Last Updated on June 20, 2021 by Danny
A junior starter drum kit is a great way to introduce kids to a musical instrument. There is a wide range of options that accommodate everyone from true beginners to advanced. Today, the best drum sets for kids have an unprecedented array of features and customizability.
Learning the drums comes with instant gratification. Kids can quickly deduce their sound options and pick up a drumbeat. However, when it comes to acoustic drums, the sound can be overbearing for parents and neighbors alike.
A complete junior drum set for kids circumvents the sound problem. The kit is a series of rubber trigger pads, which correspond to the snare drum, cymbals, tom-toms, and other features. After mounting the rack and connecting the module, a young drummer can hear the corresponding sound through headphones or a separate amplifier.
Many jr drum sets have additional options, such as training programs, built-in tracks, and metronomes. Others are highly compact for parents worried about drums taking up too much space. When it comes to finding an Excellent starter kit for children, here are the ones worth your consideration.
Why Invest in a Kids Drum Set?
Kids’ drum sets cost less
A good quality normal-sized drum set can set you back a pretty penny, but kids’ drum sets are much more affordable. Even a premium kid drum set is not going to break the bank. This is great because if in the future your child decides that drumming is not for them, you won’t be stuck with an expensive instrument that no one uses. Also, kids tend to be a little rough and careless with their instruments, so even if they break their drum kit or parts of it, replacing them is cheap.
Kids’ drum sets are sized for smaller players
A full-sized drum kit is quite big and not really suited for small children. They will be highly uncomfortable playing as they will have to keep extending their limbs to strike the drum heads or cymbals. Not only will they not be able to deliver the strokes properly, but they will also end up picking bad techniques.
Kids’ drum sets are shrunk down and are perfectly sized for smaller players, i.e., child drummers. They can play without any strain and can learn proper techniques that they can then transfer to a full-sized drum set when they grow up.
Kids’ drum sets are quieter
Kids drum sets are considerably smaller than a full-fledged kit, so they have smaller shell sizes and head sizes. This means kids’ drums do not have as much resonance as full-sized ones, making them much quieter. Even if your child plays on it with all the force he has, the sound might be tolerable. Mind you, these drums are quieter than full-sized ones. They are not silent.
Kids’ drum sets are fun
Do you know what the most important thing about an instrument for a child is?
It is not how great it sounds; it is instead how much fun they are to play!
Smashing the cymbals and pummeling the drum heads will bring so much joy to your young drummers. Even though it might sound like nothing but pure noise to you, the kid will absolutely love the experience. These drums are typically available in plenty of bright sparkly colors that kids love, enhancing their experience.
Playing the drums is simply fun!
Best Drum Sets for Kids, Juniors – Reviews 2021
1. Mendini 5 Drum set for Kids with Adjustable Throne
Mendini is an extremely popular brand for kid drum sets. Their Mendini 5 model is one of the most popular kid drum kits, with the Mendini 3 in tow. The main reason for their popularity is that they have good build quality while having an affordable price.
The sound is good; it is exceptional when you factor in the price. The snare drum, the kick drum, and the toms all have good overall sound quality with nothing terrible. The bass drum is just 16″ big, making it great for children. The cymbals are pretty bad, but this is something that every cymbal that comes along with a drum set suffers from. It doesn’t matter how expensive your drumset is; the included cymbals will be horrible.
The Mendini 5 kit comes with a kick drum, a snare drum; two mounted toms, a floor tom, a mounted cymbal, and a hi-hat while the Mendini 3 kit has similar components, but it loses the floor tom, the hi-hat, and one of the mounted toms. The Mendini 3 is about $80 cheaper, though!
The good thing is that these drum kits come with everything: drumsticks, hardware, and even a height-adjustable drum throne. The shells are also available in five bright colors!
At its price point, both the Mendini’s are a steal. They sound good, have excellent build quality, and are affordable!
2. Easter 5-Piece Kids Drum Set
Eastar drums are pretty well known for their high-quality junior drum kits that are affordable.
