The 5 Best Compact Mini Drum Sets for Gigging

If you want a great compact drum set that can be used for gigging, then this is the list for you.

If you’re gigging regularly, then transporting, setting up, and packing down a large drum set can really become a nuisance. You might start wondering why you didn’t start playing the bass guitar instead!

These mini drum sets in this article are ideal for all levels of drummers who need a portable option for their drums, without having to resort to playing a cajon or an electronic drum pad!

The Best Mini Compact Drum Sets for Gigging

1. Tama Club-Jam Kit
Editor's Choice - A popular mini set for great portability
2. Pearl Midtown Series
Very compact and great sounding
4. Tama Club Jam Flyer
Small bass drum, very easily transportable
5. Sonor AQ2 Safari (4-Piece Shell Pack)
A very nicely designed mini drum set

1. Tama Club-Jam-4-Piece Shell Pack- Aqua Blue

Check Price: Sweetwater | Amazon

Tama is a renowned brand for drums selection, especially the compact ones. This particular drum set is ultra-stylish with aqua blue shells for a cool look.

The drums are inspired by jack kits that used to be quite trendy years ago. Included in the drum kit are 12×18 bass drum, a 5×13 snare drum, and a pair of 7×10 and 7×14 floor toms (The sizes are mentioned according to depth x diameter).

If you are interested in emulating an old-school vibe on stage or during the jamming sessions, this 4-piece kit is an excellent choice. The drums produce bright and punchy sounds, making it extremely suitable for smaller and intimate gigs.

Also, the 6 plies of poplar and mersawa hybrid shells add warmth and liveliness to the session. Although, ensure that the floor toms are tuned appropriately, and it will sing!

2. Pearl Midtown Series Shell Pack

Check Price: Sweetwater | Amazon

Drummers can very well relate to the fact that there’s a fast-growing market for compact-sized kits. However, deciding among so many options becomes a confusing endeavor, but this next entrée on the top 5 compact kits is a definite show-stealer.

Pearl Midtown is a new launch and has got all features that would instantly impress you. This mini set can squeeze in limited spaces quite easily and produce hard-hitting sounds simultaneously. There are four pieces included in the kit, i.e., a 5.5×13 snare drum, 7×10 mounted toms, 12×13 floor toms, and 14×16 bass drums.

For those occasional outdoor gigs in small or medium spaces, this drum kit is a great value for money. The tone and volume of the entire drum set is impressive and surprising.

The full range of punchy sounds makes for an exquisite performance. Although, they are compact-sized but respond exceptionally well to low and high tunings equally. This drum set easily fits in a Gator gig bag despite comprising of four individual pieces. The bag, however, isn’t included in the kit and should be purchased separately.

3. Ludwig Breakbeats by Questlove

Compare Prices: Sweetwater | Amazon

If there’s a drum kit that adjusts in low budget, Questlove’s Ludwig Breakbeats should be your perfect option. It Consists of four shell drums in black and gold color combination.

This drum kit offers high-quality sound and tonal versatility. While this particular kit is favorite among the hardcore professionals, even novice drummers find it extremely useful and fulfilling. These drums are ideal for practice sessions and small private gigs. Also, the portability is commendable as it does not occupy much space.

There are 4 drums in total, a 5×14 snare, a bass drum measuring 14×16, and a pair of toms, 7×10 (mounted tom) and 13×13 (floor tom) in size. All shells are made up of 7-ply hardwood that allows high attack and a cutting tone.

4. Tama Club- JAM Flyer

Compare Prices: Sweetwater | Amazon

Time and again, both professionals and beginners have significantly relied upon the brand Tama Club for top-notch drum kits quality.

This ‘club’ series by Tama is becoming increasingly popular for its portable, compact drums that do not compromise on the sound quality and deliver stage-ready intonation.

Although this shell pack is new in the market, it’s easily comparable to the high-end drumming kits without a doubt. It is the smallest sized drum kit on the entire list, but the drums’ excellent acoustic quality pleasantly surprises you.

Whether it’s your small gigs or home practice sessions, this shell pack will give solid portability and functionality combined.

The JAM flyer has four drums- 14×10 bass drum with a stand, 8×6 rack toms, 10×9 floor toms, and a 5×10 snare.

5. Sonor AQ2 Safari 4-piece Shell Pack

Check Price: Sweetwater | Amazon

The German brand Sonor is highly respectable in the drum industry. Famous for manufacturing high-quality drums, Sonor AQ2 Safari is a stand-out in so many ways. The kit’s color combination is absolutely beautiful, and the incredible quality speaks for itself.

The drum shells are made up of 7 plies of solid maple, which produces rich, focused tonal quality and pro musicality. AQ2 Safari kit comprises 15×16 bass drum with integral drum riser, 7×10 rack toms, 12×13 floor toms, and a 6×13 snare drum.

All the drums are easy to tune that gives excellent sound quality. These little drums can sing and produce fantastic resonance. The immaculate shells and superb hardware of this compact kit is a perfect choice for touring gigs.

What is a compact drum kit?

A compact drum kit represents a small-sized portable drumming setup that allows the drummers to take it wherever they want to perform. These are super portable and easily fit into nylon bags for convenience.

Drummers who are always on tour or usually move between rehearsal places and gig venues find these a blessing. A small compact drum kit is also an invaluable asset to the whole band.

What is the difference between a full-sized drum set and a mini drum kit?

There is a noticeable difference in size and number of drum components between full-sized and a compact drum set kit. The latter occupies less space, easily fits in a limited capacity, and is measured in terms of the kit’s floor space consumption. Whereas, if it’s a full-sized drum kit, it will consume about 20 sq. Ft or 1. 87 m. sq area of floor space.

However, drummers of the recent era are quite satisfied with compact mini sets that take up to 33″ x 28″ of floor space. Moreover, there are fewer cymbals, racks, and hardware components in these kits; and some of them come with hardware integration.

Advantages & disadvantages of compact-sized drum kits

Pros

  • Takes up small space and can be squeezed into corners of limited venues
  • Affordable
  • Great for traveling and carrying around while on a tour
  • It consists of all necessary components essential for musical sessions- drums, cymbals, hardware, sticks, stick key, storage bag, pedals, posters, etc.
  • An excellent choice for beginners at home
  • Authentic sound and quality
  • Easy to set up and pack
  • Foldable design
  • Increases comfort and confidence of the player

Cons

  • Bigger drum sets are visually impressive to play during gigs
  • The volume and growl of bigger drums is incomparable
  • Compact drum kits often fail to deliver versatility
  • Flat sound due to small size
  • Limited physical configuration
  • Some kits do not include cymbals or pedals or bags
  • Sometimes construction material is not up to the mark

Conclusion

To sum it up, the mini drum sets discussed above are built with such precision and technique due to which they produce epic sounds with greater resonance and sustenance.

Additionally, their sizes are a perfect fit for your touring luggage, making every trip for gigging drummers hassle-free. Easier set up, and the ability to produce fantastic drumming pieces is entirely possible with these small drum kits. These portable, compact drum kits are an essential component of every touring artist’s setup.

Leave a Comment