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The Best Cymbals for Beginner Drummers: The Beginner Series

Welcome to the club! Of all the instruments out there, you made the right choice. You chose the drums, but as any drummer knows, it was really the drums that chose you. And when you think about it, the pairing was inevitable … predetermined from the time you started gaining control of your budding baby limbs. And your entire life to this point has culminated in that one magical moment when you got your first drumset. Whether it was a gift, a purchase, or a hand-me-down, all that matters is that it’s YOURS. You may not realize it yet, but you’ve just embarked on a never-ending journey of defining, refining, and reimagining your style. 

And now you’ve come to the pivotal decision of which cymbals to buy.

A drum kit without the right set of cymbals is like a great car with lousy wheels. And like a great set of wheels, the right cymbals can add a smooth ride and stunning curb-appeal to your drumming. But when you walk into your local music store, it can be downright intimidating and overwhelming when you first come face to face with a huge wall of shimmering cymbals. How do you even get started?

As a beginner, you probably don’t have a ton of experience behind the kit. You may have some idea of the kind of sound and cymbal style you want, but you may not know how to find it. Making the right choice is critical. A good quality, well-tuned drum kit can sound like garbage with low quality, cheap cymbals. And unlike your drums, cymbals can’t be tuned or modified to fit different applications. Once you buy cymbals and get them on your kit, you’re pretty much married to them.

On the other hand, simply pulling the trigger on the most expensive cymbals you can afford may not be the best course of action. As your taste in sound matures, you may find those pricey cymbals aren’t quite what you wanted. 

Don’t worry. We’re here to help you find the perfect cymbals for your style, drum set, and budget. SABIAN has been in the business for nearly 40 years, and throughout those years has managed to stay relevant to countless drummers through 4 decades of musical styles and fashions. We get that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to the craft of drumming. And so let’s begin the journey to find the best cymbals for you — no matter what your personal style and budget happen to be. Let’s get started!

For The Budget Conscious Beginner – SABIAN B8X

B8X Hats Sabian

We get it — you’ve already pinched pennies, ground out a few extra shifts, ate nothing but Kraft dinner — maybe even donated your precious plasma — to be able to afford your first drum kit. So you don’t have a ton of extra cash laying around.  Don’t fret — when you need quality cymbals on a beginner’s budget, we’ve got you covered with SABIAN B8X. B8X cymbals are hand-lathed by our skilled Vault craftsmen, some of whom have lathed well over one million cymbals. So you know expert craftsmanship goes into each and every B8X cymbal. What’s more, before they ship out to drum shops all over the world, all B8X cymbals end up in the Sabian Vault for hand-testing, right alongside our most expensive professional cymbals. 

Speaking of stamps — while other manufacturers tend to avoid displaying their logo on budget brands, we proudly stamp the Sabian logo on each and every B8X cymbal! As an added bonus, our B8X Cymbal Packs offer matched-sets of cymbals including hi-hats,  crashes, rides, and effects all together for a friendly price that won’t break the bank.

For The Beginner With Benefits – SABIAN XSR

If you already have plans to play some gigs or lay down tracks with your first band, you may need something more than just entry-level. That’s where Sabian’s XSR series comes in. XSR delivers unprecedented sound and performance at an incredible price point. It really is a price designed to fit the average drummer’s cymbal budget. XSR cymbals are all handcrafted from the exact same B20 Bronze as our high-end pro series. What does that mean for you? Sound and performance well beyond what you would expect from beginner cymbals. In fact, no matter what your sound or style, you can put XSR on any kit, on any stage, and not sound out of place.

For The Beginner in Search of a Serious Long-term Relationship – SABIAN AAX

If you’re a budding aficionado, finding yourself attracted to buzzwords like “musically rich,” “dynamic range,” and “shimmering cut”, SABIAN AAX may be the right choice for you. Created by professionals for professionals, AAX cymbals are sonically advanced and offer brilliant highs, a touch of darkness and huge complexity in tone. Offering a plethora of choice in Thin, Medium and Heavy weights, signature models like Jojo Mayer’s best selling Omni, and a gorgeous look, AAX are cymbals you can play all day long on modern and mainstream music. With a range as wide as Bruno Mars to Meshuggah, AAX offers the kind of versatility beginner drummers will appreciate while they find their groove. Simply put, AAX cymbals put you in the big leagues from day one, without locking you in to a specific sound or genre. You will definitely want to check out the new Thin and Medium Crashes — they sound like heaven!


You are a beginner looking for great cymbals and definitely want to avoid buyer’s remorse. Great news! Any of these series from SABIAN will set you on the right path as you find your groove.

  • SABIAN B8X — a great sounding series that won’t break the bank. Start with the convenient Cymbal Packs to jumpstart your collection. 
  • SABIAN XSR — Versatility, quality craftsmanship, professional B20 Bronze at a smart price. What’s not to like?
  • SABIAN AAX — Professional cymbals offering exceptional versatility and a wide range of tone. If you’re just starting out but have the ability to invest in your future — start here.


Now stop reading and get back to practicing.


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