Yamaha DTX400K Review – A Great Electronic Beginner Drum Set?


Learning to play the drums requires a great deal of discipline and focus, and this is especially true when starting out on an electronic kit. That said, some kits are certainly better suited for beginners than others, both in terms of design and overall offerings. The DTX400K set from Yamaha includes a lot of built-in features and accessories to help novice players get a leg up, so let’s take a look at what this kit offers.

What’s in the Box

This kit is structured more like the type of bundle you would find at a brick and mortar music store based on everything you get. Back in the day, these stores would throw in a few accessories to sweeten the pot for prospective buyers, but you don’t see it as often with electronic kits like this. Right away, the major stand out here is the drum throne, which is a vital (and often overlooked) component for any new drummer. Without a proper drum throne, drummers tend play with incorrect form that can lead to limitations in performance and even injury. This is a real, adjustable throne, not a stationary stool, so that makes it even better.

The DTX400K also rounds out the accessories with a pair of stereo over-ear headphones, which are vital to being able to hear yourself play. The headphones also come with a 1/8” to 1/4” adapter, so you can plug them into virtually any device if need be. There’s also a pair of Vic Firth 5A drumsticks, which are the perfect weight and size for beginner drummers, as they aren’t too heavy and won’t damage the drum heads.

Overall Configuration

The kit itself includes a complete eight pieces: snare drum, kick drum, hi-hats, two mounted toms, a floor tom, crash cymbal, and ride cymbal. This is everything you need to start playing right away – no additional pad purchases necessary. I was very impressed that the kit comes with a kick drum and pedal, since there are a lot of kits out there that exclude these from the base models. There’s also a hi-hat pedal as well, which is also important for beginners to develop a full understanding of how to handle the instrument.

Each pad is positioned in the same place it would be on an acoustic kit, so you’re going to receive the same playing experience without any restrictions or unexpected complications. The kit also features larger pads, so you won’t have to struggle to restrain your strikes to a tiny space. This is important because it (literally) gives you the space to experiment and feel out the kit, establishing an approachable learning curve.

The Module

This kit features Yamaha’s DTX400 Drum Trigger Module, which offers a good amount of power for a beginner kit but doesn’t overwhelm players with a ton of advanced features and options. It comes with 297 samples preprogrammed in, including 10 complete drum kit presets. It’s best for beginners to start out on a kit that has fewer samples and presets because the focus should be on developing the right technique and learning the basics of playing, rather than getting lost in a sea of various samples and sounds. Since most players won’t be able to tell the difference in tone between a jazz and a rock snare, there’s no sense in starting off with a kit that comes with a huge sample library.

This module is also compatible with other drum pads, which means that you can upgrade and replace the pads over time. This is a nice feature if you’re looking for a beginner set that the drummer can grow with, so you won’t have to go out and purchase a whole new kit to keep pace with growing skill levels. It’s also good because it allows you to replace the pads in the event that one breaks, which is bound to happen with beginners learning how to strike with the right amount of force.

Benefits for Beginners

The biggest benefit for beginners with this electronic drum kit is all of the accessories that it comes with. It literally has everything you need to start playing, so all you need to do is unpack it, set it up, plug it in, and you’re good to go. It also comes with an interactive training program that simulates working with a music instructor. This isn’t something you see very often on kits, and could make a huge difference for novices since it will actually guide you through various lessons on how to play the drums.

The Verdict

Overall this is an amazing kit value for the beginner drummer, especially when you consider the other electronic kits on the market. It’s designed to get you up and running in minutes, and comes with instructional features that can make all the difference in encouraging a new player to stick with it and keep learning.

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