Do you find yourself tapping on your car’s dashboard?
Do you feel the rhythm and simply have to bang on something when you listen to a song?
Have you gone into a music store and wanted to hop on the drum “throne” and beat those skins like they owe you money?
You may be a drummer.
Not a professional drummer, not a band member, but a drummer like me. I simply can’t help it.
I used to get in trouble in school for mindlessly drumming on my desk. Didn’t even realize I was doing it. I feel the beat in my mind and my body has to do something about it. Tap, tap, tapping like a raven on a cellar door. I can’t help myself.
My dad heard me tapping on a metal box and commented that I sounded pretty good. Later he surprised me with a set of bongos.
Bongos are pretty cool. You can tune bongos to a fifth and get some good sounds out of them. Bongos add a special sound like no other instrument .
But bongos, as much as they can do, a drum kit do not make. In fact, a bongo player is called a “percussionist” not a drummer.
Unless you want to carry around a washing machine, a drummer needs a set of drums.
A typical drum kit has a:
- High Hat Cymbal w/ foot pedal
- Foot-pedal Bass
- Floor Tom
- A couple of other mounted Tom Toms
- Crash Cymbal
- Ride Cymbal
After that I wanted a drum set
But you may have noticed that real drum sets cost a lot of money.
Drums take up a lot of space and make a hell of a racket.
Living in an apartment doesn’t go with having a drum set.
Yes, you can get some drum sticks and bang on your couch.
But a drum set is pretty impractical compared to other instruments
Here’s an SAT-type quiz for you.
“Flute” is to “Drums” what “Fork” is to:
C) 12-piece place setting
That’s right, if you said “C” you get my point.
Drums are really 8 different instruments that have to be hauled around and set up in a space at least a big as a bathroom and make enough noise to bring the cops if played between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Enter the age of electronic drums
This wasn’t a drum kit. This was a four-headed electronic bongo. And the bongos didn’t even sound good.
I wanted real drums
But to my surprise they offered an electronic drum set that I could afford.
I bit the bullet. I sent off for the drum set and a drum throne to sit on.
The inexpensive electronic drums I got were from Alesis.
I needed to buy a foot pedal for the bass drum, which may still be the case. It’s worth getting a good foot pedal, and perhaps this is why the set didn’t include one.
Now this was a few years ago and I’m not going to pretend I’m reviewing one of the latest Alesis drum kits.
I will tell you this: My Alesis drums sound like real drums, and play like real drums. When you hit a drum or a cymbal, it sounds like the real thing. That’s because Alesis uses recordings of real drums.
When you hit a drum or cymbal softly, it plays softly. It you hit one hard, it plays loud.
I’ve played real drums and there are differences, but my Alesis drums feel like the real deal.
The Alesis pros:
- Real drum sound
- Real drum feel
- Easy to set up
- You can set the drums to make all kinds of different drum sounds, from wood to metal to Phil Collins type ‘lectronicness to choppy guitar chords (yes, it’s freaky)
- You can play them with headphones — and I mean you can beat the hell out of them — and not disturb others
- Drums don’t need to be miked, direct input to your computer audio interface
My Alesis ride cymbal is a little quiet and I’m too lazy to figure out how to make it louder
The drum heads are triggers, which means you can make them go off with stray hits. I read that the latest Alesis drums take some adjustments to sound great.
They take up some space. Drum sets do this. But they do fold and are transportable.
But here’s the biggest pro and why I’m writing this review.
The Alesis electronic drums are a drum set.
I went for years wanting a drum set and now I have one. I get to play drums now. I can play along with records or whatever is in my head.
I was a drummer without a drum set and now I have one
If you’ve read this far, there’s a good chance that you have reason to believe that you are a drummer.
You may have gotten a few minutes to fool around with drums in a music store or played on a friend’s set.
Are you are a drummer without a drum set?
You wish you could have a set of drums but you think
- a drum set isn’t practical,
- drums are too expensive,
- drums are too loud,
- someday you will get a real drum set in a warehouse somewhere or when a band signs you and you all live in an English country house
You Don’t Need to Wait
I have checked the price and read the reviews (you should, too).
Here is my recommendation:
Alesis DM8 Pro Kit Professional Five-Piece Electronic Drumset
This is an amazing piece of equipment for the price.
Whatever electronic drums you get, if you are a drummer, get some.
I don’t care what make or model. Just get some drums.
Take it from a drummer who waited for years to get a drum set, you won’t regret it.