Can You Use a Guitar Amp for Electronic Drums?

Your guitar amp can technically work as an amplification source for your e-drum kit. However, it won’t sound as good as a drum amp or PA system. It could also potentially damage your guitar amp. Guitar amps usually don’t have the frequency range needed to fully produce the sound coming from e-drum kits

The frequency range for drums is from as low as 30Hz for the bass drum to 17kHz for the cymbals, which is effectively as much as adults can hear. The key frequencies of guitar amps are generally regarded as up to 6kHz because everything above can make the guitar sound harsh.

What are other Amplification Sources?

A good amplification source for e-drum kits is a PA system. They cover a wide range of frequencies as they are designed to handle everything from vocals to guitars, and drums. So why doesn’t everyone use the PA system for their e-drum kit? PA systems are very expensive, require a lot of space, and are very difficult to set up, among other reasons.

What’s the next best thing, then? Drum amps. Many companies now offer a variety of amps designed to be used with e-drum kits. The good thing about drum amps is that you can get from a 50W amp for practice to a 2000W drum amp, sometimes even more.

Bigger and better-sounding drum amps can often be quite costly and sometimes cost as much as a PA system, so that is something to consider if you decide to get one. Here is a list of the best drum amps you can check out.

There is also one more type of amp that will work pretty well for e-drum kits, and that is a keyboard amp. Since pianos have a wide range of frequencies, keyboard amps are naturally able to keep up with the higher frequencies of an e-drum kit. Keyboard amps are also generally more budget-friendly than drum amps.

Of course, if you just want to practice playing drums, you can just use a set of headphones and connect them to your drum module.

How to Play Electronic Drums on a Guitar Amp?

When you have no other choice but to use a guitar amp, the first thing you should do is avoid damaging it while playing e-drums. Most of the time, the speaker can be damaged when playing the bass drum or even cymbals over the guitar amp with high output.

Also, another thing to keep in mind, as I’ve seen a lot of drummers experimenting with, is to try not to use pedals on the amp. They can easily damage the amp, and if you have to experiment with it, please do it at lower volume levels.

How to Choose an Amp for Electronic Drums?

The power output is the most important thing to consider when buying a drum amp. Going with lower power output, such as 50-100W, will be ideal if you need an amp only for practicing and home use. If, however, you need an amp that will produce a higher volume for practicing with a band, then I recommend going for an amp with higher power output.

Another thing to consider is how many inputs and outputs the amp has, which depends on your playing style and what you generally need. Some drum amps have EQ built-in, so check if the amp checks all the boxes you need.

And lastly, price and brand. While Roland and Yamaha are pioneers in this domain, there are a lot of other manufacturers nowadays that you can easily find something that suits you well.

Conclusion

A guitar amp is not the ideal amplification source for your e-drum. It might damage your amp and the sounds will not be as good as they should. Most of the time, people think their e-drum kit doesn’t sound so good because of the amp, which is not the case. You should try to get a dedicated drum amp. Even a keyboard amp will sound better than a standard guitar amp.

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Mike O'Connor

Drumming has been my passion for over 18 years. I play quite a few different genres and I really enjoy experimenting with hybrid kits that blend acoustic and electronic drums. I love all things drumming!

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