Playing the drums is instinctive when you’re a child. There probably isn’t a child alive who hasn’t dreamed at one time or another about playing the drums. It’s almost an instinctive part of human behavior. Kids love to make sounds, whether it’s with their hands, feet, vocal cords, or simply with whatever feels most natural to them at a particular moment. Many parents want to encourage their child’s new musical endeavors by purchasing their aspiring new musical student a set of drums.
From budget toddler models to near professional full-featured drum sets, in 2019, there’s a wider selection available today than ever before. In this article we’ll concentrate on the best drum sets you can buy for your child between the ages of 4-10. Here are our choices for the best drum sets parents can buy in 2019.
Our Top Drum Sets
Best Budget Pick
Mendini 13-inch 3-Piece Kids/Junior Drum Set with Adjustable Throne, Cymbal, Pedal &
Drumsticks, Model MJDS-1
The Mendini by Cecilio 13-inch Junior drum set is the best Junior drum set for younger kids who aspire to become great drummers. The genuine hardwood shells are perfectly sized for younger players. The bass drum covers a small footprint while the cymbal and drums can be reached easily.
Best Regular Drum Set
Mendini 16-inch 3-Piece Kids/Junior Drum with Adjustable Throne, Cymbal, Pedal & Drumsticks, Model MJDS-3
Mendini’s 16-inch Junior drum set is a step up for your older child. It features an “all-in-one” solution with everything he or she needs to start playing in almost no time at all. It’s perfect for slightly older youths who’ve advanced beyond our budget pick.
Quick Comparison Table: Top 10 Best Drum Set for Kids
Top 10 Drum Set For Kids Detail Reviews
1. Mendini by Cecilio Junior 13-inch Junior Drum Set, Model MJDS-1 (Best Budget Pick)
The Mendini by Cecilio 13-inch 3-Piece Junior Drum Set is manufactured in California by Cecilio, a company that specializes in several different instruments including drums. This drum set is part of the Cecilio Junior Collection and is the perfect beginner drum set for 4-7-year old drummers with an average height of from 2 1/2 to 5 feet.
Instead of the normal five pieces, this junior drum set combines three of the main parts that form the basics of drumming. At the same time, these three pieces make it much easier for young children to learn the basics of drumming before moving up to larger and more complicated-size drum sets.
The set includes:
- The main bass drum, 13″ x 8″, with 4 lugs
- An 8″x 6″ tom drum with 4 lugs
- A 10″x 4″ snare drum with 4 lugs
- 8-inch cymbal with arm
The drum set features smaller size genuine hardwood shells with triple-flanged hoops. Even though the entire set weighs only 21.3 pounds, it’s easy to transport and can be stored in your garage, closet, or locker room.
Many say that the sounds of the drum set are exceptional for its size and price. The quality is without any compromise. The drum sticks are nicely crafted and the entire set comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Your child will love the Mendini by Cecilio 13-inch 3-Piece Junior Drum Set. It comes in a variety of colors, from Metallic Bright Red, Blue, Black, Green, or Purple. Perfectly suited for both boys and girls, the boys generally prefer red, black, green, or blue for boys while bright purple is usually preferred by girls.
There are not many exceptional musical instruments that are good for beginners, but drums are the exception. Even though drumming might seem to be somewhat difficult to some, it’s one of the most desirable positions in orchestras or bands. By being a drummer, the student can practice their inherent sense of rhythm, enjoy a great hobby, and perhaps even turn drumming into a career when they become adults.
The Mendini by Cecilio 13-inch 3-Piece Junior Drum Set is our Editor’s Choice for 4-7-Year Olds because it’s a great drum set for any aspiring drummer. The price is quite reasonable, the quality is very good, and the sounds that the drum set are exceptional. You can buy with confidence as the set comes with a 1- year warranty from the manufacturer.
2. Mendini by Cecilio Junior 16-inch Junior Drum Set, Model MJDS-3 (Best Regular Drum Set Pick)
Another Mendini by Cecilio 3-Piece Junior Drum Set is this very nice 16-inch version. Also part of the Mendini Junior Collection manufactured by Cecilio in California, this drum set is an “all-in-one” solution to your aspiring young drummer but perfect for older kids with the same average height as the 13-inch version of from 2 1/2 to 5 feet.
