Since the dawn of time millions of years ago, there have been inventions and discoveries that have changed the course of history. Fire, the Wheel, Electricity, The Fender Precision Bass, and the Marshall 100 watt stack, to name a few. It’s not often you get to shake the hand of the man or woman who created one of those.
But if ever we get to meet the designer and inventor of the drum pad, we will buy him a beer. It has become an essential tool for a drummer and can be used in a variety of ways. For some, the best drum practice pads are great for practicing at home for others; they are a way of warming up before a big concert.
So, let’s take a look at some of the Best Drum Practice Pads currently available and find the perfect one for you…
Sabian 10″ Quiet Tone Mesh Practice Pad
This 10-inch practice pad from Sabian is designed to be flexible, and It is also a little different. More on this later.
The flexibility is in the way it can be used. It will fit on to the top of a snare drum on its stand. You can, therefore, practice quietly on your kit. It has rubber feet so it can be placed on a table or any flat surface, allowing you to practice anywhere.
The non-slip rubber feet ensure the pad will not move around as you play. You can even play it with it resting on your lap. Or finally, take your snare drum off its stand and clip the pad in.
It is a very quiet pad, but maybe you can’t call it a pad. The term indicates a firm surface, possibly rubber or some like material.
This has a mesh surface with a metal surrounding rim. The rim is raised slightly as it is on a real snare drum. Therefore rim shots and cross sticking become realistic. The tension is adjustable as on a real snare with lugs, so there is a style of playing options available. All so very positive so far, and at a very affordable price point, this looks an attractive practice pad.
As we see it, there is a potential problem, and perhaps we are being a bit unfair. But being a mesh covering you are striking, is it vulnerable? It is mesh, and so could tear reasonably easily.
You certainly couldn’t use wire brushes as they would snag and tear the surface. It seems like a great idea, and the sound is almost completely silenced as you are not striking a hard surface, which has to be positive. But the feeling is not like the skin of a drum as drum skins are a hard surface.
We can see some real positives in this practice pad, but we can also see some potential
The 12-inch Double Sided Practice Pad
This practice pad from the Movement Drum company has gone out of its way to create the feel of a real snare drum. It has also included some playing options, which are a nice idea, and it has three different playing surfaces over its two sides. It also includes a full rim made of plastic.
This allows you to be able to create a rim shot effect. It is designed for the snare drum and is 12 inches across and comes with two inserts to create different sounds and textures.
It is made of tough silicone rubber. The rubber has two surfaces depending upon which way up you use it. The top is hard and with plenty of the feeling of attack with a powerful rebound. It readily simulates the feel of a snare drum. The bottom is made from a much softer rubber material. It has less attack and is much quieter to use. It is a comfortable surface to work with much less rebound.
The Movement Drum Company recognizes that drummers use their snares in a variety of ways. For this reason, they have included two inserts that create two different effects.
The Conditioning surface is an insert that gives you a covering that promotes technical skills. It has a lower rebound trajectory, which is basically a shock absorber that takes the sting out of the impact of the drum head. It doesn’t cancel all rebound, just enough to give you the chance to work on your technique.
The other insert is a Laminated insert that creates a much more intricate feel. It also has that snap of a real snare drum but at a much lower volume. This insert is ideal for brighter, tighter sound and playing style.
This two-sided pad with its inserts makes a great practice tool, covering as it does, a range of playing styles. It is easy to carry around with you at only four pounds in weight. However, it is a little more expensive than some of the others. But it is a robust hard-wearing pad that gives you options. It could actually be the best drum practice pad because of its variety of uses.
Remo—RT-0000 8’’ Gray Tunable Practice Pad
Remo brings perfection for the beginning drum player. However, this drum pad is also fit for an advanced player to play and maintain his or her playing skills. The bottom of the drum features a protective rubber that keeps it safe from scratching and slipping off tables.
Remo features a versatile design on this model as you can easily mount it on a stand for upright playing while enjoying the bounce and feel of a real practice drum. The beauty of it is that it is available in three different sizes namely; 6, 8, and 10 inches.
There is a whole lot to enjoy from this 1.3-pound weighted practice pad.
Offworld Percussion Invader Practice Pad
This is a unique design drum pad that comes with special rim and black pad. It is a product of the innovative idea that has been on research for years. Unlike other drum pads that tend to break their playing sticks during practice, the rim on the edge of this practicing drum overcomes such experience.
The dark surface of the drum pad is made of high-quality polymer material to give high intense sound. The bottom is also useful for practicing if the surface sounds too loud. Another feature of the base of the drum pad is proper fitness to any surface on which it is placed; it has a non-slipping base. It’s about 5 pounds in weight.
Practice makes perfect and Evans knows that probably better than anyone. The RealFeel practice pads come in three sizes – 6”, 7”, and 12”. This gives you a chance to either save money or have two practice pads with the same feel, with the added bonus of one being portable.
The 12” pad will be the best one to practice your technique on. It has a flat surface and should fit on most standard snare baskets. On the other hand, because of the design, you can also place it on any flat surface when you feel like exercising some beats.
The feedback is quite good but nothing too sensational. You’ll need to be careful and keep a proper posture when you practice, as well as a proper angle with each hit. This will save you the trouble of developing bad habits and carrying them with you to a real drum set.
Now, regarding the feel, both pads have two surfaces. The neoprene surface will give you a tough workout as it is harder and has less feedback. But if you’re looking for a taste of real drumming, the rubber surface might suit you better as it has a stronger rebound.
What are the Best Drum Practice Pads to Buy?
A good quality practical drum pads will not only allow you to work effectively on your technique as a drummer without disturbing the entire neighborhood; it also gives you the freedom to move it from one place to another with ease.
Seeing the huge benefit in drum practice pads, the need to have them as excellent types of equipment for students and percussion ensembles, becomes paramount, since they allow you to isolate your rhythm and stroke from the sound of your drum.
What to look for in a drum practice pad
If you are searching for the best drum practice pad, there are things you should consider. These include:
The perfect size
The size of your practice pad is very important. It should be able to fit perfectly in your hands as well as on the desk where you put it. If as an adult you decided to go with a 6-inch pad, it will limit your ability to play conveniently, as your strokes will largely be limited. A 10 or 12-inch size practice pad will do just fine.
Portability & weight
While most practice pads are available in lighter weight and compact design, it is advisable not to place too much emphasis on how portable the device might be, especially if you are not traveling too much internationally or domestically. A practice pad with a larger surface should be of utmost paramount due to the advantage it offers you during practice, notwithstanding it will take up much space.
Lastly, make sure you take the weight of the pad into consideration. It is no secret that smaller and lighter drum practicing pads tend to create problems of instability during play, as they often move around and slip from their position.
There are divergent views regarding practicing pads materials. Some people believe that it is better to go for a one surface pad design, which will limit you to focus more on the aspect of your playing while keeping you from being distracted by other rudiments/factors. On the other hand, some people believe that your ability to practice on various surface pad materials exposes you to different practice sessions. Whatever the result might be, you just have to decide what is best for you.