How Much Does a Drum Set Cost?

Last Updated on May 7, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

For both aspiring drummers just starting out as well as seasoned players looking to upgrade, one of the most exciting musical gear purchases is buying your dream drum set. But with so many options ranging from inexpensive beginner drum kits under $300 to elaborate professional sets over $3,000, determining the right drummer investment for your current skill level and budget can be confusing.

This guide examines popular price points, additional gear costs, purchasing considerations, and savvy tips for buying acoustic and electronic drum kits while avoiding regrets.

How Much Does a Drum Set Cost?

Modern drum kits fall into two main categories, each with varying price ranges:

  • Acoustic Drum Sets utilize traditional wood, metal, and synthetic shell materials played with standard drum sticks and produce purely acoustic sound. Prices for complete full acoustic kits with hardware and cymbals range from $300 for basic entry-level sets up to $3000+ for premium professional drum kits. Higher-end acoustic drum sets offer thicker, specialized shell materials and components to provide top-level acoustic performance, but require significant dedicated physical space for ideal sound quality.
  • Electronic Drum Sets employ digital sound modules and rubberized drum pad surfaces played with specialized drum sticks. Complete full electronic drum kits with amplifiers, speakers, and features like drum sounds, play-along beats, and coaching functions range from $500 for basic starter kits up to $2500+ for full-capability sets with extra pads and advanced sound design capabilities. A key advantage of electronic drum kits is their reduced noise levels and smaller physical footprint, making home practice apartments much more practical.

Now let’s explore typical price ranges found within each drum set category based on the common skill segmentation of entry-level beginner, intermediate advancing player, and professional drummer:

Price Ranges by Player Skill Level

Beginner Drum Sets – Ideal for new drummers starting lessons or band. Usually cost $300 to $500.

Beginner level drum set bundles contain just the essential drum components needed for a new drummer to practice and develop foundational skills. The included gear typically consists of a bass drum, snare drum, 1 or 2 tom drums, a basic cymbal set, standard drum throne, and beginner drumsticks.

While drum shell materials and hardware quality is basic, beginner kits allow new students to start lessons and practice without needing huge investment upfront. They offer the best balance of affordability and function for nearly all aspiring drummers just getting started.

Intermediate Drum Sets – For advancing student drummers playing in bands and shows. Ranges from $500 to $1000.

An intermediate, mid-tier drum kit ups the gear to typically offer 3 or 4 tom drums instead of just 1-2, includes more pro-level drum hardware like sturdy cymbal stands and bass drum pedals, and provides thicker drum shells and bigger, nicer sounding cymbals.

This allows teenage or adult drummers playing in bands, taking lessons, or prepping for auditions and professional gigs to have kits with enhanced acoustic performance, reliable hardware, and stage-ready ergonomics for transporting equipment to performances.

Professional Drum Sets – For working drummers playing demanding performances. Spans $1000 on the low end up to $3000+ for premium custom kits.

Pro-level professional acoustic drum sets bring the best of the best in terms of specialized thicker drum shells utilizing higher-grade wood types like North American maple rather than basic lumber or laminates, ultra premium drum hardware purpose-built to handle intense drumming, and fully customized drum and cymbal components tailored exactly to a drummer’s musical needs and body dimensions.

High-end details like exotic wood shells, unique metal snare drums with specialized sides, and pro cymbal packages enhance both the acoustic performance and distinct visual aesthetics of professional drum kits.

But all these upgrades come at a steep price – while professional kits cost multiples more than beginner options, that investment brings invaluable performance, reliability, and customization for full-time drummers playing at the highest levels.

Prices on other websites

Gear4music discusses the cost of drum sets, highlighting that the price can vary based on factors such as shell quality, hardware inclusion, custom builds, craftsmanship, brand reputation, and the number of shells.

Beginner or intermediate drum sets typically range from $100 to $1,500. The article provides a breakdown of price ranges for different ability levels, including junior, beginner, intermediate, and professional drum sets.

Beginner drum sets can be found for as low as $200, while intermediate kits typically range from $700 to $1,400. Professional drum kits can range from $1,500 to $10,000.

Ted’s List offers insights into the cost of drum sets, stating that the price can vary greatly depending on the brand, quality, and features. The cost ranges from budget-friendly options for beginners to high-end sets.

The article emphasizes the importance of considering factors like shell quality, hardware inclusion, and custom builds when determining the cost of a drum set. Beginner drum sets can be found for as low as £200, while professional drum kits can range from £1,500 to £10,000.

Factors That Determine Drum Set Pricing

Several primary elements impact the costs and price ranges of buying acoustic and electronic drum kits across the skill spectrum:

Shell Material Types and Thicknesses

  • The most important driver of sound quality and longevity. Lower cost drum shells use laminates, while pricier options utilize thicker maple, birch, exotic woods, carbon fiber, or metal shells to significantly amplify acoustic performance, resonance, and durability.

Number of Individual Drums, Cymbals, and Hardware Pieces Included

  • More drums, more cymbals, and more hardware naturally equate to a higher total drum kit price tag. Beginner kits start with the bare essentials, while pro kits elaborate with expanded drum, cymbal, and hardware counts.

Brand Reputation and Product Tiers

  • The major drum brands each offer clearly delineated good-better-best product tiers. Beginner kits starting under $300, intermediate around $750, and professional at $1,500+. Leading brands like Pearl, Yamaha, Tama, and Ludwig command a price premium over generic no-name options thanks to their reputation for quality, while also offering budget options.

Degree of Customization Options

  • As you move up from beginner drum sets to full custom professional kits, the ability to customize components like exotic wood shell types, sparkle drum finishes, engraved or black chrome hardware, and personalized artwork adds cost but allows pros to own a one-of-a-kind signature drum kit tailored to their taste.

Digital Sound Technology Integration

  • For electronic drum kits, the quality of the onboard sound module, the number of available acoustic drum sounds, play-along music genres, lesson functions, and physical digital pads or touchscreens all contribute to pricing, with professional-grade electronic kits costing as much or more than their acoustic counterparts.

Carefully considering your current skill level, budget, musical performance needs, and anticipated growth allows buyers to intelligently prioritize which of those drum kit factors matter most to their situation, and which represent unnecessary extra expenditures unlikely to boost their actual drumming. This prevents overspending just for flashy cosmetics or unnecessary electronic features added to ratchet up prices for beginners and intermediate players.

Buying from Music Retail Stores vs. Online

Aspiring drummers looking to purchase their first kit or upgrade their existing set have two primary options when it comes to purchasing:

Local Music Equipment Retail Stores

The advantage of visiting traditional music equipment retailers is having the opportunity to see drum kits set up in person to inspect construction and try playing the drums hands-on prior to purchase. This allows the tactile experience of adjusting fittings, comparing sounds, tweaking head tuning, and assessing comfort.

Store sales staff can answer questions on options. The downside is local inventory is usually limited on drum set selection, colors may be sparse, and discounts or bundle offers less frequent.

Online Music Equipment Retailers

Thanks to e-commerce, buying drums online offers a far wider universe of makes and models to choose from at your fingertips, frequently at lower prices than local shops thanks to minimized overhead costs.

Most major online music stores allow free returns of unused kits if you are unsatisfied with the gear upon arrival and inspection. This allows risk-free trial before committing. The main caveat is the inability to physically play-test the drums prior to purchase, though many stores offer generous return policies if the gear fails to meet expectations when delivered.

For those on tight budgets, shopping online allows price comparisons across brands and models that may yield big savings from the greater selection and competition. For those who can, test playing desired kits locally then buying for less online can be the best of both worlds.

Carefully inspect shipping boxes for exterior damage before opening, and thoroughly test gear before the return period expires.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a grand piano, violin, or banjo.

Choose the Right Drum Set

Evaluating which drum set offers the optimal blend of quality, performance, and pricing requires carefully considering these factors:

Musical Style and Performance Venues

  • Hard-hitting rock drummers need thicker shells and heavy-duty hardware compared to softer percussionists. Heavy gigging requires road-ready gear.

Current Playing Ability

  • New students don’t benefit from pro features they can’t utilize yet. Intermediate players need greater adjustability and acoustic nuance.

Anticipated Growth

  • Will you be playing more advanced genres and gigs that require upgrades soon? Buy slightly above current needs.

Available Space

  • Larger kits may not fit in tighter rooms. Electronic kits require less area.

Budget Limits

  • Determine the maximum you can afford for the drum set alone, also factoring in extra future costs.

