Drummers have grown more and more accustomed to using portable setups over time. A small drum set will offer significant benefits, whether you’re a drummer who performs frequently or have a little practise space. Most of the major drum manufacturers offer some kind of portable drum set among their offerings. It can be challenging to select a shell with the variety of sizes and types available.
In spite of their miniscule size, compact drum kits have grown in popularity in recent years. These micro drum kits are not just tiny sets for kids. Small, agile setups that are portable have become more and more common in today’s smaller-stage concert venues as well as in accommodations with constrained space. In this manual. We’ll direct you to the ideal portable drum set for you.
Table of Contents
Pearl Midtown 4 Piece Shell Pack Drum Set
- Opti-loc suspension
- Bass drum lift
- Remo snare drum heads
The Pearl Midtown set is little yet packs a strong impact. A deep sound that rivals many larger kits can be heard from the bass drum and mini toms. This is because the shells are made of 6-ply poplar wood. The bass drum is really warm, and the toms are rich and responsive.
The Midtown offers a variety of characteristics that extend Pearl’s reputation as a reliable brand across all price ranges into the market for small drum kits. Poplar was (and still is) widely used as the middle ply in antique and classic Ludwig and Gretsch drums, including the poplar used to make the shells. Poplar is recognised for being lightweight in addition to its sonic attributes, which increases efficiency in a compact arrangement like this.
The weakest component of the kit is the 13″ snare drum. The tone lacks a lot of depth despite having a tight crack and sharp response. So when you play it, it won’t feel like it’s returning to you like a thicker snare drum would. Additionally, tuning is pretty difficult. The floor tom is 13, the bass drum is 16, and the rack tom is 10″. Due of their diminutive proportions, this kit may be placed in even the smallest area on a stage or in a tiny room.
Due to its broad sound, you might utilise this kit musically for any style. For jazz or rock, it can be tuned high or low. To obtain a beefier bass drum sound, you might only need to purchase a thicker drum head. Cherry and black are the two colour possibilities for the kit. Both have a stunning sparkle wrap that really pops in the dark. Two bags from the Pearl Midtown may accommodate the entire set. But you have to purchase those separately.
In order to ensure that the included riser is securely supported from both the batter side and the front of the bass drum, Pearl cut a groove into the batter-side hoop. This groove prevents your pedal chain from being tangled. It’s a straightforward but lovely accent that enhances the Midtown’s uncomplicated style. While it might not have the same funky appeal as the Breakbeats, it feels like it offers a better overall level of build quality. For example, the bass drum claws have rubber gaskets, the rack tom has a Pearl OptiLoc suspension mount, the bass drum hoops match, and even the metal badge is screw-mounted. This is the Best Portable Drum Kit in 2023.
Gretsch Catalina Club 4pc Drum Kit
- Gretsch formula 7 ply Mahogany shells w/clear interior and 30 degree edges
- Matching bass drum hoops w/natural gloss interiors
- 12. 7 millimeters Tom arms and 10. 5 millimeters ft legs
We had high hopes that Gretsch’s smaller-sized kit would be a serious contender because they are no pushovers in the drum business. An 18-inch bass drum that has been lifted off the ground to the right striking height serves as the centrepiece of the Catalina Club. Although this drum only has a 14-inch depth and appears little, the sound it produces is everything but. You might need a pillow to control the loud boom and heavy reverb in this area!
These drums are made of strong, massive 7-ply mahogany. You might think that’s an odd design choice for a supposedly portable drum set, but in our opinion Gretsch was compelled to make this decision. Tropical wood was probably their sole option for producing robust, warm, and deep tones from small-sized drums.
In actuality, you still receive a floor tom that is the appropriate size and a little shallow but otherwise full-sized snare. Although the tom is little, it is not unusual. A holder for the cymbal stand is integrated into the tom arm. The bass drum is the only actual victim in this situation.
Tama Club Jam
- Bass Drum 12 x 18 inches (30.5 x 30.5 cm), Tom 7 x 10 inches (17.8 x 25.4 cm), Floor tom 7 x 14 inches 17.8 x 25.6 cm), Snare 5 x 13 inches (12.7 x 33...
- Single tom holder, cymbal arm.
- Colour: Aqua blue.
Tama’s version of a typical compact kit is the Tama Club Jam. Everything you’d anticipate from a compact kit is included, including tiny drums and lightweight gear. It does, however, possess certain distinctive features that are uncommon in other tiny kits.
