If you’re a drummer and you don’t use a practice pad, you’re missing out big time. Having a practice pad is absolutely essential if you want to take your drumming to the next level. That being said, a drum practice pad doesn’t have to be expensive to be quality. I personally own about four practice pads, but that’s because I have used them, worn them out, and have seen from my own experiences which ones stand the test of time.

Why Should I Use A Drum Practice Pad?

Practice pads play a vital role in your practicing regamin. Not only do they allow you to work your chops and learn new licks, you can practice virtually anytime and anywhere. Back in college, I would keep my practice pad in my backpack playing and practicing licks and rudiments between classes and in my dorm room.

You can use headphones with a metronome, your favorite music, while listening to a podcast, etc. It’s really up to you, how you practice. It’s important to remember that not every drum practice pad is designed the same. You need to be aware that some provide almost too much rebound to be realistic. This can lead to bad technique issues when you transfer back to real drums. Some drum practice pads will wear out faster than others, leading you to purchase a new one.

This article is for drummers of all ages. We have spent a ton of time and have meticulously reviewed tons of drum practice pads and have made a curated list of what we believe are the best pads available. Read further to see our top picks and find the best drum practice pad for you.

Best Drum Practice Pad – Quick Comparison

Let’s get on with it. The table below is a quick list of our top rated drum practice pads. Feel free to check these out here or keep on reading to get a more in-depth review of each practice pad.

Evans 2-Sided Practice Pad, 12 Inch
Editior's Choice
Drumeo P4 Practice Pad - The Best Drum Practice Pad On The Planet
Remo RT-0008-00 8" Gray Tunable Practice Pad with Ambassador Coated Drumhead
SJC Custom Drums JDPP10 Josh Dun 12" Practice Pad
Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Pad
Vater VCB12D Chop Builder Double Sided Practice Drum Pad
Evans 2-Sided Practice Pad, 12 Inch
Drumeo P4 Practice Pad - The Best Drum Practice Pad On The Planet
Remo RT-0008-00 8" Gray Tunable Practice Pad with Ambassador Coated Drumhead
SJC Custom Drums JDPP10 Josh Dun 12" Practice Pad
Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Pad
Vater VCB12D Chop Builder Double Sided Practice Drum Pad
-
-
-
-
-
-
$30.51
$65.99
$20.99
$54.99
$36.99
$48.04
Evans 2-Sided Practice Pad, 12 Inch
Evans 2-Sided Practice Pad, 12 Inch
-
$30.51
Editior's Choice
Drumeo P4 Practice Pad - The Best Drum Practice Pad On The Planet
Drumeo P4 Practice Pad - The Best Drum Practice Pad On The Planet
-
$65.99
Remo RT-0008-00 8" Gray Tunable Practice Pad with Ambassador Coated Drumhead
Remo RT-0008-00 8" Gray Tunable Practice Pad with Ambassador Coated Drumhead
-
$20.99
SJC Custom Drums JDPP10 Josh Dun 12" Practice Pad
SJC Custom Drums JDPP10 Josh Dun 12" Practice Pad
-
$54.99
Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Pad
Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Pad
-
$36.99
Vater VCB12D Chop Builder Double Sided Practice Drum Pad
Vater VCB12D Chop Builder Double Sided Practice Drum Pad
-
$48.04

Which Drum Practice Pad Should I Avoid Like The Plague?

[alert type=red ]Some practice pads are not practical and you should not waste time with these.[/alert]
Sale
CB Drums 4288 Drum Practice Pad
See this drum practice pad? Avoid this type of pad at all costs! These are literally the worst types of practice pads you can give a beginner drummer when starting out. I had one of these. It came with my rented snare drum when I was in the forth grade. Why do they even make these? They are absolutely terrible. You won't any sort of real feel from these types of pads. They are designed to go on top of your snare drum and noise is still a problem with these.

Evans 2-Sided Practice Pad

Sale
Evans 2-Sided Practice Pad, 12 Inch
  • 12" diameter
  • Neoprene on one side
  • Gum rubber on one side

A Quality Drum Practice Pad

Like many drum practice pads we will see in this article, the Evans 2-Sided Practice Pad fits perfectly into any snare drum stand, so you can stand while you play or remove your snare drum from your kit to practice. You can also rest it on top of your snare drum for quick shed sessions while your band is tuning up.

In Use

This practice pad has a large playing surface and a nice grey finish. It’s durable to any kind of weathering and will last for years to come.┬áThis side of the practice pad seems to be suited more to a marching snare drum as far as rebound feels. It’s very bouncy. When you flip the practice pad over, there is a hard, rubber black pad that is good for practicing rebound strokes. This material doesn’t rebound quite as well. It’s great for practicing licks that would be suited for a loosely tuned snare drum or tom. Using this side of the practice pad can help build arm strength and endurance.

