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A Beginner’s Guide To Electronic Drums

Electronic drum sets are all the rage. They won’t break your back. Your neighbors won’t call the cops on you. And unlike tuning acoustic drums, you can change how they sound with the push of a button.

This 15-minute crash course on electronic drums shows you how to choose the right e-kit and how to get the most of it once you own one.

0:00 – Intro
0:44 – Choosing an electronic drum set
Should you buy a new or used kit? New kits tend to work the best, include the newest technology and, like phones and computers, are sometimes less expensive than earlier models when they were first released.

If you’re looking into used electronic drum sets, consider its age and the generation of the technology. If it’s over 10 years old, you’ll get old tech that might not give you the best playing or connectivity experience.

5:09 – Choosing headphones/speakers
When choosing the right headphones, make sure you get a pair that are comfortable, and with a closed back design. Don’t use cheap Bluetooth enabled headphones or ear buds (especially not AirPods). That latency will drive you nuts.

If you’d prefer to use a speaker or want others to hear your kit’s audio, make sure you use something with full range support. Bass amps are perfect for electronic drum kits. Avoid guitar amps as they’re built for distortion and they’re too mid-range heavy. Roland, Alesis, and Simmons all make dedicated electronic amps for drums if you want to go that route.

Our tip: get in-ear monitors. They fit in your ears like ear buds and sound great!

8:33 – Setting up
Follow the instructions that came with your kit, or look for a downloadable manual online if you bought it used. When it comes to where you should set up, there’s one important thing about electronic drums you need to know right off the bat; even though you’re wearing headphones, your neighbors or someone else at home sure will hear you — especially if you share a wall.

Set up the drums on a carpet to add a layer of dampening. But if it’s too plush, the kit won’t be as stable and might shake or move. You can pick up a 4’x6′ rubber-backed floor mat with a low pile at your local hardware store.

13:13 – Start recording
While it can take some pricey equipment and time to capture your performance on an acoustic kit, electronic kits are usually plug and play – no mixing or editing required! Filming and recording is a great way to track your progress or share your playing with your drum teacher, friends, or social media community.

Any entry level audio interface like a Behringer UCA222 or an iRig 2 will do the trick. Just make sure the interface is class compliant so you’re good to go right away.

16:11 – Outro
And there you have it – ‘Electronic Drums For Drummies’! Dive deeper and check out more tips to get the most out of your kit in this Beat article:

And if you’re new to drumming and this is your first e-kit, you might also want to check out this comprehensive guide to buying electronic drums in 2021:

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