Poplar and mersawa woods are combined to make the shells. This kit is a terrific choice for live gigging because it will exude a lot of energy on stage thanks to its fast tone and vibrant feel. The rack tom is 10, the bass drum is 18, and the snare drum is 13 inches. The 14″ floor tom is the most distinctive drum. One of the shallowest floor toms on the market, it has a 7″ depth. Despite being shallow, it can nonetheless generate a rich, meaty tone.
The ride cymbal arm mounting onto the bass drum of this kit is another special feature that allows for significant space savings by doing away with the need for a ride cymbal stand. The ride cymbal arm is extremely thick and can accommodate up to 24-inch cymbals.
Due to the ride cymbal’s ability to mount onto the bass drum, I discovered that this is one of the greatest portable drum sets for confined areas. Ride cymbal stands are always the largest since the stand’s legs must be spread widely to handle the weight of your ride. By getting rid of that, a lot of room opens up, allowing you to squeeze into small spaces.
The kit is available in a variety of hues, with drummers favouring the Aqua Blue finish the most. The Tama Club Jam is an excellent option if you require a small, extremely compact kit. The variety of woods in this kit is wonderful. Only poplar wood is used in the majority of compact kits in the same price range. With its brighter tones, I believe the additional Mersawa provides this kit a slight advantage over the competition. The drum heads just need to be upgraded soon because the factory heads aren’t the best.
DW Design Series Frequent Flyer
- Features an 8 x 12-inch rack tom, an 11 x 14-inch floor tom, a 5 x 14-inch snare drum, and a 12 x 20-inch bass drum
- Travel friendly and sustainable enough to be considered a real drumset
- Extremely compact with the capabilities of a long-range and impeccable low end
The cost of DW kits is well-known to be extremely high. The Design Series drums are DW’s most cost-effective series, making DW production accessible to most drummers. The firm offers the kit in a compact format with its Frequent Flyer kit, despite the fact that the DW Design Series kits are less customisable than the higher-tier DW kits.
With its 14″ snare drum, 12″ rack tom, 14″ floor tom, and 20″ bass drum, this kit is the largest on the list thus far. The fact that these full-sized shells are rather shallow adds to the kit’s compactness. They have a warm, round tone that is excellent for a variety of playing scenarios thanks to their maple wood construction.
The lightweight transportability of the kit is due to the hardware of the shells. Despite the light hardware, it still seems like you are playing on robust gear. The snare drum is the kit’s most notable component. It’s a typical DW Design Series snare drum, and it always sounds fantastic. You can tune it high to sound crackling or low to sound boomy.
The kit is one of DW’s more affordable options. It is still significantly more expensive than the majority of the tiny kits on this list, though. Therefore, if you want to get one, it will be a significant investment. You’ll feel perfectly at home playing hard rock songs on the Frequent Flyer since the 20″ bass drum is the same size as many bass drums from full-sized kits.
You could even use this kit to record in the studio because, in my experience, maple wood responds to microphones quite well. Even though it costs more than the other kits on this list, the fact that you can use it in any circumstance makes the extra cost well worth it. There are a lot of jazz drummers I know who solely play the Frequent Flyer.
Tama Cocktail Jam
- 100% Birch shell, TT/FT/SD: 6ply, 6mm / BD: 7ply, 8mm
- Sound Focus Pad
- Specially Designed Bags
With the Cocktail Jam kit, Tama elevates the concept of mobility and space-saving to a whole new level. There is no escaping the fact that this is an odd-looking strange setup. But after a minor change, we discovered it to be enjoyable and simple to play on. Take a bass drum that is 16″ x 6″, turn it horizontal, and mount it on a riser and some legs. A floor tom can be stacked on top of steel pipes, and then a snare and tom can be clamped on.
The floor tom reverberates with the sound of the bass beater hitting the drum from the bottom up. The impact of them facing into each other creates some massive, unexpected reverb despite the fact that both are single-headed (all the drums are present except the snare). A rubber-foam “sound concentration pad” that can be placed over the bass drum to reduce echo and provide a more focused thump is included with the kit.
The 6-ply birch used to make these shells provides a respectable attack. The toms are single-headed, so they don’t echo much, especially when the focus pad is turned on. Jazz musicians can lament the absence of reverb. The kit still offers tones that are crystal clear and direct.