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Thread: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

  1. #1

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    Question Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Well, I've been saving money for a few days now, and I've got about $600 (which are R$1,200 approximately, here in Brazil). I was talking with some friends and they came up with the idea that an electronic drum would be far better for a beginner like me, even more with the various different configurations it often supplies... But, on the other hand, I don't have any clues to the model or brand, there's the "feeling" part of a standard drum and the playing live part to...

    Knowing that I also live with my family, which you think is the better option?
    And what brands would you recommend in that case?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Well, there are pros and cons for both decisions GabrielMBU. An acoustic kit has the natural feel and coolness that everybody loves. But they are loud and don't lend well to being muted. Where an e-kit can be played with earphones and be virtually silent for everyone else. So if you think you might have a noise issue with neighbors' and or family members, an e-kit might be the best decision for you. But with an e-kit, you want to go with a name brand like Yamaha or Roland. My brother lives in an apartment and has a Roland. Compared to my acoustic kit, and in my opinion, it doesn't compare for feel at all. I'm sure that after a while and after I had gotten used to it, it would start to feel like less of a toy for me. The $600.00 US you have right now is less than half of what your going to need for a new one though. But you might find something used for close to what cash you have ready. Welcome and good luck in your journey.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    It's a tough call on the noise issue. Acoustic drums have that natural feel like wolvie mentioned but if the noise issue will stop you from playing drums, you might have to go with the ekit. I have an old Yamaha DTXpressIII module from 2004 and Yamaha DTXpressIV pads. Both items have been discontinued and I bought them both at used prices. The DTXpressIII module was $150 USD and the IV pads were $540 USD.

    There are better and newer techno stuff out there but I'm glad I didn't invest too heavy into ekits. Although I haven't played the Roland mesh pads, I prefer acoustic drums over ekits. I don't use them for gigs and currently, my ekit serves as aux percussion pieces with my acoustic kit. The headphone playing is fantastic. Nobody but me in my head and no worries about bothering family but my pads are rubber and....well they're rubber. Good luck on the choice.


  4. #4

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    I figured that my cash was a little too few yet... But as I am beginning now, would it be better if I bought a regular kit and started now or would you wait a little longer and buy a better, maybe more durable, drum set?
    I think I'm going for the e-kit though, due to my noise restrictions at home...

    I also had some friends to teach me what to look for in a good acoustic drums, but I've got no clue as to what does an electronic drums need to be considered good...

    Thanks for the previous answers! Hope I'm not missing the point of the forum...

    P.S.: Really nice kit late8, this was actually the first time I've seen a setup like that... Using electronic drums as aux percussion pieces should offer many possibilities but won't it be hard to harmony both sounds?
    Last edited by GabrielMBU; 05-20-2013 at 03:28 PM.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    I would buy used for a beginner I wish my parets did that for my first 2 sets instead of cheap sets that sound like poop. I would say a Roland HD-3 or TD-4KP

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    I totally don't buy the thing about "feel". Of course an e-kit doesn't feel like an acoustic set. Why should it? It's as different as an electric guitar is from an acoustic guitar, or an electronic keyboard is from a grand piano in "feel", and yet players of these instrument can easily interchange.

    The most important thing is having something that produces a sound and that you can play and learn on.

    Perhaps plan one day on owning both.

    all the best...
    Last edited by kay-gee; 05-20-2013 at 05:42 PM.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Honestly, I don't get why people gripe over the "feel" of an electronic set. I switched from an electronic set to an acoustic and transitioned just fine. It really isn't a bug deal at all to transition from either, and it shouldn't be.

    But, that being said, you are the one who truly knows your situation. Weigh the pros and cons. I don't know if you've thought about this, but in Brazil, it must be awfully humid, right? This could pose a major problem in the long run. What is your living situation like and where will they be set up?
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  8. #8

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Honestly, I don't get why people gripe over the "feel" of an electronic set. I switched from an electronic set to an acoustic and transitioned just fine. It really isn't a bug deal at all to transition from either, and it shouldn't be.
    amen

    all the best...

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Quote Originally Posted by ljmarch View Post
    Honestly, I don't get why people gripe over the "feel" of an electronic set. I switched from an electronic set to an acoustic and transitioned just fine. It really isn't a bug deal at all to transition from either, and it shouldn't be.

