When I first started learning how to play the drums, I was worried that I would cause such a racket in the beginning that my roommates would kick me out of the house. However, being so new to the game, I thought that the only way to practice and get good at playing was to do everything on my drum set.
Best Drum Pads To Opt
Fortunately for my own sanity as well as the ears of everyone in the neighborhood (and my house), I was shown a better way by a friend of mine who also plays the drums. Instead of making a huge ruckus on your drum set, why not use a practice pad? These handy devices allow you to play to your heart’s content without making a lot of noise. That way, you can get your technique and handling down without creating any enemies.
With that in mind, I looked online to find a high-quality practice pad. Fortunately for you, I found seven.
The first pad that we’re going to look at is the double-sided practice pad from Evans. What is nice about this particular model is that it is much more versatile than most of the other ones on this list because you can use both sides to your benefit. One one half is neoprene and on the other is gum rubber. The neoprene has a better rebound to it and feels more like a regular drum, but the rubber side is excellent if you want more of a workout and want to challenge yourself.
The other good thing about this pad is that it has a large surface area, which means that you can either affix it to a stand or set it over your drum set. That way you can practice your position and drumming for live performances without missing a beat.
- Large twelve-inch diameter
- Durable neoprene on one side
- Thick gum rubber on opposite side
- Fits on a standard snare basket
- Gum creates natural feel
- Neoprene gives you a workout
- Built to last
- In rare cases, the material may not be attached properly
- In some instances, the material may have a strong odor upon arrival
- May not have the best results for some users
Next, we have another two-sided pad from Vic Firth. This is a well-known brand that makes a lot of high-quality music accessories, and this pad is one of the better ones out there. Much like the Evans model, you can utilize both halves to your advantage so that you can not only stay in shape but also improve your handling and control as well. One half of the pad has soft rubber that mimics a real drum, and on the other half, you have hard rubber that will present more of a challenge. Additionally, it has a thick wooden base, so it has a bit more heft to it and feels better overall.
Also like the Evans pad, this model is big enough that you can either set it on a stand or place it over your drums for a more realistic practice session. Because both sides are rubber, it is quieter overall, which can be nice, depending on your practice area.
- Large twelve-inch surface
- Double sided for your benefit
- Soft rubber on one side for easier practice
- Hard rubber on opposite side for a better workout
- Dense wooden base included for better feel
- Built to last
- Fits all standard snare cases
- For professional drummers, it may not have the best rebound
- Edges of the pad may curl in some conditions
- In rare cases, the glue may start to come undone
Our next stop is the Remo RT Tunable Practice Pad. While this particular model is not double-sided, it does have the advantage of being available in three sizes. That way, you can choose to get the size that makes the most sense for your needs. If you want something that is portable, you can get it in a six-inch diameter. For those who want to use it on a stand or covering their drums, the ten-inch version is perfect for you.
What I also like about this particular model is that it has rubber feet so that it won’t slip on any surface. I like to practice on the go, but some pads don’t have this feature which means that they are liable to move around while I’m working. This one, though, stays in place.
- Available in three sizes for your convenience
- Six inches, eight inches, or ten inches
- Available in two different colors: gray or red
- Stand available as well
- Can be tuned for better results
- Ideal for beginners or pros alike
- Rubber bottom for no slip
- Ambassador coated head gives best rebound
- Can be louder than other best drum practice pads
- Only compatible with proprietary stand, will not mount to a different model
- Steel rim can get in the way for some users
Finally, we have the DW Drum Workshop Go Anywhere Pad Set. What sets this model apart from the others is that you get multiple pads and a stand to carry them, which means that you can get a better feel when practicing. The arms are fully adjustable so you can position them to your liking, and the pads all have a great feel and rebound so you can get the best results.
Best of all, the pads themselves are remarkably quiet, so you should be able to do a whole set without disturbing anyone nearby.
- Five-piece pad set
- Stand included
- Ultimate practice tool
- Adjustable arms for better results
- Tripod for better stability
- Natural feel and rebound
- Ideal for full drum set practice
- Quiet results
- Pads may not go low enough for some users
- Although pictured, the unit does not come with a foot pedal
- Can take a while to get the arms adjusted to your liking
5. RealFeel by Evans Practice Pad, 12 Inch
When looking at the pads on this list, this is another version of the one we saw above. However, instead of having two sides for more versatility, this model only has the one neoprene coated half. That being said, it is still a fantastic practice pad, but you just won’t have the option to increase your workout potential.
Otherwise, this pad has one of the most realistic feels of any unit out there, and because it is not two-sided you have a non-slip rubber bottom so that it won’t move if you place it on a tabletop or other flat surface.
As with the other version, you can set this up with a stand or put it on your current drum set.
- Large twelve-inch diameter
- Single sided practice pad
- Gum rubber surface for better rebound
- Feels like the real thing
- Built to last
- Fits any drum stand or tabletop
- Rubber non-slip bottom
- In rare cases, the glue may come undone after use
- If mounted on a stand, it may not last as long as on a flat surface
- Not ideal for heavy duty use
If you’re looking for a practice pad that can take a beating, then I would suggest the Heavy Hitter from Vic Firth. This pad is designed specifically for you to go to town, meaning that it can withstand much more abuse than some of the more delicate models out there. The base is made with gum rubber so you can wail on it and it won’t crack or break.
Also, since it’s so large, you can still place it over your drum set for a better practice session. Best of all, it’s remarkably quiet, so you should be able to work any time of day without disturbing your neighbors or roommates.
- Large twelve-inch base
- Gum rubber for better rebound
- Ideal for beginners and pros alike
- Fits on a stand or a flat surface
- Built to last
- Replicates the feeling of a drum remarkably well
- Pad can be too bouncy for some users
- Edges can feel a bit rough
7. Ultra Portable Practice Pad – Case Included
If you’re like me, then you like to practice your skills all the time, no matter where you are. With that in mind, the Ultra Portable Practice Pad gives you the ability to work on your handling and control wherever you go. Because the pad is so small, you can take it with you in your bag and pull it out whenever inspiration strikes.
What makes this pad so amazing is that it has a sticky side which will stay put on most surfaces.
That way, you can stick it practically anywhere and practice your drum skills and then pull it off and be on your way. The sticky side is washable to preserve its effectiveness, too.
- Compact design is only six inches
- Highly portable to practice anytime, anywhere
- Top side has excellent bounce and feeling
- Bottom half is sticky and mounts to almost any surface
- Easy to reuse by washing the sticky side
- Stays clean and dust-free
- Quiet operation
- Size can be too small for some users
- Sticky side can get annoying over time, especially if you practice in your lap
- Does not give as much bounce as other models
When comparing the different kinds of electronic drum pads, what you have to keep in mind is how and when you want to use it. Some of these are ideal as proxies for your drums, which means that you need a stand or will use them over your current drum setup. However, if you’re like me, you want to practice as much as possible, which means you want a portable pad that you can take with you wherever you go.
With that in mind, my top picks for stationary pads are the DW Drum Workshop CPPADTS5 and the Evans Double-Sided Pad. The size of the Evans model makes it great for overlaying on your regular drums or affixing to a stand. The DW model already comes with a stand, so that’s a huge bonus.
As far as portable pads, I like the Remo RT and the Ultra Portable Pad. They can fit into my backpack really easily, and I can practice my moves practically anywhere.