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18 gifts for drummers: the ultimate guide to present ideas for the drummer in your life

18 gifts for drummers: the ultimate guide to present ideas for the drummer in your life
(Image credit: Getty/Simon Ritzmann)

Buying a gift for someone with a niche hobby can be a minefield to navigate, particularly if that hobby involves a musical instrument. When it comes to the best gifts for drummers you need to ask yourself a few questions: what exactly do they need? Are they the type of person who would appreciate a novelty gift? What level of player are they? Then there's the question of whether you want to get them something that's likely to result in excessive noise!

If you're not sure where to start, then this guide to the best gifts for drummers is a good place. We've taken a look at loads of great accessories and items, from three different price brackets, and even thrown in our recommendations for great, affordable acoustic and electronic drum sets. Whether it's a birthday gift, a Christmas gift or something for Valentine's Day, and whatever your budget, all the products featured here represent great value for money, and would be welcomed by any grateful tub-thumper.

The easy option would be to buy the drummer in your life a pair of drumsticks and be done with it. But they come in all shapes, sizes and materials, and the likelihood is that by now they know which make and model they prefer (if you're set on this path, we'd recommend perusing our best drumsticks guide first). There are plenty of drum accessories and gadgets to choose from too, but not all of them we would deem to be essential.

If you're looking to splash a bit more cash, take a look at our expert drums buyer's guides written by drummers, for drummers.

The best gifts for drummers: Under £/$50

Gifts for drummers: Meinl Drum Honey

(Image credit: Meinl)

1. Meinl Drum Honey

Like Moon Gel, but yellow

Price: $10/£6
Reasons to buy
+Super cheap+A stick bag essential+Non-toxic+Control your drum sound

Whether you’re playing a gig or about to perform a take in the studio, every drummer needs some of this in their stick bag. A little dab of this could be the difference between a fat, controlled sound and a ringing mess. They’re washable with soap and water too, so you can re-use them time after time.

Gifts for drummers: Remo QuickTech drum key

(Image credit: Remo)

2. Remo QuickTech drum key

The drum key of champions and a great gift for drummers

Price: $10.95/£7.30
Reasons to buy
+Rubber grip makes tuning easy+Internal magnet keeps tension rods in check+Hex stem enabled cordless drill attachment

Aside from your sticks, a drum key should be considered an essential accessory for any drummer. If you’re yet to invest in a serious key, you might as well make it the Rolls Royce of drum keys. Remo’s QuickTech key feels sturdy and chunky in the hand, helping you make decisive tweaks to your tuning, while the extended height and rubber grip makes life infinitely easier. The ace up the QuickTech’s sleeve is an internal high-pull neodymium magnet to prevent tension rods from rattling or falling.

Gifts for drummers: Zildjian Jersey Face Mask

(Image credit: Zildjian)

3. Zildjian Jersey Face Mask

Stay safe, and look cool doing it

Price: $14.95
Reasons to buy
+Super soft and comfortable+Looks great+Premium construction 

As all of you will know, face coverings have become an important part of everyday life. They come in many different shapes and sizes, but just like any other item of clothing, it’s essential to have something that fits your personality and shows the world who you are. This Zildjian face mask is made from the same comfortable tri-blend fabric that you’ll find in Zildjian’s apparel, and includes a removable air filter to keep you safe. It also comes with a reusable zippered storage bag, so you don’t need to worry about where to store it. A portion of Zildjian’s proceeds will be donated to musicians whose incomes have been affected by COVID-19, and you can find out more on the Zildjian website. They’re a good bunch, aren’t they? 

Best gifts for drummers: Remo Emperor snare drum head

(Image credit: Remo)

4. Remo Emperor snare drum head

Recreate those classic snare tones you dream about

Price: From $17.95/£12
Reasons to buy
+An absolute drumming icon+Should last a while+A versatile head 
Reasons to avoid
-Not much 

It’s pretty difficult to go wrong with anything from Remo if you’re looking to treat the drummer in your life to a gift. Drummers can get a bit anal about their drum head choices as there are so many variables to consider. Thickness, coating, number of plies, brand, size… the list goes on - but we don’t think you can go far wrong with the Remo Emperor. 