This drum set took the student drummer world by storm over the last few years because of its exceptionally affordable price, a myriad of great features, and a very attractive design. It gives parents a great deal for the money and is the perfect gift for your child, a nephew or niece, or even a friend’s youngster just getting started in music.
The Mendini by Cecilio 16-inch 3-piece Junior drum set comes in a variety of colors, from Metallic Black, Purple, Blue, Green, Silver, and Red. The drum set consists of these parts:
- The main bass drum, 16″ x 11″, with 4 lugs
- A 10″x 6″ tom hanging tom drum
- A 10″x 5″ snare drum including stand
- A 9.5″ cymbal with attached bass-mounted holder
- An adjustable drum throne (seat) and a pair of wooden drum sticks
- An easy-to-use instruction manual
- 8-inch cymbal with arm
- Fully 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
The drum set is not only simple to set up and play, but it’s also convenient for storing. It can be hidden away perfectly in your child’s room, closet, or in a corner of the room.
The Mendini by Cecilio 16-inch 3-piece Junior drum set is built quite professionally. The manufacturer uses fine-quality wooden materials that allow the set to sound amazingly well, especially for the low price. It’s everything your child will need to start playing the drums. The set is designed by expert musicians who understand how crucial adaptability and adjustability can be in a drum set.
The Mendini by Cecilio 16-inch 3-Piece Junior Drum Set is our Editor’s Choice for 8-10-Year Olds because it’s one of the best drum sets available for young, aspiring drummers. Playing on 3 pieces is much simpler than playing the drums in the standard five-piece version so playing this drum set for first-time drummers is quite easy. It ensures ease of use and helps your child to master drumming in a simpler and more enjoyable manner.
The quality of this drum set is very good and the price is quite reasonable. The drum set produces sounds that far outweigh the price. And, you can buy with confidence as the set comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
3. GP Percussion Junior Drum set, Model GP55
The GP55 5-Piece Junior Drum Set is designed to help your child learn to play drums and looks just like a professional set designed for adults. However, it’s designed on a smaller scale so that young students can develop the coordination they need to play drums properly.
The drum set’s hardware and accessories include rugged double-braced stands, tuneable top and bottom heads, chain-drive pedals, real wood shells, and chrome metal hardware.
The set features the following:
- An 8″ Ride Tom with 4 Lugs
- A 10″ Ride Tom with 4 Lugs
- A 12″ Floor Tom with 4 Lugs
- A 10″ Snare Drum with 4 Lugs
- A 16″ Bass Drum with 4 Lugs, kick pedal, and black GP logo drum head
- A 9 1/2″ cymbal
- An 8″ high hat cymbal
- 2 drumsticks
- Drum throne (seat)
All shells are 6-ply poplar/basswood and covered with PVC. Non-slip rubber feed assure the student that the drum set will stay firmly in place. The bass drum pedal features a chain drive and tuning lugs are made of chrome. The stand is adjustable as well as the hi-hat pedal and junior drummer’s throne (seat). A drum key is included for fine-tuning when needed.
There are four different finished colors to choose from including red, black, blue, and clear. Some assembly is required and replacement parts are available from the manufacturer.
GP Percussion drum sets have been known in the past for offering professional-level styling, durable construction, and modest prices for beginning drum students. However over the past few years, some complaints have surfaced and there appear to be better options for junior drummers on today’s market.
4. Best Choice 3-Piece Beginner Drum Set, Model SKY1255
The Best Choice 3-Piece Beginner Drum Set, Model SKY1255, will help spark a growing love for music in your child. The drum set is made of an all-wood design and has durable, chrome-plated hardware which will last for years.
This durable drum set is complete with toms, bass, a cymbal, and more. Your child will find everything they need to work on their drum roll or funky tune.
The three-piece drum set includes the following:
- A large 12 1/2-inch bass drum
- A small 8 1/2-inch tom
- A larger 10 1/2-inch tom
- One 8-inch cymbal
- Two 11-inch drum sticks
- A cushioned stool
The Best Choice 3-Piece Beginner Drum Set, Model SKY1255 is recommended for ages 3 and above and is made of wood construction and features chrome-plated hardware that will last your child for many years. Some assembly is required and instructions are included.
