The Best Bass Drum Beaters for Mesh Heads
Getting a set of electronic drums is a great way to practice at home while keeping the noise to a minimum. They also take up less space than acoustic drums and have the ability to generate a wealth of interesting and creative sounds. While some of the more cost-effective kits utilize hard rubber pads, many models have mesh drumheads which provide a more natural feel and rebound.
This article will help guide you towards choosing the right bass drum beater for the mesh heads on your electronic drum kit. We’ll also hear some useful tips and recommendations on which gear combinations work the best from a product expert at Roland.
Roland Product Manager Pat Kennedy says “Low Boy offers a really cool array of beater types that work really well with electronic drums, and V-drums specifically.” He recommends using a Standard wood beater on mesh heads because of the firmer striking surface. “If you use felt, the fabric of the beater pulls out the fabric of the head. It’s like a sweater where you pull one thread out. A very firm surface is way better since you’re not pulling on the mesh material with every stroke.”
He adds that the flat striking surface of Low Boy beaters is another plus. “I definitely wouldn’t recommend anything fluffy. The shape is not as critical for me but I wouldn’t use anything that is too pointed either.”
The Low Boy Lightweight beaters are another option for drummers looking for a gentler touch (these weigh 80 grams as opposed to the 95-gram Standard models).
Kennedy suggests that “room noise is definitely a thing to consider and [Roland] has constructed our drums to be as low-volume as possible. You want to pick a beater that’s safe for the product that also produces the optimal volume you’re looking for in the room.”
Wood striking surface (safe on all pads)
Leather striking surface (safe on cloth and rubber pads)
Felt striking surface (safe on rubber pads)
While the flagship TD-50 Series V-Drums have all-mesh heads, many mid-level electronic kits like the popular TD-17 and TD-27 Series now feature the KD-10 kick drum tower which offers a bit more flexibility in choosing a beater. This model has a firm, cloth-like striking surface that also works with the Low Boy Leather Daddy beater since the beater will experience wear at roughly the same rate as it would on an acoustic head. However, Felt Daddy beaters are not recommended for the KD-10 since the head could damage the beater and create a “felt dust” residue on the striking surface.
Aside from these kits which use the KD-10, Kennedy adds that entry level options such as the TD-1DMK or TD-07DMK have a rubber striking surface that can also accommodate wood, leather or hard felt beaters, while the V-Drums Acoustic Design Series models feature a cloth-like material similar to the KD-10 (use all-wood or the Leather Daddy on these, and check out our Beater Compatibility Chart below for more information).
KD-140 with mesh surface
KD-10 kick drum tower with cloth surface
TD-07DMK kit with rubber kick pad
The main takeaway is that the Low Boy Standard wood beater is the best choice for mesh heads, with the Lightweight wood as an alternative for drummers looking for more volume control or a lighter feel. For electronic kit models with a KD-10 tower, the Leather Daddy is also compatible. While the Felt Daddy is not recommended for the KD-10 or mesh heads, you can use it on any kit that has a rubber pad.
Regardless of which kit and beater combo you choose, Kennedy says “it’s the material that really matters. What we want to do is make E-drums that appeal to the acoustic player. We want players to be using what they’re comfortable with and we try to make it as expansive and encompassing as possible. That’s the beauty of electronic drums.”
Beater Compatibility Chart
|Roland Kit Type||Bass Drum Surface||All-Wood||Leather Daddy||Felt Daddy|
Find A Beater That Meshes With Your Electronic Kit!
By Rob Mitzner
New York-based session drummer and writer Rob Mitzner has played on Billboard Top-10 charting albums, films, and Broadway shows, performing at Lincoln Center, The Smithsonian, Caesar’s Palace, The Blue Note, Boston Symphony Hall and for President Obama in his hometown of Washington D.C. His book "Drumming in a Band: Stuff You Can Use" was released by Hudson Music in early 2022 and recently entered the top 100 best-selling percussion books on Amazon. Rob has also been featured in Downbeat magazine, Modern Drummer, Drumeo and Drum Talk TV and recorded on over 60 commercially available albums across many genres. When he’s not playing and touring, Rob spends his days at C-Room Studio in Brooklyn cutting drum tracks, shedding funky electric bass and writing articles. Rob holds a B.A. in Music and Political Science from Brown University, and is a proud endorser of Paiste Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, Hendrix Drums and Drumdots.