How to Play Electric Drums Like a Pro

How to Play Electric Drums

If you’ve always dreamt of learning how to play the drums, but you simply don’t have the space at home to accommodate an acoustic drum set, then an electronic drum set can be the next best thing.

But if you’re a total newbie, or have minimal drumming experience, learning how to play electric drums may seem a little daunting. Even experienced drummers aren’t sure how electric drums work and what to expect in terms of sound quality, setup, and features.

But electric drum sets have come a long way from the first models produced in the late 1970s. Now, these drum kits are even able to rival high-quality, expensive acoustic drum sets as far as sound quality is concerned.

These drum sets are also a great option for the beginner because many models feature tutorials and play-along songs that help to simplify the learning process. They’re also a great choice for the beginner because they’re more affordable, much more forgiving, compact, lightweight, and equipped with a headphone jack so you can drum away any time of the night or day.

These tips on how to play electric drums will help to familiarize you with common setups, components, and drumming techniques so you can start drumming along to your favorite songs in no time.

Are Electric Drums the Best Choice for the Beginner?

There are many options of acoustic drums and electric drum sets that would work great for a beginner, but if you’re not quite sure if drumming is for you and you’re just starting out, an electric set is the way to go. These sets are smaller, more affordable, and they’re definitely more user-friendly. You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive acoustic set only to give up drumming in a few months.

Playability is another reason to choose electric over acoustic. While electric sets may not offer that same type of realistic drumming feel, they’re much more versatile and will give the drummer more options in terms of experimenting with sound. Many of these sets are very customizable, so you can choose heads and pads based on the type of music you enjoy playing.

A Difference in Rebound

After your new drum set has arrived in the mail and you’ve assembled the rack and components, the next thing you should do is become acquainted with the increased rebound these drums often provide.

If you’ve ever watched a pro drummer at work, you probably didn’t notice the amount of rebound that comes with every strike. That’s because acoustic drums don’t produce the same type of high-impact rebound that you’ll get from a set of electric drums. This is mostly due to the differences in materials used. Acoustic drums are made out of natural materials, while electric drums are made from mesh or rubber. Both types of material can really kick things back at you.

Because of this, you’ll want to make sure that your body fully adjusts to this type of rebound effect without letting it throw your rhythm off. You’ll find that you’re able to keep your arms much closer to your body, which will allow you to really power each of your strikes from the hands and wrists.

Basically, electric drums allow you to dramatically simplify the way you drum, so you’ll learn at a much faster rate. Another advantage that electric drums have over acoustic is that you’ll be able to totally avoid ghost notes that are created by sloppy striking.

On an electric set, the drum pads are much more forgiving, which is what will force you to simplify your drumming style. While some drummers claim that this can cause them to pick up bad playing habits, others feel that it leads to cleaner, more precise drumming.

Customizing the Drum Set Layout

Drum Set Layout

If you’re a beginner, using an electric drum set can be a better option considering that most models, even lower priced options, often come equipped with tutorials and learning components that make it easy to find your rhythm.

Beginners can have trouble setting up both acoustic sets and electric sets for the first time, but the most important thing you’ll want to do is lay everything out in a way that feels the most comfortable to you.

Electric drums are tremendously adaptable and very customizable, making them the perfect choice for beginners or drummers who want to change things up to create their own picture-perfect layout. Traditional drum sets simply don’t offer this type of flexibility because they’re much bulkier and larger than an electric set.

Never be afraid to mix and match a variety of drum types, or shift their positions. You can even play around with the location of the pedals or try out different setup options for the cymbals. Laying out the drums based on your preference can have a major impact on your skill level, confidence and your ability to play.

Drumming Away

After you’ve done some experimenting, hitting the pads and adjusting to the rebound, you can take advantage of the play-along songs or tutorials. Some manufacturers even offer video tutorials on their websites, or you can head over to Youtube and check out the hundreds of videos they have available.

Playing electric drums is not that different than traditional drums, as far as the learning process goes. Most electric kits have a built-in metronome that can help you with timing and rhythm, but ultimately, your progress will mainly rely on how often you practice.

We recommend shooting for at least an hour a day.  Thanks to the headphone jack you can practice pretty much any time of the night or day, without having to worry about waking up roommates or family members.

We also recommend choosing a type of electric drum set that allows you to plug into your laptop, PC or Mac. These sets will be compatible with music software programs that will allow you to record and edit your drumming or download new percussions and sound effects from an online sound library.


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