The 3-piece drum set has the usual configuration, while the five-piece kit having two other toms. You get all the required components too. The sound is good, but with a bit of tuning, they are excellent. The drum skins are pretty lovely, and there are six tension rods, so they are pretty resonant.
We would personally consider the Eastar to be one of the best-looking kits on this list. Instead of the usual chrome rings, the bass has a black drum ring that just makes it look jaw-dropping. The 5-piece is even better as all the drums get black rings! All the metal parts are electroplated, too, so you should not suffer any damage anytime soon.
3. Music Alley 3 Piece Kids Drum Set
This is the cheapest drum set on this list. While inexpensive, there are a couple of things that make the Music Alley a worthwhile consideration.
As usual, you get a bass drum, a snare drum, a tom, and amounted cymbal with this kit. The bass is just 14″ big, so it is better suited for younger children. The sound is nothing exceptional but is ok. You also get a pair of drumsticks and a padded adjustable stool with it, which is extremely surprising considering how cheap the kit is.
The color choices are pretty limited to just blue, black, and red.
There is nothing remarkable about this drum, except its price! If you want to buy your child a cheap drum set just to see if he is interested in it, this is the perfect option. For just a little more than the cost of a toy drum, you get a drum set with actually wooden shells!
4. Ashthorpe 5 Piece Complete Kid’s Junior Drum Set
Ashthorpe is not a major brand; in fact, most of you would have never heard of it before. However, their 5-piece and 3-piece junior drum sets give some of the best bangs for the buck in the market.
The 3-piece kit comes with the usual bass, snare, and mounted tap. However, unlike most other kits in this list, even the snare is mounted onto the bass. This makes it really compact! You also get a mounted cymbal, which doesn’t sound as bad as you might expect them to.
The 5-piece kit is more standard and comes with a stand for the snare. You also get the hi-hat, the extra rack tom, and the floor tom. You get drumsticks, hardware, and a drum stool with both sets.
The overall construction is exemplary and should be durable. This drum actually has hardwood poplar shells! The sound is not that bad either. There are a total of six different color options, with even a green one!
Setting the drums up can be a little tricky, especially the 3-piece one with the mounted snare. You do get a detailed instruction manual to help you out, though.
Overall, the Ashthorpe drum sets are great for anyone looking for an affordable option.
5. ddrum D1 Junior Complete Drum Set with Cymbals
If you want one of the best junior drum sets, the ddrum D1 junior should be on top of your list. It is exceptionally well built and very sturdy. Your child can hammer on it without any worries of something falling off. This kit will last years; your child will outgrow it before he/she breaks it!
Now coming to what this kit comes with. It is a five-piece kids drum kit with a snare, a bass, two mounted toms, and a floor tom. They all sound excellent! As for the cymbals, you get a hi-hat and a crash/ride cymbal. What’s nice about the crash/ride cymbal is that it is not mounted onto the bass; it instead has a separate stand. The hardware is ok, but it’s not near the quality of the drums.
As you would expect, this high-quality kit does have a price premium to it. However, if you have a bigger budget, you should definitely get this as it is worth its price.
6. RockJam 5 Piece Junior Drum Set
The RockJam is one of the cheaper drum sets on this list. It is pretty simple.
The 3-piece version comes with a bass, a snare, a mounted tom, and a mounted cymbal. You also get the usual hardware and the drum throne. The 5-piece version comes with an additional mounted tom, a floor tom, and a hi-hat. The hardware is quite good; the height-adjustable stool is quite comfortable.
Coming to sound quality, sadly, the price does show. It is among the worst-sounding kits on the list. The build quality is also not that great. The mounted cymbal seems quite feeble, but it does somehow work. Sadly the color options are limited to just black.
While not the best in this list, the RockJam is a steal for its price. It is bound and leaps ahead in quality when you compare it to similarly priced options.
7. Gammon 5 Piece Junior Starter Drum Kit
Both Gammon and GP Percussion are among the most famous names in the drumming world. And as you would expect, their junior line of drums is also exceptional.
