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  #1  
Old 05-23-2017, 04:32 PM
heckofagator heckofagator is offline
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Default acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

Hi gang, my back story again....I have a 10 year old who has been playing Rockband drums for quite a while and has now been taking drum lessons for a few months. He's ready for a real set.

When I asked before, there were some options but I think I kinda liked the Pearl Roadshow set, which you can pick up for around $350 after some coupons at the online vendors.

But recently the Rockband set has been coming apart a little and I looked into it and apparently you can use the electronic drum sets with Rockband via a midi controller - which is a plus.

So can we talk thru the pro's and con's of each?

Acoustic - real feel, real sound, loud

Electric - various sounds, need a seperate amp/speaker eventually, can work with Rockband, a little smaller footprint maybe (?), better for parent's ears

Any other considerations we should take into account? One other thing he's mentioned was that he definitely wants a cow bell - it seems if you get an electronic set, the CowPaddy is a good option?
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:53 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

If I were a parent, I would indulge the crap out of this hobby. It seems expensive, but it's nothing compared to, say, playing hockey. And no serious risk of physical injury (soccer players, in particular, seem to have trouble with their knees by the time they get to middle age). A used, acoustic kit costs about $500 (with cymbals and a cowbell), lessons are about $30/week, and a structured band program costs about the same, if you can find one.

What he learns is problem-solving, reading comprehension, and physical coordination. He'll experience the benefits of practice, the accomplishment of learning a new skill, and (in a band) the art of cooperating with other people in order to accomplish a goal (i.e. playing a performance).

But any instrument is a giant waste of money, if there are no lessons to go along with it. And in drum lessons, you're nearly always using a real kit, so it makes sense to practice on one. A kit can be successfully muffled for about $150. But you're only 10 years old once -- let the kid make some noise! At least you'll know where he's at and what he's doing.

Buy a used kit from a real store, no matter how low the price of some POS beginner kit on Amazon that is sure to break very soon. Go to a store that offers lessons, if possible, and put the kid into a band ASAP!
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:58 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

Get him some drums. They're loud, but he won't be practicing for hours and hours. Part of what he's learning is how to get a sound out of an instrument, how to set things up, how to play at an appropriate volume, and he won't learn that when he can get a perfect sound by hacking away at the pads, and adjust his volume with a knob.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

You said it yourself. He's ready for a real set. So get him a real set.

If you haven't any issues with noise complaints from neighbors and have enough space for an acoustic kit, then I'd get him one of those, plus you'll save on electricity. Haha!

Mostly for the reasons that have already been stated.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:08 PM
heckofagator heckofagator is offline
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

thanks for the thoughts.....

all good points. He's in lessons now, although I think they focus more on playing songs than technique. And he's in band in school, although playing the trumpet there. Since this new found interest in music and drums, he might be switching to percussion next year.

While I'm absolutely willing to support them in their music hobby, I'm a bit gun shy, as I've bought 2 drum sets (1 used from Craigslist and 1 new Alesis DM6 kit) and 1 guitar and amp for both him and (mostly) his older brother. But nobody picked them up so I ended up selling them. So we've certainly tried.

But now since he's been really into Rockband, he's been really into it, so again, I hope it sticks. He got an electric guitar and amp for Easter and then this upcoming drum set purchase.

We go up to Guitar Center and Sam Ash once a month and he can jam out for a while, which is fun. He did really like the Tama Imperialstar set at Sam Ash, but that was cause the guy was really talking it up. Maybe that was for good reason though, I don't know. The Pearl Roadshow seems to get good reviews, too.

I will say when I got the Alesis DM6 set two Christmas's ago, it did seem kinda flimsy. I don't know if they are all like that. The local Guitar Center has a demo $1500 Yamaha electronic kit for $599.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:20 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post
But now since he's been really into Rockband, he's been really into it, so again, I hope it sticks. He got an electric guitar and amp for Easter and then this upcoming drum set purchase.
That's normal. You need to sort of fall in love with the music, before you really get interested in learning it. And then if you have some friends who are also into music, that really helps.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:31 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

Drums are therapy for me. If I am stressed I will play em hard and it will calm me down. It's a great way to burn energy and when your playing stuff like punk, metal, etc I actually consider it cardio exercise.

Both kits have a purpose but for learning I recommend acoustic. It is too easy to sound amazing on an electric then get discouraged when you play a real kit. It is also easy to just adjust a volume knob and not learn to use dynamics... Once able to play drums well getting an Ekit for practice doesn't hurt, but I find my playing suffers with too much Ekit time.

