Electronic Drums vs Acoustic Drums, Which is Better for Beginners?

By 20 August, 2020

For someone who’s just a beginner, buying a drum set would be quite a conundrum. You will have to consider how big your room is, whether your neighbours can handle you making noise all day long, and your budget among a million other things.

While you might lean towards an e-kit because of its noiselessness, you might also want an acoustic drum because of its better feel. This makes choosing one over the other pretty difficult.

Hopefully this article helps you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each drum type and lets you make the correct decision before you buy your first drum kit.

Difference between Electronic drums vs acoustic drums

Noise levels

An acoustic drum can get quite noisy. So, if you live in a place where your neighbours aren’t really tolerant of your daily practice sessions, an acoustic drum might not really be suited for you.

While you can use drum mutes or drum heads, these will drastically alter the playing experience for the worse. An electronic drum shines very strongly in this segment. They are able to deliver perfect sound levels through your headphones and you won’t have to worry about complaining neighbours.

While rubber pads aren’t exactly silent, they are nowhere near as noisy as an acoustic drum kit. If you got the money, you can even buy a kit with mesh pads for an even quieter playing experience.


Even if you end up buying the smallest standard acoustic drum set available , you will still have on your hands a pretty massive collection of objects. The giant bass drum and the cymbal stands can all occupy quite a large area. A small room can also ruin the sound of your acoustic drum.

The electronic drums once again have the upper hand in this aspect. An electronic drum is quite compact because of the small pads, bass drum, and its racking. An electronic drum can also be easily folded down for storage, while an acoustic drum will need a lot of cases and a lot of space for storage.


The difference between an expensive electric drum and a cheap electronic drum is much bigger than the difference between an expensive acoustic drum and a cheap acoustic drum.

What this essentially means is that while a low-cost acoustic drum can be with you for a substantial portion of your drumming journey, you will outgrow a similarly priced electronic kit pretty quickly.

This is because the playability and quality of a low-cost electronic drum is pretty dismal and you might not enjoy playing on them once your skills improve a little.

Therefore, an acoustic drum will offer better bang for your buck than an edrum.

Difference between features Electronic vs acoustic drums

The rate of improvement of technology means that an electronic kit is quite packed with a vast array of features. The large libraries of tweakable sounds and direct output to computers are great fun. Many drums also come with coaching modes and learning tools. These will help a beginner improve their consistency, timing, and speed. An acoustic drum, on the other hand, is nothing more than a drum.

Which is easy to Play?

This is the area where the acoustic drums give the edrums a run for their money. The hard and small rubber pads cannot by any means come close to the natural feel and responsiveness of an actual drum head.

While you can get mesh heads and cymbals with multiple trigger zones and a kick drum tower to make the drumming experience of an edrum better, it will still not come anywhere close to the playability of an acoustic set.

Which is better for Live performance

While a live performance is probably not the first thing on the mind of a beginner, it is still an important aspect. Even though right now all you might be worried about is practicing, you will eventually want to perform in front of an audience.

So having a gig ready kit cannot really harm you. While a low-cost edrum might not have the best of sounds and will most likely need amplification to be heard in front of a live audience, it still does have a few advantages.

An electronic drum with MIDI output kind of opens up an expanse of tonal possibilities that are simply not possible in an acoustic drum. That said, an acoustic drum does sound better for jazz, rock, and other similar genres of music. The visual appeal of an acoustic drum is also much bigger than an electronic one.


Recording yourself playing can be a great learning tool. It will allow you to better scrutinise yourself and spot mistakes you would not have spotted while playing. The electronic drum wins quite easily in this aspect vs acoustic drums.

While a budget edrum might not have the best quality when it comes to sound samples, by using an MIDI output you will be able to circumvent these issues and deliver amazing sounds. By using DAWs you will be able to go beyond your creative limits to express yourself.

On the other hand, recording yourself with an acoustic drum is not easy. You will have to purchase quality microphones and will have to set them up properly. You will also need a room with proper acoustics to get a decent recording. All in all, it is going to be an expensive process to properly record yourself with an acoustic drum.

Final thoughts Acoustic vs Electronic drums

While an electronic drum does offer great features, an acoustic drum would be a better choice for a beginner. You will be able to learn your techniques better and understand the nuances of the feel and sound of drums.

That said, there are a few scenarios where an e-drum makes more sense. If you do not have enough space or need to practice without noise, the many budget e-drums on the market can meet your needs.

The learning tools and choices of sound available are quite a boon. So as with everything, the perfect drum for you is purely based on your own personal needs. Hopefully this article helped clear your doubts.

Follow Sounds and Colours: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Mixcloud / Soundcloud / Bandcamp

Subscribe to the Sounds and Colours Newsletter for regular updates, news and competitions bringing the best of Latin American culture direct to your Inbox.