Do you have a child who wants to learn how to play the drums? The best way to learn to play properly is with a drum set. Of course, you don’t necessarily want to buy a full-size adult kit for a child. It’s often a good idea to ensure that they have their own set for practicing and learning.
Of course, with all the options on the market today, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which will be the best option for your needs. Whether you’re buying for your own child, a grandchild, godchild, niece, nephew, or even for yourself, you need to be sure that you’re getting a great kit.
Below, we’ll be looking at the best drum sets for kids on the market to see what they have to offer. This should make it easier to find what’s right for your needs. We’ll also learn more about the elements of a kit, learning to play, caring for the drum sets, and more.
Best Drum Sets for Kids & Juniors Reviewed
|Ludwig LC178X016 Questlove Pocket Kit Drum Set||
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|Mendini by Cecilio 13” Kids/Junior Drum Set||
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|Sound Percussion Labs D1316 Lil Kicker Drum Kit||
|Pearl Roadshow Complete Drum Set with Cymbals||
|Mendini by Cecilio 16” Kids/Junior Drum Set||
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|PDP Player Complete Junior Drum Set||
|GP Percussion GP55WR Junior Drum Set||
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|Ludwig Accent Drive Drum Set||
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Ludwig LC178X016 Questlove Pocket Kit 4-Piece Drum Set
The Questlove Pocket Kit from Ludwig could be an ideal first drum kit for a child in your life. This kit features a 16” bass drum, a 10” tom, a 13” floor tom, and a 12” snare drum. The kit also features a wide range of accessories so the kids can get started drumming right away.
Accessories include a foot pedal, hi-hat cymbals, crash/ride cymbals, cymbal arm, hi-hat stand, drum key, a snare stand, and drumsticks. A drum throne is also included as a part of this drum set for kids.
Another nice feature of the kit is that it comes with an exclusive online lesson plan. This lesson plan with Questlove has six parts to get your young drummer up to speed on the drums quickly.
You’ll have three color options from which you can choose for this kit. All the other elements, including the accessories, will be the same. Choose from black, red wine, or white sparkle. Naturally, you’ll want to choose a color that your child will love.
Given that this set comes with four pieces, you may find that it can last a young drummer a bit longer before they’ll want or need to move on to a larger kit. The kit is easy to set up and take down, and because it’s junior-sized, it’s relatively easy to transport.
Mendini by Cecilio 13” Kids/Junior Drum Set
For those who have younger kids that want to drum, this set could be a good option. It has three pieces including a 13” bass drum, an 8” mounted tom, and a 10” mounted snare. The set also includes a single cymbal along with a cymbal arm, and an adjustable drum throne for the young drummer to sit on while drumming. It also features a single pair of wooden drumsticks.
This is a very affordable drum set for kids, and it could be an ideal first kit for your little one who wants to rock out. While the color of the set won’t matter to the sound, you’ll still want to find something that your child likes. You can choose from a range of colors including blue, royal blue, black, green, purple, and red, all of which have a metallic sheen to them.
As with other drum kits, this one will need to be assembled when it arrives. Fortunately, the Mendini from Cecilio is easy to assemble. It’s small enough that it can easily fit into most locations, and it can be moved around easily.
Sound Percussion Labs D1316 Lil Kicker Drum Kit
The Lil Kicker from Sound Percussion Labs might be a nice drum kit for the child in your life, as well. This set has a bit more to offer than the Mendini, but it’s a similar size. With this kit, you’ll receive three pieces. It includes a 16” bass drum, an 8” tom, and a 10” snare.
The attention to detail with this drum set is impressive. It has been built to the same standards that you would expect from a full-size kit. This includes multi-ply wooden shells, and top and bottom heads that are replaceable and tunable. The hardware quality is impressive, too.
The drum set for kids also features plenty of extras. You’ll find that this kit has two cymbals, a bass pedal, a hi-hat stand, a straight stand, and a throne. With this kit, you can choose from wine red, black, and white.
