“My child is a natural born drummer!” You’ve probably thought that to yourself before you landed here.
Musical talent is hard to come by, having an aware parent is even rarer.
Well, if you’re considering to get a drum kit to nurture the talent of your child, this article will give you the fundamentals you’d need to pick out the best drum kit for your junior.
Below, we’ll cover: (You can click on the section to skip to it)
- 4 major considerations when choosing a Junior Drum Kit for a child
- Additional Accessories you should consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
4 major considerations when choosing a Drum Kit for a child
If you’ve visited your local music store, or have searched for a drum kit for your child online, you’d probably were overwhelmed by the choices.
Yes, the drumming industry has flourished over the decades and we are now spoiled for choice as consumers.
This section aims to help narrow down your search and increase your chances of getting the perfect drum kit for your child.
Let’s take a look at 4 key considerations you’d need to take:
If you’ve browsed for junior drum kits, you’d noticed that most drum manufacturers do include a recommended age range on their kits.
These age ranges are usually dependent on the height of the child.
Below 4 years old
At below 4, children tend to have lesser strength, poorer hand eye coordination and are smaller in size.
There are very little drum kits for children of this age group, however there are tons of affordable toy drum sets that may suit your child.
These toy drum sets would usually cost less than $100 and are made of plastic. With a wallet friendly price tag, don’t expect these kits to sound too good. They come in various options, with some rather elaborate set ups.
Being made of plastic has its advantages, it is usually easier for the child to produce sound on these kits with little strength. Although this is an advantage from the child’s point of view, you’ll want to note that it could be a disadvantage to you (and your neighbours).
4 to 10 years old
At this development stage, children tend to experience growth spurts, develop good hand eye coordination and attention spans.
If your child remains interested in drumming at this stage, you might want to consider investing in a junior drum kit for him or her.
The Ludwig Pocket Kit is a good option.
Junior drum kits are usually cheaper and smaller compared to adult drum kits. They are usually recommended for kids between 4 to 10 years old.
You’ll get better sound quality as compared to the toy drum kits as well.
Above 10 years old
At the stage, children tend to have good hand eye coordination and can figure out how the drums work. If your child has not experience a growth spurt in height yet, you can retain the use of the Junior Drum Kit.
Otherwise, if they are consistent with their drumming practice and have outgrown their junior drum kit, it might be time for you to consider investing in a full size drum kit.
Now that we’ve narrowed down your selection by age, let’s take a look at the second most important consideration to take; your child’s height.
When selecting a suitable drum kit for your child, you’ll want to make sure that they can reach the different drums in the kit.
In order to select a drum kit of a comfortable fit, you should take note of your child’s height when they are seated down, as well as their arm length.
Next, look for the dimensions of the drum kit and drum throne (aka the stool).
For example, if you’re considering a cute toy drum kit like this;
You’ll want to note that the drum height is 24″ and the throne is 8″.
Likewise, if you’re considering a junior drum kit like the Ludwig Pocket Kit, you should note that the drum height is about 30″.
Make sure you check if your child can reach the drum pedal and cymbals comfortably while they play. Otherwise, you might need to make a few adjustments or modifications for them.
Although this 2 year old can handle the Ludwig pocket kit pretty well:
Available Floor space
If you’ve never purchased a drum kit before, you’ll want to take note of the average floor space for a drum kit.
It is prudent to allocate sufficient space for a drum kit before you make a purchase.
As a guide, Junior Drum Kits would require an area of about 38″ by 35″, full sized drum kits about while toy drum kits tend to be about 1.5x smaller.
Toy drum kits tend to be easier to stash away when you’re expecting guests, or when your child gets bored of it.
Comparatively, junior drum kits will need a little more technical skills to take apart for storage.
How committed are you?
Now that we’ve covered the key considerations from your child’s perspective, let’s talk about you.
First up, I applaud you for even considering a drum kit for your child. If this is for your friend or sibling’s children, hmm…
Selecting a drum kit for a child is not too difficult.
All you really need to look out for is their height and if you have sufficient space for them.
What comes next should make or break your decision.
I’m putting these considerations here as a warning of sorts, just to get you prepared for life with a drummer;
Noise / Sound Level
This consideration should be taken seriously, for the sake of your sanity.
Remember, your child will probably be having fun on the drum kit you bought. But you (and your family) will have to bear with the music they make.
Acoustic vs Electronic Drum Kits
If you’re staying in an apartment, or have neighbor who might be sensitive to ‘noise’, you might want to consider electronic drum kits over the regular acoustic drum kits for children.
Electronic drum kits tend to be quieter as compared to acoustic drum kits.
You’ll still have to deal with the minimal noise of your child hitting their drum kit, but you’ll not need to endure the sound of sudden crashes, or worse, uncoordinated cowbells.
Other than being considerate to your neighbor, I would think that having an electronic drum kit would help to keep you and the rest of your family members sane.
Acoustic Drum Ambiance Sound Demo:
Electronic Drum Ambiance Sound Demo:
Junior Drum Kits vs Toy Drum Kits
Junior drum kits are usually a smaller sized acoustic drum kit, made of real wood and drum heads.
Comparatively, toy drum kits are usually made of plastic, they tend to be slightly softer and way more affordable than real drum kits but are known to less durable as well.
Here are curated video clips that sound give you an idea of the sound quality from different drum kits:
Sound quality of a Junior drum:
Sound quality of a Toy drum kit:
Hopefully the comparison will help you make a better, more informed decision when selecting a drum kit for your child.
On top of staying sane, you’ll want to watch your pocket.
Junior drum kits can cost anywhere from $90 to $650, depending on the sound and build quality as well as the number of drum pieces included in the kit.
Comparatively, toy drum kits are more affordable with an average price tag between $12 to $80.
If your child is serious about drumming, there’s no harm in investing in a better drum kit that can develop the talent in your child.
However, if your gut tells you that this might be a one off interest, you’ll probably want to think twice.
Depending on your budget and how serious your child is, you have a range of drum kits to select from.
Junior Drum Kits
A popular option is the Ludwig Pocket Kit (you can read our review here).
It is suitable for children between 4 to 10 years old, and comes with instructions that will allow you to set up the drum kit with relative ease.
The main advantage that the Ludwig Pocket Kit provides is the training videos that come with the purchase. This sets your child up for success as they have access to suitable learning resources right off the bat.
It retails at about $249 at most stores, you can check the latest pricing here.
If you’re really tight on budget, Mendini by Cecilio provides some of the most affordable junior drum kits out there, although the sound quality is something you’ll want to take note of.
At less than $100, it is a 3 piece drum kit that looks great and will definitely bring a smile to your child’s face.
This is how it sounds:
Electronic Drum Kits
Electronic drum kits are a great option if:
- noise isn’t something you’d want to put up with on a daily basis
- your child is serious about drumming
- you foresee your child improving and needing to upgrade the drum kit in the future
And the good news is, you can find pretty affordable electronic drum kits that might suit your child.
You see, the thing about electronic drum kit is that you get a wide range of sounds within its module, plus you have a more flexible set up in terms of height and width.
And oh, all you need is to plug in a set of headphones to reduce the noise level.
Alesis Nitro kit
An example of a good beginner e-drum is the Alesis Nitro kit (read our in-depth review here).
Here’s how it sounds, as played by an experienced drummer:
Here’s how it sounds, with a (relatively untrained) child on the kit:
At the time of writing, the Alesis Nitro retails for about $350, you should check for the latest pricing here.
On top of it being quieter than an acoustic drum kit, your child will enjoy a wide range of functions that come with this electronic drums.
The set up also allows for easy tweaking of height and width of the drum kit which means that this drum kit will probably have a long mileage before your child grows out of it.
On the flip side, this kit does not come with a drum throne, so you’ll need to find a chair of suitable height for your child.
RockJam Electronic Drum Kit
If you’d like something more affordable than the Alesis beginner drum kit, this is one electronic drum kit to consider.
You’ll get good quality mesh head drums and rubber cymbals along with 2 electronic drum pedals, which makes up a pretty complete drum kit which is a steal at its price tag.
