As drummers, the reason we probably became hooked on our instrument in the first place was to have the biggest, loudest and most fun instrument to play out of them all! (Although, your next-door neighbours and your parents might not appreciate this as much as you do!)
Is playing an electric drum kit the same as playing an acoustic one?
The answer is no. No matter how much money you spend, the electric kit will never quite have the same feel to it as an acoustic set. You only have to sit behind an acoustic set to know exactly what I mean.
However, in general, the more you spend on an electric kit the closer you will get to the feel and sound of an acoustic kit, however, there are lots of logistical pros to buying an electric kit:
Overall, getting a kit in this price range would suit someone who wants to make sure their interest in this instrument is for the long term. Bear in mind, you’ll probably get a shock when getting behind a set of acoustic drums after getting used to playing a kit at this price, but, beggars can’t be choosers!
– The “Ion Redline” is at the cheapest end of the spectrum and is toy-like with the pads lighting up when you strike them. It comes with only one cymbal and a beater-less kick drum which is perfect for people living in flats.
drum2 – Although the slightly more expensive model “Digital Drums 400 Compact” doesn’t light up like a Christmas tree when you strike it, it does have one more cymbal pad which is really useful. Like the Ion Redline, it comes with 10 different kits to choose from to suit your style. The dynamic control is very limited which means that there is not that much room for true musical expression.
This price range is suited for someone who is a bit more serious about drumming and allows you to upgrade your kit as you get better. Although a lot of kits in this price range also come with a beater-less kick drum, you can buy a proper kick pedal and get a little closer to the acoustic drum kit experience. You can also expect to have a bigger amount of pre-set kits to choose from.
– The “Roland HD3-Lite” model is a very popular kit for beginners. Basically, whenever you buy a Roland product you can rest assured that it is high quality. The snare drum comes with a “mesh-head”, which very much resembles playing an acoustic snare drum!
– The slightly less expensive “Roland TD1K” model is also a good choice. Where the HD3-lite comes with 20 different drum kits this one only has 15 and doesn’t have a “mesh head. It’s a great beginner kit though and the in-build metronome will help improve your timing.
A lot of the kits at this price feature the popular nylon mesh-heads on all of the drums. You can also expect a lot more pre-set kits, in other words; lots more room for musical expression. In a gig situation you’ll really appreciate that you can plug each individual drum into the mixing desk and get a crystal clear drum sound at the venue. Also, the actual sound of each drum is far better than cheaper kits.
– The “Alesis DM10 Studio kit” for instance represents most of the above. It features 4 points of sensitivity on the drum heads which means that you can really express yourself on a kit like this.
In conclusion, if you handed the world’s greatest drummer a pair of sticks and sat him behind the cheapest electric drum kit he would easily make it sound good. My point is, it’s better to practice 10 hours a day on a budget kit than only 20 minutes per week on a pro kit…the drummer makes the kit!
Whatever your budget, keep practicing and have as much fun as you can playing the drums!