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  1. Mrs. H says

    What age do I transition to a larger or adult set? He is very tall for his age (He is almost 7 but as tall as an average 9 yr old)

    Thanks

  2. Viri says

    hi, my son is turning 2 next month so I was thinking on getting him a drum set. i know he still is very small but he is very good at it. I will play him videos and i know he is learning because he plays on the plastic drum set. which drum set should i get for him?? thank you

    • Yannick says

      Hey Viri,

      I think that’s an awesome idea! I’d strongly recommend the Mendini or the Gammon that you can read about in this article. Also check out the links to the full reviews if you want. In short, both are in my opinion perfect beginner sets for kids, because they are very affordable and will last for the first 2-5 years of drumming, depending on your child’s learning curve and musical ear (at some point he’ll want to get new cymbals, I’m sure).

      Also, this is, I think, a great channel for kids to start learning the drums as it’s delivered by a youngster himself: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmEbw4__uoDJNFbOMt_HvOw

      Best regards!

  3. Q's mom says

    you have the pearl, but no review on that drum…what are your thoughts on that one? is it the same as the others but over priced?

  4. A says

    Hi,

    I know it’s recommended I transition my child from a jr set to an adult set once he hits 5′ however my son is currently 3″ away from 5′.

    If it were you would you take the leap and get an adult sized set now or purchase the jr set and plan on purchasing the larger one as soon as he hits his next growth spurt :)? I’d really like to give him something that he won’t outgrow in a year if I can help it.

    Thanks

    • Yannick says

      Hey A,

      I guess it won’t take long until he hits 5′, right? If you’re looking at less than 1 years for that to happen, I’d certainly get an adult set – otherwise the money for the junior set wouldn’t be worth it (for me), and you’d probably confuse your son as he has to adopt to 2 differently sized drum kits in such a short span of time.

      And by the way: you can get an overview of my favorite adult drum sets here.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Jessica,

      Thanks for asking! When it comes to drum sets, it’s only about your son’s size not his age. Up until 5′ I strongly recommend to go for a junior drum set. And you have my favorite options right here in this article!

      Best,
      Yannick.

  5. ARL says

    Hi,

    I’m looking into drum sets for my 3 year old son. I saw your recommendation above regarding the Mendini or Gammon, however we are living in an apartment and sound travels. Do you have any electronic drum recommendations for this age group?

    We are hoping to move into our house by next spring…would you recommend that we wait until that time to purchase one of the Mendini or Gammon sets?

    Just really unsure of what is best for our beginner drummer.

    Thank you!
    ARL

    • Yannick says

      Hey ARL,

      Thanks for your question. You could buy him either an Alesis Nitro (best price / performance ratio for a practice kit) or a Yamaha DTX400K (click link and scroll down) (best for silent practicing because it has an especially quiet kick pedal).

      Yet, since you have both options I think your son should decide, as he is the one who should be into those kits enough to actually play them for a longer time (I suppose that’s your goal too). So perhaps go to a shop with him and let him try out an electronic kit and an acoustic and see what he responds to more (could be any model – this is just to find out what type of kit he prefers).

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick.

  6. Amanda says

    Hi, I haven’t been able to source the Mendini Junior Drum Set online either in the
    UK or Athens, Greece. Any ideas as to where I can find it please?
    Many Thanks

    • Yannick says

      Hey Amanda,

      Thanks for putting up this comment after our initial email. Turns out, I was mistaken and the Mendini is currently not available in the UK. However: the Gammon is and it’s very, very similar to the Mendini.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick.

  7. Robin says

    What if I’m looking for something for a 5 year old girl who does not have access to lessons at this point but seems interested?

    She picked up some sticks in a music shop and started messing around and was really immersed. She then went to a workshop on taiko where they used large plastic things as the practice drums and she loved it. I don’t know that she will get serious or not and whether there will be an opportunity for her to take lessons but I thought it would be a fun gift for Christmas and see how she likes it. I don’t want to buy a good and pricey practice set ft she ends up not ever taking it up as an instrument. Basically at this point, her parents are just letting her explore things like dance, art, etc. I saw that she liked drumming and thought it might be nice to let her play around some more to see it she wants to stick with it. She hasn’t stuck with anything yet so maybe something very basic to start with?

