3 vs 4 vs 5 Piece Drum Sets – What’s Best For You?

Click for current price
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • It doesn't take as much storage space
  • You can easily take it with you
  • It lacks the same depth as more drums (the same way a 12" djembe would). This setup results in slightly less tonal content, making it difficult for some styles like Jazz

A drum set is a percussion instrument that includes at least one of the following drums: bass drum, snare drum, tom-tom, and hi-hat. 

A standard kit can include other drums and cymbals such as tambourine or cowbell, but these are not essential for beginners. A complete kit with all four pieces will usually come in three sizes: Junior (usually about 22″), intermediate (about 26″), and large (about 30″). 

The most common type of frame used to mount the drums is an “A” style stand designed with traditional acoustic instruments. This stand allows players to adjust their height by moving up or down on the two vertical poles. Select the better Drum Stick for the drum.

What is a 3-Piece Drum Set?

A 3-piece drum set is a well-balanced kit for playing in a small band or around the campfire. It consists of 1 snare drum with 14″ diameter, one bass drum 18″ diameter, and a standard tom-tom 12″, as well as numerous cymbals mounted on the stand arms.

A vital feature of this setup is that by not including either the large floor toms or double bass drums typically found on larger kits, players have more space to move around without feeling cramped. Some venues may also require less amplification because there are only two membrane heads instead of four (snare drum + floor tom).

There are many reasons three-piece sets are so popular these days – they’re inexpensive and lightweight enough.

Detail About a 3-Piece Drum Set


The three-piece drum set is made up of high-quality shells and offers an excellent level of resonance and sustain. This robust and low-end sound provides the foundation for any rock or jazz band’s rhythm section.


3-piece drum sets range in weight from 25 pounds to over 100 pounds. It’s a question of how much you plan on lugging it around.

The extended cymbal arms on many of today’s models make for more accessible storage and transportation because they can be disconnected. 

You can easily remove entire drum sets from their attachment point with a simple release button, which not only eliminates the need for extra stands but also makes them equipable to all room sizes and shapes, including upper levels. 

With practice, even novice musicians should be able to load and unload drums by themselves in about two minutes with just one hand – half as long as what it takes when using other mounting methods – meaning more time spent playing music!


A 3-piece drum set can offer many different tones with varying levels of sound quality that other drum sets can do. 


Three-piece drums sets are pretty durable, provided they’re made with quality materials. Many manufacturers say that their collections will last a lifetime, and some advertise for 15 years.

As long as the set is made of suitable quality plastics or plywood, you usually can’t go wrong. Just make sure to look over reviews before buying on eBay or Amazon, and be prepared to return it if it’s not up to your standards. This rule applies whether you buy just one drum set or multiple different colors/drum kits.

Ease of Use

There is a wide range of options for 3-piece drum sets, as opposed to just one or two available for most other types of drums. With the cost and complexity becoming more manageable, this type of kit has grown in popularity due to being a versatile option. It also appeals to players who have limited space due to storage constraints.

The affordable three-piece drum set is an excellent idea for beginners who aren’t sure if they want to commit the hours needed every day to be good at their instrument of choice. For those just starting with playing music, it’s good not only because of its size and weight but because it’s affordable too.


A 3-piece drum set is a drum kit made up of only three drums. The drummer can use their arms and legs to supplement the sound by playing on other surfaces such as the ground, snare drums, cymbals, or even more drums. 

A 3-piece drum set may be an entry-level (basic) teaching kit for students and beginners or a smaller-sized instrument for someone with limited space. These kits are often used in vintage music genres like Big Band as well as bluegrass, blues, and Jazz, where a complete drumset isn’t necessary but still offers variety in sound that would typically match the type of music being played.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Set Up of a 3-Piece Drum Set?

A three-piece drum set is a setup that omits drums five and six. It’s called the “upright bass” kit, the “electric guitar” kit, or simply a kick/tom/hi-hat setup.

A typical three-piece drum set will likely be made up of a snare drum at the top of the set, with two-floor toms directly below it. The left floor tom will come with silver inlay rings around its rim, while slightly more expensive versions have two hoops on their exterior. The right floor tom will often be noticeably smaller than its counterpart on the left side but may also come with rings (likely silver). 

What’s the difference between a 3-Piece Drum Set and a 4-Piece Drum Set?

The primary difference between a 3-piece drum set and a 4-piece drum set is that three drums in a 4-piece drum kit are double bass drums. Double bass drums were initially designed to carry more dynamic range than traditional single or side by side 20-inch tom over tom configurations.

What’s the difference between a 3-Piece Drum Set and a 5-Piece Drum Set?

A 3-piece drum set consists of a bass drum, hi-hat stand, seat, snare drum, one tom (can or can’t use two), and at least one cymbal. The cymbals are typically mounted on the upper bass drum. A 5-Piece Drum Set includes most of those things and a second-floor tom high hat stand and runner; it also has more cymbals (most commonly two ride cymbals). With five pieces total between the bass drum pedals, drums themselves, hi-hat stands, drivers for the toms, and floor toms.  Be known with the Drum Sets History.

Who Should Buy a 3-Piece Drum Set?

A 3-piece drum set isn’t only for beginners. It is an excellent choice for gigging musicians as well. 


What do you think? Would a three-piece drum set work for your kids, or are they better off with an entire kit? Let us know in the comments.

Share Drum Set Lab with your friends: