Shy of practicing your drums? Parents don't want you bringing the house down? Neighbors complaining? Been there, done that. I've also bought enough practice pads to know the good from the lot. These magical pads help you practice your drums with little-to-no volume. If you're planning to buy practice pads for yourself, know that there's a certain feeling that comes with playing drums and you don't want your drum pads to cloud that feeling. Whether you're planning to practice on top of your snare or get a solo pad to practice in your lap or on a tabletop, we've got you. This guide comprises detailed reviews of 9 excellent drum practice pads of 2021. At the end of this article, there's also a buyer's guide to help you easily make this purchase.
Let's get started and get that ba dum tss going - but without volume this time.
Optimum Drum Practice Pads Worth Considering in 2021
Finding Your Next Drum Practice Pad: A Buyer's Guide
A drum practice pad doesn't have to be expensive to be a quality one.
This means that whether you're a beginner or a professional, both of you can get your hands on the same practice pad and you'll be more than happy!
In this section, we'll review the few things you have to keep a check on when buying a drum practice pad. We'll also be answering a couple of internet's most frequently asked questions about the product in question.
Let's get started!
Can I Make My Own DIY Drum Practice Pad?
If you're running short on funds, it's something you don't want to spend your money on, and you've got an eye and creativity for a DIY, you can easily make your own drum practice pad!
You'll need these materials that you can get within $10:
A round wooden board
A rubber-like material
Just make sure the wooden board is smooth and doesn't have any sharp ends. Once you've got that out of the way, modestly apply glue on it, and paste the rubber over the board. The size of the rubber should be the same as that of the board.
What Do You Need to Avoid When Buying a Drum Practice Pad?
A couple of drum practice pads out there will not be worth your money and time so it's wise to not spend there.
So, if you get a plain rubber pad and just throw it on top of your snare, it's going to do you no good. Your drum will still be loud and the bounce will be terrible. Some sellers out there do compel beginners to buy such pads and they honestly do no good.
When traveling around, we already mostly have a lot to handle - laptop, headphones, luggage bag, a book perhaps. The last thing you'll need is to carry a heavy practice pad with you.
In case you do end up buying a heavy drum practice pad, you'll mostly find it sitting at your home. So, it's better to steer clear of a heavyweight practice pad - aim for portability instead.
If practicing quietly is one of your main concerns then you'll need a practice pad that helps you achieve that. The soft, gummy part of a practice pad is usually what helps you get a lower volume.
The Evans' and Vic Firth's drum practice pads that we reviewed above are particularly the ones with quiet playing surfaces.
The feel doesn't inspire you
If your practice pad doesn't motivate you to get out of your routine, or bed, and play, then you aren't doing it right.
The feel, bounce, response, articulation of your pad should be quick and tight to keep you coming back for more.
Most of the practice pads reviewed above are good-enough feel-wise to have this concern out of the way. We'll suggest you buy double-sided practice pads that have both hard and soft surfaces - it gives players a healthy variation to switch between.
Buy a Solo Pad or a Practice Drum Set?
If you already have a drum kit and you're used to practicing on the kit, and your main goal is to practice with a low volume, we suggest that you get proper muting practice pads and throw them on top of your drums. This will have you playing at a very low volume.
However, if you're an absolute beginner and you're looking for a portable gadget to practice drums wherever you want to, get yourself a solo practice pad. You can place it over your snare or over a tabletop and just use your hands or drumsticks to practice.
If you want to take this up a notch and have a proper stand to practice on, get yourself a complete practice drum pad set that usually comes with drumsticks, a stand, and the practice pad. We've reviewed 3 such sets above - don't forget to check them out!
How Much Do Drum Practice Pads Usually Cost?
The drum practice pads can cost anywhere between $20 and $100. There's no reason to incline towards the high-price side unless you see significant features that you otherwise are unable to get your hands on.
More often than not, the ones you find in the $20 - $50 price range will offer you everything you can expect out of a decent drum practice pad.
People Also Ask
Q: What is the difference between a mute pad and a drum practice pad?
A: While the latter can also serve as a mute pad for your drums, it doesn't do so flawlessly. The former is a rubber pad that you put on top of your drums and as a result, you get little-to-no sound. The latter is a wooden board with a rubber top and can be played individually as well as by putting it on top of your drum. There are also tunable drum practice pads available - we've reviewed one of them above!
Q: Are practice pads worth it?
A: It depends. If you're going to use them to practice more often, they'll turn out to be great to get your hands warmed up for different playing techniques. You can easily just stuff a drum practice pad in your bag, with a pair of drumsticks, and then practice anywhere you want to!
Q: Do drum practice pads make sound?
A: This varies from one pad to another. Some double-sided pads have a different sound response from each side - the soft side is usually quieter and the hard side usually gives out loud volume. Similarly, some pads are tunable and have volume while the other, simple ones have little-to-no volume.
Derek is a professional musician who specializes in percussion and works with the independent WGI group Cap City Percussion. With a Bachelors of Music from Capital University, specializing in Music Industry studies, he consistently finds himself playing and teaching percussion to anyone who has the will to learn. Derek is also a former member of DCI groups Legends (2014-15) and Colts (2016-18); he is also the percussion technician and instructor of the drum line at Olentangy High School. You may find him playing a gig throughout the greater Columbus, Ohio area.