The drums are a great instrument for several reasons. They help improve your coordination and provide a good workout while you play them. But you can’t play drums everywhere, which is why you need practice pads, and here are some of the best drum practice pads you can get.
Drums are also an essential component of most of the music we listen to. Learning them can be a great way to get into a band.
Learning to play the drums is not always a simple process. As with any musical instrument, you need to practice every day. This may be a lot harder than it seems.
Drums produce a lot more noise than many other instruments. This can make it difficult to practice in built-up areas where you have a lot of neighbors.
This is exactly why many drummers will buy practice pads, so they can hone their skills without disturbing those who live nearby.
Practice pads come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be a good way to work on your rhythm when you don’t have access to a full kit. Here are some of the best drum practice pads that you can buy online.
Best Drum Practice Pads (Quick Summary)
- Gretsch “Round Badge” practice pad – 6inch
- Silica gel surface designed to emulate realistic stick rebound
- Dense wood base adds durability and an authentic feel
- 8mm pad mount inset on bottom fits any standard practice pad stand or cymbal stand for easy mounting
Gretsch is a company that primarily makes guitars, but they also make drum kits. This six inch practice pad looks great and is compact enough to fit into your bag when you want to take it with you to practice.
It has a stylish design, and is made from a great material for practicing your drumming skills.
The surface of this pad is composed of silica gel to emulate realistic stick rebound without being too springy. This allows you to practice your strikes and rhythm to translate well to your actual kit.
Another thing that makes this pad feel like hitting a real drum is the dense wooden base that also helps to improve its durability.
Around the wooden base, there is an 8 mm inset rubber cover. This helps with mounting the pad to a practice stand or cymbal stand.
If you prefer, you can simply place it on a table or any flat surface to practice anywhere you want. The non-skid, foam rubber backing helps to prevent the pad from sliding around while you are hitting it.
- Silica gel surface offers very realistic stick rebound.
- Wooden bases provide a more authentic feel and better durability.
- Non-skid base for placing the pad on any flat surface.
- Expensive for its size.
- PRACTICE ANYTIME, ANYWHERE – Evans RealFeel Drum Practice Pad provides the best practice substitute to acoustic drums, so you can practice rudiments, paradiddles or just drum along to that song on the radio – without disturbing anyone. Portable and quiet, it works on any surface including carpet, table, lap or inside a standard snare basket.
- TWO-SIDED DRUM PAD – The two-sided design of the practice drum pad gives you options for the type of practice you are doing. One side features a slightly textured natural gum rubber for realistic stick rebound. The other side features a harder, firmer recycled rubber with less rebound for a real practice workout.
- AVAILABLE IN 3 SIZES – A variety of RealFeel drum practice pads are available to suit individual practice requirements including a 6” practice pad, 7” apprentice practice pad and a 12” practice pad (not mountable).
- DRUM PADS FOR ALL DRUMMERS – From the beginner practicing in the back of mom’s car on the way to lessons to the professional practicing on the tour bus, RealFeel practice pads suit every player’s practice needs, no matter how demanding. The natural gum rubber side is finished with a dark gray fabric that resists wear and tear.
- MADE IN THE USA – For over 40 years, Evans has been a pioneer in drum head manufacturing and design. All RealFeel practice pads for drumming are proudly designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA to the most stringent quality controls in the industry.
The RealFeel is double the size of the last practice pad we looked at. However, it is still available for the same price, offering great value for money.
This 12 inch hexagonal pad has two different rubber surfaces to provide different responses when hit with your stick.
On the gray side, you will find a pad made from natural gum rubber. This provides realistic stick rebound similar to hitting a real drum.
Meanwhile, the black side uses a much harder, recycled rubber that is stiffer and offers less rebound. You can use this side for working out your arms on a less springy surface.
Thanks to the two different sides, this product is a great way to hone your skills and strengthen your arms for when you jump on an actual kit.
The wood between the two pads is MDF. This means it isn’t the most durable and won’t hold up well if it gets very wet.
You can buy this pad in three different sizes. There is the option to buy it with a stand for when you want it to be at the same height as a real drum.
The RealFeel practice pad is a great item for anyone who wants to be able to practice anywhere but doesn’t want to spend too much on a drum pad.
