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Customer Discussions > Drums forum

Is a Jr drum set too small for an 11 yr old?


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Showing 1-25 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 29, 2010 1:21:08 PM PST
DarTheStar says:
My 11 year old son is interested in playing drums. I am not sure if I should buy a junior set or an adult full size set? On some of the pictures for the jr set it looks like a 3 year old playing, but maybe the adult set would be too big? ( also more expensive)

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 4:21:32 PM PST
S. Kitchen says:
My daughter is 12, and plays my full size set. But, its a jazz combo that DOESNT have huge rock toms.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 5:29:50 PM PST
If your son is genuinely interested in learning to play the drums, he will need a full size set. I would not waste money on buying a Junior set. If he only wants to bang around for fun, I would get a very inexpensive set, but if he wants to actually take lessons and progress, then you probably should consider investing in a more quality set that will last him as he grows older. My husband and my son both play the drums and played them since they were young, and they would definitely recommend the full size set. Just start with a basic 5 piece set that includes a bass, snare, two toms, and a floor tom. The cymbals are usually sold separately, so getting a good set of drums and cymbals is quite pricey. Hope this helps!

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 5:31:00 PM PST
I got an adult size when I turned 12. You (quickly at that age) grow into it. Better to spend the extra money this year than to have to buy a new kit next year or the following. I recommend CB kits for beginners (for a bargain) and Sabian B8 cymbals. Of course, buy Tama or Sonor if you can afford it, but either way, get the adult set. You can get mufflers for the toms.

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 8:52:31 AM PST
go full kit, it's what i started on. even if it's a cheap kit, full size is the way to go. i started on a maxwin kit with dented and warped cymbals. i got my first full size kit in 4th grade and still play on it. (tama starclassic)

if you do it right, you only have to do it once

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2010 1:05:28 PM PST
K. Oleff says:
Lori Graddy says:

My husband and my son both play the drums and played them since they were young, and they would definitely recommend the full size set. Just start with a basic 5 piece set that includes a bass, snare, two toms, and a floor tom. The cymbals are usually sold separately, so getting a good set of drums and cymbals is quite pricey. Hope this helps!

_____________________________________________

Along with all of that, I'd also recommend looking into used gear because you can get higher quality cymbals for as much (or sometimes less) money as those new "garbage" beginner cymbal sets, ya see? Also look into used drums because there is money to be saved there as well along with higher quality product if you search "far" enough. You don't have to look for a used 5 piece kit either. Sometimes you can get a single Floor Tom or Snare of quality for a great price too! Nobody actually needs a so called 5 piece kit to play either, yet it's the so called "average" size for a basic drum kit. The main "needs" for a drum kit are basically these 3 things...

1. Snare (with stand).
2. Bass Drum (with foot pedal).
3. (Floor) Tom.

I put Snare and Bass Drum first simply because a Tom isn't really needed to play drums although most drummers like to have atleast 1 or 2 Toms incorporated within their kit for a little "flavor" apart from the 2 basics. That's basically all that one needs to know to get into drums.

Here are a few recommendations that I as a Drummer would tell you to look into either for now or for later, new or used...

STANDS/HARDWARE:

This is mainly your decision on what stands, throne, foot pedal, sticks, heads, etc... work best for you guys. At the same time, I highly recommend the Tama brand when it comes to just about any of the above, especially their foot pedals and (snare) stands!

CYMBALS:

I've tried practically every brand of Cymbals known out there and have found many great sounds from the "big 3" (Sabian, Zildjian, Paiste), yet overall highly prefer the Sabian brand with Zildjian in 2nd place. Sabian's Hand Hammered and AAX Cymbals are a huge part in the make up of my professional kit. Those cymbals are clearly too expensive for a beginner though, so I recommend these...

- Sabian B8 Cymbals. (The best quality, best sounding low priced cymbals from the "big 3" brands. I highly prefer the sound and price of Sabian's B8 Cymbals to any of Zildjian's lower priced cymbals. I believe there are some beginner packs like these...

- 14" Hi-Hat / 18" or 20" Crash/Ride pack.
- 14" Hi-Hat / 16" Crash / 18" Crash/Ride pack.
- Some even come with a "free" small Crash or Splash too.

DRUMS:

Although I've enjoyed several Pearl and DW Kits over the years, it is truly Tama who has the best overall drums in my opinion. Especially when considering the cost, Tama is clearly better than Pearl, while DW is just a good, pricey drum brand. When it comes to beginner kits as well, Tama is an undeniable favorite. Here's a few recommendations on what beginner drum kits to consider...

- Tama Rockstar.
- Pearl Forum.
- Also consider a Premier brand kit because even though slightly higher in price than a regular beginner kit, it was also worth it when I had one.

