Different types of drums: A Buyer’s Guide for 2020
The Types of Electronic Drums
When you’re looking to learn how to drum, the electronic drum set has a lot to offer. First, they are not nearly as bulky as a traditional drum set. You can create a wide variety of electronic sound effects.
You can even create sounds with your drum set that will emulate the tones of other instruments. You get all of this, and in many cases, these drums also come with packed-in tones that you can use to improve your timing.
With that said, there is more than just one type of electronic drum set, and we created this guide so that you can have some knowledge before you make your purchase.
Here’s a quick rundown of the advantages of an electronic set:
- Electronic sets have smaller pads.
- There’s a higher level of rebound.
- These are great for electronic music and MIDI.
- You never have to tune.
- You won’t have to maintain the drumheads.
- Practicing won’t wake the neighborhood.
The Drum Set Heads
When you’re out there ready to make a purchase, it’s a good idea to understand what types of heads there are for modern drum sets. In most circumstances, there are two head types, which include:
- Rubber – If you like springiness and rebound, then a rubber head is a great option. This type of head type is excellent for beginners because the heads themselves are very durable and easily replaced when they start to show signs of wear. These also have a better volume than mesh, so you can play them acoustically for results that you can track. You won’t easily break a stick on this head type.
- Mesh – Many practiced musicians swear by mesh heads because their rebound is most similar to acoustic drumheads. The sound is also very similar to this type. These have a high level of sensitivity, especially when compared to drum sets with rubber heads. Also, with higher sensitivity, you’ll have an easier time creating different sounds by striking different portions of the drumhead.
The Best Form Factors: Types of Electronic Drums
Standard Electronic Drum Sets
When you think of a traditional drum set, it has several components that will typically include cymbals, toms, and bass drum components. Standard electronic drum sets are the type of electronic drums that most closely resemble the form factor of a standard set of acoustic drums, which is why these are great for those drummers that are making the change from acoustic to electronic.
While the materials may be very different, these have pads for cymbals and all of the other components, so adapting to the new drum type is easy. Also, similarly to acoustic drum sets, you’ll need a throne for this type of set. There is also no huge bass drum on this type of drum set, which is one of the features that make this type much more portable than standard acoustic sets.
Electronic Drum Pads
Like electronic drum machines, drum pads can rest on a table or other surface. With one of these, you can opt to play with a pair of sticks or even with your fingers.
Many drummers refer to these as multi-pads, and these drum machines emulate the sound profile of a full-sized electronic drum set while having an even smaller form factor.
The Alesis Strike Multipad is an excellent example of this type, and like this product, electronic drum pads can have features like LED backlighting, digital displays, and knobs and controls that change up the output tone.
These are great for those musicians that do a lot of traveling but lack a lot of room for a larger set. Additionally, for DJs, this is a great way to add in your percussion – just don’t expect a lot of tone variation.
Electronic Drum Machines
When you’re working with an electronic drum machine, you definitely will be working with a very complex instrument. While these don’t have remotely the sensitivity of a standard electronic kit, they make up for this by adding much more pads and having a bevy of controls to vary up the tonality.
If you’re starting out drumming or you’re just looking to change over to a digital style of playing, just about any of these electronic drum types should fit your need. Take a look at our write up and determine which type meets your drumming needs.