- Benefits of Drum Practice Pads
- The Best Drum Practice Pads
- Which Drummers Are These Pads For?
Ask any drummer and they will likely tell you how difficult it is to practice at home. Not many of us have the luxury of being able to set up and play a full drum set whenever we fancy. Of course many have turned to electronic drum sets and drum practice pads as a way to rehearse and learn without the need for making loads of noise or taking a full drum kit out and about with you.
In simple terms, a drum pad replicates the head of a snare drum or a Tom and allows you to practice techniques and become a better drummer, practicing rudiments, chops, staying in time and other rhythmic aspects of drumming without making a huge amount of noise.
Benefits of Drum Practice Pads
The benefits of drum practice pads are pretty clear. As well as the fact that they are highly portable and mean you can practice anywhere you please, there are a lot of other features which are making the models reviewed in this article popular with both pro and aspiring drummers. Features we’re look at when reviewing the best drum pads include:
- Quietness. Drum pads are quieter by nature. The fact that you can practice your drumming without annoying anyone in the next room is important. Even if you are drumming on a stand this is still the case. Even at home, when drum mutes don’t do the job, a drum pad could be your answer.
- Realistic Feel. Many drum practice pads are two-sided in order to give different drum feels and replicate the experience of playing. This way you can simply transition to a real acoustic or electronic drum with ease. Whether you buy a one or two-sided practice pad it should give the bounce and feel of a real drum.
- Portability. Of course, drum pads should be lightweight and small enough to carry around. Otherwise, you may as well be carrying your snare around (I don’t recommend this).
- Sounds. Many practice pads have a lot of different sounds to choose from so whether you’re a jazz drummer or want to practice on a rock or pop sound, you can choose this from an interface on the drum.
- Sizes, many of the pads you come across will be designed to be the same size as a snare drum in terms of diameter, but there are smaller models available such as 12 inch and 6 inch pads.
- Stands. Many drummers like to practice with a stand if they can for a more real feel of what it is like playing at a full kit. Being compatible with a stand but removable is a big bonus.
The Best Drum Practice Pads
Time to review some of the best models available. These vary from brands who are known for drums the world over, and less popular drum brands who specialize just in practice pads.
Evans 2-Sided Practice Pad
Thousands of drummers have opted for the Evans 2-sided practice pad, and the immense amount of five-star reviews online show that very few people are disappointed with it. In terms of value for money, this is definitely one of the best.
It is available in both 12″ and 6″ sizes so you can decide how much space you have and how portable you need your pad to be before you make the purchase. Not many drum pads have sizes as small as 6 inches. The 12″ drum pad will fit snugly inside any standard snare drum basket.
Being two-sided is another big advantage, one side is made of rubber and the other of neoprene, and these are designed to replicate the different feel you get from playing different types of drum. Many drummers in their reviews of the 2-sided practice pad have talked about the ‘bounce’ of this practice pad being more realistic than many of its competitors, hence it being called ‘realfeel’. You can read more about the technology behind the Evans drum pads here.
There are drum pads with more features out there, but for the money this is a good option for beginners, intermediates and professionals alike.
Drumeo P4 Practice Pad – The Best Drum Practice Pad On The Planet
Its manufacturers claim it is the best pad on the planet, so it has a lot to live up to, but the Drumeo P4 is undeniably worthy of its place on this list. Many practice pads are quite same-y, but this certainly can’t be accused of this.
It has three different levels with four different materials, all designed to feel like the uniquely different surfaces of different drums, even cymbals.
This cleverly and scientifically designed product does come with a cost premium. It is worth it if you want a pad that can truly improve your playing. The different surfaces give you the skills to play rhythms, chops, and rudiments more effectively on a real drum kit. Much more versatile than some of its competitors with a great sound in spite of its lower volume.
Neewer® 3-in-1 Digital LCD Display Portable Drum Practice Pad
This is much more of a drum learning facility than many of the practice pads due to being electronic and coming with some very cool additional features. Unlike some of the other pads, this has a speaker and generates sounds from samples when it is hit. Being electronic this has a metronome built-in and can help you to learn to play in-time, one of the main struggles beginners face.
If you need to keep the volume down there is a volume control and even a headphone out so you can truly avoid annoying others.
Three modes on this model include Counting mode, speed detection mode and metronome mode, all designed to vastly improve your accuracy and playing, meaning this is one of the best beginners drum pads. Power isn’t a big challenge as this works either with a DC mains power supply or batteries. Pads on the bottom mean that it doesn’t slip around when playing on a table-top.
In all honesty, it doesn’t have the most professional ‘feel’ to it, but the Neewer 3-in-1 does have some very cool features. Many younger drummers seem to have got a lot out of playing this product and if you want something which is electronic and can be played through headphones, the Neewer could be your answer. It even comes in different colors.
Tosnail 12-inch Silent Drum Practice Pad
The Tosnail Silent Drum Practice pad gets on our list due to the fact it is both extremely quiet and extremely affordable. The value for money is underlined by the fact that this product also comes with two drumsticks and can provide an all-around practice solution for a very good price. It will fit a snare basket nicely due to being a standard 12″ size and is very much a ‘no-frills’ product which does a decent job without breaking the bank. It isn’t the most realistic feeling and is only one-sided, so there are some sacrifices compared to its competitors.
Which Drummers Are These Pads For?
It can be confusing to work out just who drum practice pads are aimed at. There are different products which have more suitability for drummers of different ability levels and who play in different genres. The truth is, there is some form of drum practice pad that is beneficial to pretty much any drummer in the world. Some will help you to learn with metronome and electronic functions, some will just provide a surface for practice.
It doesn’t matter if you are practicing to use on a marching snare or other marching drum or if you are a metal, rock, pop or jazz drummer.
There are many ways to improve your abilities as a drummer but not many of them will do as good a job as using a practice pad. It just isn’t realistic for drummers to be able to use their kit for practice every time you want to get your chops perfected or your rudiments nailed down. These products vary so much in price and features and our list of the best drum practice pads has tried to provide different options depending on whether you need features like metronomes or just a realistic feeling pad.
Although there may not be one specific ‘best’ product, and your own skill and circumstance will dictate which you should buy, our recommendation is the Drumeo P4. The versatility of the four different services means you don’t always feel like you’re practicing on the same drum, and you can improve your abilities playing cymbals, toms, snares and even other percussion. The testimonials on their site back up the huge amount of drummers who are improving by using drumeo products.