Met a guy who really likes his E kit

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So I went to a bar the other night with my wife for dinner and to catch a duo act she is friends with. Anyway, while I was there, a guy walks in who is a drummer and who is part of a house band at an open mic jam near me that I haven't been to. He uses the top of the line, (according to him, you can't spend more money on any other E kit) Roland...I forget the model line letters/numbers. Anyway, man was he singing it's praises. I'm sure I was Mr. Skeptic to him. He was saying things like...at the push of a button, I could have a nice Latin kit, then switch to a deep power tom rock kit, to a tight poppy hip hop kit and so on....

I asked him about rimshots, like if you vary where the tip hits on the head it changes the tone of the rimshot...he said his E drums do that too. Then I mentioned how much I hate the cymbal tones of E kits and he defended those too. He said how easy it was to get good sounds. Meanwhile I'm thinking....that's a big part of the skill right there...the tuning skills I developed and the time I've spent learning how to pull nice tones from the drums. With E kits that's not even a consideration, which according to him, frees you up to concentrate on playing better. He made a lot of sense and was very convincing.

But I can never see myself ever gigging an E kit, it kind of negates a lot of skills I have developed over the years. I think it would kind of peeve me off at all the time it would seem like I "wasted". I see it as lazy in a way. Just being honest, not meant to offend. I'm pretty old fashioned when it comes to work ethic. He said that the kit is loaded out in like 7 minutes, further strengthening my "it's lazy" POV. I know I'm being a bit backwards, nothing new there, but I wanted to throw it out for discussion to see where the majority stands on the issue.

I would hate to go hear them and like them, isn't that nuts? I don't want to like E drums. Totally bull headed, right? From where I'm sitting, E kits lower the bar. By a lot. I don't want to support bar lowering. I don't necessarily want to see them go away, but they really turn me off so I can't see myself ever liking them. I'm interested in YOUR thoughts on the matter.
 
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Naigewron

Platinum Member
I'm guessing he was purely an e-drum player, with little experience with how to actually play acoustic drums.

I've played the current top-of-the-line Roland kits, and they're great for what they are. However, you are most certainly nowhere close to being able to replicate the dynamic range and sonic possibilities of an acoustic drum with regards to rimshots, ghost notes, where you strike on the head, etc.

Acoustic and electronic drums are two distinctly different instruments, just like a grand piano and an electronic keyboard, and they both have their uses. E-drums have their obvious uses, for home practise, gigs where noise is an issue and for gigs where you really need a huge amount of sounds available to you (playing cheesy covers on a cruise liner or whatever). But for real, classic drum sounds, you simply can't play anything other than an acoustic kit.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
No, he's not strictly an E drum player. He plays an A kit at a different open mic jam. I haven't been to that one either. I just learned about both of them that night. (I don't go out much. If I'm not gigging or working, I'm usually home) So he does both. He seems to like the E kit better because he didn't say much about the A kit. I need to go hear this guy on both kits.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
I'm guessing he was purely an e-drum player, with little experience with how to actually play acoustic drums.

I've played the current top-of-the-line Roland kits, and they're great for what they are. However, you are most certainly nowhere close to being able to replicate the dynamic range and sonic possibilities of an acoustic drum with regards to rimshots, ghost notes, where you strike on the head, etc.

Acoustic and electronic drums are two distinctly different instruments, just like a grand piano and an electronic keyboard, and they both have their uses. E-drums have their obvious uses, for home practise, gigs where noise is an issue and for gigs where you really need a huge amount of sounds available to you (playing cheesy covers on a cruise liner or whatever). But for real, classic drum sounds, you simply can't play anything other than an acoustic kit.
I was going to pen a response, but Naige said it spot on for me :)
 

NC68

Senior Member
I have several acoustic kits and a fairly good Roland E Kit that I use mainly so I don't annoy those around me and I can practice pretty much any time of day or night.

