The 10 Best Drum Sets For Kids
This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in March of 2018. If you have a budding musician in your household, a drum set can make for a fun and educational gift for a birthday or the holidays. The choices featured here are scaled down for kids of various ages and are great for introducing children to the world of percussion. They’re available in sleek designs that resemble professional models as well as colorful options for tots as young as two years old. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 30, 2020:
In this update, we added in the Ashthorpe 5-Piece, which provides everything needed for a budding junior drummer, including a bass drum, a floor drum, mounted toms, a snare drum, hi-hat cymbals, a crash/ride cymbal, a padded stool, pedals, and drumsticks. It’s constructed of durable Popular hardwood shells, triple flanged hoops, and cymbals made of upgraded brass. It’s suitable for a wide range of ages, as it can be enjoyed by kids from ages three to 12 years of age. If you’re looking for a somewhat smaller set, check out the Eastar 16 Inch, which offers a good foundation for a child who’s looking to learn the basics and get their feet wet. It features a sleek metallic finish similar to that of adult-sized sets, and its adjustable seat means your child can enjoy it for many years, and also allows it to accommodate multiple siblings who want to share it.
For a different type of percussion learning experience, consider the Remo Percussion Bongo, which helps children learn the concept of rhythm as they bang away on these five- and six-inch drums. They’re a work of art, too, covered in colorful rainforest graphics of tigers, frogs, turtles, birds, and more. Today, we also added in a model that’s suitable for tiny tots ages six months and up. The Baby Einstein Magic Touch 11650-6 is made with a smooth, flat design, and each of the four animal friends reacts when tapped. It works via the Baby Einstein “Magic Touch” technology that’s also used in the popular toy piano made by the manufacturer.
Leaving the list are the RockJam RJ103-MR and the Gammon Percussion BMDJR50, neither of which are available at this time. In addition, we removed the Mendini by Cecilio MJDS-3-BR and the First Act Discovery FAD0139 from the list, since they contain small parts and are not suitable for small children.
April 25, 2019:
In this list, we've picked out products to suit kids of pretty much any age, two years and up. There are introductory sets designed for toddlers and children in primary school, as well as more advanced options for tweens and teenagers who are seriously pursuing music. This collection of drum sets should satisfy parents and youngsters who have an interest in percussion but aren't quite ready to use a standard kit.
The GP Percussion GP50RD has been removed from the list after investigating complaints about durability and difficult assembly. The First Act Discovery FAD0139 was added to the list because of its usefulness as an introductory tool for children who are interested in developing percussion skills but are too young to do so in school.
Pearl Roadshow Jr. This all-in-one five-piece kit features everything you need to get started, including a bass drum, toms, a snare drum, a bass drum pedal, a cymbal, hi-hat stands, a crash, and a hi-hat metal cymbal set. It incorporates white poplar shell construction and a well-balanced tripod base. All stands are height- and angle-adjustable, and the bass drum pedal is made with a smooth chain drive for play that’s both fast and accurate. It’s available in a finish of either jet black or grindstone sparkle. pearldrum.com
Feeling The Rhythm
For starters, drumming is one of the most physically intense modes of musical expression.
When local school boards cut funding for music and the arts, there’s generally an outcry from parents. That’s because an immense amount of data suggest that musical and artistic education helps students form the tools to excel in more traditional fields like math and science. I can speak personally to this, as a very robust music and arts program at my elementary school, as well as a study in guitar and music theory from age 10 onward, created modes of learning and a work ethic that follows me to this day.
And among all the arts and instruments at your child’s fingertips, few are better for the mind and body than the drum set. For starters, drumming is one of the most physically intense modes of musical expression. Working on nothing but a snare drum for the marching band, your child will develop incredible grip and forearm strength. Get them a whole kit like some of the ones on our list, and they’ll incorporate lower body strength, cardiovascular endurance, and complex limb coordination and independence, all of which also feed the brain.
And if that’s not enough physical and mental development for you, take a moment to consider what drummers do. They keep the beat. They count, often in very complicated rhythms, sometimes with one or two limbs playing in one time signature, and another set working in a signature completely different. That kind of mental acuity in the face of complicated numerical systems makes algebra look like the stuff of kindergarten.
Of course, having rhythm is something that comes in handy in more aspects of life than just a child’s education. By the time your little drummer gets to high school, they’ll be much more adept at picking up something like dancing, which can only help with their romantic life. And on a more philosophical note, being able to feel and work within the rhythms of life can help your child maintain a healthy perspective in the face of stress and challenges they’re sure to face in their future.
In essence, rhythm is all around us. A drum set for your child will be a way for them to unlock the mysteries of that rhythm, to enhance their physical prowess and mental abilities, and to embark on a life of creative expression that will always prove fulfilling.
Cut Out That Racket
Once you give your child their first drum set, you’re going to have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle, and keeping these in mind may help you pick the perfect kit, and keep your sanity intact after it arrives.
Now, if you’re getting a kit that’s more toy than instrument for a child that’s particularly young, you can shoot for something that adds a little visual pop to the experience. Many kits designed for the very young light up, often in conjunction with built-in, pre-recorded media with which your kids can play along. That’s a great way to get any child started, and it’s significantly quieter than the kits to which they’ll eventually graduate.
That said, given all the benefits listed above, if you’re kid is serious about learning, you simply have to find a way to make it work.
Those larger kits come with one big downside: they’re loud. I’ve played in bands all my life, and I’ve had more than one roommate attempt to teach himself to play drums in our basement or garage, so I can say without equivocation that there is nothing more obnoxious than listening to someone learn to play the drums.
That said, given all the benefits listed above, if you’re kid is serious about learning, you simply have to find a way to make it work. Fortunately, we have some suggestions.
For starters, identify an area in the home where the noise will be least intrusive. The more walls and floors you can put between you and young Ringo the better. Attics and basements make the best candidates, but don’t think you’re doomed to whatever sound travels up or down from there. A small investment in some acoustic foam will allow you to isolate the kit in its own little cocoon. And when your kid’s band is ready to record their first album, you’ll already have a partially sound-controlled space in which they’ll be able to do it.
Another potential lifesaver would be to figure out a time that they can dedicate to practicing. You don’t want to set too firm a restriction here, as establishing any practicing habits is vital, but getting them to commit to a specific schedule will both ensure that they rehearse and reduce the likelihood that they’ll surprise you with a midnight urge to run some drills. You’ll also know when the best time is to step outside for some gardening or a walk around the neighborhood, if only to get away for a moment.
Lastly, don’t deny yourself a high-quality pair of noise cancelling headphones. They won’t knock out all the frequencies a kit creates, but they’ll certainly help.
Essentials For Your Kid’s Kit
When your kid starts out, they’re liable to need little more than the kit you got them and whatever sticks it came with. Sticks break, though, and having a few backup pairs will help ensure that their practice regimen isn’t interrupted. It’s also a good time for them to start learning the different sizes and styles of sticks, so they can find what they like the best. These kits also usually come with thrones and pedals of their own, but investing in a more comfortable seat and a more durable kick pedal is probably a smart idea.
As your child progresses to more and more advanced techniques, they’re inevitably going to need to expand on their kit. The sets on our list likely don’t have enough strength to support a lot of weight in the form of a rack, but you can outfit your kids with additional pieces like a floor tom or added cymbals, especially since most of the sets out there only come with a single small crash and maybe a hi-hat.
These additional pieces may seem like expensive accessories at first, but if you buy them carefully, they’ll actually become the first elements of the adult kit your kid is going to want in no time.