Rock Band Hands-on: Drums


Being a big Bamani fan, when Rock Band first announced their drum peripheral, I was a bit skeptical. Being a huge fan of Drummania, the setup of Rock Band's drums fell short of my expectation. However, I'm not one to kick it before I try it. The drum peripheral itself consists of four drum pads in a row. At the bottom is the kick pedal which can slide to either side, depending on which foot you're more comfortable playing with. Unlike Drummania, the drum pads on the Rock Band drum set are not set to a specific sound. What do I mean by this? For example, you may be playing a song and hit a pad for a snare, and then seconds later hit the same pad for a high tom. This had also been a concern of mine, feeling it may take away from the authentic feel of playing drums. When getting up to the stage to play Rock Band for the first time, I head straight for the drum set, grabbed the sticks, and had a seat. The seat being used was a regular drummers seat, though I'm sure at home you'll probably be using a kitchen chair if you don't feel like forking out a few bucks for a new seat. (Which you probably won't after spending all your money on purchasing the Rock Band bundle) The drum set itself had two tabs on top that held your drum sticks in place. The design was simple and I felt pretty comfortable sitting in front of it. I don't remember which song was played, as I was too nervous hoping not to completely fail in front of all the on lookers. The screen asked me to select a difficulty, I humbly chose medium. The song started up and after the first few notes scrolled by, I finally caught on to the placement of the drums. At first it was a bit slow, and I felt weird gripping the sticks, doing nothing, and waiting for the next note to slowly scroll on down. But a minute or so into the song the fun started. The way the kick note is displayed as a full bar confused me at first and I fell off beat a few times trying to concentrate on hitting it correctly. Once I got into the flow though, with a regular beat, I felt pretty damn cool. It was a good cool, it was the kind of cool that I felt like people wanted to be me. The song finished, and I ended up doing pretty well. The pads themselves have a good response. The feel of them are a nice feel too, better then I was hoping for. The stand that it comes on is sturdy as well. I'm sure they can take a good beating without a problem. I also got over my worry of the pads not having a designated sound. Even though they may change what they're suppose to be, the patterns feel authentic and rewarding. My only complaint is that when you have a note that overlaps the kick bar, it becomes a bit hard to see, and I missed a few notes because of this. This might not be an issue though, and could be just me, seeing as the TVs were a bit far, and I wasn't wearing glasses. My only regret is that I didn't jump back in line to play even more.