Parenting

The 14 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.

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.

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Pearl Roadshow Full-Size Kit

Pearl Roadshow Full-Size Kit

Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

 Yamaha DD-75 Portable Digital Drums

 Yamaha DD-75 Portable Digital Drums

Ashthorpe 5-Piece Complete Junior Drum Set 

Ashthorpe 5-Piece Complete Junior Drum Set 

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. From drums and cymbals to a drum stool and a kick pedal for the bass drum, you’ll receive everything you need in a drum kit.

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

In addition to the throne, sticks, and two cymbals, a 5-piece kit will also include the following:

  • 1 bass drum
  • 2 mounted tom drums
  • 1 floor tom drum
  • 1 snare drum

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 only include three drums. In addition to a bass drum, it could mean two mounted toms. Another possibility is that you’ll receive one bass drum, one tom drum and one snare drum, though the specifics vary from one kit to the next. 

A note worth making about drumsticks is that sticks can actually be hit or miss in kits, but it never hurts to have extras. Plan on picking up an extra set of drumsticks just to be safe.

What all drum kits tend to 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 your lil drummer shows serious passion or already has a bit of experience, these kits may be well worth the investment. 

1. 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 pedal 
  • Cymbals
  • Sticks
  • Drum throne

Pros: 

  • Reputable brand
  • Big sound 
  • Quality shells and materials

Cons

  • Higher price point
  • No assembly instructions in the box 

2. Pearl Roadshow Full-Size Kit

Pearl Roadshow Full-Size Kit

If you have a taller or slightly older child who’s serious — and we mean 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

3. 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 pedal
  • Cymbals
  • Sticks
  • Drum throne

Pros

  • Reputable name brand
  • Quality build 
  • Excellent hardware
  • More rods and lugs for better tuning
  • Better sound quality

Cons

  • Cymbals aren’t great
  • Higher price point
  • 1 mounted tom instead of 2  

4. PDP Player Junior 5-Piece Drum Kit 

PDP Player Junior 5-Piece Drum Kit 

PDP is actually a subsidiary of a very well-known and well-liked brand called 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, thanks to details like an 18″ bass drum and genuine hardwood shells. However, like other kits in our premium section, the biggest drawback is the price. 

Included in the kit:

  • 18″ bass drum
  • Two mounted tom drums
  • Floor tom
  • Snare drum
  • Kick pedal
  • Cymbals
  • Sticks
  • Drum throne

Pros: 

  • Reputable brand
  • Quality materials
  • Good sound

Cons: 

  • Higher price point
  • Cymbals don’t have the best sound

5. Sonor AQX Jungle 4-Piece Shell Pack

Sonor AQX Jungle 4-Piece Shell Pack

This compact shell pack is a good pick for serious young drummers, who don’t mind a shell pack versus a full kit. You can learn more about the difference below as part of our handy FAQs. 

It’s also ideal for those kids who are often on the go and maybe want to take their drums on the go, too! This pack is easy to transport if they’re jamming with a friend, starting their own band or even just moving from one parent’s house to the other’s on occasion. Whatever the need may be, this pack is easy to take on the road. 

Included in the kit:

  • 10” rack tom
  • 13” floor tom
  • 16” bass drum
  • 13” snare
  • Cymbal and tom mount

Pros: 

  • Easy to move 
  • Affordable for what you get
  • From a well-reviewed and reputable brand 

Cons

  • Intended for more advanced players 
  • Not a full kit 

6. Ashthorpe 5-Piece Complete Junior Drum Set with Genuine Brass Cymbals

Ashthorpe 5-Piece Complete Junior Drum Set with Genuine Brass Cymbals

A good option for those kids who are just now moving from a mid-range priced kit to a more premium kit, this set from Ashthorpe will hold them over until they’re ready for an adult set. It’s adjustable for children ages 3 to 12, and it even comes in six colors. 

The seat is adjustable, as are the snare stand and hi-hat. This set is also pretty durable as it is made from solid materials.

Included in the kit:

  • 16″ x 11″ bass drum with upgraded chain-driven pedal
  • 10″ x 5″ snare drum with basket stand
  • 10″ x 6″ mounted tom
  • 8″ x 6″ mounted tom
  • 12″ x 10″ floor tom
  • 8″ brass hi-hat cymbals, cymbal stand and pedal
  • 10″ brass mounted crash or ride cymbal
  • Padded adjustable throne
  • Pair of wood drumsticks
  • Adjustment key

Pros: 

  • Very durable kit 
  • Made from high-quality drum materials
  • Comes in a range of colors

Cons

  • Only suitable until their preteen years
  • Will need to upgrade soon 

7. Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Set

For a premium option that’s also electronic, you might want to consider this set from Roland. Compact, durable and very similar to an acoustic drum set, it brings your child even more music-making options.