- Two sides for realistic stick rebound and a general arm workout.
- Comes in three different sizes.
- Lightweight and easy to transport.
- The MDF sheet between the two sides isn’t very durable.
- Small enough to fit in any drum Bag
- The Package Height of the Product is 3 inches
- The Package Length of the Product is 5.2 inches
- The Package Width of the Product is 4.9 inches
Large pads are great for casual practice and working out your arms, but they don’t help a lot with precision.
This miniature pad designed ahead only has a diameter of 1.75in, making it very compact and portable.
Its small size means that using this pad is certain to help improve your accuracy. If you aren’t dead center, you will simply miss your target.
The pad sits about 3 in high, and there are a variety of ways that you can set it up for your practice session.
Without a grip on the bottom, it is likely to slide around if you simply place it on a table. However, probably not enough to stop you hitting it. If you want to avoid this, you can screw it onto a cymbal stand or tripod if you have one that will fit.
Due to its size and shape, you can’t really place this pad on your lap for a quick warm up while you are on the way to a gig or session.
However, it is very portable and will easily fit into your stick bag alongside your other equipment. If you are having trouble hitting the drums dead center, then this is the perfect piece of kit for improving your accuracy.
- The small size makes this pad a great way to improve your accuracy.
- Small and very portable.
- Can be attached to a cymbal stand or other suitable mount.
- Can’t really be placed on your lap.
- Perfect tool for beginning and advanced drummers
- Features a replaceable Ambassador Coated drumhead providing the bounce and feel of a real drum
- Has a protective rubber bottom for non-scratch/non-slip table top use
- Size: 10″
- Color: Red
Remo is one of the most well known brands and manufacturers of drum kits. They make a large array of other equipment for drummers as well.
This pad comes with an actual Remo drum head attached to a rubber base. It feels like hitting a real drum.
Using an actual drum head, means that this pad may wear out and break a bit faster than other models. However, you can always buy a new drum head to replace the old one if this happens.
When the description calls this pad tunable, they don’t mean that you can alter the note it produces, as you can on some drums. Instead, the tension impacts how bouncy it is. That can help you learn how to play with different drum sounds and types.
The tension adjustment allows you to calibrate the pad to feel more like a real drum. You can also crank up the tension to make it less springy to get more of an arm workout.
The base has a non-skid backing that won’t slide around when placed on a table or other flat surface. Alternatively, you can mount it to a stand for practicing on like a real drum.
- Uses a real drum head for realistic stick rebound.
- You can adjust the tension for as much, or as little bounce, as you need.
- The drum head can be replaced when it starts to wear out.
- The drum head may wear out and eventually need replacing with frequent use.
- Four unique playing surfaces on three levels
- Simulates the feel of actually moving around the drums
- Great for developing your speed, control, and creativity on the drums
- Simulates the feel of actually moving around the drums
A lot of the practice pads we have looked at so far have been very basic, consisting of only one or two playing surfaces.
This product takes things a step further with four different zones that each provide their own rebound and feel.
As a result, practicing on this pad feels more like moving around the different drums of a kit. This makes it more realistic, and more fun to use.
They make the bottom layer from the usual gum rubber used for other pads like the Evans RealFeel. Above this, there are two sections to imitate different toms. The hard black neoprene pad replicates a high tome and the lighter white pad represents a low tom.
This low tom section is also the quietest and the best for late night practicing when you don’t want to wake up your neighbors.
At the top, you will find the hardest pad. They made this to deliver a unique sound vaguely similar to a ride cymbal.
Moving around the various pads is a great way to improve your speed. Since each section is quite small, your accuracy will benefit as well.
This is a great product for any drummer who wants something a little more sophisticated than practice pads with only one or two playing surfaces.
- Four different surfaces made from various rubbers for different stick rebound.
- Helps with practicing speed, control and accuracy.
- Can be used as a creative tool for making beats when you are away from your kit.
- Snap-on Mesh Drumhead Practice Pad Conversion 5-piece Pack with 80% Volume Attenuation – 10″
The problem with practice pads is that no piece of wood with a rubber sheet stuck on it is ever going to emulate the sound and feel of a real drum. If you want something a bit more realistic, the RTOM has you covered. These innovative mesh practice pads can attach to your kit.
