Have you ever wanted to learn the drums, but didn’t have the space to store a bulky drum kit?
Or maybe the crazy amount of noise stopped your parents, landlord, or loved ones from letting you practice your passion?
The very best electronic drum kits are the answer to many aspiring drummers wishes.
With electronic drum kits today, you can practice and record your jams easier than ever before. Here’s what a typical electric drum set looks like when it’s all hooked up –
How Do Electronic Drums Work?
Electronic drums are pretty simple. They use a series of different pads to replicate an acoustic drum set, and under each pad is a sensor that triggers when the pad is hit.
These triggers capture not only if the pad is being hit, but how hard and possible where on the drum head it was struck.
Each sensor has a cable that runs to the central drum module, which translates your actions to sound.
The interesting thing about the drum module is you can completely customize the sound of each drum on your set. You could have your snare drum produce a standard snare sound, or you could change it to anything you’d like – even a cowbell.
The drum modules typically don’t have a speaker that plays sounds. They instead export the sound to headphones or a drum amplifier, similar to what an electric guitar uses.
Benefits of Electronic Drum Sets
Electric drum sets have many benefits over traditional, acoustic drum kits. Many of these benefits are especially great for beginners. Here are some of the advantages –
- Much more quiet – you can practice on an electronic drum kit and it will be relatively quiet. Perfect for beginners that need a lot of practice time.
- Space saving – an electronic drum kit is smaller and easy to store. If you need a set of drums for a small apartment, an electric set is the way to go.
- Portability – You can easily take your drums to practice and gigs, or just move them around the house as needed.
- Cheaper than traditional drums – you can get started for a lot less money and still have a great experience.
- Better durability – the components of an electronic drum kit are much less prone to damage compared to traditional drums.
- Extreme versatility – Since the sounds are produced electronically, you can customize the sound of the drum to match your genre.
- Record your jams in a snap – since all the sound is produced digitally to begin with, you can easily record and export your music.
Rubber Pads vs Mesh Heads – Which is Better?
Electric drums typically come with either rubber pads or mesh heads to strike. There’s no clear-cut “better” when it comes to the debate of rubber vs mesh, but here are the benefits of each.
Rubber pads are cheaper and more durable. They are less bouncy and more compact than mesh heads.
Mesh heads were created to emulate a real acoustic drum head, and they do a great job at it. Mesh heads can be tuned to adjust the feel of the drum.
Mesh heads are typically more sensitive than rubber heads, and mesh heads are more quiet which could be important if keeping noise down is important to you.
Features of Electronic Drum Kits
When you’re trying to figure out which drum set is right for you, there’s a few features that make these sets distinct from one another.
- Drum components – you’ll notice differences such as rubber or mesh drum heads, how many components come with the kit, and how big each piece is.
- Drum module capabilities – the drum module is the electronic brain of the kit. It will allow you to record your music, adjust volume and equalizer settings, and change the drum set sound modes. Some modules have more sounds than others.
- Build quality – this is going to be a big factor in the cost of your electric drum kit. Nicer kits will have aluminum stands that are very sturdy, whereas cheap kits might use plastic and not feel as stable.
Now that you have some background on electronic drum sets, here’s the list of our best electronic drums!
Best Electronic Drums for Beginners
Alesis Nitro Kit
The Alesis Nitro Kit is the clear best choice for a beginner looking to get started on a cheap electronic drum kit. This kit features rubber pads and has the following drum components –
- 8″ Snare drum
- Three 8″ Toms
- Kick pad tower and pedal
- 10″ Hi-Hat pad and pedal
- 10″ Crash pad
- 10″ Ride pad
The Nitro Kit has 24 preset drum kits that you can quickly choose between, and 16 user kits that you can customize yourself. You can choose from 385 sounds for create any drum kit you can imagine.
This kit comes with everything you need to get started, including drum sticks. Alesis is an industry leader in the electric drum industry, so it’s a brand you can trust to deliver a high-quality product even on the cheap.
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Read the reviews for the Nitro Kit?
Best Electronic Drums Around $500
ddrum DD1 Plus
Though ddrum isn’t a household name, they still make an amazing set of electric drums that any drummer would love.
The DD1 Plus kit uses mesh heads, so it’s great for the drummer looking for a kit they can play without disturbing others too much.
This kit comes with all the same components as the Nitro Kit above, but with 10″ snare and toms.
The module has 24 pre-set kits and 11 user kits ready for you to customize with their 335 sounds. The module also has 60 play along songs for practice and a pair of compatible earbuds are included. This kit also comes with drum sticks, so all you need is a drum throne and you’re ready to rock! You can check out our list of the best drum thrones to help you pick out a winner.
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Check out the reviews for the DD1 Plus?
Best Electronic Drums Around $1000
Yamaha is the most acclaimed manufacturer on our list with a great mastery of electronics, and their DTX522K electronic drum set is the top of the line at this price point.
The sounds available in the DTX522K drum module sound amazing, and you’ll notice the difference versus cheaper drum sets. with 691 sounds and 100 drum kits, you’re certain to find the perfect sound for whatever genre or song you’re playing. You can even import your own sounds if you want to add more!
One cool feature of the DTX module is a training mode that will score you based on how you perform one of their built-in songs.
The drum heads are made with a special silicone that has air bubbles built in for a very lively, authentic drum head feeling.
You need to provide your own base drum pedal and throne and you’re all set with the DTX522K.
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Learn more about the Yamaha electronic drum kit?
Learning the Drums
If you still haven’t found a structured learning process for learning the drums, we suggest you read our Drumeo Edge review. There you can learn the pros and cons of different learning methods, and what makes Drumeo Edge such a great way for beginner drummers to learn!
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For a limited time you can try Drumeo Edge free for 30-days