Drummers and non-drummers alike use electronic kits, but most customers have some basic questions when they’re considering their purchase. Here are the most-asked questions about the mesh heads found on Roland V-Drums.
Q: “What size/kind of sticks should I use?”
A: This depends on your playing style, but we can narrow it down. Sales Engineer Jeff Rogers puts it this way: “If you’re used to playing acoustic drums and want to maintain the same feel, you should try a lighter stick. If you play a 5B, try a 5A. Most drummers find that adjusting to a lighter/thinner stick is not a problem, since their motion and exertion will be about the same.”
Approach mesh heads the way you would a thin conventional head. Since a pad doesn’t have to move air, you don’t need to pound or play hard at all. A 2B stick is probably too heavy. Absolutely stay away from marching or street sizes and weights.
Wood tips and nylon tips are both fine to use, with one caution. Nylon tips can get chipped or scuffed, and these could catch in the weave and damage a head.
Q: “What about brushes?”
A: Roland strongly advises you to use nylon (or plastic) brushes, not metal. Metal wires are small enough to catch in the woven fabric. Plus, your heads will get dirty much faster.
Q: “How long do mesh heads last?”
A: Barring accident or abuse, they can last for years. Roland’s mesh heads are manufactured by Remo, a long-standing drumhead maker. The fabric is securely glued into the hoop so it won’t separate. Normal playing (see #1 above) poses no threat.
Q: “Can I tune my mesh-head pads?”
A: Well, no and yes. Tightening or loosening the heads won’t change the pitch of the pad. However, you can adjust the head tension to set the rebound and playing feel to your liking. Roland cautions against tuning the heads too loosely, as that can interfere with the sensor performance. As with any acoustic drum, the lugs need to be equally tensioned.
Q: “Can I use mesh-head pads with my TD-7/TD-5/etc.?”
A: Yes. In general, any Roland pad works with any Roland percussion module (the only exceptions are the three-zone V-Cymbal and VH-12 Hi-Hats, which work only on the TD-12 and TD-20 modules). That means you can upgrade your existing electronic kit (perhaps starting with a new snare pad) a piece or two at a time.