Music can be a lot of fun.
And, if you want your child to stay in lessons, as much as possible, you should effort to keep it that way.
That’s the great thing about drums. You don’t need to be good at drumming to bang on them and make cool sounds. The appeal to a child is essentially instant.
The real fun, of course, begins when you learn to play well, and understand what musical function each component (i.e. snare, kick, toms, cymbals, hi-hat, etc.) serves in the grand scheme of things.
For younger kids, it’s also important to purchase the right gear. Since their bodies and minds aren’t fully developed yet, and an exciting learning process is about to unfold, you should set them up for success.
Here are six of the best junior drum sets for five, eight, and 10+ year old beginner kids.
ddrum D120B MB D Series Drum Set 5 Piece Complete
The D120B five-piece drum set comes with a kick pedal, snare stand, hi-hat stand, and cymbal stand, as well as cymbals. It’s available in black and red, and the price point is more than reasonable – something ddrum has become known for. Most customers have been very satisfied with their purchase. You might not expect it, but the kit even has great tone, something most people only expect to find in expensive drum sets.
Gammon 5-Piece Junior Starter Drum Kit With Cymbals, Hardware, Sticks & Throne
What’s so great about the Gammon 5-piece kit? Besides the fact that it comes with everything you need (cymbals, hardware, sticks and throne), it’s also affordable, and is arguably the best kit available for younger drummers. If that wasn’t enough, this kit comes in a few different colors – black, blue, pink, and red. Customers also speak positively of the Gammon drums.
Ludwig Junior Outfit Drum Set
Ludwig is a known brand in the drumming world, and their Junior Outfit Drum Set is anything but a disappointment. This kit is more playable than just about any on the market and is of excellent quality. There are also very few disappointed customers. If you think your child might be serious about learning and continuing with the drums, then this Ludwig kit is worth the money you’ll put into it. It’s available in black, blue, and wine red.
Sound Percussion Labs Lil Kicker – 3 Piece Jr Drum Set With Throne
If you’re looking for a quality beginner kit that takes up a minimal amount of space and is easy to play, the Lil Kicker is a product worth considering. Ideal for kids on the younger end of the spectrum (i.e. three to five), the three-piece Lil Kicker comes with sticks, kick pedal, drum tuning key, and d drum throne. Most customers agree it’s a good kit for starters. This Sound Percussion Labs kit is available in white and wine red.
Mendini By Cecilio 16 Inch 5-Piece Complete Kids/Junior Drum Set
The Mendini drum set is a great beginner’s kit. If not for the fact that it comes in a variety of colors – black, blue, green, silver, wine red, and bright red, then its price point certainly makes it worthwhile. The five-piece kit comes with all the necessary parts – cymbals, pedals, and sticks. The throne is adjustable, and customer reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The Cecilio should be on your radar If you’re looking to simulate a realistic drumming experience for your child.
GP Percussion Deluxe GP50 3-Piece Kid’s Drum Set Bundle
The GP50 can be found in a few different colors, such as metallic green, metallic pink, wine red, metallic purple, silver, metallic royal blue, and metallic red. Its price point is in line with virtually every beginner drum kit, and in addition to the essentials, it comes with a throne, drumsticks, drum key, and polishing cloth. Overall, customer reviews for this GP Percussion kit have been positive. Again, the fact that it’s a three-piece kit makes it easy for kids to play.
What Should I Look For In A Junior Drum Set?
The products available in this category are remarkably similar, making it challenging to know exactly which kit to buy. I would suggest spending some time to read online reviews to get a better sense of which kits are good bang for buck.
But keep in mind that a beginner kit is just that – a beginner kit. It’s not going to make even the best drummer sound like a pro. So, if you’re expecting the kit to sound like what you hear on your favorite studio recordings, you’re going to be disappointed.
Still, you may want to spend some time comparison shopping. Here are some tips for what to look for in a junior drum set.
A Price Point That Agrees With You
Budget probably won’t be a major consideration here, if only because there isn’t a huge spread in price points between the various beginner kits available. The one exception is the ddrum kit, which you might pay up to double for.
If you’re paying in the $100 to $350 range, you probably aren’t overpaying, and the drum kit should be functional at minimum, reasonably nice at maximum.
Still, it’s nice to be easy on your bank account when you can be.
A Durable Kit
A drum kit is designed to take some abuse. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, because it’s an instrument you literally hit and pound on with a pair sticks. Second, because kids aren’t always cautious, and just like to play with their toys.
Even so, you may notice that some drum kits stand up to more of a beating than others. You can’t exactly test this out for yourself, so read the reviews to find out if customers had any issues.
