Practice drum pads are a great way to improve your drumming techniques without making a lot of noise. They are great for when you are on the go, or you just want to run through some songs without disturbing people in your house. Some drum pads are made from mesh, while the majority of practice drum pads are made from a rubber or plastic material. They come in different shapes and sizes and are meant to replicate snare drums and tom-tom drums. Some models will come with drumsticks and a stand, but for the most part, anyone buying a practice drum pad already has these things, so don’t worry too much if your practice drum pad comes without them. In this review of the best drum practice pads, we’ll go over the 5 best products in various categories, including best overall practice pad, runner-up for best drum practice pad, best drum pad for professionals, best practice pad for beginners, and we’ll provide you with an economical option if budget is a concern. Finally, we’ll provide you with a buying guide, so you know what to look for in your next drum practice pad. Let’s get to it.
Best Drum Practice Pad
Runner-up for Best Drum Practice Pad
Best Drum Practice Pad for Professionals
Best Drum Practice Pad for Beginners
Best Economy Practice Pad
The Drumeo P4 practice pad is the most comprehensive drum pad on this list. Not only does it offer several drum practice pads in one, we think it looks really cool too. It offers four pads that simulate both drums and cymbals. This type of practice pad can help you develop a great deal of consistency in your drum playing because it provides more than one surface to practice on. Of course, when you try to put more than one practice surface on a drum head, you get smaller practice surfaces. Still, though, we like that it offers versatility for practicing drummers. The pads are elevated at different levels, which provides a more streamlined playing experience. The practice pad is made of several materials to mimic playing a real drum set: one surface is a gum rubber that represents the snare drum, one surface is a hard neoprene that represents the hi-tom drum and a floor tom. The very top practice pad is meant to represent the ride cymbal and feels like a hard Kevlar ® playing surface. Weighing only 3.9 pounds, this practice drum pad can go anywhere you do so you can practice your drums with ease. With the various levels of practice, it is easier to move from the practice pad to the full drum kit. You can practice on all four pads, or use one to perfect a certain technique. This practice pad has everything a drummer could need, and it’s great for drummers of all skill levels because it makes a great introduction to the drums for beginners, and provides a robust training surface for experts and professionals. It’s our choice for the best drum practice pad on the market because of its versatility, variety of drumming materials, and the unique raised levels that provide a realistic experience.
With such a great drum pad taking the first place in our drum practice pad review, it was hard to choose a worthy runner-up for the best drum practice pad, but we found our winner in the Vic Firth Double Sided Practice Pad. This model offers two sides of practicing ability; so while it is not two drums pads on one side of the practice pad like we see in the Drumeo, this is the next best thing. One side offers a soft rubber so you can practice on the drum pad quietly, and the other side is made from hard rubber which provides an intense drumming routine. The dense wood base provides you with an authentic feel while practicing the drums, and you’ll appreciate the ability to practice on one side for a while, then flip over to practice on the other side. The Vic Firth practice drum pad measures 12 inches across and can be placed on existing drum heads, on tables or individual stands, or you can rest it in your lap. For the best experience, while practicing, it is best to attach the practice pad to an existing drum head, but the choice is yours. It is blank on one side and gray on the other side. This practice pad is a little bouncy when you hit it with drumsticks, but heavier weighted drumsticks might do the trick to stop that from happening. And of course, if bounce is what you are after, there’s no need to go out of your way to find drumsticks that will change that experience for you. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic practice pad and a great option for drummers who want variety in their practicing.
Choosing a drum practice pad for professionals requires several things: a good sized practice pad, made from high-quality materials, and focus. While multiple drum pads are great for the average drummer, professional drummers can get more out of practicing on dedicated practice pads, like the Evans 2-sided practice pad. One side is made of hard Neoprene, and the other side is made from gum rubber. It weighs only 3.5 pounds, so it’s easy to move around and travel with from show to show. It measures 12 inches in diameter, and that offers a large playing surface. You can attach it to your standard snare drum, and it will mimic the standard snare for easy practicing and perfection. The side with the rubber provides a good rebound feeling and the harder side provides realistic drumming workouts. This practice pad is wear-resistant and will last a long time, meaning you only need to invest in it once, and you are good to go for years to come. Even though the Vic Firth also has two sides, we like the Evans model better for professionals because of the extensive history of drumming experience that the manufacturer has; professionals will appreciate the attention to detail in the Evans 2-sided practice pad. This practice pad features “RealFeel” technology, developed and manufactured by Evans. For their quality and consistency in the drum world, we’ve chosen the Evans 2-sided practice pad as our pick for the best practice pad for professionals.
Turning our attention to a drum practice pad for beginners, we like the Remo Gray Tunable Practice Pad. While it is a great entry-level drumming pad, it is also good for the more experienced drummer; and the experienced drummer will appreciate the quality and consistency from the brand Remo. It offers a good bounce and feels like you are playing a real drum. This practice pad measures 8 inches in diameter, so it’s a little smaller than the other practice pads on this review list, but it’s great for tabletop use, attaching to your drum kit, or placing it on its own stand. The Remo practice pad is coated to simulate real drum playing, and it has a rubber bottom so that you don’t slip or ruin your tables, stands, or existing drum kit. We reviewed the 8-inch model from Remo, but you can also get this practice pad in 6 inch, as well as 10 inches. Get all 3 and you can set up a lifelike practice space in no time. Because this practice pad is tunable, you can adjust the sound and resonance you get from the pad. Mostly though, it provides control over how quiet your practice pad can be. This practice pad from Remo weighs less than 2 pounds, so you can throw it in your backpack with some drumsticks and practice your drumming techniques anywhere you go. For its tunability, size, and the fact that it comes from such a respected drumming brand, the Remo tunable practice pad is our pick for the best drum practice pad for beginners.
