The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Electric Drum Kit for You

For the modern drummer, the beat goes on with the electronic sound of electric drum kits. These kits offer a versatility and convenience that acoustic sets simply can’t match.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to get your first set, a seasoned player hunting for an upgrade, or a concerned parent avoiding noise complaints, choosing the right electric drum kit is a major decision in your musical journey.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make a decision that hits all the right notes with your needs and ambitions.


Chapter 1: Assessing Your Drumming Goals

The first step in choosing the right electric drum kit for you is clarifying your goals and what you hope to achieve with your drumming. Are you a beginner unsure of where you’ll take your drumming? Or are you an experienced drummer looking to improve your skills?

Beginner Drummers

For those just starting, simplicity and affordability should be at the forefront. Look for kits that offer learning tools, such as integrated training programs and a variety of preset kits to keep you engaged.

Intermediate Players

If you’ve been playing for a while and are looking to refine your technique, focus on a kit that closely mimics the feel and responsiveness of an acoustic set. Intermediate players will also appreciate a wide range of sounds and the ability to explore different genres with their kit.

Advanced Drummers

Experienced drummers may wish to invest in a higher-end drum kit electric that can handle complex playing styles. Customization options, a broad sound library, and robust construction should all be priorities.


Chapter 2: Drumming Up on Durability and Build Quality

Electric drum kits are built to be played, but some are better suited for heavy use than others. Durability is a critical factor to consider, especially if you’re investing in a kit for long-term use.

Materials Matter

Pay attention to the materials used in the construction of the drum pads and cymbals. Higher-quality pads feature durable rubber or dual-ply mesh heads that can withstand the force of heavy hitting without breaking or losing their integrity.

Quality of the Frame and Hardware

The frame and stands should be stable and sturdy, able to hold up the weight of the pads without wobbling. Look for adjustable hardware that can be tailored to your playing style and set-up preferences.


Chapter 3: Connectivity and Expansion Options

The ability to connect your electric drum kit to other devices opens a world of opportunities for practicing, recording, and performance.

USB and MIDI Connectivity

Most modern electric drum kits feature USB and MIDI ports, allowing you to connect to a computer or sound module. This enables you to record your drum tracks, use the kits as a MIDI controller, or even integrate with DAWs and virtual instruments for a more expansive sonic palette.

Aux Inputs and Headphone Outputs

Auxiliary inputs are handy for connecting music players to play along with songs. Headphone outputs, as previously mentioned, keep things quiet and private during practice sessions.


Chapter 4: Sound Quality and Sample Types

The sound is what sets one electric drum kit apart from another. You’ll want to dig into the sound banks and sample types to find a kit that resonates with the genre you love to play.

Built-in Sounds and Effects

Pay attention to the number and variety of built-in sounds and effects. Some kits may have just a few basic drum kits, while others offer hundreds of drum sounds, percussion instruments, and even non-drum effects.

Customization Capabilities

Does the kit allow you to edit or create your sounds? Being able to tweak parameters like pitch, decay, and reverb can result in a more personalized and satisfying playing experience.

Sound Modules

For premium sound quality and customization options, look for kits that feature separate sound modules, sometimes known as “brain,” that process and generate drum sounds. These modules can be used with different kits and upgraded independently.


Chapter 5: The Role of Brand and Reviews

Choosing a reputable brand is often a safe bet, as it generally means higher-quality manufacturing and customer service.

Reputation and Longevity in the Market

Research a brand’s longevity in the electric drum business and any agreements or partnerships with professional drummers or educators. These can be indicators of commitment to the craft and product.

Customer and Expert Reviews

User and expert reviews can give you valuable insights into the day-to-day performance and long-term durability of a kit. Look for common complaints or praises to get a sense of the electric drum kit’s strengths and weaknesses.


Chapter 6: The Budgeting Beat – Finding Your Price Point

Electric drum kits can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, and your budget will likely be a major factor in your decision.

Starter Kits

For beginners, starter kits under $500 can offer a great introduction to electric drums, providing essential features without breaking the bank.

Mid-Range Kits

Intermediate drummers may want to look in the $1000-$2000 range, where they can find kits with better quality pads, more expressive playability, and more sound options.

Top-Tier Kits

Advanced players with a bit more to spend ($3000 or more) can indulge in the highest quality components, the most realistic playing experience, and the broadest sound libraries.


Chapter 7: Final Strike – Making Your Decision

After you’ve considered all the factors laid out in the previous chapters, it’s finally time to make your decision.

Testing the Waters

Whenever possible, try out the drum kit electric you’re considering before purchasing. Visit local music stores, attend trade shows, or borrow from friends to get a hands-on feel for the different models.

Prioritize Your Objectives

Keep your drumming goals at the forefront, ensuring the kit you choose will support your aspirations, from learning and improvement to performance and recording.

Future-Proofing Your Purchase

Opt for a kit that offers room for growth and can adapt to your changing needs as a drummer. This might mean having expansion options, compatibility with software updates, or the ability to incorporate upgraded components.



Mark Munroe is the Creator and EIC of ADDICTED. He's ADDICTED to great travel, amazing food, better grooming & probably a whole lot more!