Electric drums range from a well featured electric drum set for beginners to very sophisticated, quite expensive professional grade drum sets that play and sound almost exactly like an acoustic drum set. The digital drum set first became popular in the 80s with the famous Simmons drum sets with the big octagonal pads. They have come a long way since then.
The biggest plus to an electric drum set is that you can plug in some headphones and save your neighbors, (and parents is some cases), from the noise an acoustic drum set makes. An electric drum set with headphones means that you may be able to practice at night as well.
Another nice feature that your electric drum set for beginners may have is the variety of play along tracks built in that the drummer can practice with. These can help the new drummer learn time keeping, song structure, different styles of music, and so on.
Many electronic sets take up less space than their acoustic counterparts. If space is at an absolute premium, there are Small Electric Drum Sets or Tabletop Electric Drum Sets that come with foot pedals, headphone jacks, and in some cases built in speakers. Some can even be powered by batteries. What these may lack in features, they more than make up for in portability and compactness.
An electric drum set for beginners sometimes come with a bass drum pedal that is just a foot board with a trigger or a switch underneath. These can work for most situations and will suffice for the beginner initially, but they will not allow you to achieve the speed and dynamic range that a pad with an actual bass drum pedal arrangement will. This is especially important if you plan on progressing to an acoustic kit in the future. This set up for the bass drum is a bit more expensive, but worth it in the long run. There is also a hybrid type arrangement that works as well.
The 'pad and pedal' arrangement for an electric bass drum.
The 'hybrid' arrangement for an electric bass drum.
The 'foot board' arrangement for an electric bass drum.
Some pads, especially on less expensive electric drum sets are made with a durable rubber, these are less and less common these days. While those will suffice, a much more playable type is the 'drum head on a pad' type. These heads are usually mesh, play just like real drums, and will help the new drummer develop hand technique that translates well to an acoustic drum set down the road. On some kits, at least the snare will be dual zone, meaning the you can set the rim to trigger a different sound than the center. This means you can get a "cross stick" sound out of an electric snare, or cowbell, or whatever you want.
The Mesh drumhead style pad Better
The rubber style pad Good
Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit has responsive Mesh pads, and a bass drum pedal and pad arrangement. A built in metronome. 385 Sounds to choose from, plus 40 pre-programed kits to choose from. Headphone jack and a line in to play along to your own music. 60 Play Along Tracks, Connection Cables, Drum Sticks & Drum Key Included. The best buy for the money. The only thing it doesn't come with is the drum throne.
The Donner DED-200 electric drum set is a great buy for the money. Responsive mesh heads, lots of features including 30 play along songs built in. A built in metronome. A headphone jack, An output to a PA. An audio input so you can learn new songs by playing along, 225 built in sounds to choose from. And it even comes with a drum throne and a pair of sticks. This kit is available with a high hat and 2 cymbals, or 3 cymbals for slightly more.
Aesis Drum Turbo Mesh kit- A less expensive alternative that will serve a beginner drummer well. Responsive mesh pads. A built in metronome. 100 sounds to choose from. 30 play along tracks. A headphone jack and audio input to play along with your own songs. A sturdy rack to mount it all to and even a pair of stick. You will have to get your own drum throne though.
Donner DED 100 Electric drum set. Responsive mesh pads. 200 sounds to choose from. 20 play along songs built in. Headphone and audio in jacks to play along with your own music. A sturdy rack that can be folded up and put out of the way when not in use. Comes with everything you need except a drum throne.
LyxJam Electronic Drum Set with responsive mesh pads. 209 sounds to choose from. A built in metronome. 50 play along songs. Headphone out and line in jacks. This one comes with the ability to record yourself, (Great for critiquing yourself which is hard to do while playing). This electric drum set for beginners is a great buy. Comes with everything you need except a drum throne.
Some drummers, after the've grown beyond an electric drum set for beginners, have kept there electric kits for quiet practice or added them to their new acoustic kit for a hybrid drum set arrangement. If you take care of your electric drum set, you can enjoy it for a long time to come.
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