My daughter (7 yrs) has started playing drums and at school they have a full drum set (kick drum, snare drum, high hat, etc).

To practise at home, she was given a snare drum. To me it seems she would get great benefit from being able to practise with kick drum and snare drum at home.

We dont have room for a full sized kick drum at home - is there an alternative?

For example is there a smaller electronic kick drum, or some other way we can improvise, without spending a lot of money?


Thanks for the help! Here's my daughter's home made kick drum with a box, which cost under 30 euros for the kick pedal.

Home made kick drum


This may sound dumb and simple but: a box. Get a real kick pedal, even a cheap one, and set it up to hit something that will make a sound loud enough to hear and quiet enough that you can tolerate it as a parent. Anything hollow with a flat side to hit should work, even a sturdy cardboard box.

There are practice pads made specifically for this but they may be a bit quiet for a real snare drum. They'd be better paired with a similar snare practice pad. So having something with a little more volume may help.

Alternatively yes there are electronic kits and modules that have kick inputs but those can start getting expensive. Check craigslist or your local used market though and you may find a cheap entry-level kit.

  • Thanks! I added a picture of the setup to my answer. Works great! – vikingsteve Oct 23 '17 at 10:28
  • The action on electric kicks is horrible; the trigger has no give to it, so you don't get your beater back fast enough. But I play on my toes and I've broken every pedal I've ever owned.... – Mazura Jan 15 '20 at 1:17

I've seen a lot of smaller kick drum alternatives available for busking.

You could look at stomp boxes. Basically a electronic pedal that outputs to an amp.

If just for practice, you could probably make a small wooden box and mount a kick drum pedal to it.

Try googling for "busking kick drum"


You can make a simple bass drum 'emulator' with a couple of boards and a rubber mouse pad. An electronic BD unit costs almost as much as a bass drum. I'd be tempted to look for a cheap used bass drum to get her started.

  • Thanks I did look for a used bass drum but they still run around 220 euros (we live in a small expensive country) – vikingsteve May 14 '18 at 7:07

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