There’s nothing more cathartic than banging on some drums to get your mood solidified. When I was 4, I received my first drum set from my parents for Christmas; luckily I had some natural rhythm, and once I grabbed those drum sticks and started drumming, I fell in love (probably wasn’t too great considering my age). It wasn’t until a few years later did I crave an electronic drum set, something I had never heard of before I saw it on TV (I think it was a concert of some sorts). Although I had to wait a year until the next Christmas, I was honestly a bit disappointed at the quality of the set. It was super cheap, at times did not respond when I hit the pads with sticks, and the sounds were pretty synthetic. However, that was quite a while ago (would not like to admit exactly how long), and today there are some extremely high-quality drum sets out there for an affordable price. Let’s get into the details.
Why buy an electronic drum set?
I am sure you’re well aware of the benefits of a drum set that is electronic, but to highlight some our favorite reasons, they include mainly being able to play at any time of the day. How many times have you had to keep your neighbors in mind when playing, specifically at night? With an electronic set, we typically get a headphone jack for not only private playing, but being able to hook it up to amp for a louder sound if you’re playing with others in a garage for practice or even a venue to perform. Other benefits of electronic drumsets include beginner-based programs built-in to the module, a wide variety of sounds included, travel-friendly, decently affordable, and merely fun!
How to choose your beginner electronic drum kit
- Your budget. For a beginner, it is typically recommended you remain within the lower price-point. If you want a decent electronic set that will still give you some solid features and build, you’re looking at around a few hundred dollars or more.
- Sounds included? Some come with hundreds, while others with merely a few kits. Although nobody would necessarily complain about having too many sounds, it may be a bit overkill and can jack up the price. We like it somewhere around the middle.
- A relatively stable build. Nobody wants a cheaply made piece of gear, simple as that.
- Additive features? For beginners, we love drum coaches, practice patterns, metronomes, etc. It’s always possible to learn without these, but there are some sets out there that are worth the money and come with some super nifty how-to-learn concepts.
Our pick for the best electronic drum set for beginners
It was a bit of a task deciphering which set we wanted to recommend, as it came down to about 3-4 models we really loved. However, the ultimate victor for the award goes to Ion Audio with their very popular Redline drum set. Firstly, this set covers our checklist we previously mentioned when looking for the ideal solution for those just starting out. You’re getting the essential, raw features an electronic drum set needs: responsive drum pads, a headphone jack so you can practice privately, a 1/8″ auxiliary port to use a smart device so you can drum along with your favorite tunes, and a USB MIDI port to hook it up to your computer to record what you drum.
Besides that, the Redline drums also come with headphones and drumsticks, something we find very valuable being that many beginners don’t have this gear yet. Even though you could always purchase these separately for a relatively low cost, it still doesn’t hurt and leaves you less to worry about. The headphones aren’t necessarily studio headphones quality, but they get the job done. This was one of the more defining features for our choice.
One of our favorite other features, and basically what lead us to decide on the Redline Drums is the fact that they have the ability to light up! Now we know what you’re thinking (or at least what our initial thoughts were): so what? They’re fancy lights! Well, the module (little machine to the left of the set) has a built-in drum coach which incorporates play-along patterns for practice. You’re getting visual feedback when you play, and although this isn’t a make-or-break to learning how to drum, it’ll only help. We absolutely love this feature as it’s perfect for beginners.
The sounds of an electronic kit are always important to keep into consideration. Thankfully this set has more than 200+ to choose from, and although some sets even allow you to upload your own (this does not), the sounds in the Redline will suffice. There are 10 presets so you can choose depending on your mood, otherwise you can mix and match as you please using the module. We would’ve liked the ability to import our own samples into the module via a memory card of some sort, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Aside from the additive features and gear that comes with the set, the overall stability and build of a drum set is important to analyze. There haven’t been many negative reviews about the Redline drums in terms of cheap-plastic make. Yes, the set itself is only a few hundred dollars, so it’s not necessarily a high-quality titanium make or alloy-built , but it isn’t a Toys-R-Us set, either. It’s around the middle in terms of build, which is why we recommend it for beginners — it’s a starting out kit for a reason.
All in all, the Ion Redline Drums is a solid electronic drum set for a beginner. It isn’t too expensive, provides us with the essential features of a drum kit, and is highly rated by users among the internet so we have some back up for purchasing confidence. The build isn’t necessarily high-end but it gets the job done. It even made our 10 best electronic drum sets article. Let us know how it goes!