Being a part time Drum Instructor I noticed that I get a lot of the same questions from parents about their kid who is just starting, or interested in playing the drums. They want to know what what set to get their child because drums are confusing, and there’s literally hundreds of thousands out there to choose from. Where do they even start? I thought I would put together this little guide to help out.
In order to determine what type of drum set to get your child, you need to ask yourself one question. Note: the terms ‘drum set’ and ‘drum kit’ mean the same thing.
How old is your child? Well more specifically how BIG is your child?
If they are very young, 6 years old or below, you will most likely want to get them a ‘junior’ set to start playing on. They will not be able to reach the drums and pedals on a full sized kit. The problem is with these, is very few companies make decent quality junior sets. But don’t worry, I’ll post some below. Some parents think they can buy a ‘cheap’ one first to see if their kid likes it or not, but I really do not recommend doing this. By doing this, you are pretty much guaranteeing they WILL NOT like it and will not stick with it. Cheap crappy Jr. drums often have barely working components, are missing essential parts, and just sound bad.
The fact that many of the cheap children’s sets are missing essential parts, like a floor tom and hi hat, will make it impossible for them to do 90% of every lesson in Hal Leonard’s Drumset Method Book, which is the standard for new drummers.
The above is an example of what NOT to buy your child. Sure you could make this set work if you bought some additional items, but why do that when you can get it all in one shot like the other one below? There are several issues with the one above. First, no hi hat. This is a deal breaker, a hi hat is the two cymbals that have the pedal that is used with the other foot (often the left, if the kid is right handed). The hi hat is used in 99.999% of all of the first exercises a new drummer will learn. Selling a drum set that is supposed to be complete when it is missing this item is outright irresponsible. The other missing item is the floor tom, this is another tom tom drum that sits on the floor and has a deeper sound. Though this isn’t as essential as the hi hat, but is still pretty essential for learning fills on the drums.
The set above by Ludwig is one of the better kid’s drum sets on the market at the moment. Ludwig in general seems to be doing the best in this market. This set is a small enough to be used by small children, but the parts are high enough quality that even once they get bigger, the cymbals could be upgraded and the drums adjusted to keep playing it as a teen. Notice the Hi Hat and Floor Tom are both present. Though you can’t really see the floor tom too well since it is behind the bass drum, but it is there. Ludwig is one of the oldest drum companies on the planet and has been producing quality drums for over a century. The only complaint with the one above is many parents say there are no instructions for putting it together. If you get one and have a problem, I will gladly assist you in assembly over Skype. Just send me a message.
If your kid is over 7 or even a teen, a full sized set will probably work fine for them. But just like above, you’ll need to choose the right set. For adult sized drums, you’ll have to weed though all of the sets that are just shell packs (drums only with no hardware and cymbals) full sets without cymbals (need to buy your own cymbals) or full sets including cymbals. In my list below I’ll include only full sets with cymbals to make it easy for you.
Okay so here’s the list starting with the Jr. Kid’s sets. If you do not see the sets, you may need to disable your ad blocker on you browser.
- Ludwig Pocket (this is the kit shown above as the good example, it has everything your kid will need, is built well, and looks awesome!)
2. Ludwig Jr. Outfit (Similar to the Pocket Ludwig, but has one more rack tom, also very cool looking and nicely made)
Now for some full sized sets
3. Tama Imperialstar Full Sized Set With Cymbals / 18″ bass (this one is good for a adolescent, since it’s a bit smaller than the rest in the list because of the 18″ bass drum, but not as small as the jr. sets)
4. Ludwig Accent Drive (full size set, cymbals aren’t great quality on this set, but the drums are great)
5. Tama Imperialstar full kit with Meinl Cymbals and 22″ bass (this is an excellent quality drum set that could last a long time without needing any upgrades.
Hopefully you found this post helpful, and if you need any help, do not hesitate to ask! Thank you for reading!