Here’s how it sounds:
It is slightly cheaper than the Alesis Nitro, can be adjusted to suit younger children (4 years +) and has garnered pretty good reviews as well. You can read the reviews here.
Toy Drum Kits
Now, if you’re looking for a toy drum to keep your child busy, without busting the bank, then toy drum kits are what you might be interested in.
Here are some options;
Musical Studio Big Band Drum Kit
This is a ‘full’ size toy drum kit that costs below $40. It’s a 6 piece drum kit (not 11) that is suitable for children below 4 years old.
Here’s how it sounds:
For more reviews from loving grandparents, click here.
Do note that you’ll need to figure out how to assemble the kit, and do not expect a top quality drum kit at this price range.
Now, if you want to spoil your child for under $70, take a look at this:
My First Band Drum Kit
I couldn’t resist not including this here because it’s a super cute, mini drum kit that looks just like the real thing! Ha!
The My First Band Drum Kit is suitable for children below 4 years old. It comes with 6 drums and 3 cymbals, and takes up an area of about 23″ by 16″.
If I had a nephew or niece, this would be the gift I’d get for them.
Sound wise, it’d be rather testing on the parents if your child goes hyper on these drums everyday. To save your eardrums from pain, I’d suggest not installing all of the cymbals. Just one of it is enough to cause a headache.
Fun Central AT996 *Desktop* drum kit
At below $20, this is a 3 piece drum kit that’s really small and cute.
*i mean really small! It fits onto a desk which makes it very easy to store.
You can watch a video of it in action here.
Okay, now that you’ve got some recommendations to start your search from, you should be good to go.
The next few sections will cover additional information that are suitable for parents with children who are serious about drumming.
Full Sized Drum Kits
If you’re ready to go all in and invest in a full sized drum kit for your child, here are some of our picks:
Additional Accessories you should consider
If your child is serious about drumming…
You’ll definitely need to consider additional accessories which will protect your child.
Let’s face it, drums are loud.
If you’re purchasing an acoustic drum kit, this is something you should seriously consider to protect the hearing of your growing child.
There are many noise isolation headphones out there. Some are straight up ear protection headphones with no inputs, others with an input that allows the user to play along with backing tracks.
Whatever your choice, you’ll want to look for a pair that will protect your child’s hearing even as they drum their hearts out.
Personally, I like the options from Vic Firth.
Since they are a drum manufacturer, there is a certain level of trust for their products.
On top of that, their noise isolation earphones seem to be the most affordable options with maximal protection.
Vic Firth DB22
It is a no frills noise isolation headphones with no input options.
Designed specifically for drummers, it can reduce noise levels by a whooping 25 decibels.
The only downside is that it isn’t suitable for children below 5, due to its size.
For younger kids, consider the:
Heartek Protective headphones
Again, these are pure noise isolation headphones with no inputs.
The HearTek is designed specifically for toddlers and children and can reduce noise levels by about 26 decibels.
They have received raving reviews due to its affordability and function, you can read reviews from concerned parents here.
Of course, if you want a noise isolating headphone with sound input, there are plenty of options out there.
Just make sure that your child doesn’t turn up the volume of the headphones while they drum.
Drum sticks for kids
Now, most complete drum kits (especially junior drum kits) would come with a pair of drum sticks.
However, depending on the target audience of those drum kits, you might find that the drum stick could be too heavy for your child.
This can lead to pain along shoulders, upper back and wrists if used for prolong periods.
Hence, I would advice you to communicate with your child to figure out if they are comfortable with the provided drum sticks.
Otherwise, you might want to consider investing in a pair of junior drumsticks like:
Vic Firth Kidsticks
These drum sticks are designed for children between the age of 3 to 8 years old.
They are lighter, shorter and come in a range of attractive colors.
Picking drum sticks of the right size and weight will protect your child from bad posture and potential injuries while they drum.
Another popular option are the:
These are said to be suitable for children ages 2 and up.
They come in a range of length, select one that is suitable for your child.
Purchasing the instrument is merely the first step to nurturing your child’s talents.
