Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of both electronic drum kits and their acoustic brethren, so you know exactly what to look out for.
Here are the main differences:
- Electronic drum kits are made of plastic and rubber pads and sensors.
- A digital module controls the type of sound produced when hit.
- Can be used in practice and live settings.
- Acoustic drum kits are larger and made of wood, metal and synthetic drumheads.
- Used by almost all rock, jazz and metal musicians.
Both acoustic and electronic variants are completely viable practice kits. There’s no real exclusive wrong or right answer, but current electronic kits are giving acoustics and excellent run for their money.
Electronic Drum Kit
These kits are excellent for practice, be it at home or in a rehearsal space. You can plug headphones in for an almost silent session or hook them up to a PA system if you do eventually play with other musicians or at a gig.
As a beginner, you can experiment with absolutely any type of sound. Be it a maple acoustic kit emulation, unique percussion like gongs or just basic synth beats, the electronic kit can recreate whatever inspires you.
Almost all variants include the likes of a metronome with multiple voicings, looping features, play-along songs and mp3 compatibility. Everything you need as a drummer to make life easy.
It’s not just for those new to the instrument either. Cover band drummers can nail the sound of the original artist thanks to the supreme versatility. They’re just as easy to record with too, as all you need to do is plug them in via USB or MIDI.
They’re extremely portable as well. You’ll have no problem packing it into the back of a car.
There are some downsides. Not everyone likes the sound of an electronic kit when reproducing that of an acoustic. And to be fair, there isn’t anyone who would say it sounds better than the original. Great for electronic stuff, not quite perfected for rock, metal and jazz.
An electronic kit might cost more than the equivalent acoustic kit, especially as you look further up the price range. Beginner models offer great bang for your buck, but some creep into acoustic territory.
Seasoned drummers after a kit specifically for a synthetic sound won’t mind too much, but an electronic kit isn’t really what you stick with as you progress in your career as a drummer. You might not want to make that jump just as you start getting comfortable with the feel of electric pads at an early stage.