Drumming is one of the oldest instruments known to humankind. We have excavated drums thousands of years old from archaeological sites, and they represent the instrument in some form in virtually every civilization throughout history. Then, it’s no surprise that people of all ages have an innate urge to make music with their hands. Even babies do it–just give them a wooden spoon and a pot and watch them go!
There are many ways in which children can benefit from exploring the world of drumming. Not only can they develop musical ability, but there are also benefits to their gross and fine motor development. If you’ve got a toddler or young child at home who shows a strong interest in drumming and you’re interested in upgrading them from the cooking pot kit, you’ve come to the right place.
Best Overall Drum Set
When you’re choosing the perfect drum set for kids, there are many factors to consider. Is it the right size, is it good quality, is the price right? Considering everything, we’ve named the Best Overall Drum Set on our list the Mendini Cecilio 13 inch 3-Piece Drum Set for Kids.
This set is on the smaller side, so it is best for younger kids, but the quality is great. The 13-inch bass drum and mounted snare and tom drums have shells made from hardwood with tunable drum heads that you can replace if they get worn out, so they can last a long time.
Best Drum Set for Toddlers
Drumming is for people of all ages, but there’s a certain subset of the population that is drawn to banging on things and making a noise like no other- like toddlers! While young toddlers under the age of 2 might not have the coordination to work a bass pedal, older toddlers will love sitting on the throne of the Music Alley 3 Piece Drum Set and banging away on the three drums and one crash cymbal. The drums have wooden shells and tuneable skins and stand up to many hours of enthusiastic playing.
Best Drum Set for Older Kids
For parents in the market for a drum set for slightly older kids, the best child drum set on our list goes to the Ashthorpe 5 Piece Drum Set for Kids. This set has everything you would find in a full-sized adult kit, just sized down a bit for kids between 5 and 12.
The five drums – bass, snare, floor tom, and two mounted toms – have poplar shells, and two brass cymbals complete the set. Available in five cool metallic colors, this drum set will bring young drummers many years of noise and fun.
Best Electric Drum Set
Our best pick is the Alesis Debut Kit Drum Set from the electronic drum sets on our list. It’s got everything a kid could want: four drum heads, three cymbals, access to a huge library of sounds, including ten different kits, 120 distinct sounds, and 30 tracks to play along with.
You can plug in headphones to keep the noise down for the neighbors or hook the set up to a speaker and play for an audience. This set folds for storage, so it doesn’t have to be out on display at all times.
Best Acoustic Drum Set for Kids
The Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit For Kids earns the title of Best Acoustic Drum Set on our list because it’s a well-made, high-quality set made out of birch instead of the more common poplar found in beginner sets.
The quality is so high that even though it’s designed as a beginner set for children, it is popular amongst adults and professional musicians looking for a small kit that is easy to transport for gigs, so you know you are getting a set of excellent quality. While this set is priced higher than others on our list, it’s worth it!
Our list of drum sets for kids includes basic info you should know before you purchase a set of drums: a buyers guide, FAQ, how acoustic and electric drums work, how drumming contributes to your child’s development, what makes a drum set suitable for beginners, the best place to set up your drums and selecting the best-sized drums.
How Do Acoustic Drums and Electric Drums Work?
Acoustic drums are one of the oldest musical instruments in the world. Hit it with your hand, and it makes a noise. But what exactly is happening? When you hit the drum with a drumstick or your hand, the drum head begins to vibrate, which creates the sound. You can change the sound slightly by changing the frequency at which the drum head vibrates, by changing the tension of the drum head, the material it is made out of, or what it is struck with. Straightforward enough!
Electronic drums, on the other hand, are a different story. An electronic drum kit has two main parts: ‘triggers’ and the ‘brain’. The trigger pads are the bit of the drum kit that you play. Most electronic drum kits will have trigger pads set up in roughly the same configuration as an acoustic drum kit, with bass, snare, and tom drums, along with a cymbal or two. The pads are covered with rubber or mesh. When they are hit with a drumstick, they transmit a signal to the ‘brain’.
