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Can You Play Electronic Drums Through an Amp?

Updated July 19, 2017

Electronic drums are a great way to play as loud as you like without disturbing the entire block. The option to play through an amplifier makes them a versatile addition to any drummer's collection.

Headphones

Using headphones, you can play the electronic drums whenever you want, a privilege for any drummer. With the optional drum kits packaged with most sets, experimentation with rhythm and sound is at your disposal at the touch of a button.

Output Jack

All electronic drum sets have at least one output jack and many have the capability of 1/4-inch guitar cable output. Either one of these will transmit the sound from the drum kit to an amplifier.

Amplifier

You can play electronic drums through any amplifier with a guitar or headphone input. Besides the ability to control and equalise the sound from the drum set's electronics, you can now do it through the amplifier.

Cables

If your drum set has a 1/4 inch (guitar) output and the amplifier has a 1/4 inch input, all you need is a guitar cable to connect the two. If both are a headphone jack you'll need a cable with an 1/8 inch jack on each end.

Adaptors

In order to connect an electric drum kit with headphone-only output to an amplifier with a guitar input, you'll need a 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch TRS cable adaptor. This will convert one end of a guitar cord into a headphone-size cord, allowing the other end to be plugged into the guitar input.

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About the Author

Abraham Hovey is a poet and songwriter living in Madison, Wis. He has been a working musician since 1997 and holds a bachelor's degree in history from Western Michigan University.