Using Rockband to Learn Drums

I've had Rockband since 2009, RB2 on PS3 was my first game. I've always struggled to learn music, I gave up at school, so Rockband was initial great fun. With RB4 I bought the pro cymbals to go with the drum kit and have now progress to owning a Roland TD-17KV. It's been a great experience and journey for me to now be playing drums properly.

If anyone asked me if I'd recommend learning drums on Rockband I'd have to say NO. The reason is cost, you could do I did and start with RB drums.............. but they are not very easy to get hold of and I've lost count of the number of plastic pedals I've broken. I've also had to replace the cymbals on my RB kit too. So these plastic kits just don't last and getting hold of replacements is very difficult, unless your willing to spend lots of money.

Best option would be to buy a proper e-kit, but you'd still find getting this hooked up to RB4 not very easy. If your an Xbox owner its impossible, PS4 owners have better options. Am so pleased and relieved that I can still use my kits with RB4.

So I started with this:

Upgraded to Alesis Nitro:

Ended up with Roland TD-17:


  • Hey RIFFRAFF4711, that setup looks really cool. If I only had the room to have a Roland that size.

    Agree we need new new equipment and the drumming has a natural progression something as sure many players have done. I so hope HMX get sort that out otherwise RB will not last that long.
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    edited December 2018
    I think on the subject of using RB to learn anything, I think you should be looking at *RB3* as the learning platform, rather than RB4. RB3 on Xbox360 doesn't have quite as insane an entry price point for eKit or Ion usage (no PDP adapter)... and RB3 is where the learning-real-guitar and learning-real-keyboard people were left as well. Sure it'd be *nice* to have access to the entire catalog of both pre and post RB4 launch songs. But for purely learning purposes, it is likely common to six-string guitar players and keytar players (for whom RB3 is the only in-this-franchise option) that drum players are best served to use RB3 as their learning platform as well (even if it sucks that the limiting factor on doing so this generation isn't software support but hardware price and availability).
  • tnevakertnevaker Road Warrior
    for the most part i'd agree. in addition, RB3 has drum trainers, which were left out of RB4, a bunch of patterns that you can practice at a variety of speeds to work on specific skills. also, RB3 allows you to go straight into practice mode from the quickplay menu, so you can play a song through and then immediately go into practice mode to practice sections you need to improve on. it also shows a section-by-section breakdown of your hit percentage on the post-song results screen, so you can narrow down which sections you need to focus on.

    when i played in RB3 and was trying to improve my skills, i'd play a song through, then i'd check out which sections i missed hitting 100% on in the stats screen, and jump right to practice mode to replay those sections until i could get them perfect. sadly, RB4 makes this approach impossible.

    another thing that really helped in RB3 was the ability to turn down the drum stem entirely, so that i could hear only my own drum module sound output. it's one thing to just hit the notes correctly, it's another to do it with proper groove and dynamics so that it sounds good. that's something that's easier to practice when you are only hearing the results of your own playing without the original audio underneath. again, something that was sadly lost with RB4.
  • I would concur with the above post. I've been playing a 7 pc PDP drum set for a couple of years now using the RB3 scroll. It works very well.

    You'll have to learn a few adaptations. Example, the blue cymbal is sometimes an open hi-hat. The red snare drum is sometimes the side of the drum case or a cow bell. The cymbal work can be adjusted, such as hitting the bell tone instead of the ring. It's been a very fun progression.

    I know you guys feel my pain on RB4. Beautiful Ion drum set just sitting collecting dust and no way to drum for me on RB4.
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