Don’t get me wrong; I love playing with full percussion large drums!
But there is just something about small drums that makes me want to hold them in my hands. Well, the fact that they are small is perhaps the most fundamental reason anyone would want them.
Having a small drum kit means portability. You can carry it anywhere you want and fit it in any corner. And the best part is, the sound just as impressive as large drums.
In this guide, we are going to share some of the best small drum kits on the market today. Continue reading.
What is a small drum called?
Perhaps you have already guessed what a small drum is all about. In simple terms, it is a mobile version of a full-size kit.
Smalls, just like big ones, come in varying sizes, collapsibility, and sound. They are all referred to as portable drums.
One of the significant advantages of the small drum is that they are cheap as they are quality. You can get a little drumming set at less than $100 with all features of a full drumming kit.
Advantages of a small portable drum set
Why would you want to but a small drum kit? Consider the following benefits.
Easy to transport
If you are a band, you will realize carrying other items like guitar, keyboard, and vocals are easy to carry. But someone like me, whose life is drumming, it can be had moving with a drum set around my neck.
This is one of the reasons I have always disliked going to gigs. Even though carrying a guitar and other items may be a bit uncomfortable too, you cannot compare to a large drums kit.
A small kit is designed to be carried around with ease. The parts used in them are made with the lightest materials.
They weigh less
The weight of portable drums is way lower than that of larger drum sets. Note that, a full-size set is created with quality in mind, more than weight.
For instance, you will get materials such as mahogany in a more extensive set because they offer the best tone. But they are not great when transportable.
A great portable kit is designed to be as light as possible. Even a kid can carry them around with ease.
Good Sound quality
Hearing me talk about large drums being made with quality in mind, one can easily assume portable kits are weaker siblings. Well, it may seem so.
But you may be surprised at just how quality sound these drums produce. There are different brands of these drums, like Sonor Safari, that are compatible with larger, more expensive kits.
Easy to fold
Unless you have enough space, a full kit with many pieces can take up a lot of room. But if you live in an average apartment, then finding space for your kit may be hard.
A portable drum set solves this issue. They are easy to fold, just like an ironing board.
When I was looking for my first small drum, I was not sure if the quality matched with the price. They are way cheaper, and I had to doubt a little bit.
Well, they are just perfect. Besides, adult leaner may not want to spend a fortune on drums at first instance. Most travel kits are smaller and cheaper, suitable for any range of budgets.
It is never easy to practice drumming, especially in a quiet neighborhood. And in my experience, constant practice is key to improving.
The issue is, large drums can be incredibly loud. This is much so when practicing for loud music like a rock.
Electronic drum sets offer a much easier approach. They are almost silent. The player only plugs the headphone sockets and play any time of the day. Anyone near you will only hear a thud. It is super convenient, right?
Types of portable kits
There are two major types of small drum kits. They include:
This is the main type of acoustic drum sets. There are many full-size kits for this type. The smaller kits start at 14 inches and extend to 18”.
The electronic drums sets started appearing in the 1980s. The new wave and pop music made is famous, then the dance and electronic music of the 1990s made it more prominent. Electric rigs are much smaller. Some, like Tabletop electronic drums, come without legs. You can simply place them on the table, desk, oven your lap, and start playing; with either fingers or sticks.
Which Drum Set Is Best For Beginners?
Small drum sets, as I mentioned earlier, comes in different shapes, brands, and prices. For a beginner, you may want to consider something much cheaper yet good enough to get you there.
As long as it is not a toy, I would recommend the smallest drum kits for beginners. Here are my top recommendations though:
Ahmir Thomson, a.k.a Questlove is one of my favorite drummers of all time. The American percussionist plays with The Roots. As such, it is right to say; he understands the needs of drummers.
Perhaps because of constant moving, he decided to design a drum set portable enough to fit anywhere and light enough to move with through the subway. The Ludwig Breakbeat is designed to fit in tight spaces. You can gig in coffeehouses, subways, and other corners of your subway.