    But, that being said, you are the one who truly knows your situation. Weigh the pros and cons. I don't know if you've thought about this, but in Brazil, it must be awfully humid, right? This could pose a major problem in the long run. What is your living situation like and where will they be set up?
    It's humid in summer, which is a little colder here... And dry in the winter, which is very hot...
    About where will they be set up will depend on which... If electronic it will stay in my own room, being acoustic it will stay among the computer in another room (although it gets pretty hot in there during 15:00 to 18:00). But here the temperature ranges from 82 to 100F...

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Quote Originally Posted by ljmarch View Post
    Honestly, I don't get why people gripe over the "feel" of an electronic set. I switched from an electronic set to an acoustic and transitioned just fine. It really isn't a bug deal at all to transition from either, and it shouldn't be.
    I don't think that we are "griping" about the "feel" difference between an e-kit and an acoustic just to gripe. We're just stating a fact. There is a feel difference, no question. And the biggest difference is noticed when you go from an acoustic to an e-kit. Not from an e-kit to an acoustic. Because of the size of the pads and what material the pads are made out of. The cymbals feel different big time. Metal to rubber, yup. Not that it's harder in any way, just different.
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  11. #11

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Quote Originally Posted by GabrielMBU View Post
    I figured that my cash was a little too few yet... But as I am beginning now, would it be better if I bought a regular kit and started now or would you wait a little longer and buy a better, maybe more durable, drum set?
    I think I'm going for the e-kit though, due to my noise restrictions at home...

    I also had some friends to teach me what to look for in a good acoustic drums, but I've got no clue as to what does an electronic drums need to be considered good...

    Thanks for the previous answers! Hope I'm not missing the point of the forum...

    P.S.: Really nice kit late8, this was actually the first time I've seen a setup like that... Using electronic drums as aux percussion pieces should offer many possibilities but won't it be hard to harmony both sounds?
    If you didn't have a noise issue at home or issues with neighbors, yes investing in a good used mid level kit or a brand new entry level kit, both priced at relatively same price, is a good thing to do if you want to learn the 'feel' of the acoustic drum kit. In my opinion, it takes years to develop the right muscle memory control needed to play real cymbals with dynamics, not just bashing, which by the way, you can get away with on an ekit.

    There's a unique 'touch' required that novice drummers struggle with in my opinion. To master that 'touch' so the drumming doesn't sound like tennis shoes in a dryer takes time to build up muscle memory. Ekits have a different feel and the dynamics are controlled by a chip sample and triggers on the pad. The more money you spend the better the tech but the 'feel' of the acoustic kit is what you'll spend your money for on ekits. Mesh heads are pricey if you decide to upgrade later.

    The blending of both ekit and acoustic kit took some experimenting and I finally found the solution to suit the environment around the kit. I use my drum PA system and run the ekit through two amps (1x @600 watt main speaker 1x@700 watts subwoofers). The challenge is trying to match the volume of both kick drums without resorting to micing the acoustic kit.



    There's at least 8 to 12 feet of space between the kit and the speakers. This location is where the bass frequency from the PA is kept at bay so not to drown out the acoustic kick drum. 25 feet plus, the bass frequency is at its fundamental peak and micing the acoustic kick would be necessary.

    The second challenge was to make the ekit cymbals loud enough to compete with the Zildjian cymbals. I pointed one stack of speakers directly at my back to help blend in the right amount of wash.


    Last edited by late8; 05-20-2013 at 11:28 PM.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Quote Originally Posted by ljmarch View Post
    Honestly, I don't get why people gripe over the "feel" of an electronic set. I switched from an electronic set to an acoustic and transitioned just fine. It really isn't a bug deal at all to transition from either, and it shouldn't be.
    No gripe here ljmarch with all due respect, you may have been blessed with a God given talent but as you stated, you don't know his situation and let's not assume that since you made the transition from one instrument to another that others may follow suit. Your background is impressive to say the least.


  13. #13

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    No gripe here ljmarch with all due respect, you may have been blessed with a God given talent but as you stated, you don't know his situation and let's not assume that since you made the transition from one instrument to another that others may follow suit. Your background is impressive to say the least.
    I'm sorry for starting something. Everyone on here is blessed with a great talent to play drums. But being able to transition from electronic kit to acoustic kit is not a talent. I don't see why it has to be any different. Hitting an electronic pad, rubber or mesh, is just like hitting a practice snare pad. If
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  14. #14

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    I've said this many times here, stay away from E-kits when first learning (and always). If you learn on an E-kit you are going to have to learn all over again when you switch to an acoustic (REAL) drum kit.. E-kits require little effort to play and it takes a completely different level of muscle development to play an acoustic kit. E-kit pads are rubber or mesh. Neither act or feel like a real drum head. The rubber pads have more bounce than a drum head and the mesh are like a trampoline. Because it takes no effort to play them ,you won't be building muscles where needed when you want to play an acoustic kit.

