Drum ideas for one year old?

Drummingonthebrain

Junior Member
Hi all,

Been drumming my whole life, about 30 years, and have a one year old. Around 9 months I’d have him sit between my legs and I’d play some stuff on the carpet, then he’d take the sticks and bang a bit, then I’d take them back, and so on. He also taps on pillows, blankets, etc. I know he’s too young to do much, but I’d like to encourage his percussive explorations.

All “baby drums” look cheap. I was thinking of getting an inexpensive 8x8 tom and putting some sort of foam over the rim to spare his hands. Those bargain bongos are also an option I suppose.

Any of you have any suggestions? Recently moved to the suburbs with a basement, so no longer have to worry about annoying apartment neighbors. What about smaller sticks for him, any suggestions on that?

Thanks in advance.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
My son is now six. He got his first pair of sticks on his first birthday. He played on pillows, on his bed, and on cushions until I got him a practice pad at age four. He played the pad for two years and now has a Pearl Roadshow Jr. kit, which he plays almost every day, in addition to continuing pad work. I've been drumming thirty-six years and am guiding (not forcing) his development.

A one-year-old is way too young for formal training of any sort. Let him pound away on soft objects that can't be damaged. Also, always supervise him. Drumsticks can be dangerous if strokes get too wild.

Now is the time to let him have fun. He should just associate wielding sticks with merriment. Hopefully, positive memories will persuade him to become a serious player one day.
 

Drummingonthebrain

Junior Member
Will he retain much that early? I'm not a father so I really know nothing about raising small people. ;)
I don’t know. I haven’t looked into that aspect of it, but music is pretty integral in early child development. I wasn’t thinking along the lines of retaining anything. It’s not like you can even teach them anything at this point. Just something for them to bang on and explore sounds. Then copying me with very basic, one hit, now two hits, and so on.
 

Drummingonthebrain

Junior Member
My son is now six. He got his first pair of sticks on his first birthday. He played on pillows, on his bed, and on cushions until I got him a practice pad at age four. He played the pad for two years and now has a Pearl Roadshow Jr. kit, which he plays almost every day, in addition to continuing pad work. I've been drumming thirty-six years and am guiding (not forcing) his development.

A one-year-old is way too young for formal training of any sort. Let him pound away on soft objects that can't be damaged. Also, always supervise him. Drumsticks can be dangerous if strokes get too wild.

Now is the time to let him have fun. He should just associate wielding sticks with merriment. Hopefully, positive memories will persuade him to become a serious player one day.
100% agree and this is what I’m aiming for.
What type of sticks did you get your son when he was one?
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Kids that age would get off on hitting just about anything. Set him up with some pots and pans and some wooden spoons and he'll be fine.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
100% agree and this is what I’m aiming for.
What type of sticks did you get your son when he was one?
It just so happens that we still have his first sticks. They're called First Act Discovery, designed specifically for toddlers. He's now using Promark's Hickory 5A model.
 

Noisy

Well-known member
A Marimba or xylophone trains both percussion and sound notes, which would also be beneficial. Also they aren’t too loud. I personally like the melodic marimba sounds.

Loud sounds from your drum kit could be too loud for him and damage his hearing so please always play softly when he is around it.
 

theseer2

Junior Member
Family size ice cream tubs are best and almost free!

Wood cooking spoons are safe too.

Nothing loud that will damage the new ears.
 

iCe

Senior Member
When i was 2 1/2 years i got a toy drumset and i do remember playing it and thinking that is was a real drumset. Simple 'bassdrum' with two 'toms' mounted on it with a round piece of tin that resembles a cymbal. At that age you don't know the difference, except it makes noise and allows you to emulate what you saw (there is a videorecording of me playing that kit and had the time of my life!)
 
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