Best Drum Set for Kids

 

This article will look at the best drum set for kids and so, as a parent, if you haven’t played the drums yourself, then this can seem a little overwhelming. You don’t want to end up buying something that will turn them off drumming or spend $500 when you could have got what you needed for $300. Don’t worry we will try our best to break it down. The drums are an incredible instrument for a child to pick up as we looked at in great detail in our write on why playing the drums is fantastic! So this minefield that is picking out a first instrument should not deter you. These are not toys, they are scaled-down versions of the real thing and can be played by any kid aged 3 or over. If you are looking for the best toddler drum set then you want to be here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to Consider?

It is important to consider a few things when buying:

  • Size
  • Basic parts
  • Floor space
  • Are the throne (seat) and stands adjustable?

Size

The reviews below will be split into age groups that will broadly indicate what size set your kid should play. If your child is over 5ft / 150cm then you should look at getting a full-size kit. In fact, around the age of 10 or 11, you should seriously consider them starting on a full-size kit instead of a junior kit they will grow out of in a year or two. Be wary though that if rushed on to a full-size kit too early then they may struggle to reach some of the equipment and so not only will it be demotivating but they will pick up the bad techniques.

Basic Parts

So this will usually be either 3-piece, 4-piece or a 5-piece. The basic drums for a 3-piece will be a bass, snare and a small mounted tom drum. All of the kits we review in this article will include a hi-hat stand with cymbals so it will allow the full range of playing. The 5-piece will also include an additional mounted tom drum and a floor tom drum. This will, of course, most accurately represent the complete experience of a full drum kit, but the price will be a bit more expensive. However, even the 5-pieces for kids are quite affordable. It will generally be the sets for 3-8-year-olds that are 3-pieces and 5-pieces for 8-12-year-olds.

Floor Space

So a 3-piece set typically takes up about 36″ x 24″ and a 5-piece set about 40″ x 26″. If you need to save space then you can pack away the floor tom on the 5-piece when it is not being used. If space is really a big issue then you may want to look at practice pads, which are not comparable to these kits but are still great for learning and practicing the drumming rudiments (basic techniques). They are extremely portable and can be placed on a tabletop. In terms of price, they are usually cheaper although some of these kits are very affordable so there won’t be too much difference. Ultimately it comes down to space.

Are the Throne (Stool) and Stands Adjustable?

Thankfully yes, which means it can grow with your kid, which means that for most sets you won’t have to get rid of them after a year because your child had a growth spurt.

 

Top 5 Best Drum Set for Kids Ages 3 to 8 (Under 4ft)

So you may be asking yourself whether 3 is a little young to start playing. If so then you should watch this:

 

 

We are not saying that every 3-year old will be able to do this, in fact, many of us can’t do it now, however, it just demonstrates that anything is possible. In all our reviews we will make it clear what age range the sets cover as they may not be appropriate for the whole age group.

 

ModelName/ RatingSummaryCheck Price

Gammon 5-Piece Junior Starter Kit

Score: (4.45 / 5)

Great affordable mini kit in between a toy and a real set
AMAZON

Ludwig Junior Outfit 5-piece Drum Set

Score: (4.70 / 5)

Small quality version of the full-size kit. Serious set for real practice
AMAZON

Sound Percussion Labs Lil Kicker

Score: (4.65 / 5)

Incredibly affordable budget mini kit to start with
AMAZON

 

Mendini by Cecilio 13 Inch 3-Piece

Score: (4.35 / 5)

Perfect on a budget or as a present. Simple and small for ages 3 – 6
AMAZON

Best Choice Products 3-Piece Kit

Score: (4.65 / 5)

Incredibly cheap junior set. Sturdy and fun for ages 3-7
AMAZON

Gammon Junior Starter Kit (ages 3-8)

Gammon Junior Percussion 5-piece
Shells and heads:
Hardware and cymbals:
Sound:
Value:

This wonderful kit heads up our list as the fantastic starter 5-piece kit is perfect for 3-8-year-olds. Placed in between a toy and a real kit, this wooden shelled, chrome-finished set is great for fledgling percussionists. As a 5-piece with two cymbals and all the hardware it replicates the set up of a full-size drum kit exactly, so the experience will be a lot more similar than a 3-piece such as the Sound Percussion set in at number 3. Whilst the cymbals are poor and the drums don’t produce the same response or tone as say the Ludwig in at number 2, they are more than enough for your kid to get the feel of things and really experiment with rhythm and sound. They are much more affordable than the Ludwigs which is why they take our number one spot. Unless you are looking for a really serious set, then these will be perfect and your kid will love them.

 

Specs –

  • 16″x10″ Bass Drum
  • Wood Snare drum
  • Two mounted Toms
  • A Floor Tom,
  • 8″ Hi-Hat Cymbals, 10″ Crash/Ride Cymbal
  • Snare Stand, Hi-Hat Stand, Bass drum pedal, drumsticks and a stool/throne. 

This shrunk down all in one kit comes with everything your kid needs to start their drumming journey. They will love it!

 

Pros

  • Has all the elements and equipment you get with the full-size kit.
  • Affordable and good quality.
  • Affordable and good quality.
Cons

  • It does not have the sound or response of a real drum set.

 

Ludwig Junior Outfit (ages 3-8)

Best Drum Kit for Kids
Shells and heads:
Hardware and cymbals:
Sound:
Value:

This superb kit is in a league of its own when it comes to a drum set for kids aged 3-8. This isn’t an imitation kit or a toy, this is a shrunk down version of a full 5-piece kit with Ludwig’s quality, sound and playability. The reason that it is not in our number one spot is the price. Most people when looking for their 5-year-old aren’t looking for a serious kit, they are just looking for something that their kid can get to grips with drumming on. If however your kid has shown an interest in drumming and it is clear that they are channelling Keith Moon then you may want to get this kit. If they are planning on practising and we mean dedicated practice learning rudiments, speed, etc and not just playing around then this is the kit for them. For the other kits on this list, it would be tough to do any serious practice, but this drum set resembles the feel and response of an actual kit.

You might expect the drums to sound a bit lifeless and flat but in fact, it sounds crisp and bright, the snare is punchy and the toms are full-bodied. The heads are surprisingly responsive and you get a good boom from the bass. We think that any drummer would be surprised at the sound it packs for its shrunken stature. So much so that for young kids we would advise getting some earplugs whilst they get used to the volume. The hardware (pedal, stands, mount and throne) is really sturdy and doesn’t feel lightweight or flimsy, The one downside is the cymbals. They are not the best and sound a bit thin but that’s pretty unavoidable with complete sets, even with full-size kits. You can eventually replace them but it is not necessarily straight away. If your kid is 5 or 6 be sure to check out the Ludwig Pocket below.

 

Specs – 

  • Bass drum: 16″ x 10″
  • Tom: 8″ x 5″ and 10″ x 5″
  • Floor tom: 13″ x 10″
  • Snare: 12″ x 4″
  • 2 x cymbals, a bass pedal, stands and a throne (seat)
 

This really is the ultimate kit for a young child and can even be used as a mini kit as you advance. In fact, it is so good that some older drummers use it as their travelling kit!

 

Pros

  • An actual drum kit with Ludwig quality.
  • Good quality shells, heads and hardware
  • Everything your kid needs to truly advance and progress.
Cons

  • Cymbals are not great

 

Sound Percussion Labs Lil Kicker (ages 3-8)

Sound Percussion Labs Lil Kicker
Shells and heads:
Hardware and cymbals:
Sound:
Value:

This lovely little 3-piece is a great option for 3-8 olds who want more than a big toy and at $150 you will be pleasantly surprised that these are anything but. At this price and for this age you would probably not expect much more than cheap plastic but the Sound Percussion Labs team have produced a decent set of wooden kids drums that are well on their way to the real deal. The drum shells and resonance are better than the Gammon’s in at number 1, however, they were pipped to the post as the Gammons are a 5-piece. This pack consists of:

Specs

  • Bass drum: 16″ x 12″
  • Tom: 8″ x 5″
  • Snare: 10″ x 4″
  • Hi-hat cymbals and ride/crash cymbal
  • Bass pedal, stands and a throne
 

With an unexpectedly good snare and tom and a bass drum that is surprisingly boomy this set is perfect for your kid to start practicing on. Of course, you have to take into account the cost and be realistic, this isn’t going to sound the same as a full kit, but if you were to replace the drum heads and cymbals you would have yourself a fairly good kit. Don’t forget the old drummers trick of putting a pillow inside the bass drum. The stands are not heavyweight but sturdy enough, as is the throne. Overall these are a great way to get your child into drumming, as it will give them the feel of what a full-sized drum set feels and sounds like.

Pros

  • Excellent quality at an ultra-low price
  • Great drums that are a step up from toys
  • Drum shells are well constructed
  • Choice of 3 colors.
Cons

  • Cymbals and drum heads are not great
  • Assembly can be a little tricky

Mendini by Cecilio Junior Kit MJDS-1-BL (ages 3-6)

Mendini MJDS-1-BL
Shells and heads:
Hardware and cymbals:
Sound:
Value:

At under $100 you are getting a bargain for this stylish junior kit which is perfect for 3-5-year-olds. Mendini have really made the effort to make this kit look good and with a range of finishes, you can choose the color to match your kid’s personality. This kit, unlike the GP, has both the snare and tom mounted to the bass drum and has just one cymbal so overall it is more of a dressed down kit and quite a bit smaller.

The kit is easy to assemble and includes a 13″ x 8″ Bass drum, an 8″ x 6″ Mounted Tom, a 10″ x 4″ Mounted snare and an 8″ Cymbal with cymbal arm. You also get the bass drum pedal, a round padded height adjustable drum throne and a pair of wooden drumsticks. The stool is a great height and adjustable. The overall dimensions of this kit are 16″ by 16″ so perfect for a small corner.

This stylish looking budget kit is perfect for a small child to have a play around on, made from wood and not plastic and whilst it does feel closer to the toy category than a real drum set it makes the perfect present at this age. the quality and sound of the drums is not as high as the GP but trust us when we say your kid won’t notice.

Pros

  • Looks incredible
  • Small and compact so won’t take up much room.
  • Very portable
  • Easy to set up
Cons

  • Not a serious drum set. Closer to a toy.

Best Choice Products 3-Piece Kids Beginner Drum Set w/Sticks, Chair, and Drum Pedal – Black (ages 3-7)

Best Choice Products Kids Beginner Drum Set
Shells and heads:
Hardware and cymbals:
Sound:
Value:

Very much the same style and quality as the Mendini kit above and at slightly less of a cost it really is a bargain. Again it isn’t some plastic toy as it is made from wood and chromed, however, it does not emulate a full-size kit in response, sound or the general feel and set up. That being said it makes a great gift for a child who loves to drum. It is a wonderful way to give a young budding musician the feel of the drums, especially as it includes a pedal.

A 12.5″ x 11.75″bass; 2 Tom drums of sizes 8.5″ x 6.75″, 10.5″ x 5.5″ and an 8″ Cymbal, Drumsticks and a cushioned stool this is everything they’ll need. We have ranked this below the Mendini for 2 reasons, one is that the Mendini have really put some effort into the design and style of their little kits and also this drum is quite difficult to assemble and comes without instructions. Otherwise, the sound and construction are fairly similar.

Pros

  • Sturdy little set for a fledgling drummer to have a play around on.
  • Includes a bass pedal
  • Incredibly cheap.
Cons

  • Can be tricky to assemble and no instructions provided

 

Top 3 Best Drum Kit For Kids Ages 6 to 12 (under 5ft!)

Unlike for the 3-8-year-olds, these kits are all for real practice and there is real intent behind them. It is an awkward age to buy as it is around this time that the costly growth spurts occur. You accept that they are growing out of their clothes each year but you would rather they didn’t grow out of their drums. Luckily these sets can be played even for 13-year olds and onwards. In fact, some adults will use smaller kits as their travel set as they are so portable and still sound good. If your kid is over 5ft (150cm) or quickly heading there then you will want to miss this middle step and go straight to a full-size kit.

 

ModelName/ RatingSummaryCheck Price

Ludwig LC178X025 Questlove Pocket Kit

Score: (4.75 / 5)

Perefect beginners kit for a kid that can be used well into adulthood
AMAZON
GUITAR CENTER
MUSICIAN'S FRIEND

 

Mendini by Cecilio 16 inch 5-Piece Complete Kids

Score: (4.50 / 5)

An extremely affordable 5-piece kids set. Perfect for kids to test the waters on a budget

AMAZON

Sound Percussion Labs Kicker Pro

Score: (4.65 / 5)

An incredibly competent 5-piece set for under $300
AMAZON
GUITAR CENTER
MUSICIAN'S FRIEND

 

Top 3 Best Drum Kit For Kids Aged 6 to 12 (under 5ft)

 

Ludwig LC178X025 Questlove Pocket Kit

Ludwig LC178X025 Questlove Pocket Kit
Shells and heads:
Hardware and cymbals:
Sound:
Value:

So topping off our list is a kit that is for age 6 to…. 65? This isn’t a mistake, this kit could be used for any age, really. We love this drum set, it is perfectly compact and incredibly portable. If you have looked at our top 10 overall list you will see that the Ludwig Questlove Breakbeats is the only 4-piece that made it onto the list. This series is a result of the wonderful manufacturer Ludwig teaming up with the renowned funkmaster Questlove to create these shrunken bop kits. The Pocket is one step smaller than the Breakbeats and at just under $250 this set represents unbelievable value for money. It is a low cost but high quality; a small kit with a big sound. It is the perfect way for your kid to start their drumming journey and forthe price you are paying, you are getting an actual playable drum kit and all the other bits needed to get going. This set can be with your kids for years and won’t hinder their progress.

Specs

  • Bass drum: 16″ x 14”
  • Tom: 10″ x 7”
  • Floor tom: 13″ x 11”
  • Snare: 12 x 5”
  • Hi-hat cymbals and crash/ride cymbal and stands
  • Kick pedal
  • Throne
  • Drumsticks

The shells are good quality and give the drum a really pleasant tone. The bass drum packs a wallop and the toms are punchy and responsive with good attack. The cymbals are not great, and the stock heads won’t sing but that is to be expected. The stands and pedal are surprisingly sturdy. With a choice of 3 slick finishes, this is the best drum kit you could buy for budding drummer. Whilst it can be tempting to look for a 5-piece for a young player this 4-piece will not leave you wanting.

Pros

  • Beginner kids kit with the quality of a full-size one
  • Complete pack with everything needed at a mouthwateringly affordable price
  • Shells are wonderful quality and sturdy hardware
Cons

  • None! (Ok, maybe the cymbals and heads could be better)

Mendini by Cecilio MJDS-5-BL (ages 6-11)

Mendini MJDS-5-WR
Shells and heads:
Hardware and cymbals:
Sound:
Value:

Check price

This set is the definition of bang for your buck and for 150 of them you get a 5-piece kit for kids aged 6-11 with a throne, cymbals, stands and sticks. This is the ultimate starter kit and with Mendini’s slick finish and choice of colors, it is a real winner. Known for making budget kits, Mendini have excelled with this one, as this extremely cheap kit gives any aspiring drummer access with this low budget entry point. The drums will not sound or respond like a pro-kit, but it will certainly give the player the experience and understanding of a 5-piece drum set. It is enough to get a rhythm going and an appreciation of percussion. We aren’t going to look at reverb, overtones, shells and the rest, because at this price point it is not what you are concerned with. The cymbals are not good, nor is the hardware -stands, pedal, mount and the throne will do its job for a while, but at a cost of not much more than some of the toy kits that shouldn’t matter.

