We all want to be good parents and to encourage the budding creativity of our children. Of course, if your child’s early passion is for the drums, there are certain sensitivities that we need to have in mind. With many instruments, the only real difference when it comes to child accessibility is size, but drums have a lot more going on. We want to help you find a drum kit that’s beginner-friendly, child-friendly, and – perhaps most of all – parent-friendly. Keep reading to see the best junior drum kits to get your prodigy started on their road to stardom.
My Top Picks for the Best Drum Set for kids in 2022
#1: Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit (Best Value)
Our list gets started with the Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit. This drum kit is completely electronic; expect to see a lot of electronic drum sets on this list. We’ll dive into this more later, but electronic drum kits are great for learning and great for parents who don’t want to hear the loud, constant, banging of their child’s drumming journey.
The Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit comes with a fairly standard layout of a snare drum, three tom drums, a ride and crash cymbal, high hats, and an electronic bass drum pedal. Plus, its mesh pads are known to resemble the feel of a real physical drumset while being nice and quiet.
It’s everything any budding drummer will need to get used to from jump, without anything extra that will be overwhelming for a new percussionist. But, as we said, that’s all pretty standard.
Here are the features that really set the Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit apart from the crowd and helped it grab the top spot on our list of the best kids’ drum
Not everyone has room for a full drum set to just be sitting in the living room 24/7. Unfortunately, putting away a drum kit can be a pain, which means you’re either stuck wasting half of your available space, or you have to go through the hassle of setting everything up whenever you want to practice.
Thankfully, the Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit has an amazing design that lets it fold up so you can quickly and easily store it in the closet or in any other convenient location whenever it’s not in use.
This means your budding musician can keep this kit in their bedroom and be able to bang those drums in peace and privacy. This is one of the best drum kits on the market for anyone working with more limited space.
As this list is geared toward junior drummers, we’re assuming that most of our target audience doesn’t have a whole lot of experience with the instrument in question. Sure there are some prodigies out there, but we definitely want to keep this list as beginner-friendly as possible.
The Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit comes with all of the features you’ll need to make sure that your child has a built-in teacher to go with their first-ever drum kit. Our top-ranked drum kit features 10 ready-to-play classic and modern drum kits, 30 play-along tracks, and 100 plus expertly curated sounds.
This beginner drum kit will help your kid play along with their favorite songs, keep rhythm with pre-made beats, and choose the exact tone they want from their electronic drum set.
There’s a reason the Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit earned the number-one spot on our list. This electronic drum kit includes all the basics, comes at a great price, and has some amazing extra features. But nothing is perfect, and we want you to have the full picture before you go out and buy your drum kit.
My biggest issue with the Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit is that its setup doesn’t accurately reflect an acoustic drum set. It also doesn’t come with a drum throne, so you will need to buy one separately if you don’t already have one. However, most customers will probably find that’s a small price to pay, and this should definitely be the first set anyone looks at if they’re searching for a kids’ drum set.
#2: Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece New Fusion Drum Set (Best Premium)
I wrote earlier that this list would mostly consist of electronic drum sets, but the Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece New Fusion Drum Set is the exception to the rule.
While electronic drum sets are great for kids and beginners and tend to be cheaper than classic drum kits, sometimes you just need a top-quality acoustic drum kit. If your kid is already passed the beginner phase and is really getting ready for the battle of the bands, then it might just be time to splurge for a performance-ready kit.
And if that’s the case, you’ll need to read up on the Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece New Fusion Drum Set.
A great acoustic kit
On average, acoustic drum sets are a lot more expensive than their electronic counterparts. They’re also louder, and bulkier, and don’t offer the built-in features of electronic drum sets.
So what’s the benefit? They’re the real deal.
Electronic kits are just not used for live performances, and they feel different than acoustic sets. If you’re only playing on an electronic drum set and then have to switch to an acoustic drum set with no time to adjust, your rhythm and feel will be out of wack. If your child is already taking the drums seriously and you want to encourage them to aim for the next level, then an electronic drum set just won’t do.
This acoustic set features everything you need: a bass drum, three tom drums, a ride cymbal, a crash cymbal, high hats, and the ever-important snare drum.
Everything is included
As alluded to above, the Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece New Fusion Drum Set has everything your child will need to get started, but that doesn’t end at drum heads.
Our second-ranked drum set also comes with a drum throne and drumsticks. All you’re missing is a drum tuning key, but you can get one of those at any music store for just a few bucks.
Plus, the Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece New Fusion Drum Set comes in at a much cheaper price than most acoustic drum kits, and the fact that all your starting equipment is included really highlights that this Pearl drum set has beginners in mind.
