Learning music is one of the best lifelong skills that a child can have. It can help to give them a sense of inspiration, creativity, and possibly turn into a career down the line.
With that said, one of the primary keys to starting your child off with any instrument is to make sure you pick one that they can have fun with.
If the instrument of choice is a drum set, you want to make sure that that drum set is fun to play, sounds good, and built to size for the ultimate comfort and ease of playing.
This is why we have decided to create an article providing you with information on the best junior drum sets on the market.
Top 5 Junior Drum Sets
Best For Ages 3-4
For parents who are on a serious budget, we recommend checking out the Cecilio 3-Piece Junior Drum Set.
Though it doesn’t come with a hi-hat like other mentioned drum sets in this article, it does come with just about everything else your little one needs to get started, including a kick drum, snare, rack tom, crash cymbal, junior drum throne, sticks, and bass drum pedal.
The tiny size makes it perfect for children under 5 to grow into without feeling extremely uncomfortable to start with.
The shells are made from a genuine hardwood so that you don't have to worry about any issues with durability. The set also comes with triple flanged hoops that make it perfect for the young player.
A unique thing about this junior drum set is the tiny footprint. If you live in a smaller apartment or just don't have a ton of space to fit a drum kit in your home, the Mendini 3-Piece provides authentic playing in a compact size.
Bottom Line: For parents on a serious budget who want to get their little one a legitimate junior drum kit that is easy to play and can be set up in a compact space, the Mendini 3-Piece is one of the best around.
Best for Ages 4-6
The GP50MRB is easily one of the highest quality 3-piece drum sets on the market and is perfect for children under 5 who are just getting started in the world of drumming.
It comes with a 16" bass drum, a snare, a tom, a crash, a hi-hat cymbal/stand, a pedal, a throne, a drum key, and sticks. Essentially, you get everything your child needs to get going right off the bat.
The single-braced hardware is lightweight, yet still durable enough that there haven't been any major durability complaints.
The best part about these drums is that they're easy to set up, meaning you or your child shouldn't have trouble fitting them right. Also included are easy to follow instructions.
The hi-hat is what makes this kit stand out, as many inexpensive 3-piece drum sets don't include a hi-hat at all.
Bottom Line: With all of the included pieces in a scaled-down, legitimate drum set, the GP Percussion GP50MRB is the perfect choice for little ones who are just getting their feet wet.
Best for Ages 6-8
It’s no secret that the Mendini kits help to provide style for your little drummers, as they come in a wide variety of visually-astounding colors and finishes. Besides that, the drums give you a good bang for your buck, literally!
The kit comes complete with a kick drum, two rack toms, a floor tom, a hi-hat, a crash, cymbal, and all other necessary accessories including pedals and sticks.
The one thing that many people love about this is the quality of the drum throne and the fact that it is incredibly easy to adjust.
Not only does this scaled-down version of a professional kit offer your child an authentic playing experience, but it's also great for parents who are on a budget and aren't willing to lay down an arm and a leg for a solid junior set.
As for the tone of the drums, you will need to learn how to tune them properly, though once you do, these things surprisingly sound amazing.
Bottom Line: Though the Gammon hardware and build provides more durability and better tone, the Mendini 5-Piece is a solid kit and comes with everything your child needs to get started drumming.
Best for Ages 8-10
When it comes to drum sets for kids, the Gammon name has been quickly growing in popularity. The company has somehow figured out a way to output high-quality drum kits for juniors without the high cost.
In terms of a company that seems to specialize in junior kits, Gammon has one of the best around in general. The 5-piece design allows for an easier transition to an authentic kit for your little one when they eventually move up the line.
Besides the two rack toms, snare, floor tom, and kick, the kit also comes equipped with a crash, hi-hat, drum sticks, and a junior-sized drum throne.
The drum shells are made from a real hardwood to provide your child with solid durability and tone. The variety of high-gloss colors help your child to pick up one that matches his or her style too!
Bottom Line: Ask any drum instructor, and they will tell you that Gammon has some of the best junior sets on the market for young, aspiring drummers. With high-quality materials and an easy-to-play size, it's an all-around great drum set for children moving past the 3-piece phase.
Best for Ages 10-12
Ludwig is one of the more popular professional drum set manufacturers out there, and it's no secret that their professional kits are loved and renowned by rockstar drummers everywhere.
Of course, it would only make sense to trust a drum company this big to create a quality junior set for young, aspiring drummers. One of the main things to love about Ludwig and their 5-Piece Junior Kit is the hardware. It's extremely high-quality and will last your child through years and years of abuse and heavy playing.
The hardwood drums provide a top-tier resonance and tone, and many have even complimented the sounds of the cymbals, which doesn't often happen with sets that are this cheap.
Beyond the durability and sound, this set comes with everything that your child needs to get started, including sticks, a kick pedal, an easily-adjustable drum throne, and all of the proper hardware.
Bottom Line: While the price tag may seem a little high for someone who is just starting out, the Ludwig Junior Outfit is a quality 5-piece set that your little one can grow into and improve their skills with over time. Plus, it’ll be much easier for them to transition to full-sized kits as they grow older.
What to Consider When Buying a Junior Kit
There are a few reasons that you may want to get a junior kit for your child to learn on. One of the biggest reasons is price, though an easy runner-up is size.
Children who are younger and smaller are going to have a tough time reaching the higher pieces on professional, full-sized kits, including the rack toms and cymbals. It just doesn’t make sense to give your child a 22” bass drum to work with.
Instead, look for smaller sized kits. In general, kits are built around the bass drums. If you look for a kit that has a 16" bass drum, you will be looking for a junior-sized kit. Of course, if your child is a bit taller, there's no reason why you can't see if you can step up the size. After all, you won't want to get something so small that he or she will grow out of it in a year.
A good drum set should be able to take a beating without caving in. Pro drummers are a bit more mindful of how they play their drums. Kids, on the other hand, may treat their drums just like they would one of their cheap toys.
We would recommend reading the reviews to see how specific drum kits have held up. Many cheap drum sets are known to get cracked cymbals easily or delaminate.
By no means should you expect to hear the drum tones of Neil Peart coming from your living room, though you should expect that your child’s drum set has a decent, playable tone.
By all means, you should try and avoid bargain store drum kits without brand names. They’re usually made of cheap plastic and sound god awful.
That’s also not to say that you have to spend thousands of dollars, though if you can get a cheap junior set from a pro drum company, you’ll have a much better chance of having a kit that your child likes the sound of. Plus, you’ll thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to listen to them bang on what are essentially hollow, plastic tubs all day.
Number Of Pieces
Most junior kits will either come in three or five-piece configurations. The number of pieces that you decide to get will depend on several factors.
For children below five years old, we recommend getting a three-piece set. There are fewer pieces to focus on, and they can get down the foundation before adding extra parts to worry about.
The disadvantage to that is your child may progress fast and get bored with the three pieces. Plus, three-piece kits don't provide the most authentic drumming experience.
If you can see your child playing for a long time, we recommend going with the five-piece, as they can grow with the kit and the need for an upgrade won't come as quickly.
Drum Roll Please…
There are a variety of instruments available to get your child started with. Many parents choose either piano or guitar, as they are more traditional learning instruments and they aren’t nearly as loud.
If you don’t mind the noise and want to give your child something he or she will excel at because they love it, a junior drum kit is a great way to go! Besides, if they get good at drumming, they’ll be in demand by the overflowing number of guitarists out there.
Consider our reviews when looking for an excellent drum set for your little one and make sure to keep their age and height in mind.
We hope that our junior drum set guide was helpful and we can't wait to see your future rock stars hitting the big time!