Most people who have purchased the set have been happy overall. The only real major complaints seem to be from people who have bought the set thinking it was for adults only to discover that it’s for kids.
Pearl Roadshow Complete Drum Set with Cymbals
Pearl is one of the most famous and recognized names when it comes to drums, and you’ll find that this kit could be a great entry-level kit. You’ll note that even though this is smaller than many other full-size kits, it can work well as a jazz/fusion set for adults. Still, it’s often used as a “stepping up” point when a young drummer wants something a bit larger than a small kit built only for kids.
The drum kit includes all the necessary hardware that you’ll need to get started. It features a 12” bass drum, a 14” floor tom, a 10” mounted tom, and a 13” snare. Of course, it also includes a pair of 14” hi-hats and a 16” crash cymbal.
With this kit, you’ll have several color options, as well. There’s jet black, charcoal, bronze, aqua blue glitter, and wine red.
Another reason people love this kit is the overall quality of the hardware and materials. It features 9-ply poplar shell construction and a hand-cut 45-degree bearing shell edge.
One of the things you’ll want to be aware of with this drum kit is that it doesn’t come with drumsticks. You’ll need to buy some separately for this kit. Of course, this gives you a chance to try out some different types of sticks.
Mendini by Cecilio 16” Kids/Junior Drum Set
Here’s another option from Cecilio. It’s also a Mendini set, and you’ll find that this set has more pieces than the previous option. This set can work well for many ages, thanks to the included adjustable throne and adjustable pieces, but it tends to be suited best for those who are smaller.
The set features five pieces and can work well for children who are between 2.5’ tall up to 5’ tall. Typically, this will be from ages three or four up to 12 years old. Of course, height at different ages can vary greatly between kids.
The kit includes a 16” bass drum, a 12” floor tom, a 10” and 8” tom, as well as a 10” snare drum. You’ll also find a range of accessories with this drum set for kids including an 8” hi-hat with a stand, a 10” crash cymbal with a bass drum mounted stand, and a bass drum pedal.
Other accessories included with the kit include a padded, adjustable throne and a pair of wooden drumsticks. This set could be a good option for a young drummer who wants to upgrade from a smaller kit, but who is still too small for a full-size drum set.
PDP Player Complete Junior Drum Set
The PDP Player is a five-piece drum set that could work well for beginners to get the feel for drums. It has enough pieces that it can last for several years as they improve, too. The drum set includes an 18” bass drum, a 12” floor tom, a 10” mounted tom, an 8” mounted tom, and a 12” snare.
The drums also feature a 10” hi-hat and a 12” crash cymbal, along with a cymbal stand, hi-hat stand, and a tom mount. The drum set also comes with a throne that is sized for children. It’s also adjustable, so it can work well for kids of different heights. The kit comes with all the needed hardware, and instructions for assembly.
Pacific Drums and Percussion is known for creating quality kits, and that’s true with this junior drum set, as well. It comes with just about everything that’s needed to get started. You will need to buy some drumsticks, though.
GP Percussion GP55WR Junior Drum Set
This small drum kit for kids features a 16” bass drum, a 12” floor tom, a 10” snare, an 8” tom ride, and a 10” ride tom. It’s a nice kit that has a decent sound and plenty of accessories. It comes with drumsticks, a throne, and a drum key.
You’ll be happy to know that it’s made using high-quality materials including metal and wood, and the hardware is built to last. This set can be used for young drummers who need to have a bit more than what a 3-piece or even a 4-piece set can provide. It could be used to play a range of different types of music, as well, including country, blues, and rock.
The kit works well for kids who are up to a little more than 5’ tall, but those who are older than around 12 or who are taller might want to get a larger kit. They might be ready for a full-size kit at this point.
Ludwig Accent Drive Drum Set
Ludwig has made the list again with another drum set. However, there’s a difference here. This is a full-size kit that is a fantastic option for entry-level drummers. It’s not generally marketed solely at kids. However, it can be a great option for those who will need a bigger kit because they are taller or because they have outgrown their current kit.
