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Can a guitar amp be used for electronic drums?

Can you play electronic drums through a guitar amp? We look at the pros and cons in this post, and why you might want to use something else

While many people use their electronic drums for practice at home, the time may come when you want to play them out loud to an audience, meaning an amplifier of some sort is needed. You may have a guitar am to hand and wonder, can a guitar amp be used for electronic drums? The answer is yes and no…

Can you play electronic drums through a guitar amp?

Yes, a guitar amp can be used for electronic drums, but they’re not great for sound quality, and there are much better options out there for amplifying your drums.

Here’s why: guitar amps are specifically designed for electric guitars, which produce sound in a relatively narrow band of mid to high-frequency range. As a result, guitar amps are optimised around those frequencies, helping to enhance the sound characteristics of a typical electric guitar.

Meanwhile, electronic drums produce a far wider range of sound frequencies. Think about the booming lows of the bass drum, the sparkly highs of the crash cymbals, and the range of mid-tones from the toms. The result is that electronic drums need a far wider range of frequency responses from their speakers to ensure each instrument making up the drum kit sounds as best as it can.

If you do choose to use a guitar amp with your electronic drums, it’s a good idea to keep avoid maxing out the volume to protect the speaker. Since the amp isn’t designed for use with the wide frequencies associated with drums, keeping the volume low helps to protect the speaker from frequencies it was not designed for.

Alternative ways to amplify electronic drums

There are better ways to amplify electronic drums than a guitar amp. Below, we’ll look at a few, but you can find more information in our guide on using an amp to play electronic drums.

Bass amp

A bass amp is generally a better way to amplify electronic drums compared with a guitar amp. Bass amps, unsurprisingly, have a great bass response, which means bass drums come out well when used with eDrums. As with guitar amps, you should keep the volume relatively low when using a bass amp with electronic drums. Find out more in our guide on how to play electronic drums through a bass amp.

Keyboard or digital piano amp

A keyboard or digital piano amp is the next best choice for amplifying electronic drums. Pianos have an extremely wide frequency range, spanning seven octaves. This means good keyboard amplifiers will be designed for reproducing this full frequency range – a similar requirement as with drum amps. As a result, a keyboard amp is a good option for use with electronic drums.

Electronic drum amp

Electronic drum makers like Roland have a range of amps designed specifically for eDrums. Naturally, these are in effect the ‘default’ options for amplifying electronic drums.

Browse drum amps at Guitar Center or Thomann

PA system

A PA (Public Address) system designed for music will be great at reproducing almost all instruments, as they’re designed for almost everything to be put through them. A PA system is, therefore, a good option, though one that is more suited to louder volumes such as for performing live. They can be very bulky too, and so are less suitable for practice.

Find a PA system at Guitar Center or Thomann

PC speaker system

Our options above are specifically designed for musical instruments, but what if you just need a way to play your eDrums out loud at home as a one-off? A PC speaker system may be a good choice. Many PC speakers come as a 2.1 set, meaning they come with a subwoofer. This helps to ensure a wide frequency band so your drums will sound realistic. However, be aware that the volume will not be as good as our ‘professional’ options above.

Stereo or mono?

A more minor note is that guitar amps and some of the other options above tend to deal with a mono input signal instead of stereo. A stereo signal is better for drums if you plan to have your left and right speakers spread out. If you’ve played your eDrums through headphones, you may notice that the drums are spread out, meaning some instruments are panned to the left, and some to the right. This helps give a feeling of space in the mix, and can be replicated by spreading out your left and right speakers.

Most amps, including guitar amps, keyboard amps, and even drum amps, only have one speaker, so be aware this stereo mix will not work as a result. Make sure you connect these types of amps to the mono output on your drum module to ensure each instrument comes out at the correct volume.

Summary: Is a guitar amp good for electronic drums?

While you can use a guitar amp to play electronic drums through, there are better choices, as your drums won’t sound great. If you can’t get hold of a drum amp or PA system, then the next best option is a keyboard or digital piano amp, PC speaker system, or bass amp, if you want to play your drums out loud.

Alternatively, if you’re in the market for a new drum amp, then you can check out the range at Amazon, Guitar Center or Thomann, or consider a PA system if you need more volume – browse the range at Guitar Center, Thomann or

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By Seb Atkinson

Seb has been a drummer since 2004 and an eDrummer since 2008. He founded eDrumHub to provide information on electronic drums for other drummers who can't justify an acoustic drum kit for practice at home.

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