Why Start with Student Drums?
Those who are just starting drum lessons are generally advised to use student drums. There are a few reasons for this, and you'll almost surely agree that it is the best way to go.
The most obvious benefit of student drums is that they are less expensive than pro-grade sets. Parents appreciate this not only because it's easier on their wallets, but because their kids may not end up sticking with the drums. By starting with a student set, they do not start with a big "sunk cost" in the endeavor. Even if you're starting lessons for yourself instead of signing your child up for them, you'll find that this is a benefit for you as well.
It's also easy to resell student drums. Every year, more people decide to give the drums a try, and they'll gladly pick up your set if you decide to pass it on and take some other kind of music lessons.
The lower cost of student drums is also good if you or your child really gets into drumming. It takes hours of practice to get real skill, and that means that your first drum sets will take a whole lot of beating. You'll wear out drum heads, adjustment hardware, and more. It's a lot easier on your wallet if this is done with an inexpensive set! Once you get some real skill, you can upgrade to a professional-style set and know that it won't wear out prematurely.
Another reason to choose student drums is that you won't be as worried about damaging them as you take them from place to place. You might need to take them to your drum lessons, school concerts, and many other places. Not all of these locations are all that safe for instruments, so having a set that you aren't all that concerned about is a good idea.
Finally, a set of student drums typically only includes the types that you'll actually use at your skill level. Often, professional-grade sets have more drums and more kinds than a student will ever use. There's simply no need for this expansion when you're just starting with your music lessons.
It may be a surprise, but sometimes, professionals keep a set of students, or "practice" drums even if they've been performing for years. They do this for many of the same reasons that students do. Even pros need to practice for hours, and this wears out instruments. Therefore, they keep a separate practice set in their home studios, and only use their fancy sets for shows. This saves them both money and worry.