Many people want to buy an e-drum kit, but don’t know what kit to buy. They ask for advice or confirmation and are usually unsure. Some are back into drumming after years of a break and some just want to start playing drums. Others need a present for their kids. Those are 3 very common scenarios.
What are the beginner mistakes when buying the first electronic drum kit?
My mistake was that I looked for the price only. I did not know anything about dynamic or even the features of an e-drum kit. So I went for a cheap unknown brand kit with pads made out of plastic and the cheapest piece of crap drum module. The pads were so damn loud, my neighbors complained immediately. It was not even possible to hear the module sounds properly, as the stick noise was still louder than everything else. At this time I did not know that Roland exists and I really thought e-drums suck.
One evening I went to a friend’s place and tried out his Roland HD-1. I was blown away. The mesh head, the sensitivity, the feeling, it was just amazing. And it was only an entry level kit.
Just to make clear, this is not an endorsement about Roland. You will get my honest opinion.
Within the next week I managed to get a used Roland HD-1 myself.
I had massive problems to get rid of my old Tupperware kit. No one wanted to have it. It was like having to pay people to make them wanting it.
So this is the first conclusion, avoid cheap brands as beginner mistakes! If you want to save money, go for a used or even slightly damaged Roland V-drum kit. My YouTube Channel is providing video instructions for so many repairs. It is sometimes easier than you might think to fix a broken music gear. This is of course only one solution. In case you don’t want to buy a used kit, you can go for a new Roland entry level drum kit. I recommend the new TD-1 or the TD-11. They are both amazing kits.
For all the parents:
It is sometimes hard to figure out if your kid will consistently be into playing drums after a purchase. You will never know before. But if you make the mistake of buying a cheap piece of garbage, it might happen that your kid will not enjoy playing drums at all. It should be fun for them to play and you don’t want to get annoyed by noisy plastic trash yourself. In most cases you will have no idea what to buy. My advice is like mentioned before, go for a Roland TD-1 or a TD-11. Both are basic drum kits and ideal as experiment to see if playing drums is the right hobby for your children. Both kits are not too expensive and perfect for practicing and they can even be extended with one extra pad. If you are a handy person, go for a second hand kit like the TD-3, TD-4, TD-9, they are all good.
Usually what happens to people who really get into e-drums is that they start off with an entry level and extend their kit until it becomes a huge advanced level kit. It is like an addiction. More pads, bigger rack, a better module. It’ll never stops. Others might realize they almost never play their e-drums or they even stopped playing drums completely.
And here comes the big advantage of a used e-drum kit. These kits keep their value. You can still sell them for a very good price, if they are in good condition. I saw people who sold their used kit for more money than for what they got it for through websites like LeoList. This works, of course, only with second hand gear. New gear looses 30-50% of its value immediately.
In the end it depends totally on the personality of the drummer. But as e-drums are quite expensive, it is always good to compare prices and find the very best solution according to your financial situation.
Have a look at this video to see how I restored an electronic drum kit.
No matter what you do, don’t buy a kit on installments. Click here to read a post about this topic.
If money doesn’t matter, go for a kit which offers positional sensing on the snare and has a realistic hi hat (Vh-11). The more expensive, the more realistic the kit becomes. But extra features, like a full mesh kit or a 3 zone ride cymbal, cost a lot of money. This is something for an advanced drummer and can cost a few thousand bucks.
I hope I could give you enough good reasons to start your drumming journey with an entry level Roland kit. Whether you are a worried parent who thinks: My kid has another crazy idea. Or over 40 and didn’t play for ages and really want to go back into drumming without spending a lot of money. Maybe you are the best girlfriend/wife in the world and would like to buy the perfect present.
200-300€: Used Roland HD-1, HD-3
300-500€: Used Roland TD-3, TD-4, new Roland TD-1
500-1000€: Used Roland TD-9, TD-11, new Roland TD-1KV
1000-1500€: Used Roland TD-12, TD-15, new TD-11