If volume is a problem getting a practice pad set or drum mutes is always an option.

I'd get a cheap acoustic kit and some lessons.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post

Acoustic - real feel, real sound, loud

Electric - various sounds, need a seperate amp/speaker eventually, can work with Rockband, a little smaller footprint maybe (?), better for parent's ears
I'm no expert but I do own both electric and acoustic kits. When I was younger I got the electric kit for practicing when I moved into a place where I couldn't be as loud. I was in between bands so I played the electric a lot during this time. When I got called up to fill in for another drummer I dragged out the acoustics, set them up at the jam space, and was surprised at how crappy I sounded. It took me a week to get them to sound good (or for me to be able to make them sound good to my ears). Some may argue, and admittedly there are much more realistic (and pricey) electric kits out there, but for me playing an electric is great, they sound great, but can be too easy to sound good? If that is a bad thing. At least it was for me. I'd get the boy an acoustic kit to start. It will be harder to make them sound good but I think that is a good thing. I know they are loud just work out a practice "loud time" schedule with him or maybe look into the lower volume skins and cymbal accessories that are available for practice.

(not crapping on electrics I really love my Yamaha)
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

I bought my thirteen year-old son Rockband for Christmas. He'd played it the year before at my cousin's house when he had only been drumming for a couple of months and impressed the hell out of everyone. I got a cheap deal and thought it would be fun. But he hates the game now and has spent more time with the plastic guitar than the drums. Rockband is not drumming. So although I think that Rockband can help with co-ordination, generate enthusiasm and give a young drummer a good head-start, I can't imagine that your son will continue to play Rockstar when he starts drumming for real. The game actually punishes you for creativity and stifles technique.

So I'm +1 for an acoustic kit. But it's all about the space you have for him to play in. The starter cymbals that come with a Roadshow won't ever sound great, but in a small space they can sound ear-bleedingly terrible. I gave away the Pearl cymbals that came with my son's kit and felt guilty about doing it. But I've since heard them played in an environment that isn't my loft/attic and they didn't sound anywhere near as bad. The low volume Zildjian L80s that I replaced them with are awesome. Low volume solutions provide fantastic flexibility for extending young drummers practice times, but they aren't cheap. If you have the right space and stick with "full volume" acoustic drums/cymbals, then ear protection is a must.

I think the advice about lessons is also spot on. My boy gets his through his school and they've been absolutely brilliant. Just half an hour a week in term times, but structure drive progress. Less than two years in and he's studying for grade six. And now he's picked up the guitar, bass and keyboard. Obviously not to the same standard, but the co-ordination and understanding of music that he's gained from drumming has accelerated his enthusiasm and progress on these instruments.
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

My daughter asked me for advice about getting my grandson his first kit a couple of years ago (8th birthday), and had been looking at a cheapo kid's acoustic or a cheapo toy e-kit (both in the $200 range), I told her to buy him something else, and let me handle the drums! He had been playing my full-size 5-piece drums since he was 5, so I gave him my 4-piece back porch kit---complete with a cowbell!
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

First they dont have to be loud. Dynamics are something that needs to be learned eventually, why not from the beginning.? If you plan on going to acoustic eventually, why not start there and relieve the burden of trying to sell or give away a set of e-drums down the road.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2017, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

It's interesting that when talking about guitars, they aren't electric guitars, and "real guitars". Just for thought, on an electronic drum kit you can learn dynamics, time keeping, playing with feel. And I would hope that your child would indeed want to "play for hours". I did. In that instance, an electronic kit could be the ticket. There's always time to get an acoustic kit later on, and your kid can integrate some of the electronics into it and open up a lot of creativity.
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

Acoustic. No brainer.

It's more than just playing. Learn about tuning....and overtones (both good and bad)....and how to pull different sounds out of a drum......and a host of other things, right from the very beginning.
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Old 05-25-2017, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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Originally Posted by drumnhands View Post
It's interesting that when talking about guitars, they aren't electric guitars, and "real guitars". Just for thought, on an electronic drum kit you can learn dynamics, time keeping, playing with feel. And I would hope that your child would indeed want to "play for hours". I did. In that instance, an electronic kit could be the ticket. There's always time to get an acoustic kit later on, and your kid can integrate some of the electronics into it and open up a lot of creativity.
Electric guitars and electronic drums are not analogous. The closest comparison might be a synthesizer vs. a real piano, except a synth fares better than electronic drums because the keyboard layout is standardized, at least. I think it's a bad idea to start with a digital controller when first learning to play, regardless of the instrument.
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Old 05-25-2017, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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Originally Posted by drumnhands View Post
It's interesting that when talking about guitars, they aren't electric guitars, and "real guitars"...
There's a reason for that. Electric guitars are used to fulfill a specific role that isn't the same as that filled by an acoustic guitar. E drums are usually used as a direct analog for A drums, with the bonus that they have more controllable volume.
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Old 05-25-2017, 03:44 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

