Hybrid Drum Kit

Author: Gary France edit by Andrew Turner  Date Posted:16 September 2020 

Hybrid Drum Kits

Create your own Hybrid Drum Kit

Bridging electronic and acoustic drumkits

Groovy Hybrid Drum Kit


People often ask me why their electronic drum kit's snare drum, hi hat, ride and crash cymbals do not have the same flexibility as acoustic drumkits. The answer is really simple: I think of an Electronic Drumkit in the same way pilots think of Flight Simulators; great to learn on but quite different from a real plane!

Electronic Kits

  • PROS: you can play with headphones, so as not to overwhelm those living with or around you.
    CONS: The gentle thudding on the pads can carry through to rooms around you and floors below you.
  • PROS: You can assign an Infinite variety of digital sounds to each pad.
    CONS: You never have an opportunity to explore creating numerous sounds out of a single instrument, e.g.  you can make a variety of sounds on an acoustic cymbal by playing on the edge, in the middle or bell.  You can play with a very light brush to get a wash sound. On an acoustic snare drum you can make an infinite variety of sounds using sticks, hands and fingers.
  • PROS: You can jam with friends by adding an amplifier.
    CONS: Your sound is only as good as the amplifier you play through. 

Acoustic Drum Kit

  • PROS: Acoustic kits come in a huge variety of sizes, colours, materials of construction including wood, metal, synthetic.
    CONS: Once you have chosen your kit you must learn to create a variety of  tones and timbres on your instruments.
  • PROS: Acoustic drums and cymbals sound great in your room and do not require amplification allowing you to join other people and make music straight away.
    CONS: You must develop the control and technique to play super soft and very loud. This can be daunting for beginners. 
  • PROS: You can make a huge variety of sounds and explore the interaction of cymbals and drums as they reverberate around your room. You quickly develop an ear for how each aspect of the drum kit affects the sounds of another, and which ones you prefer.
    CONS: These sounds can overwhelm your ears in small spaces. Beginners can struggle to distinguish between noise and the beginnings of their musical ability.

Hybrid Drum Kit (get the best of both worlds, while starting to build your acoustic kit)

  • PROS: Adding an acoustic Snare Drum and Snare Drum Stand opens up the world of tone touch and timbre. Your dynamic and range is huge.
  • The acoustic snare gives you the opportunity to develop a subtle drumming technique whilst also having access to a myriad of sounds assigned to the electronic toms/cymbals. You can also use the electronic snare as an additional drum. The acoustic snare helps you become more dynamic and increases your range.
    CONS: The beginner can struggle to develop the technique to play the snare quietly so that it matches the volume of the electronic components playing through the headphones.
  • Add a Dampening Pad or Mute to your snare drum for super low volume practice mitigates many of the issues for the beginner whilst expanding their skill set., e.g. getting used to the physical difference between an acoustic snare and the usually much smaller electronic snare. Brushes are now a real option as well.
  • Add Low Volume Cymbals,  Hi Hat and Cymbal Stands
  • enables the player to explore the infinite variety of sounds and textures as well as learn skills associated with playing the hi-hat with the left foot in a more controlled and subtle way (rather than just open/closed).
    CONS: None.
  • PROS: Adding acoustic components gives the player the opportunity to build an acoustic kit slowly.  As they develop an ear for the sound they want the player gets a greater understanding of the type of acoustic drum kit they prefer, e.g., which wood sounds better.

Want to build your own Hybrid Drum Kit contact the Groove Warehouse and Make a Joyous Sound!

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