How to Choose Your First Drum Kit


Taking up a new hobby is exciting – especially for music lovers committing to a new instrument. With inspiration from amazing drummers like Sheila E who worked with Prince, many ladies are turning to the exciting world of drumming. Choosing your first drum set is part of that fresh excitement.

Before committing to a kit, you’ll need to do the research and ensure you are buying the right product for your needs at the best price. Getting to know the specifications needed for the right drum kit for you is essential. Once you finally bought your first ever drum kit, it is always important to check on the best gifts for drummers that you surely deserve.

Here, we’ve put together many of the factors to consider before buying your first drum set.

Terms to Know 

Before diving into specific considerations, be sure to know the lingo. You don’t know what to buy if you don’t know what the words mean.

  • Acoustic Drums are the traditional drums with wood shells.
  • Auxiliary Snare Drums are typically the second snare drum, left of the hi-hats. It provides a different snare sound to the main snare.
  • Bass Drum is also called a Kick Drum, which is on the floor and uses a bass drum pedal. It tends to be larger, ranging from 18 to 28 inches in diameter.
  • Hi-Hat Cymbals are cymbals set on a hi-hat stand and are opened using a foot pedal controller. 
  • Shells are the finishing or hardware that make up acoustic drums. Shells can be made of many types of woods, such as maple, which produces different types of sounds.
  • Snare Drums are positioned next to hi-hats and blow the bass drums. They create back-beats using the snare wires on the bottom of the drum to create popping sound. These can have wood or metal shells.

So, How Do You Choose a Set? 

For the first drum set, it tends to be easier to choose an all-inclusive starter acoustic set. An inclusive set typically has drums, cymbals, and assorted hardware. That hardware includes pedals and stands to hold each in place. The benefit of an inclusive set is the friendly price point, which tends to range between $300 to $600. These sets will be basic, so it is great for a starter.

Read the Reviews

No matter if you’re a novice or a pro, you’ll want to read the reviews before choosing just any drum set. There are plenty of starter kits that are affordable and of great quality. If you don’t want to bother with a starter kit because you know you’ll be aiming higher and want to invest in a quality kit up front, it’s still worth it to read the reviews of the best drum kits to help narrow down this process.

Create Your Own 

Of course, an inclusive package might not meet your needs. Some people opt to assemble their own kit through mix-and-match decisions. If you opt to select your own drum set and hardware, you will need to consider a few factors. For example, you will need a hardware kit that provides hi-hat stands, cymbal stands, bass drum pedal, and a snare drum stand. Of course, you’ll also need drumsticks.

Choosing the pieces typically includes choosing a snare drum, bass drum, and three toms. The number of pieces can be adjusted based on personal preferences.

Creating a kit also includes considering drum sizes. Depending on the type of music you are trying to create, you will need different sizes. For example, rock drums tend to be a bit larger. The bass drum will be around 22-inches in diameter with 12-16 inch toms, and a 14-inch snare drum.  A fusion or hybrid set will look different with slightly smaller diameters. For new drummers, it is good to start with smaller diameters as you learn your way around the instrument.


A drum set will also involve certain accessories, especially if you plan on traveling with your kit. Again, choose things like travel bags with the size of the kit in mind. Nothing is worse than having a set of bag cases that don’t fit your drum! You can also buy extra items like sound control accessories, stick holders, moon gels, and more.

Choosing your first drum set can be exciting and overwhelming with all the options. Hopefully, this points you in the right direction as you choose your first kit.

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.