There isn’t really any glaring drawback to this drum set other than the flaws of an acoustic set. They’re not exactly marketed as drum sets for kids, so if your child is under 10 years old, this is probably not the drum kit for them. Acoustic drum kids are more expensive, and they’re loud, with no option for headphones to spare the rest of the house the sound of your child practicing that rock beat for the 100th time.
If you have a large garage or basement that you can put this set in, that will really go a long way towards dealing with the sound issue. You should probably be really sure that your child is going to stick with the instrument if you’re going to buy them the Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece New Fusion Drum Set.
#3: Roland TD-1DMK Dual-Mesh Kit Entry-Level V-Drums Set (Best For Beginners and for a real-kit feel)
If you don’t want to go the acoustic route but you still want to give your child a realistic drum kit to help them on their journey to becoming the next Neil Pert, then the Roland TD-1DMK Dual-Mesh Kit Entry-Level V-Drums Set has got you covered.
This electronic drum set is the best friend of young drummers everywhere, and parents will love it. It mitigates a lot of the problems with electronic drum kits without subjecting parents to the constant noise of acoustic drum shells.
Here’s what makes the Roland TD-1DMK Dual-Mesh Kit Entry-Level V-Drums Set such a winning combination.
The physical bass drum pedal
One of the biggest flaws of electronic drum sets is the electronic bass drum pedal that doesn’t give you the real feel of the hammer hitting the bass drum. It’s pretty hard to really perfectly simulate that, but the Roland TD-1DMK Dual-Mesh Kit Entry-Level V-Drums Set gives it a good shot.
Most electronic bass drum pedals are completely digital: you press down on the pedal, and without any physical mechanism, you’ll hear the satisfying thud of a bass drum’s low note being played. But with the Roland TD-1DMK Dual-Mesh Kit Entry-Level V-Drums Set, the pedal activated a hammer that hits a pad that acts as a stand-in for the bass drum head. This will give the young drummers in your family a better feel for an acoustic set if they ever make that switch.
On top of the mechanical bass drum pedal, the Roland TD-1DMK Dual-Mesh Kit Entry-Level V-Drums Set has a realistic layout that’s much closer to acoustic drum sets than that of our top-ranked drum set for kids. Particularly, the snare drum is in a much more natural location.
So, once again, this electronic drum kit is a much better starting-off point for any budding drummer that wants to be prepared for the eventual transition to a more serious acoustic drum kit.
The Roland TD-1DMK Dual-Mesh Kit Entry-Level V-Drums Set has the same mesh drum heads as the Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit, and it has similar electronic features such as a built-in metronome, playable beats, and 15 different preset drum kits so you can get the exact sound you’re looking for.
The only real flaw is that it’s a little on the expensive side, especially for an electronic drum set. But you get what you pay for, and this Roland electronic drum set is a top-notch electronic drum set for kids and adults just starting out.
#4: Alesis Drums Debut Kit (Best Low Cost)
Alesis makes our list once again, and the fourth drum set on our list is arguably the first true junior drum kit to make the cut. The reason I’m saying that is that the Alesis Debut Kit comes in the smaller dimensions that are necessary for younger children.
This drum set for kids also comes in at a super cheap price that will make it a very appealing option for those parents worried about buying their child a drum set just for them to get bored of the hobby after a week or two.
Includes everything your child will need
The Alesis Debut Kit comes with three tom drums, a bass drum, a snare drum, and the three cymbals key to any rock drum kit: the ride cymbal, the crash cymbal, and the high hats.
Despite the cheap price of this junior drum kit, the Alesis Debut Kit also includes drumsticks and a drum throne. Since it’s electronic, you’ll never need a drum key, which means your child is really getting everything they’ll ever need to rock on right from the get-go.
This junior drum set even comes included with a pair of headphones, so you can enjoy some peace and quiet while your young musician drums away.
The biggest drawback of this budget drum set is also the reason it’s so cheap in the first place: its size. The Alesis Debut Kit is the smallest kit on our list, which means this junior drum set won’t really be of much use to kids over 10 or some kids that are just plan big for their age.
But if you have a younger and smaller child that’s really shown an interest in the drums, The Alesis Debut Kit is the perfect way to get them started. If they’re still practicing by the time they grow out of this drum set for kids, then they’ll have more than earned an upgrade to a bigger kit.
#5: Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set (Best for experts)
Not all kids are beginners. If you have a teenager that’s already drumming like a pro, it might be time to get them a family-friendly electronic drum set to match. If that’s the case, look no further than the Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set.