A Good Tone
And I stress – a good tone, not an excellent tone. You must remember that you’re not paying thousands of dollars for the kit, and that being the case, your child is not going to sound like Chad Smith on day one (please do not go in with any false expectations – this can ruin the learning experience).
But if the kit sounds horrible, it stands to reason your child isn’t going to enjoy it as much, and neither are you.
Fortunately, there aren’t too many shoddy products out there, unless you end up buying the drum set at a bargain basement price.
Aside from that, scan the reviews to see what other customers are saying. This should give you an idea of which kits sound best.
The Right Bundle
The drum kit doesn’t need to come with everything to be the right bundle.
As you’ve already seen, there are several that come with extras. But if you happen to like one kit over another, and it doesn’t come with sticks and a drum key, keep in mind that these accessories generally aren’t that pricy. You can always buy them separately.
Most people like to get started with everything they need, because that cuts down on the hassle. If that describes you, then buy a kit that comes with everything you need.
The Fun Factor
Again, as I stated at the beginning of this guide, learning music should be a fun experience.
A drum kit is a drum kit, no matter how you dress it up, but it can make a big difference to the child whether it’s green or purple. If you can, you should buy them a kit dressed in their favorite color.
There are other things that can make the kit fun or not, such as drumsticks, stickers, and so forth.
The fun factor should not receive all your attention but can still be an important consideration when buying for a child.
Should I Buy A Three-Piece Kit Or Five-Piece Kit?
This can be a tough question to answer.
Let’s assume your child is on the younger end of the spectrum (I.e. three or four), and they end up enjoying playing the drums. Starting them off on a three-piece kit is not a bad idea, especially since it keeps things simple for them.
But only a year or two down the line, you may end up purchasing a five-piece kit to replace the three-piece, to give your child a more realistic drumming experience and to help them keep advancing as a player.
The price difference between a three-piece and five-piece isn’t that significant, so you could always start your child off on a five-piece. It doesn’t matter much if they don’t end up continuing, and the two-piece difference probably isn’t going to be the determining factor in their long-term success.
So, as you can see, there isn’t necessarily a straightforward answer. The best thing to do is purchase a kit that’s right for your child’s needs, keeping in mind that if they keep progressing as a drummer and have the desire to keep playing, that you’ll need to purchase new kits down the line.
Should I Buy A Junior Drum Kit Or A Full-Sized Drum Kit?
I know, it might seem like a nuisance to buy a junior drum kit, especially if your child ends up continuing with their studies. Why wouldn’t you save your money and just buy a full-sized drum kit, right?
Well, firstly, junior kits aren’t that expensive. Most are in the $100 to $350 range. You might be able to sell it for a bit of money later when you don’t need it anymore.
Secondly, it’s going to be challenging for smaller kids to play on a full-sized kit. Yes, that might be what they’ll be playing on one day, but they’re not ready for it yet. They need something smaller that’s easier to get around.
So, unless you’re buying for a teenager that’s coming into their own or a full-sized adult, you should probably consider buying a junior kit.
Will My Child Require Their Own Drum Kit For Lessons?
This is a great question.
After all, most studios and teachers have their own drum kits, right? You don’t necessarily need your own when your child can go into play on a real kit once per week, and maybe even play a little bit at their friend’s house or church. You can even save your money and buy a drum practice pad for your child.
Well, ask yourself: If your child was assigned homework at school, would you tell them to leave their textbooks, notebooks, and stationery at school? No, you would either have them bring it home, or ensure they have the tools they need to succeed at home.
Drum lessons are the same way. No, they shouldn’t be formal and stuffy like school classes tend to be. But that doesn’t mean your child won’t be assigned homework, and if you want them to do well, you should supply them with the tools they need, including a drum kit.
Drumming involves all limbs. You can’t truly duplicate everything you can on a kit on a practice pad. Plus, one’s success in learning an instrument is mostly determined by the effort they put into it on their own, not the 30 to 60 minutes per week they get with their teacher. Their teacher is mainly there to ensure their technique is good and to continually help them move in the direction of their goals.
Don’t forget – drums can cause a lot of racket.
You may have been well-intentioned in wanting to help your child start down the path of becoming an instrumentalist, but you must also consider the consequences – especially if your child ends up loving the drums (i.e. they may end up practicing a lot).
If you’re on a budget, a good set of earplugs can be a reasonably good solution. The best solution, of course, would be to treat a room in your house with acoustic paneling or soundproofing materials. This will cost you significantly more than earplugs, but the difference would also be significant. You may also want to purchase a pair of isolation headphones for your child to protect their hearing.
A music career is a long-term investment. If you see long-term potential in your child (or they’d like to continue with their studies), then recognize that there will be many costs beyond just one drum kit.