Parenting

The 8 Best Kids Drum Sets [Musicians At Any Age]

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​​If you’re reading this, you’re one of those brave souls who is actually considering a drum set for their child. Good for you! Other than drumming being a lot of fun, it has some other surprising benefits for your little banger. 

Not only does learning to drum teach your child perseverance and give them a sense of achievement, but it’s actually good for their brains. In fact, learning any musical instrument has been shown to improve math skills because of the complex rhythms.

And according to Christine Northup MD, “The sound of drumming generates new neuronal connections in all parts of the brain. The more connections that can be made within the brain, the more integrated our experience becomes. This leads to a deeper sense of self-awareness.”

While we’re not sure many drummers would describe it that way, many do talk about what could be called a natural high. Simply put, drumming makes you happy.

To get your child’s musical exploration underway, we’ve gathered nine of the best kits out there for kids. But first, let’s go over a few tech terms and other things you should be aware of before you invest. 

Best Kids Drum Sets

Preview

Name

Rating

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Pearl Roadshow Junior 5-Piece 

Pearl Roadshow Junior 5-Piece 

Pearl Roadshow Full-Size Kit

Pearl Roadshow Full-Size Kit

Ludwig Junior Questlove Pocket 4-Piece Drum Set

Ludwig Junior Questlove Pocket 4-Piece Drum Set

PDP Player Junior 5-Piece Drum Kit 

PDP Player Junior 5-Piece Drum Kit 

Mendini Kids Youth Drum Set

Mendini Kids Youth Drum Set

Alesis Electronic Drum Set

Alesis Electronic Drum Set

Rogue Lil Kicker

Rogue Lil Kicker

Galanz French Door Refrigerator with Bottom Freezer

Music Alley 3-Piece Beginners Drum Kit

Size Matters

Drum sets for kids come in two sizes: junior and full-size. Junior sizes are naturally smaller and usually recommended for the ten and under crowd. However, the size your child needs depends more on their height than their age. 

Kids between 2.5 and 5 feet tall will probably feel more comfortable with a junior kit. Otherwise, they may have a hard time reaching all the drums and the kick drum pedal. 

Kids over 5 feet tall should probably be playing on a full-size kit. If you have an especially tall younger child who seems to have a real interest in drumming, you may want to pony up the extra bucks for a full-size adult drum set so that they don’t outgrow it too quickly.

Most of the kits in our buying guide are for younger and smaller children, but we have also included a few full-size kits for taller and older children.

Related: The 15 Best Bunk Beds For Kids [On The Market Right Now]

What’s Included in a Kit?

The beauty of these kids drum sets is that they include everything your child needs to get started: drums, cymbals, a kick pedal for the bass drum, and a drum stool (also known as a throne).

Kits come in either 5-piece or 3-piece sets. But these numbers refer to the number of drums and not to the total pieces included. 

A 5-piece kit will include:

1 bass drum 

2 mounted tom drums

1 floor tom drum

1 snare drum

Plus: the throne, sticks and 2 cymbals

The cymbals for an acoustic drum kit include hi hat cymbals, a ride cymbal and one or more crash cymbals. 

A 3-piece drum set will include only three drums. In addition to a bass drum, it could mean two mounted toms. Or it could be one bass drum, one tom drum and one snare drum depending on the kit. 

The throne, sticks and 1 or 2 cymbals will also be included. 

A note about drumsticks: Sticks can actually be hit or miss in kits, but it never hurts to have extras. Plan on picking up a set, just to be safe. 

What all the kits have in common is that some assembly is required. So be prepared for that!

Another thing about many of these sets is that the cymbals often don’t sound that great. While that may not be important for beginners, you may want to consider replacing them if your child develops a very serious interest. 

Now that you have a basic idea about size and what’s included in these kits, let’s get to our favorite kids’ drum sets.

Premium Drum Kits

First up, we’re going to cover off some premium options. Made by well-known companies that are popular with industry pros, these kits offer higher quality materials and sound with a price tag to go along with it. But if you’re lil drummer shows serious passion or already has a bit of experience, these kits may be well worth the investment.

Pearl Roadshow Junior 5-Piece 

Pearl Roadshow Junior 5-Piece 

Pearl Roadshow is a Japanese brand that has a reputation for quality drums around the world and among industry pros. Of course, that quality comes at a price. Before you invest, you’ll want to know that your little rockstar is serious about banging the skins, as this is not a toy but rather a serious kit that’s been scaled down for kids. 