Specs

  • 16″ x 11″ Bass drum.
  • 10” x 5” and 8” x 6” Toms.
  • 10″ x 6″ Matching Snare Drum.
  • 12″ x 10″ Floor Tom.
  • 8″ Hi-Hat with Chain Driven Cymbal and Stand.
  • 10″ Crash Cymbal with Bass Drum Mounted Stand.
  • Round padded height adjustable drum throne.
  • Bass drum chain driven pedal.
  • A pair of wooden drumsticks.
  • Easy to read setup instructions (Assembly is required).

This is the best way for a kid to acclimatize themselves with the drums and get a feel for it. When they outgrow it – whether within 3 months or a year – they can advance with no problem. If you are looking for an entry point for your kid into the drumming world then this is it.

Pros

  • It is cheap, very cheap
  • It has everything a kid needs to start drumming
Cons

  • It is not good quality
  • Lots of tuning required

Sound Percussion Labs Kicker Pro (ages 6-11)

Sound Percussion Labs Kicker Pro - 5 Piece Drum Set with Stands, Cymbals, and Throne Silver Metallic Glitter
Shells and heads:
Hardware and cymbals:
Sound:
Value:

If you are intent on getting your child straight onto a 5-piece then this could be the one for you. Sound Percussion are known for producing punchy scaled down entry-level kits and this one is perfect for kids from 6 up to around 12. In terms of quality, it is somewhere between number 1 and 2 of our list. For a 5-piece with all of the hardware and cymbals you wouldn’t expect a huge sound at such a small price, but it will surprise you. The bass isn’t going to be earth-shattering and you will get a bit too much reverb and unwanted overtones but if you eventually replace the heads and tune it well, it will produce a competent sound – certainly enough for a novice drummer not to feel like they are playing on junk. The snare is crisp and the toms have good projection. Overall the kit has a nice tone and volume, however, the cymbals are tinny, the stands are a bit flimsy and the heads can do with changing. None of these things are necessary immediately, but something to bear in mind down the line.

Specs

  • Bass drum: 18″ x 14″
  • Toms: 8″ x 5″, 10″ x 5″
  • Floor tom: 12″ x 10″
  • Snare: 12″ x 5″
  • Hi-hat and ride/crash cymbals and stands
  • Kick pedal
  • Throne
  • Drum sticks

 

Pros

  • Inexpensive 5-piece drum set with all the accompaniments
  • Well constructed shells
Cons

  • Cymbals and heads are not great
  • Unwanted overtones and reverb

 

Ready To Go!

Ok, you should now be armed with all the information you need to make the right choice on their first kit. These are solid bits of equipment and assuming they aren’t mistreated or beaten with the full force of Thor, they should last quite a few years. Fortunately, their small size results in their smaller price and so you when you inevitably have to upgrade to a full-size kit, you won’t have spent too much.

 

So go forth with the knowledge the should help you make the right decision. Don’t forget to buy from a reputable vendor with a good returns policy just in case. Amazon, of course, being one of the safest. One thing to note is that these drums will make a lot of noise, which, assuming you don’t have a soundproof room, will be a big concern. Make sure you read our article on the best ways to reduce the drum volume which looks at a combination of dampeners, mutes, silencers and noise eaters.

 

Setting Up

So you have bought the drum set, it has arrived, now what? Most will come with instructions on how to get it set up but in case they haven’t be sure to watch one before you try as it could save you quite a bit of time. If you have any questions though, feel free to comment just below and we will be sure to get back to you.)

 

Something to Inspire

As we always say, let your child find their passion. Direct them, encourage and praise them, help them focus but do not force them. If you follow this then not only be a better drummer for it but they will love what they do. Practicing won’t be a chore, it will come from a drive within and this self-motivation and discipline are as important as the musical skills they will pick up along the way. When you love what you do, you do it happily, even if it is tough and a lot of work. If they work hard and start early enough then by 10 years old they could be doing this: