Updated: May 24th, 2021
Practice makes perfect, and this little but essential pad is one of the best ways drummers, whether beginners or pro, can repetitively work on and perfect their drumming skills. It would be best if you had a drum pad to practice silently, improve your accuracy, and effectively develop your drumming skills those times when a real kit is neither available nor practical.
The drum pad is played conveniently by either mounting on a drum-stand or placing it on your laps. You can use a metronome to track your progress, and when you are at a loss on what to do with your practice pad, you could check online for drum rudiments.
Depending on your interest in drumming and your level of expertise, different grades of drum pads are available. However, we have ensured that the best drum pads designed for real drummers are reviewed below to make choosing the right one less confusing.
A Quick Look at Our 5 Best Drum Pads:
- Best Overall: Evans Realfeel 2-Sided Practice Pad
- Budget Option: Movement Drum 12-inch Practice Pad
- Best Full Option: Drum Workshop Go Anywhere 5-Piece Set Practice Pad
- Best Drum Pad Add-On: Gibraltar Gbdp Bass Drum Pad
- Best Electronic Option: Alesis Sample Pad Pro
Evans Realfeel 2-Sided Practice Pad
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Movement Drum 12-inch Practice Pad
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Drum Workshop Go Anywhere 5-Piece Set Practice Pad
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Gibraltar Gbdp Bass Drum Pad
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Alesis Sample Pad Pro
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Evans Realfeel 2-Sided Practice Pad – Best Overall
- A high-quality silent practice pad
- 2-sided with good rebounds
- Durable with a real feel
- Sturdy design with an environmentally-friendly rubber material
- Fits inside a standard 12-inch snare basket
- Gum rubber surface quickly gathers dust
- No drumsticks included
The pad has an adequate thickness, and the gum rubber’s response to the drumsticks resembles what you would get from actual toms and snare. Its softness helps you keep your stick control and rudiment practices as noiseless as possible without disturbing the neighbors. Unfortunately, there is no hole to mount it, so you can either place it on the tabletop, carpet, your laps, or inside a standard snare basket during practice.
The flexibility saves you the cost of buying a stand. Though quite heavy, the pad is durable and portable enough to be transported from place to place.
Movement Drum 12-inch Practice Pad – Budget Option
- An elegant, well-made practice pad
- Light and easy to carry around
- Recommended for beginner and pro drummers
- Four easy to change surfaces make it versatile
- Rim adds extra sounds to the routine
The drum pad is light, weighing only about 5lbs, and a great gift for a drummer friend. It is a sturdy premium–quality product with a terrific visual appeal. The natural feel and the responsiveness of the pad make it worth the price. When dirty, the drum pad can be easily wiped clean with a wet towel or a baby wipe.
Drum Workshop Go Anywhere 5-Piece Set Practice Pad – Best Full Option
- Replicates a real drum set
- Sturdy with a good rebound
- Portable and simple
- Allows you to practice specific beats in the absence of a drum kit
- Easy to assemble
- No bass drum pedal
- The stand may be sold separately
The Go Anywhere set comes with quality pads and can always be expanded with extra units to meet your needs and preferences. Its responsive rubber pads have a natural rebound and are similar to the snare, floor tom, tom, and cymbal. Two 10-inch units are positioned to emulate the floor tom and the snare drum while two 8-inch pads act as cymbal and mounted tom.
There is no bass drum pedal included in the set, so you will have to purchase it separately. The practice drum kit can be folded away when not in use and is very versatile. It is entirely adjustable and has a fantastic build quality.
Gibraltar Gbdp Bass Drum Pad – Best Drum Pad Add-on
- Great price
- A stable and durable practice pad
- Good rebound
- Superior design and easy to assemble
- Helps you practice your pedal control
- Not completely silent
The unit features high-density rubber, and so has much more bounce. Although it is not a silent practice pad, it does not produce sounds loud enough to disturb others. It is a very functional piece, making it ideal for practice at odd hours, such as nighttime.
With the Gibraltar drum pad, you can master your double bass and pedal techniques quietly and at a low cost. The practice pad can accommodate single and double bass pedals. It is also an excellent add-on for a dual bass drum set-up. Three large spurs provide stability and help secure the GBDP on carpeted surfaces, enabling it to withstand repetitive and forceful banging.
Alesis Sample Pad Pro – Best Electronic Option
- Features 8 responsive dual-zone pads
- Excellent connectivity through USB, Midi, TRS input and output
- Over 200 pre-loaded sounds with room for custom sounds
- Can hold a 32GB SD card
- So much crosstalk, but can be reduced by lowering sensitivity on the faulty pads
- May require a firmware update routinely
With well-illuminated edges, the Sample Pad Pro is fun and easy to play at all times. It features eight thick rubber pads that can be expanded to include a kick pedal and a hi-hat. The different connectivity options allow you to synchronize external sounds with this drum pad, making it most suitable for studio and live show use. It is an excellent product that helps you replicate the sounds live, with better performance quality.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Practice Drum Pad
As a drummer, you need to continually perfect your skills or acquire better techniques to remain good at what you do. A drum pad is one of the ways to help you achieve this feat. But not every drum pad would do. Below are some factors you need to consider to make an informed decision on what drum pad is most suitable for your use.
Size: Practice drum pads are in sizes ranging from 6 to 12 inches. The size you choose to purchase depends on where you will need them more. If you practice at home, a 12-inch pad is most suitable. It can easily fit in a snare basket just like a real drum set, unlike the smaller sizes. However, it may be heavier and less portable to carry about.
Level of drumming: If you are a beginner drummer or are buying for a child, you may want to start with cheaper priced drum pads if the interest is being developed. However, you can start looking at the double-sided pads and those with more than two surfaces as you progress. They may be more pricey, but are worth every penny, and have better rebound and resemble the standard drum set.
Silent Performance: One of the most important reasons people even consider drum pads is that standard drum sets are very noisy. You cannot practice on your drums all day long without annoying or infuriating your neighbors with the loud noise. Since not all drum pads are as noiseless as we want them to be, make sure you look for an almost quiet model, regardless of where you are practicing.
Sound Quality: Your drum pad should produce sounds and rebounds that feel like your real drums. Some models come with more than one surface, allowing you to experience different rhythms from units such as snares and toms. If you have money to spare, you can always buy a complete set of drum pads like the DW Go Anywhere kit.
Drum Pad Types
There are two main types of drum pads: the electronic and the practice drum pads. They are useful for learning the rudiments of drumming, building your technique, and improving your speed. It is usually in the form of a round rubber/mesh pad with a rebound that attempts to imitate a real drum. The rubber options are louder than the mesh alternative but produce similar sounds.
On the other hand, electronic drum pads can be used to practice and add some variety to your sounds. They come with different pre-loaded audio files, and you can always sync them up with apps and external devices for new sounds. They often feel quite realistic and are more often than not categorized as drum machines.
Researchers from Waseda University, Japan, believe that “additional practice after reaching a task performance plateau is important for the consolidation of a new internal model.” And drum pads, which replicate drumheads, give you that option of continuous practice and convenience. You get to achieve your dreams of becoming one of the prolific drummers of all time quickly.
Practice drum pads are necessary when you have close neighbors or live with parents and partners since their design makes them much quieter than the acoustic option. These drum pads also help you practice your drumming techniques when you are on the go since it is impractical to move about with a standard drum set. As a professional drummer, you might want to learn new tricks on the pad before playing in front of an audience. Even if you own an acoustic or electronic drum set, these sampling pads can unlock new possibilities.