a mature sound, and it is durable enough to use for a few years.
Check out my full Mendini review.
5. Ashthorpe 5-Piece
The Ashthorpe five-piece kit is a great cheap drum set for kids. It comes with a bass drum, floor tom, two mounted toms, snare, hi-hat cymbals, a crash/ride cymbal, all stands, a padded throne (stool), drumsticks, hardware, pedals, and drum adjustment key.
It is available in four bright colors young beginner drummers are sure to love. All the equipment is stock, but it’s not bad for the age group intended for the drum kit. What matters is that it’s durable and can grow with the player.
It’s higher quality than a toy kid’s set, and you can upgrade it at the later ages and talent range with high-quality cymbals and nicer drum heads. The drum shells are decent, so it will last well with the changes.
The drum kit tends to have issues with the pedals, so those will need replacing sooner than other parts of the set.
6. Mendini MDS80-BL 5-Piece Drum Set
This is an excellent and affordable adult beginner option. The drum kit comes with a bass drum, two tom-toms, snare drum, floor tom, hi-hat, and crash cymbals. There are lots of different colors to choose from, and once tuned, the set plays well.
The cymbals with the kit aren’t the best, though. We suggest that you order higher quality symbols before this drum set arrives.
The drum heads are worth using for a while but will need replacing fairly quickly. It won’t hurt to have the ones you want on hand. You also may want to replace the kick drum pedal before playing.
Assembly of this drumming kit is relatively easy. Besides the hardware upgrades needed for better sound, this is the perfect cheap drum set for adults.
7. Gammon Percussion Full Size
The Gammon full-size adult drum set is affordable and decent quality for the cost. The finish is a stylish glossy black. It comes with a bass drum, a snare drum, a floor tom, two mounted toms, cymbals, stands, a throne, sticks, hardware, pedals, and drum key.
The set even includes an instructional DVD to help you learn to play.
In theory, you wouldn’t need to buy any extra equipment to play this kit. Like many cheap drum sets, the cymbals are not high quality, though, so you will probably want to order your own. The drumheads are also worth changing, but tuning should help the sound if you’d rather cut costs.
Overall, if you’re a beginner, this is one of the best drum sets to get started on the instrument. It delivers on its promise of good quality and value purchasing. As you update the equipment to your taste, it only gets better.
Read why in my full Gammon drum kit review.
8. New Black Drum Set
Even though it’s not branded, the New Black is one of the more affordable drum sets for beginner adults. It comes with a bass drum, floor tom, snare, sticks, throne, cymbals, and drum pedals. This drum kit is an excellent option if you know how you want to customize your drum set.
Some of the hardware on this drum kit is flimsy—the cymbals need replacing, and the throne isn’t very comfortable. The frame of the kit is solid, though. If you want to piece together drum kits for a unique personal experience, this price point is perfect.
It is one of the best drum sets you could buy if you’re considering customizing your kit. Other than the equipment quality, this kit has a lot of potential for the value.
Each of these drum sets come with its pros and cons, but the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit stands out as the BEST CHOICE.
It comes in at an excellent price point, and it requires the least amount of equipment upgrading. It’s the only one of these drum sets that can accommodate any living space and skill level.
Even though it’s an electronic drum kit, the mesh drumheads provide a realistic drumming experience. That makes it even easier to transition back and forth and takes all the guesswork out of whether your individual equipment pieces will last.
No matter which of these cheap drum sets you choose, you’ll find incredible value for your beginner drummer experience. A drummer’s first personal drum set is a rite of passage, and your drummer deserves a drum set that can grow with their skills. If you decide to go with an electric drum, you might also have a look at our round-up of the best electric drums under $500.