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Why be traditional.

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  • Why be traditional.

    I was wondering how many of you that play electonic drums feel you need to learn accoustic drum technique to get the best from the e-kit or do you simply create your own unique way of playing the ekit. Considering that an accoustic kit and e-kit, even though they may look similar, are in essence totally different instruments. Do you play the kick with your left foot, right foot, left heel, left hand. I had an interesting conversation with a friend today, who plays both accoustic and e-kits, about how you must learn correct technique to be able to progress with drums of any type. I admit, if you are using an e-kit in a group you will need to ' play the role' of the drummer so learning certain styles of drumming will help but if you are using and e-kit as a composer why should traditional rules get in the way. I just wondered how many others use their e-kits in a non traditional inspiring way.

  • #2
    That's a very interesting thread !
    Because i am still a learner on both a's and e's i have realised that the more you play accoustics the easier it is to learn and play better on electronics.
    When i had a long break from a's and i was just playing e's it was hard for me to get bak to a's.So if you earn a good technique on a's i think u can easily play the e's.The opposite way is much harder IMO.

    i hope what i just said makes any sense
    Ex E-kits:
    ''Lernean Hydra'' ( a bounche of roland pads with a td-6 module)
    ''Lucy'' (Diamond electronic drums with a td-12 module)
    current E-kit
    ''Cherry Gretschy Lady'' (Gretsch Catalina Ash 6 piece A to E kit-Roland td20 module-A to E cymbals)

    " Mrs.Catalina'' (Gretsch Catalina maple 6 piece kit-Paiste signature+Masterwork custom made cymbals)

    check out a few videos


    • #3
      To your point, most traditions in kit drumming center on the physical attributes of acoustic drums and, in terms of usage, their role as an accompanying instrument. Very few drummers have played only on edrums, so we all have the idea of a "normal" kit setup that draws from the standard acoustic kit set-up, as non-ergonomic as it might be. With edrums there is, of course, no reason to lay the kit out in any way you please as long as your kit is the only one you will be playing on. This is true of the "room-only", non-gigging hobbyist, and the upper-end gigging pro who plays only on his or her kit and none other.

      A great many drummers, myself included, end up playing on other people's equipment a good deal, so it just makes sense to set up my kit in the traditional manner so I am not having to adapt too much when I sit down to play at church, at a friends house, at an open mic, what-have-you.

      The same kind of limitations apply to style of playing. If I were playing soley for myself, or if I was part of a band doing solely original work, then I would have more freedom to dispense with "traditional" styles. As it is, if I go doing bizarre stuff at church, I would likely be pulled from the rotation, since the idea is to accompany the singers and not draw a lot of attention to the drumming. Same thing if I sit in with someone doing blues in 12 bars at an open mic. The expectations of the other musicians (and the audience) is that the drums will keep a steady rhythm in a familiar style without too much hoopla.

      In this context, it's important to ask what you are trying to accomplish as a musician - to put out new and exciting rhythms and sounds, or to entertain on a more "accessable" level.
      Id rather be told the ugly truth than handed a pretty lie.


      • #4
        Acoustic drums and Electronic drums are in essence, two totally different instruments. They just happen to share a - for want of a better term - 'user interface'... like an acoustic guitar and an electric one... or a grand piano and a polyphonic synthesizer... the interfaces are identical... but they are instruments in their own right and neither shall ever replace the other.

        Until I got my V-Drums, I only ever played acoustic kits. I remember years ago, having access to a Roland PM-16 trigger-to-MIDI based kit (the one with their triangular rubber pads) and a Roland S-550 sampler... and while it was great, it just all just felt so different to use. You really had to change your playing style to get it to work for you. But in comparison, one of the reasons the more-recent V-Drums really appealed to me was that you hardly have to adapt your technique - the one you've already developed on the drumset you've been used to all your playing career - to play them (well... some people who have seen me play both say I'm 'smoother' and 'more relaxed' on the V-Drums but that may be because they require less effort to play).

        I bought my TD-9KX pretty much after playing one in a store for about 10 minutes. And I got them home and set them up literally in the same layout and as-near-as-possible positionings as my acoustic set-up.

        I like the idea that you can have unique ways of playing electronic drum kits because of the versatility of the sound-to-pad assignments and the pad positioning flexiblility (in many ways, that's non-traditional and inspiring in itself)... but for most part, I'm just playing my e-kit as I would my a-kit.


        • #5
          I played A-kits for 25 years and now play the E's as if it was an acoustic set-up.

