Acoustic Drums VS Electronic Drum Kits

the drummer girl

Junior Member
Hello guys,
I was planning to buy a drum kit for myself and i am bit confused on whether i should be buying the acoustic or the electronic one.As i am still learning drums i feel acoustic one is a better option but i stay in an apartment complex where in i feel if i get the acoustic drum kit there would be noise issues and i m bit skeptical about buying the electric one as i feel i will not be able to learn and get the real feel of acoustic drums and may develop some bad habits.So please let me know if u guys have any option of reducing sound of the acoustic drum or is there any way out.Would buying an electric drum kit be a good decision?Please do suggest me and guide me

Thanks:)
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
The key to learning an instrument is being able/allowed to play that instrument. If noise is an issue, you have the choice of an acoustic/hybrid or an electric kit.

The down side of learning on a hybrid or electric kit is that it only provides you with a subset of what you need to be able to play a real acoustic kit, like learning to ride a bicycle on an exercise bike. There is nothing wrong with beginning on an electric and converting to acoustic once you're in a better position to be able to play.

The only down side of an acoustic kit is the volume and related practice restrictions.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
There is a lot you can learn on a practice pad, just like there is a lot you can learn on an E kit that will transfer to an A kit.

The biggest benefit is the countless hours you can spend playing the E kit thru headphones.

When you transfer to an A kit, you will immediately realize that you need to learn some finesse because, they will be loud.

Instead of getting an E kit, my suggestion is to get an A kit and convert it. That way you are playing a reall sized kit and you can simply change the heads back when you want your A kit. Just research A to E conversions to find out what to do about cymbals and HH
 

Skate

Senior Member
I own an electronic kit and the blooy snare drum keeps coming out no matter how tight I screw it in. It's really unresponsive and annoying to play :(
 

Icetech

Gold Member
if you are in an apartment and are going to be there awhile.. go electronic... i had a spl meter when i setup my kit and it was hitting 110db... you would get about 3 hits in before people are beating on the walls...
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Be aware that most of the time, electronic kits are not silent, and it's quite common to get complaints from neighbors hearing all the bump bump and clak clack of the pads.
 

the drummer girl

Junior Member
There is a lot you can learn on a practice pad, just like there is a lot you can learn on an E kit that will transfer to an A kit.

The biggest benefit is the countless hours you can spend playing the E kit thru headphones.

When you transfer to an A kit, you will immediately realize that you need to learn some finesse because, they will be loud.

Instead of getting an E kit, my suggestion is to get an A kit and convert it. That way you are playing a reall sized kit and you can simply change the heads back when you want your A kit. Just research A to E conversions to find out what to do about cymbals and HH[/QUOTE

Just to clear it once again,so u meant i should get an A kit and then convert it into E kit and then convert it back again into A kit right?So basically i should buy a convertible drum kit right?Also even if i convert it the sound and everything would be the same as E kit right?The only difference will be of size right?Also i have tried playing on E kit whenever i go to some drum shop i felt its very different the feel is different my playing habits may change and i may not be able to play on acoustic is what i am afraid of as i have been playing on acoustic ones earlier.So there is no other way of reducing the sound of A kits right?
 

the drummer girl

Junior Member
The key to learning an instrument is being able/allowed to play that instrument. If noise is an issue, you have the choice of an acoustic/hybrid or an electric kit.

The down side of learning on a hybrid or electric kit is that it only provides you with a subset of what you need to be able to play a real acoustic kit, like learning to ride a bicycle on an exercise bike. There is nothing wrong with beginning on an electric and converting to acoustic once you're in a better position to be able to play.

The only down side of an acoustic kit is the volume and related practice restrictions.
Will it not be difficult to switch from electronic to Acoustic?I have learnt on Acoustic and when i play Electric i feel i may not be able to play the Acoutics ones the same way as i use to play and i am afraid i may develop some wrong habits or may not be able to play properly.By Hybrid u mean the convertible ones right?
 

the drummer girl

Junior Member
if you are in an apartment and are going to be there awhile.. go electronic... i had a spl meter when i setup my kit and it was hitting 110db... you would get about 3 hits in before people are beating on the walls...
oh ok ..thanks a lot for the suggestion.
 