The Gammon 5-piece is an extremely popular junior kit. It provides excellent value for money. The sound is good, and the hardware is surprisingly good. There is no chance of anything breaking. The 16-inch bass drum ensures that your child won’t be outgrowing this anytime soon. The only thing is that the cymbals just sound terrible, but you cannot expect better. It is available in both blue and black.
The GP Percussion 3-piece Junior Drum kit is among the best three-piece kits you can get. The quality is so much better than other drums at the price point. What really sets this kit apart from other 3-piece kits is that you get a hi-hat in addition to the mounted cymbal. The kit as a whole is also bigger than most other 3-piece sets. The sound is acceptable, and the assembly is not that complicated. It is also much sturdier than other options!
How to Choose Drum Set for Kids – Buying Guide
What are the different types of drum set for kids? Which one should I buy?
The two main types of drum sets for kids are the three-piece drum set and the five-piece drum set. The number of pieces does not refer to the total number of components but rather to the number of drums.
A three-piece drum set will have a snare, a bass, and a tom. You will also typically have a mounted crash/ride cymbal. Since these have lesser parts, they should be easier to use for kids. They are also cheaper because of the same reason.
A five-piece drum set will have a bass and snare, but instead of one tom, they will have three. They will also have a hi-hat in addition to the crash/ride cymbal. While they might seem more complicated, your child will be able to learn better as these are more like an actual drum set. However, these do tend to cost more.
The choice between the two is perfectly up to you; there is no wrong answer.
Note: Drum Sets vs. Shell Packs
This is something you have to know. A drum set includes shells, heads, hardware, and various other accessories you might need. Hardware includes all the stands, the drum pedal, and attachments you might need. You will also get a drum key to adjust the tuning.
However, a shell pack only comes with the shells; you will have to purchase the other components yourself. For beginners, it is best to buy a complete drum set as it saves money, time, and you won’t have to make purchase decisions about products you do not yet understand.
What age groups are Junior drum sets for?
There is no set age group that is meant for junior drum sets. That said, these junior drums are typically best suited for children between three and ten years of age. However, you should not be looking at your child’s age; instead, look into their size.
These junior kits are designed for children below five feet high, so buy accordingly. Kids of the same age can differ vastly in height and weight, and their comfort levels on the same kit will be different.
Should I buy a drum set for kids or an adult drum set?
The choice between a kid’s and an adult drum set mainly boils down to your child’s age and height.
If your child is relatively young and shorter than five feet, a drum kit meant for kids would be best for them. They won’t cost as much as the adult drum set and would be much more comfortable to play on.
However, if your child is around or nine years old or older and is about five feet tall, then an adult drum set would be the perfect option. While they are more expensive ( you can get beginner adult drum sets for not a lot more than junior kits), they are a much better investment. They will sound much better than junior kits, and your child will never outgrow these sets.
Can the heads on these drum sets be changed?
Yes, nearly all of the drum sets in the market have changeable drum heads. You just have to unscrew the lugs securing the head with a drum key, and the head will pop right off.
You can easily buy replacement heads online or in your local store. Evans, Aquarian, and Remo produce some of the best sounding heads out there, but there are plenty of cheaper ones available if you have a tight budget.
Make sure you buy a drum head of the right size! Check the size of your drum in the included manual, the drum box, or online; if none of these options are feasible, just take a tape and measure it!
Also, once you are done changing, please spend some time tuning the drums. The difference in sound quality between a tuned drum and an untuned drum is massive.
Can my child learn to play on a kids drum set?
Yes, your child can learn to play on a kid’s drum set. Kids drum sets are essentially shrunk-down versions of adult drum sets and have all the same parts. The skills that your child will learn can be readily transferred onto a full-sized drum set when they become big enough for them.
Can children play on adult drum sets?
Yes, children can play on adult drums provided that they are big enough. A child of five feet or taller should be able to reach all the drums on an adult drum kit comfortably. You can start with a three-piece drum kit as five-piece units have a bigger dimension.
Please do not buy an adult drum set if your kids aren’t big enough! They will struggle to hit the drums and reach the pedal. While it might seem funny initially, they will end up hating drumming because of the discomfort.