    • Yannick says

      Hey Robin,

      Cool thing she’s interested in drumming!

      I can personally vouch for this kit as a first one for a child (there are 2 reviewed in the article, but I’m talking about the Junior kit).

      If you don’t want to go for a kit quite yet, you could try out a practice pad or even nothing at all. Both won’t really spark a kid’s motivation in my opinion though. In that regard, this cool gadget might be better – but then again you’re cheaper off with a junior kit.

      So I’d say go to a music store with her a couple of times and let her try out the kit, perhaps get a practice pad alongside that. If she’s still enthusiastic after a while, I’d go for the kit.

      And probably most importantly: have her check out this Youtube channel by a junior drummer for junior drummers.

      Hope that helps!

  8. Michael says

    Hi, thanks for your reviews. I bought a Junior set for my 5 year old. Do you recomend setting up the whole kit or maybe just kick, snare, hi-hat at first?

    • Yannick says

      Hey Michael,

      I do recommend to set up the whole kit right away. Your child will have to learn it all anew anyway, so why just give him / her just a piece of the pie? I think the risk that he / she will have to un-learn certain movements outweighs the reduction in complexity here. Also, remember that children mostly aren’t as intimidate by challenges as we adults are. I’m quite sure your child will be happy to have a whole drum kit to explore.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick.

  9. Christi Bowker says

    Do you have any recommendations for books on drumming level 1 for a 10 year old? Trying to chose one for a Salavation Army Christmas Angel gift so I don’t have a lot of information about the child. 10 year old girl.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Christi,

      Awesome that your gifting drum lessons to a kid. I really appreciate that!

      However, I don’t think a drum book would the be best choice for a child, since books aren’t the medium kids at that age like to learn off of. Just my two cents, and there certainly are books, but I’d rather get her a drum lesson in a local drum school (if it’s for trial purposes they should give you a discount or even do it for free), or point her towards these lessons on YouTube if that’s accessible to her.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick.

  10. John says

    Hi!

    Thanks for these reviews. Its super helpful as I don’t see much out there related to kids kits.

    We don’t have a ton of space and I know you recommend the full kit, but if we were to go with a smaller kit, would that adjust your recs?

    • Yannick says

      Hey John,

      No, I wouldn’t change my recommendation, since these junior kits have fairly small shells already and you can’t really go smaller than that. Unless: you left out some parts and bought, say, only a snare, a hihat and a bass drum to start off. But then, buying these things individually would probably cost you more than buying the full kits shown here.

      So the answer is still no, but if you’re really short for space, you can just buy the kit and only set up the three parts I mentioned at first.

      Hope that helps!

  11. Jenn says

    Thanks for writing this – it was super helpful.

    Where I live, the brands that have a drum set that looks like the ones you recommend are RB, GP and CB.

    The RB is about the same cost as Mendini / Gammon and the GP and CB are quite a bit more ($100-300 more). The RB can be tuned, but how can you tell if it can be tuned well or not? And how do you tell if the hardware is durable or not? Do most drum kits come out of similar factory/manufacturers (in other words, is there a pretty good chance that if I buy this kit down the street, it’s quality will be comparable to one of the brands you recommend so I don’t need to get it shipped here for a small fortune)?

    Thanks!

  12. Kerry says

    I have 2 boys, 10 and 12. Both play piano, one also plays the trumpet… so they are both musical and can read music.

    I am wondering if you think the Mendini junior set or the Ludwig Pocket Kit would be better.

    The 12 year old loves to listen to and play Green Day, Def Leppard, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Led Zeppelin, etc. I don’t know if that would influence your answer or not.

    Thanks for all of the great info.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Kerry,

      Thanks for your question. Musical taste doesn’t really influence the drum set choice at this stage – it would matter once you bought new heads a year or so down the road. But for now…

      …if you sons are below 5ft, I’d recommend you go for a junior drum set and in that case I’d lean towards the Mendini Junior. The Pocket Kit is a good one too, but I’ve made so many good experiences with recommending the Mendini to my students that I’d say you can’t go wrong with it.

