The 10 Best Drum Practice Pads
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in February of 2019. Every musician knows that practice is essential, but percussion instruments can be loud, bulky, and not very portable, which can make at-home rehearsals a challenge. These drum pads can help you improve your skills without annoying the neighbors, and come in a variety of configurations to accommodate different methods. Some can be used as standalone units and others as additions to a drum kit. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 24, 2020:
Four changes have been made since this ranking was last updated. First is the addition of the Sabian Quiet Tone Mesh, which replaces the previously-ranked Sabian Quiet Tone, and features a new and innovative sound-absorbing skin. We also included the eight-piece Vic Firth MutePP6 which dampens a full kit consisting of two toms, a floor tom, kick drum, snare drum, hi-hat, and two cymbals, and the Rtom Black Hole, which is a drum-mounted mesh dampener that maintains a snare's natural tone and feel, but makes it resonate at a much lower volume. Lastly, we added the Kibaga 12-Inch due to its durable build-quality, double-sided versatility, and good value for money.
While practice pads are still widely used today, especially as a mobile means of practicing chops where space is limited and excess volume is a consideration, the introduction of electronic drum sets has taken this convenience and versatility a step further. These provide realistic-feeling drum heads that can be played through headphones, and can replicate a myriad of drum and percussion sounds by way of triggering samples within the drum module's memory. With that said, those looking for a simple and cost-effective means for practicing at lower volume levels would benefit from one of these pads, whether it's used as a standalone unit, or as an addition to an acoustic kit.
March 01, 2019:
In terms of versatility, the Movement Drum Co. All-in-1 and Drumeo P4 are both excellent choices, providing playing surfaces with varying levels of rebound, volume, and responsiveness. The latter is better for developing the accuracy and dexterity you need to play on a full drum set, but the small surfaces make it less than ideal for marching or drum corps practice. The Sabian Quiet Tone's metal rim, adjustable tension, and coated mesh head give it a feel that's about as close as you can get to the real thing, but its large size and 5-pound weight make it a pain to travel with. If you're just looking for something that will allow you to quietly build your chops, the Evans Realfeel and Vic Firth Double-Sided are both high-quality and affordably priced. An old-school model used in classrooms for years, the Remo Ambassador Tunable has less rebound than a rubber head, but the tension can be adjusted to your liking using a flathead screwdriver. While its plastic rim lets you practice your rimshots, it is very thin and tends to destroy sticks quickly.