Most electronic drum kits can be played pretty hard, just the same as an acoustic drum kit. They aren’t invincible though, and depending on the drum kit and pads used, the durability can vary.
How Hard Can You Play Electronic Drum Kits?
I’ve been surprised at the durability of even some of the cheaper electronic drum kits out there. I’ve currently been hammering away on a Simmons Titan 50, which is a cheap kit by all standards, but it’s been holding up well even when I hit it hard. With the way the snare responds to rim shots, that kit encourages you to whack the snare just as hard as you would on an acoustic to get a sharp rim shot sound out of it.
If you simply look at electronic drum kits without having a chance to try one out, you might get the impression that they aren’t going to be as durable as an acoustic drum kit. Their smaller size and use of plastic might make them look like you need to be overly careful with them and play them softer or with much more restraint than acoustic drums.
However, most electronic drum kits can be played just as hard as you’d play an acoustic kit. At least to a certain extent. I mean, you’re probably going to beat up a cheap kit pretty fast if you play it like you’re trying to abuse it and hitting the pads overly hard. But for most drummers that won’t be an issue.
Maybe the question should be rephrased. Do you need to hold back when playing electronic drums and play them carefully? The answer to that is no. You can play electronic drums just as hard as you’d play an acoustic kit, with the only exception possibly being that you are and extreme, heavy duty basher.
Will Your Electronic Drums Wear Out Faster If You Play Them Hard?
The answer to this is yes, they will. The harder you play electronic drums, the more likely you are to potentially damage the pads, whether it’s the mesh or rubber heads, or the electronics inside of them.
If you bash harder on cymbal pads, the rubber surface or covering could wear out more quickly. Usually that takes the form of rubber separating from the plastic or the rubber just getting damaged and falling apart into pieces over time. Plastic can crack as well.
If you hit mesh pads harder, the mesh could wear out and need to be replaced more quickly. Most of the time, if you don’t play overly hard, the mesh heads will last a long time. Usually the rims on mesh pads are covered with rubber coating. The rims won’t wear out, but the rubber could.
Mesh heads and rubber edges on drum pad rims are replaceable though, and can be considered things you would expect to replace at some point if you play your kit a lot.
Electronics could potentially get damaged and could be tougher to fix. If that happens, unless you know how to repair it, you’ll be replacing the pad.
Wear and Tear Is To Be Expected
If you’re going to play your electronic drums a lot, you should expect some wear over time. Thing will break and you might need to replace a pad every once in a while, but usually not often. Of course, if you get higher quality pads they will usually last longer. Some of the Roland cymbal pads are known to stand up to a lot of play over long periods of time. As a comparison, some cheap kits are known to have cymbal pads that wear out more quickly.
With mesh drum pads, you’re usually going to be replacing the drum heads over anything else. Which isn’t much different than an acoustic kit at that point.
If you play your electronic drums harder, they will wear out and things will need to be replaced. But is that much different than an acoustic drum kit, really? I can’t count the number of cymbals I’ve broken, the number of drum heads that I’ve worn out, and the various hardware and other stuff that I’ve worn out on my acoustic kits over the years.