children lean drums
How to teach kids the drums at home

The drums are a great instrument for kids to learn. Not only does drumming help with brain development and coordination, it can also help with stress relief, improve kids’ ability to concentrate, help increase physical stamina and even lead to an increase in IQ scores. If you are a parent who would like get your kids into drumming, we have found lots of super cool resources that you can use at home to teach your kids.

children lean drums
 

Becoming a great drummer takes lots of practice so having different resources available will help your child to become less bored with practicing. So with that in mind, here is our roundup of the best books, DVDs, online videos, apps and some recommendations for the best drum sets for kids that will help parents help their kids to become amazing drummers!

Books

  • Drumset For Preschoolers is a book that was written for parents and teachers of 2-6 year-olds who want their preschooler to learn to play. It uses a color coding music notation system and is organized into three skill levels so the parent can choose which level fits the child’s abilities. Parents who don’t play themselves will find this book easy to use as it covers everything you need to know to get your child drumming.
  • Alfred’s Kid’s Drum Course Complete  (for ages 5+) is a fun method that teaches kids to play rhythms and songs on a variety of instruments and sound sources.  The CDs let you hear how the music should sound, and each lesson is explained in plain language that make it easy for kids to understand.
  • Mel bay presents Kid’s Rock Drum Method Book/CD Set has exercises and beats for kids to practice. The book is geared towards younger drummers, but is appropriate for older kids who are beginning too. The book is moderately paced, introducing concepts one at a time for an easy learning process. A CD is also included.
  • Mel Bay Drum Lessons for Kids of All Ages book/CD set is another book for the beginning drum student. It’s a fun book for kids learning to play, that teaches the fundamentals that kids need to learn. The CD that is included has eight play-along tunes.
  • If you are a parent with some musical background the two books that are recommended the most for beginners are Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer and Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer. These aren’t for very small children, but would be good for ages 11 or 12 + with the help of someone with drumming experience who can read musical notation.

DVDs

There are a few DVDs that are specifically made to help teach children how to play the drums, although unfortunately the reviews for the DVDs that are available are pretty mixed. If you are thinking of buying a DVD make sure you check out the previews.  Here are some of the DVDs that are available:

  • Drumming For Kids I first watched this DVD maybe 5 years ago and wasn’t a huge fan. It’s pretty dated and very corny. However, my husband loved it and still (inexplicably) quotes the star of this DVD, Sam Zucchini. Younger kids might really like this DVD, but kids over age 8 or so would probably not get much out of it.
  • Realistic Rock for Kids has a book as well as 2 CDs and the DVD. There aren’t many reviews for this DVD around so have a look at the preview if you are thinking buying it. Although this is Carmine Appice’s DVD, 12-year-old contest winner Pete Biggiani does all of the lessons. This DVD teaches the basics of Drumming such as how to read notes, how to hold the sticks, simple hand/foot coordination exercises, etc.
  • Alfred’s Kid’s Drumset Course (Kid’s Courses!) is another DVD that you might come across, but beware because the reviews for this DVD aren’t great. It kind of looks like an adult course where they just added some graphics with a cartoon crocodile. You can view the preview for it  here.
  • A DVD that gets recommended a lot and is okay for kids (ages 10+) even though it is made for an adult audience is Getting Started on Drums Featuring Tommy Igoe DVD – Setting Up / Start Playing. This DVD basically takes you through setting up the drum set and then goes through all the basic stuff that you need to know to begin playing. Highly recommended for beginners.

Online Drumming Lessons

There are lots of great drumming lessons online, most are geared for adults but would be fine for kids as well. Here are a few that are for kids that we like:

  • Kids Drumming Lessons  This site is great for kids. It is video drumming lessons that are taught by a kid. Super watchable and highly recommended for kids.
  • Beginner Drum Lessons for Kids is another online series that is geared toward kids.  The videos are well done and easy to follow.
  • Little Kids Rock have an intro lesson on how to hold the drum sticks and then a number of super short lessons on different beats.

Fun Drumming Apps

There isn’t much in the way of drumming lesson apps that are designed specifically for kids, but if your kids are into drumming and are looking for some fun or useful apps here are a few to have a look at:

  • Drum Kids is a simple drumming app for toddlers and preschoolers. The app allows children to hear the rhythms of drummers and music from around the world, including the American Trap Set, Caribbean Steel Pan, Chinese Drum, Cuban Conga and the West African Djembe.  The app also helps kids learn fun facts about each of the types of drums.
  • Drum Kidz Free helps kids learn rhythm on the drum kit (as well as Congas, Bongos, Doumbek, and Djembe). This app has a feature that when a loop is played, the drum will light up when hit at the right time so this helps kids learn basic rhythm. Some other features include the ability to record your drumming, change the pitch, touch sensitivity, reverb, delay, and more. You can also play to your own music on your iPod from within the app.
  • Ratatap Drums Free is designed for adults but would be fun for kids who already have a bit of drumming experience. This app is considered one of the best drum apps in the app store. It has 15 kits to choose from with a fast response time that makes it fun to play.
  • Drums Master is another great drum app. It lets you play with a 6-piece drum kit. You can use it to play along with songs, record your songs, vocals and drums all together, learn info about each part of the instrument, and a tonne of other things.

Kits

If you haven’t got a drum kit for your kids yet and they are under the age of 10 you might want to consider getting a good quality junior drum set. Junior drum kits are basically just mini versions of real drum sets and are a much better option for kids who love to drum than getting a toy set at Toys R Us or Walmart. Here are a few drum kits that have amazing reviews and are highly recommended.

  • De Rosa DRM312-BU Children’s 3 Piece 12 Inch Drum Set  (for ages 3-5) is a great priced set that is available in eight different colors. Reviewers love the quality of this set and find it an especially good choice for toddlers. This set is made of metal and chrome and includes, a 12 inch Bass Drum, 8 inch Tom Tom with holder, 8 inch Snare with holder and Cymbal holder with 8 inch Cymbal. You also get sticks, Bass Drum Pedal and a junior drum throne.
  • Mendini MJDS-3-BL 16-inch 3-Piece Blue Junior Drum Set  is another great choice for a junior drum set. It is slightly bigger than the DeRosa and is good for kids ages 5-10. It comes in 6 different colors and reviewers also love the quality of this kit. This set includes a 16 inch Bass Drum, 10 inch Hanging Tom, 10 inch snare drum with stand, and a 9.5 inch cymbal with bass mounted holder. You also get a bass drum chain driven pedal, a pair of wooden drum sticks, and an adjustable round padded drum throne.
  • Gammon 5-Piece Junior Starter Drum Setis similar to the Mendini except it’s a five piece rather than a three. This set is also a good choice for kids ages 5-10. It’s a good quality, good sound, and looks great. This set includes a 16 inch Lug Bass Drum 5 3/4 inch Wood Snare drum, 10 inch and 8 inch Hang Toms, 12 inch Floor tom 8 inch Hi-Hat Cymbals 10 inch Crash/Ride Cymbal Snare Stand, and a  Hi-Hat Stand. You also get a Bass drum pedal, a of Pair drum sticks, a Drummers Key, and a Drum Stool.

If you have an older kid who wants to learn the drums but you aren’t quite into buying a full drum set you could get a Practice Pad. Practice pads are MUCH cheaper than buying a full set and it will buy you some time to see if your kids will really stick with learning.

Let us know if you have any other recommendations for great resources to help kids learn drums.

photo credit: Garrette via photopin cc

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