Does your child want to get into drumming and need their very first drum set? If so, it helps to know what to look for when making this exciting purchase. There are various kits you can purchase at different price ranges at most music equipment stores, and it's important to select the right one that meets your child's needs.
You'll find that music stores will sell shell packs, which are essentially just the drums that you need to make up a drum set. These typically do not include everything else that you need, such as the cymbals, hardware, seat, and sticks. This can be great if all you need is a bass drum, snare drum, and a tom or two to do basic lessons, but you may find it a bit lacking with what is missing.
You will find complete sets that have everything that you need, which includes the drums, cymbals, seat, and sticks. If it's from a name brand, you'll find that the drums themselves are made with good quality that will get your child many years of use. However, beware of the cymbals that come with these kits. The cymbals may sound like they look — like you are hitting a metal pie plate.
The good news is that cymbals are an easy upgrade over the years and are something that drummers often upgrade anyway as they gain more experience and look to expand their drum set. It could also be the perfect kit for a young child that is just learning the drums and for whom you do not want to make a huge investment. Low-end kits are great for practicing at home since they will likely have a nicer kit to play in band class.
The thing to look for when upgrading to a mid-range kit is how those cymbals are different. You should not be paying more money if the cymbals do not come from one of the major cymbal manufacturers. You'll also find that the hardware is much better, with the legs of the hardware having double braces that make them much more sturdy. This type of kit can last a child through high school and can even sound good enough to use in public for performances.
A La Carte Purchases
Don't feel like you cannot go outside of the basic sets and buy things à la carte. Consider getting your child a nice seat, since comfort is crucial when playing the drums. It can also help to have a variety of different sticks at different weights as they learn what feels best and a second crash cymbal as they start building their skills and playing more advanced patterns.