When you think of the biggest electronic drum kit brands, Yamaha’s name stands tall. From beginner kits to studio-ready setups, Yamaha’s electronic drum kit range boasts something for everyone.
The Yamaha DTX402 is a favourite amongst beginner drummers, but why? What’s different about it? And how does it differ from other beginner drum kits?
To answer these questions, alongside any others you may have, I’ve had a play on the Yamaha DTX402. And I’ve documented my thoughts on the kit’s sound, module, playability, and more.
Initial thoughts on the Yamaha DTX402
From the moment I took the DTX402 out of the box, I was amazed by its seemingly very compact size. The kit is easy to assemble, as it’s more or less set up in the box already. Only a few components need to be attached – it took me around 10 minutes to completely set it up.
Once built, it’s clear that the DTX402 is made for home-use. Whether it’s in your bedroom or the corner of the room, the compact size makes it perfect for any environment.
I turned the module on and had a flick through the 10 built-in kits to see what the Yamaha DTX402 has to offer. These built-in kits cover a range of musical styles, including pop, rock, metal, funk, hip-hop, jazz, and Latin.
Each of the sounds felt authentic to their style and responded to playing dynamics a lot better than I imagined it would. Initially, I expected the rubber pads to be a downfall in playability and the overall response – however, I was greatly surprised by their natural feel.
I was excited to dig deeper into the Touch app, which features a range of fun and interactive games that advance your playing and techniques. To top it off, you receive a certificate from Yamaha if, and when, you reach the final stage – pretty cool!
The 10 built-in drum kits on the DTX module can be edited to your liking with the Yamaha Touch app. This allows you to change the drum or edit the panning, volume, tuning, mute, and reverb of each pad.
In addition to the kits, there are 287 expressive drum sounds, with electronic and acoustic effects to choose from. If you want to be unconventional, you can mix these up in whichever way you want, giving you the ultimate flexibility to craft your own signature sound.
Not enough sounds? No problem! The DTX module has a USB and MIDI connection, allowing you to use your own software and sounds with the pads.
The best part of the sound, in my opinion, is the fact that you can achieve rimshot/cross stick tones on the drum pads and choke the cymbals. This is usually reserved for intermediate kits and above, but it’s a great feature for beginners.
I quickly discovered that the cymbals change their sound depending on how hard you play – just like real cymbals. This offers a smooth and authentic tone – a really cool feature for a low-cost kit.
When playing this kit, I used headphones and an external amplifier. I did this to see whether the sound quality differed much between the two. The headphones obviously offer less external sound, but the quality doesn’t differ between the two. Loud or quiet? The choice is yours.
Drum pads and cymbals
The DTX402 features rubber pads and cymbals. These pads are not as real-feeling as mesh heads but they still offer a good stick response and are incredibly responsive to your playing, so it’s not the end of the world. They’re also very hardwearing against heavy strikes – ideal for enthusiastic beginners.
The Yamaha DTX402 Electronic Drum Kit features a standalone bass drum pedal without a kick pad. This keeps external noise down, offering low-volume practice for home-use. The kick pedal is smooth to operate, and it doesn’t take much time at all to get used to the feel of it.
For the metal drummers reading, don’t worry! The hi-hat controller pedal can be programmed to a kick drum sound, allowing you to play double kick beats.
The DTX module is incredibly easy to use. There’s no overly complicated screen, just clearly displayed buttons. All of the 10 kits are effortless to find, with their own unique button to quickly change between kits. You can also adjust the volume, turn a metronome on and off, and alter the tempo with a quick press of a button.
The tempo track can be played from 30bpm all the way to 300bpm, going from ¼ to 9/4 – plenty of options for the beginner drummer!
In terms of connectivity, there’s a USB connector for a computer, allowing you to record directly into your DAW or add your own unique sounds. The AUX in allows you to play along to your favourite songs – this is very common on electronic drum kits, but it’s still worth noting that the DTX has it.
Further connectivity to the module includes the Rec’n’Share app and the DTX Touch app. These apps aid you in your learning and allow you to record a performance for instant sharing.
The learning features of the Yamaha DTX402 are what really makes it stand out above other beginner kits.
With 10 top training functions focused on timing, speed, and precision, the DTX module is the perfect partner in your drumming journey.
Use Rec’n’Share to record your audio directly from the module. Video recording is also available on the app via smartphone or tablet. This is a brilliant feature for beginners as it allows you to send your progress to your drum tutor.
The Touch app features a range of fun and interactive games that will advance your playing and techniques. You’re able to customise kits and play through the challenge function to develop your drumming. It’s a real bonus for beginners and gets you quickly started on the right foot.
On the module, there are also learning functions available, including challenge mode, rhythm gate, and song part gate.
The challenge mode links with the DTX smartphone app and allows you to fully customise kits to meet your own individual preferences and watch video tutorials for practice exercises. This gives you a more familiar interface when learning new skills and customising your sound.
Rhythm Gate is my personal favourite learning tool on the DTX module. It plays a backing track of your choice, with or without the drums in the track. If you fall out of time with the click track, your drums will stop making noise. This sound returns when you get back in time with the track.
Song part gate is another learning tool that works very well with the DTX app. This mode shows you visual and audio examples of the backing tracks on the module and provides feedback on your performance.
Differences between this and other beginner kits
What’s unique about the Yamaha DTX402 Electronic Drum Kit? The main differences between the DTX402 and other beginner kits are the challenge and learning functions.
The Fast Blast function is purely for fun. This measures your speed by counting how many hits you can make in the given time limit. You can challenge yourself and set personal bests.
DTX Touch will modernise your learning experience in an enjoyable and easy-to-follow way. The app also works with the Rec’ n’ Share app, which is available on Android and iOS, so you can perform your favourite music and share it with the world, directly from the module.
Find out more
Decided to begin your journey with a DTX402? We sell bundles designed for beginners which include everything you need to start playing right away. Check out our range of drum amps too – they allow you to play out loud, rather than just through headphones.