The drum set features a 22” bass, 10”, 12”, 16” tom drums, and a 14” snare drum. The kit includes all the needed hardware, as well as 13” hi-hats and a 16” crash cymbal. It also comes with pedals. It includes a throne but doesn’t have drumsticks included.
While the drum set has a lot of positives, some of the buyers have reported that it doesn’t come with assembly instructions. They’ve found instructions online to help them get the kit set up. It’s relatively simple, but be aware that you may have to look elsewhere for instructions.
Understanding the Pieces of the Drum Set
Whether you’re the one who’s learning to play the drums, or you are buying for a child, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the different pieces. Let’s take a closer look at the various elements of a drum kit.
The snare drum is often considered the backbone of a beat and is therefore one of the most important drums in the setup. When hitting the snare, it provides a short, sharp sound.
Keep in mind that some “kids drum sets” that are available will not come with a snare. However, because the snare is the most important part of the kit, it’s not something that can be skipped. All the options on the list above include a snare; you should avoid any kit that doesn’t have one.
The bass drum is usually the largest drum in the kit. It’s what provides the deep low-end sound that you hear in music, and it’s what you can “feel” when you are at a live concert. Sometimes, you might hear the bass drum being called a “kick drum”, but they are the same thing.
All the drum kits we’ve included above have just a single bass drum. However, with some types of music, you may see that there are two bass drums used to achieve a certain sound. This is often the case with metal and hard rock music.
When someone is just starting out, though, learning with a single bass drum is fine. They can always add another to their kit later. You’ll also find that many drummers today are using just one bass drum, but they have a double kick drum pedal. Again, this is something that you could add to the kit later if needed.
Related: Best Bass Drum Pedals
The tom drums, or the tom-toms, have a deeper sound than snares and are often used when playing drum fills. There are multiple types of toms including floor toms. They sound great and are an important part of any drum kit whether it’s a junior kit or a full-sized set.
The ride cymbal helps to provide a steady pattern to drumming, and there are many different ride patterns used in music today. Playing ride patterns tends to be one of the first things that people learn when they are getting started. It’s likely to be one of the first things your child learns when they are playing the drums.
Generally, you’ll want to have the ride cymbals placed above the floor tom on the side of the dominant hand. This means that if your child is left-handed, you’ll want to have the ride cymbal set up on the left side rather than on their right.
Like the bass drum, the hi-hat cymbal will require a foot pedal to operate. The pedal allows the two cymbals that make up the hi-hat to open and close to hit one another and create the iconic hi-hat sound.
It’s also possible to play these cymbals separately with drumsticks. The pedal can be pressed to open the cymbals to different levels. Depending on how open they are, this can create different sounds. Check out our article on the best hi hats to learn more.
What’s the Right Age to Start Teaching Drums?
There’s some debate as to how old your child should be before they start to learn how to play the drums. However, you’ll find that even toddlers can learn how to hold a drumstick and play. There’s no set age that a child needs to be when they get their first drum kit.
However, you’ll want to be aware of several things before you buy a kit for them. For starters, you’ll have to think about their size. As you’ve seen from the list above, there are options that can work well for small children. When you have a toddler that wants to play, it’s usually best to start with one of these small kits.
You should also keep in mind that with small children, they might not be as interested in playing the drums right now as they are simply “hitting things with a stick to make noise”. Of course, this is also how some of the best drummers in the world have gotten their start.
If your child shows interest in the drums, nurture that interest. Just be sure that you are choosing a set that will work well for their current age. Finding one of the more affordable kits as a starter tends to be a good idea. This will provide a nice learning platform, but if the child gives up on the drums eventually, you won’t feel as though you’ve wasted money.
