Beginner’s Guide To the Best Jazz Drum Set in 2021

  1. Home
  2.  => 
  3. Beginner’s Guide To the Best Jazz Drum Set in 2021


Disclaimer: Links in the table below and throughout the article are affiliated links with Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

So you want to start playing jazz, right?

Jazz drumming is one for those who want to push their technical limits. Hence, this one requires mastery and high-quality skills to achieve the desired output.

The drum sets are really similar to the standard drum kit comes with a massive, and substantial difference:

  • they are more dynamic in reacting to subtle playing high-quality techniques in jazz than regular drums
  • they can deliver a quality low-frequency tone that is specific to music.

The Best Drums for Jazz in 2021

Check this page if you are looking for the Best Beginners’ Drum Sets.

Looking for drum cymbals? => This is the Best Jazz Cymbals Review of the year.

Below are the top drum sets for beginners.

Gretsch Renown 4-piece Jazz Shell Pack Drum

Gretsch Drums Renown 4 Piece Jazz Shell Pack.jpg

Gretsch is an established drum sound and guitar manufacturer. The company is well known for creating the first warp-free drum hoop.

They started being favorites for many jazz drummers between the 1950s and 60s. At these times, top drum players like Elvin Jones and Max Roach use Gretsch drums extensively.

  • 14-inches snare
  • 19-inches bass drum
  • Gretsch classic 302 hoops, double flanged
  • Floor tom holder and floor tom mounts
  • Bass drum holder, hi hat stand and Remo drumheads.

PDP DW 7-Piece Concept Maple Drum Set

Pdp Dw 7 Piece Concept Maple

The Pacific Drum Company also prides itself on offering the best jazz drum sets. The PDP DW 7-Piece stands as one of their best items – created for the money.

This one has a reputation for delivering goodness. This specific set is equipped with an all-maple shell, and Remo heads. Hence, the Remo-heads produce a roomy sound with a punch.

The set includes:

  • A 22-inches bass drum
  • A 10-inches and 12-inches rack tom
  • An 8-inches free-mounted rack floor tom
  • Floor toms, 14-inches, and 16-inches

Sonor AQ2 Safari Drum 4-Piece

Sonor Aq2 Safari 4 Piece

This happens to be one of my favorite budgets, friendly jazz bass drums set.

Over the years, small drum sets have been ruling the industry. And this is perhaps once reason this particular set drum sound is so popular. It offers the best mix of response and portability.

The drums shells are crafted from high-quality 7-ply maple shells with three internal plies. Hence, the 7-ply maple shells sound is out of this world.

Besides the maple shells, it comes with one smart mount isolation system. This holds the drums set sturdy in position, enabling you to create your best resonance.

The pack includes:

  • 16-inches bass drum sets
  • 10-inches rack floor tom
  • 13-inches snare drum

Pearl Masters Complete 3 Piece Jazz Drum Set Shell pack

Pearl Masters Complete 3 Piece
Pearl Masters Complete 3 Piece

In first place for the winner of the best jazz drum set on the market is this gorgeous Pearl Masters Complete Jazz Drum Set. This drum set delivers an incredibly clean and warm sound that is simply outstanding.

The Pearl Masters Complete drums feature EvenPly 6 ply maple shells that are lighter and stronger than the original Masters series drums. These maple shells have an unbelievable tone and warmth that sounds sublime both on stage and in the studio.

Pearl has not left any stone unturned with the development of this premium-priced drum set, which is offered in a selection of stunning lacquer finishes.

This drum set includes a. All of the drums have a remarkable sound, and they also have a wonderful tuning range. The drums sing a clear note when turned up high, and produce a deep punch when tuned low.

This is the best jazz drum kit on the market, and it’s perfect for smaller club gigs as well as larger big band shows.

This pack includes:

  • 20×14 bass drum
  • 14×14 tom,hi hat and
  • a 12×8 rack tom

Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz 4 Piece Drum Set Shell Pack

Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz 4 Piece Drum
Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz 4 Piece Drum

Up next for review, we have this superb Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz Drum Set that produces a beautiful, resonant tone. This is a versatile and compact 4 piece drum set shell pack that features mahogany shells for a punchy and warm sound.

These drums deliver premium, vintage sounds thanks to the 7 ply mahogany shells that come equipped with 30-degree bearing edges. This drum set pays homage to the classic Gretsch sound and blends classic configurations with contemporary modern hardware innovations.

The drums are very musical sounding and have such a great tone that makes this kit one of the best jazz drum sets for the money.

The snare drum is responsive and snappy, having a bright attack. The kick drum is punchy yet open, and the toms are warm and resonant.

When paired with a great ride cymbal this makes a beautiful sounding jazz drum set that also offers excellent value for money. The hardware is solid and well-considered, and the kit comes outfitted with Remo drum heads throughout.

This pack includes:

  • 18×14 kick drum
  • 12×8 rack tom, hi hat and
  • a 14×5 matching snare drum

Pearl Midtown 4 Piece Jazz Drum Set Shell Pack

Pearl Midtown 4 Piece Jazz Drum
Pearl Midtown 4 Piece Jazz Drum

This incredible value Pearl Midtown 4 Piece Drum Set is a pocket rocket! It’s a compact drum set that doesn’t compromise on the quality of sound. The drums deliver full and responsive tones despite their smaller sizes.

If you are looking for an affordable jazz drum set that projects warm and focused sounds, this is certainly one of the best drum sets that offer unbeatable quality for its price range.

The drum shells are made of 6 ply poplar that offers a lively and rich tone, and the drums project surprisingly loud despite the portable sizes.

These drums come equipped with Remo drum heads throughout. Not only do these drums sound great, but they really look it too. This lacquer finish is ‘black gold sparkle’ that is subtle but very attractive.

This is one of the best jazz drum sets on the market that has the perfect balance of portability, sound, and incredible value for money. It’s also covered by Pearl’s limited lifetime warranty.

This pack includes:

  • 16×14 kick drum
  • 10×7 rack tom, hi hat and
  • a matching 13×5.5 snare drum.

pearl roadshow 4-piece jazz drum set

Pearl Roadshow 4 Piece Jazz Drum Set
Pearl Roadshow 4 Piece Jazz Drum Set

Up next, we have another brilliant value jazz drum set from Pearl drums, this package also including everything you need to start drumming right away. All of the other drum sets in this guide are ‘shell packs’, but this bundle includes all the hardware and cymbals.

If you are looking for your very first drum set in sizes, this has to be the best jazz drum set for you. It’s a seriously impressive beginner drum set that is durable, well-constructed and sounds surprisingly good.

Most beginner drum sets are of poor quality and fall apart within months. But not the Pearl Roadshow Drum Set! You can expect Pearl’s renowned quality that has given the company such a strong, long-standing reputation.

The hardware included in this drum kit is sturdy and durable, especially for a beginner drum set.

The brass cymbals included are not of good quality, but they will suffice for beginners, before needing to be replaced by better quality cymbals later on.

The Pearl Roadshow drum set is the perfect entry-level jazz drum kit that will help beginners to hone their skills behind the drum set. This is the best drum set for complete beginners, and for the price, you can’t go wrong with this bundle.

This pack includes:

  • 18×12 kick drum
  • 14×10 floor tom
  • 10×7 rack tom,
  • hi hat and cymbal stand
  • a matching 13×5 snare drum

Yamaha Stage Custom Bop 3 Piece Jazz Drum Set Shell Pack

Yamaha Stage Custom Bop 3
Yamaha Stage Custom Bop 3

This Yamaha Stage Custom Drum Set produces an excellent tone thanks to the 6 ply 100% birch shells and high-quality low mass hardware. The Yamaha Stage Custom birch drums have offered brilliant tone and value for over 30 years.

This drum kit possesses has a rich and warm sound that is perfect for live performances in clubs and on bigger stages alike. The drums included are 18×15 kick drum, 14×13 floor tom, and a 12×8 rack tom.

Yamaha’s air seal system for drum shell construction allows the drums to resonate with superior tone quality and reinforces their durability.

These drums s deliver powerfully and focused sounds that I feel are reminiscent of far more expensive Yamaha drums. The toms are open and bright, and the floor tom and kick drum have lots of low end and warmth.

These jazz set of drums are ideal for aspiring drummers and seasoned professionals alike. If you are looking for great sounds, looks, and durability this might be the best jazz drum kit for you.

This pack includes:

  • 18×15 kick drum
  • 14×13 floor tom, and
  • a 12×8 rack tom.

About jazz and jazz drums

First of all, what Is a jazz drum set? A jazz drum set is a complete set of drums, cymbals, stands and other percussion parts used for jazz tunes. The drum sets are quite similar to a standard drum kit. But they show a massive and substantial difference from any other drum kit, that is unique to this unique genre of music.

