What are the recommended drums for Rockband/Guitar Hero?

I have a set of Guitar Hero World Tour drums that are finally broken beyond use, so I need to pick up a new set.

I don't have a strict budget, but I don't want to pay 4x for something only slightly better than the Guitar Hero drums I am replacing.

I would like something that is fairly kid-proof, relatively unobtrusive when not in use, and -- most importantly -- fun to play.

I was happy with the Guitar Hero drums as far as that goes, but they are obviously junk with a build quality bordering on embarrassing. Are the third-party drums like this? Or are there any out there that will last for more than a year? I would be fine just picking up stock drums if there is not a big difference in quality, but it's not clear to me what the landscape is made up of these days.

The problems I've had with the Guitar Hero drums are: the wires to the cymbals are the flimsiest wires I've ever seen (one is broken and not replaceable and it's too thin to solder), the kick pedal just plain sucks, and the quick-release-style clips that hold the whole thing together are just junk -- my currently broken kit is duct-taped together because none of the clips hold anything together anymore.

So, for those who enjoy drumming in these games: what do you buy?


  • my experience is that the guitar hero drums are more sturdy than the rockband drums Commented Nov 19, 2010 at 1:13

4 Answers 4


I have bought a set of the Ion Drums (http://www.drumrocker.com/products/index.php) and I have been very happy with them. I typically play expert and the drums are far more responsive than the Rock Band and/or Guitar Hero drums (I've been through two of the RB ones, and one of the GH drumsets). The pads actually have some rebound in them and are much quieter. The drum pedal is okay (and so far it hasn't broken like the GH/RB ones also eventually did), but noisier in comparison.

Be aware that in Guitar Hero you will be presented with the "compressed" view of the drums (ie: four instead of five lanes), the same as if you were using a Rock Band drum in Guitar Hero.

  • I have already worn out one of these sets but it took me a year and a half and I then bought a few new heads and was good to go. I was going through two sets a year easy before so it has totally been worth the money to me.
    – user4139
    Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 2:44

I've been happy with stock Rock Band 2 drums, but I don't have kids, so I'm not sure how well they'd hold up to that. They did survive two moves and a cat, though, with no trouble.

Be aware that if you buy RB drums, your drum charts in Guitar Hero will change to adapt to the different drum setup. Even with adding third-party cymbals on to them, you'll still see different charts. I've personally found RB-ized GH charts to be annoying to play, since activating star power requires hitting blue and yellow drums at the same time and it's pretty hard to do without losing the score multiplier in the middle of a song if there isn't a long enough gap in the notes.

  • 2
    Just so you know, in order to activate the Star Power in GH, you can hit the "Star Powering" note instead of hitting one of the notes, and you won't lose your streak.
    – idan315
    Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 15:48

I played the drums from GoodWoodMods at a party once and I can highly recommend them. Incredibly accurate, they give a great spring-back feel, and best of all they are completely silent. The only thing I didn't care for is that my crazy-ass drumming ended up hitting the rims a little often, but I think that was just because I wasn't used to them.

  • They look nice, but it doesn't look like they sell drum kits, just replacement heads. Is that right? I'm having a hard time using their site. It's not my heads that are broken, it's all the wiring and mechanical aspects of the stand and pedal... Commented Nov 18, 2010 at 0:32
  • Yes, they utilize the standard drum kit, and they replace the ruberrized heads and sensors. Commented Nov 18, 2010 at 16:43
  • They also sell a nice drum pedal, which I also used and would recommend. My kit has a metal plate attached to the pedal. I bought it on ebay (I had broken the plastic one in the middle of a tough song). Commented Nov 18, 2010 at 16:45

once you go real e-drums (these are yamaha dtxpress iv), there is no going back. i've got them hooked up with a sethbox to both playstation and the wii (note: requires quick firmware flashing for one console at a time). "relatively unobtrusive" does apply.. only when they're folded up!

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