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Thread: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

  1. #1

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    Default Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Im in college right now so an acoustic set is out of the question for several reasons but Id really like to learn how to play. Is it worth it to buy an electric kit or should I just wait till Im out of school (but thats in 4 years (im a sophomore))? Ive heard you can't really learn because they dont give you any good bounce on your rolls and other factors that add to unrealism. Also what would a decent set end up costing?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    A good electric kit is great to start out on. The higher end ones, however, are very expensive. Check out Roland and Yamaha.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    No reason at all that you can't learn on an electronic set, should you decide to buy one.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    The first set I ever played on, or at least hit on, was the Roland TD-6 at a buddy's house. That's what convinced me I wanted to play the drums. I was all excited cause it felt so easy until my mom brought home the acoustic she had bought, totally different feel IMO. You can learn your rudiments and a couple techniques on an electric set, but I can't suggest you put over $500 into one, you're gonna want an acoustic set sooner or later.
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Low end electric kits don't really have the same feel as an acoustic one. Now high end ones, like stated above, Roland, Yamaha, Alesis......ect, have a more realistic feel to them. And therefore not too much of a differnce between an acoustic kit.
    “The doctor listens in with a stethoscope and hears sounds of a warpath Indian drum.”

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    SS, just think about it as learning on a drum practice pad before getting the acoustic set. Sure there will be certain things that will feel different, but you'll still get a chance to learn the basics of maintaining a steady beat, movement around a kit, and incorporating the rudiments throughout the different "drums."

    I bought the Simmons SD2K (it goes for around $599) for my daughter and her family, and until they're ready to take delivery, I've had some fun with it. It's not high end, but it's a decent e-kit.

    Besides, playing with headphones keeps the noise down so people can study!
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  7. #7
    Shazane Guest

    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Depends on the kit, there are some that are extremely realistic. Go to a store where you can compare the real and a electronic. And make sure you get an actual bass pedal with a triggered pad rather than the kits that just have electronic pedals, or you won't learn to work with the pedal's resistance.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by StaticSmoke View Post
    Im in college right now so an acoustic set is out of the question for several reasons but Id really like to learn how to play. Is it worth it to buy an electric kit or should I just wait till Im out of school (but thats in 4 years (im a sophomore))? Ive heard you can't really learn because they dont give you any good bounce on your rolls and other factors that add to unrealism. Also what would a decent set end up costing?
    I have a few thoughts on E kits ! Can you share your drum budget and maybe we can zero in on the best E drums for the cash you can spend.
    I like the DIY kits best then it would be a toss up between the roland TD-10 and the Hart pro 6.4 both can be bought used for under $2K .

  9. #9

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    Cool Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    I agree with PB on considering the electric kit as a practice pad with a headphone jack. If you don't have a lot of space, they're easier to set up than an acoustic, but to me even the best electrics out there still fall short of a great acoustic kit when it comes to sound quality.

    As far as the rudiments go, they are transferable from acoustic to electric, from drum kits to hand drums--little difference between, say, driving a Ford then getting behind the wheel of a Chevy or a Toyota.

    Welcome aboard, SS! Great question--and good luck on the drums, man!
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  10. #10

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    If you absolutely must play a rubber kit . . . oh well. The hissing sound you will hear in your headphones will be your soul slowly being eaten away

    Just get an acoustic kit as soon as possible, before Satan has you completely in his clutches. . . .
    And the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe, and saw. . .

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    I personally was on an electric kit for a year while in an apartment, and i must say roland has done a great job at mimicking the feel/bounce and the higher end pads

    There is no reason not to learn on one, they are somewhat limited compared to acoustic, because of the sound difference, and some cases size difference, but if you want to drum than it is a must. lol

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    i would go for it, so you will always have a practice E-kit around. but i would get an acoustic set ASAP.

    p.s what WOULD be better, the rubber ones, or the nylon(those mesh ones) rolands?


