As mentioned in our article of the best electronic drums for beginners, if you try to stick something in front of a kid without some sort of wire coming out or a button that lights up, chances are they won’t know want to do with it. An electronic drumset is a great way for a kid to experiment with different sounds and styles without you having to replace drum heads, change sticks or cymbals. The onboard programs allows you to choose the sound they want on each surface head and cymbal which gives your child free reign to play on a host of drums without having to change their set-up. As well as this they can record themselves play so it is like a having a little self-contained studio. This will not only help their playing and give them an understanding of producing at a very young age. Some also have features such as onboard lessons and an inbuilt metronome.
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Short answer – no. Don’t believe anywhere that tells you it is. The problem with electric drums is that what you hear through the headphones is not necessarily what you are playing. We have explained this in more detail in our look at Acoustic vs Electronic, but essentially if you hit the pad, it will feedback the recorded sound through your headphones. Now you may have hit the pad off center but the sound fed back to you will sound like you hit it perfectly. As well as this if you mess around with the balance between the cymbals or toms then you could end up striking them too hard, but the playback will sound just right.
This shouldn’t deter you. The workaround for this is to either buy a practice pad for your child to practice their technique and rudiments on (these are inexpensive and a good option). Or you just need to ensure that your kid turns off the ‘brain’ computer, takes off the headphones and practices without them every now and then. They will then be able to hear the natural sound of the drumstick hitting the pad which is a much better measure of their technique. Either way, nothing beats an acoustic drum set when trying to emulate an acoustic drum set (quite obvious we know). So if you buy an electric drum set with the intention to move onto an acoustic, then make sure your child has lessons on an acoustic set. That means they won’t have a problem playing on one when they need to.
All that being said there is nothing wrong with a child learning on an electronic set and you may notice some similarities with this list and the best budget electronic drum kits, namely that they are the same. This is because these sets are adjustable and set up well for kids to play. Provided you get an adjustable throne, kids from as young as 7 will be able to play these kits. Unlike the higher end sets these come with the kick pedal too so you won’t have to buy too much else. As well as this all these lower end kits, designed with beginners in mind, also come with a number of coaching programmes with the onboard brain which will help your child brush up on their rhythm and timekeeping. If looking for a kid younger than 6 or 7, then maybe consider an electronic pad instead.
|Model||Name/ Rating||Summary||Check Price|
Score: (4.75 / 5)
|Sturdy and durable pads and stands. A good range of sounds. A solid entry-level kit at an affordable price|
Alesis Nitro 8-Piece
Score: (4.60 / 5)
|Incredibly cheap 8-piece kit. Perfect for a beginner on a budget|
Roland V-Drums TD-1K
Score: (4.65 / 5)
|Sophisticated module and good array of sounds and classic Roland quality|
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Coming in at the number one spot is the magnificent Yamaha DTX400K which comes in at just under $400 and considering the price and that this is a Yamaha e-kit, that is exceptional value for money. Whilst you don’t get the same level of sound features the 522K and the 562K have, for a first-time kid drummer this is an incredible set to start playing around on, especially as you have access to Yamaha’s high-end acoustic maple and oak drum sounds! You also have 10 onboard training programmes with this kit, each covering a different skill, which is invaluable for kids learning the ropes. One other big plus is the beaterless kick pedal which means as a parent you won’t have to listen to constant thudding when they practice. In fact, the whole kit is nearly silent when used with headphones. This is why these have earnt the title of being the best electronic drums for kids aged 7 and up!
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Next on our list is the incredibly affordable Alesis Nitro. Alesis who continue to inspire and advance the electronic music scene and with this kit, created after their best selling DM6, they have produced a kit that is perfect for kids of ages 7 up to play. It is not clear whether they intended for the frame to sit so low to the ground, but it does which makes it perfect for kids 7 onwards. Adults will be able to play it but it may feel a bit small. It is the perfect first electronic kit for your child and you are getting an 8-piece drum set with pedals, training programmes, 40 songs and hundreds of drum and percussion sounds for under $300. Not only will this help your child brush up on their technique but it will provide endless hours of fun playing around with the onboard catalog of songs and sounds!
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In our final spot is the TD-1K which is the most expensive on this list but still very much at the low end of things. This kit is identical to the Roland TD-1KV except that it has a standard rubber pad as opposed to a mesh snare head. It has all the same onboard features and module functionality so this TD-1KV review is applicable here. As it is $100 more than the Yamaha it couldn’t take the top spot but it is still exceptional quality and value for money
As we said, these kits are the same as the best budget kits and there is a reason for that. Firstly they are perfectly sized and adjustable for a kid to play and also well priced for a first-time player. The other reason is that these e-drum makers know what they are doing, they are the top in their field for a reason. There are other manufacturers such a Pyle and Carlsbro who are producing similarly priced kits but they just don’t measure up when it comes to functionality and quality, that’s why we would say stick with the big 3.
If your kid is younger than 7 or so years old, or even if you think that a full electronic kit is not necessary right now then check out our reviews on the best electronic drum pads which are a perfect space and noise efficient alternative to an e-kit.
One reason you are thinking about getting these for your kid is that they are a LOT quieter than an acoustic set. You may still hear a thud from the pedals so best practice is to put it downstairs if possible and on a carpet. If upstairs try another strip of carpet to soften the vibrations. Fortunately, these kits will come with a pedal-less bass drum pedal so this will minimize the noise made. If it is still making too much of a thud then check out our recommendations on how to solve this.
We will leave you with this video lesson so that your kid has something to get them started: