If your child wants to play drums (show us a kid that doesn’t!), the best option is an electronic drum kit. They are less noisy than acoustic ones, require less space, and often come with educational programs. To choose the best kid electric drums gets harder because of the high variety of models; so, here’s what to look at when making your choice.
Why Electronic Drums?
Classical acoustic drums still have some advantages. They are “real”, they are self-sufficient, they don’t need power, and they seem simpler. But when it comes to loudness, you can only imagine what happens when two wishes collide: you want to take a nap, and the child wants to beat the dust out of it.
Electronic drums, on the contrary, may be completely unheard beyond the children’s room (if the volume is set properly). They are not as expensive as one might think, and they can – depending on your preferences – either imitate a real acoustic drum set or be a tabletop gadget connected to a PC. There are marching electronic drums as well, with built-in speakers and metronomes.
There are both toy-designed electronic drums (for yesterday’s toddlers) and those resembling adult drum sets. Apart from them, there are hi-tech electronic drums, looking like they’re taken from Marshmello or Diplo’s studio.
And yes, playing electronic drums has all the benefits of drum learning, like advanced mathematical learning, rhythmic feelings, body control, and stuff. But along with it, they can help a child develop a deeper interest in music theory, computers, programming, and so on. Well, some of you might think about drum machines that many stars are using. But a drum machine is a great present for a teenager, with all the patience it takes to master. When speaking of a child, the physical feel of beating the drum and the sound that follows – that’s what matters.
What to Look at When Choosing
Not all electronic drums are created equal. Even if we are speaking just a segment of the class – electronic drums for kids. Keep in mind all the below parameters when choosing.
The first thing to look at is whether it’s comfortable for your child to play these drums. It’s especially important when you’re looking at a full drum set electrified, providing the most natural feel. There are special drum sets that fully imitate adult models, though the overall size is smaller; the ratios stay the same. These are great for preparing to play a real drum kit, but they take space. And yes, they can get very loud even when unplugged.
Tabletop electronic drums may look more toyish. They are low-volume unless connected to a speaker. They take less physical effort to play (and less reward when it comes to channeling physical energy of growth). On the other hand, for children who prefer computers to outdoor games, this type of drums can be the perfect fit. They are compatible with computer software, many of them allow for recording drums and then editing or analyzing the track, and yes – you can make real music with them.
But none of these can be taken to the street to your friend, so here comes another parameter…
If you plan to move soon (and even more if you plan to move frequently), you would prefer a more portable drum or a drum set. What about your kids? They would take another benefit from portability: portable drums are easier to take to the street and show off before other children! These resemble marching drums, usually, they are battery-operated, with a built-in speaker and a metronome that sets the rhythm.
Well, formally a drum kit can be called “electrified” even if its only feature that requires power is a LED light on the bass drum. But there is more to this sort of toy (or musical instrument? Depends on the model). So let’s see these features.
- Built-in speakers. Great for portable models. Usually not very loud, so great if you don’t want to be annoyed. The downside is that these speakers are often low-quality, so, say, the bass drum is not heard at all.
- Outputs for external acoustic systems or headphones. The latter is great if the child agrees to be the only one who hears the drums. But if not, and the speakers are loud enough, you’re gonna have a hard time.
- Metronome. A great tool for professional drummers, let alone young practitioners. It’s always a good idea.
- AC power vs. batteries. A socket is great for realistic, serious drum kits; on the other hand, a battery-operated drum can be taken outside, so the child can have a party with friends or just show off a little.
It depends on where you live, of course: if your house is big and well isolated, your child can play drums as loud as possible, not risking waking you or neighbors up. Living in a house where your bedroom is close to the children’s room requires more attention to muting sounds. Let alone living in an apartment!
When it comes to purely electronic drums, the problem can be solved by persuading the young drummer to put the headphones on when playing. But what if the very sense of playing drums is about being loud, and the kid gets their kicks (pun intended) from others hearing and reacting? Then you should pay the most attention to the maximum volume: let the children play, but not to others’ annoyance.
The perfect fit for it is a silicone-made flexible drum set that’s quite playable with sticks and can be commuted to an external acoustic system or headphones. It makes as little acoustic noise as possible. Yet electronically it imitates the real drum set. If you’re ready to invest a little more, you can get your child interested in making real music by buying a MIDI-compatible electronic drum set that’s already a professional instrument. But that’s the next level.
So, Let ‘Em Kick!
Buying an electronic drum kit as a gift for your kid is still a good idea, but you need to make the right choice, and now you know how. If you like this article, recommend it to your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media you use. And if you have something to add (for example, your own story of young drummers), we’d gladly read it in the comments.