Remember to Be Patient with Young Drummers
It’s always important to remember the virtue of patience when you have young kids who are learning to play the drums. They might be excited at first, and then the excitement can wane for a bit. Continue to encourage them, but know that they likely have other interests, too.
When they show you what they’ve learned, make it a point to listen and tell them how well they’re doing. Learning to play the drums is a skill that many kids will continue to develop as they get older.
Once they start to show a deeper interest, you’ll feel better about eventually getting them some larger drum kits.
Of course, you might find that your child no longer wants to play drums. They might have a different interest, at least for a while. You don’t want to try to force them to play the drums because they won’t learn. It may be something that they come back to later, though, so you might not want to sell their kit quite yet.
Benefits of Teaching Kids to Play the Drums
With all the other hobbies that are out there, why would you want your kids to play drums? For starters, it might be something they’ve wanted to learn because they love music. It’s important to encourage new hobbies, so the child can learn more about themselves. You’ll also find that drumming can provide some great benefits.
For starters, drumming takes a lot of energy. Most kids have energy in abundance, and if they don’t have an outlet for that energy, it could be released in other ways. For example, an energetic kid might be running around the house and up and down the stairs.
Having a way to channel that energy into something constructive, and to use up all that energy, is great. Drums will help with this.
Not only will the kids be burning up energy, but they’ll be burning up calories, too. Often, kids today are sedentary. They can’t always get outside and go play with friends to get the exercise they need. However, drumming can provide a great workout.
Adults can burn several hundred calories an hour from drumming. Kids can burn up a lot of calories, too. Look at some of the best rock drummers in the world when they come off stage. They are often drenched in sweat. Never let anyone tell you that playing music can’t be a workout.
Better Focus and Study Habits
It’s also possible that learning to play the drums can help to improve performance in school. Research has shown that learning to play the drums can have a positive effect on a child’s cognitive development and abilities.
Think about all the different ways that drumming might help. It can help with memory skills, listening, study habits, and fine motor skills. Of course, since it’s music, it can also help to teach math. Some have said that it’s like learning a new language.
There was another study that showed drumming could help children with autism focus better and that it helped their social interactions.
While your kids don’t need to spend every waking moment being productive and creative, it’s nice to have an outlet that allows for this. How often do parents lament that their kids are playing video games or watching TV rather than doing something productive? Chances are you heard this from your own parents while you were growing up.
When kids are playing drums, they are learning how to take their skills to play along with songs they love. They are learning to create their own beats and music. They are creative and they are doing something that provides tangible results. This helps them to understand the importance of working toward something.
One of the other benefits of learning to play the drums is the confidence it can provide. Whether you have a shy child or a child that already likes to be the center of attention, drums can shore up that confidence. This is because learning to play requires work.
Unless your child is naturally gifted and picks up the drums in a few days, it will take time to work on those skills. They learn to break down difficult pieces into smaller and more manageable parts and then put them back together. When mastering a new skill or a song, the confidence will soar.
Those who learn to drum will start to see challenges differently. Rather than the challenge being something they shy away from, they will instead learn to break it down and conquer it. This applies to more than just musical challenges, and this trait can help them well throughout their life.
Learning to play the drums can be fun, but learning how to care for the drums properly helps kids to learn responsibility. If they want to keep their drums in good condition and sounding great, they need to learn to maintain them. We’ll cover what needs to be done with the drums later in this article.
These are just some of the biggest benefits of having your child learn how to play the drums. Getting one of the best drum sets for kids is a great idea when you realize just how beneficial it can be for your little one.
Why Should Children Start with a Kid’s Drum Kit?
As a parent who wants to encourage your child’s love of music, you might still be worried about buying a child’s drum kit. You might feel that it won’t have the same quality as one made for adults. While this might be true of some kits, that’s not what you’ll find with the options on the list.
The kids’ drum sets on the list are high-quality and will make ideal options for your young drummer. When they are cared for properly, they should last a long time without any problems. However, you might still be wondering if you should buy a kit for an adult instead.