What you get is a 2-ply coated head, of a medium-heavy weight. This makes it suitable for a vast range of styles, and the durable twin-ply Mylar should be difficult to break, too. The Emperor has been on Remo’s product list for what feels like an eternity, which is testament to how popular it is. If it’s good enough for Tre Cool, Benny Greb, Travis Barker, Taylor Hawkins and many others, then we think the recipient of this gift will be very happy indeed. Just make sure to check the size of the drum this head is going on first!

Gifts for drummers: Vater Vintage Bomber Beater

(Image credit: Vater)

5. Vater Vintage Bomber Beater

A beater in sheep’s clothing…

Price: $18.95/£26
Reasons to buy
+A collaboration between Vater and Otis Brown III+Vintage look and sound+A cheap way to change your sound

It’s easy to get set in your ways when it comes to your drum sound. Often we opt for the same tuning, the same heads, the same sticks. But experimenting with your sound is a great way to discover new textures and tones and add some extra spice to your playing. Vater’s Vintage Bomber bass drum beater is a cheap and easy way to inject additional warmth and depth into your bass drum sound, all thanks to the cork centre and fluffy, sheep-like coating. 

Gifts for drummers: Meinl Drum Tech Multi Tool

(Image credit: Meinl)

6. Meinl Drum Tech Multi Tool

What won’t it do?

Price: $19.99/£15
Reasons to buy
+Compact+Super convenient+Genuinely useful  

There’s nothing more annoying than setting up for a gig and finding that something is loose on your kit. Whether it’s rattling lugs, a troublesome kick pedal or just a head that needs changing, this 10 in 1 Meinl multi-tool will take care of all of your problems. Meinl have generously equipped this tool with an array of flathead and Phillips screwdrivers, a 7mm socket wrench and many different hex drivers, as well as a trusty drum key. The attached carabiner clip means it’ll always be to hand, when you need it. The only thing it can’t fix for you is a mid-show beer.

Gifts for drummers: Meinl Cymbal Care Kit

(Image credit: Meinl)

7. Meinl Cymbal Care Kit

Keep those pies shining bright!

Price: $35/£19.50
Reasons to buy
+Includes cleaner and protectant+Meinl are one of the best in the business 

Meinl, as well as being one of the world's leading cymbal makers, is always bringing the goods when it comes to accessories and care products. This helpful kit they’ve put together includes both a powerful cymbal cleaner and a protectant, to make sure that you spend more time playing your cymbals, and less time polishing them.

There’s no elbow-grease needed, just spray the cleaner on and wipe it off to restore your cymbals back to their original glory. Meinl also offers a Cymbal Care Kit that includes a polish instead of cleaner, so you don’t have to wait until your prized possessions get filthy to start taking care of them. They even include a rather fetching pair of gloves, to avoid fingerprints.

The best gifts for drummers: From £/$50 to £/$150

Gifts for drummers: ProLogix Blackout Practice Pad

(Image credit: ProLogix)

8. ProLogix Blackout practice pad

Wait, drums can be a workout?

Price: $59.99/£75
Reasons to buy
+Great for late night practice+Designed to make you better 

A drum practice pad, although maybe not quite as fun as a full kit, is absolutely vital for honing your technique and practicing rudiments. There are loads of sub-par practice pads available, some of which can put you at a big disadvantage when developing your chops. The main playing surface is made from black neoprene, which, along with looking pretty cool, will help you to build up strength and muscle in your hands and fingers so those crazy blast beats don’t feel so impossible anymore. Surrounded by a countersunk rim, you can practice other techniques like rimshots without destroying your sticks. The base is covered in a thin non-slip rubber, but this doubles up as a second playing surface for when you’re after a bit more rebound or volume. 

Gifts for drummers: Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones V2 (SIH2)

(Image credit: Vic Firth)

9. Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones V2 (SIH2)

The ultimate headphones for drummers

Price: $79.99/£50
Reasons to buy
+Padded for comfort+Great sound+Multiple applications+Should last for years

The SIH2’s feature a redesigned larger driver in each ear cup for more powerful low end, clean mids and clear highs, so whether you’re playing along to music at home, jamming on your electronic drum set, playing a gig or recording a track, you'll get nothing less than a great sound. And if you're playing for hours, the cups and headband are designed for comfort too. 

Gifts for drummers: Big Fat Snare Drum studio 4pack

(Image credit: Big Fat Snare Drum)

10. Big Fat Snare Drum studio 4 pack

Instantly transform your drum sound

Price: $74/£70
Reasons to buy
+Dramatically alter your drum sound+Enough pads for a full kit+Great for recording+Remove unwanted ring

The original Big Fat Snare Drum dampening pad was a revelation when it launched a few years ago. This simple device rested on your snare drum head and instantly transformed it into a beefy, warm, ‘70s-inspired snare. No need for permanent tape or wrangling with Moon Gel, this bad boy could be added and removed from song to song. This bundle includes the original 14” snare drum model, plus 10”, 12” and 16" sizes for your toms. You can thank us later. 

Gifts for drummers: Soundbrenner Pulse Metronome

(Image credit: Soundbrenner)

11. Soundbrenner Pulse Metronome

For when you want to feel the rhythm

Price: $99/£79
Reasons to buy
+Tap Tempo is a useful feature+App for extra functionality+Looks super cool 

As drummers, we’re often told we’re just too darn loud. Playing hard and getting lost in the groove is what we all love to do, but that’s just no good if you can’t hear your metronome over your thunderous playing. That’s where the Pulse comes in - it’s a 50cm diameter wearable metronome that you can wear on your wrist, or even across your body using an optional extra long strap. The Soundbrenner Pulse vibrates and flashes to help you keep that perfect tempo. You can set the speed by rotating the outer wheel, or tapping the tempo out. It’s even got a slick companion smartphone app, where you can change the LED colour, alter the strength of vibration and sync multiple Pulses together so even your guitarist can stay in time. 

Gifts for drummers: Overtone Labs Tune-Bot Studio

(Image credit: Overtone Labs)

12. Overtone Labs Tune-Bot Studio

Change your tune

Price: $99.95/£68
Reasons to buy
+Colour display+Store settings for five kits+Quick and easy tuning

Continuing the theme of drumming gadgets, this little beaut is the one when it comes to precision tuning. Ok, so using your ears is a fine approach, but if you really want consistent tuning across your drum heads then the Tune-Bot Studio comes highly recommended. It’s simple to use: clip it to the hoop of each drum and strike the drum head, then the Tune-Bot gives you a measurement either in Hz or as a note. You can use this data to get even tension at every lug and supercharge your drum sound.

The best gifts for drummers: Over £/$150

Gifts for drummers: Zildjian L80 cymbals

(Image credit: Zildjian)

13. Zildjian L80 cymbals

Silence is golden

Price: $299/£249 per set
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic practice tool+Authentic sound+Great feel

Zildjian 'L' models are ideal for low noise-level drumming applications, including practice, tuition or even a quiet gig. Each cymbal featured thousands of tiny perforations which can reduce the volume by around 80 percent - hence the name - without impacting the feel you're used to when playing traditional, full volume cymbals. L80s are available as individual cymbals in a range of sizes, or as sets comprising hi-hats, a crash and a ride.

