In all honesty, how do you find the transition from an electronic kit to an acoustic?


Junior Member
I've given my thoughts on a similar topic in another thread, but I wanted to express myself more and maybe get some of your personal opinions for those who have experienced this as well. I'm going to try and get to the point as quickly as I can. I'm mainly going to list the negatives. It's just my opinion after all so I hope nobody takes offence to it.

I've owned a Roland TD-30 since late 2016 I want to say. Expensive, of course, and I was under the impression that this would solve all my issues in terms of being able to play during the night at low volumes, which it did. I was excited to start using V-drums as well.

But, after playing on it for a few months and getting back on an acoustic kit...boy, did it feel like I just lost 7 years of progress. I was pretty much in disbelief as well to be honest, but nope, it was true.

I'll only list the two main negatives that I've found when playing on electronic drums:
  • The samples on an E-kit are programmed/EQ'd in such a way where everything sounds perfect, especially when wearing headphones. Of course, you can adjust the sensitivity but even still. With headphones on, your not taking note of proper technique and especially not dynamics.
  • Mesh heads/V-drums are bad in my opinion. Too much rebound and feel nothing like a real drum. (That's to be expected though.)

In my opinion, I personally think E-kits are only necessary if you need to be able to play as quiet as possible. I'm not hating on E-kits, but for me as a drummer, I've realised that they aren't for me. For the record, the transition from my DW Go Anywhere practice kit to an acoustic kit has been much smoother in the past. I guess it goes to show that spending large amounts of money on an electronic kit may not be worthwhile after all depending on the person of course. :)

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I think playing with a loose grip and getting practice time regularly on low-rebound surfaces will help you more easily “bridge the gap”. My favorite trick for keeping technique clean and relaxed is to put a snare reso head on a pillow and play Stick Control and rudiments at all speeds, especially slow.


Platinum Member
I used to use inline skates in between hockey seasons. Getting back on the ice was always wonky for the first practice. After getting full-speed body-checked by a couple teens, I would totally forget what I was wearing on my feet.

So the solution to the e-kit -> a-kit transition is obviously to have a couple athletic teens kick the crap out of you while you're playing so that you can instantly reconcile any difference between the two.

Don't knock it till you've tried it. ;-)


Gold Member
I’ve played V-drums at several churches, but not on a daily basis, so my experience is more going from acoustic to electronic.

Two areas of significant difference:
  • Acoustic drums are capable of a much greater dynamic range. In addition, if the e-drums are sent through a small and/or lousy PA system, they sound terrible.
  • Acoustic drums are capable of a much greater sonic range. You can play on a drum or cymbal in many different ways to produce a wide variety of sounds. An e-drum has one sound per trigger.
True, the feel of an e-drum isn’t the same as an acoustic drum, but you can, at the very least, keep up with rudiments and patterns in near-silence.

The e-drums I played were installed simply to reduce the loudness of the drums. It was a compromise made by church leaders to make people more comfortable. This is true in any church that uses them, IMO.


Senior Member
It’s a nightmare at first (like driving a mini then driving a bus!) ….. the way to deal with it is - get yourself onto an acoustic kit at least once a week (I have rehearsal studios in my area). Play everything you’ve be playing on your e-kit on the acoustic, after a few sessions ( it might take weeks, or even months) you’ll soon be able to play either kit no problem!


Platinum Member
I think with me, eDrums being what they are, I tend to move them in a lot closer, and I get really lazy over time. If I go any amount of time just playing eDrums, I often forget how much movement is actually required to play a real kit. Oh, you mean a crash cymbal can't be mounted 2 inches above my "rack tom" and I can't just tap it and get a full crash? Stuff like that.

I think eDrums are a tool, but if I have to use this specific tool the majority of the time, I need to re-think the job itself.


Silver Member
It's been a few years (10-15? Lol), but I did play on two of Roland's better mesh head kits in their day-the TD-8 and the TD-12. And also one of their budget rubber pad kits-TD-6\6V. Although that experience is dated, it is still relevant I think.

I too felt that I had lost "something" by playing an ekit almost exclusively. When I finally put them away so I could concentrate on an acoustic kit the joy of playing returned, and I started to mature in my understanding and appreciation of the "instrument". The 'novelty' of having stadium sampled and hip-hop kits had faded and the return to an organic drum sound was fantastic. Any of the supposed advantages of the ekit soon faded as I matured in my technique and my touch and learned to appreciate the quiet practice time on a lowly drum pad-which, incidentally, revealed more weaknesses than a mesh pad ever had.

Now, I don't knock the ekit or anyone who uses and enjoys them, so this is all just *my* perspective. And I still have a very basic setup on the shelf if I get the hankering to do some 808 drum and bass stuff lol, but I haven't played it in a few years.