The brain is the module that is responsible for sound production. Think of it as a synthesizer where all of the drum sounds come from when the transducer modules are struck. Most electronic drum sets will come with a few different preset kits – whether you’re playing along with a jazz song or a rock track, you can choose the kit sounds that would suit the song best.
How Can a Drum Set Contribute to a Child’s Development?
There is a surprisingly wide range of benefits drumming can contribute to child development! First of all, the obvious: musical skills and a sense of rhythm. They learn to multi-task and coordinate their hands with their feet, fine-tuning their fine and gross motor skills.
Doing one thing with your feet and another with your hands is something even adults can struggle with! They also learn how to focus when learning a new skill, and, if they play in a band, work together with others.
Playing the drums is beneficial for the brain, as well. Making music is typically associated with the right side of the brain, the creative side. But drumming also stimulates the left side of the brain, which is associated with math, logic, and learning sequences.
Learning How to Play
Are lessons needed? The answer is – it depends. The biggest factor is age. Although there are exceptions, music teachers often suggest that students wait until age 6 or 7. Before then, children can lack the focus needed during the lessons and the internal drive to practice regularly. If you’re not sure about paying for classes, you can always try out YouTube and see how it goes.
There are some beneficial channels out there offering lessons showing basic techniques. However, with online lessons, there’s no opportunity to have feedback from another person who knows what they’re doing, which is invaluable when learning.
If you have a child over the age of 7 who is serious about learning how to play the drums, lessons can be important – and your ears might appreciate listening to an actual song instead of random crashing, too!
Parents might want to consider the song’s content when finding songs for kids to learn to play along with. A few pieces that are great for beginners to learn and don’t have any explicit lyrics are Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, Happy by Pharrell Williams, Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, and Radioactive by Imagine Dragons.
Our Selection of the 10 Best Drum Sets for Kids
1. Mendini by Cecilio Drum Set for Kids
The Mendini by Cecilio 13-inch 3 piece Drum Set for kids and toddlers has a lot going for it. It has a small footprint, so it won’t take up tons of room in your house and could even fit in a smaller space like a child’s bedroom. The quality is excellent for the price you pay.
The drum shells are hardwood, triple-flanged hoops and drum heads are replaceable if worn from too much use. This is a very durable set with great sound quality, and it looks good too! It’s available in five sparkly colors – black, royal blue, light blue, green, and red.
Adult quality scaled down in size for kids, and this drum set includes an 8” x 13” bass drum, with two drums mounted on it. The snare drum measures 4” x 10”, the tom drum measures 6” x 8”, and there’s an 8-inch crash cymbal included, too.
The Mendini by Cecilio drum set for kids comes with all the hardware you’ll need, including an adjustable padded drum throne and a set of wooden kits drum sticks. Between its compact size, excellent quality, and price, this set will be a great introduction drum set for kids.
2. Music Alley 3 Piece Kids Drum Set
Another affordable drum set for toddlers and young kids, the Music Alley 3-Piece Kids Drum Set, is ideal for young beginners between the ages of 3 and 8. It comes with three drums, including a 14-inch bass drum, 8-inch snare drum, and 8-inch tom.
There’s also a 10-inch cymbal for lots of noisy fun! For everything your little aspiring rock star will need to get started, this toddler drum kit also comes with a bass pedal, adjustable padded drum throne, and a set of child-sized drumsticks.
The Music Alley 3-Piece Kids Drum Set comes in three great colors – red, blue, and metallic black, all with stylish black drum heads. The drums have wooden shells, just like an adult drum set, and metal hardware, and tuneable skins. This set also includes a drum key to help you tune your drums. If you’ve got a little one who wants to rock out, this set could be just what you’re looking for.
3. Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit For Kids
The Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit for Kids is maybe the slickest looking drum set on our list. It comes in three stylish colors, black sparkle, white sparkle, and deep red wine. The manufacturer suggests an age range of 4-10 years old. Still, this set is such high quality that many adult drum enthusiasts have reported happily playing it themselves, including videos of Questlove himself playing!