With a child-friendly size and an attractive design, this drum set is the perfect starting point to your child’s musical career. Learning to drum can help your child develop better hand-eye coordination and motoring skills while having fun playing the drums.
5. Ludwig Junior Outfit Drum Set, Model LJR1064
Ludwig drum kits have been enjoyed by many famous drummers and today Ludwig drum sets are in almost every drum store in the world. The company makes many different styles of drums and they range in playing levels from beginner kits to seasoned professional instruments.
The Ludwig Junior Outfit Drum Set is a 5-piece drum set is a somewhat smaller-sized drum set than normal and designed to inspire youthful rookie drummers from the age of 3 or 4 up to around 12 to begin their lifetime of music making. It features tunable heads and has smaller drum sizes that can be easily configured to fit small children. The bass drum is 16 inches wide, somewhat smaller than most of today’s full-sized drum sets. The smaller bass drum also holds two toms which are 8 and 10-inch diameter. You can easily lower the toms to suit the smaller player which means they can comfortably play this kit without too much hassle. The set features the following pieces:
- A 10″x 16″ bass drum
- A 10″x 13″ floor tom with legs
- 5″ x 10″ tom with mount
- 5″ x 8″ tom with mount
- A 12-inch snare drum
- 10-inch hats
- A 10-inch crash/ride
- Drum pedal for bass
- Stand for wood shell snare drum
- Drum seat
- Cymbal stand with cymbal
- 2 cymbals on a hi-hat stand
There are several color options. The floor tom is mounted on three legs so you can raise or lower and position it easily. Ludwig features several advanced options to better tune the sounds by adjusting the drum heads. This is a nice feature not found in many other junior drum sets.
6. Remo 10-inch Rhythm Club Floor Tom Drum, Model RH-5010-00
The Remo RH-5010-00 is an excellent “starter” drum for younger kids that they can use to practice on before they get started with their first set of regular full-size drums. The 10×5-inch Rhythm Club Floor Tom drum can be played easily by using your hands, mallets or sticks.
The drum is wrapped in an Acousticon shell and has a suede pre-tuned drumhead. A set of red-tipped drumsticks is also included.
This drum is the perfect size for smaller hands to play, and it’s light enough for even toddlers to carry around. It is a fine quality and durable instrument, but meant for smaller children who will love the vibrant sound of this drum. However, we feel that this drum would be more desirable for the youngest drum students before the age of 4.
7. VTech KidiBeats Drum Set, Model 80-134401
Here’s another “starter” drum set that your child can practice on before getting their first “real” set of drums. The VTech KidiBeats Drum Set is designed for toddlers up to a couple of years of age. By the time your child is 4, he or she will be old enough for the Junior drum sets we recommend.
For younger kids, this is a great toy set they can play to take their first steps toward learning how to play the drums. The set comes with two drumsticks to tap on four separate electronic drums and the instrument will play nine pre-set melodies that your child can play along with. These include rock, dance, and pop. There are also drum lights he or she can follow and listen to the speaker as the voice talks about letters, numbers, and music. When your child chooses the musical style, the lights on the drum will change to tell them what key to hit to make music.
The instrument is basically a toy drum designed for preschoolers to not only learn to make music but also to learn and understand numbers and letters. Although this is a toy that is not designed as a true learning tool, it does teach your child more about learning the skills needed to handle drumsticks and follow directions. The developmental benefits for this set include musical creativity, memory and sensory development plus the names of letters and phonic sounds.
There are four modes of play:
- Free play
- Numbers, and
The VTech KidiBeats Drum Set, Model 80-134401 includes two drumsticks and each drum has its own unique LED light to add to the child’s enjoyment. Three AA batteries are included for demonstration purposes, but for regular use, the manufacturer recommends higher quality alkaline batteries.
8. Yamaha Portable Digital Drums, Model DD75
The Yamaha DD-75 is an excellent portable digital drum set that’s designed for aspiring drummers but is not designed to be used by children but kids may enjoy playing it if they are able to master the complexity of the unit. The big advantage of a digital drum set is that it can be operated silently which may be an advantage for families who need loud noises kept to a minimum.
The Yamaha DD-75 mirrors the general layout of a traditional drum set and features eight touch-sensitive pads and two pedals. The high-definition sounds it makes are very similar to some of the more expensive professional-level Yamaha electronic drum sets.
