Choosing new drum kits can be a complicated process. With so many great kits out there, it’s often difficult to know which one is the best choice for your needs.
If you are looking for an intermediate drum set, this guide is here to help.
I’m a drummer myself and have gone through a number of kits. Starting with a scrappy second-hand one as my first drum kit, and in recent years upgrading to something with better quality. I recently bought a new intermediate drum kit myself – a beautiful Mapex bop kit.
There are many types of intermediate drum sets out there, this shows the best drum kits in the middle price range. These may be a bit too expensive for a total beginner, but they are good enough quality to last more dedicated drummers.
Who should use an intermediate drum set?
If you don’t want to be a beginner forever, you will need to move away from beginner drum sets. They’re cheap, but often lack a good level of features and construction, which ends up interfering with playing.
If you’ve played drums for a couple of years then it’s probably time to upgrade your drum set. If you are a total beginner, you should probably invest in things other than a new kit, like lessons, books, and accessories. When you’re technique is good and you need a nice sounding kit, you’re probably ready for an intermediate kit.
Keep reading for the full guide, or check out these related posts!
Table of Content
- Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit
- Mapex Rebel 5-Piece
- Sawtooth Bop Series Drums (Shell Pack)
- Ludwig Accent Drive Series Bundle
- Tama Club-Jam Kit
- Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit – Electric Drum Set with USB
- Roland TD-1DMK electronic drums
7 Here are the Best Intermediate Drum Set Tried & Tested
Learn how to play the drums in a musical way! The Ludwig Questlove is the perfect drum set for beginners or professionals in a tight space. This kit is made by one of the best-known drum manufacturers – Ludwig, in partnership with drum and hip hop icon Questlove.
This set includes a 16” bass drum, a 10” rack tom, a 13” floor tom, and a 12” snare drum. This kit is much smaller than most kits, making it great for small spaces or transportability. The snare in this is smaller than most snare drums, but it still has a decent sound. In fact, all the drum shells in this kit are great-sounding drums.
It also includes all the additional parts you need to drum – bundled with the kit is a kick drum pedal, hi-hat and cymbal, and all the stands you need. It even comes with a drum stool and a drum key.
This drum kit is also a great alternative to practice drums when you don’t have the room for a full-sized kit; it’s small, lightweight, and convenient. It doesn’t quite have the wide tuning range of larger sets, but this is still a great drum kit.
- Drums – Kick, Snare, 1 x rack tom, 1 x floor tom
- Sizes – 16, 13, 12, 10
- Accessories – Pedal, Stands, Stool, heads.
Pros and Cons
- Small and portable.
- Comes with accessories.
- Limited range compared to full-sized kits.
This is is a great kit for intermediate drummers and is highly recommended. It is significantly smaller than other kits here, but it offers a warm sound at an affordable price and is made by a well-known drum company.
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One of the world’s most iconic drum sets, the Mapex Rebel 5-Piece Black Drum Set includes everything a budding drummer needs to start jamming right out of the box. From drums to cymbals, hardware, and even sticks, this set includes everything you need to start playing right away. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, punk, or more, this set has all the essentials you need to express yourself musically.
This comes with more than just the shell pack. The Mapex Rebel Drum Kit features a 22″ heavy-duty bass drum, 10″ tom, 12″ snare, 14″ hat, and a 16″ floor tom. Each drum comes equipped with Remo heads, which sound pretty good from the go. It creates a focused sound and has one of the best bass drums on this list. The bass drum pedal is also decent.
This bundle includes the newest double-braced hardware, and an updated lug design to keep your drums in tune. The 9-ply shell delivers a rich sound, while the bass drum is there to bolster your low-end. It includes cymbals, a hi-hat, and all the stands, a drum throne is also included. You’ll be ready to rock in no time with this amazing set!
- Drums – Kick, Snare, 2 x rack tom, 1-floor tom
- Stool Floor tom legs x3
- 14” Hi-hat cymbal
- 16” crash/ride cymbal
Pros and Cons
- Includes all hardware and accessories.
- Full range 5 piece kit.
- High-quality shell construction.
- Includes video lessons with Questlove.
You deserve a drum kit that speaks to your rebel mood. Get the best of Mapex quality at a great value. Mapex makes great musical instruments for intermediate and seasoned drummers.
Are you ready for some serious drumming action? Mapex Rebel drum kit is the solution for you.
This set comes with everything you need to start rocking out from day one. This is ideal for the rehearsal studio or stage.
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Next we have a sweet little jazz kit. This is a Bop kit from Sawtooth. This shell pack includes only the four drums, like all shell packs you will need to buy additional hardware.
This Sawtooth Bop Drum Kit is perfect for those who need a drum kit to produce quality sound at home or practice on the go. Whether you’re a longtime drummer or just starting out, with the Sawtooth Bop Drum Kit you’ll get a set of high-quality maple shells. This shell pack offers a fantastic tone for jazz drums and has a smooth, rounded tone. The snare drum has a nice crack to it it.
Time for a drum kit for all you percussionists out there. This Sawtooth Bop kit is just what you need to get your groove on. You’ll get all the standard pieces, with a couple of extras like the adjustable bass drum riser to make sure you’re always sounding great. This includes all the tom mounts you need.
- Drums – kick, snare, rack tom, floor tom
- Sizes – 16″ Bass Drum, 10″ Tom, 14″ Floor Tom, 13″ Snare Drum
- Accessories – Shell pack only
Pros and Cons
- High-quality jazz sound
- Best drum set for jazz players on a budget
- No Cymbals or hardware included
Ditch the cheapo drums forever with Sawtooth Bop Drum Kit.This shell pack makes one of the best intermediate drum sets on the market. This particular link includes the drum heads.
If you’re looking for a small jazz bop kit, this is one of the best shell packs out there.
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The Ludwig Accent Drum Kit is the perfect first drum kit for the new drummer. It’s all in one box, and it’s not just a drum set – it’s a complete package with everything you need to get started.
The kit features a full-size, 16″ crash/ride cymbal and 16 x 22″ bass drum with 6.5 x 14″, 10-lug, low-mass lugs for increased sustain. The set also includes a 14″ deep snare drum that sounds great in a range of tunings.
New Ludwig Accent Drum Kit features a redesigned tuning system with a reinforced tension rod, giving you a solid foundation for your drumming future. It also has improved rubber feet and a pedal with 360-degree rotation to allow you to play drum set just like the pros.
- Drums – Kick, snare, 2 x rack tom, 1 x floor tom
- Sizes – 16×22″ bass drum, 9×12″ and 8×10″ rack toms, a 16×16″ floor tom, and a 6.5×14″ snare.
- Accessories – Cymbals, hi-hat, and stands.
Pros and Cons
- Includes all accessories
- Full-sized drums.
- HIgh-quality birch shells.
- Includes snare, kick, and tom heads.
Ludwig has been making drums for decades, and their Accent Drum Kit features their signature Drive Series design. It has bass, floor tom, and snare drum with cymbals and cymbal stands, with all the other accessories you need. This is a great choice for intermediate drummers and will last players for many years.
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The Tama Club Jam Kit is the perfect kit for new and intermediate players. The three-piece set includes a bass drum, tom, and snare drum, which can all be mounted on a single stand. Each drum has a durable finish that will look sharp while delivering all the sounds you need to keep the beat. This kit is perfect for practice or when you need to lock down your sound quickly.
Tama Club Jam is a perfect drum set for your home, studio, or for the road. The drum set is beautifully designed and available in a range of colors to suit your style.
With a snare, bass drum, hi-hat stand, cymbal arm, and throne included in this 4-piece shell set, it’s an excellent way for any drummer to get into the art of playing drums. The maple shells are sturdy
Loved by drummers for more than 30 years, Club JAM kits have the best of both vintage and modern features.With the Tama Club Jam Pro Series, you get even more features like an upgraded cymbal pad and a curved bass drum spur.
- Drums – Kick, Snare, Rack Tom, Floor tom
- Sizes – Bass drum 12″x18″, Tom 7″x10″, Bass drum 7″x14″, Snare drum 5″x13″
This drum kit is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of space. It features a classy, yet powerful sound that will give your listeners an experience they’ll remember. This set is also perfect for traveling drummers and those with limited space.
If you’re looking for a small kit this is one of the more affordable ones out there.
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Grit your teeth and get ready for the most realistic drumming experience you’ve ever had. The Alesis Nitro electronic drum set is here to change the way you feel about electronic drums. Its all-mesh drum heads deliver a natural, dynamic, and responsive feel that beats many other kits on the market.
This Alesis Nitro drum kit is perfect for any level of player and includes everything you need to get started. With an 8-inch dual-zone snare pad, three 8 inch tom drums, and three 10 inch cymbals, this kit will make you feel like a pro from the first note.
The drum trigger module offers a wide range of sounds and features. The Nitro module features 40 custom kits, 60 play-along tracks, and 350+ drum sounds from acoustic and electric kits. With an easy-to-use interface, you can spend more time playing and less time learning.
It includes a wide range of high-quality samples, but you can also load your own sounds with a USB stick. The overall feel of the kit is pretty decent, it uses mesh rather than rubber heads so it has a good level of sensitivity.
- Drums – kick pad, snare pad, 3 tom pads, 3 cymbal pads, hi-hat pedal
- Sizes -12”
- Accessories – Drum Module
Pros and Cons
- Affordable electronic drum kit.
- A range of onboard kit sounds.
- Stand hardware sometimes gets loose.
The Nitro E-Drum kit is perfect for beginners and intermediate players. Plus, it’s designed to be as easy to assemble as possible. This incredible drum set is fun and easy to use, with a sequencer and metronome to guide you. Practice and learn at your own pace with the wide range of built-in educational features.
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The Roland TD-1D is a high-quality electronic drum kit. It includes all the essential pieces to get you playing now The TD-1D is a fantastic complete kit for any drummer.
The Roland TD-1KV electronic drum kit is the perfect starter kit for any drummer or percussionist. Ideal for beginners, the Roland TD-1KV is a great affordable way to get into the world of electronic drums. With 50 different drum and cymbal sounds, 8 different playing surfaces, and 5 different types of pedals, you can play like a pro from day one.
The mesh heads give you the realistic feel of an acoustic drum set, while the unique blend of Roland and third-party sounds allows you to explore a whole new world of rhythm.
It can even be fitted with a silent kick unit to minimize pedal noise, creating a super quiet practice session. It’s sensitive enough to register even the gentlest ghost notes.
This set is for the drummer who’s looking for a highly-realistic drumming experience that doesn’t break the bank.
It’s built for pros with 256 notes of polyphony, as well as 15 drum kits with real drum sounds that make it feel like you’re at the show. Featuring a large range of quality sounds and an intuitive layout, this drum is equipped with all the
- Drums – Kick pad, snare pad. 3 tom pads, 3 cymbal pads, hi-hat pedal
- Sizes – 12” pads
- Accessories – All mounting and modules
Pros and Cons
- Wide range of kit settings
- Highly sensitive pads, realistic feel
- Sturdy stand
- No kick pedal included
Roland is known to make some of the best audio equipment out there, and this certainly is one of the best intermediate drum sets in the electronic category. This is ideal for intermediate drummers looking for an electronic drum set. It offers all the features you need in an electric kit and has a superior feel compared to most other sets in this price range.
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How much does an intermediate drum set cost?
The cost of an intermediate drum set can vary depending on the type of drum set. It can range from as low as $250 to as high as $5000. The price is largely determined by the quality and features of the drums, cymbals, and hardware. There are many factors that determine the price of a drum set, including
- Type: Drum sets come in different types such as acoustic or electric drums, with each type having its own advantages and disadvantages.
- Quality: The higher the quality of the drum set, the higher its price. For example, If a drum set is made with high-quality maple and mahogany hardwood that are hand-carved, it will be more expensive than if it was just made out of pine.
- Features: Roland Vdrum sets for example are great for playing live shows because they have a built-in sound card and mixer. A Roland Vdrum set will cost more than a standard drum set because of this feature.
- Brand: Companies such as Pearl, Yamaha, and Ludwig are the most popular drum sets brands and their prices reflect that.
- A mix of materials: The fewer combinations a drum set has, the more expensive it is.
Intermediate Drum Set Buying Guide:
When choosing intermediate drum sets, there are a couple of things to consider.
The number of drums
Think about the size of the kit you need. It can be nice to have a large array if toms, although a more minimal kit can be equally as good. Obviously, you need a kick drum and snare as a bare minimum. I would recommend at least one or two rack toms. Having a floor tom or two is also a good idea, and gives you a full range of drums to play with.
Shell pack or full kit
Some drum sets are sold as a shell pack, which means it only includes the drums themselves, but no drum heads. You will need to add your own heads to get the kit up and running. Both batter heads and undersides.
Generally, I would recommend going for a shell pack and buying drum heads separately. Kits that include heads use low-quality generic heads, which often have an inferior sound and feel. You would want to upgrade to something with more quality and customization like a Remo drum head back later on.
There is an option for acrylic shells if that’s your thing.
Some kits include a bunch of other accessories which are important. Most will include tom mounts if the kit comes with a rack tom. You may find some come with hi-hat stands, others don’t. You only need to get one with the accessories you are missing. You may need to choose something with a snare stand. Although separate snare stands often have a higher level of quality and is more stable.
If you already have accessories like a stool, drum and cymbal stands, and a hi-hat, then it’s better to save money by just going for a shell pack.
Which is the best drum set brand?
This is a matter of personal preference. Different kits are tuned to particular genres of music, so a kit that is the best for Jazz may not be suitable for metal.
There are a few brands that are known to be leaders in the industry, which are:
What drum kits do professionals use?
If you are looking for some of the best professional drum sets, you should check out kits from DW Drums, Mapex, Gretsch, and others. Many pros use kits from smaller niche brands, which make custom kits and small runs of unique instruments.
What drums does Dave Grohl use?
Dave Grohl has used many kits throughout his time and has changed it up between bands.
In his Nirvana days, Grohl was known to favor Tama drum kits, often playing a Granstar or Artstar kit.
He tended to use the following drums and sizes:
– Birch Snare – 8”x14”
– Rack Tom – 14”x15”
– Floor Tom – 16”x18”
– Bass Drum – 16”x24”
Thanks for reading. You should now have a good idea of the range of drum kits available on the market. All of the kits on this list are suitable for an intermediate drummer, and many come highly recommended for a gigging drummer too.
Check out these related posts!
Noah is an accomplished audio engineer with several years of experience producing music for major companies and independent artists. He enjoys sharing his vast knowledge of audio engineering topics to help musicians and music producers create great music.