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Buying your child a drum set is a fantastic way to introduce them to the world of music! In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best drum sets for kids that are enjoyable to play.
Not only does drumming provide an avenue for creative expression, but it also helps to develop essential skills like rhythm, coordination, and focus.
In this article, I’ve compared design, sound, ease-of-assembly, and cost to give you my top recommendations for drum sets that are designed specifically for kids.
Read on to choose the perfect drum set to foster your child’s creativity and passion for music!
- What are the Best Kids Drum Sets?
- How I Tested and Selected the Best Drum Sets for Kids
- In-Depth Kids Drum Set Reviews
- Beginner Drum Set for Children Buying Guide
- Features to Look for in the Best Drums for Kids
- Other Considerations With Drum Sets for Kids
- Questions You May Be Asking About the Best Drum Sets for Kids
What are the Best Kids Drum Sets?
How I Tested and Selected the Best Drum Sets for Kids
When I worked at a music school teaching toddlers and young children, I constantly had to recommend good kits for them to get at home. They were too young for normal kits, so I went in search of compact options that were suitable.
Through that experience, I was able to pinpoint all of the best drum sets for children on the market.
When testing a kit, I first checked how easy it was to set up. That was a big factor, as the setup process can often stop a kid from being interested before they even start.
I then looked at the design. The toms and cymbals all needed to be reachable, allowing a kid to feel comfortable when playing.
After that, I looked at finish options. I checked out all the colors available to see if they’d interest kids who are visual types.
Finally, I looked at sound quality. I played the kit for a while to listen to the tones. While junior kits don’t need to sound as good as regular ones, they should still sound decent.
In-Depth Kids Drum Set Reviews
The Ludwig Junior pocket drum set was designed with the help of drumming legend Ahmir Khalib “Questlove” Thompson, and this is an amazing-priced and premium quality sounding set of drums for kids.
Questlove aimed to create the perfect mini drum set, after seeing a lack of quality junior kits on the market. Together, Questlove and Ludwig made this fabulous package that includes everything needed to begin having fun right away!
Out of all the junior kits I checked out, this was undoubtedly one of the best ones. It offered a great balance of fun, practicality, and affordability.
The wood drum shells sounded rich and warm, and this small drum set featured reasonably good sounding cymbals. The hardware was durable and well-constructed and it will hold up to many years of enjoyable playing.
Ludwig is a legendary name in drums. After seeing and hearing this junior drum set you will instantly recognize that the kit has been designed with a lot of care and attention to detail!
This Ludwig Questlove pocket kit will provide any child with the best possible start in drumming, all at an amazing price. It is in my opinion a must-have junior drum set for children aged 4-10, and it wins my vote as the best kids drum set on the market.
- Great shell and hardware quality for a junior drum set
- Large enough to cater to a wide age range, as you can keep the shells low or raise them high
- Includes excellent educational materials to get your kid started with a few lessons
- Only has two toms instead of three, which can make educational materials that incorporate a middle tom a bit confusing to understand
The Pearl Roadshow Junior Drum Set is the best quality all-in-one kid’s drum set on the market. It features very high-quality components throughout, and it provides a full-scale playing experience for kids.
Compared to some other options it does carry a higher price tag, but the quality of the drums and hardware are significantly better, and overall it will be a more enjoyable kit to play!
I’ve found that kids transfer from this kit to bigger ones a lot easier than they do with others. It’s due to all the parts being identical, albeit a bit smaller.
This junior drum kit features lively Poplar hardwood shells that sound the best of any kids drum set I’ve experienced, and this drum set is suitable for kids aged between 3 and 8.
This small drum set is also super sturdy thanks to the high-quality hardware Pearl includes. I found that all of the stands included are some of the best to feature on any kid’s drum set and make the drums really easy and fun to play.
If you want to ensure your child gets the perfect start to drumming, this junior drum set will get your little ones playing and having fun in no time!
- Great sounding drums with surprisingly versatile tuning ranges
- The independent cymbal stand makes the kit feel a bit more spaced out
- Relatively high-quality hardware from Pearl
- Included drum throne is more comfortable than other junior kit thrones
- Poor-quality cymbals that don’t match the quality of the drums
The PDP Player Junior Drum Set is the closest competitor to the Pearl Roadshow Jr. Both kits share similar designs, so picking either one is a good option for getting your child used to how full-sized drum kits will feel.
This kit comes with everything you need, including a 5-piece kit setup with hardware and cymbals to match.
The drum shells are the most impressive part of the set. Most people wouldn’t expect a drum kit made for kids to sound this good!
I could hear tonal richness coming from each tom, and the snare drum had a good amount of crack behind it. It sounded particularly good when playing rimshots.