The DD-75 also features a headphone jack a built-in stereo speaker system, an auxiliary input jack for connecting a portable music player or smartphone, and it has the ability to run on 6 C-size batteries so it can be played almost anywhere. For regular operation, a 12-volt DC power adaptor is available separately. The DD-75 incorporates the following parts:
- High-definition DTX-Multi12 electronic percussion pad
- Two drum pedals
- Eight touch-sensitive pads
The set is super-mobile and versatile with onboard HD sounds. The legendary, realistic drum sounds are based on Yamaha’s exclusive Motif synthesizer and DTXTREME III architecture. A user-friendly display interface lets you easily switch between sounds while a built-in 4-track recorder is incorporated for recording your own music. MIDI connectivity is also part of the package.
At only 10 lbs. in weight, and with a small footprint of under three square feet, the Yamaha DD-75 is capable of delivering full electronic drum sounds in a highly mobile package. The system features sounds and drum voices exactly the same as in previous DTX kits so you can enjoy rhythm machine sounds from jazz, modern rock, funk, and many more genre categories.
Overall, the Yamaha DD75 electronic drum kit can be an excellent consideration for a young aspiring drummer if both parent and child are not concerned that the drum set doesn’t look like a standard drum set. For this reason alone, it is not recommended for children between the ages of 4 – 10. However, if the noise from a regular drum set is a problem, this is an excellent mid-level drum set that’s affordable and compact so you can take it almost anywhere easily and quickly.
9. Alesis Table-Top Drum Kit, Model CompactKit 7
The Alesis Table-Top Drum Kit, Model CompactKit 7 is another excellent portable digital drum set that’s designed for aspiring drummers or other instrumentalists to add some percussion to their setup. However, like the Yamaha DD-75, it is not designed to be used by children and therefore we do not recommend the unit as an instrument for musical students between the ages of 4 – 10. If you and your child are ready to accept the fact that this is an electronic instrument that has a non-standard physical appearance and doesn’t look at all like a regular set of drums, the unit will produce excellent drum sounds even though they are coming from an electronic device.
The Alesis CompactKit 7 is a full-featured tabletop electronic drum kit with seven velocity-sensitive drum pads, a 3-digit LED display and a USB-MIDI output connection to connect to your favorite DAW or other plug-ins. Drumsticks are included and an AC power supply for regular use.
Features of the Alesis Table-Top Drum Kit, Model CompactKit 7 include the following:
- 7 velocity-sensitive drum pads provide a realistic feel
- 2 pedals to use for hi-hat and kick drum
- 45 preset drum kits or you can add 5 user drum kits
- 265 percussion voices and 100 play-along songs
- 2 drumsticks
- A self-recording feature
- A built-in metronome
One of the unique features of this drum kit is a button that allows you to switch to ‘Hand Percussion’ mode. This instantly adjusts the sensitivity of the instrument to suit your tastes and play the pads with your hands like bongo drums instead of using sticks.
The Alesis CompactKit 7 comes with a lot of features and is a great buy for an affordable price. The sound quality is excellent and you can connect it to a computer via USB cable for added enjoyment.
Overall, the Alesis CompactKit 7 electronic drum kit is a very good set to consider for a young aspiring drummer if both parent and child are not concerned that it has a non-standard appearance and doesn’t look at all like a standard set of drums. It’s for this reason that we do not recommend the set for children between the ages of 4 – 10. However, if the noise from a regular drum set is a problem, this is a very good drum set that’s both compact and affordable.
10. Yamaha Electronic Drum Set, Model DTX402K
The Yamaha DTX402 Beginner’s Electronic Drum Kit is a few steps above the DD-75 featuring built-in stereo drum sounds and several interactive training modules. The kit includes 415 drum and percussion sounds, 10 drum kits, 10 different songs, and 10 training functions. There’s also a USB to Host port that allows you to transmit audio and MIDI information directly to your computer, smartphone, or tablet. The matching Throne (seat) is available at an additional cost. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, we do not recommend digital drums as a child’s first musical experience.
However, as with the other electronic drums mentioned earlier, if you and your child are comfortable with its non-standard physical appearance, the Yamaha DTX402 is an excellent musical instrument.
