Like every instrument, there is a learning curve for new drummers.
But if you’ve absolutely no understanding about drumming but want to gift your kid their first drum kit, you don’t have to learn all about drumming.
Instead, the Ludwig Pocket Kit is here to solve all the questions you might be asking.
I’d even go as far as saying that this is the perfect 1st drum kit any clueless parent should get for their child who wants to start drumming.
And I’ll explain why in this review.
Now, when you are buying a drumkit for your child, there are some questions that you’ll definitely be asking.
We’ll answer those questions and more in this review.
First up, here’s my two cents about the Ludwig Pocket Kit:
My Review on The Pocket Kit by Questlove
The Pocket Kit is a great solution for parents who are looking for a drum kit for their child, but don’t know anything about drums.
This all-in-one kit was crafted and put together for you by a professional musician, so that you can help your child to start drumming with ease.
Pros and Cons
I’ll go deeper as we answer your questions in the sections below but first, here are the pros and cons about The Pocket Kit in a nutshell:
My Two Cents
The Pocket Kit is perfect for kids who have never played the drums before, or are about to start learning to drum.
However, parents would want to take their height into consideration. The throne (aka drum seat) might be too high for kids who are less than 41″ tall, you will need to use a regular chair as a substitute until your child is taller.
Other than capturing the hearts of many grateful parents, this kit has also gained a following among adult beginner drummers who want a complete drum kit without the hustle of having to compare or research deeply into the instrument.
My take is that this kit is great for kids below 12, but is definitely not suitable for serious adult beginner drummers who really want to learn to drum.
The size is too small for people who are taller than 6″1 and if you force yourself to learn and get used to this kit, it can lead to the development of bad posture and technique.
If you belong to this group of adult beginners, I’ve included a comparison at the end of this review of other complete drum kits that are more suitable.
Let’s move on.
Now that I’ve given you my 2 cents, let’s dive into the questions that you might be asking about Ludwig’s “The Pocket Kit” by Questlove.
What is The Pocket Kit?
Questlove has worked with Ludwig to produce this ‘complete drum kit in a box’ product that is perfect for clueless parents with kids who want to start drumming.
Basically you get an entire functioning drum kit with The Pocket Kit, solving the main struggle of finding a suitable drum kit, that most if not all new drummers face.
What’s included in The Pocket Kit?
Parents and adult drum beginners are raving over this kit because it includes everything you need to get start AND it’s way more affordable than most drum kits.
Inside, you’ll get a mini standard kit and all the essential accessories that a drummer need to start playing which includes:
- 1 x 16″ Bass Drum + Drum Heads + Legs
- 1 x Foot Pedal (for the bass drum)
- 1 X 13″ Floor Tom+ Drum Heads
- 1 X 10″ Rack Tom (aka Tom Tom) + Drum Heads
- 1 x Arm/Rack for Rack Tom
- 1 X 12″ Snare Drum+ Drum Heads
- 1 X Snare Stand
- 1 X 12″ Crash / Ride Cymbal
- 1 X Cymbal Arm
- 1 X 10″ Hi Hat
- 1 X Hi Hat Stand with Pedal
- 1 X Drum Throne (the seat)
- 1 set Drum Sticks (7A Ludwig wood drumsticks)
- 1 X Drum Key (for tuning drums)
Plus, you get access to:
- Video Tutorials on Racking up the drumset, Tuning the drumset, etc (for the clueless parent)
- Video drum lessons on rudiments, basic sticking techniques, etc (for the child/aspiring drummer)
Everything will be delivered in a 20.2″ x 21.2″ x 21.2″ box that weighs about 62 pounds, so look out for it.
Oh, and it comes in 3 color options:
- Wine Red Sparkle (aka Red)
- Silver/White Sparkle (aka Silver/White)
- Black Sparkle (aka Black)
What is the price of The Pocket Kit by Ludwig?
For a complete, functioning drum kit, the Ludwig Pocket Kit comes with an affordable, value-for-money price tag.
DISCLAIMER: As of the point of writing, all prices mentioned here are accurate. Do check with retailers for latest pricing.
Musician’s Friend’s is selling The Pocket Kit is at USD$249. Considering the fact that it has been released for years, you might want to check out the latest pricing for The Pocket Kit on Amazon here.
Comparatively, here are the prices of similar kits:
- the Pearl Roadshow 4 piece drum set is listed at USD$399 on Guitarcenter
- the Ludwig Accent Beginner Complete 5 piece Drum Set is listed at USD599 on Musician’s Friend
How much space does The Pocket Kit take up?