      If your sons are about / taller than 5ft, I’d recommend an adult drum set so they will be able to play it for years and years. In this case, my best advice would be the Pearl Roadshow (you can also see it compared to other kits here).

      Hope that helps!

  13. thea robinson says

    Hi, this is so useful! Thank you for taking the time to write and share it.

    I am looking for a kit for my (just about to turn 8 and way under 5ft tall) son. He hasn’t drummed before so I’m loath to spend a fortune until I know he likes it.

    We looked and in the UK can’t find the Mendini kit and wondered if the MIRAGE JDK JUNIOR 5 PIECE DRUM KIT might be a suitable replacement ? I’m not certain but I think the 3 piece version is the one you show in the image above as an example of what NOT to buy!

    • Yannick says

      Hey Thea,

      Thanks for the praise!

      You’re right, the Mendini isn’t available on Amazon UK. And you’re also right NOT to go for the 3-piece option.

      To be honest, the Mirage looks a bit toyish, so if I were you I’d at least consider the Tiger kit although it costs quite a bit more. If you’re okay with a more toy-like kit that you probably would have to swap once you’re son is becoming more experienced (1-2 years), the Mirage seems fine in terms of quality.

      Of course, I haven’t tried any of the 2 kits, so I can only speak from what I gather from other reviews.

      Hope that helps!

  14. Karen Goodman says

    Thank you for your reviews of various drum kits.

    My son will be turning 11 in March. He is approximately 53″ tall. This is his 2nd school year playing the drums. In January he will have an opportunity to try out for 5th grade Jazz band. We found a local place offering a good condition Stagg 5 piece drum set for $275. Space is a HUGE consideration for us, and I’m not crazy about the noise but we were told not to get the electronic “silent” drum sets.

    I appreciate your advice and specific recommendations in that price point or lower. I also imagine that lessons will be very helpful for him as well? Thank you.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Karen,

      Wow, the Jazz band already. That’s awesome!

      Would you mind posting a link of the Stagg here, so I know exactly which one you’re talking about.

      In general, I recommend adult drum kits for anyone over 5ft, and my favorite for someone like your son who’s already played the drums is this kit. It’s more expensive than the Stagg but I believe that it’s a better long-term investment if you’re sure that your son will continue to play the drums (it sounds like that),

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick.

  15. Leslie K. says

    Hi Yannick! Your reviews were very helpful!

    My husband and I are getting our 7 year old son a drum set for Christmas this year and found the one we are going to purchase through your article. We are going with the Mendini kit. My question is, does this kit have the same cymbals and the same amount of cymbals as the other kits? And if it does not have the same amount or the same ones then which ones is the Mendini kit missing and are they necessary to have/should I purchase them separately?

    Thank you for you time and such a great article and review! It was extremely helpful and we will be buying through the link on your page.

    • Yannick says

      Thanks so much, Leslie! I very much appreciate it! And I’m happy for your son of course – there never can be enough drummers in this world 🙂

      As for your question: yes, the Mendini junior comes with the same amount of cymbals that any junior drum kit would have (a hihat and a crash cymbal).

      Hope that helps! Otherwise, I’m here for you!

  16. Gabi Sprechert says

    Hi,

    My son has just turned 7 but he is already 4.3 ft tall already. I want to purchase a drum kit this week for him. Do you think I should go for a junior kit or go straight for an adult size?

    • Yannick says

      Hey Gabi,

      Thanks for your question!

      The answer is: it depends on how fast he’s growing and how long you want to stick to this kit.

      For once he reaches 5ft he’ll need an adult drum set fairly soon or he’ll have to adopt unnatural playing positions which might even be bad in terms of posture, back etc. However, junior drum kits are quite a bit cheaper than adult ones and they are a great way to test if a person sticks to drumming after all.

      So unless your son will surpass the 5ft mark within the next 12 months, I’d go with the junior kit first just to test the waters.

      Hope that helps!

      • Gabi Sprechert says

        That’s great. Thank you so much. Feel like I’ve read too much to make a decision 🙂 I was thinking of the Ludwig Pocket Kit By Questlove as the review doesn’t show so many cons of 5ft stooping and I’m in the UK so some of the others aren’t easily available. Do you think that would be a good buy?

