Acoustic Vs Electric Drums

Acoustic Vs Electric Drums

The drum is one of the most widely known musical instruments in the world, solely responsible for providing the beat for all of the songs we know and love.

With hundreds of variations of drums around the world and an array of sounds and playing styles with each, it’s no wonder that debates arise from time to time about which is best.

In recent years, the electric drum has risen to fame and almost taken over the acoustic drum as the preferred method for many musicians.

Stack of drums on shelves in a drum shop

Obviously, there is an ideal time and place for each type of drum but as the technology and build of these electric varieties increase they seem to be leading to the more favorable choice.

We’re going to take a look at both the electric drum and the acoustic drum to see when each might be the better option, as well as their distinct advantages and disadvantages.

From there, we’ll settle the famous debate about which the best choice is for the drummer and how they can benefit from using each style.

Electric Drums

Electric drums certainly aren’t what they used to be, and for even the most serious drummer these used to be of such poor quality that nobody would consider them.

However, modern electric drums can be even better than the real thing and are now preferred by many as their instrument of choice.

These drums are used over acoustic ones for a number of reasons, with their main benefit being no noise.

When compared to an acoustic drum which is extremely loud, the only sound you’ll get from an electric one is the stick hitting the pad. You’ll get the exact same sound out of them, though, just without disturbing anyone else.

Another huge benefit with the electric drum is the ability to learn and practice your craft with the help of the machine, this can be great for those who are new to drumming or even professionals who want to experiment with different styles.

They’re also usually a lot cheaper than the acoustic style but can also reach quite an expensive amount if you’re looking for something high tech.

Electric drum set on the stage

Along with these positives though come the downsides. Many people will refuse to play on an electric drum kit as it doesn’t feel the same as acoustic and some might feel it takes away from the authenticity.

In addition, the parts of an electric drum kit may need to be replaced from time to time, particularly in the cheaper varieties, and so ongoing maintenance can be expensive.

Acoustic Drums

An acoustic drum kit also comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, and these drum kits are usually ideal for people playing in live settings.

Although there’s nothing wrong with the sound that comes from an electric, serious drummers and musicians will tell you that the feel of drumming on an acoustic set just can’t be beaten. For this reason, acoustic drums are best kept for the live stage.

Although these used to be the most used style of drum, in modern times more people are making the switch to electric. Electric drums might look and feel more authentic, but they’re extremely noisy to use.

This could be a problem for people who need to put in a lot of hours practice and don’t have the luxury of a recording studio, but in turn, this loudness can be effective when playing to a live audience.

Acoustic drum set on the stage

Acoustic drums are often more expensive than electric ones, but again there is a varying degree of cost and quality within. 

Depending on what your budget is, you might be happy to pay double the price of an electric kit for an acoustic one, so it’s really a personal decision.

Maintaining your acoustic drum kit should also be cheaper, as it’s rare they need repairs. The only real cost will be your drumsticks provided you take good care of the rest of the kit.

Another huge advantage to using an acoustic drumkit is the variety of drumming you can practice. With a real kit in front of you, you’ll be able to practice buzz rolls, drum rolls, hi-hat techniques and more, all of which just isn’t possible in electric form.

However, as technology improves and electric models get more advanced, this might become a reality for the digital kind yet.

The Final Verdict

Just as there are many types of drums in the world, so too are there many different types of drummers.

Each musician has their own personal preference as to what type of drum they prefer to work and practice with, so there’s never going to be one kind that suits every situation.

When you consider drumming in terms of practice and improving your craft, you can’t go past the electric drum kit.

These allow you to experiment with a range of sounds and techniques without disrupting anyone else and give you access to learning and sounds that just aren’t possible when you use an acoustic kit.

For those playing in selected live venues, the acoustic might be the way to go. If you’re a stickler for authenticity and feel that you just won’t learn or enjoy drumming if you do it electronically, you’re better off sticking to the acoustic type.

However, with times changing and more young drummers emerging it’s likely that the acoustic drum will begin to fade out as an instrument of choice.

Drummer playing music

Overall, the best preference would have to be the electric drum. They’re far more affordable, allow you to experiment more with sounds and beats, and will ultimately be the way that this beloved instrument is heading in the future.

No matter what style of drumming you practice, you can improve it without disruption by using an electric drum kit.

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