Electronic Drums, Getting Started

I finally took the leap and decided to learn how to play the drums.  After some initial research I decided the best route for me was an electronic drum set.  Everyone agrees nothing beats the true sound of percussion drums.  However, the affordability and flexibility of the electronic drums makes it a great place to start for a beginner like me.

Electronic drums rely on synthesized sounds.  It’s the same concept as the Rock Band/Guitar Hero video games only more accurate and much more robust.

Electronic pads send signals when struck to a trigger module which then produces the appropriate sound.  The trigger module is the heart and brains of any electronic drum set.  There’s a wide level of complexity and features in most trigger modules.  Most trigger modules allow you to vary the types of sounds produced.  It’s the rough equivalent of tuning your percussion drums to a certain sound type.  Trigger modules allow you to vary the sound from jazz, rock, hip-hop, and can even produce vocals which can be a lot of fun.

The other great advantage of an electronic drum set is you can use headphones.  That works great if you live in an apartment or condo like myself.  I also like it since I can feel free to sound awful with no worries of anyone else really hearing!  No sense ticking off the neighbors too much.  At some point you need to unplug your headphones, to do that you need an amplifier or monitor.  The amplifier will plug into the trigger module and produces the sound.

I got pretty confused at all the options and accessories.  In the end I chose to buy a fully packaged starter kit.  While you can purchase all of the equipment separate, going with a starter set is a wise choice for a beginner.  I chose the Yahama DTExplorer.  I ordered it online at musiciansfriend.com.  The kit included most of what you need, but not everything.  You’ll need to purchase an amplifier separately and don’t forget a good seat (“drum throne”).

I got my set delivered the other day and set it all up in under an hour.  Here’s the complete drum kit assembled:










The kit included the Yamaha DTExplorer trigger module:

A plus with this particular kit was the bass drum pedal, many starter kits don’t include one:

I also order a Simmons DA200S monitor.  I picked up a refurbished one for a nice price.  The Simmons monitor produces really good audio quality and a good deep bass:

Now, I just need to learn how to play.  That’s the fun part.  More to come on that.


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