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Choosing Your First Drum Set - Beginner & Parent Guide / Part 1

Hi, guys! My name is Andrea Gatti. I'm the drum and percussion instructor at Drum Arts. I’ve had the privilege of playing and teaching for over two decades. My heart is deeply invested in seeing my students and fellow drummers grow in their passion.

I chose to talk about this topic since I often get asked by parents to advise them in choosing a drum set for their child. I completely understand the difficulty in selecting the proper kit with no experience. I want to help you make the best choice, ensuring that the money will go toward the best investment since I have been there myself.

I want to give tools to the families and beginners who follow me and are choosing to invest some money in their drumming journey.


Things to consider when choosing your first drum set

Any time there is an investment to be made I always try to understand what is the particular situation, what are the needs, and what are the final goals. If we are starting a journey we need to ask ourselves what is our final destination and determine the steps to get there. For instance, a parent choosing the first drum set for his six-year-old child is in a different place than a teenager who has been playing in a school band for a few years and wants to start learning the drum set. For this reason, I give different scenarios to cover the most common situations I encounter in working with my students.

Factors that influence the choice:

  1. Age

  2. Musical level and level of commitment

  3. Budget

  • I never advise parents to purchase a drum kit as soon as their child has started drum lessons! Children first need to demonstrate that they like studying the instrument and show a real interest. Instead, I always recommend to start with a drum pad, a stand, and a pair of sticks. This is a low-budget investment that everyone can afford.

drum pad -Choosing Your First Drum Set - Beginner & Parent Guide
drum pad with stand

  • The musical level will say a lot about the intentions of your child. If he or she is already studying other instruments and has a passion for music, they will likely enjoy the learning journey and stick with it. In this case, making a larger investment would probably make more sense. In the long run, it will be cheaper.

  • Last but not least, the budget will definitely influence the choice of an instrument. Understanding how to make the most of the investment is key. Used instruments are always a good choice. You can get higher quality with a smaller investment.


Choosing Your First Drum Set - Beginner & Parent Guide

  • A 6-7 year-old student who is starting to show interest and it's now time to purchase. - In this case, a beginner kit with a budget of $200-$500 works fine. The hardware of this type of kit is usually bad, but for a kid of that age, it works fine. At that age, they won't be using the hardware to its full potential. In this phase having the basic technique, learning grooves, fills, and having fun are the most important things. This type of kit will satisfy their need.

Kids drum set -Choosing Your First Drum Set - Beginner & Parent Guide
Kids drum set

  • An 8-10-year-old student who is showing interest and commitment. - In this case, I would not suggest spending money on the same kit I previously suggested. My students of this age are using the hardware of the kit. They are beginning to use the hi-hat pedal and need something more solid. It's also good to consider that upgrades can be done if a kit has been purchased in the past. The hardware could be upgraded with a $200-350 investment. The same goes for the cymbals.

Beginners drum set -Choosing Your First Drum Set - Beginner & Parent Guide
Beginners kit

In the video, I talk about brands and give practical examples


Choosing your first drum set is never easy. I always encourage my students' families to talk with me before purchasing anything. Drums are expensive; sadly, spending money is the only way to know what is good. Relying on other people's experience can help save money by spending it wisely.

I hope this article has been useful to you. I will continue this article with a new video in part 2. I will cover what is the best choice of drumset for older kids or committed beginners. It will be published soon!

If you have any questions or if there is a topic you would like to hear about, please let me know in the comments.

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This article is good for new drummers or parents checking on their children. I talk about how-to-hold-the-sticks-the-american-grip We look forward to hearing from you!


Andrea Gatti

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