You’ll need to dedicate about 41″ (width) by 47″ (length) area for the drum kit and throne, for comfortable movement.
Does The Pocket Kit sound similar to full sized drums?
Here’s how The Pocket Kit sounds like:
The original drum heads are alright but the cymbal and hi-hat are a little flat and fake sounding.
But taking its price tag into consideration, it is still a very value for money drum kit. Especially for new drummers.
Just make sure that your kid practices on The Pocket Kit a day after his drum lessons, if he is taking lessons at a school. Ha! #parentinghackfromanonparent
The wood shells of the drums provided are actually quite good for a kit at this price range, so you can choose to change and upgrade the drum heads and cymbals later or as your child improves as a drummer.
Someone on a forum has mentioned that The Pocket Kit’s cymbal arm can hold a 17″ Zildjian cymbal, so it is quite hardy.
Is The Pocket Kit suitable for my child?
Questlove created this drum kit for children between 4 to 10 years old.
The size of this kit is about 2/3 of a regular drum kit, but your child should be about 41″ tall to play comfortably with the drum throne provided.
This can be solved easily by using a shorter stool or chair until your child grows tall enough.
As for whether you should be getting your child a standard, functional drum, the answer is up to you.
You might want to watch this adorable kid before you decide:
What’s next for my child after he gets the drum kit?
Well, considering that you’re probably a clueless parent in terms of drumming…you might want to send your child for drum lessons.
Alternatively, The Pocket Kit does come with some beginner drumming tutorials that will get your child started in drumming.
All you need to do is to login to your Pocket Kit account to access the videos.
Or, you can refer to this playlist:
Learn to Drum with these videos from Ludwig
How do I set up The Pocket Kit?
The Pocket Kit comes unassembled, so you’ll need to put the kit together before your kid can start drumming.
But fret not because the assembly instructions are included in your kit.
And it’s not too complicated, you’ll only need to do 3 main things during the assembly:
- Put drum heads onto drum shells
- Set up the hi hat and cymbal stands
- Set up the foot pedal for the bass drum
Here’s a picture reference of The Pocket Kit with the main components pointed out for you:
Do I need to tune the drum kit? How?
Yes, you’ll need to tune the drum kit.
The drum heads for the toms and bass drums come separate, so you’ll need to put them together.
No worries though because The Pocket Kit comes with the required video tutorials.
All you need to do is to login at ThePocketKit.com with the details that come with your kit.
Alternatively, I’ve also put together a YouTube playlist from Ludwig that will give you the basic steps to setting up and tuning The Pocket Kit.
You can watch the videos here:
Playlist of videos to help you put your drums together and tune them up
Is there after sales support or someone I can reach out to for help?
You can contact your local Ludwig dealer for help, you should be able to find their contact here.
Or, message them on Facebook via the Ludwig Drums official page.
Does this kit makes sense for an 18 months old child?
However, he or she might not be able to reach the pedals while seating on the accompanying throne just yet.
And, the drumsticks that come along in The Pocket Kit might be a little too heavy for them. Get kids sized drumsticks like the Vic Firth Kidsticks instead.
With that said, your child could still have fun while picking up fundamentals to drumming.
After all, it makes much more sense for a child to be learning to play on a real kit rather than one of those fake plastic toys with buttons for each drum…
Drummer parents and doting grandparents have left reviews and feedback on how their 18 months and 2 year olds love the kit.
You can read their reviews on Amazon here.
Are there other junior drum kit options and how do they compare to the Ludwig Pocket Kit?
The Ludwig Pocket Kit has its pros and cons, and it really isn’t perfect.
Here are some popularjunior drum kits that you can consider for your child:
We’ll be adding more in a bit, stay tuned!
Can an adult play and learn to drum using The Pocket Kit?
The size of this kit is about 2/3 of a regular drum kit.
If you are a tall adult of more than 73″ (6 ft 1), it might be a little uncomfortable for you.
Plus, you might develop some pretty bad posture and drumming habits because of the kit.
If you are still on the fence about drumming and don’t wish to commit to a full budget drum kit yet, you might want to consider renting a studio with a drum kit instead.
This might be better for you over the long term.
Otherwise you can consider alternatives to The Pocket Kit that are more suitable for adult beginner drummers.