Should I get an acoustic kids drum set or an electronic drum set for kids?
Both acoustic kids drums and electronic drums have their merits and demerits. The one you should get depends a lot on your circumstances, but we will give you some headers to make the decision easy.
An acoustic drum will give your child a better idea of how a drum should feel. They will be able to pick up the nuances of various techniques that are simply impossible to perform in an electronic kit. Acoustic drums also look way better, so the chances of your child being interested are higher.
An electronic drum set is perfect if your living situation doesn’t allow your child to make noise as they are essentially silent. Maybe your neighbors will complain, or perhaps you do not want to hear the sound of drums in the middle of the day. Either way, an electronic drum set is the best way to ensure your child’s practice sessions do not disturb anyone.
We would suggest that you get an acoustic one. They sound way better, and your child can actually learn better from them.
What is the sound quality like on these junior drum sets?
The sound quality on the above-listed junior drum sets is excellent. However, do keep in mind that these are moderately priced and are not going to sound as good as premium junior drum sets.
The thing, though, is that kids are not going to be able to differentiate a good-sounding kit from a great-sounding one. They just want to have fun, and these are perfect for it.
Are drum sets for kids easy to set up?
Yes, drum sets for kids are easy to set up. As a rule, drums are easy to set up. While they might seem large and seem to have hundreds of parts, they are not that complicated.
Most junior kits have a bass drum onto which the toms go on. They will have a separate stand for the snare drum. The crash and ride cymbals could also be mounted on the bass drum, but they are usually given a separate stand. The hi-hat cymbal will have its own stand.
Just follow the instruction manual, and you should be done in no time. Youtube is also there if you are a more visual person.
What are the best kid’s drum set brands?
There are a lot of great brands for kids’ drums. Most of these brands are actually significant players in the adult drum set market.
In no specific order, here are the best kid’s drum set brands: Pacific Drums, Ludwig, ddrum, Gammon, GP percussion, Mendini, Rock Jam, Eastar, and Music Alley.
Pacific Drums, Ludwig, and Gammon are more premium brands, while Rock Jam and Music Alley are more affordable. Do not buy an expensive junior drum set even if you can afford it, as your child will outgrow them in a few years. It is better to get an average kid drum set and spend the saved money on a better adult drum set in the future.
Where can my child learn to play drums?
The best way for your child to learn to play drums would be to enroll him in a drumming class. Ask around and find out who is the best drum teacher in your locality, and you should be ready to go. Keep in mind that someone who is excellent at teaching adults is not necessarily good at teaching kids, so choose a tutor who has experience with kids. If you cannot find a teacher, you can also try music schools as they will definitely have junior drumming classes.
Another option would be to take online classes. You can watch youtube videos along with your child and teach them. Most beginner classes are entirely free. However, these classes are nowhere near as good as an actual tutor. An online video isn’t going to point out your wrong technique, but a tutor will notice mistakes that your child doesn’t know they have committed.
Does it have everything kids need?
Yes, junior drum sets typically have everything your kid would need to start drumming. You will get cymbals, drumsticks, hardware, and even a drum throne. You do not have to buy anything separately.
However, if you buy an adult drum set for your child, it will not have everything. These are typically sold as shell packs, and you will have to buy everything else.
Should you get ear protection for kid drummers?
Yes, it is essential to get ear protection for kid drummers. Drums and cymbals are among the loudest instruments out there, and prolonged exposure to such high volumes can lead to permanent hearing damage. Children are susceptible to sound, so hearing protection is a must.
Well, this is the end of this surprisingly long article. Who knew that there was so much to discuss on kids’ drum sets. We hoped you found our buyer’s guide and the list of best drum sets for kids helpful.
If you want a roundup, the Mendini 5 is the best junior drum kit. It sounds great, is well built, and delivers bang for the buck. If you want something more affordable, Music Alley 3 Piece Kids Drum Set would be ideal for you. All the drums listed are pretty good; just bear in mind that these are beginner drum sets; they will not sound magical.
We hope you and your children have a lot of fun playing drums!