One of the best reasons to choose a kit that’s built for kids is because it will be sized properly for them. Larger kits will be far more difficult for many small children to use. While they might be capable of learning on those kits, it may not be as fun or as easy.
Having a kit that’s built just for their size will make them feel right at home when they sit on their little drum throne. This also means they’ll be learning proper technique, which they can then adapt when they get bigger and need to have a bigger kit. Kids will also appreciate that they have something that’s just for them to learn on and use.
When to Upgrade to a Larger Drum Set
Of course, you’ll eventually need to upgrade to a larger drum set for your child. When they start to get bigger, they’ll not be as comfortable behind a small kit. While it might still be usable, you’ll want to get them something that’s sized a bit better for them.
Keep in mind that while upgrading, you need to consider more than just the size of the drums—particularly the bass drum—and the size of the drum throne. You will also need to be sure that you’re considering the complexity of the set. Many of the smaller junior sets will have just three or four pieces. Your child might want a larger set that has more options.
When upgrading to a new set, your growing child may also find that the sticks they originally had aren’t cutting it. They will develop their own likes and dislikes and may want a certain size or weight. Help them find sticks that will be suitable for them.
When your child has shown that they have an interest in continuing to learn the drums, and when the current set is getting too small, consider getting an upgrade. We have several different sizes options on this list, so you should be able to find something for just about everyone.
What Accessories Are Needed?
You’ll have noticed that out of the best drum sets for kids that we’ve included on our list, most come with a wide range of accessories. They’ll have the hi-hats and ride cymbals that are needed. They’ll also typically have some drumsticks and a throne, although that’s not always the case.
However, there are plenty of other types of accessories that you might need to buy for your child, as well. First, make sure that the kit you are choosing has sticks and a throne, as these are essential to get playing.
Additionally, consider getting some ear protection for your children—and for you. The sound of drums, especially when up close, could cause damage to small ears, so having some earplugs or headphones to cut the loudness will be helpful.
You might also want to buy some fun accessories that you could add to their kit. This might include something like a wood block or a cowbell, for example.
Learning the Drums – Getting Started
You will also need to think about how your child will learn the drums. They can’t just sit behind the kit and start pounding away with the sticks and expect to learn how to play. Fortunately, there are countless ways to learn today.
Naturally, the best way to learn any type of instrument is through in-person instruction. However, it can sometimes be difficult to find an instructor in your area, and there could be a host of reasons that in-person instruction isn’t practical. In those cases, you may want to look for online instruction for your child.
There are options for live instruction, as well as video instruction that can help your child get started with drums. There are plenty of books, along with a wealth of videos on places like YouTube, for instruction. Of course, you’ll want to vet any sort of instruction that the kids are using. You should make sure that the people know what they’re talking about and that they can provide good techniques.
Additionally, the way the kids learn should be fun. If they aren’t having fun, they aren’t going to want to continue learning. Be sure they are learning skills and songs that they like. As they start to improve and learn new skills, it will become easier for them to pick up different songs by ear.
Gather Resources for Your Child
You want your kids to find the best possible instruction for drums, so why not take some time to help them find it? Curate a list of high-quality websites that have instruction available and go through videos on YouTube that you can recommend your kid watch for instructions.
Lots of Inspiration Out There for Young Drummers
You’ll find that there’s a substantial amount of inspiration available for drummers of all ages. You may have some favorite drummers of your own that you might want to show your child for inspiration.
Some of the best drummers include John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Neil Peart of Rush, Tre Cool from Green Day, Keith Moon of The Who, Buddy Rich, and Dave Grohl of Nirvana and The Foo Fighters. Of course, this is just the start of the list. There are countless other great drummers that could inspire your kids.
However, don’t only look at your own favorites. Look to some of the other young up-and-coming drummers who have their own YouTube channels. YouTube is where many kids first get enthralled with the drums. They see kids their age and younger playing, and they want to do the same.
