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Old 02-22-2010, 11:06 AM
jonedwards1 jonedwards1 is offline
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Default Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

I am considering buying the Roland TD12-KX for home practice. I know, I know, thatís a lot of money for a home practice kit. I want a kit that feels and sounds as real as possible. I also want to have the ability to use it gigging out if I choose to in the future. My point is that I heard using electronic drums can definitely be a great tool in improving your drum skills for many reasons; ease of playing along with tracks, metronome, practice anytime, etc.. I buddy of mine said he used to have a TD10 years ago and his drumming improved drastically. I am not a beginner. I have been playing drums for 40 years and just want to have a practice kit for learning new tunes when Im hired for pickup gigs and to keep my chops up during my down time. Are there any experienced drummers that use electronic drums to improve their skills?
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:16 PM
JPW JPW is offline
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

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Originally Posted by jonedwards1 View Post
I am considering buying the Roland TD12-KX for home practice. I know, I know, thatís a lot of money for a home practice kit. I want a kit that feels and sounds as real as possible. I also want to have the ability to use it gigging out if I choose to in the future. My point is that I heard using electronic drums can definitely be a great tool in improving your drum skills for many reasons; ease of playing along with tracks, metronome, practice anytime, etc.. I buddy of mine said he used to have a TD10 years ago and his drumming improved drastically. I am not a beginner. I have been playing drums for 40 years and just want to have a practice kit for learning new tunes when Im hired for pickup gigs and to keep my chops up during my down time. Are there any experienced drummers that use electronic drums to improve their skills?
Yes, lots of them. It's more of practical decision than a sound issue. The intial sounds on practically every module are quite mediocre and without proper PA-system they sound wimpy. Laptop+VST makes the situation bearable in a gig setting but don't assume you can have as rich sounding cymbals as before. But all that pessimism about sounds is destroyed by the fact that you can practice pretty much when ever you want and also your kit takes a lot less space.

I had to make the choice between having a great sounding acoustic kit and practice only 4 hours a week or having an ok-sounding e-kit with VST:s and practice over 35h per week. I chose the latter.

But I'm also quite a beginner compared to you. But I know many professionals practice with e-kits. They rarely gig with them though, but you are seeing it more and more every day.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:00 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

I will preface my statement of opinion with a fact: I have primarily played acoustic drums for the time I have played drums (which is now about 25 years).

My opinion: No equipment will make you a better drummer. However, electronic drums can give you certain sonic, performance, and playing abilities that are not possible with acoustic drums - much like a keyboard as opposed to a piano, or an electric guitar as opposed to an acoustic.

Guitarists and key players do not become better via the introduction of electricity into the instrument, and you won't either; however, your playing may benefit creatively from the possibilities that the electronic instrument grants. That in turn will inspire you to play more and explore more, which will make you a better player.

It's been stated before in other forums that the electric and acoustic instruments that I have named are so different in their approaches as to warrant them being referred to as different instruments, in terms of personal focus. I believe Dave Weckl once referred to Chick Corea as "a piano player who played keyboards" and Joe Zawinul as "a keyboard player first and foremost". However, in drumming circles, I'm not personally aware of any player who has become the "foremost" electronic player, although many drummers continue to explore the outer boundaries of the instrument every day. Perhaps that title is reserved for you, some day in the future!
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I will preface my statement of opinion with a fact: I have primarily played acoustic drums for the time I have played drums (which is now about 25 years).

My opinion: No equipment will make you a better drummer. However, electronic drums can give you certain sonic, performance, and playing abilities that are not possible with acoustic drums - much like a keyboard as opposed to a piano, or an electric guitar as opposed to an acoustic.

Guitarists and key players do not become better via the introduction of electricity into the instrument, and you won't either; however, your playing may benefit creatively from the possibilities that the electronic instrument grants. That in turn will inspire you to play more and explore more, which will make you a better player.