Just a few recommendations from a Drummer. Tell me when he's ready to look into higher priced kits and electronic drums too...lol!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2010 1:13:13 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 30, 2010 1:14:07 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 1:29:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 30, 2010 1:30:52 PM PST
K. Oleff says:
Trevor Hackathorn says:

i got my first full size kit in 4th grade and still play on it. (tama starclassic)

if you do it right, you only have to do it once

_________________________________________

Boy, I wish I had that kind of kit when I was in 4th grade. At the same time though, I was actually more involved in/with Guitar in the 4th grade than I was in/with Drums, so...

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 2:19:08 PM PST
C. Elder says:
We got my son his first full sized kit when he was 5.... he is now 17 and on his 2nd kit... he is currently using a PDP by Pacific.

Posted on Dec 1, 2010 10:41:30 AM PST
DarTheStar says:
thank you everybody! I wasn't sure but now I am definitely going to go with the full size kit.

Posted on Dec 1, 2010 1:35:11 PM PST
K. Oleff says:
^ No problem at all. Just ask and I will tell you just about anything else that you might need/want to know about Drumming or just plain, old Drums.

Posted on Dec 1, 2010 8:58:13 PM PST
I wouldnt buy a kid who says they want to play drums a full set at first. Start with something like a practice pad easily found at music shops for under 40 bucks. But if he/she shows interest and is outgoing after buying the pad then get the set.

Think about getting a fusion kit. They are "full sized" kits but have smaller drum sizes like 20 inch bass (versus 22 and larger) 10 inch and 12 inch mounted(rack) toms and a 14 inch floor tom and a 13 or 14 inch snare. Many brands offer these kits most come with hardware (stands throne and bass pedal) sime even come with the drum company's "brand" basic cymbals, lets say a pearl 5 piece with 14 inch hi hats 16 inch crash and a 18/20 inch ride ( these cymbals dont sound the best but it will be something to learn on). Other kits come as shell kits(no stands/ throne/ pedal). Fusion kits are often 200 dollars cheaper than their full sized counter parts. Then if you child takes to drumming he/she can add toms to it. For cymbals find used b8s because of their decent sounds and its no big deal if they crack and if your child likes drumming he/she can always upgrade. Dont start with the most expensive new/ used gear because, god forbid they take no interest in music its not money down the drain. Also make sure to buy a few different brands/sizes of drumsticks for the child to test around with because not everybody likes 5A sized vic firth sticks.

Posted on Dec 11, 2010 2:02:34 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 1, 2015 2:45:19 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2010 10:43:10 AM PST
I work in a music shop and would tell you that a Jr. kits is good for kids 6-8 years old. I have to disagree with people who say Tama is the best. Tama is hit or miss they only include free stuff because they don't want you to think about how their prices are higher. Mapex is one of the best overall drum kit on the market and it beats Tama/Yamaha/Pearl price wise. It also has the best warranty on the market.

Posted on Dec 17, 2010 1:57:28 PM PST
K. Oleff says:
Anthony F. Nunes III says:

Tama is hit or miss they only include free stuff because they don't want you to think about how their prices are higher. Mapex is one of the best overall drum kit on the market and it beats Tama/Yamaha/Pearl price wise. It also has the best warranty on the market.

_________________________________

^ When it comes to a quality kit though, price isn't as important as quality, professional drums are. Now, getting outside of just Tama, I do also believe that Pearl is a good company in comparison even when it comes to their beginner kits. I clearly prefer Tama, but I also like Pearl quite a bit too. With you placing Yamaha alongside those quality brands just isn't right though. Period!

I'm not gonna say that everything created by Yamaha is bad, but most of their lower priced stuff (especially any of their beginner kits) will be a terrible waste of money! I've owned and played on all kinds of Yamaha products (especially their kits) and have been really disappointed in their awful sounds, features and quality despite a "fair" price. Well, when I purchase something that is that much of a letdown, the only "fair" price for those Yamaha drums would've been at no cost whatsoever! I refuse to claim Yamaha drums (even their higher priced, higher quality ones) as worthy of being recommended or claimed good enough alongside the great Tama and Pearl drum companies. Buy whatever you guys want, but just remember that I'm only warning you about purchasing the garbage that is a Yamaha beginner drumkit, alright?

In the end, Tama really does stand as the best all around (from beginner priced to the top of the line, higher priced beauties) drumkits available anywhere. They're surely a "treat" to play indeed!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2010 2:02:29 PM PST
Justin Noel says:
I would buy him an inexpensive junior set because you never know he might not like the drums...And if he does play them alot then buy him a better set.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2010 7:33:08 AM PST
that's what i was thinking. I'm ordering this set for my 12 year old son. this will be his first set. I want to see if he's 1st, really interested in playing the drums. then maybe we can go full size in a year or so. I just hope its not real small...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2010 3:48:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2010 3:48:41 PM PST
K. Oleff says:
Sherri M. Cook says:

then maybe we can go full size in a year or so. I just hope its not real small...

__________________________________

Just see it and try it for yourself. Then you will truly know how it "feels", what it looks like and what sets "fit" and sound better for him for the money. That's really all there is to it.

