Is a Bass Amp OK for Electronic Drums?

Learn whether a bass amp can be used with electronic drums, and what our 4 recommendations are for monitoring your eDrums while you play.

A bass amp can be used to play electronic drums through, however, they are not the best choice. Below, we look into some of the things to consider if you want to use a bass amp with your eDrums, plus some of our recommended options for amplifying your drums.

Will a bass amp work with electronic drums?

Playing electronic drums through a bass amp does work, and can sound good, thanks to the emphasis on the bottom-end tones, which suit drums nicely. Depending on the equaliser settings, though, you might need to compromise between a beefy bass drum and shimmering cymbal tones.

One other consideration is that bass amps typically accept a mono input rather than stereo. Stereo is generally better for drums, so you can pan your mix to the left and right. However, it’s not a deal-breaker as you don’t need a stereo mix for practice. Most eDrums will have dual 6.35mm outputs, and one will be labelled “L / Mono” – which you should use when plugged into a mono bass amplifier.

Setting a safe volume

One specific thing to be aware of when using a bass amp with electronic drums is to keep the volume down. That’s because bass amps are designed to amplify sound at a pitch range that is typical to a bass guitar. Electronic drums can operate outside this frequency band, so keeping the volume relatively low can help protect the speaker in your amp.

How do you know if the volume is too high? Look at the speaker cone while playing. If it is vibrating excessively, then turn down the volume slightly. Additionally, listen out for distortion, humming, or buzzing. If you hear any of this, turn the amp down slightly to protect the speaker – and improve your sound!

If you have a tube amp (as opposed to a solid-state amp), then it’s also good practice to keep the volume low so you can protect the tube, which can be costly to replace.

Most likely, you’re using your amp for drum practice, and will likely want to play regularly, even for hours on end. It’s a good idea to try and keep the volume lower than 85 decibels. Anything over this level, especially for prolonged periods, can increase your risk of hearing loss. So not only can you protect your speaker by keeping the volume low, you can protect your hearing too!

Alternatives for hearing your electronic drums


Our recommended way to monitor your drums while practising, headphones are great as they isolate the sound of your sticks hitting the pads, and mean reduced volume for the neighbours or anyone you live with.

Drum amp

Brands like Roland and Alesis make amps specifically for drums, designed to handle their frequency response. This is better than a bass amp, as you’ll not need to worry about protecting the speaker quite so much.

Keyboard amp

A keyboard amp is quite similar to a drum amp and is effectively interchangeable. Digital pianos have a similar frequency range to drums, so you should have no concerns using a keyboard amp with eDrums.

PA system

If you need something louder, then consider a PA system with a mixer.

Want to learn more about how to amplify your electronic drums? Find out in our guide: Do you need an amp for eDrums.

Guitar amps are not recommended for electronic drums

One final word of warning, guitar amps are not suitable for electronic drums. Yes, it will work, but won’t sound great. This is because electric guitars only deal with mid-range frequencies, while drums need a much wider range of frequency response. So while you will be able to play your drums through a guitar amp, it will likely sound very muddy.

Featured image by Caught In Joy

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.