May 15, 2018 5:25 PM   Subscribe

My six-year-old daughter, currently obsessed with the Beatles, has been asking for a drum kit for months. What would be a good, cheap "starter" option for a child her age? Where do we begin?
posted by gerryblog to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Inexpensive Bongos. She can do some interesting rhythms with them. Save up for kit later.
posted by ovvl at 5:51 PM on May 15, 2018

start with beginner drum lessons. let her take them for a couple months, and if she's serious about practicing/going to class, then look into a kid-sized kit. my instructor deals with kids all the time, so it'll be nothing new for a good one.
posted by koroshiya at 6:26 PM on May 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Something along these lines? I'm thinking the earphones might be useful.
posted by WCityMike at 6:27 PM on May 15, 2018

My brother started out with a pair of drumsticks and a wooden cutting board.
posted by metahawk at 6:31 PM on May 15, 2018

My brother started out with a pair of drumsticks and a practice pad. I mean, he started out with two pencils and any available surface, but my parents agreed to get him drum lessons if he stuck to playing the practice pad.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:46 PM on May 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

My wife teaches drums to students as young as four years old. She advises her students' parents to hold off as long as possible -- to be sure the kids are going to stick with it -- before committing to a drum kit. The "junior" / "starter" kits are worthless junk, and cost almost as much as a real base model kit.

If you really want to buy a drum kit and have the budget for something really nice, the small jazz kits such as Pearl Roadshow, Sonor Martini, and Ludwig Breakbeats are great for kids and adults. Buying used is also a good option, and you can often find full kits with all hardware and cymbals for less than half of retail price on Craigslist and Facebook. My wife doesn't recommend electronic drums for beginners, because the rubber pads have a different bounce, and the lack of sensitivity/nuance makes it easy to develop bad habits.

Really, though, lessons and a practice pad would be my first choice.
posted by bradf at 7:33 PM on May 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

I got my son a percussion set (shakers, tambourine, frog, spoons, etc) follows by a real set of drum sticks and a practice pad, he was super happy with that and so were we.
posted by furtive at 10:27 PM on May 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Do you have other musical instruments around? Kids of this age might also benefit from a guitar and keyboard too.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:57 PM on May 15, 2018

I was older, 10 or 11, but when I pestered my parents enough they got me a rental kit for the summer along with once a week lessons. The deal they offered was if I could play along competently enough with one full album of my choice by the end of the summer they would buy me a kit.

And yeah I'm out of the loop gear-wise but one of those minimalist jazz trap kits bradf suggested look perfect.
posted by mannequito at 11:15 PM on May 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is probably off a little but maybe consider getting her a Wii with the Beatles Rock Band game? My son (named Jude, ahem) loved the Beatles at that age and we both got into the Rock Band game hard. I bought him the game when it first came out with the drum set -- maybe $200 then but surely much cheaper now -- and it was awesome. It'd scratch both her drum and Beatles itch!
posted by youandiandaflame at 4:53 AM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks all! Some great options for us here.
posted by gerryblog at 7:20 AM on May 16, 2018

Ludwig/Questlove's Pocket kit (for a real kid sized drum kit)
posted by jillithd at 8:20 AM on May 16, 2018

1000% on Rock Band. Tried to teach myself drums at an old age. The other instruments don't have much to do with actually playing, but drumming is drumming. (Also, the singing part was hard as I'm not great at being on key)
posted by booooooze at 10:29 AM on May 16, 2018

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