          Thats the way Ive always known it and thats the way I like it.

          Basically Im not into experimenting with different set-ups and sounds. I just want the kit to play like my Acoustic did, and after playing my TD6V for 2 years Im pretty happy with it.


          • #6
            I don't think it really matters how you set up your kit. But the question of drumming technique ( which is how I read the original post) should remain the same regardless of the set you play. Good playing technique is essential to progress as a drummer and musician...
            My Kit


            • #7
              I am not shy to put a kick drum on the rim of the first tom to play a bit of 'double' bass drum when required.


              • #8
                I have only played e-s, so would be lost with an A kit..but I think that since most manuals and music are written with A kits in mind, it is easier to keep to that layout in the beginning - but as one gets better and more independent, than only your imagination limits you...but being imaginative might make it harder to go back to a standard kit....
                TD9+6v with Diamond Electronic pads, and cowbell.
                ATH-50m headphones, VEX packs
                not to mention keyboards, guitars, basses, and cats


                • #9
                  When I came back to drums after 27 years, I tried to set up my e-kit as close to my old a-kit as possible, just because I felt it was the best way for me to get back into the swing of things.
                  I haven't changed after a year of playing E's. I think it just suits most peoples style.


                  • #10
                    I think one the advantages of edrums is that you don't have the placement limitations of acoustics. Consequently, my kit doesn't look like my old acoustic kit and I can do more with it. It still looks a lot like a "normal" kit though (unlike when I used an Octapad and some pedals as my kit back in the 80s).

                    For me, technique is good for what it gets you. That is, you don't learn a technique for the sake of the technique, you learn it because it enables you to do something. If the technique is of no use (or even counterproductive), why bother? As a kid, I started out using traditional grip. I play a symmetrical kit now and a matched grip makes much more sense.


                    • #11
                      I've never played A-kits except for screwing around on my drummers kits in the various bands I was in. It would be interesting to see if I could translate my e-skills, such as they are, to A's.
                      TD-12; TD-6V; FD-8; Hart Pro Toms, Snare, Bass; ECII hihat, crashes, splash & ride; Smartrigger crashes & china; Hart Hammer Pad; Pintech Dingbat; Iron Cobra double-bass.

                      "I never play the same thing twice...sometimes because I simply can't remember it." - John Paul Jones


                      • #12
                        I played A's for 30 years and found ways to make the set up my own. Like as using a center mounted remote HH. I can go sit in on anyones kit, it just take more concentration. My E's are set up like my A's (I do own both) however, I change the sounds around on the E's at will. I have several "sound" set ups that are only used on one song. What may be a cowbell on one song may be a shaker or tom on another song. With the A's you need a Neil P set or you will make compromises. Get real, How many of you have 4 cowbells, timbales, congas, bongos and tymphani on your A kit?


                        • #13
                          Aside from the fact that the pad heads are (generally) smaller on an Ekit, & therefore require more precision to get a good response, I am completely "Inside The Box" with my Ekit setup. Looks like an Acoustic kit all the way. I'm not sure it would work for me any other way.

                          As to technique: I agree with JimFiore - don't become a slave to technique. Play from the heart & soul. It's not always about technique.

                          EKit, AKit, to me they are the same. Your mileage may vary.
                          TD-9KX stock kit with extra PD-85 & CY8


                          • #14
                            Remove rules! E's all the way Personally I don't like A's everything is to far away, I am used to 8" toms all the way round so when I have a similar setup one my floortoms cant get to the same hight and position and the 4th tom is miles form the 1st tom! I also make use of the rims which requires a different technique because I can have cymbals on my toms. (I have a massive gong on Tom 1!)The Only thing I prefer in an acoustic kit is the cymbals, I still don't think Rolland can reproduce the feel and sound of a cymbal yet. Unfortunately that would mean I would have to have a thin 20" ride a heavy 22" ride, a sizzle ride, a light sizzle ride (so just a chain round the top) and a big ringy 24" thin jazz right. (that isn't practical **dreams of it **)

                            E's all the way, compact, sound terrific and the bounce is ace! I love having a really bouncy set, it means I can go faster which means I can put in the little trills and flams with out all the effort!


                            • #15
                              There is a rawness to accoustic drums that every drummer should learn to deal with from their size, sound balance to even simple things like choking a metal cymbal. Its a different ball game compared to the control you have on an E-kit.

                              That aside, its good to have experience on as many different things as you can.

                              *Free TD-12 & TD-20 Kits*....*Free SPD-s Kits & Effects*