Typically apartments and acoustic drums sets aren't a match made in heaven. Unfortunately apartments tend to have neighbors. Neighbors don't like drums. Years ago, I remember living in Allston Mass a couple of green line stops from school and would get home most nights around 11:00 p.m. By then I had practiced the drum set at school in a practice room, but when I got home was usually the 1 or so hours I'd practice my old Billy Gladstone pad. Even though it was just a pad on my bed, my neighbor below for some reason didn't dig it. We also had a roommate with a Fender Rhodes that might have made some key pressing noises though he never played it through an amp, just used headphones. The neighbor used to take a tennis ball and racket and would hit his ceiling (our floor) with the tennis ball at all hours. After doing this for weeks, he came upstairs and argued with our 3rd roommate (a non-musician who just didn't like crap from a$$h###s much and they came to blows). The guy moved out shortly afterwards. Problem solved. :<)

After taking a break from drums the last 2 - 3 decades (not recommended) when I picked up sticks again, I wanted the feel of a real drum set but wanted to get an electronic. I didn't want my wife to come upstairs and beat me up. :<) The closest I could get was the high end Roland and it's a pleasure to play, but an expensive option. I know I could of got most any acoustic kit with cymbals for the same money and that it decrease in value over the next several years, much more than acoustic which would be likely to hold its value. But then on the other hand, the kit being loud isn't an obstacle to me playing like it would be an acoustic. I don't think I'd be happy with a budget E-kit.

Another option which is intriguing is an acoustic with Remo silentstoke and Gen 16 cymbals. Sweetwater has a video on YouTube you might want to check out.

Good luck

Chris
 

RIneuron

Senior Member
Will it not be difficult to switch from electronic to Acoustic?I have learnt on Acoustic and when i play Electric i feel i may not be able to play the Acoutics ones the same way as i use to play and i am afraid i may develop some wrong habits or may not be able to play properly.By Hybrid u mean the convertible ones right?
I don't want to speak for other posters, but I think they are suggesting that you buy a relatively cheap acoustic kit and add mesh heads and sensors to make it (relatively) silent and electric. You would also need to buy the "brain" module of an e-kit and cables to connect it. The advantage of this is that the head sizes and positions and feel are like an a-kit, which addresses your concern about developing bad muscle memory habits.

The downside, in my opinion, is that this might be pretty daunting for a beginning drummer to set up. I have been drumming as a hobbyist for decades and consider myself pretty tech savvy, but doing research on this recently makes me think twice about trying it. You should search YouTube for videos on this topic and make your own decision.

Living in an apartment, I think it is unrealistic to think you can play an acoustic kit. Previous posters are correct that there will still be noise with an e-kit. But buying a ready to play commercial e-kit solution may be the most practical alternative.

Is there any other practice space you could use (e.g. school, church, band practice site)?
 

the drummer girl

Junior Member
I don't want to speak for other posters, but I think they are suggesting that you buy a relatively cheap acoustic kit and add mesh heads and sensors to make it (relatively) silent and electric. You would also need to buy the "brain" module of an e-kit and cables to connect it. The advantage of this is that the head sizes and positions and feel are like an a-kit, which addresses your concern about developing bad muscle memory habits.

The downside, in my opinion, is that this might be pretty daunting for a beginning drummer to set up. I have been drumming as a hobbyist for decades and consider myself pretty tech savvy, but doing research on this recently makes me think twice about trying it. You should search YouTube for videos on this topic and make your own decision.

Living in an apartment, I think it is unrealistic to think you can play an acoustic kit. Previous posters are correct that there will still be noise with an e-kit. But buying a ready to play commercial e-kit solution may be the most practical alternative.

Is there any other practice space you could use (e.g. school, church, band practice site)?
Ok i get what u say so basically buying an E kit is the best solution right now Unfortunately i will not be able to use any practice space mentioned above.
 

the drummer girl

Junior Member
Typically apartments and acoustic drums sets aren't a match made in heaven. Unfortunately apartments tend to have neighbors. Neighbors don't like drums. Years ago, I remember living in Allston Mass a couple of green line stops from school and would get home most nights around 11:00 p.m. By then I had practiced the drum set at school in a practice room, but when I got home was usually the 1 or so hours I'd practice my old Billy Gladstone pad. Even though it was just a pad on my bed, my neighbor below for some reason didn't dig it. We also had a roommate with a Fender Rhodes that might have made some key pressing noises though he never played it through an amp, just used headphones. The neighbor used to take a tennis ball and racket and would hit his ceiling (our floor) with the tennis ball at all hours. After doing this for weeks, he came upstairs and argued with our 3rd roommate (a non-musician who just didn't like crap from a$$h###s much and they came to blows). The guy moved out shortly afterwards. Problem solved. :<)

After taking a break from drums the last 2 - 3 decades (not recommended) when I picked up sticks again, I wanted the feel of a real drum set but wanted to get an electronic. I didn't want my wife to come upstairs and beat me up. :<) The closest I could get was the high end Roland and it's a pleasure to play, but an expensive option. I know I could of got most any acoustic kit with cymbals for the same money and that it decrease in value over the next several years, much more than acoustic which would be likely to hold its value. But then on the other hand, the kit being loud isn't an obstacle to me playing like it would be an acoustic. I don't think I'd be happy with a budget E-kit.

Another option which is intriguing is an acoustic with Remo silentstoke and Gen 16 cymbals. Sweetwater has a video on YouTube you might want to check out.

Good luck

Chris
Thanks a lot Chris for the help and suggestions,i will surely checkout that video.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Will it not be difficult to switch from electronic to Acoustic?
Indeed it will!

Hence the line "like learning to ride a bicycle on an exercise bike". Certain facets of a drummer's playing will remain un/underdeveloped until they convert. The tactile feedback is different. Volume mixing/regulation is different.

Unfortunately, the alternative is to own an A-kit and not be able to play it at your leisure. This alone motivated me to purchase an electric.
 

gaz farrimond

Senior Member
I have both acoustic and electric kits. I play my acoustic kit during the day, but anything before 8am or after 7pm I do on the electric kit with headphones just so as I don't annoy anyone. Note though, as it's been stated, if you are in any apartment with someone below, they will hear the clicking and tapping of an electric kit, even with mesh heads so you will need to consider some form of soundproofing on the floor. (i.e. a board backed by tennis balls etc)

The main limitation I find with the electric kit (I use Yamaha DTX) is you don't get the feel and subtlety you can get from an acoustic kit. As for everything else, switching between the two isn't a problem, it's just a 2-3 minute strange sensation because of the different response.

I agree with KamaK to a degree, (Although I think the bike analogy is spurious) I'd say electric is like listening to music in mono, acoustic in stereo as the physical mechanics are the same. But, as for someone starting out, in a noise limiting environment, I'd go for a good used electric kit for two reasons:

1. If you don't like drumming, it should hold most of it's resale value.
2. A quality used kit is better than a new cheap one.


Probably muddied the waters even more, but good luck with your search and keep us informed how you get on.
 

geek_boy_in

Senior Member
Ok so I have gone through the same pain and learning cycle to give an opinion in this matter.

I started on acoustic kits when I was in school and staying with parents and then got Yamaha and Roland e-kits when I moved to an apartment and then now I have again bought acoustic keeping the e-kits as well since I have my own pad.

