So you're are thinking about buying a drum kit, but you're not sure whether to go digital or acoustic. We hope that this guide will make the decision a little easier - there are advantages and disadvantages with both, and it will mainly come down to the type of music you play, where you are going to be playing and how much you have to spend.
Advantages of electronic drum kits
Compact - Electronic drum kits take up less space than an acoustic set, and are great for temporary stage use. If space is an issue, they can be set up in a much smaller area and are more portable.
Quiet – If you are considerate of your neighbours and want to play into the early hours, electronic drum kits can be used with headphones for quiet practice. This doesn’t mean that you can’t play on stage, as you can also plug them into an amp, without the use of microphones to pick up the sound.
Versatile – You are not limited to playing conventional drum and percussion sounds. They can adapt to the style of music you need to play and are great for recording and editing. You can even play along with a CD or music track.
Tuning – This is not an issue with electronic drum kits, there is no need to tune them and no worrying that they will not stay in tune throughout a gig.
Learning – There are some great features on electronic drum kits to aid the learning process. Most models have a built in metronome to ensure you’re playing in time, with the added bonus of listening to yourself play through the headphones.
There is a great range of electronic drum kits, so here are a few that we recommend:
For Beginners: Axus Digital AXK2 - Packed with a whole host of built in features and is very robust. It is easy to use, has a great response and feel to is, as well as high quality sounds.
For Intermediate Players: Yamaha DTX530K - This kit uses the technology from some of the best electronic drum kits out there. It has some great practice tools for those looking to perfect their playing and correct bad habits!
For Advanced Players: Roland TD-15K - With Roland’s SuperNATURAL technology, this kit has fantastic sound quality with a natural response. The backing songs have been professionally recorded and with the quick edit function, it has everything you’d need from a drum kit.
Advantages of acoustic drum kits
Aesthetically pleasing – They look like drums should and provide a greater presence on stage as part of a band set up.
Technique – When learning to play the drums, technique is important. On an acoustic drum kit you can learn drum rolls, cymbal swells and hi-hat techniques and learn to perfect them.
Versatile playing – You are not limited to playing with just drum sticks, acoustic kits enable you to experiment with brushes and mallets to create different effects.
Set up – You are not restricted to the drum kit you buy. You can always add on drums or cymbals and build the kit to suit your needs. As you progress as a player, your kit can progress with you.
Make some noise – They are much louder and there is no need for amplification. This makes the sound more natural. If you did want to play a bit quieter, you can always practice quietly using neoprene practice pads.
There is a great range of acoustic drum kits, so here are a few that we recommend:
For young players: We offer small drum kits for children, so that they can start learning early! For children under 5 years old we have a great three piece drum set, for children between the ages of 5-10, we recommend the junior 5 piece drum kit. These are great starter kits, and are not your typical plastic ‘toys’ but functional instruments.
For Beginners: Rocket 5 Piece 22” kit - Don’t be deceived by the price of this drum kit. They are well made and robust kits designed with the beginner in mind. They also come in a range of colours, complete with everything you will need to start drumming.
For Intermediate Players: Yamaha GigMaker. This kit uses some great quality components from Yamaha’s top end drum kits. All the hardware is double braced, making it exceptionally sturdy and comes complete with cymbals and a drum throne. They also come in a great range of colours.
For Advanced Players: Yamaha Stage Custom Birch - This has been the top choice of drummers for over 30 years. They are built to last and have been carefully thought out and adapted over time. They offer a warm tone providing great value for money.