For those drummers or wannabe drummers who are searching for an economical practice pad solution, look no further than the Tosnail drum practice pad. This bright blue practice pad measures 12 inches in diameter and is virtually silent, so you can practice in silence without disturbing those around you. We like the Tosnail practice pad as our choice for the best economy practice pad because this is the only model on the review that comes with drumsticks, so it has extra value added in, even though it’s quite affordable. One side has gum rubber to practice on, and the other side has sponge fabric to stop it from moving on you when you practice your drumming. It weighs less than 4 pounds, so it’s the heaviest practice pad on the list, but for an economy model, it is not a deal breaker. You can attach this practice pad to your existing drum kit, but it works great in your lap, or on a tabletop as well. The body of the practice pad is made from wood, and you can use the side of the practice pad to get the additional feel and practice experience. It’s a no-nonsense drum practice pad, and it’s our choice for the best economy practice pad on the market today.
Choosing the right drum practice pad for you depends on a number of things; first and foremost, your level of drum playing. If you are a total beginner, a drum pad is a great way to learn the ropes and get some technique under your belt before investing in a larger drum set. If you are a professional or play drums on a regular basis, then you know the importance of practicing off the kit to perfect your techniques on the drum kit. Because drum practice pads are quiet, they are great for practicing the drums when you don’t want to disturb others, and while they range in quality and affordability, they offer a great deal of opportunity to improve your drumming techniques. Here’s what you should look for when you are heading out to buy a practice drum pad.
One of the first things you want to consider in buying a drum practice pad is how much practice surface do you need? If you are just starting out, you might want to try a smaller practice pad, and later upgrade to something larger. If you have some drumming experience, getting a more robust practice pad, like the Drumeo multi-level drum practice pad could provide you with a chance to get more experience on a pad that has a small footprint, but offers big value. If you have 8” drums, get 8” practice pads. If you have 12” drums, get 12” practice pads. The closer you can get to the drum kit you have, the more realistic your practicing will be.
Harder neoprene surfaces will provide little to no bouncing effect and provide a more realistic drumming experience and workout; while softer gum rubbers will give you lots of bounce and opportunity to perfect rolls and more. If you are unsure of the kind of materials you need in your drum practice pad, consider buying a practice pad that has dual sides. Usually, one side is harder than the other to give you options with your practicing. As for the body of the practice pads, some are wood; some are plastic, some are metal, and so on. If you don’t have a preference, wooden drum pads tend to be less expensive.
What Do You Want a Practice Pad For?
You should know that investing in a practice pad will not replace a drum kit or even a real drum. They are meant to be practiced on, not played. So if you are investing in a practice drum pad, ask yourself what you need it for. Do you want to practice rudimentary drumming? Do you want to perfect a certain technique? Do you just like hitting the drum pad while you watch television? Do you want to get better at timing or rolls? When you know why you want to buy a practice drum pad, you are more likely to get the kind of drum pad that you need. If you head out to buy a drum practice pad thinking “I just need something to practice on”, you might get the wrong kind of practice pad, and your technique won’t ever improve.
How Many Practice Pads Do You Need?
In thinking of why you want to buy a practice pad, think about how many you think you need. If you want to simulate an entire drum kit, then the Drumeo is your best bet. If you want to accumulate drum pads over time, then starting with a double-sided drum pad, like the Vic Firth, provides you an opportunity to try out different drum pads over time and decide which ones you like for yourself. Your best value is found in a drum pad that has at least two sides because then you don’t have to spend money unnecessarily to get more practicing options.
Where Will You Set Up Your Practice Pad?
If you plan to attach your practice drum pads to your existing drum kit, make sure you get the appropriate sizes to match; otherwise, you might experience slippage during practice. If you intend on practicing on the kitchen or dining room table, then be sure to get a practice pad that has anti-slip materials. If you get a double-sided practice pad, they usually have anti-slip materials on both sides. If your practice pad is single sided, then make sure there is something on the other side to keep it in place. If you plan to practice in your lap, know that playing in your lap doesn’t provide the best experience, but it is possible to get some work done that way. Slipping isn’t really an issue if you play in your lap, but what will matter is the size of the practice pad. Too small, and you’ll find it hard to get work done. Too large, and you’ll be fiddling with the practice pad more than actually practicing on it.
Choosing a drum practice pad is a personal thing for drummers. You might go through several evolutions and iterations of practice pads in order to find the one that suits your style and needs. If you are a new drummer, use our buying guide to help you determine your needs and what to look for in a great drum practice pad. Remember that at the end of the day, the drum practice pad is meant to provide you with practice time; it’s not meant to replace your drum kit. Be sure to balance your practice pad time with your drum kit time, and over time, you’ll notice an improvement in your technique and the effort you require to get the results you want. When you're ready to buy a practice pad, check out our top pick for the best model we found, the Drumeo multi-level practice pad. It’s got everything you need to improve your drumming, and it’s great for drummers of all playing levels. Use one level or use all of them: the choice is yours. Whatever you decide, the important thing is that you are working on improving your drumming skill. Investing in improvement is always a worthwhile endeavor for any musician or aspiring musician.