It's been stated before in other forums that the electric and acoustic instruments that I have named are so different in their approaches as to warrant them being referred to as different instruments, in terms of personal focus. I believe Dave Weckl once referred to Chick Corea as "a piano player who played keyboards" and Joe Zawinul as "a keyboard player first and foremost". However, in drumming circles, I'm not personally aware of any player who has become the "foremost" electronic player, although many drummers continue to explore the outer boundaries of the instrument every day. Perhaps that title is reserved for you, some day in the future!
Yeah, of course they can't make you better through the equipment but if you can practice more with the help of the said equipment, then it has made you a better drummer. We shall see what we can do with e-drums after 50 years or so. The situation might be completely upside down.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

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Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?
They certainly did for me!

I still prefer the real thing but without e-drums I wouldn't have been able to play what I can play now.
As for the sound, the most expensive e-drums don't even sound close to a-drums. E-drums are compressed and EQ-ed, a-drums are noisy but they do feel better. For a-drums to sound like e-drums, you need to invest in room acoustics, micing or custom earplugs. On the other hand, mesh heads or rubber pads won't feel anything like real heads. You should get e-drums more for practical reasons than for sound. TD12 is nice but I'd try TD9 or TD4 and replace the kick by a mesh pad.

Last edited by Thunderstix; 02-22-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

i use an electronic kit exactly like you want to use one. i play it at home, learning songs and practicing new skills. i like to think of it as enabling technology. it doesn't replace an acoustic kit, but it enables you to play quietly at any hour of the day or night in a small space. if i didn't have an electronic kit i probably wouldn't be practicing nearly as much as i do now.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

If you've got that kind of cash to splash, why not. Especially if you want the kit to replicate the feel of an acoustic. E-kits are getting better at this. And they will continue to improve, in the "feel" department.
I have both, and I treat both as totally seperate instruments. But I have the "luxury" of being able to play "acoustic drums" in my home. So I look at it as " why own a Lotus and an Oldsmobile if you're gonna drive 'em both the same way?"
In your situation, set up your e-kit as close to the way you set up your acoustic. With e-kits, it's so easy to bunch pads closer together, than acoustic drums. Fight that urge. I think it'll help you retain your "muscle memory" if you replicate your acoustic kit distances.
From there, I think any drumming will improve your skills. You might be working on rudiments and a practice pad. You might be working on rhythm patterns on a hand drum.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:01 AM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

At face value no.

But having the ability to practice more often can make you a better drummer.

And playing along to the sequencers, and metronone can help you time and/or learn new feels.

So yeah, they can make you a better drummer if you actually practice with them.

And they can make home recording much easier. :-)
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:06 AM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

I agree with the basic concensus here that more practice can help you improve. One neglected element of this discussion, is that it is variety that also contributes to improvement: e-drums plus a traditional kit. Along this same trend of thought, adding and practicing percussion or hand drums will also help you improve.

Take care

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Old 02-23-2010, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonedwards1 View Post
I am considering buying the Roland TD12-KX for home practice. I know, I know, thatís a lot of money for a home practice kit. I want a kit that feels and sounds as real as possible. I also want to have the ability to use it gigging out if I choose to in the future. My point is that I heard using electronic drums can definitely be a great tool in improving your drum skills for many reasons; ease of playing along with tracks, metronome, practice anytime, etc.. I buddy of mine said he used to have a TD10 years ago and his drumming improved drastically. I am not a beginner. I have been playing drums for 40 years and just want to have a practice kit for learning new tunes when Im hired for pickup gigs and to keep my chops up during my down time. Are there any experienced drummers that use electronic drums to improve their skills?
I think any time you're practicing, your drumming will improve, and if you can practice more because your kit doesn't annoy others it's probably worth the investment. That said, I just sold a TD-20 system. Even with the mesh heads, they didn't give me the same stick response as regular heads. Even with Vexpressions sounds loaded I eventually tired of hearing the same sounds no matter where on the head i was hitting. I recently built a drum booth in my basement that works well enough that i can play whenever I want. If you don't have the space or inclination to build something like that, then an E-kit is probably the way to go and likely less expensive.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:11 AM
joeybeats joeybeats is offline
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

I play both sets and the truth is I'm at the e-kit much more often. Maybe three to four times more frequently and I have an amazing a-kit.

As you heard, an e-kit is an awesome practice pad. If it motivates and inspires you to practice and play more frequently, what more can be said?
Since Christmas, I've been banging my head trying to get Fool In The Rain down and I easily have spent 100 hours on the sheet music, using the metronome turned way down and the recording features.
Take Harry's advise regarding the set-up, he is correct about muscle memory.

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Old 02-23-2010, 11:34 AM
jonedwards1 jonedwards1 is offline
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

Wow, I want to thank everyone for your quick responses. This was my first post and Im sure I will become a regular user.

I have to say that I cannot practice without a band. Always been that way. I also havenít spent much time developing my rudiment technique, although Iím OK at best. I used to mess around with playing to CDs with my acoustic kit. It didnít last long because the drums not being in the mix discouraged me, as did the need to continually change CDs. Now that I have an IPhone and with the ability to play "in the mix" I am already getting excited to open up a new opportunity to begin practicing the way I should.

I will generally use the e-kit as a practice tool. I will take the advice of setting it up to mimic my a-kit. Makes good sense. I did consider the TD9. I also considered the new TD20SX, but after careful consideration and hours of You Tube videos I decided the TD12 made the best sense for me.

Thanks again for all the advice!
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:41 AM
supermac supermac is offline
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

A definite yes.

I've had my Roland kit for a year.

I can practise pretty much when I want, which with an accoustic kit you usually can't.

I prefer the 'real' drums obviously, but I've learned so much new stuff over the last year that I wouldn't have without the e-kit...
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dairyairman View Post
i use an electronic kit exactly like you want to use one. i play it at home, learning songs and practicing new skills. i like to think of it as enabling technology. it doesn't replace an acoustic kit, but it enables you to play quietly at any hour of the day or night in a small space like a drum lessons. if i didn't have an electronic kit i probably wouldn't be practicing nearly as much as i do now.
Same here. But to answer your question if it makes you a better drummer, I guess it would IF you practice with it almost every day. And that would go for any instrument, if you practice it everyday, it will improve your skills. But not because you use such instrument, specifically the e-drums that you are asking about.

Last edited by StephenC; 08-07-2011 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

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Originally Posted by jonedwards1 View Post

I have to say that I cannot practice without a band. Always been that way. I also havenít spent much time developing my rudiment technique, although Iím OK at best.
If I'm understanding you correctly, you aren't practicing alone. Is that correct?

If that's true, asking if something can make you a better drummer while not spending time on your own skills is counter productive.

Even if you don't spend time on rudiments, time keeping, phrasing, tone production, fills, colors, etc need focussed, individual attention and practice for any drummer trying to improve them self.

If you're just playing for fun then it shouldn't matter how you are progressing. You can sit down and jam away and not need to work on anything. That's cool too and plenty fun. As long as you understand what your goals are or are not then you'll be OK. But be practical about what you need to do to get better.


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Old 01-30-2012, 04:25 PM
jamaul08 jamaul08 is offline
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

Jim makes a very good point. When I first started out drumming it was for a church and I did not have my own drum kit. For two years I was only able to play for 4 hours a week (2hours Sunday and 2hours Friday night youth services). During that time, I became very solid with 4/4-3/4 time and 8th-16th note fills. THAT'S ALL!!!

In 2008, my mom bought me a drum kit (convinced her I was serious). We put it in the back garage and I went to town on it. My time spent playing went from 4hours a week to about 30. In 3 months, more progress was made than in my first 2 years! I picked up 7/8-5/4 times, linear fills, simple rudiments, etc. Could not believe what a difference it made. By 2009, I was playing for a few local groups and starting my own band.

Just wanted to share my experience with the ability to practice more often having a significant effect on your skill.

In 2 months, I'll be moving to a location where I will no longer be able to play an acoustic set. An e-kit is on my shopping list right now. One thing that I LOVE about e-kits is wearing headphones and being able to hear every single part of your kit. I tried out a few at Guitar Center, and it amazed me how clear everything is. Outside of a studio setting, the sounds from an acoustic tend to mash/blend as you play. On the e-kit, I was able to hear if my triplets were not clean enough or the paradiddles just a hair off.

Anyone else find it easier to critique your playing on an e-kit???
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:18 AM
Evenstevens280 Evenstevens280 is offline
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

^ Most definitely. I generally only ever played my acoustic kit mic'd up and in a 'recording' state. It just sounded better to me and I could hear everything clearer. Playing an e-kit gives you the same kind of sound.

Another good thing with e-kits is that they come with training tools (Well, the good ones do) that can plot out your hits on a chart and physically display how close or far you were off from hitting a beat dead on.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

Ekits are great for practice. The new Yamaha pads are pretty close to the feel of acoustic heads - not perfect but a lot better than rubber or the Roland mesh. Another benefit is that if you are using DVDs or other media with your ekit to practice, you can route the computer sound through your module or route your module through your computer and be able to play along with the lessons as you practice. My family appreciates the ekit and there is nothing worse than hearing loud drums when you are learning something new. Slow choppy repetition over and over and over and over.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

I have gotten a lot better from practicing on my Roland TD4k but i am still selling it because i cannot get used to the sound which took the fun out of drumming eventually. Now i have chosen to get a small acoustic kit so i can practice quietly without disturbing anybody.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

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Originally Posted by Evenstevens280 View Post
^ Most definitely. I generally only ever played my acoustic kit mic'd up and in a 'recording' state. It just sounded better to me and I could hear everything clearer. Playing an e-kit gives you the same kind of sound.

Another good thing with e-kits is that they come with training tools (Well, the good ones do) that can plot out your hits on a chart and physically display how close or far you were off from hitting a beat dead on.
I was reading this thread with interest and this post details what I have learned from it. I have a Roland TD 9. The only thing that makes me any better is drumming (That includes lurking around on Drummwerworld but hey, it's fun). BUT, my E-Kit allows me to practice in places I never could before. I can only spend so much time on the Pad per week. It does nothing for my 4 way coordination.

My Roland has this cool feature within the metronome function. "Scope" plots the drum strikes on a graph that scrolls along in time. A metronome is great but I don't always trust my ears. Seeing that I am flamming the Bass and Hat or crash is better for me than hearing it.

I also boxed up my E Kit and sent it to Iraq for a year. I would have never been able to play over there without it. Pretty darn handy device.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:25 PM
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dtrushr30dw dtrushr30dw is offline
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

My two cents...
I found that using an electronic set has helped me advance a lot as a drummer. I believe the better the kit quality and the more features, the more things you can do to improve. For example, My roland td-20 has instrumental backing music for me to play to in order to sharpen my chops. Often on electronic drums you have the ability to plug an ipod in through an auxilary, this is awesome for learning songs. The electric drums are very easy to record and they are very quite so I can play mine whenever I want. The downside is that they do feel different from acoustic drums and cymbals, there is no getting away from that, but overall I love a good electric set.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:41 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: Do Electronic Drums Make You A Better Drummer?

I've been playing on the first e-kit (a Simmons SDS1000), since the 80s, and I would say that an e-kit can definitely make you a better drummer. With a kit like this one, there is no "cheating"; every note is heard and there is no ambient sound like an acoustic has to help "overshadow" any notes that you might not execute precisely.

Sure, the feel is not the same on these particular e-pads, not like the mesh heads of today's e-kits, which more closely resemble an acoustic head. But, I think that's even more reason it makes you a better drummer. You have no choice but to use excellent technique if you want them to sound good. Of course, if you don't work on your rudiments and simply hit them with pop-rock fills or glam-metal riffs, then you won't take advantage of their prowess as "technique improvers". ;-)
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