See the next section for more:
Quick Comparison of Drum Kits similar to The Pocket Kit
If you are still wondering if The Pocket Kit is suitable for your needs, here’s a quick comparison of similar complete drum kits designed for various purpose:
Ludwig The Pocket Kit vs Ludwig Breakbeats
Update: If you’d want a versatile drum kit that both you and your child can play on, check out our latest article on small drum kits for adults.
Quick introduction to the Ludwig Breakbeats by Questlove
Breakbeats is another product by Questlove. It was designed originally for city dwellers who struggle with limited space in their apartments and for street musicians who need to move around often.
Hence, it features maximum portability, minimal footprint and is fitted with the Remo Pinstripe heads for gig ready sounds.
Because it was created for musicians struggling with the issue of space, this drum kit is small and sounds better than The Pocket Kit out of the box.
Hence, it has gained popularity among parents who has knowledge about drums and want to get a virgin drumkit for their children.
However, you’ll want to note that the Ludwig Breakbeats Drum Kit is NOT a complete out-of-the-box drumkit, instead it is a Shell Pack.
It only includes:
- Bass Drum with riser
- Rack Tom,
- Floor Tom and
- Snare drum
- accompanying drum heads
- carrying drum bags
You’ll need to buy the cymbals and throne separately.
So, if you are clueless about drumming, you might want to think twice about opting for the Ludwig Breakbeats pack.
Here’s an unboxing video of the Breakbeats by a father who drums [13 mins video]:
Ludwig The Pocket Kit vs Ludwig Accent Drive Complete Drum Kit vs Pearl Roadshow 4 piece Drum Kit
In this section, we’ll compare 2 better drum kit alternatives for adults who want to buy a no-frills drum kit and start learning to drum.
They are slightly more costly than the Ludwig Pocket Kit but you’d get a way better learning and drumming experience:
Let’s take a closer look into each of these drumkits:
What is the Ludwig Accent Drive (LC175) Beginner Complete Drum Kit?
The Ludwig Accent Drive is a full sized, 5 piece complete drum kit that comes with everything you’d need to start drumming out of the box(es).
This is everything you’ll get with the kit:
You can think of it as the adult sized version of The Pocket Kit.
And yes, it comes in various colors; Black, Red, Silver, Blue
There are no video tutorials
hidden behind login screens included in this kit, but Ludwig does have video tutorials to setting up, tuning and even start playing on it’s YouTube Channel.
I’ve made 2 playlists that you can refer to if you ever need help.
In case you’re wondering, this is how the Ludwig Accent Beginner complete drum kit sounds in (raw) reality:
As you can see from the video, the size of the Ludwig Accent Drive is comfortable for an adult.
Also, the cymbals are usually the weakest part of complete drum kits but I’d think that Ludwig has provided a pretty decent cymbal and hi-hat pack with this set.
If you have sharp eyes, you might have also noticed that this kit is a complete 5 piece kit that is suitable for pop or rock music unlike the 4 piece Pocket Kit which is more suitable for Jazz.
And, if you’re wondering about it’s price, yes it is slightly more expensive than The Pocket Kit.
However, I’m pretty sure that it’s a fair tradeoff for the additional comfort, sound quality and playing experience you’ll get out of the Ludwig Accent Drive kit. Click here to check the latest pricing on Amazon now.
What is the Pearl Roadshow 4 piece Drum Kit (RS584CC31)?
The Pearl Roadshow 4 piece drum kit is very similar to The Pocket Kit with exceptions to the size of the drums and the sound.
It also comes with everything you’d need to start drumming, including the throne and drumsticks.
Good news, the snare and rack tom are already pre-tuned, so you’ll only need to put the floor and bass drums together for your child.
This is how it sounds, right out of the box (and in need of a little more tuning):
From the video, you might be able to tell that this kit is a mid-sized drum kit which is suitable for both younger kids and beginner adults as well.
If you are slightly taller (>6″1), you might find this kit a little too cramp for you.
The Pearl Roadshow 4 piece kit’s price is between that of Ludwig Pocket Kit and Accent Drive kit, check the latest pricing for the Pear Roadshow 4 piece drum kit here.
You might want to consider this kit if you are a shorter adult or if you are looking for a drum kit for a growing child.
I’ve covered some of the questions that most new drum owners will ask before they buy their first drum kit in this review as well as give you a comparison of drum kits that are similar to The Pocket Kit.
Do drop me a comment below if I had missed anything or check out the questions answered by Ludwig Pocket Kit distributors on Amazon here.
And oh, if you own The Pocket Kit, do share your experience with us in the comments too.