Cheap Drum Set vs Expensive – Does It Matter?!

Playing drums help relieve stress, disappointment, and frustration. Whether you are in a drum circle hitting a djembe or are behind your drum kit, drumming certainly is an amazing stress reliever. Even if you play the drum for just a few minutes it can instantly improve your mood.

Drumming even boosts your confidence. To be successful, a drummer has to learn to play in a dynamic manner – soft and loud. And, playing a loud beat requires confidence and guts.

So, drumming indeed has a lot many benefits to offer, and this is why it is one of the most popular musical instruments. If you too desire to learn drumming you surely must be keen on knowing about cheap drum set vs expensive drum differences.

But before that let us learn why there is a huge difference in prices? Why is some drum sets so expensive?

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Why Some Drum Are Sets So Heavily Priced?

So, the first thing you need to understand is what is the reason behind the heavy price tag of some drum sets? Why is it that some drum sets are quite budget-friendly while the price of others is extremely high?

And, the most important thing, when you look at these differently priced sets from a distance, they look nearly the same.

Well, the first reason behind the high price of some drum sets is that they have been created keeping in mind professional requirements. The drummers who will use these will likely be recording in a studio. Also, they may play live at big and small venues.

The professionals need to make sure they always sound perfect in every situation. Their drums can never have a loose tuning. Furthermore, their drum also needs to look attractive. It has to be an amazing combination of sounding good and looking attractive.

To achieve such results, a lot of technology has to be researched, developed, and tested. And, all these factors increase the price of professional drum sets.

Now that you know why some drum sets are priced higher, let us also now learn about the differences between an expensive and a cheap drum set.

Cheap Drum Set vs Expensive – The Differences

Video: “Cheap vs expensive drums: Can you hear the difference?”

Attention to Details

As far as the expensive drum sets are concerned, great attention is given to the details. Soft cushions must be present under springs. The finish should be such that will not chip or scratch. The wood must remain in its round form always. The drums should always keep tuning. The tuning range has to be immense, and so on.

Expensive Drums

On the expensive drums, this is not possible, not unless the snares are tight enough.

Now, talking about the cheap drum sets, their biggest problem is their weird undertones. No matter which drum you hit on a drum set, you will never enjoy a nice and clean drum sound. There will be more noise. For instance, you will be able to hear the drum heads vibrating on your bearing edge.

Cheap Drums

On cheaper drums, the drum head may not be placed in the ideal round position and thus the drum head ends up creating additional noises.

In certain music genres, this may sound cool. But it will not sound nice in every genre and you will want to get rid of it. This, however, will not be possible as it is how the cheap drum set works.

Such sounds will also cause a big issue in recording studios. When the drums will be recorded, the drum mic will pick up the extra sounds made by the drum and the results will never be satisfactory.


Tuning a highly-priced drum set is also a lot easier, which is something you will not achieve with the cheaper ones. The expensive drums can be tuned within just a few minutes. What is more important is that they maintain their tuning.

You will not have to worry about losing your tuning after you have played a song or two.

The Drum Hardware

The next thing we shall discuss in this cheap drum set vs expensive comparison is the hardware. Cheap drum hardware has to be avoided at all costs. This is very important if you are serious about drumming.

There is not such a big problem if you opt for cheap drums but cheap hardware is something you just need to stay away.

If your cymbal stands are not properly being able to hold a cymbal in the right place then you will look like a fool while performing. Time and again you will need to put your cymbal back in its place and that surely will be frustrating.

Also, if the bass-drum pedal of your drum set stops working, or, if it does not hold your bass drum properly, how will you play it?

The look also needs to be given importance. A cheap drum set will, well, look cheap. And it is pretty easy to identify an expensive set by the perfect finish that it has.

A drum player wants to create a cool image, but if you do not have an expensive drum set, this likely will not be possible. So, if you are interested in creating your image in front of a crowd, then an expensive set makes a better option.

The Cymbals

If you have a cheap drum set with cheap cymbals they will likely tear soon. And, when a cymbal tears, nothing can be more irritating to a drummer. But, you will not face issues if you opt for an expensive set.

The expensive cymbals are stronger and they will last you longer than the cheap ones. This does not mean that the expensive cymbals never have cracks. They do, but not as easily as the cheap ones.

Furthermore, the chances of a popular cymbal company replacing an expensive cymbal for you is also pretty high.

Pricey cymbals even maintain their sound with usage. If you do not clean or polish them in a wrong manner the sound will remain the same for long.

More costly cymbals produce a much crisp and clearer sound. But, one thing you need to know here is that even cheap cymbals can perform quite like an expensive one if you know how to make the right selection.

Do Your Research

So, do proper research and look for a budget-friendly cymbal that performs like an expensive one.

A great idea will be to search for a ride cymbal in your set. Ride cymbals are strong. And, there are many manufacturers that create amazing ride cymbals at quite cheap rates.

Even if your drums are cheap but you have good quality cymbals, then you will sound quite nice. So, do keep this in mind, even if you are in the search of a cheap drum set.

Which One Should a New Drummer Opt For?

Video: “What Does a Beginner Drummer REALLY Need?”

Many drummers who are playing for the first time straightaway opt for the most expensive drum set that is available. This, however, can be a big mistake.

As a newbie, you have no idea about what wood will match your taste and what configuration you need. So, if you end up selecting the wrong one, you will just be wasting your hard-earned money.

Another thing you need to understand is that if you know how to play to perfection then you can produce great music even using a cheap drum kit. But, if you do not know how to play at all, then using an expensive kit too will make no difference at all.

Maybe you can start with a decent priced kit that will be within your budget and will also help you learn to play the right way. You can always opt for the expensive one later.

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What Should You Choose When Playing Live

While you are gigging, people generally will not mind even if the sound is not very clear. So, to gig, you can carry a cheaper kit with you. Also, when you move drums there are chances of them getting damaged. You will thus naturally prefer to take along a cheaper one.

Furthermore, the fact cannot be denied that most venues have no good sound engineers. Thus, you have to do your own setup and work with whatever you have.

You can play cheap drums and there should not be a problem. However, if it is a very big gig then your reputation is at stake. In such situations, it will be better to take a costlier one with you.


To conclude this cheap drum set vs expensive comparison it will be fair to say both can prove to be useful.

What you need to understand is that cheap, however, does not mean very cheap. It will be a good idea to opt for a mid-range drum set, particularly if you are a beginner. Make sure they are made using either birch or maple or a combination of these woods.

Once you have brought your mid-range drum set, you need to practice and practice more. If you do not put in efforts and practice to perfect yourself, it really does not matter what type of drum set you are using.

Even the most expensive one will produce utterly unsatisfactory results.

So, it is not only about the drum set alone. It is a combination of a good drum set and enough effort that will help make you a good drummer.

Juan Stansbury
Juan Stansbury

I'm Juan Stansbury, author and owner of Homerecordio – your ultimate destination for everything about homerecording. With hands-on experience, courses, workshops, and industry research, I offer tips on selecting the best equipment, and mixing and mastering your recordings to achieve professional-quality results at home. Join me on this journey to explore the world of homerecording and music production.

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