        • Yannick says

          Yeah, the UK market is different in terms of the kits available. But yes, I think the Pocket Kit would be a good buy! (Not to make you read another one; but if you want to know my reasons for saying so and haven’t seen it – here’s my review of the Ludwig Pocket.)

    • Yannick says

      Hey Amanda,

      I haven’t played the Stagestar yet, so I can’t say anything based on personal experience. Yet, it’s not a junior drum kit, so I think it would be too large for a 2-year old.

      How tall is he / she? As you might have read inside the post, I recommend for kids to play a junior drum kit up until they’ve reached 5ft.

      Have you considered the kits in this article?

      Best,
      Yannick.

      • Amanda says

        He’s very tall for his age.

        We’ve looked at Ludwig and DDrum (same drums, same manufacturing plant, different paint) and they are okay. We are just huge fans of Tama. Sound/quality is amazing.

        • Yannick says

          Okay, I see. I mean it’s up to you and if you love the Stagestar so much – by all means get it.

          Otherwise, I can fully recommend the Ludwig junior. Many of my students play it, and I think it’s a good starter kit all around.

  17. Derek says

    Hi,
    I have a soon three year old that is drumming on everything. Think Buddy Rich at the Muppet Show…
    I took him to a drummer/percussionist friend to try different instruments, and he was in heaven! There might be a drumkit in the soon future so I have a few questions:
    I stumbled upon a Pearl Roadshow Junior kit. Are you familiar with it and can tell any differences, pro/cons vs the ordinary Roadshow?
    I also found a Mapex Tornado Junior in a kit with Zildjian Planet Zlatan cymbaler including a ride. What do you think about that?

    Also thanks for really good articles!

    • Yannick says

      Hey Derek,

      “Buddy Rich at the Muppet Show” 😀

      I’m happy your son is excited to drum. That’s great!

      The Pearl Roadshow Junior models I could find are exactly the same as the Pearl Roadshow adult kit in terms of hardware and built. The only difference is the shell size – most importantly the smaller bass drum (18”).

      The only thing that concerns me a little is that 18” can be a little large for a child. Usually I recommend sticking with junior drum kits like the ones in this article (that is, 16” bass drums) until a child grows taller than 5ft.

      So while I can fully recommend the Pearl Roadshow junior, I’d consider that your son might have to stretch and strain to reach the toms on that kit.

      Best,
      Yannick

      PS
      Where did you find the Pearl Roadshow Junior kit? I couldn’t find it online in the States. I’d appreciate you dropping a link here!

  18. Jason Collins says

    My daughter is eager to play drums but an acoustic set, while preferred, is not going to help me get her started due conflicting opinions on noise. The alternative is getting her an electric set. I worry because i think acoustic will create better “habits”, but the alternative is doing nothing until we can find a good solution for the noise. I fully expect to put her in lessons which i assume will give her the opportunity to use an acoustic set. What are your thoughts?

    • Yannick says

      Hey Jason,

      Thanks for your question – and great that you’re daugther wants to be a drummer!

      I do understand your concern and there certainly are drum sets around that would create bad habits (for example they aren’t set up the correct way, as explained in this post) – but if you go with one of those kits here your daughter will be fine. There will actually be very little difference between those electronic kits and an acoustic kit. Swaping will feel a little different, but there isn’t anything significant in terms of muscle memory that would require un- or relearning. And taking lessons will be possible on both an acoustic and an electronic kit.

      Is you daughter taller than 5” yet? If so, I’d particularly recommend this electronic kit.

      Best,
      Yannick

  19. Boyou says

    It is really a great and helpful piece of info. I glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Michele says

    Are there cases available for the Questlove Pocket? Do they nest? Easy to set up if taken to a gig? There are cafe kits at half the weight but they are more than 4x the price! I’m a short adult and I like the small size, especially if they are easy to set up and take down.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Michele,

      Yes, these cases do nest and they will fit the Questlove perfectly if you buy the individual sizes separately (you need 10″, 12″, 13″ and 16″).