But if they’re already taking lessons and show a true passion for drumming, this set delivers both quality and sound. In fact, there are even adults who use this more compact kit in situations with limited space.

Included in the kit:

  • 16″ bass drum
  • Two mounted tom drums
  • Floor Tom
  • Snare Drum
  • Kick Petal
  • Cymbals
  • Sticks
  • Drum Throne

Pros: Reputable brand, big sound, quality shells and materials

Cons: Higher price point, no assembly instructions in the box (but you can visit the Pearl Roadshow YouTube channel to get help)

Pearl Roadshow Full-Size Kit

Pearl Roadshow Full-Size Kit

If you have a taller or slightly older child who’s serious (very serious) about drumming, you may want to consider the full-size version of the Pearl Roadshow kit. But again, you will want to ensure that this isn’t just a passing phase for your kid as you will be investing more money.

The payoff is that this kit will last for years and comes with excellent hardware and 6-ply, white poplar drum shells. Not to mention it sounds fantastic!

Pros: Quality brand, great drums, awesome sound, excellent hardware and materials

Cons: Costly, too large for younger drummers, cymbals could sound a bit better

Ludwig Junior Questlove Pocket 4-Piece Drum Set 

Ludwig Junior Questlove Pocket 4-Piece Drum Set 

Ludwig is a legendary brand name among professional drummers, including greats like Ringo Starr and Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. If you think your budding percussionist is serious about sticking with the drums, it may be worth the investment.

While Ludwig does make an excellent 5-piece drum set, low stocks make it hard to get your hands on that kit these days. But this 4-piece beginner drum set is also an excellent option for serious, younger drummers.

Quality hardware and a better build do make this one of the more expensive options on the list, but it will give you more flexibility in terms of tuning, which translates to a better sound than most junior kits. 

Included in the kit:

  • 16″ bass drum
  • One mounted tom 
  • One Floor Tom
  • One Snare Drum
  • Kick Petal
  • Cymbals
  • Sticks
  • Drum Throne

Pros: Reputable name brand, quality build and hardware, more rods and lugs for better tuning, better sound quality

Cons: The cymbals aren’t great, higher price point, 1 mounted tom instead of 2  

PDP Player 5-Piece Kids Drum Set 

PDP Player 5-Piece Kids Drum Set 

PDP is actually a subsidiary of the very well-known and well-liked brand Drum Workshop or DW. Like the other kits on our list, this set has everything your child needs to get started. It also offers better quality with details like an 18″ bass drum and genuine hardwood shells.

However, like other kits in our premium section, the biggest drawback here is the price. 

Included in the kit:

  • 18″ bass drum
  • Two mounted tom drums
  • Floor Tom
  • Snare Drum
  • Kick Petal
  • Cymbals
  • Sticks
  • Drum Throne

Pros: Reputable brand, quality materials, good sound

Cons: Higher price point, cymbals don’t have the best sound 

Mid-Range Priced Kits

Want to support your kid’s music ambitions but aren’t sure if they’re going to stick it out? These buys are good middle-of-the-road drum sets. 

Mendini Kids Youth Drum Set

Mendini Kids Youth Drum Set

Another good choice for beginning drummers is this Mendini by Cecilio 5-piece junior drum kit. One thing to note is that the snare drum on this set is much smaller than the Gammon set, which could be an advantage if your budding musician is extra mini. 

However, the hardware is not quite as good as the Gammon kit, and it only comes with four lugs for tuning. Translation: you won’t be able to tune this kit as accurately as the Gammon. 

Still, the drums are decent, and your beginning drummer will most likely be perfectly happy to bang away on it. 

Included in the kit:

  • 13″ bass drum
  • Two mounted tom drums
  • Floor Tom
  • Snare Drum
  • Kick Petal
  • Cymbals
  • Sticks
  • Drum Throne

Pros: Affordable, decent drums, smaller snare drum is good for smaller children

Cons: Sound quality not as good, hardware not great, fewer lugs means it can’t be tuned as accurately

Alesis Electronic Drum Set

Alesis Electronic Drum Set

​If you want a drum set for kids that has the option to connect headphones, this drum set from Alesis is a great

option. Unlike the other acoustic drum sets, this one is electronic. So while you won’t get the exact drum experience you would have with other buys, you also won’t get the same noise. Let’s all heave a big sigh of relief. 

