When we think of drums, the issues that leap into our minds are: noise and space. And these are usually a serious concern for anyone who wants to get into drumming, especially if you're a parent and it's your child that wants to start!
If you're lucky enough for sound and space not to be a deciding factor, then you should definitely go for an acoustic kit as you simply get more for your money and will be able to practise all the techniques you need as a beginner.
If, however, these are primary concerns then there are a number of electronic kits out there that can help resolve the issues. The main points to consider though are the matter of sound, feel and supported techniques.
An electronic kit needs to sound good, feel as close to an acoustic kit as possible and support all the techniques you'll need to perform. For example, some kits need upgraded pads to use cross-sticks, which is ridiculous really as this comes in at grade 2 in the Trinity Rock and Pop syllabus, so you'll need a kit that supports this pretty early on.
So, let's take a look at some kits, starting with electric ones:
Let's take a look at Roland first as they really are the market leaders in this area. However, Roland are not cheap.
The Roland TD 1DMK. This a fantastic kit with the main features being :
the mesh heads
the high quality Roland sounds
a very well thought out module (this is the brains of the kit)
The mesh allows for a much more natural feel than the rubber heads on many older, cheaper kits - although you can always update those to mesh heads too, however by the time you did you'd have spent more than this kit would cost. Just doing so with the snare would make a big difference, though, and would be worth doing, if you got a cheap second hand Roland kit
One thing to note though, it doesn't come with a bass drum pedal. Roland recommend the RDH-100 you can see here to the right.
Another brand well worth looking at is Alesis, with their Turbo Mesh and Nitro Mesh kits providing a sound and feel that just a few years ago was not available unless you had quite a large budget. These are the best for the price around really and ones I'd whole-heartedly recommend.
The Turbo Mesh Kit gives you:
Enhanced mesh performance - All-mesh drum heads deliver the most realistic, responsive and immersive playing experience drummers demand
Premium seven-piece configuration - 8 Inch mesh snare drum and (3) 8 Inch mesh toms, (3) 10 Inch cymbals and custom-designed Alesis hi-hat and kick pedals
In-demand sound - Turbo drum module with 10 ready-to-play kits and 100+ expertly curated sounds
Powerful educational features - 30 built-in play-along tracks, metronome, Aux input and drum coach help to develop your drum skills
Everything you need - Sturdy steel rack, connection cables, drum sticks, drum key and power supply included
Also worth noting is the discrete kick pedal - there's no beater here which will lend to quieter practice, but a different feel.
The best bang for your buck is the Nitro Mesh kit which has mesh heads on all the drums and includes the kick pedal, unlike the more expensive Roland offering, and uses an actual beater pedal unlike it's budget sibling.
This has all the same great features as the Turbo, but has 40 kits; 385 great sounds; 60 play along tracks; integrated training features including a recording feature. Basically just a more advanced brain with more features.
The advantage with both of these kits is the mesh heads combined with the great modules at such a low price - very, very, good.
An acoustic kit is generally considered superior by most people. It will support many more techniques right away, for example, if you want to play on the tom rim, you just hit the tom rim - simple.
However, electric kits around the same price as this acoustic one won't support that.
In fact, they may not even support a rim click, which comes in as early as Grade 2 in the Trinity syllabus - although the Alesis Nitro Mesh does.
The only down side, and it is a big one, is that they are of course very loud. If this isn't an issue for you, I'd definitely go with this kit as a good starter option.
You can then upgrade the separate parts as you wish or need. The cymbals are likely to need replacing first as they are the weak point in most cheap acoustic kits.
Please note if you purchase any of the items from clicking on the links above, you help support my lessons and website as a whole as I receive a very small percentage of any sale.