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  13. #13

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    huh well first off let me say thank you all for the prompt and helpful responses. It was a very pleasant surprise to log on expecting one or two responses and be met with 11.

    Two slow to answer your question I was looking to spend around 1k or less, but if you feel that the extra step above that price is really worth it then I wouldn't be opposed. Any suggestions on what kits to look into, used and or new?

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by StaticSmoke View Post
    huh well first off let me say thank you all for the prompt and helpful responses. It was a very pleasant surprise to log on expecting one or two responses and be met with 11.

    Two slow to answer your question I was looking to spend around 1k or less, but if you feel that the extra step above that price is really worth it then I wouldn't be opposed. Any suggestions on what kits to look into, used and or new?
    if you have that much to spend then i would definatly look into on of the slightly more compact rolands with the pd-80r pads (or to find easier, the ones that are white and have a bounce when hit), these pads with help you make the transition from electric to acoustic without the feel throwing you off to much, but sound and size are still going to be different but no to bad.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    It's definatley appropriate and shouldn't worsen your will to learn.

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  16. #16

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Here is my personal experiance. I tend to actually practice more on my E kit then I ever do on my acoustic kits. I find it to be much more private. I do not feel the urge to entertain others since I know nobody can hear me. i tend to do real practicing, repetitive patterns until I get them. The built in metronome is great. the abilty to mix in music and keeping the over all volume lower in the headphones make playing far less fatiguing on the ears as well.

    Yes they are not acoustic drums but they are both valid instruments and have their place. in my opinion E drums are one of the best practice tools available.
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  17. #17

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Think about what you want to accomplish. For my purposes ("I wanna make interesting sounds"), electric's probably the best choice. I'm unlikely to ever own enough land to feel safe playing an acoustic kit at all hours of the night anyway.

    I'd think that if you want to work with other people, familiarity with both is better than familiarity with either; they both have strengths and weaknesses, and techniques that work on an acoustic kit might not work on an electric kit -- or vice versa. Be flexible!

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by rmandelbaum View Post
    Here is my personal experiance. I tend to actually practice more on my E kit then I ever do on my acoustic kits. I find it to be much more private. I do not feel the urge to entertain others since I know nobody can hear me. i tend to do real practicing, repetitive patterns until I get them. The built in metronome is great. the abilty to mix in music and keeping the over all volume lower in the headphones make playing far less fatiguing on the ears as well.

    Yes they are not acoustic drums but they are both valid instruments and have their place. in my opinion E drums are one of the best practice tools available.
    totally agreed...these puppies are for practicing....mesh heads and rubber cymbals just aren`t built for a stage, or spotlights. As far as practicing goes, these are ok. My advice would be, buy a cheap e-kit, use it in college to practice on, and as soon as you can, get rid of it, and go for the real deal...
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  19. #19

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazydrummer View Post
    totally agreed...these puppies are for practicing....mesh heads and rubber cymbals just aren`t built for a stage, or spotlights. As far as practicing goes, these are ok. My advice would be, buy a cheap e-kit, use it in college to practice on, and as soon as you can, get rid of it, and go for the real deal...
    i agree for the most part except what you said at the end. do not sell the E-Kit right when he gets the living place for an acoustic, Right after you buy the E-kit start saving for an acoustic and have both because one is for practicing and one is for showing off, they are completly separate tools and is not a bad idea to have both
    -Steven

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by StaticSmoke View Post
    huh well first off let me say thank you all for the prompt and helpful responses. It was a very pleasant surprise to log on expecting one or two responses and be met with 11.

    Two slow to answer your question I was looking to spend around 1k or less, but if you feel that the extra step above that price is really worth it then I wouldn't be opposed. Any suggestions on what kits to look into, used and or new?