The DTX402 updates the earlier DTX400 range with some nice upgrades like quieter and more natural feeling drum and cymbal pads, and a redesigned rack that gives you greater stability, pad placement, and customization. It includes 10 fully customizable drum kits and 287 drum and percussion sounds. The sound library is quite expansive and covers nearly all of the standard samples you might expect, focusing on rock, pop, and jazz drumming. Also included are 128 keyboard sounds, 9 different reverb effects, training and learning functions, drumming exercises, and a recording function so your young drummer can listen back after he plays.
Two different versions of the Yamaha DTX402 are available. The base model is the DTX402K, featuring silent hi-hat and kick drum pedals, three cymbal pads, and four drum pads. The full-featured DTX452K comes with a three-zone snare pad that gives drummers a head, rim-shot, and cross-stick zone, a more expressive hi-hat pedal, and the KP65 kick drum tower that comes with a pedal.
These high-quality beginner’s drum kits are great options for a new drummer. Yamaha is one of the leaders in professional electronic drum gear. Overall, the Yamaha DTX402 is a more premium example of Yamaha’s dedication to electronic music, and a few steps above the excellent model DD75. It is another excellent choice for a young aspiring drummer when both the parents and child are not concerned that the drum set doesn’t look like a standard drum set.
For children between the ages of 4 – 10, we recommended standard drum sets and not the electronic versions. However, if non-standard looks aren’t a problem, or if quiet operation of the drum set is important, this is an excellent more premium-level drum set that’s affordable and compact and will produce awesome drum sounds for your child.
Things to Consider before Buying a Drum for Junior (buying guide)
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding the best drum set for your child. In this section, we’ll go over all the ins and outs you need to consider so you can find the best drum set for your aspiring new drummer.
Before you choose the right drum set for your child you should know something about the basics of a drum set. In general, this will include the different types of drums, the drum kit, and the different types of cymbals.
There are three different types of drums that make up a drum set:
- The Snare Drum
The snare drum is essentially the center part of your child’s drum kit. It is the backbone of the system and provides the strongest regular accents and fills. For right-handed children, the snare drum is played with the left hand. Snare drums are normally fitted with snare wires to create a buzzing and snappy sound.
- The Tom Drum
These types of drums are also sometimes also known as tom-toms. They are usually played with sticks and there can be as many as three different sizes. Tom drums serve the main bulk of most drum solos and fills. There are four different types of tom drums including floor toms, double-headed rack toms, concert toms, and sometimes rototoms.
- The Bass Drum
Bass drums, also called kick drums, are the largest size drum in the drum set. It creates a low pitch sound and the basic beat or timing element of the drums. Some players like to use more bass drums for added effect and others may use double pedals when playing a single kick drum.
Other Types of Drums
Octoban/rocket tom/and deccabon drums are used in a drum set to extend the pitch range upward and increase the overall drum depth effect.
Timbales are drums that are tuned higher than toms but have the same diameter. They are usually played using very light and thin sticks that are not tapered. They have a moderately thin head and a much different tone compared to regular toms. These drums are only used by drummers who are looking to extend their tom’s range upward.
Gong drums are a single-headed mountable drum that are similar in appearance to kick drums but function the same as floor toms.
The Drum Kit
The drum kit consists of four groups of parts; the sticks, symbals, snare drum, throne (seat) and bass drum pedal. These are known as “breakables”.
- The “shells” consist of the bass drum and toms.
- The “extensions” consist of a cowbell, tambourine, and chimes.
- The “hardware” consists of the cymbal stands, drum stands, and the drum pedals.
The last part of a drum set is the cymbal. Cymbals are flat, rounded metal plates used in drum sets for the following purposes:
- The Ride Cymbal
The Ride Cymbals are used for keeping a constant rhythmic pattern. A single main ride is used fairly regularly by most drummers. The most common diameter is 20-inches. The ride cymbal is a medium weight cymbal which is designed to cut through all the other sounds of the drum set.
- The Hi-Hats Cymbal
These types of cymbals consist of two separate parts. Two hi-hat cymbals are mounted facing each other mounted on a metal pole supported on legs. Hi-hat cymbals can be played by sticks or with the foot pedal that can be pushed to move them together. When the foot is lifted, the cymbals move apart. Different sounds can be created by striking opening the hi-hat cympals instead of closing them together.
