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How to choose your first drum instrument ?

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

A major question I receive from the students is, which drum do I buy? Well the answer is not black or white. In this article I am going to help you choose the right instrument if you want to learn the Drum kit, Djembe, Darbuka, Bongos or Congas.

Firslty there are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. What's my budget?

  2. How much space I have? (If it's a drum kit)

  3. Do I live in an apartment?

  4. Do I really want to learn?

A budjet between £350 to £1000 will get you a good quality drum kit to begin with .

What I suggest is that, if you have the budget for something better than beginners instrument please please go for it with closed eyes! A good quality instrument will help you more with the learning process-plus, it will last forever. Trust me, if you go for the cheapest choice you will spend more money later on buying a new drum or replacing parts.

Don't be afraid to spend some more money now on something decent as later on if you decide to quit you can sell it to someone else for a reasonable price and get some money back!

Regarding Drum kits. The best and most worthy choice are the Acoustic drum kits (Wooden).

Poplar(synthetic wood), is nowadays the most sought after wood for beginners drum kits. With Poplar, you can get a cheap but good quality drum kit. With Birch wood, you can get an intermediate kit and with Maple wood a very good drum kit. In fact, the most famous drummers prefer Maple drum kits. Also, there are more types of wood such as Cherry or Mahogany which will get you a good quality drum kit.

Acoustic kits are always better for all the techniques you are going to learn were made for Acoustic drum kits and also it is the only way to see how a drum kit feels i.e how hard or soft you have to hit to have a balanced sound. With Acoustic drums you have the choice to create the sound that you like to listen to when you play by choosing the sizes, the heads, the cymbals and even the pedals. 99% of the best drummers in the world play acoustic drums.

Brands like Pearl, Sonor, Yamaha, Mapex, Pdp will get you a good price and high quality drum kits.

PEARL ROAD SHOW JUNIOR KIT is perfect for kids and beginners.


If you still thinking of the noise pollution, you can find that there are quite drum heads to apply on your drum kit and quite cymbals as well. A cheaper choice are small silicone ones.


Silicone silencers

If you live in an apartment or you have surly neighbours, I am afraid you need to go for the electronic drum kit. But still don't worry! There is a solution. A good electronic drum kit will last you the same as an acoustic. Brands Roland and Yamaha are the most experienced to choose an electronic drum kit from.Today's GOOD electronic drums are hybrid, have antisthetic technology (typing message technology) and they have pretty much the same feeling as an acoustic and the responses are same. On the contrary, value brands like Rock Jam, Alesis, Millenium don't tendt to have, (in my opinion) 'real' feeling and may not help you as much with your learning.

Yamaha DTXPRESS 402K. Responses perfect and sounds great. Space saver as well.

Roland TD17KVX

Regarding Djembe players, there are many sizes for Djembes and all depends on your height.

Hand made wooden Djembe

If you are able to buy a hand made wooden djembe, this is going to be the best choice for you. In other words, choose wooden from a brand and NOT a fiberglass djembe.

Some of the brands that do not tend to sell handmades but still high quality are Tycoon, LP, and Meinl.

Regarding Darbuka players, there are three types of Darbukas; Turkish, Egyptian and Clay.

Egyptian is mainly known as Arabic or Sombaty and it is the best choice to learn belly dance music. Clay is mainly known as Dohola or bass Darbuka as it's usually bigger.

Aluminium Darbukas are the best to begin learning with. Stainless steel is still good.

Gawharet El fan is the greatest brand regarding quality and lookwise and then Alexandria, and Meinl.

Gawharet El fan Egyptian Sombaty Darbuka

Gawharet El fan Egyptian Darbuka

Regarding Congas and Bongos players, brands like Pearl, Meinl, LP, Tycoon, are the best to choose your drum from.

For beginners with Conga Drum a good choice will be a Quinto Conga and if you have some more space a set 10' and 11' is going to be perfect for you.

Menil 'Quinto' Conga

LP Aspire 10" & 11" Natural Wood Congas

Written by Alberto Christodoulou

Edited by Cynthia Davis

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