Fri, 26 Feb 2021

What's Better: Electric Drums or Acoustic?

29 Jan 2021, 21:17 GMT+10

Are you a first-time buyer or an intermediate drummer looking to upgrade your drumming skills? Choosing between acoustic and electric drums can be quite challenging.

So, which is better - electric or acoustic drums? The truth is that it depends on your individual needs. Both drum kits are fantastic, and there is a place and a time for each to shine.

This article will look at the factors to consider when deciding between electric and acoustic drum kits. We will also review the benefits and limitations of each. As such, you will be able to determine which one best suits your drumming needs.

Home Recording

Recording drum covers for YouTube and Instagram at the comfort of your home is an ongoing trend across the globe. It is one of the best practice tools, especially for upcoming drummers. You can evaluate your performance after recording and watching yourself play.

Now you may be wondering, which is the best drum set to record drum covers? The answer is - you can use either an acoustic or an electric drum set.

However, electric drums are the most suitable for home recording. All you need is a VST drum sampler app, and you are ready to go. The app comes with plenty of professionally recorded drum samples for triggering. With these, producing drum covers and Instagram videos is incredibly easy and quick. Moreover, the sound quality is top-notch.

Electric drums are the best for recording a professional album. You can edit, mix and equalize the drum tracks to make it sound as if you are right there in the room.

Recording on an acoustic drum set is a bit hectic. Your records may sound awful through a microphone due to room acoustics. As such, you may need to invest heavily in acoustic panels and sound dampening tools to get a good sound. You also require a high-end mixer and microphones. Basic knowledge of sound engineering is also necessary.


If you live in an apartment or an area with noise restrictions, an electric drum is an ideal investment. It is a fantastic practice tool to use at home because of its noise-reduction feature.

Unlike an acoustic set, you plug in your headphones and jam silently without interrupting neighbors. However, to achieve the least noise from your electric set, you can consider buying one with mesh-head pads. It is also recommendable to buy noise eater isolation pads or put a heavy blanket beneath your kit to further reduce the vibrations.

It is also possible to use an acoustic drum at home for practice. You only need to buy low volume cymbals, drum mutes, or mesh heads for acoustic kits. These tools help to make your drum quieter. However, they compromise your playing experience to a great extent.

You end up getting lifeless tapping and thudding sounds. As such, electric drums are the best when it comes to quiet practice tools. Moreover, you can hear the real drum sounds via the headphones.

Playability and Feel

Pro drummers can confirm that the feeling of playing an acoustic drum is incredible. The drums vibrate through your body as you play. Moreover, an acoustic drum has excellent cymbal swells and ghost notes.

Electric drums, on the contrary, are not as playable as their counterparts. Cheap and low-quality electronic drums have poor responsiveness as well as unrealistic sounds and triggering. However, if you invest more in a quality electric drum set, you can be sure to get a more realistic feel.

High-quality electric drums come with larger pads, mesh heads, excellent drum brain triggers, and other advanced features. As a result, the drum sounds more like an acoustic set.

Gigs and Live Performance

When performing any other music genre apart from electronic music, acoustic drums are the perfect fit. In a live performance, noise is not a limitation, and so, a real drum is a go-to option.

However, electronic kits are also working their way out to live music. Nowadays, hybrid electric drums are becoming more popular on stage, with drummers using particular samples or sounds. They also come in handy in recording particular tracks.

The best thing about using an e-drum kit on stage is its endless tonal possibilities. Thanks to its MIDI output, which facilitates velocity-sensitive triggering of samplers, synths, and drum machines. You can access them through laptop-hosted software or hardware.


Electric drums come with an array of handy features to an aspiring drummer and a pro alike. It features tons of tweakable onboard sounds, MIDI-USB connectivity, audio output, and DSP effects.

Most e-kits have excellent training and coaching tools and play-along tracks. You will also get onboard exercises to sharpen speed, timing, and consistency.

Unfortunately, these features are lacking in an acoustic drum set.

Benefits and Limitations of Electric and Acoustic Drums

Electric Drums


  • Easy, quick, and convenient recording of drum covers
  • Best for home practicing where noise is an issue
  • Perfect for playing electronic music that requires MIDI samples
  • High-quality recording of drum tracks
  • Saves on space due to smaller/ collapsible pads
  • No need for tuning
  • Comes with already equalized drum and cymbal samples
  • You don't need to know about drum maintenance.


  • Since digital technology is quickly advancing, a good quality e-kit is often devalued with time.
  • Beginner electric drums come with limited features.
  • Playing an electric kit alone can make you adopt some lousy drumming habits.

Acoustic Drums


  • Perfect for live performance and gigs
  • Perfect for high energy or volume playing
  • Realistic feel and response
  • Suitable for beginners to learn proper drumming etiquette


  • You must have the skills to operate.
  • Bulky and takes up more space.
  • Not suitable for home practice due to its high volume levels
  • Requires tuning
  • A high-quality acoustic drum is pricey.


When comparing acoustic and electric drums, it is not a matter of one versus the other. It is crucial to consider both kits valuable since their applications are different. For instance, when recording or doing practice at home, you need an electric drum. Likewise, in a studio or stage, an acoustic kit will be more useful.

Therefore, when considering which one to buy, base your decision on your primary drumming needs.

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