      And I think that with a little routine you can easily get the Questlove Pocket set up in less than 15 minutes (taking down should be even quicker).

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick

  21. Jae says

    Just wondering why “Perfect size for children up to 5ft” is listed as a “Con” in your junior drum kit reviews. Did you mean that? Why would it be a “Con”?

  22. Angela says

    Hi
    Fantastic review – thanks.
    We are buying a drum kit for my 4 1/2 year old. We like the look of the Questlove Pocket, and the price point is right.
    Not being drummers ourselves, this may sound like a silly question, but it seems to have one less drum than the others you have recommended! Is this important?!

    Thanks so much !

    • Yannick says

      Hey Angela,

      Thanks for your question. That question makes a lot of sense!

      In my opinion, having only 2 instead of 3 toms is not a problem, as long as those 2 toms are located where they would be on a standard acoustic drum set. Since this is the case here, your child won’t have to unlearn any motion / retrain any muscle memory.

      That’s why I do recommend the Questlove kit with only 2 toms 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  23. Juan says

    Thanks for the information, I’m a drummer with a 2 years old son and I want him to learn. At this moment I don’t have a kit and I was thinking on getting an electronic one so maybe we both can use it, I’m thinking on a Yamaha or a Roland. Do you think he will be able to play/learn in such a large kit or should I get one for each of us?

    • Yannick says

      Hey Juan,

      Thanks for your question! It’s a good thought and many parents (understandably!) want an electronic kit for their child, but I wouldn’t recommend it. As you say, any electronic kit would be much too large for a 2 year old and would only cause him her to have to stretch and strain plus internalize muscle memory that will quickly become useless or even a hindrance.

      That’s why I think you should go with 2 separate kits. Yet, if you go with the Alesis Nitro Mesh (which is very good) and he / she with a Mendini, you would come out at about the same price as a Roland TD-1

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick

      • Juan Silva says

        Hey, I’m writing again just to let you know that I found an opportunity with a Mendini and overall is a good kit, I still have to tune it properly but my son found it super attractive. Trone is still high for him for kicking but I think we can start with some basic hand coordination. I’ll try to keep updating progress.

        Saludos!

  24. Chheng says

    Hi, Yannick.

    Thank you so much for writing your articles on drum sets!

    My mother wanted to get our son a drum set. Which on should we start him with? He’s 2.5 and he is 3.35 ft tall and had been wearing 4T clothes already. He’s really tall for his age. He has been using his plastic sticks on a plastic container and tin from cookies and saying, “drum drum.”

    Regards,

    Chheng

    • Yannick says

      Hey Chheng,

      Thank YOU for your kind words!

      As you might have read, I recommend adult drum kits from 5ft upwards, so he should still go for a kids drum kit. Within that range I have 2 recommendations.

      – One on a budget: the Gammon
      – The other one a little more expensive but also higher quality: the Questlove Pocket

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick

  25. Jennifer Jaffe says

    My son just took up drumming in his elementary school band last year. The elementary school only gets hand me downs from the high school. They do not have a drum set. They have 3 broken snare drums that are missing the ”snares.” They have one big bass drum and 10 kids in their percussion section. My son is also a Boy Scout and would like to help improve the equipment by seeking donations. What would you recommend that we look for? I saw the junior kits that you reviewed and am wondering if that would serve the purpose or if he should seek donations for specific pieces? We would ask the teacher, but we are hoping to surprise her and the other students.

    • Yannick says

      Hey Jennifer,

      Thanks for your question – and great you’re son is getting into drumming despite the obstacles.

      The curcial question here is: how tall is he (and how tall are the other kids in the band)? If they are below 5ft, you can go for any of the kits I’ve reviewed in this article here.

      Otherwise – i.e. in the unlikely case that he’s taller than 5ft already – I recommend you go for one of the drum kits over here.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Yannick

    • Yannick says

      Hey David,

      Thanks for your question and sorry for the delayed reply!

      Well, there are no electronic drum sets that are tailored to children (i.e. smaller than standard ones). That said, electronic drums are generally easier to set up lower than standard drum sets.

      So if you’re set on a proper electronic drum set, I recommend you check out this one (the mesh version).

      Hope that helps!

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