electric guitars are usually easier to play so they teach most on acoustics for beginner lessons. Ekits are great, and you can use dynamics.. My thing was on a snare drum I can make thousands of sounds, as i hit at different velocity, move towards the rim, release the stick from the head slower. I don't get this on an ekit so you sound more consistent.

If I only play the ekit for a week and move back I feel like I have lost some control and touch.
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Old 05-26-2017, 06:42 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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Originally Posted by drumnhands View Post
It's interesting that when talking about guitars, they aren't electric guitars, and "real guitars"...
There's another aspect to this, and I'm donning flame resistant undies as I type:
While electric guitars are cooler than acoustic, acoustic drums are just way, way cooler than e-drums.
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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There's another aspect to this, and I'm donning flame resistant undies as I type:
While electric guitars are cooler than acoustic, acoustic drums are just way, way cooler than e-drums.
"flame resistant undies" made me lol

anyways, I'd def start with the e-kit. Hopefully he'll want to play for long times on end, and then you could move to an acoustic kit if it sticks. Plus, an e-kit is definitely a good thing to have down the road - if your neighbors get annoyed by the noise (mine do occasionally), you can still play for long times, just not always on the acoustic kit. It's also great for writing and easier recording (it won't sound as good but it'll be easier) IF he gets to that stage.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

100% I'd recommend e-drums to start. There are very real reasons they are outselling acoustic drums for beginners.

Electronics
1. Quiet!
2. Built in jam tracks
3. Get used to playing with a click right away since its built in which will be a huge benefit for any drummer.
4. learning apps. I know my Yamaha kit has a setting which shows you if you are out of time, and you can adjust the acceptable range as much as you want.
5. Recording. If junior goes far enough along with drumming and he/she starts a little band, a usb cord into a computer and you're good to go. No mics needed.
6. You don't have to throw out the stock heads as soon as you bring the drums home, they sound great all the time, and you don't break drum sticks.
7. Been an accepted part of modern music since the 80's.
8. take less space, easy to move.

Acoustics -
1. look cooler or something to old people.
2.

And the cost thing isn't as different as some people think when you add it all up.
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Old 05-26-2017, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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Originally Posted by whiteknightx View Post
100% I'd recommend e-drums to start. There are very real reasons they are outselling acoustic drums for beginners.

Electronics
1. Quiet!
2. Built in jam tracks
3. Get used to playing with a click right away since its built in which will be a huge benefit for any drummer.
4. learning apps. I know my Yamaha kit has a setting which shows you if you are out of time, and you can adjust the acceptable range as much as you want.
5. Recording. If junior goes far enough along with drumming and he/she starts a little band, a usb cord into a computer and you're good to go. No mics needed.
6. You don't have to throw out the stock heads as soon as you bring the drums home, they sound great all the time, and you don't break drum sticks.
7. Been an accepted part of modern music since the 80's.
8. take less space, easy to move.

Acoustics -
1. look cooler or something to old people.
2.
Hey, good luck with that.
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Old 05-26-2017, 04:35 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

that is all good points for the ekit..

but you don't learn how to tune, you don't learn how drums change sound when they go out of out tune.

you are stuck to 128 midi velocity's instead of infinite.

they are usually smaller though which could be good for a 10 year old.


if you did go the electric route i would just plan on getting a cheepo accoustic kit in a few years so he can join a band or learn if he keeps at it... at least he can get the independence down with headphones and jam to tracks easy.

who cares about "cool" factor.. I own 3 acoustic kits and an Ekit. The ekit is a great tool for practicing when the wife is in bed or has a friend over. It is also easy to plug in and jam to a track or record.. I do notice It is much easier to be "good" on the ekit... so it would be discouraging to only play ekits and move to electric one day but I'm sure kids these days can adapt to anything.

Ekit is better for the parent.. learning drums takes hours and hours and hours of playing crappy slow sloppy beats over and over. :)
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Old 05-26-2017, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

E-kits arte fine for pros who have to be quiet and get some semi-realistic playing time when living in small city apartments.