So here is the deal, if you live in an apartment building with thin walls you will not be able to play the Acoustic. So its not even an option. However Practice is mandatory. Playing on a good e-kit will definitely improve your Time because of the metronome and tracking features. And any studio and professional drummer who has to feed their family through music will tell you that the sense of "Time" is the only real parameter for a working drummer. Rest are all bells and whistles and will come organically with your learning and musicality and sense of groove anyways.

After a prolonged period when I moved from e-kits to Acoustic three things happened.
1) The drums were much bigger and spread over a larger distance so reaching with the hands and mobility was an issue
2) The perception of sound was very different. There was a lot of resonance in Acoustic kit and each hit was occupying a lot of sonic space. In a e-kit you hear mostly equalized and condensed sound. So I had problems controlling the rolls and fills.
3) There was a little bit of issue with the "PERCEPTION" of rebound which actually rose because of the loud spacious sound.

Problem 1; which is more on the ergonomic side can be dealt at the source from day 1 by what has been suggested by a poster below. He suggested you to get real Acoustic sized kit and morph it into an electronic kit. There are many options: you can get Pearl ePRO, Pearl also has got epads as well, or if cash is an issue you can get an acoustic kit and buy Mesh heads and a drum module separately, or if you have enough money get life sized Roland mesh pads. Keep in mind that even if you buy a small e-kit like from Yamaha or Roland the problem will go away once you get familiar with an Acoustic drum later on. These are temporary phenomenon.

Problem 2 is an issue which will take you maybe few months or a quarter or two to get over with, when you go back to an Acoustic kit after a few years of practice on an ekit. However it is not difficult either. A rightly tuned drums with proper head selection and with incremental exposure to the resonance and ear protection headphones will help. Am sure you will directly not like the sound of an open Remo Diplomat head on a serious ringy snare right after 5 years of practice on an E-Kit :). Even though that ringy snare might be the best perceived sound by the audience in an acoustic setup (just not so helpful to the drummer behind the throne :) ).

Problem 3 is a perception issue and you will soon get over it with familiarity. You will see a good well practiced drummer can do paradiddles equally well over a table top or utensils or a pillow or a calf skin head or a mylar head with equal ease.

Just my few cents :)

NB: I currently have 2 complete acoustic drum sets, numerous snares and 1 small ekit. Drum sets for daytime and ekits for practicing in the night :)
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Nothing wrong with E-kits, I practice on a cheap one every day, for the noise issue benefits, and can only play my real kit at rehearsals and gigs. For me te E-kit is a revelation, without one I could only practice once per week. As for the difference? position the pads the same distance apart as a real kit and its minimal. The ability to practice anytime you wish far outweighs the difference in feel. Get one, you will never regret it and if you can stretch to mesh heads, even better.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If I were in the drummer girls situation, I'd focus my energies on procuring a rehearsal space. Maybe a friend's house who doesn't have noise restrictions. Perhaps she could split the cost of a rehearsal space among a few other drummers, and work out a schedule. Work with a pad and a metronome at home, get the reading chops together there, play real drums whenever possible in a rehearsal space where you don't have the worry of annoying anyone. Just for the sake of efficiency, myself, I'd want to go straight to the instrument I will be ending up with. Make that happen, forget practicing drums in the apartment is what I'd personally do.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
You really have no choice - buy the electronic kit. I you purchase a good one with mesh heads, transferring your skills to acoustic will not be a huge deal - though there will be a training period once you switch.

With the electronic kit you will be able to play and practice all you want. With an acoustic, you will be lucky to play at all.

GeeDeeEmm
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Indeed it will!
I find the transition easy. Generally, you just have to ease up a bit.

The downside, in my opinion, is that this might be pretty daunting for a beginning drummer to set up
Maybe it's because I have a very mechanical nature but, it is SO simple. Take off the head, install the hardware, put on a mesh head and plug it in. It might take a couple/few hours to do all the drums.

If I would have understood this a few years ago, there is no way I would have wasted any time or money on tiny E drum pads.

 
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