This product contains pads for all the drums in a standard kit. You can practice on your real-life drums without making too much noise.
That’s right, you can clip these simple mesh pads onto your drums and will reduce the volume from them by up to 80%.
This is a brilliant solution for those who live in areas where they can’t practice on their kit regularly without disturbing those around them. While the sound will be much quieter, it will still unmistakably be the sound of your real drum.
These mesh pads also have a realistic feel, and you can adjust their tension to make them as hard or as springy as you want.
You can adjust the tension from a single point tuning system. This makes it very easy to get the feel of each pad just right. You don’t even need to detach your regular drum heads, as each pad simply clicks on over the top.
- Each pad reduces the volume of its respective drum by 80%.
- Easy installation and setup.
- Adjustable tension for a more realistic feeling.
- Very expensive.
Practice pads are a great way to hone your drumming skills without disturbing your neighbors or family members.
However, not all pads are built equal and some will be much better for practicing certain skills or techniques than others.
In this section, we will offer some top tips for finding the perfect practice pad for you.
What is the best material for drum practice pads?
Most practice pads will use gum rubber. This material is bouncy enough to provide the equivalent stick rebound of an actual drum head.
Some products may use different grades of rubber to create more varied surfaces. The Drumeo P4, for instance, has four sections. Each section uses a different rubber to emulate the response of drums across the kit.
Rubber is often the cheapest option, and it has the advantage that it takes a long time to wear out.
Remo makes a practice pad that uses an actual drum head for a more realistic feel and response. However, the issue with this is that the head will need replacing after a while.
RTOM makes their pads out of a mesh material, which only works because you can clip them over the top of an actual drum. The advantage of pads made from mesh or actual drum heads is that you can adjust the tension on them.
Lowering the tension will make the pad bouncier and more like hitting a real drum, while making it tighter will help to provide a better arm workout while you are playing.
What is a good size for a practice drum pad?
The size of your practice pad will make a big difference in where you can play it and what it will help you train.
Large pads are great for placing on your knee. With these, you can practice in a car or on your way to a gig. They are also better for placing on a table. The larger surface area will help to stop the pad sliding around.
However, large pads are only really good for practicing basic rhythm or for working out your arms. Smaller pads may seem less appealing at first, but they do come with their own benefits.
Even a product with a diameter as small as 1.75in, like the Ahead Wicked Chop practice pad, can be extremely useful for players.
This is because a smaller target is likely to help improve your accuracy. At first, you will frequently miss the pad. However, with enough time, you will hit it dead center without even looking.
This makes the Drumeo P4 such a great product, since they divide its area into four sections.
Moving between the sections will help a lot with improving your accuracy, speed and control, making it a much better training tool than just a simple pad with one playing surface.
When buying a new practice pad, it is always a good idea to think about what you want to practice and look for a product that will help to address your weaknesses.
How to determine the best practice pad’s durability
Since you are going to be hitting your pad with a pair of wooden sticks for its entire lifetime, you want it to be durable.
Products made with cheap materials such as MDF may be great for a few years, but will need replacing more frequently. You can end up spending more on multiple cheap pads than you would on a single high-quality model.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Drum Practice Pads Work?
A drum practice pad is often simply a piece of rubber stuck to a sheet of wood. It provides a responsive surface for practicing basic beats and rhythms.
This allows you to practice hitting the drum with your sticks in the correct place and with the correct timing, without needing to be near a real kit.
Drum pads are great for musicians who don’t have access to a proper kit all the time, but don’t want to lose their skills through lack of practice. They are nearly silent, and therefore won’t disturb those living around you.
What Drumsticks Are Best For Beginners?
If you are a beginner looking for a practice pad so you can work on your drum skill at home, then you may also look for a beginner’s set of drumsticks.
Having the right sticks will allow you to get much more out of your practice pad, and will make it easier for you when you move on to a full kit.
5A sticks are the most common variety recommended to beginners as a good starting point. They have a medium weight and thickness, which makes them a good choice for beginners who don’t know what kind of stick they prefer.
After you have got the hang of the basics, you can assess whether a different type of stick would help you improve further.