They can change the style and sound of their drums to play a range of music, from EDM to rock to jazz to blues. There are even built-in training functions, to help your child practice, and a beater-free kick drum that is just as quiet as the drums themselves, when used with headphones.

Included in the kit:

  • Three tom drum pads
  • Three cymbal pads
  • One snare pad
  • LED display
  • Kick pedal

Pros

  • High-end electronic kit 
  • Comes with lots of flashy features

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a throne 
  • Is on the pricey side

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. 

8. 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 ultra-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 pedal
  • Cymbals
  • Sticks
  • Drum throne

Pros: 

  • Affordable
  • Decent drums
  • Smaller snare drum 
  • Good for smaller children

Cons: 

  • Sound quality is not as good
  • Hardware is not great
  • Fewer lugs means it can’t be tuned as accurately

9. 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 
  • Can be practiced anywhere
  • Electronic support and lessons

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t produce the same authentic drum sound
  • Takes commitment to access freebies
  • Lessons are short

10. RockJam 5-Piece Junior Drum Set

RockJam 5-Piece Junior Drum Set

This complete, 5-piece drum set is a really nice option for those shopping on a budget, who want something that looks like the real deal, and comes with everything needed, too. Scalable for players ages 3 to 10, it comes with literally everything — and the box that Amazon ships it in is less than 40 pounds, so it’s even less of a hassle for parents.

Included in the kit:

  • Bass drum with four lugs
  • 2 hanging tom-tom drums
  • Floor tom-tom with three lugs
  • Snare drum with stand
  • Crash cymbal with cymbal arm
  • Hi-hat cymbal with stand
  • Bass drum chain driven pedal
  • Wooden drum sticks
  • Drum throne

Pros

  • Everything you need at an affordable price 
  • Can be adjusted for players from 3 to 10 years old

Cons: 

  • Lower quality that what you might expect 
  • Isn’t as durable as other premium kits in this list 

11. Eastar 14-Inch Drum Kit for Beginners

Eastar 14-Inch Drum Kit for Beginners

If you don’t have much room — either in your home or your budget — you might want to go with this much-loved junior drum kit that only comes with three drums and one cymbal, so it takes up less space, while still giving your child a fantastic playing experience. Suitable for kids under 12, the kit is easy to assemble, too.

Included in the kit:

  • 14” x 10″ bass drum
  • 8″ x 6″ mounted tom with drum arm
  • 10″ x 5″ mounted snare with drum arm
  • 10” cymbal with cymbal arm
  • Plating bass drum pedal
  • Round padded adjustable drum throne
  • Small drum sticks
  • Large drum sticks

Pros: 

  • Affordable
  • Small 
  • Easy to assemble

Cons: 

  • Only comes with three drums

12. Yamaha DD-75 Portable Digital Drums

Yamaha DD-75 Portable Digital Drums

Another electronic drum option, this kit is particularly desirable for those who have literally no floor space. If you can’t think of a single way you could possibly fit a drum set into your home, this is the option you want to go with. 

Your child will enjoy the functionality of a drum kit with eight drums and cymbals, but it all sits on the tabletop. It’s incredibly portable and has lots of extra features, changing sounds and styles to meet your child’s needs. In fact, the kit comes equipped with more than 70 pre-configured kit sounds and over 500 individual sounds.

Included:

  • Tabletop drum kit
  • Two foot pedals
  • One pair of drumsticks

Pros: 

  • Incredibly portable 
  • Very versatile

Cons: 

  • Might be a little too tech-heavy for younger players
  • Not suitable for all children 

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.

13. Sound Percussion Labs 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

14. 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. Also, 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
  • Only one cymbal 
  • Not appropriate for bigger kids

FAQs

Do you have any questions about buying a drum set for your child? We have the answers! Keep reading to learn more about the answers to some FAQs regarding drum sets for kids. 

Why Not Just Buy an Adult Kit or Full-Sized Drum Set? 

If you have a somewhat older child and you think they are interested in playing the drums long-term, you might be wondering if you should just go ahead and buy a full-sized adult kit that will last them into their teen years and beyond. However, there are a few reasons why you might still want to opt for a kids’ kit instead. 

These reasons relate to the costs, the size differences and the variations in sound between the two types of drum kits. For example, a child’s drum kit will be quieter overall when compared to an adult’s drum kit, which might be a good thing for you as the parent. 