If you’re serious about giving them an edge, you’ll want to consider tools that will help them to develop their ability the right way.
In our opinion, here are 2 important learning tools that you should consider;
The key skill a drummer has to master is their ability to keep time.
A metronome is an important learning tool that will come in handy while your child practices on the drum kit.
Here’s our pick of the Best Metronomes for Drummers.
With a metronome, your child will have a reliable guide when it comes to developing their ability to keep time.
Another important learning tool that every drummer will refer to, are the drum rudiments.
These are the basic building blocks of drumming.
Here’s our resource on How to Learn Drum Rudiments, you’ll also find useful free video resources there.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve covered the key considerations of selecting a drum kit for children above.
You might still have some questions in your mind, so here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions from parents:
Can I buy an Adult sized drum kit for my child?
Now, if your child is serious about learning to drum, you’ve probably wondered if you could make a long term investment in an adult size drum kit instead.
The short answer: Yes…
…if your child is 8 years and above.
Most beginner adult drum kits can be easily tweaked for children above 8 years old. You’ll probably need to learn how to set up the drum kit for your child.
On the same note, we’ve compile a list of small sized adult drum kits that would be suitable for your child, and takes up less space as well.
ou can see the list of drum kits here: Small Drum Kits for Adults.
If you’re still not sure about the fit for your child, the best option would be to consider an electronic drum kit.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at:
Difference between adult drum kits and junior drum kits
To be clear, we’re comparing acoustic drum kits in this section.
Electronic drum kits are in another class of its own due to the way they work.
As their name imply, adult and junior sizes drum kits differ in their sizes.
Bass Drum Size
The key difference is in the size of the bass drum, which affects the average sizes of the rest of the drums in the kit.
Junior drum kits tend to feature a smaller bass drum of 16″ diameter or smaller while adult sized drum kits tend to feature bass drums of diameters 18″ and larger.
Other drum diameters
As a reference, the rest of the drums in the junior drum kit tends to be smaller.
There are no hard and fast rules here, but the general observation is that junior drum kit snare drums tend to be about 12″ and smaller and floor toms tend to be at about 13″.
Depending on the drum kit, you might not have additional toms.
Comparatively, adult drum kits tend to come with a 14″ snare drum and 16″ floor tom.
Again, this will vary between drum kits.
In general, most junior drum kits tend to be of a lower build quality than adult drum kits.
Of course, this is a general statement and the actual build quality varies from product to product. This is highly dependent on a drum kit’s price tag and its maker.
Likewise, junior drum kits tend to have a poorer sound quality as compared to the adult drum kits, especially on the cymbals. Cheap cymbals can produce some pretty deadly noise.
Sound and build quality may not be a factor that a new drummer or a child can easily pick up or pin point.
It is pretty common for junior drum kits to be of a lower quality, especially since their pricing are much more affordable than the adult sized drum kits.
Junior drum kits are generally cheaper than adult drum kits.
Prices of junior drum kits ranges between $90 to $650, depending on the configuration and quality of the drum kit.
The average price for an entry level, average junior drum kit however, is closer to $200. Higher quality kits are closer to $350.
Comparatively, prices of adult sized drum kits have a wide range. Entry level drum kits can cost between $180 to $900.
A good budget to set aside for a durable, well built and good sounding kit would be about $500.
Hopefully this section gave you some useful insights if you’re considering about getting an adult sized drum kit for your child.
We’ve covered the key considerations that I’d think parents should know of, before investing in a drum kit for your child.
- Space Constrains,
- Noise Tolerance,
In a nutshell, if you’re just looking for a toy to satisfy a kid, getting an affordable toy drum kit is sufficient.
However, if you’re looking to nurture the drumming genius in a child, you’ll not regret investing a little more for a better sounding drum kit that lasts. Look for junior drum kits or even beginner / entry level electronic drum kits like the Alesis Nitro.
If your child is older, you might want to get an entry level adult size acoustic drum kit that will allow your child to really master the art of drumming.
And remember to consider the essential accessories that will protect your child while they drum, and ensure that they’ll have a long and potentially successful journey as a drummer!