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The good news is your youngster loves music, has talent, and wants to learn to play. The rest of it is, well, he wants to play the drums. No scratchy violin, no squeaky saxophone, and no Pachelbel Canon in D on piano. Yes, there is the noise of drumming, and yes, the neighbors might complain. But drumming is a terrific skill. Before you run out to get someone their first set, consider these factors.

Top Pick

This popular youth kit comes in six colors. Mendini

Bass (kick) drums in youth sets will usually have a 16-inch diameter, though you can find bass drums as small as 13 inches on sets designed for kids 5 or 6 years old. Much larger and you’re getting into adult drum sets (20+ inches). The rest of the drums will typically be sized to the bass drum, with the snare drum around 10 inches diameter.

Great Value

This product comes with a snare, bass, tom-tom and more. Eastar

For the full drumming effect, all you really need are the four pieces—the bass (with pedal) and snare drums, a crash cymbal, and the throne to sit on. From there you can add a ride cymbal, hi-hat cymbals, and a series of tom-tom drums in various sizes. But don’t skimp on the basic four pieces just to create a larger set for looks.

Also Consider

This one is sized for budding rockers under five feet tall. Mendini

Drum kit setup is very much a personal thing, as drummers adjust their pieces around them according to preference and fit. As such, the clamps and stand hardware needed to attach and adjust the drums and cymbals must be well-fitted and easy to loosen and tighten.