In many cases, it pushes musicians and their instruments beyond limits. In other words, it has been considered the final frontier for jazz drummers and true jazz drumming experience.

Well, there is a lot you need to learn about this genre of music. Starting from learning the basics to picking the right jazz drum set, all it takes is a few tips, and you are there.

And therefore, it is vital to take serious considerations when choosing a drum set.

Well, there is a lot you need to learn about this genre of a music snare drum sound. Starting from learning the basics to picking the right jazz drum set, all it takes is a few tips, and you are there.

Many people have asked me why a drum kit requires an 18” bass drum sound. Well whab about double bass drums? That would be cool, and then you will need a double bass pedal, but it’s not commonly used by jazz drum players.

There are several conflicting ideas about this feature. To some, it is all about fitting their equipment at the back of a truck.

Others think such a size is necessary for fitting a three-piece in a small club. Well, this means perhaps physical space requirements has something to do with this physical dimension.

However, considering what the most prominent players in the industry have, we can quickly rule out these theories. The biggest names like Peter Erskine, Illy Hart, Ralph Peterson, and Jimmy Cobb don’t have space constrain, yet they play 18” jazz drum kits.

Here is something to think about.

A large bass drum sound is not the best for producing an upright bass.

Also, the ability to moderate the volume of a smaller snare drum sound makes it suitable for the situation.

Of course, we cannot rule out big band jazz carrying lots of instruments. Such is often heavier than what you get in smaller groups.

But the general idea is, compelling jazz sounds come from the ability to create more exceptional tuning, and dynamic range is indeed jazz. Apart from this, increased volume controls enable the drummer to play complementarily rather than competitively.

You may have other reasons to link with this size, regardless, getting the best drum set is key to playing the right jazz tune.

Importance of choosing a Jazz Drum Set

What drum set options do I have? This is the first question any first-time jazz drummer needs to ask. It is all about playing the right kind of music to the right audience,

Getting into the groove to play the drums is not much different from learning other instruments like the guitar. You will need to choose between an electric, acoustic, or a folk guitar.

The same applies to drums, where you have the option of acoustic and electronic drums. If your heart lies with classic acoustics, then choosing the gear made for the style of music you are playing vital.

Choosing any other drum kit apart from a jazz kit will only give you a hard time.

The Features Of a Jazz Drum Set

Another significant thing to know as a beginner is how a jazz drum set should look like. I have already talked about their size in the previous section.

Jazz drum kits are smaller, not only for easy moving around but for the best sound ranges.

Drummers find it easier to move around with these drum sets. Also, they can fit in any space.

Specifications or a jazz stage custom drum set further differentiates them from rock and roll drum sets and other music genres. The configurations or the size of the various parts of the kit should not be the same.

Here is what you should expect in a standard jazz drums kit:

  • A 10-inches floor tom and a 13-inches rack tom
  • An 18-inches bass drum
  • A 13-inches snare drum
  • A hit-hat
  • A Ryde cymbal
  • A crash cymbal

How To Choose The Right Jazz Drum Set in 2021

There are many manufacturers for jazz drums sets in the market today. For me, choosing the right set is a very personal thing.

I always advise jazz-drum-newbies sound to emulate their favorite drummers. And this is the reason for the names above. Once you see what they are playing, you can try copying their style and choice.

 But then, budgeting can be a hindrance. Professional musicians probably have top-end expensive equipment.

There is a cheaper alternative, closer to what your ideal drummer has. One important thing to consider is ensuring you stay within your budget.

Apart from this, you have two options from assembling you set – ready-made jazz drums sets and self-assembly – buying one piece at a time.

 On the other hand, however, buying the elements separately allows you to personalize or customize the set any way you want. Besides, some jazz kits come with very poor quality cymbals.

There must be friends who understand the jazz industry better than you and maybe in a more significant position helping you choose. They will recommend a particular brand which, of course, you may reject.

Besides, if you are learning to play jazz drum kits, it means you are only seeking to improve your skills. You already know how to play drums; hence, things should be much easier for you.


As you can tell already, jazz is a vast genre of music. But it offers the best opportunity to take your jazz drumming to the next level. Hopefully, you have gotten some knowledge that will help you in your journey.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Comment

Only For True Drum Lovers!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!

Join other 10.000 drummers worldwide!

Get notified about new products, drumming tips and best drummers!


Find out Brand New & Second hand Amazing Drum Sets on EBay!