One (small) point-in many churches it's not just about volume, it's about getting a "big" drum sound without volume. While I can play quietly and dynamically, myself included, I have yet to see or hear anyone who can pull off that BIG arena drum kit and (bash ride) cymbal sound-quietly.

That is the one advantage an ekit has in a small venue or church that you cannot get out of an acoustic kit-at least not "quietly" in my experience.
Last edited:

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
You are correct regarding the sounds you hear from an eKit. Very different between an eKit and an acoustic kit. I use an eKit only to learn new songs while not bothering the neighbors.

Regarding the rebound and feel; the older mesh heads can ruin your technique if you practice on them for long periods of time. And the hard rubber pads are better but still can hurt your technique. I’m willing to bet that there are some eKits out there that do a good job in simulating an acoustic drum head. Maybe someone here can tell us if there are any newer eKits that feel (rebound) like an acoustic kit.

I think of them as two separate, but related, instruments. I have an E-kit (Alesis DM-10 Mk2) and an acoustic kit (Yamaha Stage Custom) at home, and my church group uses an E-kit (Roland TD-25) . I learn and practice the songs on my Yammie, but always also go to the church and practice to make sure the things I'm doing translate over and sound right. I compare it to going from a piano to a pipe organ.


Silver Member
I played Edrums for about 12 years. Like you said, mostly to play at low volume. Just came back to an acoustic kit this April and it took some getting used to (the volume was absolutely shocking) but the difference in feel was 100% for the better. I had to get used to a better feeling kit - that's a good problem to have!
Relearning how to hit cymbals took the longest, but only a few days. As far as the negatives of Ekits, to be honest my dynamics and sticking in general were instantly better on real drums, as opposed to having suffered any kind of setback on mesh heads.


Junior Member
If the reason to own an electronic kit is just for silent practice, I believe that that there are now better alternatives. I've played on a kit with Aquarian Super-Pads and Zildjian low volume cymbals. The Aquarians pads feel like real drums and you use them on your acoustic kit. Everything feels familiar, because it is.


"Uncle Larry"
I have to wonder if E kits were the only thing around when I was being imprinted....would I have fallen in love with them like I did with drums...

If the reason to own an electronic kit is just for silent practice, I believe that that there are now better alternatives. I've played on a kit with Aquarian Super-Pads and Zildjian low volume cymbals. The Aquarians pads feel like real drums and you use them on your acoustic kit. Everything feels familiar, because it is.
I'm planning to sell my Alesis kit and invest in L80's and the Black Hole system.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I had the Roland TD-10 when it was the flagship V-Drum kit back in the day. And even then I knew it was going to be the most expensive practice kit I've ever had. I've been involved with electronics and MIDI stuff since the 1980s and my mantra from then to this day is that electronics and acoustics are two different things - so I never used one to replace the other. In fact, I went so far in my electronic drumming as to eschew any kind of use of sticks on pads altogether and later ended up using the Zendrum MIDI controller. I never had the "I must practice quietly" requirement, so I would practice on real drums at reasonable hours and nobody complained. I feel for those that have to deal with that but I think going electronic is not the answer since there's no way an electronic kit can replicate an acoustic one, and this has only been the case with electronic drums since they debuted.

So sorry you had to find this out the hard and expensive way. I always looked at the price of flagship V-Drums as a real nice acoustic kit, PLUS a nice set of microphones!


Senior Member
To me, the e-kit is a data entry device, not a musical instrument. I can program a drum track more quickly using my computer's keyboard, so that's what I use. I'd rather practice on practice pads than use an e-kit, but my preference is to practice on an acoustic kit using brushes. I figure the time I spent on an e-kit was completely wasted.

I have to say, though, that if you think an e-kit is less responsive or has less dynamic range, you probably haven't tried a top-of-the-line Roland kit lately. I can easily see why a pro drummer would want one of those, even if only for doing soundtrack stuff.


Platinum Member
The transition is awful haha. I can BLAZE chops all day on an ekit. Everything sounds so clean and perfect. It's a treat. But the key is to play the A kit most of the time and have fun on the ekit.. not the other way around.

The volume change is one thing. After playing an Ekit for weeks an acoustics kit sounds SO much louder. If you move your stick an inch over you get a different sound. You don't have that on an e kit. There are no mis hits.

When I practice on the Ekit (because the wife is asleep / watching tv etc) I work on my time, my groove, and my independence. If you are working on brutally hard independence and modulation exercises to a a click, that will translate. If you are working on dynamics and speed it won't. Pick things where you are working out your brain more. Get a dead practice pad like a Moongel / prologix blue lighting to work on the chops/speed.

Gennaro pridgen9

New member
I found it awful, never been able to play an A drums ,always E drums and I'm putting all myself on the drums lately but everytime I switch for an A drums it sucks a lot, feeling really said about that feel like I'm just wasting time and energy.
Please help me.