Gear Review: Evans RealFeel Drum Practice Pad

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With a busy work and class schedule, I don’t always have time to go to the studio. And well, sometimes 40 minutes of practice on my Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set can seem like a lot of work after a long day. Sometimes, I just want to put my Evans drum practice pad on my coffee table or lap and practice rudiments while watching Netflix or Hulu. Hey, any practice is better than none.

Why I Went With an Evans Drum Practice Pad

This was my first drum purchase after my first lesson. I was recommended an Evans practice pad by my drum teacher and also by the awesome staff at Guitar Center in Hollywood, California. The only difference in recommendations was that I was told a 6-inch pad was also a top contender for beginners as well, however, I went with the 12-inch pad.

Naturally, one of the first things you want to do after several lessons is learn a song. Sometimes the hard part isn’t learning the music, it’s sounding good. Trust me, I’ve done enough repetition to know a song but when it comes to playing with music through the PA, I’m wondering why I don’t sound… as good as the song. I know I’m not Ronnie Vannuci Jr. or Matt Helders, but I had to have a sit down with myself and go back to the basics—stick control. Thankfully, the practice pad will get me where I need to be.

Evans RealFeel 2-Sided Pad – 12 inch

The Soft Side

When practicing on the drum pad, I usually go for the soft side. About 70% of my drum pad practice time is spent here. So why this side? It’s softer and gives a realistic stick rebound feel. And no, you won’t feel like you’re hitting a snare. The realistic rebound is mainly about getting your technique perfected. Making sure you’re holding the stick right (keeping the fulcrum open) and not relying on hitting so darn hard and straining your forearms is going to make all the difference when learning. I like this side for practicing rudiments — single and double stroke rolls. This is where I feel like I’m developing technique. Repetition here doesn’t give me much fatigue. I can tell I’m getting faster here.

The Firmer Side

Okay, I definitely need to spend more time on this side. The firmer side has less rebound for a better workout. If you’ve developed a strong technique and are hitting faster and harder, this is a good workout for you. Also, practicing a song here is underrated. You’ll definitely hear each stroke here (this is where I practice accents). Open hi-hats and accents kill me when learning a song, so knowing I’m hitting lightly and hitter a bit harder for an accent is helpful.

Sound & Quality

evans drum pad
Photo Courtesy Allison Johnson

I still think hitting my electronic kit makes more noise. The soft side is pretty quiet. (For reference, I use Vic Firth American Classic Sticks.) This won’t annoy any neighbors or anyone in your household. Okay, maybe if they’re sitting next to you trying to watch a movie it’ll be a bit annoying, but your roommate or parents won’t hear you hitting this in the middle of the night. Also, I let a few people borrow it. Unfortunately I had a friend straight up just sit this on concrete one day (ugh), but I don’t see any wear and tear on it. Thank God.

Final Verdict

Evans is the only brand I’ve used for practice pads, and well, I’m not in the market for a different one anytime soon. Even my friends were impressed. I don’t have any cons. It’s pretty lightweight and easy to travel with to and from class. And honestly, I might make this a travel essential if I’m flying anytime soon. It’ll be a great way to kill time at the airport! I highly recommened this practice pad to anyone. Whether they’re a beginner or pro, it’s nice to have a quality drum practice pad that’s easy to travel with for warm-ups or practice.

Photo Courtesy Sam Ash

**All products are independently chosen by American Songwriter editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

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