Most realistic bass drum
This drum set has just about everything you can ask for. It comes equipped with four tom drums, a bass drum, a high hat stand, and three additional cymbals. The electronic bass drum is even more realistic than that of the Roland TD-1DMK Dual-Mesh Kit Entry-Level V-Drums Set.
So many features
There’s no point in beating around the bush: The Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set is the real deal. If I were to list every feature of this electronic percussion set, I’d be here all day. But here’s a brief (non-comprehensive) list: 550 voices, 30 preset kits, 20 user kits, 100 songs, 2 user songs, a quick-record feature, and a metronome. This drum set has everything under the sun and then some.
The Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set features fan-favorite mesh drum heads, and it comes with a pair of drum sticks.
There’s only one real drawback to this electronic drum set and it has nothing to do with performance. It’s the price. Of course, while the Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set is expensive, it’s pretty easy to see what you’re getting for your money. And it’s more than worth it. This kit is only for kids who have shown a real passion and talent for the drums, but if you have a child like that, they’ll love it, and the Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set is sure to bring your child’s drumming to the next level.
How I Determined the Best Drum Set for Kids
When assessing the best drum set for kids, the main features I looked for were accessibility, reasonable size, price, and, of course, overall quality. The truth is that a lot of the time, a good drum set for kids is a good drum set for anyone. Keep reading to learn a little more about the criteria we used for our list.
What Should You Look for in a Drum Set for Kids?
While I mentioned size as a criterion, that mostly involved just checking that a given drum set is actually small enough for a child to play on it, so there’s not much detail to go into there. Our other criteria have a little more meat to dig into though. Here’s our crash course on how to find the best drum set for kids that money can buy.
Especially since this list mostly includes electronic drum sets, we might as well get the advantages of that. We gave priority to drum sets with built-in rhythm tracks, metronomes, and different pre-set sounds that will help your child be an independent learner. There’s a lot to be said for being beginner friendly.
A drum set without the proper drum heads isn’t much of a drum set at all. And kids need all of the essentials just like adults do, so we made sure that all of our products included at least three toms, a bass drum, a snare drum, a ride cymbal, a crash cymbal, and high hats. Anything more than that is definitely a bonus, but also something that might not be great for a beginner.
Money makes the world go ’round. Drum sets are expensive, but you shouldn’t have to break the bank on your kid’s new junior drum set. We also considered value when evaluating a drum set’s price. If it was a little more expensive but came with more included, like a drum throne, drum sticks, or headphones, then we considered that a positive net gain. It’s more important to offer a good value than be the cheapest product outright,
Frequently Asked Questions
Not everyone knows what’s what when it comes to drum sets, for kids or otherwise. And that’s perfectly fine. That’s what we’re here for. We made sure to include this FAQ question so you can leave feeling like you have a well-formed understanding to back up your choice of which drum kit to buy. Keep reading to make sure all of your questions are answered.
What are the different pieces of my child’s drum set?
The bass drum is the big round drum at the base of the drum kit. It’s the only drum you don’t play with drum sticks, and instead, you strike this drum head by pushing down on the bass pedal. The bass drum is probably the most essential part of any drum kit. As the name suggests, it lets out a low and deep sound when it’s struck, and it’s a very consonant note that isn’t going to grate your ears.
The snare drum is probably second only to the ass drum in terms of utility and necessity. On an acoustic set, it’s the short wooden drum with a drum head made of either calfskin or plastic, and on an electric set, it’ll usually be clearly isolated from the tom drums. The biggest difference between a snare drum and a tom drum is that a snare drum has – as the name suggests – snare wires inside which create the sharp and higher pitched sound of this drum that will give that necessary “oomph” to your playing.
The high hat is the pair of cymbals with a kick pedal that’s usually found on the left side of a drum kit. Formed by placing one upside-down cymbal below a right-side-up cymbal, the high hats can be played either by pressing down on the kick pedal or by using the drum sticks. using the kick pedal to close the high hats will create a dull closing sound while using the drum sticks will create a much louder banging sound. Using the right combination of the drum sticks and the foot petal with the high hats will really bring your drumming to life.
The ride cymbal is usually the right-most cymbal of a drum kit, and it’ll be used pretty sparingly. It’s very similar to the high hats, but it doesn’t have the option of closing with a foot pedal. It gives off a short, sharp, sound, and it’s key to keeping any rhythm going.
The last cymbal on our list will be used even more sparingly than the ride cymbal. The onomatopoeia-esque crash cymbal does exactly what you think it does. It delivers a loud “crash” sound that’s sure to grab the attention of any listener. Do you know that “bang” at the end of a classic rock drum roll? That’s done with the crash cymbal. This cymbal is the best friend of any rock or metal drummer.