In general, unless it's the right thing for your music, it gets old and uninspiring pretty fast.

When I go to a new school to teach and meet students that have played for a while, but in reality quit a couple of years ago, that e-kit is no small part of that problem.
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Old 05-26-2017, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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Originally Posted by whiteknightx View Post

Electronics
6. You don't have to throw out the stock heads as soon as you bring the drums home, they sound great all the time, and you don't break drum sticks.
This isn't necessarily true, I've broken 3 or 4 drumsticks on an electric kit (including a $7500 yamaha kit!) - I guess I'm just a hard hitter :P

Also I remember the stock heads on my first kit (which I still have but none of the stock heads are on anymore) sounding great, they were tuned low and all that jazz - although they did break quickly. Like I said, I guess I'm a hard hitter :P
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Old 05-26-2017, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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This isn't necessarily true, I've broken 3 or 4 drumsticks on an electric kit (including a $7500 yamaha kit!) - I guess I'm just a hard hitter :P

Also I remember the stock heads on my first kit (which I still have but none of the stock heads are on anymore) sounding great, they were tuned low and all that jazz - although they did break quickly. Like I said, I guess I'm a hard hitter :P
You can still be a hard hitter and not break stuff like heads and cymbals. Neil Peart is a good example.
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Old 05-26-2017, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

I'm guessing that there is a large variance between eKits?

My boy has had a couple of "bonus" lessons on a Roland eKit (something like a HD1, so definitely a budget/student kit). He enjoyed the lessons, but was very critical of the kit and felt limited by the response that he got from it. Take that with a pinch of salt, and maybe it's more indicative of where his head is at, but I think most kids will ultimately prefer an acoustic kit.

As for breaking sticks, my boy has only broken one stick since he started playing (and that was by leaving it on the floor and shifting his throne onto it). I don't think it's such a big deal for kids.
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Old 05-26-2017, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

I agree with below. I know for myself, even though playing the e kits many different sounds is fun and you can do cool stuff like run them through a guitar distortion pedal (pretty nasty/good), I find my self uninspired to practice on them after a while where with the acoustics I never seem to get tired of. (always trying to make them sound like the pro's). Plus always loud is fun! that's why we are drummers. I'd get an e kit later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
E-kits arte fine for pros who have to be quiet and get some semi-realistic playing time when living in small city apartments.

In general, unless it's the right thing for your music, it gets old and uninspiring pretty fast.

When I go to a new school to teach and meet students that have played for a while, but in reality quit a couple of years ago, that e-kit is no small part of that problem.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
You can still be a hard hitter and not break stuff like heads and cymbals. Neil Peart is a good example.
I realize that.
Part of the reason why most of those sticks were broken on the e-kit where because they were cheap maple sticks.
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

Another vote for an acoustic set.

E-kits have a few advantages, but there are several disadvantages, some of which have already been mentioned, but I'm going to list everything I dislike about them:

1. Cheap ones are terrible and are no good as anything more than an expensive practice pad set.

2. If you want an E-kit that reasonably accurately represents the natural response you get from playing real drums, you need to buy top of the line.

3. E-kit cymbals on low - mid range kits are awful and completely unrealistic

4. The dynamic range even on expensive E-kits is nowhere near the real thing

5. No matter how good your E-kit sounds, it still sounds like you're playing with triggers.

6. No room sound

7. No sympathetic resonance (could be good or bad depending on your point of view)

8. You don't learn how to tune real drums

9. You don't learn how to hit drums properly

10. You don't learn how to coax all the voices it is possible to create from a single instrument


Advantages to E-kits? Someone already listed them - and I agree that they have those advantages.

But if you want to learn how to play drums WELL, get an acoustic set. End of discussion. An E-kit should only ever been a practice tool or an accessory.

If noise is an issue, buy a real (cheap) set and put mesh heads and triggers on it. That way you have the best of both worlds covered.
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Old 05-29-2017, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

If noise is an issue, find a Pearl Rhythm Traveller kit, and if it hasn't received them yet, buy some cheap cymbals, because the cymbals supplied with the kit are woefully poor.

The Pearl Rhythm Traveller is supplied with mesh and regular heads. With the regular heads it's LOUD. The plastic practice cymbals are kinda silly; you'd do better with mutes (or cloths) on regular cymbals.
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: acoustic vs electronic for 10 year old beginner

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I realize that.
Part of the reason why most of those sticks were broken on the e-kit where because they were cheap maple sticks.
I've never tried anything besides hickory sticks as far
as I know. I don't break things most of the time.
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