Plus, they’re smaller, meaning they’re more likely to suit the smaller size of children. While this may not seem like a big deal, consider that not having the right size for a child’s body may teach them difficult-to-break posture. 

From there, they will be more likely to form poor posture-related habits, which could ultimately impact their ability to play the drums in the future. Additionally, children’s kits are far more inexpensive than an adult’s pro drum kit, which is good news for your budget and your bank account! 

What’s the Difference Between a Set and a Drum Shell Pack?

As you start shopping, you may notice that some sellers offer drum sets, while others offer something called a shell pack. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, as well as an all-in-one option, go with the former versus the latter. 

A drum set or kit will include absolutely everything your child needs to get started. A shell pack usually only includes the bare basics and you’ll likely need to buy additional items and hardware in order for your child to start playing.

Should I Buy a Kit Based on My Child’s Size or Age? 

You should definitely opt for a drum kit based on your child’s size and not his or her age. Most children’s drum kits are typically made with a certain body size in mind instead of a certain level of talent or skill. However, if your child is taller than five feet, it’s likely time for them to age up and start using an adult drum kit.

Is An Acoustic or Electronic Drum Set Better?

If you want your child to learn how to play the drums for their long-term enjoyment, and it’s not just a passing interest, you may want to opt for an acoustic drum set first, and then later, if they’d like, purchase an additional electronic drum kit. Working with an acoustic set first, when they’re just beginning, will help them better learn the ins and outs and technical aspects of drumming.

However, if you live in an apartment or maybe someone in your house works the night shift and sleeps during the day, then you may just have to go with electric drums, for everyone’s sanity, as they offer controllable volume and even headphones, so your little drummer can continue to practice uninhibited.

Is a Drum Set Hard To Put Together?

In most cases, drum sets are not hard to put together. In fact, with some of these sets, depending on your child’s age, he or she might be able to put the kit together on their own… No help from mom or dad needed! 

However, if you’re planning to purchase a drum set for your child as a surprise and you’re wondering how long it will take for you to put it together, don’t worry. You won’t be up all night the day before their birthday or on Christmas Eve, struggling with a bunch of hardware! They are relatively simple to assemble. 

Is My Child Too Young To Play the Drums?

Your child is likely not too young to start playing the drums! That’s because drums are child-friendly instruments, and if your child is showing interest in playing the drums or any musical instrument, they’re likely old enough to start pursuing it on a more serious level. 

However, you know your child best, so if you think this might be a phase or your kiddo might just want to pick up the drums because a friend did, you could consider holding off and buying one of the premium kits on our list later on in your child’s life. 

Instead of paying a lot of money on drums right away, you could consider purchasing one of the more affordably-priced options for a special occasion, like a birthday or during Christmas. From there, if your child keeps with it, then you can upgrade to a better and more expensive kit in the future.

What Does All of This Drumming Lingo Mean?

If you find yourself scratching your head at the various terms used above, here are the key terms you need to know when shopping around for a drum kit for your child. 

The throne, as you may have very well guessed, is the seat that either will or won’t come with a kit. However, if it doesn’t come with one, you’ll want to buy one separately. Try to avoid the temptation to just stick your child on a kitchen stool.

There are three basic types of drums that come in a kit. For starters, there’s the snare drum, which is often considered the most important and primary drum. However, tom drums, which are also known as tom-tom drums, provide filler. A kit may come with up to three tom drums. 

On the other hand, bass drums are kick drums that are used to establish a basic beat. A shell will sometimes include only your bass drum and your toms, not a snare drum. When referring to hardware in a kit, that hardware typically includes pedals and stands.

The kit may also include a range of cymbals, which may include ride cymbals, hi-hats or crashes. Hi-hats are popular in many kits for kids, and they are cymbals made up of two parts that you operate via a foot pedal. The foot pedal opens and closes the two parts, creating the noise they are characteristically known for making.

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 might 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]

14 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. Sonor AQX Jungle 4-Piece Shell Pack
  6. Ashthorpe 5-Piece Complete Junior Drum Set with Genuine Brass Cymbals
  7. Roland TD-1K Electronic Drum Set
  8. Mendini Kids Youth Drum Set
  9. Alesis Electronic Drum Set
  10. RockJam 3-Piece Junior Drum Set
  11. Eastar 14-Inch Drum Kit for Beginners
  12. Yamaha DD-75 Portable Digital Drums
  13. Sound Percussion Labs Lil Kicker
  14. Music Alley 3-Piece Beginner’s Drum Kit

Sherry De Alba

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