The Best Jazz Drum Kits – A Detailed Buying Guide

Even though Jazz is not played regularly on mainstream platforms, it still maintains popularity, and drums make an integral part of its full sound. So, what kind of drum set should you be on the lookout for, and why?

Jazz as a genre of music has been around a good number of decades, and while it is not as popular as Hip Hop or RnB, it still holds a special place among people for its soothing calmness and sometimes overt beauty. Seeing as it is a unique sound, it only makes sense that it be accompanied by equally unique instruments. Drum sets are an intrinsic part of Jazz music, but not all kinds are practical. Jazz calls for drums that are high in resonance and smoothness, especially when tuned high. Ideally, you are looking for a drum set that delivers response and that articulates sound with prowess. Below are a couple.

The Best Jazz Drum Kits Comparison Table

Drum Set Model
Pieces
Special Feature
Check on Amazon
Gretsch Drums USA Custom Drum Kit
4 pieces
Excellent sound
Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Drum Shell Pack
5 pieces
Excellent workmanship
DW Jazz Series Drum Kit
3 pieces
Extremely versatile
Ludwig Breakbeats by Questlove Snakedrum
4 pieces
Made for intense use

The Best Jazz Drum Kit Products Review

Gretsch Drums USA Custom Drum KitHas the ability to deliver exceptional sound

This drum kit is made by one of the best and most experienced manufacturers of drums, and it is able to deliver great sound, earning it the name ‘The Great Gretsch Sound’.

Key features

  • Comes as a 4-piece kit
  • 6-ply Maple shells
  • Micro sensitive lift-off on snare drum
  • Hand made shells

This drum kit is known for a good number of exceptional features, and the most outstanding of them happens to be versatility. What I find most interesting is the ability to sound good, no matter the kind of music being played. This is what makes it so ideal for Jazz which is a sound that is unique and that can be hard to master.

Presenting 4 shells that are made using Maple wood, this kit boasts strength and durability, even after intense and lengthy use. As one of the requirements, Jazz drum sets are meant to have high resonance and excellent sound transmission capabilities, and this is what maple wood on a drum set helps you achieve.

With these 4 shells, you can be able to customize the position of each shell, allowing for a unique sound that is best suited to the music you are playing. Aside from that, you get the freedom to customize other aspects such as the hoops which can either come as die cast or as single flange. You can also choose to have a tom mount, a vintage cymbal holder or a vintage style rail.

The finesse and gist of playing these drums is on another level, especially because they are made for luxury as well. This is why the maple shells are hand-made, so that you get a more personal feel, each shell presenting what care and dexterity are.

Pros

  • Comes with hand made shells
  • Made for intense use
  • Come with the freedom to customize
  • Allows for exceptional sound quality

Cons

  • The steel hardware is not as good quality as the actual shells

Verdict

If sounding good is your top priority, you definitely want to get your hands on this drum kit that is actually hand made. It features a sturdy yet luxurious build that allows you the best of both worlds. However, be prepared to replace the hardware as the quality may not particularly be what you hope for.

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Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Drum Shell PackFeatures exceptionally strong build

Yamaha, as a musical instrument and allied manufacturer, has been around a good deal of time, making them one of the most seasoned companies for some of the best instruments, including drum kits, in the entire globe.

Key features

  • 5-piece drum set
  • Birch drum shells
  • Comes with air seal system
  • 45° bearing edges
  • Absolute style lugs

The Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Drum Shell Pack is a kit that is pretty affordable, and is actually valued as an intermediate drum kit would be. Make no mistake, however. This kit is a beast, to say the least, and it is as professional grade as the most professional drum kit goes. The main difference between this and other high end drum kits is that it comes with 6-ply shells and low-mass lugs while the rest have 7-ply shells and high tension lugs.

For excellent sound quality, the shells are made using Birch plywood which is known for its ability to support a good number of tonal characteristics. The most impressive of them all is that it bears exceptional resonance, allowing for incredible sound projection as well as fullness. The sound produced also sounds well rounded and balanced, allowing for clarity from across large rooms and over other loud instruments.

Many drum kit manufacturers have been known to invest a good deal in the shell while disregarding the quality and integrity of the hardware on which the actual shells rest. With Yamaha, every component is taken into account, and each one is made to the best standards to make sure that the entire kit is of unquestionable quality.

Thich characteristic also plays a major role in the quality of sound you experience. With these drums, rubber gaskets are installed between any two parts that could potentially come into direct contact with each other during play, especially when it is intense. These rubber gaskets work to keep them separate, and to make sure that there is no rattle as you play the kit.

Pros

  • Made using 6-ply birch
  • High quality hardware
  • Incredible resonance and sound fullness
  • Rubber gaskets that prevent rattling
  • Pretty affordable

Cons

  • Does not come with a snare

Verdict

With every tiny part and piece of this drum kit carefully manufactured and installed, this drum kit presents a level of quality that is impressive. And the best thing is that you will not have to part with any of your limbs to get it, and you can be sure it will last you a good deal of time.

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DW Jazz Series Drum KitThis drum kit is extremely versatile and incredibly efficient

You have not fully lived your best Jazz life if you have not had the chance to play one of these legendary kits that are globally renowned for excellence.

Key features

  • Maple and Eucalyptus wood combined with Mahogany exterior
  • True pitch tuning lugs (50)
  • STM tom mount system
  • High quality hardware
  • High versatility

When you take a peek back into the history of Drum World, you are going to discover that this company is known more for the production of drums that are most commonly used for rock and pop. Make no mistake, though. They have also managed to create a name for themselves as far as Jazz drumming goes. Made with prowess and precision, the DW Jazz Series Drum Kit does not disappoint one bit.

For starters, the shells actually combine 3 types of high quality wood which include Maple, Eucalyptus and Mahogany. These three woods are largely known for being hardy and versatile, giving a good amount of strength to any device made with them. more importantly, they are able to help in the production of exceptional sound.

As earlier mentioned, Jazz drums work best when they have the ability to resonate and to create highly audible sound without compromising on the quality of the same. Mahogany and Maple are to types of wood that are known for this, and this is why you will find them in abundance in such instruments as guitars.

As an added advantage, this drum kit from Drums World comes with good adjustability so that you can play at your best, and it also allows for tuning so that you can achieve your preferred sound with ease. It also comes with high quality hardware that guarantees a good deal of durability, so you will not have to worry about replacing the parts too soon.

Pros

  • Made using high quality woods
  • Comes with incredible sound and resonance
  • The drum heads are hardy and durable
  • Made using high quality hardware
  • Comes with high adjustability and also allows for customized tuning

Cons

  • Toms can be a bit difficult to tune

Verdict

Made to be used by players of all levels, this drum set makes an excellent acquisition for people that like full sound drums that also come with resonance and projection. The high adjustability makes them more customizable, allowing for sounds that are ideal for Jazz and other genres as well.

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Ludwig Breakbeats by Questlove SnakedrumIdeal for intense use

If you are a drummer who liked to play for hours on end many days a week, you need a drum set that will be able to handle the job with prowess and a touch of grace.

Key features

  • 4-piece drum set
  • Shells made of hard wood
  • 16” bass drum
  • 7-layer shells
  • Chrome hardware

Easily one of the most practical and functional drum sets for Jazz music in the market currently, the Ludwig Breakbeats by Questlove Snakedrum comes as an incredible ensemble that will get your music sounding amazing and full.

This drum set was actually designed and created by a drummer called Ahmir Thompson, also commonly referred to as Questlove. Being a seasoned drummer himself, he created a drum set that could be used by the beginner and professional drummer as well to achieve excellence and to have an incredible drumming experience.

The shells on this set are made using 7-ply wood, a characteristic that makes them pretty strong, and that also gives them the ability to deliver incredible sound. It bears a good deal for resonance as well as fullness of sound making it idea for playing even over expansive spaces.

When it comes to hardware, this drum set features chrome parts that are as beautiful as they are strong. This further contributes to the hardiness and durability of the set, allowing you to use it for a good deal of time before needing to replace any major part.

Pros

  • Made for beginners, intermediates and professionals alike
  • Shells feature 7-ply hard wood
  • Comes with high quality chrome hardware
  • Allows for incredible resonance and high quality sound

Cons

  • This drum set is a bit pricey

Verdict

Made to make sure that drummers get to experience incredible features, this drum set comes to make your music sound better. Even though it costs a pretty penny, you will find that every dime spent is actually worth it.

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Buying A Drum Kit for Jazz – What to look out for

Build material

Aside from making sure that your drum kit enjoys a long and good run, the material used also influences the kind of sound you experience. Choose a set that allows you to achieve your desires sound with ease.

Customizability

Go for a set that is versatile and that supports your desire to customize for the best drummer experience. Some of the best drum kits come with high customizability, but you need to test and confirm before making an actual purchase.

Cost

The truth is that it is possible to find a drum set that costs a decent amount of money; one that delivers on quality but that also makes sure that you do not break the bank. Make sure that you find one that strikes a balance between the two.

Final Verdict

As earlier mentioned, Jazz music has managed to set itself apart as an incredible genre of music over the years. This is why Jazz players need not just the skill, but the instruments as well. Finding a good drum set that is big in resonance and personality as a whole is key to achieving a beautiful jazzy sound, and this is why making the right choice is imperative. Go for a drum set that will bring out the glory of Jazz, and that will have you jazzed up each time you play. Happy jazzing!

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