It is sized for children – the bass drum measures 16 inches, the floor tom 13 inches, and the snare drum 12 inches – but the drums are made of high-quality birch, and the sound quality is excellent. This drum set is priced higher than others on our list, but there is a corresponding increase in quality that makes this set attractive to drummers outside of the suggested age range, too.
This set also comes with a 12-inch hi-hat cymbal, a 14-inch crash cymbal, foot pedal, drum sticks, drum throne, and a drum key for tuning. There’s also access to an easy online six-part lesson plan with Questlove to give your child something to practice. This set is much heavier than many others on our list, checking in at 62 lbs. It doesn’t need to be a big deal if you don’t plan to move it around much.
4. Ashtrophe 5-Piece Drum Set for Kids
If you want a complete five-piece drum kit for your aspiring young drummer, take a look at the Ashthorpe 5-Piece Drum Set For Kids. You get everything you would have on a bigger, more expensive intermediate drum set, just scaled down in size for kids.
You get a bass drum (16” x 11”), a floor tom (12” x 10”), a snare (10” x 5”), two mounted toms (10” x 6” and 8” x 6”), an 8” hi-hat cymbal, and a 10” crash cymbal. They made the drums of poplar hardwood shells, and the cymbals are made of brass, resulting in a rich, dynamic sound.
It’s great to look at, too, with a shiny finish available in five awesome colors to suit any child’s taste (red, blue, green, purple, and silver). It comes with all required hardware, two pedals for the bass drum and hi-hat cymbal, a padded drum throne with adjustable height, two drumsticks, and a drum adjustment key. Assembly is required, but Ashthorpe includes detailed instructions to make it easy. Priced at under $200, this complete drum set for kids is a great deal
Are you looking for a compact toddler drum set that will give you a big bang and crash for your buck? The Best Choice Products Kids Beginner Drum Set is a well-made, sturdy set that can take a good beating from kids and produce a great sound. The drums have shaped, and sealed wood shells that give a dynamic tone, and all of the hardware you’ll need comes included.
You get three drums – a bass drum that measures 10.5 inches in diameter and two toms that measure 8.5 inches and 10.5 inches in diameter, respectively – and an 8-inch crash cymbal for lots of noisy fun. Other accessories include a bass pedal, two drum sticks, and a cushioned stool that sits 12 inches high. The drums have a high gloss finish and are available in shiny blue, black, or red.
Because of the small size, this kids’ drum set is best suited for young children who love to make noise and are being introduced to the world of drumming. Rest assured, this isn’t a toy, though – the sound quality is excellent for a reasonable price. It’s the perfect introduction to drumming for kids between the ages of 3-8.
6. GP Percussion GP50BL Complete Junior Drum Set
Here’s another drum set ideally sized for the youngest drummers, recommended between 3-8. The GP Percussion GP50BL Complete Junior Drum Set comes with three drums – one bass drum that measures 16” x 11”, one tom drum attached to the bass drum that measures 10” x 6”, and a snare drum that measures 10” x 5”. There are two cymbals, too, with both the hi-hat and crash cymbal measuring 10 inches in diameter.
This sturdy set is great for the little ones because the drums are both adjustable, as is the padded drum throne that comes with the set. Also included are a bass drum pedal, a set of drumsticks, and a drum key for tuning. Available in shiny blue metallic, if you’re looking for a drum set for toddlers or young children, GP Percussion’s set is of great quality for the price.
7. Eastar 16-inch Kids Drum Set
Another great five-piece drum set for kids, the Eastar EDS-350 16-inch Kids Drum Set, has a complete set of five drums and two cymbals. It’s sized for slightly older kids, with a recommended age range of 6-12. The five drums include one 16” x 11” bass drum, one 10” x 6” snare drum, one 12” x 10” floor tom, and two mounted toms measuring 6” x 8” and 10” x 5”.
The hi-hat cymbal measures 10 inches in diameter, and the crash cymbal has a diameter of 12 inches. The drums are made of cross-grained poplar, with hardware made of high-quality black rims. This set is available in shiny metallic red, blue, black, or silver.
