With the housing and malls structure here in Singapore, we can expect to see way more electronic drums than acoustic drums all around compared to other countries. This is because the cost of soundproofing rooms is way higher (at least 10 to 15 times) than purchasing an electronic drum. With proper guidance, however, you should be able to avoid most of them.
However, if you are self-taught on electronic drums, you might want to watch out for some of these items, all of which are common bad habits that we had seen students develop when they first joined us:
Hitting the rims instead of the drum itself
Electronic drums work based on the force they receive on the pad (drum), which then sends out a signal to the drum module, which triggers the sound that you hear. This means that even if you are hitting the side (rim) of the drum, it will still trigger the sound of the pad (drum) (this is especially true on single zoned pads). As a result, the student often develops a sloppy technique, angling the stick too much that it only hits the rim. You can imagine how that translates over to the acoustic drums.
Weak dynamic range
Playing drums is like any other art, visual or sonic; it requires a lot of contrast to accentuate and develop tension. In music, this contrast can be very often found in dynamics. Dynamics is the control of the loud and softs in your playing. There are many different forms of dynamics in music, which we will explain in future articles, but the dynamic range here refers to the overall volume of playing while on the acoustic drums (both loud and soft).
Electronic drums also have dynamic features; they can detect your soft notes vs. your louder notes and trigger the volume accordingly. However, they also have an overall volume function, allowing users to increase or decrease the volume artificially. While this function is incredibly beneficial to not disturbing your neighbors, it compromises your ability to comprehend and execute dynamics via proper techniques and stick control, which will be a problem when you translate your skills to acoustic drums.
Unable to replicate techniques efficiently on acoustic drums
Although the ability to mimic the feel of the acoustic drums has significantly improved across the years, there is still a distinct difference between the rebound, feel and touch on the electronic vs. acoustic drums. This means that beginners might have difficulties translating what they think they know over to the acoustic drums and might need time adjusting to get comfortable with it.
These are just some of the most common issues that might develop if you have spent all of your time on the electronic kit only. Again, these issues can be easily solved with proper instructions and periodically getting on the acoustic drums to “recalibrate” your playing. You will probably not face this issue if you are a much more experienced drummer, as your ability to control your techniques is innate.