Are Electric Drums for You?
When we look at the history of drums, it is also interesting to look at the history of another instrument: the piano. For hundreds of years, the acoustic piano was a staple of nearly every home; a home entertainment device and a cornerstone piece of furniture that defined the typical American home. Around 15 to 20 years ago, the music industry began to see a change in the trend of piano sales; traditional acoustic piano sales were declining while electronic/digital pianos were picking up steam. Now, this trend has come to full fruition with many acoustic piano dealers declaring bankruptcy while the sales of digital pianos continue to skyrocket. While this may be a disappointment to the purists, the reasons for this change are plentiful: 1. technology had reached a point where pianos felt and sounded very, very close to traditional pianos, 2. the maintenance, transport, and upkeep of a traditional piano is costly (and a pain in the rear) compared to digital pianos, 3. digital pianos offered many more features that provided entertainment for the entire family and were more well suited to a generation of students who had grown up with computers and video games. At Sound Source Music, we were lucky enough to embrace and see this trend through: we began as a Piano/Organ dealer in 1978. My how times have changed!
Fast forward to 2016 and we can see the parallels the drum industry is going through. But, before we get into that, let us say that you cannot beat a high-quality, well-maintained drum kit (same is true for pianos). Ask nearly any drummer and they will certainly agree. Unfortunately, as was true for pianos, the logistics of owning and maintaining an acoustic drumkit can be dismaying…the costs of drumsticks and spending $150 to $200 for new heads once a year or so…the loud volume that makes acoustic drums impractical for home practice, stage performances, houses of worship, schools…the fact that you need to own a van or pickup truck to perform somewhere besides your home….having to purchase 4 to 8 microphones to amplify them for larger performances. These factors are all contributing to the steadily increasing rise in sales of electronic drums.
It’s not just the limitations of acoustic drums that are contributing to this trend: electronic drumsets have become excellent in quality and the price is as affordable as ever, with high quality electric drumsets costing the same as a typical entry-level acoustic drumset. The amount of options today’s electronic drumsets offer is staggering: multiple zone pads, hundreds of high-quality sounds (hip hop kits, rock kits, jazz kits etc.), dynamics and feel very similar to a traditional kit, incredible ease of setup and transport, ease of editing (Yamaha’s DTX Touch app puts hundreds of sounds easily within reach via your cell phone!)…these features are now available in even our entry-level Yamaha DTX400 Electronic drumkit which sells for only $499. All of these factors are causing many drummers who, in the past turned their noses up at electric drums, to consider making the change. We’ve seen these changes before in pianos which has led us to an increased dedication to electronic drums: we are now Central Illinois largest dealer of electric drums. Sure, this is a slightly controversial topic and may anger a few purists…we’ve seen this before. We invite you to stop in the store and judge for yourself…you may be surprised at how good you sound and feel playing our kits (the DTX562k will blow your mind); you may also be surprised at how much easier and fun electronic drums can make your life.