One cool inclusion with the Eastar Kids Drum Set is not one but two sets of drumsticks, one child-sized and one adult-sized. Although the drum kit is sized for children, having an extra pair of adult drumsticks means a parent or teacher can play with the child.
This set also comes with a foot pedal for the bass drum and an adjustable stool that can hold 220 pounds. Between the weight limit for the stool and the second set of drumsticks, this set can be fun for the whole family!
Electric Drum Sets for Kids
8. Alesis Debut Kit Drum Set
Consider an electronic drum set like the Alesis Debut Kit Drum Set for kids for small spaces, apartment living, or if you don’t want to hear drumming at all hours of the day! With an electronic drum kit, you have access to 10 different kits, 120 different sounds, and 30 tracks that your child can play along to.
It comes with four six-inch drum heads, three ten-inch cymbals, a metal rack to mount all of them on, a padded and adjustable drum throne, headphones, drumsticks, and all the relevant cables you will need. Even better for small spaces, this drum set can fold for storage!
Another cool feature of the Alesis Debut Kit is that it comes with access to free lessons! Hook up to your computer or tablet and access 60 free drum lessons. The lessons are a quick 5 minutes per day, so your child can have a short lesson and then get to work practicing what they’ve just learned!
With the included headphones, your young drummer’s music can stay quiet or use the output cables to hook up to a drum amplifier, purchased separately, and show off their skills.
9. Donner DED-100 Electronic Drum Set
Another electronic drum set, the Donner DED-100 Electronic Drum Set, is best suited for kids ages 10 and up and could even be used by adults. It has four eight-inch mesh drum heads and three ten-inch silicone cymbals that feel close to the real thing.
A bass drum pedal activates the bass drum sound even though there isn’t a drum pad. Plugin headphones, plug in a phone and choose a track from your personal library, and play along to all of your favorite songs! You can also choose from the 20 demo songs and 195 different tones.
Other accessories that come with this set include a metal frame for mounting the drums and cymbals, a drum pedal and a hi-hat cymbal pedal, drumsticks, input/output cables, and a drum key. Parents should note that this set does not come with headphones or a stool, and they will have to be purchased separately.
10. QoQoba Electronic Drum Set
The final product on our list, QoQoba Electronic Drum Set For Kids, is slightly different from the others we’ve looked at. This isn’t a full-sized drum set but a portable silicone pad that you can roll up for easy transportation and storage. Whether you’ve got a young drummer who likes to have something to do with their hands on the go, or if space constraints limit you, this portable drum pad could be the perfect solution.
The foldable pad comes with seven drum pads, representing one snare, three toms, one crash cymbal, one ride cymbal, and one hi-hat cymbal, plus one bass pedal. It’s got eight demo songs and five different tone settings – pop, rock, Latin, electro, and percussion – to give you a good variety of sounds. You can plug a phone into the drum set and use it to play with your favorite songs or into your computer for recording music.
The QoQoba Electronic Drum Set comes with built-in speakers as well as a set of headphones, so you can decide whether or not you want to share your child’s drumming with the whole neighborhood. This set is powered by a rechargeable battery that provides up to 10 hours of playtime for every charge. Despite its small size, this little drum set can get a lot done!
What Makes a Drum Set Suitable for a Beginner?
There are a few things to look for that set apart a beginner’s drum set from an intermediate or professional kit. First of all, you’ll probably notice that the price is much lower. That’s because of a difference in the quality of the materials used.
Beginner sets will use a cheaper wood, such as poplar or basswood instead of maple or birch, and less expensive hardware. That’s ok because your child isn’t going to be using the drums with the same frequency or intensity as Meg White or John Bonham did.
You’ll also notice a difference in size – not just the size of the drums – the ones on our list are all junior-sized, suitable for kids, but also the number of drums included in the set. Many beginner sets include only three drums, but intermediate kits will typically have at least five drums.
Beginner sets are lower priced so that more people can be introduced to the instrument, but if your child is taken with the drums and wants to pursue it, there may be an intermediate set that can withstand harder playing in your future.
