Beginners drum kit

A long time ambition of mine is to learn the drums. Lockdown seems a good time to finally get started but can anyone recommend an acoustic kit for a beginner. Style would be softish rock (do I dare say that I like early Genesis style Phil Collins?) Budget around £500 excl cymbals. Thanks.

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Perhaps not for your neighbours :rofl:

Good question, something I’d love to do too.

And don’t forget practice pads… you’ll need them!

I’ve not played or had a full kit in a long time, and recently bought myself a birthday present of a snare
just to see how my wrists were…LOUD!!!
Practice pads are a boon with the neighbours!

I’m not up to speed on modern kits, but I remember trading down from a pro kit to a Maxwin budget kit (long story… let’s just say that Dolphin from Tom Robinson Band got a bargain!) - big mistake. The quality just was not there in terms of stands, stuff came loose all the time…very frustrating to play and not enjoyable. Can’t advise what’s good in terms of brands (& at 500, I’d be looking for a cared-for used kit) but… get the best hardware you can afford, and a good bass drum pedal. Makes a huge difference.

Check out Mapex. Good quality shells and hardware made in China like almost all budget drums today. I’ve got the Horizon Fastpack which is not available anymore in shops but maybe s/h.

If you’re a beginner and consider a s/h drumkit take somebody with you who knows about drums when checking stuff. Too much junk around!

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The snare I bought myself is a Mapex - seems OK.

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Good advice!

Previous owner of the Mapex had put a batter head on the bottom - god knows why. Luckily a cheap fix and new snares, all good now.

Nice drum! Watch out for those stains on the hoops. I love drums, so pls excuse me saying things like that…

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Get Puresound wires, they’ll last forever and are top notch quality.

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Thanks! I’ll look out for Puresound.

When I was in a band as a teenager, I remember that our drummer had a Pearl Export which sounded great and was reasonably priced.


Please tell me your stage name was the same as your Forum name!

Pearl were nice - apart from their dreadful Maxwin cheapie.

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What about synthetic drums to learn on, like Roland? Must be good in terms of neighbours or others in the home because you can play through headphones, but how real do they feel for practice?

They’re ok, as my grandson would confirm, but they don’t replicate the feeling of really hitting something, really hard.

Talking of hitting something, I wonder how many drummers started off (like I did, lol ) playing the sofa? (I never got the hang of saucepans). The arms were the snare and the backs the toms. Bass drum was just stamping on the carpet.

Then graduated to plastic bins!

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The arrival of my drum kit prompted a frostier response from my wife than anything else I have ever brought home :grimacing:. I got a used shell set from a local(ish) music shop (in Morecambe) and bought a new set of cymbals and all the stands and stool etc at the same time. More than £500 though. Used is definitely the way to go though - see if you can find recommendations for a local shop?

My son plays Mapex Saturn V drums, which are a lot more than the budget of £500
You could check out Mapex Tornado or Mars range of drum kits ranging from £350 to £475. For this price you might get a basic set of cymbals included
Other manufacturers are available
Fortunately we have good neighbours and have never had an issue with him playing
My son also has a Roland TD-12 electronic kit. Electronic kits are a lot quieter as already mentioned and headphones can be used. However, unless you buy a kit with Mesh heads you don’t get the same stick response as an acoustic head. Also, they are far more expensive, looking at £900 for a decent set up
Good luck

See attached photo of the drum kit set up in the spare bedroom


Something else to consider in your pricing is bass drum pedal (Tama “Ironcobra”) is a good make and a “Throne” or stool

Given the mics that is not just for practice (unless it isn’t loud enough and he likes it amplified!)