You can connect to headphones or an amp, although you would have to buy them separately. 

Another benefit of electronic drums is that you get electronic help. Your budding musician will get 30 built-in play along tracks and have access to 60 virtual drum lessons from Melodics. 

Included in the kit:

  • 8” Single zone Snare
  • 3 Toms
  • 10” Crash Cymbal
  • 10” Ride Cymbal
  • 10” Hi-Hat Cymbal
  • Pedals
  • Sticks
  • 30 Play Along Tracks
  • Connection Cables
  • Power Supply
  • 60 Drum Lessons from Melodics

Pros: You won’t have to listen to your kid beat the drums, practice anywhere, electronic support & lessons

Cons: Doesn’t produce the same authentic drum sound, it takes commitment to access your freebies, lessons are short

3-Piece Kits for Toddlers and Younger Kids

If your wee musician is barely graduating from banging on pots and pans with a wooden spoon, they may not need a 5-piece drum set just yet. These starter drum kits are not only better for the younger age group, but they’re also a lot more economical. 

And if your lil banger really takes to the skins, you can always move up to a bigger set when the time is right.

Rogue Lil Kicker

Sound Percussion Labs Lil Kicker

This compact set from Lil Kicker may have only three drums instead of five, but they are made of multi-ply wooden shells and sturdy enough to take a good banging. The heads are also fully replaceable and easy to tune. 

Included in the kit:

  • One 16″ bass drum
  • One snare drum
  • One tom drum
  • Two cymbals
  • Kick Petal
  • Sticks
  • Drum throne

Pros: Very affordable, compact, sturdy, good for very small drummers, replaceable drum heads

Cons: Only three drums instead of five, not suitable for bigger kids

Music Alley 3-Piece Beginners Drum Kit

Music Alley 3-Piece Beginners Drum Kit

Even more compact than the previous kit is this 3-piece set for beginners from Music Alley. But this kit only comes with two tom drums, a slightly smaller bass, one cymbal (and no snare drum).

Though the setup is very compressed, the drums are made with real wood and chrome hardware. And the bass actually delivers a surprisingly powerful sound. 

However, this set is not appropriate for anyone over seven years old or kids that are tall for their age. But for a small starter drum set, you’ll get a surprising bang for way fewer bucks. 

Included in the kit:

  • One 14″ bass drum
  • Two tom drums
  • One cymbal
  • Kick Petal
  • Drum throne
  • Sticks

Pros: Compressed setup, powerful bass drum, made with real wood and chrome

Cons: No snare drum, one cymbal and not appropriate for bigger kids

Hit the Road Drumming

We hope this guide to kids’ drum sets gives you a better idea of what to look for when you’re looking to outfit your little drummer. Be sure to keep your child’s size in mind before you purchase, as playing on a kit that’s too large or too small could be frustrating and even discouraging for your budding musician.

Also, be sure to access your child’s level of interest before investing as well. The last thing you want is an expensive drum set gathering dust while your kid moves on to other activities. In fact, you may want to invest in a few lessons before you purchase to see if your child is truly interested in playing. 

If you don’t want to spend the money on private instruction, you could enroll them in a group class which may even make your child feel more comfortable than a 1-on-1 session with an instructor.

Finally, encouraging your child to have patience on their musical journey will help them to understand that learning the drums is something you have to be dedicated to if you want results. It may be a while before your little drummer can rattle off something that doesn’t make you want to cover your ears, but with perseverance (and maybe some headphones), you may eventually love jamming to your kid’s beats.

Rock on, brave parents.

You might also be interested in: 9 Best Guitars For All Beginners [Musician’s Guide]

8 Best Drum Sets For Kids: 

  1. Pearl Roadshow Junior 5-Piece 
  2. Pearl Roadshow Full-Size Kit
  3. Ludwig Junior Questlove Pocket 4-Piece Drum Set
  4. PDP Player Junior 5-Piece Drum Kit 
  5. Mendini Kids Youth Drum Set
  6. Alesis Electronic Drum Set
  7. Sound Percussion Labs Lil Kicker
  8. Music Alley 3-Piece Beginners Drum Kit

Sherry De Alba

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