When it comes to the size of the drums, look to see if the kit is adjustable. Kids grow faster than you think they will, so if you can adjust the height of the seat, the cymbals, and the drums, you can get more years out of a junior-sized set.
What Are the Different Drums Included in the Set?
Like the ones on our list below, beginner drum sets for children typically come in either 3- or 5-piece kits. Typically, drums included are a bass, snare, and tom (sometimes just a floor tom, others include mounted toms as well), plus cymbals – either a hi-hat cymbal, a crash cymbal, or both.
The snare drum is the most frequently played drum, and in a kit, it is usually positioned between the drummer’s legs so you can play it with both hands. Snare wires on the underside of the drum make a distinctive snare sound. The bass drum is the big one that sits upright on the floor, and it is played with a foot pedal.
It’s also sometimes called the kick drum and makes a low, thumping beat. The floor tom is the second-biggest drum and is supported off the floor by four legs. It has a deep sound like a bass drum. The high toms on beginner drum kits are often mounted on the bass drum and add some diversity of tone to your drum kit.
Now for the cymbals! A beginner drum kit can come with one or both of these types. The first is the hi-hat, which comprises two cymbals that crash together when operated with a foot pedal.
You’ll often use them to keep up a beat and keep a band playing together at the right tempo. The crash cymbal is probably the most fun and iconic part of the drum kit and does exactly what the name says – provides a big crash at emphatic moments! Parents might cover their ears, but kids will love it.
What is the Best Place to Set Up Your Drums?
The best place to set up your drum kit will be different for everyone. Drum kits can take up a lot of room, particularly acoustic drums. Some electronic drum kits can fold up and put away when not in use, so if you don’t have the floor space to leave a drum kit set up, electronic may be the best option for you.
If you’re lucky enough to have a rec room or a family room, that can be an ideal space to keep the drums set up for easy access, as long as there are no younger siblings in the house who might find it irresistible to try out their brother or sister’s drums! If your child has enough space in their bedroom, that could be a great spot to keep the drums out of sight of anyone who might be tempted to have a go.
Selecting the Best-Sized Drums
Here are two things to consider: your child’s current age and size and the kit’s ability to grow with your child. Measure your child’s height and the height of a chair or stool they can sit on with their feet comfortably resting on the floor. You’ll want to make sure that the stool, or throne, that comes with the set can adjust low enough so your child can operate the foot pedals for the hi-hat cymbal and bass drum.
This is especially important if you’re buying a set for a very young child. Look at the recommended age range from the manufacturer as well. Some junior sets are made for young kids – ages roughly 3 to 10 – while others are made for older kids and preteens – around 7 to 15 – so consider that. For example, if you’re buying for a seven-year-old who wants to learn and you think it could become a long-term interest, it would be more economical to buy the set for bigger kids so that they can grow into the set.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Good Drum Set for Beginners?
Depending on the age of the beginner, check out our award winners in the drop-down menu for our picks for the best drum set for toddlers and the best drum set for kids!
Can You Learn the Drums by Yourself?
Many of the greatest drummers of all time are self-taught, but whether you can learn how to play the drums independently will depend on your musical ability. You can always give it a try on your own, and if you’re not making progress, look into lessons.
Should I Buy a Drum Set for Kids or an Adult Drum Set?
This will depend on how old your child is and how much money you’re willing to invest in a drum set. Sets made for children are smaller and, generally speaking, less expensive than adult sets. However, if your child is older than 11 or 12, at the rate kids grow, you may find a set made for kids is outgrown quickly, so buying an inexpensive full-size set may be a better option.
Should I Get an Acoustic Kids Drum Set or an Electronic Drum Set for Kids?
This will depend on both your living situation and personal preference. Buying an electronic set for families living in close quarters, such as apartments, could make the neighbors very happy.
Electronic sets are also great for kids serious about drumming and who want to experiment with different sounds. On the other hand, if you have the space for it, the physical experience of banging on a drum set is hard to replicate, especially for young kids. I’d suggest thinking about what you’re hoping your child can get out of a drum set and make your choice based on your personal situation.