    I've been there TWICE. I played E-kit exclusively for a few years then switched back Acoustic and it took me a solid year to get my chops back. Doubt me if you want, but if you go with an E-kit and switch over later you will be sorry.

    Learn to play on a real drum set.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Quote Originally Posted by NPYYZ View Post
    I've said this many times here, stay away from E-kits when first learning (and always). If you learn on an E-kit you are going to have to learn all over again when you switch to an acoustic (REAL) drum kit.. E-kits require little effort to play and it takes a completely different level of muscle development to play an acoustic kit. E-kit pads are rubber or mesh. Neither act or feel like a real drum head. The rubber pads have more bounce than a drum head and the mesh are like a trampoline. Because it takes no effort to play them ,you won't be building muscles where needed when you want to play an acoustic kit.

    I've been there TWICE. I played E-kit exclusively for a few years then switched back Acoustic and it took me a solid year to get my chops back. Doubt me if you want, but if you go with an E-kit and switch over later you will be sorry.

    Learn to play on a real drum set.
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  16. #16

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Well guys... Seems that e-kit's a lot of extra work then...
    But I had an idea, maybe it's foolish, but you tell me...

    If I bought an e-kit, thus being able to practice more at home without being annoying... And searched for a good teacher here, training with him and taking some practice with acoustic drums... Or isn't it worthy?

    I mean... Practice less at home but since the beginning play with acoustic drums also taking lessons with a teacher? I think lessons are a good idea either way...

    P.S.: Thanks for the explanation late8, impressive job, I wouldn't know how to fetch half of these things up... Just being curious, may I ask what kind of music you play most? Couldn't help to imagine a progressive death metal drums with all these possibilities !

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    No, man. We are just offering different scenarios which you asked for. Even if the 2 different instruments are similar and at the same time have their pros and cons. You have to make up your own mind. In your situation an e-kit would be your best bet since it's not your house and there are other family members to consider, and any drum set is better than no set, right? And your idea of taking drum lessons at the same time is a good one cause chances are the instructor has an acoustic set used for training. Good idea. Do that. Good luck.
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  18. #18

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    Acoustic, if you won't get yelled at for noise. Electronic, if you know that you will.
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  19. #19

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    I think I'll stir the pot here.

    For almost 2 years and way back in the 90's I was in two totally separate bands at the same time. One was a wedding type band (E-kit) that played formal gigs. The other was a rock band (acoustic kit) that played bars. Lucky for me they each played every other weekend so I never once ran into a conflict. Now that's luck.

    One week I would be using the E-kit and the next, the acoustic. My point here is you don't need a lot of muscle to play an acoustic kit well. If you have proper style/form you are using your wrists and elbows and hopefully have your dynamics figured out from there.

    My biggest beef with E-kits is getting a brain that has sounds you will use. In my experience, the cheaper the kit the cheesier the sounds are. Of course you will have lesser quality pads ( as opposed to mesh ) and some style variations with wimpier racks and other lesser heavy duty hardware but the less expensive E-kits just didn't have enough quality drum sounds to satisfy my needs. I also made sure the controllers supported an open/close/variable hi-hat sample.

    Maybe it's different now. It has been several years since I took a close look.

    I'd advise more than anything else that you listen to the preset sounds supplied with the E-kit to ensure you are happy with the samples before you plunk down your hard earned cash.
    Last edited by Bish; 05-22-2013 at 12:49 AM.

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Which to begin with, electronic drums or standard drum sets?

    How many of you guys are gigging with an eKit, as opposed to just using one for practice? Good amplification must be an issue, unless you have tons of cash or the venue has what you need.

    As most people have pointed out, below, eKits have a very different feel to Acoustic kits. You can be pretty lazy on an eKit and get away with it.

    However eKits are invaluable for practicing for really long periods (because of reduced noise issues), and this means that muscle-memory, chops, fingers, etc all get a far better workout that if you were on an acoustic kit, where you might irritate people with long periods of practice.

    So, what I am saying here is maybe the quality of practice on an eKit is less than that of an acoustic kit, but that is more than offset by the quantity.
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