View Full Version : can electronic drums actually impair a beginner when it comes to dynamics?
03-13-2008, 12:31 AM
I was practicing my rudiments today and focusing on accents on my roland rubber pads.
I had the unit turned off at the time and after I flicked it on and jammed with the headphones, it felt REALLY odd, like as if all the dynamics were gone and sometimes I'd get confused when doing paradiddles because when I first practiced solely on the pads, knowing when to switch my hands were easy because I could differentiate by the "sound" that my left hand makes.
With the unit on, everything just felt the same way except for volume changes when I occasional FORCE the accent.
Just wondering if anyone out there sorta felt the same way and whether I'm better off practicing with just pads when requiring absolute focus.,
03-13-2008, 12:54 AM
Consistent sound is one of the advantages/pitfalls of using electronics. So there are no more differences between how the' drum' sounds due to stick weights or slightly different dynamics. Whether that's good or bad is a matter of opinion.
But as far as dynamics, I don't think a pad either hinders or helps performance on an acoustic drum. They're different things. The dynamic 'curve' can be maddening at times with electronics, but a few adjustments can bring it comfortably close. In the context of the music, it usually sounds fine.
It's like the difference between a bop kit and a big rock kit. They feel and sound different, but neither is good or bad, and neither adversely affects how the other is played.
FWIW - electronics definitely do not have the same dynamics as acoustics. That said, within any given module, there will be different dynamic ranges for each instrument (say between different snare durms). For example, on my TD-12 I tend to like the aluminum snare sound base as it has one of the wider dynamic ranges within the module itself. There are other snare drums within the module that have much smaller dynamics ranges. I suggest experimenting between instrument sounds within the module to get better mileage.
03-13-2008, 02:03 AM
You may want to check your sensitivity/velocity settings. Although not nearly as "responsive" to nuances as acoustic drums, e-kits usually offer some degree of soft/loud.
03-13-2008, 02:03 AM
Though for practicing rudiments, I'd keep it turned off and just listen to the rubber pad. No electronic/pad system is going to track as well - sonically, rhythmically and dynamically - as the sound of your sticks hitting the rubber.
I don't think I'm really disagreeing with Bermuda here, as IMO at least beginning drumset work won't be hindered by a pad set (though I would cringe to think of taking a student much beyond that on one). It's just that most beginning handwork really doesn't need the "real" sound of the snare sample any more than it demands the student have access to a real snare. A lot of really quality progress can be made on a pad.
But again, after that beginning phase - real drums and cymbals really are necessary - again, IMO
03-15-2008, 07:58 PM
Only practicing on an electric kit could do that...but imo the only way to learn to play drums well is to actually play drums...an electric kit just like a practice pad is good for practice when u cant play an acoustic kit...but getting and playing on an actual kit is in my book #1
03-15-2008, 08:42 PM
Yeah that goes without saying Tyler, a real kit is always the way to go if possible. Whilst you can't get an electronic drum to be as good dynamically as a real drum, you can get a distinction between accents, ghost notes and normal notes (well I can on my roland kit anywho) which for me is enough to practice dynamics.
Personally I play on an electronic kit most of the time, I only get to play on a real kit during band practice. I find that I don't need to adjust how I play much between real and electronic, sure the electronic kit does feel different but I find that I can apply everything that I do on it to the acoustic kit, the only problem I have is that my electronic kit is much smaller than a real kit, even if I move the pads way out, so that can hinder my fills and whatnot.
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