As I hinted at earlier, a tom drum is basically just a snare drum without the snare wires. Most drum kits come with a high, middle, and low tom, with these names referring both to their physical location on the drum kit and the note they let out. The sound of a tom drum is a lot closer to that of a bass drum than of a snare drum, and the full spectrum of these drums will add a lot of variety to your drum playing. You can keep a simple rhythm with just a bass drum, a snare drum, and high hats, but the tom drums will allow you to add some variety to things.
At what age should my child begin playing drums?
The short answer is “whenever they show an interest!” I’ve met musicians who began playing their instrument of choice – whether it was the drums or something else – as young as five years old. With everything, there’s a slightly bigger risk with younger children that they won’t stick to the hobby, but you’ll have to know your child and use your judgment on that one. Besides, even if they eventually end up quitting, that doesn’t mean your child won’t get something out of the instrument. Just remember that age and size will definitely affect what kind of drum kit you’ll want to buy your child, especially when it comes to the size of the kit.
Should I buy a junior drum kit or a full-size drum kit?
For any child younger than 10 years old, you’ll usually want to look at a junior drum kit, which is naturally a lot smaller than a full-sized kit. Of course, if your child is eight or nine, you might decide that it’s worth it to get a full-sized drum kit that they’ll be able to use for longer, especially if they’re a little tall for their age and they can manage with the bigger kit right away.
Should I buy a three-piece set or a five-piece set?
How many pieces you want for your drum kit will mostly depend on what genre you want to play. A three-piece set is great for providing rhythm to rap, electronic, and hip-hop tracks, but it won’t have quite the variety you’d want for rock music. I will say that, even though electronic music is booming in popularity, most young drummers will probably be interested in rock music. Therefore, most of the time, a 5-piece kit will make the most sense for your child.
Should I buy an acoustic drum kit or an electronic drum kit?
This has come up a lot over the course of our article, but it’s definitely worth reiterating. Electronic drum kits are great for keeping the whole family (and the neighbors) happy. They’re more compact, much quieter, cheaper, and have some great features like sound effects that are fun for kids and built-in metronomes and beats that are great for beginners. As a general rule, if you live in an important building, then an acoustic drum set is a no-go unless you’re okay with having a lot of angry neighbors yelling at you. But if you have the space and noise flexibility for it, then acoustic is probably the way to go. There’s just nothing like the real deal.
Tips for improving the sound quality of your child’s drum set
There’s one go-to trick that you’re going to have to try if you want to make your child’s drum set sound better. Put tape on the drums and cymbals.
It sounds weird, but if you’ve ever seen any serious drummer’s kit, you’ll probably have noticed this tape at least on the snare drum, if not on the other drum heads and cymbals.
The reason for this is that the tape reduces the volume and ringing of drums and cymbals. It also reduces low rumble in toms and harmonics from an overly “live” drum or cymbal. Sometimes a simple DIY fix is all you need. The reduced volume from the tape might also make an acoustic kit a little more viable for some parents that were on the fence about giving their child such a loud instrument.
Verdict: Your Best Drum Set for Kids
We’re just about winding things down. Especially if you didn’t have a lot of prior knowledge, your head might be spinning from all of that drum information. That’s why we want to give you a quick recap before we send you on your way.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit.
This really is the ideal beginner electronic drum kit. It has all the essential drum heads and cymbals, some amazing electronic features, solid mesh heads, and, best of all, it has a great price. There’s not really much more you can ask for than that. This should be the first product anyone looks at once their child asks for a drum set.
If you need an expanded drum kit, pick the Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set.
This is not for beginners. If you have a budding prodigy on your hands who you want to turn into the next Keith Moon, then get them this electronic drum set. The extra tom drum and cymbal will give your child the variety they need, the realistic bass pedal will help them stay used to acoustic sets, and all the included features will help your child practice like there’s a full band in the room with them. The Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set is the real deal.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Alesis Debut KitAlesis Debut Kit.
The Alesis Debut Kit really sticks to its name. This is child’s first drum kit. It has all of the basics and some nice electronic features, and it comes with a drum throne, drum sticks, and headphones. That’s really all there is to say. It’s a bit on the smaller side, so don’t buy this drum kit for your 12-year-old. But it’s incredibly cheap, so if you have a younger child showing an interest in the drums, the Alesis Debut Kit is exactly what you’re looking for.
Exactly which drum kit is best for you is going to depend on the age and size of your child, their musical tastes, your budget, and several other factors. We tried to give you as many options as possible, but there are other kits out there that might be more what you’re looking for. We hope our list helped you get your child started on the road to rock stardom!