Read the Zildjian L80 review

Gifts for drummers: Alesis Nitro Mesh e-kit

(Image credit: Future)

14. Alesis Nitro Mesh e-kit

A very capable first electronic drum set

Price: $379/£349
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for beginners+Mesh heads on a budget+Adjustable+Good price

This compact eight-piece kit features mesh snare and tom pads for improved feel and response. The budget package is made up of a rubber kick drum pad, dual-zone 8" mesh snare, three single-zone 8" mesh tom pads and three single-zone 10" cymbal pads (one of which has choke functionality for use as a crash). The module plays host to 40 kits, 385 individual samples that can be used to alter existing kits or create brand new user kits, plus 60 built-in MIDI sequenced playalong tracks. If that's not your bag, drummers can also plug in their smartphone and jam with tracks on Spotify and YouTube.

Read the Alesis Nitro Mesh review

Gifts for drummers: Ludwig Breakbeats kit

(Image credit: Ludwig)

15. Ludwig Breakbeats kit

If Questlove is willing to put his name to it...

Price: $449/£419
Reasons to buy
+Portable+Great sounds+Affordable+Stylish

The applications of this Questlove-approved drum set are almost universal. The compact 16"x14" bass drum, 10"x7" rack tom, 13"x13" floor tom and 14"x5" configuration means it's a great drum set for children or beginners, but equally the small sizes make it great for small club gigs and busking. Included in the package is a riser to lift the bass drum and padded gig bags which double up as mutes. The big question is, how does it sound? The answer is tight, punchy and mightier than its micro size suggests.

Read the Ludwig Breakbeats review

Gifts for drummers: Yamaha EAD 10

(Image credit: Yamaha)

16. Yamaha EAD 10

Make any acoustic drum set sound amazing

Price: $499/£499
Reasons to buy
+A breeze to set up+Versatile piece of kit+Supercharge practice and recording

The EAD10 is a complete system for processing and recording your acoustic drum sound, while layering triggered sounds at the same time – it's one clever piece of kit. It does this via a sensor/microphone unit which performs double duty as a stereo microphone and a bass drum trigger. The bundled module can be used to add reverb and effects to your acoustic drum sound, in addition to 700 on-board sounds that can be layered over your acoustic sound. It's a powerful device that is a great practice tool, a module for live use, and a quick and easy way of recording yourself, whatever your ability. No wonder it scored 5 stars in our review.

Read the Yamaha EAD10 review

Gifts for drummers: Roland TD-1DMK

(Image credit: Roland)

17. Roland TD-1DMK

Time to step up to your next drum kit?

Price: $699/£599
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic price+Mesh pads+The Roland quality guarantee

The TD-1DMK is a fantastic home practice kit, or an excellent choice if you're stepping up from something more basic. The kit comprises an 8" dual-zone mesh snare pad, three 6" single-zone mesh tom pads, three choke-able 10" dual-zone cymbal pads (hi-hat, ride and crash), a hi-hat controller pedal and a bass drum pad. The newly-designed rack system allows for a built-in rubber bass drum trigger pad on the leg, which makes for an even more compact setup. While the TD-1 module is pretty basic, it offers 15 kit presets, playalong tracks and an aux-in and USB/MIDI for playing along to outside sources or connecting your kit to a computer.

Read the Roland TD-1DMK review

Gifts for drummers: Pearl Export 5-piece kit

(Image credit: Pearl)

18. Pearl Export 5-piece kit

The best-seller keeps getting better

Price: From $749/£665
Reasons to buy
+30-year legacy+Fantastic sound for the price+Loads of options+This kit will last you years

The Pearl Export is the best-selling drum kit of all time, giving beginner drummers the world over the best introduction to percussion. Therefore, if the ultimate drummer's gift for you is a new kit, the Export should be on your list. While it would be easy to sit on their laurels, Pearl has continually updated and enhanced the original winning formula. The Export is available in a number of guises and configurations, including your choice of wrap or high gloss lacquer finishes. Shells are loud and resonant, hardware is reliable and adjustable and, most importantly, these kits won't break the bank. 30 years on, they're still going strong.

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce/Deals Editor, I play drums (and guitar, badly) and I've worked in the music gear industry for 16 years. I manage all buyer's guides on the site and it's my sole purpose to help musicians find the right gear and the best prices.