The drums also have a relatively decent tuning range. You can tune them low and booming or high and resonating. You may just need to put a bit of muffling on them to cut down on some unwanted overtones.
The two downsides of the kit are the cymbals and hi-hat stand. As with most junior kits, the cymbals really aren’t great. They sound tin-like and trashy, and they don’t exhibit too much musicality.
The hi-hat stand is quite flimsy, so it moves around a bit if you’re heavy on your left leg. However, those are two aspects that most kids won’t really care much about.
- 5-piece setup gives the same feeling as playing a full-sized drum set
- The drums have surprisingly good tones for a children’s drum kit
- Highly durable, meaning it can withstand a beating from small kids
- Cymbals are the weak point of the kit
- Hi-hat stand feels a bit flimsy
Getting a junior drum set can be frustrating when your kid grows out of it. So, it could be a good idea to get a proper drum kit that will last decades instead of a few years. The Sonor AQ2 Bop is an excellent choice for that situation.
While this isn’t a dedicated kids’ set, I found that it’s small enough for kids to enjoy playing and learning on it.
It’s also a good kit to get if you’re a drummer yourself. You’ll be able to use it for gigs, and it will be small enough for your kid to have fun while playing it.
Just note that it only comes as a shell pack. This means that when you unbox it, you only get a snare drum, rack tom, floor tom, kick drum, and a few hardware pieces to hold everything together.
You don’t get any hardware stands, a kick pedal, or cymbals, meaning you need to buy them as extras to be able to have a full drum kit setup. With the shell pack already costing far more than any junior kit, this leads to quite an expense.
However, this is by far the best-sounding and most professional-sounding option on this list. It’s a premium drum kit, and it’s one that your child can continue using well into adulthood. So, it’s an excellent investment for a kid that you know will play drums for years.
The maple shells make it sound incredible, and the AQ2 Bop snare drum is one of the best-sounding compact snare drums on the market.
This kit also looks more pristine than all the kits we’ve looked at so far.
- Best-sounding drum set on this list, thanks to the maple shells
- Excellent gigging drum kit that your child will also enjoy playing
- Top-tier hardware and shell construction quality
- Premium design and feel
- Very expensive compared to junior drum kits
- Doesn’t come with cymbals or hardware
If you like the idea of the Sonor AQ2 but find it to be too expensive, the Ludwig Breakbeats is a more affordable alternative to consider. This kit is a higher-quality upgrade to the Questlove Pocket Kit. It’s designed more for adults to use, but like the Sonor AQ2, it’s small enough for kids to enjoy.
The hardwood shells give it balanced tones across all the drums. They don’t sound quite as rich as the AQ2 drums, but they sound a lot better than all the junior kit options we’ve looked at.
The light nature of this set made it really fun to play when I tried it out. I also loved the fun color options.
The benefit of this kit compared to the Sonor is that the drums come equipped with Remo Pinstripe drumheads. These are high-quality drumheads that bring the best tones out of the drums. They also make tuning the drums to sound good very easy.
Another benefit is that the kit comes with a set of nylon travel bags. It’s unlikely that your child will be playing gigs anytime soon, but the bags are good to have when you need to put the kit in storage or travel somewhere with it.
The final thing about this kit that kids will really enjoy is the finish options. You get blue, black, and silver, and all of them are sparkle finishes. This makes the kit look very shiny, and the color options appeal to various preferences that your child may have.
- Excellent tone quality compared to junior drum sets
- Great sparkle finishes that kids will love
- Can be used as both a gigging kit and kids’ set
- Comes with nylon carry bags
- Doesn’t come with hardware or cymbals
Up last for review, we have the Mendini Junior Drum Set, a 5-piece drum set for kids, including everything a child needs to begin playing drums.
This kids’ drum kit makes the perfect toddler set and is also one of the best-priced children’s drum sets on the market.
I found this to be a set that you won’t worry too much about breaking. It’s meant to be a starter option that only lasts a year or two.
This all-inclusive child’s drum set features well-made components. It’s fully functional – designed to offer years of playing and fun!
Drumming provides the framework for children to learn a host of wonderful new skills as well as encouraging greater confidence and learning essential social skills.
This kids drum set will provide the drumming tools for your child to learn and grow as well as explore their own creativity, whilst having huge amounts of fun in the process!
When tuned up correctly these drums don’t sound half bad, and the hardware is durable and robust. The cymbals are not excellent, but they make do. Plus, kids are often more interested in having fun bashing the drums to notice!
This Mendini 5-piece set of drums for kids makes an excellent value gift that is ready to rock straight out of the box.
