Electric or Acoustic Drum Kits for Beginners?


As a beginner, you may be wondering if you should learn the acoustic or the electric drums? You may want to buy a drum set to practice at home. Which one is the best option for you? Understanding the differences between these two drum kits will help you start your drumming journey.


What are electric drums?


We are all familiar with acoustic drum sets. They come with wood shells and metal cymbals. The drums of an electric drum are pads with rubber, plastic, or mesh drumheads. The sound is produced from a small box called a sound module. The sound can be heard through a headset or a speaker.


Noise difference


For many new and veteran drummers, the volume of the acoustic drum kit is a potential show-stopper. No one really enjoys hitting on deadheads or drum mutes. electric drums deliver their sampled sounds via volume-adjusted studio headphones and line outputs and their rubber pads, though far from silent, cannot be compared to the acoustic drum kit.


Which one saves more space?


No matter how small the size of an acoustic drum kit, it still comes with a hefty collection of things such as the kick drum and cymbal stand legs. The electric drums win with space saving with its racking, small pads, and kick tower adding up to a comparatively compact rig.


Cost difference


The saying, "you get what you pay for" applies to the electric drums more than the acoustic drum kit. A budget acoustic drum set is able to see you through your early years as a drummer compared to a similarly priced electric drum kit which you will quickly outgrow as your aural discernment matures.


Acoustic vs electric drums playability


When it comes to playability, there is no comparison between the natural feel and directness of a real drum head and the hard, triggering response and smaller target area of an 8-inch rubber pad. Thankfully, most electric drum kits these days include a much more ‘realistic’ mesh head for the important snare drum. For added realism, a kick drum tower, as opposed to a beatless pedal, should also be on the electric drummer’s shopping list. No matter how much you upgrade your electric drum kit, it still cannot beat the acoustic drums in the playability department.


Playing live


The electric drums require some form of amplification in order to be heard in a live setting. The acoustic drum kit has the edge when it comes to rock, jazz, and other styles. But the electric drum kit is able to facilitate velocity-sensitive triggering of synths, samplers, and drum machines, either hardware or laptop-hosted software, opening up an endless universe of tonal possibilities that transcend the earthbound limits of acoustic drums.


Interested in learning drums? Ritmo Music Studio offers drum lessons for both children and adults. Get in touch with us for your free trial.


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