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Practice New Techniques on the Best Practice Drum Pad

  1. Aquarian Quik-Bounce Practice Drum Pad
  2. DW Multi-Surface Practice Drum Pad
  3. Sabian Quiet Tone Snare Practice Drum Pad
  4. Evans Real Feel 2-sided Practice Drum Pad
  5. Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Pad
  6. Buyer's Guide

A practice drum pad can be a wonderful tool in developing technique and speed while at the same time allowing a drummer to practice anywhere, and not worry about making a lot of noise. A practice pad looks like a thick drumhead that a drummer can hit to simulate the feel of playing on a real drum. Most drum companies have their signature practice pad available in multiple sizes. Usually the sizes range from 6-12 inches. The most common pad surfaces are rubber, plastic, and an actual drumhead. However, it’s important to note a practice pad is only a tool for practice and not an acceptable substitute for an actual drum. While practice pads are great for practicing stick control exercises and speed building workouts, they cannot improve sound production.

Recently companies have been making practice pads with multiple surfaces to simulate the feel of playing on different types of drums; for example, snare drums feel different than tom toms and often require different techniques. Therefore, some of our picks have multiple surfaces on one side while others are double-sided with a soft surface on top and a hard surface on the bottom. Most rubber surfaces are soft and are good for speed building.

It’s important to note some soft pads aren’t designed to feel like a real drum, but rather are designed to help build better technique. Hard plastic surfaces are good for simulating the feel of a marching snare drum or cymbals. The actual drumhead surface does a great job of simulating an actual drum and can often be tuned to different tensions.

A drummer should have several pads for practicing different techniques. It’s preferred to have multiple surfaces on a pad so one can practice multiple techniques in a given practice session. Another hallmark of a good pad are mounting options for cymbal pad stands. I usually prefer 6 inch double-sided pads for gigging. They are small and don’t take up a lot room in my stick/hardware bag. Small pads are perfect to have for a pre gig warm-up backstage and you’ll usually want to keep larger practice pads in your studio at home.

We chose these best practice drum pads in 2022 for their responsiveness, drum-like feel aimed at helping you build better technique, they offer multiple playing surfaces to simulate different drums, and their overall durable construction ensures each pick will last you many years.

Best Practice Drum Pads of 2022 Reviewed in Detail

Aquarian Quik-Bounce Practice Drum Pad - Best Practice Drum Pad Overall

Aquarian’s Quick-Bounce practice pad is the smaller version of their Tru-Bounce practice pad which has the same realistic feel of the Tru-bounce but less expensive. Its smaller size also makes this pad easier to fit in your stick bag or hardware case. The Quick-Bounce has a neoprene surface that has a very realistic feel for rolls and other rudiments. It’s not overly bouncy like other pads and evens responds to soft playing.

I often encounter the problem of having to switch between different practice pads for different exercises so I can accurately hear what I am playing. However, when using the Quick-Bounce, I don’t have to change pads. It has a realistic feel and response at any volume or speed of playing so you can use this pad for practicing drum set techniques as well as classical and rudimental drumming. It can be mounted to an 8mm cymbal stand for easy placement while practice sticks and some instructional studies are included with your purchase.

DW Multi-Surface Practice Drum Pad - Runner Up

DW’s 12” multi-surface 3-way pad has three different playing surfaces. One side has a foam surface that is mean to build strength, making it great for stroke exercises and accent building. The other side has split soft and hard rubber playing surfaces; the soft rubber simulates the feel of drums while the hard rubber is meant to feel like the surface of cymbals. I like to practice drum set patterns on this side because it gives me a more realistic feel. The 12 inch practice pad can be mounted on a snare drum stand or can simply be placed on top of a snare drum. DW has always made the highest quality products, and this is one of the best practice pads featuring multiple surfaces for more effective practicing.

Sabian Quiet Tone Snare Practice Drum Pad - Honorable Mention

The playing surface of the Sabian Quiet Tone Pad feels very close to that of an actual drum. The playing surface is an actual drumhead and can be tuned to be tighter if needed. I like this pad because it the closest thing to playing an actual drum while remaining very quiet at the same time. The Quiet Tone also has rubber feet so you can place it on top of your snare drum for warm-ups. Since this pad has a real drumhead, it can also be used to practice a limited amount of brushwork. Available in 10 and 14 inch model, I recommend the 14 inch because it fits perfectly on top of most snare drums and doesn’t move around when played.

Evans Real Feel 2-sided Practice Drum Pad - Consider

The Real Feel pad is probably the most popular practice pad because it does a great job of warming your hands up quickly. The RF6D features a soft side and a hard side with the soft side being a bit softer than an actual drum and great for building strength. I usually use the soft side for pre-gig warmups because it is quiet and can even be played on stage. The hard side is great for practicing rolls, because it makes me work hard to get my own rebound. There are larger sizes available, but I like this 6 inch model because of the small size so you can even fit it into a stick bag if needed.

Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Pad - Best Practice Drum Pad

Vic Firth’s Heavy Hitter Slim Pad is the best practice pad for simulating the feel of a marching snare drum. Slim Pads are perfect for high school students looking to practice their drum line/ marching music at home and beneficial to drum core drummers and college marchers as well. Very well made and durable, this practice pad features a very thin rubber surface to simulate a very hard marching drumhead.

To be clear, this pad isn’t designed for concert or drum set practicing, but rather designed exclusively for practicing marching snare drum. It’s been made to take the beating thick marching sticks dish out. It also has a strong wooden base that will last through many marching band seasons. Traditional drummers can mount it on a snare stand and angle it to their preference.

Buyer's Guide

A practice drum pad is equipment a drummer uses for quiet practice or warm-up before a performance. It is also known as a drum pad and utilized by other percussionists too. Essentially, when you strike practice drum pads, they work by approximating the tension and response of an actual drum head. Additionally, they reduce the rebound on the muscles of the drummer or percussionist.

Types of practice drum pads

There are primarily two types of practice drum pads which percussionists use in various ways, and they come in multiple shapes, sizes, and from different brands. Essentially, you may have to choose between using a plastic or rubber practice pad.

1. The plastic head practice pad

Plastic being a lighter material makes such derived pads more sensitive, allowing a diversity of practice across different sound types and practice styles. However, the downside to the plastic head practice drum pad is that it is louder and less bouncy. As a result, it is not entirely suited for places requiring silence. Additionally, it puts a minor strain on the arm muscles of the drummer because of its diminished rebound factor. But there is a silver lining here since the resistance due to the reduced rebound can help more experienced drummers further sharpen their skills.

2. The Rubber head practice pad

Such practice pads pose a more rebound factor and put less stress on the player's arms, making them an excellent choice for practicing rolls. In addition, they conform more to the noise reduction quality of the practice pads because they are more silent. The rebound quality makes it an excellent choice for beginner drummers.

Four top things to look out for before buying practice drum pads

Before you purchase a drum pad, here are a few things to keep in mind so that you get the best value for your money.

· Portability of the drum pad

If you intend to practice severally and perhaps carry your drum pad, then you might want to consider portability strongly. That way, you will save space and be more mobile with your practice when using a smaller pad.

· The versatility of the sound

The essence of a large variety of drum pads on the market today is to give percussionists a diversity of options to work with since there are many drum types. As a result, the various drum pads are there to sound like multiple actual drum surfaces. Therefore, when buying drum pads, you should aim for those with multiple sounds to feel like you are working with many surfaces.

· Rebound, volume, and assemblage

The rebound helps with the strain on your muscles while you practice. Also, the assemblage helps with the ease with which you package and repackage the drum pads before and after use. It would be best if you cared not to glue the playing surface back to the wood or a pad that sounds so hard that you cannot play it at home.

· Close to quiet performance

Generally, the idea behind using a practice drum pad is to practice anytime and anywhere. As a result, several practice pads are designed to have a close to quiet function instead of being as loud as the standard drum set. Therefore practice pads are not supposed to pose a disturbance for you to use them at will. If you buy a rubber surface drum pad, you should aim for above 80% noise control and a little less if you go for a plastic surface pad.

How to care for your practice drum pads

Routine Care and maintenance are necessary to preserve any equipment, and practice drum pads are no exception. As a rule of thumb, the first part of maintenance and Care is the packaging. By this, you should always ensure that you put the drum pad back into its package or bag after practice. The repackaging process is to limit dust and other particles, especially if it has an adhesive surface. Also, a little cleaning with a damp rag would suffice. Windex provides an excellent surface cleaner for your drum pads. However, it would be best to be careful not to over-clean to prevent wearing off the striking surface.

Pricing for practice drum pads

The price range for practice drum pads varies due to a couple of factors. Things like the surface material, type, brand, portability and versatility, all influence pricing. As a result, the price range of practice pads can range from a low as $15 to $45. There are also the more pricy ones, which are possibly due to branding and possibly shipping costs. However, before buying a practice drum pad, it is essential to do a thorough market survey and match it with your purpose for purchasing a practice drum pad. That way, you stand a better chance of making more informed choices about your purchase.


Q. What should I look for in a practice drum pad?

A. Essentially, one of the most valuable qualities to look out for in a practice drum pad is versatility. You want a pad with at least two sides, one harder than the other and offering varying levels of playing competence. Lastly, you also want a pad that can both stand-alone and can be mounted. That way, you get more value for your money.

Q. Are practice pads worth it?

A. Choosing to buy or not buy a practice pad is q pretty personal decision. As a result, investing in a practice pad can be worth it if you learn and develop different playing techniques. However, they are not necessary for teaching beats and fills.

Q. Can I teach myself drums?

A. The modern age of information explosion makes it possible to teach yourself any skill, provided you are willing to practice, have time and dedication. Therefore, the internet is replete with instructional materials for those who want to take advantage of it. However, if self-learning is not your thing, there is nothing wrong with seeking out a teacher or an academy.

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