Playing along with your favorite music is a good way to build up your skills as a drummer. On most electronic drum modules there is usually an auxiliary port or sometimes even a Bluetooth feature to allow you to plug in or connect devices to play back music.
The Auxiliary Port on the Drum Module
The most reliable way to connect a device to a drum module is via the auxiliary port. This port allows you to input audio into the drum module. The audio is then mixed with the sounds of the drum kit and it’s all played back together over the main outputs or headphones outputs.
To find the auxiliary port look for a port labeled “aux”. Sometimes is also labeled as a stereo input or otherwise. It will usually be a 3.5mm jack, which is suitable for plugging in devices like smartphones, tablets or laptops.
Even though the audio will be mixed with the sounds from the drum module, you should be able to control the volume of music by adjusting the volume on your playback device.
Some newer drum modules are starting to add Bluetooth features which are used to connect devices like smartphones to your drum module. The Bluetooth is usually specifically used for inputting music to play along with.
If your module supports Bluetooth, you’ll usually see a Bluetooth indicator somewhere on the modules interface. You can also check the manual or manufacturers website to see if any Bluetooth features are mentioned.
The advantage of using Bluetooth audio for playing along with music is that you won’t need to use any cables. This can be nice, since you’re probably already swimming in cables if you just set up your drum kit and are using wired headphones.
You simply need to pair your drum module with any Bluetooth playback device, much like a Bluetooth speaker would work, and then your music will be routed through your drum module and play back along with the drum sounds while you play drums.
If you’re unable to use an aux port or Bluetooth to connect a device, which would be a rare scenario but it can happen, you will need more equipment to play along with music with your electronic drum kit. You’ll need to route your audio so that both your drum kit outputs and the outputs of the music player you are using are mixed together and then output to pair of headphones or speakers while you play.