Take some time to watch some of these videos with your kids and show an interest in your child as a drummer.
Where Should You Set Up the Drum Kit?
This one is a question for the ages. Where will you be setting up the drum kit for your kids? Keep in mind that even though many of these kits are smaller than an adult kit, they are still loud. This means that you’ll be hearing the drums throughout the house. Your neighbors will hear the drums, too.
Therefore, you need to be careful about where you are setting up the kit. If you have a basement, it could be a good location to help keep the sound down. You might also want to find a location in the home that could be soundproofed.
Adding acoustic foam is relatively cheap and easy, and this can help to keep some of the sounds contained in the room. Proper sound insulation can work better, but it might not be in everyone’s budget.
When to Play
You’ll also want to talk with your kids about the best times for them to practice. You don’t want them waking up at the crack of dawn to start banging on the drums, and you don’t want them playing in the middle of the night. Set aside times during the day for practice, and maybe talk to your neighbors if you have some that are close enough to hear the drums.
How to Take Care of the Drum Set Properly
Naturally, both you and your child want to make sure that the drum set lasts for a long time and continues to play well. However, this will require that some basic maintenance be performed on the drums to keep them in good shape.
If you have a child that’s quite small, you’ll want to take care of this for them, but make sure that they help. This will start to teach them more responsibility. If you have an older child that’s learning to play, you’ll still want to teach them how to care for the drums.
Then, let them take care of the maintenance. You might want to check up on the care of the drums, though, just as you would make sure they are cleaning their room. Let’s get a closer look at some of the things you’ll need for maintaining drums.
Fortunately, you won’t need to have many materials for maintaining and cleaning the drums. You’ll need to have some microfiber polishing cloths, drum polish, and lubricating oil. Keep the items out of the reach of the kids, but make it available when they need to clean their drums.
The drum kit has a lot of different pieces, including all the hardware. By keeping them clean, it can reduce the need to replace them later. The hardware should be cleaned and polished using the microfiber cloths. This is especially true with chrome-plated hardware including the stands and pedals.
For all the moving parts, you’ll want to have some lubrication. This includes things like tension rods, wingnuts, etc. The parts will only need to have a small amount of lubricating oil to keep everything in good working order. Be sure to wipe off any excess oil with a cloth that’s not used for polishing.
If you’ll be traveling with the drum kit, such as taking the kit to your child’s friend’s house where their band can practice, consider getting some cases and bags. This will help to reduce the risk of damaging the drums when they are being transported.
The Drum Shells
The drum shells should be polished using microfiber cloths regularly. Don’t use paper towels, though, as they could be too abrasive and cause scratches. For glossy wrap finishes, you might want to use a small amount of drum polish to keep them looking great.
If you need to replace the drumheads, be sure to wipe down the bearing edges, as well as the inside of the drum shell, to remove any dust that might have collected inside. Too much dust can affect the tone of the drums.
Don’t forget the drum hoops. These help to ensure that the drums stay tuned properly. Check to be sure that there is equal tension across the hoops and be sure to wipe them down and polish them whenever the drums are being cleaned.
When you are storing the drums, you’ll want to be sure they’re kept in a location that’s got a stable temperature and humidity. Also, be sure that the drums aren’t left in the sun for too long, as this can cause the wraps to become unglued over time.
What’s the best option? While all the choices on the list have a lot to offer, we feel that the Questlove kit is a fantastic choice. It might only have four pieces, but it is well-made, has a great sound, and it comes with instructions. For younger, smaller kids, one of the Mendini sets could be a great choice.
These are the best drum sets for kids on the market today, and you’ll find that there’s something for just about every young drummer out there. Some kits are perfect for those kids who are just a few years old and who want to play, as well as those who have been playing for a while and who want to upgrade to a slightly bigger kit.
Take the time to think about the little drummer in your life to determine which one will be the best solution for him or her. Before long, they’ll be pounding away on the drums and enjoying a lifelong passion for music.