    May cost a little more ($1200-$1500) but I would say a used Roland TD-6SXT kit all mesh heads compact and they will hold their value. I had one and it is still one of my favorite kits I've owned !

    http://www.proaudiosuppliers.com/roland-td-6sxt.html
    Last edited by 2slow; 08-26-2008 at 08:17 AM.

  21. #21

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    If I had my life to live over, I would learn on and stay with an e-kit! Unfortunately they werent around when I started out. They seem to be slow catching on for some reason (considering the jump from acoustic to electric guitar was made in less than a decade) I would keep a small acoustic set only for playing where there is no electricity.

    all the best...

  22. #22

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    I think the high end electrics could trounce the high end acoustics in terms of usability; but most drummers will go with acoustics because...well, you know where you stand with them.
    Today, on Ethel The Frog...

  23. #23

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    I apologize for the long post but it sounds like you are serious and I think you should have as much information as you can to make an informed decision, so here is my additional 2 cents worth, wait does that make 4 cents? ;-)

    There is no reason to get rid of them. Here is what I do. I have my acoustic kit in the cases ready to go to the gig at all times. I do not have to tear it down and pack it up. I have my Roland kit set up at home all the time so I can practice whenever I get time, day or night ;-) It is actually set up exactly as I set up my acoustic kit, I have no issues moving back and forth between the kits that way ;-)

    On the other hand gigging with the Roland kit is not the way to go, at least for me. The amplification needs are a hassle. While they are well built I am sure gigging would destroy them. They simply are not built as sturdy as an acoustic kit.
    And unless you are playing techno or dance they just don’t have the cool factor.

    Ok so that being said there are choices of brand etc..

    I have had experience here as well; this is only my experience so take it for what it is worth. I started out with electronics back when the TD-10 first came out. They were and still are great electronic drums. Times got a little tight and I had to come up with some cash so I sold them, yes it killed me to do it. Then times got better and I decided to get another electronic kit. I did my homework and decided on the Hart Dynamics Professional 6.4. They are built like a tank and look really cool. I also at that point decided I really did not need all the bells and whistles of the TD-10 brain so I went with the TD-8. I got the kit and set it up. I notice there were many small triggering issues so I got out the instructions and began to tweak. I spent hours tweaking. I call Hart many times for help (I have to say their customer service people are great). There was a time when I was calling Hart then Roland. One time I even had them both conferenced in together.
    I never did get them to trigger as accurately and as well as the Roland kit did out of the box. I finally decided I wanted to play them not tweak them so I sold them and bought a TD-20 kit.

    I since then have gotten into recording and have put together a home studio. I am really glad I went to the TD-20 now, I will explain a little more

    Almost any of the E kits out there are fine for practicing and playing along with pre recorded music. Again Mesh heads are the way to go if you can afford them. But for recording, in my opinion, the TD-20 is the only way to go. Here is the reason. Outputs, most of the other brains have one or two; I believe the TD-12 has four. For recording purposes this means you have to record most or all of the drums on one mono or one stereo track. This means you are mixing the entire kit together, far from optimal. The TD-20 has eight individual outputs:

    Kick – Mono
    Snare – Mono
    Hi-Hat – Mono
    Ride – Mono
    Toms – Stereo
    Crashes – Stereo

    This allows for individual tracks to be recorded and mixed as they should be.

    The sounds work well, if you are interested use the link below to my website. On the music downloads page there are some MP3s, unless it says it is a live recording it was done on my Roland TD-20 kit.

    Here is my kit jut for grins ;-)



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  24. #24

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    Nice kit Rmandelbaum!
    “The doctor listens in with a stethoscope and hears sounds of a warpath Indian drum.”

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Is learning to play drums on an electric kit appropriate? Or a waste of time?

    If you are worried about bounce and your rudiments. Get a block of wood and some plastic tipped drum sticks. While the tapping might annoy anyone near you it certainly is quiet enough to where you want disturb your neighbors.

    When you want to work on your hand and feet coordination use a not to expensive electric kit.

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