The Ludwig Breakbeat is a ‘break-able’ 4-piece drum set for a gritty, raw downbeat. It comes with a riser for vast reach and features a compact 14 x 16-inch bass, 7 x 10-inch tom, and 13 x 13-inch floor tom. Hence, this kit is perfect for creating sculpting grooves in tight spaces.
It is easy to set up and affordable for beginners. And since a pro designs it, you can be sure of getting the necessary experience for playing even a larger kit.
- Very light
- Comes with a cymbal arm on the bass
- Features soft cases
- Basswood shells create lower quality sound
- There is not kick pedal, stool, or hardware and cymbals
When it comes to building high-quality pocket-friendly drums sets, I consider Pearl, a market leader. It is one of the companies that has been consistent with creating the best drum sets.
Pearl Black Gold Sparkle is one of their products that I admire. It is a lightweight, highly portable kit with superb gigging features.
There are two choices of finishes on the covers. The first is the 6 Plywood (7.5mm) poplar shells, and the second is a matching 13 x 5.5 wood snare drum.
One of its most exciting features is Pearl’s OptiLoc Suspension system. It makes it easy to set up. Apart from this is the best drum heads for any price.
This drum set is perfect for both expert players and beginners.
- Excellent for beginners
- Popular shells mean high and low frequencies
- Opti-loc suspension
- Bass drum lift
- Remo snare drum heads
- It only comes in two finishes
- It is not as loud as other compact kits.
Yamaha is one of my favorite manufacturers of acoustic and electric musical instruments. As such, you should have no doubt the Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 18″ Kick, Natural Wood is a great set. Quick features to note include:
- Opti-loc suspension
- Bass drum lift
- Remo snare drum heads
- Lifetime resistance
- Beginner-intermediate price point
- Low-mass lugs
- Hi-tension lugs
I really like this drum set and its sound and the versatility that it has. You can feel the proper tone when you play at home or on the stage. It is so easy to bring it around, and it is so versatile, that I feel that it is perfect for a beginner drummer or someone that is buying on a small budget but looking fo quality.
This is another great set produced by Yamaha. Quick features to note include:
- Floor requirements; 44 inches x 26 inches
- Type: Electric drum kit, compact drum set
This kit is a compact electronic drum kit. It is designed to take up a small space. The set features a flexible rack system allowing the drummer to adjust to their needs.
Yamaha offers a great variety of drum sets. The DTX400K is perfect for beginners because of its price. It is more affordable compared to others.
Constant practice is key to becoming a great drummer. And with the Yamaha DTX400K Electronic Drum Set, you can practice even from your home without making noise for neighbors. It offers the experience of a percussion full drum kit.
- Electric, hence easy, you can play almost silent.
- Easy to set-up.
- Take up a bit much space than other portable drum sets.
Portability is key to getting the best beginner drum sets. And for this, no drum set offers better than desk or tabletop set.
The PAXCESS 9 Pads Electric Drum Set is one such product, a small electric drum that you bring with you everywhere you go.
Even though it looks like a kids drum kit (technically, it is), it is perfect for adult beginners. It offers the feeling of a compact, full drum kit.
It is fully portable that you can tap your rhythm even at the campfire, BBG, or beach party. It comes with a built-in speaker; hence you can play without connecting to external ones.
- Great response and realistic effect.
- Features eight play-along demo songs.
- Rechargeable battery included.
- Not suitable for serious performance.
- It comes out of the box with poor quality sticks.
What Is The Lowest Sounding Drum?
A basic drum set comes with three drums; a bigger drum, a mid-size drum, and a small one. Although a full kit may have five-piece, in most cases, you will buy other pieces separately.
The bass drum, with is the biggest, like the double bass, makes the lowest sound. It is designed like a huge snare, making it sound the lowest. It is the bass thud you hear when someone is playing drums.