Seasoned drummer transitioning from acoustic to e kit to practicing.

harrisal21

Junior Member
I've learned to play drums on and have played acoustic drums all my life about 28 yrs. Now I've moved into an apartment and therefore can't practice on my acoustic kit. I'm thinking about getting an ekit to practice on. I hear a lot of horror stories about practicing on e kits and then transitioning to acoustic. But it's mainly geared towards beginners. If you're already accustomed to playing a acoustic kit will practicing on e kit have any negative affect? Asking the guys that have been there.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
In the Vermont summer, I often used to strap on inline skates to stay in hockey-shape. My DTX-532 is the metaphorical equivalent. It's not the same as an A-kit, but it keeps me in shape during the off season. It's a trap kit that goes bleep-bloop while I play to a track on my iPhone.
 

picodon

Silver Member
It's much more fun and more versatile than a practice pad. Find a second hand one, see if you like how it feels under the sticks, probably replace the kick pedal by a decent one, then you have a perfect practice machine to keep you in shape.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I don't think there is anything negative about playing and e kit sometimes.

Some trailer homes cost about the same as an apartment but are far enough away from neighbors that you don't disturb them.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
My experience (practice on an A-kit, perform on an Roland V-drum kit) showed me that nuances from the A-kit in volume (ppp–ƒƒƒ) and unique sounds (e.g., drag roll near the edge of the snare, scraping the cymbals) don’t translate well at all to the e-kit. However, straight-ahead playing translates well.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
Not many negatives for me (except for the learning curve of how to wrangle with modules/ triggers, etc).
Go for an A2E setup if you want to keep that acoustic aesthetic though (that way you can at least feel like you're still behind an acoustic set).
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Ekits are great at making you sound better than you really are because of the huge amount of compression that is turned on by default. The velocity of all your hits will magically sound 'awesome' and you'll begin to forget how important dynamics and tone quality is. Why worry about your dynamics when the velocity of every tom and cymbal hit is "perfect?"

This is a problem with even the most expensive ekits like a Roland TD-30 or TD-50. However, maybe there are settings that allow you to turn off all the compression and make it sound as realistic as possible? If so, I've never heard an example of this on Youtube vids.

If you're someone that only plays rock or country and you're not a cork-sniffer like me, you may not be bothered by this. But if you care about dynamics and finesse it could be a real issue when you go back to real drums again.

I went for 10 years without the ability to play my real kit. I played extensively on practice pads and the game Rock Band during that time. When I finally went back to real drums last year, it took a while to re-adjust my dynamics for playing on a real kit.

I'm not telling you not to get an ekit. You should because it's the best option you have. (Aside from storing and playing your drums elsewhere.) Just be aware that ekits still aren't as good as the real thing.
 

Highway Child

Senior Member
I've got an ekit (Alesis Nitro) for home practice. Mesh heads and I use a "proper" bass pedal with it. It's great for for play-along and metronome practice. And compared to Roland / Yamaha, the Alesis is fantastic value for money (mine was £320 new). But as said before its best to also use a traditional practice pad too, for the stick control stuff.
 

JosephDAqui

Silver Member
I would suggest the Yamaha DTX system using the TCS pads - they won't ruin your chops like the mesh trampoline heads will, and they are relatively inexpensive.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Another option is outfitting your acoustic kit with Remo SilentStroke mesh heads and low volume cymbals, such as Zildjian L80s. I live in an apartment and have been doing this for 3+ years now, with zero complaints. I also play with multirods instead of sticks most of the time, and that also helps, though honestly sticks aren't much louder. Best of all, it's not only a much cheaper alternative to buying an e-kit, it will also help you play with proper dynamics and technique.

If you do go that route, I recommend an RTOM Black Hole mesh pad for the snare (installed over a real drum head), as I think that works a bit better than the SilentStrokes. But only for the snare, as SilentStrokes work fine on toms and bass drums. Also buy a bass drum patch for the mesh bass head, or you'll wear a hole through it before long.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
and remember that the pedal on the floor will be an annoyance to the neighbors below if you are on an upper floor. The drum motions on either kit should transfer back and forth well enough,
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
NO, NO don't do it. Get a small acoustic kit (like a Breakbeat) and put mesh heads and those silent cymbals. What if the power went out-after an ice storm and for days no less (so you'd have plenty of time for practice). I'm saving ya man LOL.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I don't think it's as much a-kit vs e-kit as it is determining exactly what your needs are.

On my practice kit with pads and L80s staraight ahead jazz stuff is what sufferes the least because it's cymbal heavy and and working on comping on the Xymox even has some benefits.

On a digital kit you can make it feel better with some good 3-ply heads and as long as the snare and bass drum feel good you're pretty good.

I have one of the newest Alesis kits at work now. My own acoustic kit is setup next to it, so it will only be used for fun or if the noise is too much for someone, but the bass drum feels surprisingly good and combined with a monitor and either the L80s they have or obviously the rubber cymbals it's fine for short lessons. I'll see if we can get a Drum Tec Real Feel for the snare pad and it should be ok.

I'd definelty keep my acoustic kit and find somewhere to play that once in a while.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
E kits are fun if you don’t wrap your mind around nuance.
When they first came out, I had a Roland V drumset and stayed in Rosewood with a bell brass snare in my E kit settings. Fell in love with THAT sound when I went to practice on my Pearl exports I was let down.
 
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toddmc

Gold Member
E kits are fun if you don’t wrap your mind around nuance.
When they first came out, I had a Roland V drumset and stayed in Rosewood with a bell brass snare in my E kit settings. Fell in love with THAT sound when I went to practice on my Pearl exports I was let down.
I know right- Rosewood is about the only decent tom sound on the Roland TD10 :)
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I hear a lot of horror stories about practicing on e kits and then transitioning to acoustic. But it's mainly geared towards beginners. If you're already accustomed to playing a acoustic kit will practicing on e kit have any negative affect? Asking the guys that have been there.
Been there. I actually spent 10 years on an e-kit (acoustic kit with mesh heads and Roland module) and transitioning back to drums and real cymbals was no problem. It took a short while to get accustomed to hitting real cymbals again, that's it.

I you have the option, I highly recommend applying single-ply mesh heads to your acoustic kit, Roland RT triggers and Roland cymbals instead of playing any type of factory E-drums (I've done both). I recommend single ply heads because I found they trigger well even with low tension, which feels much more like normal heads, and they're really quiet.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
If you're already accustomed to playing a acoustic kit will practicing on e kit have any negative affect? Asking the guys that have been there.
Aside from invaluable practice time - I actually learned to alternate doubles on the foot and hands and move around toms on my Roland. The sound was more clear to hear and it translated to my acoustic set.
So no, in my opinion you can use it like any other chopping block to develop your skills.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I find it interesting as a guy who has played for 20+ years. If I ONLY play the ekit for a few weeks I sound amazing, but when I get to the acoustic it seems SO loud, and my touch is off. I can play MUCH faster on an ekit too.

I love playing on them though, and recording on them.; My advice is use it to work on independence exercises and technique they are great. Also supplement it with a low rebound pad.
 
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