I won't go into the pros and cons of each but I will say that in my opinion there is a bit less of a soul to the E Kit. I'm not sure how else to describe it.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Naige also hit it on the head for me too, but honestly speaking, it's good to embrace the new technology, and many here know of my disdain for the eKit, but I've actually done it and have come back from the dark forest a bit wiser. I still contend they are the most expensive practice kits I've ever seen/owned. And you are correct, big deal with the push of a button you can change a sound, the whole joy of playing an acoustic instrument is being able to pull the sound you want out of it. For some reason, the engineers haven't gotten around to replicating all the expressiveness of an acoustic drumset out yet. They've done a great job with guitars, and I'd even argue the Akai EWI (electronic wind instrument) does pretty well for it's intended use, but you still don't see sax players putting their horns in the closet in favor of the EWI).

The one place I saw V-drums good in their place was at the MGM Grand hotel in Vegas. The hall you enter is round, and they have a band up on the wall as you walk in. The room is so acoustically bad, V-drums actually help. An acoustic kit would be too much for that room. But then again, you're back in cruise ship mode playing music nobody really appreciates - you're just background noise to the bigger activity of gambling. And I'm always impressed when I see people like Omar Hakim incorporate them into their acoustic kits, and Bruford's earlier work with Simmons and all that. But as a replacement for acoustic drums "just because" is lazy and doesn't make any sense.

I apologize to all the players here who love their eKits, and I admit I'm probably spoiled by the fact that I have a gig where I play the real thing, and am in a position to just say 'yes' to acoustic drumming gigs only, but eKits had their time back in the 80s. And like so many things from the 80s, eKits are the last to go away on their own ;)
 

Sjogras

Silver Member
Of course E-kits have advantages, but the most important factor in the end is how it all sounds, and E-kits aren't even close. Yet, I guess. The second most important factor to me is how the drums feel, and again, E-kits aren't even close.

If I ever find myself in a position where I'll have to play a gig with an E-kit.... Ugh. =/
 

Milt Hathaway

Senior Member
I don't know if you've heard of the band, but there's a rock group from Canada called Rush, and their drummer plays e-kit on a number of the band's songs. Somehow he makes them sound very good.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Some people love pumpkin. I happen to think it tastes like pure shite.......try and convince me I'm wrong. To each his own.

He's out there sloggin' it doing something he loves. Doing exactly the same thing as the rest of us.......playing music and making people happy. Why not just enjoy it for what it is instead of pulling his whole thing apart....not because of what he plays, but what he plays it on?

If he really loves his e-kit, more power to him. Who the hell are we to tell him he's got it wrong? In my world, elitism used to be the domain of guitar players.......then it would seem, they invented drum forums. :)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I too love my e-kit but not because it is as good or better than an acoustic kit.
I have also tried high end electronic kits and they are an instrument that is all be itself and they should be treated that way.
I bought my inexpensive e-kit for practice. It works great for that purpose. It is also great for learning tunes.
I soon found out that my e-kit is good for another use. I could use it as an exercise machine that I wouldn't be board with.

My doctor told me that I had some medical issues and I had to do a cardio workout 3 times a week. I hate treadmills, etc.
My Roland e-kit has pedals built in. I can make the left pedal either a hi-hat pedal or a bass drum slave pedal.
I began to play fast heel up double bass patterns while hooked up to a heart rate monitor. I reach my target heart rate and I don't get board and lose interest. I am addicted to it.
I have a blast while I exercise.
I have been doing this for about 3 months and my condition has improved according to the results of my last check up.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
As did the drummer for Chers last tour. A kit in the front and an E kit to the side and depending on the song they both fit very well
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I see the utility for e-kits, many applications, and really appreciate them. they can sound quite good.
BUT, e-kits look butt-ugly on stage to me. One reason i would never play out with one, it just looks plain damn silly....uncool to me.
A-kits are so beautiful even when old or beat up.
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
E-kits are great instrument to use if you need a variety of sounds, or if you're aiming for a sound that cannot be produced by acoustic drums, not even the greatest electronic drums can sound as great as a nice acoustic.

