S'up UG. I've officially been playing guitar for a year. My now 13 year old younger brother wants to drum, but won't get off his ass and look for some. So I did about two hours of looking today, and I am SO confused!

Can anyone out there recommend a cheap(ish) drum kit for a 13 year old drummer? He's five feet 1.5 inches tall. He's into alt-rock (Three Days Grace, Linkin Park) and I like Red, 5FDP, A7X, Wolves at the Gate, Demon Hunter, Black Veil Brides, Breaking Benjamin, Dead by Sunrise, Linkin Park, etc. Just to give you an idea of what style he'd play.

Also, our parents would prefer if he could teach himself (I taught myself guitar and it went quite well). Can you recommend any self-teach books? It's not that we can't afford them, but the lessons in Edmonton aren't cheap. So why waste money on 'em if we don't have to, you know?

As well, any tips for beginner? Does he really need an 8*8 space to play?

Thanks so much in advance!
Last edited by toateridax2010 at Jul 24, 2015,
Look for used kits of quality. Any Tama will do nicely as sound and hardware last very long.

Decide on gear that will be inspiring to the player and sound right to the drummers ears. Don't be cheap on cymbals. Try different brands of gear to get the right wanted kit. Maybe he has an idea allready? Get him involved in the process on finding the right one for him! Make sure he can grow with the kit.

As for space depends on the drumkit and surroundings as drums are loud. Then it gets to tape and pillows etc. but that just makes it less great sounding and less inspiring for a drummer.

As for learning the basics of the book Stick Control to a metronome then look for basic groove oriented study material and youtube has a lot of stuff on that and other like Drumeo. But he should learn what he wants to learn in any case.

Otherwise you got to get your hands and both feet in perfect co ordination with each other. The metronome is essential to make that happen.

Other than that learn how to tune the drums!!! Not tape them up!!! This is a biggie as most kits can sound good with good heads and a tune up. It is just never the case that a kit is in tune at all and sound horrible especially cheap kits.

It does take a developed set of ears to tune a guitar or drum kit but it be can learned. However every drummer has an opinion on this on how to go about it.

I got my drum kit in 3 boxes and had to put the skins on to make them complete but as my bass player pointed out I needed to tune them up.

As my kit is a Tama I got a Tama watch which is tool that makes tuning easier and more simple to get the skins balanched at each lug sounding awesome. I just followed the manual and my ears to get the right places for my ears to say yes and writing down the numbers.

It makes playing drums and learning so much better. My kit stays in tune months after months even after hitting them hard. I have as a guitarist played with drummers who could not play time well on cheap kits they could not even tune themselves.

I keep that in mind on what not to do.
Last edited by anders.jorgense at Aug 4, 2015,
look for a used Jazz/fusion set
These typically have 10",12",14" and either a 20"x20" kick or a 22"x16" kick.

All he really needs for cymbals is a hi-hat 14", 16 crash and a 18" or 20" ride
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
So can you recommend any used sets? And what's the max price, in your opinion, for a beginner kit?

Who knew hitting things with sticks was so complicated? lol :-)
Meaning the drums are to loud and you put pillows in the bass drum and tape all skins in turn to make the kit less loud. Also it is sometimes done to make it sound better but the truth in that case is that the person can't tune the kit properly.

I can vote for Tama as that is what I play and know. My kit is from 1987 and it still holds up and sounds awesome.

Look for kits in you area and see what the average going price seems to be. That will give an indication on price.

Lastly don't give to much for beginner cymbals at all. Stick with Zildjian A 1-2 crash and one ride. That would cover the basic needs for upgrade.

Overall buying to cheap is not to good as pretty soon the drummer wants to upgrade to better sounding parts. But if the kit was sounding nice and the snare + basic cymbals then it would last longer and keep a better value.

Things are only as complicated as the seem to be on the outside but drumming can be fun!
I've noticed that the junior kits are considerably cheaper (I'm on eBay btw). Should I look into a junior kit for him, or are those for younger kids (I said earlier he's 13yo and 5' 1).
The basics of a kit:

Snare drum
Bass drum
Rack tom

1 drum key for tuning

1 crash cymbal
1 ride cymbal
1 set of hihat cymbals (top and bottom)

You need the minimum of 2 stands for ride and crash + 1 hihat stand and 1 snare stand

Drum throne!

Bass drum pedal

Now everything here is the basic minimum though toms over bass drum or on the floor but the key is just to have at least have 1 tom up and one down then find out later if more is the thing to do. Most kits come with 2 up and one down. The same with cymbals.

A drum kit must have a hihat with nice sounding hihat cymbals. It is essential!

The most junior kits I can see on Ebay is for 10 year olds and lower.

The best thing to do would be to look at some different kits new and old within your budget and see where he feels comfortable. 20 inch bass drums, 22 inch bass drum and 24 inch. You can get other sizes but the smaller the person the smaller the main drum will feel right.

I know that you are trying to see if the kid is going to stick with it and maybe budget but the main thing with drums is you quickly learn the basics and then you spend the time and money on upgrading forever. A basic trap many musicians get into.

So a basic setup Tama Swingstar or Pearl Export (does not matter how old!) and try to look at Craigslist as Ebay pumps up the prices in many cases. You can find the deals by going local instead and bring the kid and get his opinion as that is the one that matters.

If he looses interest you can always sell it again. Some decent basic kit like mentioned can be great for the next at least 3 years and maybe he would just upgrade a few points at that period in time. Anything less would be sold on.
Last edited by anders.jorgense at Aug 16, 2015,
I find local (Edmonton) is stupid expensive, people want $2000+ for a kit.

And he doesn't seem too involved or interested in actually LOOKING for them, but he's desperate to play (HE only looked once for drums on eBay). He'd rather obsess over MC mods.

How do I determine which size of each drum would fit him best?
Hello toateridax2010 Ive been playing drums for over 25 years, I would advise your brother not to waste your money on a cheap drum kit I would stay away from a lot of the drum maker lower price kits, because in the end you will be selling it anyway down the road because it sounds like crap, and won't get your money back that you paid for it, Id stick with a 100% maple shell kit or Birch shell, Ludwig, Gretch, Pearl, Tama, Mapex my denity is cool for someone with not a lot of money and they offer custom options you can design your own kit sizes, Maple or Birch shells, colors etc, check them out, I have two acoustic kits and an electronic Roland kit for practicing when you can't play an acoustic kit with all the noise, last thing you need is your neighbors calling the cops on you when your trying to practice for 3 hours, its great to have an electronic kit on hand, and Id recommend Carmine Appice Rock drumming Book and Video for your brother who is just starting out, I started out on just a snare when I was in grade school band and got free lessons from school, when I branched out and purchased my first drum set, I learned more on my own just by listening to all different styles of music as I could but first stuff I was really into Id just put on a set of headphones and listen to the drum part and play along to it, this will teach you rhythm tempo, give you endurance, once your able to play up to speed with a song. You can start improvising and add your own drum fills to a song and make it yours. I hoped this helped, if you have any questions on drums let me know.



3 kits from 1000 to 1500$


1 Electric kit 1500$

You will not go bad in any of the above options and they are complete with everything. All you need is the kid and some sticks + his interest.

The E kit does not make a lot of noise but if you live in an apartment it can be heard from down below but there are ways around it. You have to google that. Also a real kit is a bit different in the dynamics and you learn how each bit of the kit sounds with time.

Will let him now that you are now going on a drum trip and see how he fits behind the kit you are checking out.
Last edited by anders.jorgense at Aug 16, 2015,
No, we live in a house, noise probably won't be an issue. Depending how hard he goes at it, might buy some silencer pads for the sake of our sanity

Found a $100 local kit just now. has toms, kick, and two cymbals (assuming ride and crash) with kick pedal, sticks, and throne. Probably get the monkey to check em out (it's local, so we should).
It sounds like a cheap kit for sale because of lost interest.

In any case I would go for it as you can be surpriced once you get there and it is sometimes the fact the people don't know what they got at all. Thereby a good deal at least.

Never assume things are what they are.