Posted on Dec 23, 2010 5:02:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2010 5:03:50 PM PST
S. Pitts says:
Seriously?? Have you seen what a Jr. set looks like? It is for little kids and I just bought my three year old son one. If you get your son a Jr. set he is going to be pretty upset. It is REALLY small. I agree with all those people that said to just go out and buy a regular set. Why waste 200.00 or so dollars on crap when you could put it towards a real set? Seems like a no brainer. If he doesn't play long, then sell it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2010 8:28:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2010 8:31:09 PM PST
K. Oleff says:
S. Pitts says:
Seriously?? Have you seen what a Jr. set looks like? It is for little kids and I just bought my three year old son one. If you get your son a Jr. set he is going to be pretty upset. It is REALLY small. I agree with all those people that said to just go out and buy a regular set. Why waste 200.00 or so dollars on crap when you could put it towards a real set? Seems like a no brainer. If he doesn't play long, then sell it.

____________________________________

I hope that, in the end, you'll realize that my comments (and tips on checking kits out) were never about how I felt about how the kits looked...
...they were about how the(se) beginner(s)--in particular, the kid--thought of them after checking them out up close, ya know? While I do agree on most likely getting the regular size kit, I'm also leaving it up to them. If they end up unhappy about the choice they made size-wise, it is basically just as simple as that--for the kid and the parent--so the "bad idea" (if it turned out to be one) would be theirs alone, not mine. I'm, in NO WAY, trying to tell them that they should/gotta go with the small kit! I'm just here trying to help out with the recommendations, ya hear?

Once again, I wish all new drummers good luck on their kit choices and even more so in their growth and experience in drumming gained over (lots of practice and) time.

Posted on Feb 25, 2011 11:28:35 PM PST
G. Morrison says:
I agree with K.: A parent may buy purchase individual drums--piecemeal. Birch likely is the best wood to start with if a parent won't pay for North American sugar maple. Not many who are the least bit knowledgeable about drums really wants mahogany (luan), basswood, birch/basswood (hybrid), or poplar shells. Anyway, if the shells you must purchase don't match, they may later on be carefully painted or re-wrapped to match, if desired. Most drummers use a different snare drum from that which came their shells--that's perfectly OK.

K also is right about used cymbals (available online)--lots of people, reluctantly, had to throw in some of their better cymbals, given these days. In any case, a parent may save good money now this way. With cymbals, a parent needs to buy hardware. I would purchase decent hardware or better--if everything is reasonably good, then it's easier to divest for something back, monetarily, if the child loses interest. Often, it's advantageous to purchase individual shells or a "shell pack" and separate hardware. An exception may include purchasing a better intermediate or "pro level" kit instead of merely a shell pack.

Don't confuse vintage hardware (stands, etc.-- available at online auction) with famed vintage shells (which create a great deal of "buzz" among drummers. Often such hardware is really beat-up, pitted, and generally wasn't very good to begin with--don't save money in this way. Today's better hardware (used or new) is durable and more versatile. Heavy-duty hardware likely won't fall down or be knocked down. (Drummers often do use separate, lighter hardware at gigs, though.)

Personally, I buy only 900/9000-level hardware or better. I like Gibraltar, Pearl, Tama, and certain Pacific/PDP items--these aren't the only good brands of hardware, though. Certainly, DW makes really good hardware, and Yamaha, Ludwig, and Mapex have some very good items. Anyway, I know that I can get a better percentage of my money back if I had to sell. Certainly, not everything has to match (at least in manufacture). Finally, think about this--it makes a lot of sense: At some point get a throne that your child "Loves!"

(Mahogany drum shells: Luan--cheap Asian mahogany used in cheap "kits"-- it's often substituted for plywood in building homes here as well. Big Leaf or Indonesian mahogany is of far higher quality and is considered a desirable "exotic" wood for shells--thus, it's likely too expensive (not to mention too advanced) for beginners.)

Posted on Mar 6, 2011 8:13:33 AM PST
Why not go for a jazz Combo kit - generally smaller than the rock drum kit but big enough for child and adult
Check out youtube for drum kits that Art Blakey, Thad Jones, etc
18" or 20" bass drum rather than 22" or 24"

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2011 4:15:56 PM PDT
Get an adult size set he will out grow the jr set in a year or so also no need to buy 2 sets within a year. trust me I have tought drums and have played for 35 years. I hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2011 9:18:59 PM PDT
Hobbie says:
I agree with Anthony. A warranty is only as good as the music store that you buy it from. Mapex, Sonor, Yamaha, Pearl are all really good sets. Go to a music store and let the drum guy show you how to compare what you are really getting for your money.
Yamaha does not put out junk. Tama was once a "hot" set to have, but it's glory days are over. Have an open mind and go to a reliable music store and compare.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2011 9:22:01 PM PDT
Hobbie says:
It is really small for a 12 year old. He will be discouraged trying to play them. Look at a good music store and you will see the difference. Some stores have teachers there and he can start learning before you commit to a set. They may steer you to a good used full sized set.
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Initial post:  Nov 29, 2010
Latest post:  Nov 25, 2011

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