You have to accept electronic kits as they are, buying a electronic kit to replace your acoustic kit would be like buying an expensive synthesizer to use as a piano, doesn't make sense. If you plan on playing acoustic drum sounds, play them on a acoustic set. That's how I see it.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Last week my band was lining up a gig in a small cafe.

They asked if I wanted to do the set with my 2box.

Of course I would have done it for the bands sake but I just thought "wow, an e-kit at a gig, how dorky".

Luckily the stage was too small and we cancelled.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Some people love pumpkin. I happen to think it tastes like pure shite.......try and convince me I'm wrong. To each his own.

He's out there sloggin' it doing something he loves. Doing exactly the same thing as the rest of us.......playing music and making people happy. Why not just enjoy it for what it is instead of pulling his whole thing apart....not because of what he plays, but what he plays it on?

If he really loves his e-kit, more power to him. Who the hell are we to tell him he's got it wrong? In my world, elitism used to be the domain of guitar players.......then it would seem, they invented drum forums. :)
To paraphrase someone else, I was gonna formulate a response, but... ^^^


And what is all this about work ethic? Do you still grind your wheat with two flat rocks? Walk to work? Spin your wool (from sheep you've raised) into yarn so you can make your clothes on a hand loom? Where do you draw the line?

The guy can play or not play, and the drums sound good, or don't sound good. That's pretty much it as far as I'm concerned. And even those are just opinions for the most part. Chill, Uncle Larry. :)
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
I don't know if you've heard of the band, but there's a rock group from Canada called Rush, and their drummer plays e-kit on a number of the band's songs. Somehow he makes them sound very good.
I don't think anyone's saying e-kits can't sound good, only that they don't sound like a-kits.

Neil Peart makes excellent use of his e-kit. When he wants electronic sounds, he uses an electronic kit, and when he wants regular drum sounds he uses an acoustic kit.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
And what is all this about work ethic? Do you still grind your wheat with two flat rocks? Walk to work? Spin your wool (from sheep you've raised) into yarn so you can make your clothes on a hand loom? Where do you draw the line?

The guy can play or not play, and the drums sound good, or don't sound good. That's pretty much it as far as I'm concerned. And even those are just opinions for the most part. Chill, Uncle Larry. :)
+1000 to that.
Knowing how to properly tune an a-kit doesn't make you a better or worse player of the instrument itself (but if such a skill makes you feel as if you have a superior work ethic then good luck to you sir)!
As for having an instrument that's easier to load in and out- well what kind of crazy person would want that? Next you'll be telling us you use your automobile to drive your kits to gigs instead of using the horse and cart like the rest of us!
Aaaaand I'll stop there.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I wonder if guitar players were having the same argument in the early 30's when the electric guitar became a reality.Yet the acoustic guitar is still here along with plastic violins and chellos.

I guess E kits have their place and may even become more popular because of their exposure on American Idol a few times a week.

To each their own.I just watched Buddy Rich and his band do one of the best renditions of "Love For Sale" that I ever heard.I mean it just cooked...pure energy.But somehow,I could never see an E kit dynamicly sounding like Buddys 80's Ludwigs and A Zildjian cymbals.

Like I said...they all have a purpose,but using Niel Peart as an example in the context of sound value, leaves me flat,since I NEVER liked the sound of his kits A or E .Just my 2c.:)

Steve B
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Can we stop loading up on Larry here please. He's approached this subject with an open mind, & because he's comfortable here, feels happy to post some of his inner thoughts. If you read his thoughts in context with the whole of his OP, it makes sense. I'm not picking up that Larry's thoughts are anything but what he finds to be of value personally. He's neither preaching to you, nor suggesting his thoughts apply universally.

Moreover, any reference to equity in tuning skills IS relevant as far as I'm concerned. To have gone that journey is to give greater understanding to the instrument's dynamics, & how those choices translate to an audience. The difference in dynamic presentation between E kits & A kits sits at the very heart of most of these discussions, so it's most relevant. Larry's describing a conversation with someone who enthuses about something that Larry finds difficult to contextualise when weighed against his own experiences. Nothing more than that.
 
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