Pros
  • Both sides of the practice pad provide value for practicing rudiments and chops.
  • Excellent size that is perfect for travel and fits nicely in a snare drum stand.
  • Very affordable for a high-quality drum practice pad.
Cons
  • The pad may have a bit of a chemical smell that results from the type of glues used and the wood planing process.
  • Some users have had issues with the pad not being fully glued down to the particle board.
  • This practice pad in particular is a little heavy. Not a huge concern for me.

Drumeo P4 Drum Practice Pad

Drumeo P4 Practice Pad - The Best Drum Practice Pad On The Planet
  • Four unique playing surfaces on three levels.
  • Simulates the feel of actually moving around the drums.
  • Great for developing your speed, control, and creativity on the drums.

Editor’s Pick

When you’re playing drums, you don’t just hit the heads. Sometimes you may play on the rim, the cymbals, or even the side of your floor tom. Why should this change when we go to practice? Drumeo’s P4 Practice Pad has addressed this issue with perfection.

Drumeo’s P4 Drum Practice Pad is the Editor’s Choice for this curated list. Not only does this pad allow you to practice your chops and rudiments, you get four different zones of play area.

In Use

The large blue section acts as your traditional practice pad, emulating the feel of a snare drum. One level up on the left is a hard black rubber designed to emulate a high tom. It is more responsive and has a bit more bounce than the blue section. Moving the right is a white surface that is designed to feel more like a floor tom – much less responsive than the other two pads thus far. The final orange pad on top is very hard and is meant to emulate a ride cymbal or a hard kevlar drum head typically used for marching snare drums. Drumeo is the only company that makes a drum practice pad this versatile, which is why it is our Editor’s Pick.

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • Contains four different playing areas that emulate different pieces of the drum kit.
  • Pad will fit on any standard snare drum stand.
Cons
  • The Drumeo practice pad is a bit expensive for a beginner.
  • Despite the different playing surfaces, playing a full drum set is still going to be much different.

Remo Tunable Drum Practice Pad

Remo RT-0008-00 8" Gray Tunable Practice Pad with Ambassador Coated Drumhead
  • The perfect tool for the beginning drummer, but also great for the advanced drummer to maintain his or her chops
  • Features the bounce and feel of a real drum
  • Can be mounted on a stand for upright playing and has a protective rubber bottom for non-scratch/non-slip table top use
  • Available in 6", 8" and 10"

The Classic Design

This is what I consider to be the “OG” drum practice pad. I’ve seen so many of these things at schools and in practice rooms that it’s not even funny. If you’re a drummer, you probably know how awesome Remo is and why you should use their drum heads. ­čÖé

In Use

Remo’s Tunable drum practice pad isn’t my favorite, but it does offer one interesting advantage over the others. With Remo’s pad, you have the ability to tune it to the tension of your liking. This sounds awesome… on paper. In practical use, this function is absolutely useless to me. I found myself just leaving the pad as is and I never touched the tuning on the pad. I never felt like it actually did anything. It doesn’t respond like an actual drum anyways.

This practice pad is extremely small, and that isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for me. I actually believe it’s a good practice to play on a surface that is considerably smaller than your regular drums. It will work your accuracy and you will hit in the center of the drum more often.

Overall, this drum practice pad is just outdated to me and I’m not the biggest fan of it.

Pros
  • Drum head is tunable.
  • The pad is very easy to mount on a stand and sits nicely on a table, desk, etc…
  • Perfect pad for beginning players.
Cons
  • Practice pad is very small.
  • Very outdated compared to other brands.

SJC Custom Drums Josh Dun Practice Pad

SJC Custom Drums JDPP10 Josh Dun 12" Practice Pad
  • Twenty One Pilots design with "Hit here as hard as you can" Josh Dun quote
  • 10" durable rubber playing surface, 12" total diameter
  • Single-sided practice pad

A Fan Favorite Practice Pad

Twenty One Pilots are arguably the biggest duo and act in the world currently. Why not use a drum practice pad from two of the greatest role models to come out in the last few years?

This drum practice pad is made from an awesome custom drum company called SJC Drums. It features twenty one pilots branding and is 12″ in diameter with a 10″ playing area. The pad is designed very well and is right there with the Drumeo practice pad as far as quality is concerned.

The Josh Dun practice pad is single-sided, so you won’t get all the features of the other pads. If I had to pick a practice pad purely based on design, this one would be the winner. If someone in your family is a drummer and enjoys the music of twenty one pilots, this makes the perfect gift for any occasion.

