Buying a gift for someone with a niche hobby can be a minefied to navigate, particularly if that hobby involves playing 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!
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.
So, where do you start? This guide to the best gifts for drummers is a good place. Here we've covered everything from cheap accessories to slightly pricier items, right up to our recommendations for great, affordable acoustic and electronic drum sets. Whatever your budget, all the products featured here represent great value.
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:
- These are the best electronic drum sets you can buy right now
- Looking for gifts for a child? Check out the best electronic drum sets for kids
- Got wood? These are the best drum sets for all budgets
- Explore the best snare drums around
The best gifts for drummers: budget
There’s nothing worse than setting up for a gig, discovering something is loose on your kit and realising you don’t have the right tools to fix it. With the CruzTools Drum Multi-tool you can tackle everything from rattling lugs to sluggish bass drum pedals (and even re-wire a plug) like a pro. The 14-in-1 gadget includes all the essentials you’ll need for any eventuality, including flat and crosshead screwdrivers, hex wrenches and a trusty old drum key.
Every drummer needs some of this in their stick bag. Whether you’re playing a gig or about to perform a take in the studio, 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.
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.
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.
Treat your drums and cymbals to a spruce up ready for your next gig with this bumper pack of top quality cleaning products from Music Nomad. Not only will your drum gear look the business under stage lights, but you’ll probably play better as a result (although we're unable to guarantee anything). Keeping your drums in good condition helps maintain value if you ever come to sell them, too.
If, like us, you’re a proud drummer, it’s likely you want to tell the world and maybe even send out a beacon (or should that be bacon?) to fellow drummers. Not only is the statement on this t-shirt 100 percent accurate, but it lets people know exactly how you feel about your beloved instrument. For the record, no vegetarians were hurt in the making of this t-shirt.
The best gifts for drummers: under £/$150
Whether you’re playing along to music at home, jamming on your electronic drum set, playing a gig or recording a track, it’s important to get an accurate sound in your ears. The SIH2’s feature a redesigned larger driver in each ear cup for more powerful low end, clean mids and clear highs, while noise levels are reduced by 25 dB so you can listen to music at a safe level. And if you're playing for hours, the cups and headband are designed for comfort.
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.
Timing is everything for drummers and, whether you’re practising at home, performing on-stage or recording in the studio, it’s important to be able to work with a click track. The Tama Rhythm Watch RW200 is a fantastic tool for keeping time. Features include a 35-230bpm tempo range, tempo and beat memory for up to 30 songs and an LCD display with backlight for dark stage. It can mount off a cymbal stand too, so you can keep it close at hand.
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.
What do you get the drummer who has everything (or at least a sizeable snare drum collection)? A snare drum rack, of course! The Proline snare utility rack is designed to safely and neatly organise a number of drums - from piccolo to super deep models - while thick padding keeps your finishes and hardware in tip-top condition. And if your collection is particularly large, they're cheap enough that you should comfortably be able to afford two. You haven't got that many snares, right?
The best gifts for drummers: £/$250 and above
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.