If you’ve ever shopped around for drums on Amazon, you’ve most probably come across a few Mendini drum sets. These kits may seem very attractive at first glance thanks to their low price points. However, they hardly compare to the quality of major drum brands.
With that being said, a young child could still get amazing use out of one of these kits. So, we’re going to have a deep look into the 5-piece Mendini kit for kids and see if it’s a good idea to buy one of them for someone a bit too young to play on the big drum sets.
Bottom Line Up Front: I wouldn’t suggest buying this kit if you can afford a better one from a major drum brand. However, it’s a valuable purchase for those who want to get an inexpensive drum set for a child that has the potential to get into drumming. There are also a few better children’s sets from big brands that have a fairly similar price point.
What is Mendini by Cecilio?
Mendini is a range of cheaper instruments from Cecilio. They sell violins, woodwind instruments, horns, and most importantly in this context, drum sets. As someone who lives in South Africa, I had never heard of this brand until I started ordering gear on Amazon a few years ago.
It’s not a very popular drum brand across the world, but Mendini kits are massively popular amongst Amazon buyers looking for drums to buy. I looked to find a website for the brand when I wanted to find more information on the drums.
Unfortunately, they don’t have one, and that’s a bit of a warning sign for me. Having no website may mean that customer service will be non-existent.
However, plenty of people have bought these sets and been happy with them. So, let’s carry on with the review!
What to Look for in a Drum Set for Children
The criteria for a good kid’s drum set are slightly different from an adult’s. So, here are the things I’m going to be looking out for when reviewing this set:
- Everything it comes with (it’s best for a beginner kit to have everything you need)
- Size (should be suitable for the smallest of children)
- Sound (not as important as the first two things)
- Construction quality (it needs to last)
- Price (this will be the final determining factor over whether it’s worth buying)
Mendini Kids 5-Piece Review
What It Comes With
Here’s everything included with the Mendini Kids 5-piece set:
- 16” x 11” bass drum
- 10” x 6” snare drum
- 8” x 6” high tom
- 10” x 5” middle tom
- 12” x 10” floor tom
- 8” hi-hats with a stand
- 10” crash with a stand that mounts to the bass drum
- Drum throne
- Bass drum pedal
- Pair of light drum sticks
I’m surprisingly impressed with everything you get with the kit. Looking at that list, you’ll see that you get everything a standard full-sized drum kit would have. I think this is a fantastic way of getting a child accustomed to how playing a proper set feels while allowing them to learn on reduced drum sizes.
Speaking of sizes, the height of all the drums is the big thing to explore here. With the bass drum only being 16-inches, the toms can be positioned fairly low to the ground. This will allow smaller children to feel comfortable when playing.
I’d say that the kit fits anyone below 5ft. Anyone taller than that may start to feel a bit uncomfortable with how low everything is positioned. The toms can get a bit higher, but the cymbal stands will reach their limit when trying to adjust them too high.
The size of the kit is both a good and bad thing. On one hand, it’s very comfortable for a child to play on. On the other hand, it can be outgrown fairly quickly depending on the growth period of each child that plays it.
The sound quality is undoubtedly the worst aspect of this drum set. If you’re looking for the best sounding kit for children, you’ll need to look elsewhere as these drums sound quite paper-like when you hit them.
However, a child isn’t going to worry too much about sound quality at the early stages of playing. As long as there’s something to hit, most children will be happy. The cymbals also sound like tin cans, to be honest.
If you were to attempt getting a decent sound out of these drums, you’d need to replace the drumheads with some Evans or Remo heads, and you’d need to buy some good entry-level cymbals.
Something to note about this set is that it’s a bit superior to a toy. There are plenty of toy drum sets for children out there, and they usually break quickly from all the bashing. Although this Mendini kit feels toy-like compared to drum sets from major brands, it tends to survive the bashing.
I’ve heard of a few people whose kids have been using this set for years with no issues. So, that’s why I like to say that it’s slightly better than an all-out toy drum set.
However, you could spend $100 more to get a junior kit from a major brand that feels much more solid and durable.
The set will cost just over $300 to purchase. This is where I think the value of it dips quite significantly. I would never recommend a kit like this to someone who wants to take drumming very seriously.
There are much better kits that won’t be outgrown for the same price. The Mendini 5-piece works purely as a kit for inquisitive beginner drummers that are children. Since there are better kits for the same price, it’s better just to go with those ones when looking to buy.
I feel the Mendini kit would have higher praises if it dropped its price by $50 to $100. At its current price, there isn’t much reason to get it in place of a small Ludwig or Pearl drum set.
- Fits children very well
- Comes with everything you need to play
- Very affordable
- Doesn’t take up much space
- There are a few better options for the same price
- The sounds aren’t fantastic
At the end of the day, I think this kit would suit a child very well once you buy it for them. The small sizes and the unique colors will keep a youngster interested and the durability is much better than toy drum sets.
However, I wouldn’t suggest buying this kit if you’re still looking around. There are a few better options that will add more value and serve your child better in the long run.
Pearl Roadshow Jr.
Pearl is one of the most well-known major drum brands out there. So, this junior kit from them has some high expectations behind it. I’m happy to let you know that this thing rocks. The shells have very similar sizes to the Mendini ones. Although, the snare is 12” and the floor tom is 13”. So, the kit is slightly larger.
The biggest difference between the two kits is how they feel. This kit has solid Pearl construction, leading it to feel a lot sturdier than the Mendini kit. It also sounds far superior thanks to the poplar shells. With some careful tuning and good drumhead choices, the Pearl Roadshow Jr has the potential to have a killer tone.
The downside is the cymbals. They’re unnamed brass cymbals that have fairly flat tones. As I said before, though, a child playing the drums isn’t going to worry about the tone quality in cymbals. So, it’s not the biggest issue in the world!
- One of the highest-quality junior drum sets available
- Solid construction
- Poplar drum shells
- Most expensive junior drum set (over $350)
Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece
If you want to buy something that is future-proof, I’d suggest getting the adult version of the Pearl Roadshow. While it may be a bit big for someone younger than 5-years-old. It’s a great kit for anyone older than that. A child can keep playing it until they become an adult if they want to.
It has all the same build features as the junior version. The only difference is the size of the drums and cymbals. The 22” bass drum is what makes the kit so feel so large. But if a child is tall enough to sit on the throne and have both feet on the pedals, it’s arguably one of the best kits to have for a beginner drummer.
We did a full review of the set here if you’d like to read more about it!
- Good future-proof option
- Incredible hardware
- A few different configuration options
- Very expensive compared to junior drum sets
Alesis Nitro Mesh
Even junior kits are often too loud for close neighbors. If you live in close quarters with people, you may need to get an electronic drum set. One of the best e-kits for beginners and children is the Alesis Nitro Mesh.
I’m a massive supporter of this kit. It’s the main set that I suggest to all my beginner students who aren’t able to get an acoustic set.
One of the biggest benefits that will keep a child entertained for a while is the ability to change drum sounds. You get 40 different preset drum kit sounds, which is highly impressive for such an affordable set.
The details are a bit long to put here, but you can read all about this kit in our full review.
- Affordable electronic drum set
- Great for spaces where noise is limited
- 40 preset drum set sounds
- Good for children and adults
- Electronic kits aren’t as ideal as acoustic sets for learning to play the drums
Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit
The Pocket Kit is a unique little set from Ludwig. It was designed with the help of Questlove, who is a well-known gigging drummer in New York. The biggest difference between this kit and the previous ones is that it doesn’t have a middle tom, making it a 4-piece drum set.
Other than that, it shares most of the same qualities. However, it somehow sounds incredible. The shells are made from hardwood, and they’re combined with the classic hardware details of all Ludwig drum sets.
It’s an incredible set that is easy to set up and works wonderfully for kids. It’s also the most affordable kit that has been mentioned in this review so far. So, I highly consider checking it out.
- Very affordable
- Great kit for fans of Questlove
- Easy to assemble
- Doesn’t have a middle tom
Answer: There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, most drum brands specialize in making drums, so all the company’s efforts go into making the best possible drumming products. There are so many other Mendini instruments.
Secondly, Mendini instruments are made to be cheaper alternatives to expensive brands. You don’t get high-quality expensive Mendini kits, meaning they’ll always be worse than drum sets that cost and offer more.
Answer: As early as possible! I personally started playing a full-sized drum set at the age of 3. I wasn’t able to reach everything, but my hands started developing techniques and my ear grew accustomed to hearing the drums.
3 would probably be the earliest age as a child can only play the pedals when they have full control over their balance and feet.
Answer: Beginners will never have the same appreciation for gear that experienced players will have. If you just started playing drums, you won’t easily hear the quality difference between a $100 cymbal and a $600 cymbal.
So, drum gear isn’t something to focus too much on in the early stages of playing. Instead, it’s better to focus on learning to play properly and developing a solid foundation. It’s important to understand that good drum gear won’t make you sound better as a player. I’ve seen a few videos of pro drummers making children’s sets sound amazing. It’s all about the player, never the gear!
Answer: The most popular acoustic drum brands are Yamaha, Tama, DW, Pearl, Ludwig, Gretsch, Sonor, and Mapex. In the electronic drumming world, the big names are Roland, Alesis, and Yamaha.
There are other fantastic drum brands other than these listed ones. They’re just not as widely distributed around the world. If you’re looking to buy a new drum set, getting one that falls under one of these brands is a good way of guaranteeing that you’re going to get a high-quality set.
While the Mendini Kids 5-piece set is a decent drum set to buy, I’d recommend getting either the Ludwig Pocket Set or the Pearl Roadshow Junior instead.
As I said in the FAQ section, it’s always better to buy a drum kit from a major brand. The customer support will be superior, and the construction quality of those two kits far exceeds the quality of the Mendini kit.
If you need a drum kit for a child that will continue playing when they grow up, it may be better to get a full-size kit. You’ll need to use your discretion on that one. Otherwise, you’ll end up buying a bigger kit sometime soon in the future.
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