Being realistic about your current and near-future needs versus wants prevents paying for capabilities that won’t actually be fully utilized.

Smart Shopping Tips

Some savvy strategies for stretching your drum gear budget include:

  • Thoroughly compare prices across local shops and major online retailers to find the best deal.
  • Negotiate complete bundle packages including drums, cymbals, stands, stool, and pedals for a turnkey kit with maximum savings.
  • Carefully consider reputable high-quality used drum sets in great condition to save hundreds off new kit prices.
  • Timing your purchase to align with seasonal sales events, holidays, and clearance discount periods can net big savings.
  • Sign up for music retailer newsletter and alerts to receive exclusive coupon codes and drum set discount opportunities.

With smart timing and creative negotiating, aspiring drummers of all levels can often equip themselves with excellent gear while also economizing to allot practice budget for lessons, studio rental, maintenance, and other ongoing musical expenses.

Additional Gear Expenses

Premier Drum SetWhen budgeting the total costs associated with fulfilling your drumming aspirations, remember to factor in these additional purchases often required for optimal performance and convenience:

Supplemental Hardware Add-Ons

  • Extra cymbals, snare drums, drum thrones, pedals, drum cases, and small percussion all add up.

Drum Maintenance Costs

  • Consumables like replacement drum heads, drum tuning keys, cymbal cleaners and polishes must be purchased over time.

Sound Control Items

  • Noise reduction tools like drum sound dampeners, physical acoustic isolation shields, room acoustics soundproofing, and electronic practice pads allow quieter home play.


  • Taking drum lessons from professionals accelerates learning and costs around $60 per hour-long session, usually recommended at least bi-weekly.

Anticipating these supplementary drum-related gear and training expenses from the outset ensures buyers can adequately budget for everything needed to support their kit and progress as drummers long-term.

Investing in a Quality Drum Set

While purchasing a new drum set represents a significant financial investment upfront, remember that a thoughtfully-selected kit that properly matches your current playing ability, musical styles, and technical needs retains inherent value by enabling improved skills, better acoustic performance, and long-term physical durability.

Once a buyer outgrows their first beginner drum set, passing it along to another aspiring player just starting out at a reduced used price allows recouping a sizable portion of their original investment. Meanwhile, the buyer can apply that credit towards a new intermediate-level kit matching their advancing skills. This cycle repeats at each stage of progression.

For professional drummers, pro-quality gear properly maintained retains resale value. So while expensive, a thoughtfully crafted professional custom drum kit becomes a lifetime asset retaining substantial tangible value and emotional sentiment over decades of playing, recordings, and performances, making the initial financial outlay easier to justify.

Final Words

Taking time to carefully evaluate the latest gear options, anticipate added costs beyond the kits themselves, shop around for deals, and identify the ideal balance of quality, capabilities, and affordability for your situation ensures you can confidently invest in a new drum set that brings smiles for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I learn drums in 1 year?

Yes, with consistent, focused practice, the majority of new students without prior percussion background can gain respectable competency on drums within approximately 9-12 months.

The most important factors are dedicating time for lessons and self-practice (at least 5 hours weekly is recommended), immersing yourself in education materials, and being patient through plateaus when progress stalls temporarily before growth spurts. Setting milestone goals like properly playing basic beats and fills helps mark improvement.

Is 25 too late to learn drums?

Absolutely not. While children and teens benefit from starting musical instruction earlier when basic coordination and skills develop fastest, plenty of dedicated adult beginners in their 20s, 30s, and beyond have successfully learned to play the drums very well, even if achieving professional-grade proficiency may be unrealistic.

The same fundamental techniques apply at any age. Just set reasonable expectations for the focused time investment required to gain competency at drumming. Sincere passion outweighs age.

Are drums hard to self teach?

Mastering drums often proves uniquely challenging on your own compared to other instruments, as drums require the simultaneous development of four-limb coordination and independence which can be extremely difficult to teach yourself without ingraining bad habits.

While online video lessons provide a helpful starting structure, most students benefit enormously by working under the live guidance of an experienced drum teacher, at least periodically at key milestones, who can provide expert feedback and identify areas for technique improvement that a self-learner may miss. If self-teaching out of cost necessity, filming yourself frequently and self-scrutinizing your form closely is essential.

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