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Drum set for a 9 year old?

15 replies

Dontknowmusic · 21/10/2023 18:33

DS has been playing the drums at school and absolutely loves it. Desperate for drums for his birthday, plus more lessons.

I am clueless.

Budget about £200-£250. Less always great of course. But looking for the best I can get for him so he can properly enjoy them.

Unsure about the electric ones. They don’t look as fun? But we don’t have a tonne of space so open to that idea if they truly are as good.

Any recommendations? Please help - I’m clueless and the internet is full of far too many options!!!!

OP posts:
FallingAutumnLeaf · 21/10/2023 18:43

Go electric, unless you are very isolated from your neighbours!

DS uses this set with his brother guitar amp if not on headphones.
You can still hear it in the house, even through headphones. Less now the kit is downstairs!

If you want to spend less, I'd look for a second hand kit. Quite often people sell them on in great condition. They do take up quite a bit of space.

Alesis Turbo Mesh Complete Bundle at Gear4music

Alesis Turbo Mesh Complete Bundle at Gear4music

MadamNoo · 21/10/2023 18:44

Definitely electric. Volume control! And you can plug in headphones. A ‘real’ drumkit is way more expensive as well as much louder. Look on eBay, lots of options, but research on gear4music first. A better kit Will have more realistic feel to the pads.

Octavia64 · 21/10/2023 18:45

The electric ones are not as good.

That having been said, the acoustic ones are LOUD.

Ways to stop them being as loud but still useful:

Put a duvet in the bass drum and cushions in the smaller ones
Put practice pads on top of them
Get a drum rug for them to go on.

Second hand ones sound like a good idea.

MadamNoo · 21/10/2023 18:45

Cross post! That’s it, mesh heads are better

knowthescore · 21/10/2023 19:04

Some decent practice pads would cost less than a full kit and allow him to practice his rudiments quietly. He will be able to take the snare practice pad on holiday, can't do that with a full kit. Some pads fasten to your knee, some go on a stand, some can sit on the table, and some are foot pedal pads for bass drum practice.

I play a couple of brass instruments, they are unavoidably loud, especially when working on Holst's "Mars" or Prokofiev's "Dance Of The Knights". Practicing in a way that doesn't annoy my neighbours involves careful timetabling and specialist mutes that alter the breath resistance, sound, and handling of the instrument. This kind of complication is not something that your son will be emotionally capable of managing at his age, he will just want to play. It is soul-crushing to a child when your neighbours tell your mum to tell you to pack it in because their baby is sleeping, makes you feel like your very existence is some kind of imposition because your musicality is part of you and they've rejected part of you.

If you buy your son a full kit now, he's going to have to navigate all that at nine.

Dontknowmusic · 21/10/2023 20:21

We live in a terrace so you’re probably right about neighbour noise and complaints! Our neighbour plays the clarinet and I can hear it clearly - though it’s very delightful and I don’t mind at all. I suspect a nine year old playing drums might not be quite so welcome through the walls…?!

Practice pads better than an electric? Or practice pads on a proper kit?

Any links welcome too! Those electric drums look great, falling! Seeing if anyone is selling second hand…

OP posts:
knowthescore · 21/10/2023 21:11

I'm not a drummer so I'm limited to advising you not to get something that will cause friction with the neighbours because of how that will make your son feel. I don't know whether a mesh head electric kit will give the kind of response that an acoustic kit will. I know that a practice pad will because that's what they are designed for.

The first person who can assist you is his drum teacher. The teacher may have a list of recommended pads.

Secondly, in a city near you will be a drum shop. Every large city has one and it may or may not have a website. You should be able to phone them up for advice and go with your son to try out snare sticks suitable for nine-year-old hands and practice pads. Whilst you are there, get him a stick bag because it will be useful no matter what drumming he does. If he goes into rock drumming, he will need to carry spare snare sticks because rock drummers snap sticks like fortune cookies. If he goes into jazz, he will need brushes as well as snare sticks, and if he broadens out into orchestral§ percussion, he will need kettledrum mallets, multiple types of "keyboard percussion" mallets, snare sticks, triangle beaters...

§ A misnomer because the same instruments are used in wind and brass bands.

ICouldHaveCheckedFirst · 21/10/2023 21:18

When my DS took up drums at about the same age, we ended up buying from a guitar shop. Why? The guy who ran the shop told us he was always being asked about drum kits, which he knew nothing about. So he started stocking just this one, low-to-mid priced kit, which he said nobody ever came back to him about - which is what he wanted. So don't confine your research to drum shops! But yes, do ask his drum tutor for advice early on.

SisyphusDad · 21/10/2023 21:23

I would get a second hand electric set until you're both sure he'll stick with it. Then a better electric set will see him through for a good few years and maintain the peace with your neighbours.

My DS plays the drums and he managed perfectly well with electric until mid way through Grade 6, when his teacher said he really needed an acoustic kit as there were some things he needed to be able to play that you could only do on an electric kit that cost a good few thousand pounds.

Fortunately our neighbour is hard of hearing and so isn't disturbed by the noise 🙏.

Fruitflylady · 22/10/2023 09:43

My DS took up drumming at about the same age as yours. He practiced on pillows for ages to show he was serious, then we bought him a Roland electric kit. He’s kind of growing out of it now at 13, but is working towards his grade 5 and we’ve had no issues with it so far.
I’ll probably invest in an upgrade once he passes this exam, but I don’t think any of us are ready for a acoustic kit yet 😱

Helenahandkart · 22/10/2023 10:09

We bought a second hand electric kit for a similar aged child a few years ago. I wouldn’t advise an acoustic kit. My brother was a drummer growing up and our neighbours hated us, despite living somewhere with quite a lot of space between us and the other houses. It was LOUD!
Go second hand - your child might not stick with it.

horseymum · 22/10/2023 16:03

Get ear protection if using a real one, they are very loud in a bedroom. Hope he has a lifetime of music enjoyment ahead of him.

AlecTrevelyan006 · 02/11/2023 13:09

Drummer here :)

as others have said, electronic is probably the way to go. Mesh heads are better than rubber. This looks a good start if you’re on a budget.

there’s also lots of electronic kits on eBay but check they’re working if going down the second hand route

VISIONDRUM Electronic Drum Kit with Stool and Headphones at Gear4music

VISIONDRUM Electronic Drum Kit with Stool and Headphones at Gear4music

mumonthehill · 02/11/2023 13:24

Well to go against the electric kit, we got a second hand acoustic kit at about that age and ds loves it still 7 years on. He really dislikes his teachers electric kit and prefers his. However if you do have neighbours then you do need to consider them!

Comefromaway · 16/11/2023 14:21

My son's friend (who is now studying drums at music college) started off on an electric Alessis Mesh kit. It's a good workhorse beginner kit, much better than the Gear4Music own brand one. He upgraded as he got more advanced but it's a great start.

Acoustic is obviously better and gives a different feel but if he is having lessons on an acoustic kit then I'd say electric is the better option to practice on.

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