Pros
  • Beautiful design.
  • Very high-quality materials
  • Solid build.
Cons
  • More practical for fans of the band than actual drummers.
  • Single-sided practice pad.

Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Practice Pad

Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Pad
  • he Heavy Hitter Stockpad features a 3/16" thick gum rubber pad mounted to a 12" sturdy wooden base.
  • This pad gives the player a more accurate feel of a snare drum or marching tenor/bass drum.
  • It's the perfect size and weight to throw in a backpack for the drummer on the go.
  • 4 mil mylar laminates for the HH Stockpad are also available, giving the player more articulation and a more accurate feel of a plastic-headed drum.

The Marching Practice Pad

Vic Firth makes quality products. I proudly endorse the company and always have been happy with the sticks they make. The Heavy Hitter Slim Practice Pad is ideal for drummers who are on a drumline or love learning DCI chops and licks.

This drum practice pad is surprisingly light and portable. When playing, it’s far more articulate than some of the other practice pads I have played. Just like many other pads on this list, it is double-sided. On one side, you get a hard rubber pad that is extremely articulate. The other is a soft gummy rubber that is both quieter and gives a bigger rebound.

I found, like a lot of the other practice pads, that this one is just too bouncy to be perceived as a real drum. It’s kind of a characteristic of drum practice pads that we just have to deal with. There’s really no good way to emulate a real snare drum, unless you’re playing a real snare drum.

Pros
  • Great build quality.
  • Very portable.
  • Double-sided.
Cons
  • Hard rubber side can be very loud.
  • Design colors are a bit ugly.

Vater Chop Builder Practice Pad

Vater VCB12D Chop Builder Double Sided Practice Drum Pad
  • Vater Practice Pad
  • Double Sided
  • 12 Inch Diameter
  • Vater Chop builder 12 Inch Double Sided Practice Pad.

A Good Runner Up

Vater’s Chop Builder Practice Pad is an excellent quality product and is one of my many drum pads that I use on a regular basis. I used to love using their sticks as well, but found that there tends to be a bit of a quality control problem. Many pairs of sticks often were warped and not pitch-matched. Regardless, that doesn’t necessarily mean the pad is bad!

Like the Evans Reelfeel drum pad, this is basically the exact same design. You get a double-sided practice pad that has very similar materials. In my opinion, this drum practice pad beats that one on colors and design alone! Unfortunately, it is a bit more expensive for basically the same product.

Pros
  • Great looking design.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Double-sided.
Cons
  • A bit on the expensive side.
  • Very similar to many different practice pads.

What Makes A Good Drum Practice Pad?

No matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, advanced, or seasoned professional, you need to practice. You have to dig out the practice pad and clean out the cobwebs. Whichever drum practice pad you pick, it has to be one that you want to play and one that you enjoy playing.

The Feel Of The Practice Pad Matters

When you pull your practice pad out and start playing, your practice pad almost needs to inspire you! If you have no drive or motivation, there’s no way a poorly designed drum practice pad is going to get you to play more. Most of the practice pads on this list feel good when you play them. Just don’t buy the one that looks like a squished top hat.

Keep The Noise Down

If you’re living somewhere were noise levels are a premium, you’re going to need a drum practice pad that is both portable and quiet. All of the practice pads on this list that have a soft, gummy top will be quieter. This includes the Evans, Vic Firth, SJC, and the Vater.

Portability

Whether you’re in the airport or moving class to class, having a drum practice pad that’s small and portable is key. If you’re carrying a laptop, books, and other things, the last thing you want to lugging around is a heavy practice pad. It will sit at home and you’ll never practice. I know this, because I’ve experienced it.

Our Best Drum Practice Pad

Drumeo P4 Practice Pad - The Best Drum Practice Pad On The Planet
  • Four unique playing surfaces on three levels.
  • Simulates the feel of actually moving around the drums.
  • Great for developing your speed, control, and creativity on the drums.

Drumeo P4 Practice Pad

What’s the best drum practice pad? We have chosen the Drumeo P4 Practice Pad as our Editor’s Choice. It has the most versatility by far and offers the most value for your money. While it is on the more expensive side, you’ll get a lot more out of it and will use it for years to come.

Comments or Questions?

Please share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you about what practice pad you are using and if this review helped you.

If you’re ready to up your game to an electronic drum set, check out my review of the best electronic drum set for entry-level players.

Posted by Mike Williams

Mike Williams is an accomplished studio/touring drummer and percussionist who has played with many national bands. In addition, he is also a record producer and mix engineer.

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