- Crash Cymbals
Crash cymbals provide the strongest accents in the drum set and are often used to make grandiose crescendos and climaxes, vocal entries, and any major change in the mood effects. They can be played along with hi-hats or ride cymbals. Special crash/ride cymbals produce a loud sound even when used delicately.
What Age Groups are Junior Drum Sets Designed For?
If your child is a beginner drummer, you will probably only need to buy three toms, a snare and kick drum, a hi-hat, and cymbals. With these basic pieces, you will be guaranteed that your child will have a solid basis in learning to play the drums.
The age group for today’s junior drum sets is as varied as the sizes of the children who will play them. Junior drum sets are smaller in size so that kids between about 3 and 7 can adjust and play them without having problems. They will also differ in size to accompany different sizes of kids depending on their height, weight, and overall size. Manufacturers try to take into consideration how comfortable a child will be with his new drum set. They consider many different factors as best they can, but generally if your child is less than 5 feet tall, a junior set should be fine.
What Size do Junior Drum Sets Come in?
Most junior drum sets include up to five pieces, including up to three toms, a snare, a kick drum, a cymbal, and a hi-hat. You will usually also get a pair of drumsticks but some manufacturers don’t include them.
An average size of a junior drum set for beginners is about 10 inches by 5 inches with a 10-inch snare drum. A good depth for beginners would be about five inches deep. Junior drum sets will often vary in size as many will consist of only three pieces instead of five pieces. Some sets will also include up to three toms or only one in the less expensive models.
3-Piece Junior Drum Sets
A three-piece drum set is good for beginners as it is less complicated and creates less hassle for managing the toms for younger drummers. These are also a compact size for moving around easily.
5-Piece Junior Drum Sets
A five-piece drum set is also good for beginning drummers and will usually include two mounted toms, a floor tom, a 16-inch bass drum, and a snare drum for your young student to start off with all the necessities. These sets are great for older kids and generally are made with real wood shells so the sound quality isn’t compromised.
Learning how to maintain their drums is nearly as important as learning how to play them. Make sure that you teach your child the basics of maintaining their drums so that they always work properly.
Too much noise? Go Electronic!
If the loud noise of your child’s drums will be a problem, then an electronic drum set would be a good consideration. Electronic drum sets are not only quiet when used with headphones, but also offer many of the features that larger, more traditional drum sets lack.
Learning how to play and master a set of drums is one of the best ways to teach your little ones about music and musical rhythms. A wonderful benefit of playing drums at a young age is that it reinforces your child’s work ethic as well. This not only helps your child to learn and develop their musical talent but also helps them in other areas of life as they eventually grow into teenagers and then adults.
Depending on your child’s age, one of these drums or drum sets will probably be perfect for your child. But be sure your new musical student understands that they need to practice if they want to become better musicians.
What is the Difference Between a Junior Drum Set and a Normal One?
A junior drum set usually includes at least one or sometimes two generic cymbals. The cymbals are smaller size so they fit the scaled-down size of the kit and don’t usually have the sonic quality of full-sized cymbals.
What is Included in a 5-Piece Drum Set?
A 5-piece drum set will normally consist of a bass drum, snare drum, and 3 toms (high, middle and low) drums. Usually, there will also be hi-hats and cymbals, but these are not counted toward the number of ‘pieces’ in the description.
Are Electronic Drums Good for Beginners?
Unfortunately, electronic drums do not normally feel the same or have the same response as real drums or cymbals. The visual appearance is also considerably different. For beginner drummers, we do not recommend electronic drums. However, there will always be exceptions, and electronic drums do have many exciting features not available with regular drums.
How Many Cymbals are in a Drum Set?
Four cymbals are generally considered the norm in almost every drum set but barebones models. The hi-hat on the far left, the ride cymbal on the right, and two crash cymbals are considered the normal configuration.
This guide has been designed to help you find the perfect drum set for your 4-10 year old child. Now you should know just about everything you need to know to find your aspiring musical student the best set of drums possible to help them further their musical career.
Please write and let us know if our buying guide has helped you and your child to choose the perfect drum set. We wish you the best and encourage you to continue helping your child to enjoy their musical talent playing the drums.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article, and we hope you have a great day!