- More affordable than all the other options on this list
- Very easy to set up, stopping it from being overwhelming
- Fun to play for kids that want to try drumming out
- Mendini isn’t an established drumming brand, so their quality control is relatively poor
- Low-quality cymbals that tend to break within the first year if a child hits hard
Beginner Drum Set for Children Buying Guide
Buying a drum set for your child is a fantastic opportunity for them to explore their creativity through rhythm and to learn essential skills!
Drumming is incredibly rewarding and fun and offers a huge number of benefits for young children.
Drumming is not only great fun, but it is also scientifically proven to boost brainpower and develop coordination in young children. Drumming utilizes all four limbs in order to play the whole drum set, developing motor skills, rhythm, and timekeeping.
Drumming also provides the framework for children to develop vital skills such as communication, sharing and listening.
Buying the right kids drum set will ensure that your child has the opportunity to enjoy playing the drums hassle-free and without any equipment issues or breaking.
There are lots of very cheap and tempting drum sets for kids available online, but most of these are poorly made toys and will either break quickly or don’t fulfill their purpose of a drum set.
All of the junior drum sets featured in this product guide are fully functioning kids drum sets that are designed to withstand lots of bashing and to be easy and fun to play.
Features to Look for in the Best Drums for Kids
The most important thing to look at in a kids’ drum set is size. Most regular drum kits are too big for toddlers, which is why junior drum kits exist.
The biggest difference is that they have smaller bass drums, and those allow lower placements for all the other drums. Having everything placed lower lets a child have easier reach with their drumsticks.
This doesn’t mean that you should only consider junior drum kits, though. There are high-quality kits designed for adults that are called compact drum sets. These are made with better materials, leading them to have better sound quality and playability.
Getting one of those could be a good option to grow into. However, they’re very expensive. If you’re not sure if your child will play drums for a long time, it’s better to get a more affordable junior set.
The color of your drum set isn’t the biggest thing to focus on as an adult, but for kids, it’s actually one of the biggest. It sounds silly, but a toddler may choose whether to like drums or not purely based on the color of the drum kit.
So, make sure to ask what color kit your child wants when looking to buy one. There aren’t too many color options when it comes to affordable junior sets, so just look for the brand that offers the color you’re looking for. That’s a good way of picking a brand when the prices and features are similar.
Durability refers to how long a drum kit will last. Unfortunately, junior drum sets never last as long as standard drum sets do.
A standard drum set will last a lifetime when you replace the heads regularly, whereas a junior drum set will only last a few years.
The first thing to go will be the cymbals, so keep in mind that you may need to get new ones after the first year.
The cymbals break because they’re made of cheap brass and they’re very thin. The harder your child hits them, the quicker they’ll break. You may feel the need to control how hard your child hits, but it’s better to let them express themselves.
If you get proper cymbals from an established brand like Zildjian, Paiste, or Sabian, they’ll last a lot longer. Even if your child hits very hard, those cymbals will last years.
You then may need to replace the drumheads on the kit at some point.
Other Considerations With Drum Sets for Kids
You Can Improve the Sound
When your drum set arrives, you’ll need to build it and tune it to allow the drum set to sound as good as possible. Don’t be too alarmed, this won’t be too difficult.
Basic tuning simply requires you to tune all of the lugs (by using a drum key on the tension rods around the drum) to roughly the same pitch.
You can also greatly improve the sound of the kids-sized drums by adding dampening to the drums.
First off, throw a pillow or some blankets inside the bass drum to add muffling and help it achieve a better tone. You can also put some tape on the snare drum and toms to reduce the annoying or ringy overtones.
You Will Likely Need to Buy Better Quality Drumsticks
Again, no need to be alarmed – good quality drum sticks are inexpensive, yet they will be much better than the cheap drum sticks provided with the kids’ drum sets.
Look for either Vic Firth, Pro-Mark, Vater, or Zildjian drum sticks. These are the best quality options available and they will be comfortable and durable to play with.
Also, you can buy specific kid-sized drum sticks from each of these brands, but if there are none available then choose to buy 7A sized drum sticks.
Encourage and Inspire Your Child to Learn with Online Materials
There are so many great resources online you can use to your advantage to help your child on their drumming journey. You can introduce them to lots of new types of music and show them different types of drum beats.
There is a huge volume of awesome content on YouTube geared towards beginner drummers, including instructional videos and how-to guides.
You can also show your child videos of the best drummers in the world to help inspire them to want to pick up the sticks and play like them! Check out some drummers including Travis Barker, Ringo Starr, Tre Cool, and Keith Moon.
Acoustic Drums Will Make Some Noise
When buying a kid’s drum set, you ought to consider that it might be somewhat of an inconvenience for neighbors or other residents. It shouldn’t present too much of an issue, but it’s worth considering the time of the day your child will be playing, and for how long.
If you live in an apartment or smaller living space (where noise might be an issue) then I would suggest taking a look at buying an electronic drum set for your child. I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best kids’ electronic drum sets for you to check out, too.
Electronic Drums vs Acoustic Drums
When choosing a drum set for a child, one important decision is whether to go for an acoustic or electronic drum set. Acoustic drum sets are traditional, with real drums and cymbals that produce sound when struck. They tend to be louder and will require more space.
Electronic drum sets, on the other hand, use pads that trigger sampled sounds and allow for volume control or headphone use. They are more compact and quieter, which can be a significant advantage in households where noise is a concern.
Electronic drum kits have drum pads that produce a lot less volume than acoustic drum shells, and they don’t produce any real noise themselves besides the tapping on the rubber/mesh pads.
Size and Space Requirements
Considering the size and space requirements of the drum set is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable playing experience. Acoustic drum sets tend to take up more space than electronic ones, but they all vary in size. Ensure that the drum set fits the designated space in your home and that the child can easily reach all the components.
Acoustic drum sets: Require more space, usually larger in size.
Electronic drum sets: More compact, suitable for smaller spaces or shared rooms.
Questions You May Be Asking About the Best Drum Sets for Kids
What’s Included in the Best Drum Set for Kids?
Each of the drum sets within this product guide includes everything your child needs to begin playing the drums. All of the drum sets within this guide will include the following components:
- Drums (5-Pieces)
- Hi hat & crash cymbals
- Hi hat stand
- Cymbal stand
- Snare drum stand
- Bass drum pedal
- Drum throne
- Drum sticks
- Drum key
Is the Best Drum Set for Kids Easy to Set Up?
Kids drum sets are easy to set up and all of the components will generally be shipped in one large box. All of the drum kits in this guide will include drum setup instructions or potentially a DVD.
This is a picture of what all of the components will look like together out of the box. To set it all up should not take longer than one or two hours, but the drums will also require tuning with the provided drum key to sound as good as possible.
The likelihood is that the drums may not come with the drum heads attached. This means you will need to place the drum heads on the drums with the drum hoop and screws (known as tuning rods) provided.
The hardware will also arrive in boxes, and you will be required to put the pieces together. This shouldn’t be too difficult, it will involve attaching the steel tubes together and opening up the tripod legs so it remains sturdy while playing.
How Important Is Sound for a Kids Drum Set?
Because children are not the most discerning listeners, the drum sounds might not be that important to them. However, how good a drum set sounds will matter more over time, and it will also matter for your sanity as parents!
The provided drumheads with kids drum sets are not of good quality, but they can sound acceptable with good tuning and dampening.
I would strongly recommend placing an old towel or pillow inside the bass drum to give it a more punchy and focused sound. You can do this by removing the resonant bass drum skin with the drum key provided.
If a child is showing a lot of enthusiasm and interest in playing the drums then I would suggest eventually upgrading the cymbals to a better quality cymbal pack.
How good a kids drum set sounds is going to be reflective of its build quality and also its durability. The reasons why a kids’ drum set might sound bad will be because of poorly crafted shells, with uneven lugs and malformed bearing edges.
The best sounding junior drum set by far is the Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit, which is far superior to its rivals in terms of sound as well as design and functionality. The quality of this drum set is like a smaller sized adult drum set!
What is Important for Kids?
For kids, the most important thing is to simply be able to experiment and have fun bashing away on the drums! Drumming is incredibly satisfying; it is expressive as well as being great fun!
Kids drum sets should be comfortable to play with, and all of the hardware should be fully adjustable to be easy-to-reach for children. All the components should be fit for their required purpose within the drum set.
What Age is the Best Drum Set for Kids For?
Most junior drum sets are advertised to be suitable for children aged 3-8 years old. All of the drum kits on this list are suitable drum sets that will still function suitably up to the later years.
The reason why kids’ drum sets are best suited for this age is that the drums and cymbals are much smaller. After this age, all of the components will be too small to play on comfortably.
If you are looking for a drum set for a 10-year-old or older, you would need a full sized drum kit, and then I would suggest you check out my top recommended full-size beginner drum sets!
At What Age Should My Child Begin Drum Lessons?
Children can begin having drum lessons from any age, but it is important to remember that older children will receive more out of drum lessons than a toddler.
There are children from as young as 3 or 4 that possess excellent rhythm and you can watch videos online of young prodigies playing the drums showing enormous promise.
But most children will not yet possess the ability or willingness to practice at such a young age.
I would advise that aged 7 or older is the best age to begin learning the drums with a professional drum tutor, and children of this age will get far more out lessons than younger children.
Generally speaking, children of 7 and older will have the cognitive ability to retain, process, and learn information more so than younger children. Older children will also have the emotional intelligence required in order to be disciplined with practice and have the capability to read drum tabs and sheet music.