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Comparing Top-Rated Drum Practice Pads For All Budgets

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Finding the right practice pad should be easy and straightforward.

Practicing our rudiments and stickings quietly, preferably without spending a ton of money, should be a reasonable expectation.

And if you’re not using a practice pad, you’re missing out big time.

Having an easy way to practice 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.

Best Practice Pads

How we test

Every single practice pad in this guide has been rigorously tested by us to guarantee they are all top-notch. If we think a practice pad is worth the money, we will recommend it.

Evaluation of sponsored products

In some cases, companies will send us products to review. We will always disclose this relationship and provide critical feedback, even on products given to us for free.

Editor’s note: this guide was last updated January 4, 2024

Keeping with our goal of being the most accurate and up-to-date source in the drumming community, we removed a few practice pads from the list that are no longer available and added the Zildjian Reflexx and Prologix Method Pad to the list.

Best Practice Pads – A Quick Glance

The list below is a quick summary of our favorite 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.

  • Best for practicing drum set exercises on the go: Drumeo Practice Pad (read more)
  • Best on a budget: Evans RealFeel (read more)
  • Best for realism: Tama True Touch (read more)
  • Best all-around: Prologix Method (read more)

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 available.

Read further to see our top picks and find the best drum practice pad for you.

1) Tama True Touch Practice Pad (10in)

Tama True Touch Practice Pad

Our recommendation

The Tama True Touch is the best practice pad for drummers who want great feel, along with a realistic snare wire sound

Tama’s True Touch Training AAD Snare Pad offers a new standard in dynamic expression and articulation for practice pads. This 10-inch pad features a tunable 2-ply mesh layer with a raised hoop, so you can play both regular hits and rim shots.

It also has a unique construction that feels almost like you’re playing a real snare drum. As a result, the Tama True Touch Training AAD Snare Pad is an amazing practice pad that offers a realistic playing experience.


  • Real-sounding snare to an extent
  • Excellent stick response
  • Tune-able mesh material for feel adjustment


  • Design is a bit overkill
  • Louder than other pads
  • Pricey for a practice pad

What Retailer to Buy From?

2) Zildjian Reflexx Conditioning Pad (10in)

Zildjian Reflexx Conditioning Pad

Our recommendation

Zildjian’s Reflexx is the best practice pad for drummers living in apartments or shared living spaces who cannot make a lot of noise and want to build their chops

This is one of the best pads I’ve used to date. I’d had my eye on the Zildjian Reflexx practice pad for a while, and it’s definitely on the pricey side. I figured we needed to include it on this list for a few reasons.

The pad is incredibly silent on the Reflexx side. It’s by far the quietest pad I’ve ever used. My girlfriend tends to get annoyed by my tapping and will use her AirPods. She didn’t notice me playing while I was evaluating.

The FLEXX surface has a medium rebound and feels like a regular practice pad, albeit, with a little less rebound than a traditional silicone practice pad.

The WORKK surface has a much higher resistance and far less rebound. It feels somewhat dead, but forces you to use good technique when playing at elevated tempos. You’ll notice a big improvement by playing doubles with a metronome on your arms, wrists, and finger muscles.


  • Great feel
  • Perfect for working on strength and chops
  • Double-sided
  • Available in multiple colors


  • Pricey
  • Made for a more advanced drummer

What Retailer to Buy From?

3) Innovative Percussion CP-1R Black Corps Practice Pad (11.5in)

Innovative Percussion CP-1R Black Corps Practice Pad

Our recommendation

The CP-1R is perfect for drummers who want to practice on a pad emulating a marching snare drum

This snare drum practice pad from Innovative Percussion is a fantastic pick. I used to use mine all the time in college when I was practicing marching snare drum parts for our drumline. The pad measures 11.5″ in diameter and features two sides, one being a harder playing surface than the other.

You probably won’t want to play on the softer side, but it’s possible to use it for a quieter experience.

In addition to just being a practice pad, it features plastic rims, which really simulate that of a marching snare drum. The pad is lacking beads, that make some marching snares emulate the sound of the drum, but it does feel like a Kevlar drum head while playing, making it perfect for practicing marching percussion parts.


  • A two-sided practice pad
  • 11.5″ in size is much smaller and portable than larger practice pads
  • Plastic rims make it possible to simulate rim shots and clicks


  • The pad is a little more expensive than others
  • It tends to be a little louder than other pads
  • The pad is a bit heavy to lug around

What Retailer to Buy From?

4) Evans RealFeel 2-Sided Practice Pad (12in or 6in)

Evans ReelFeel 2-Sided Practice Pad

Our recommendation

The Evans RealFeel is the best practice pad for beginner drummers on a budget

Evans’ double-sided practice pad has long been a great choice for all drummers. The pad is affordable and feels great while playing.

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. 

This 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.


  • Both sides of the practice pad provide value for practicing drum 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


  • 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

What Retailer to Buy From?

5) Drumeo P4 Practice Pad (12in)

Drumeo P4 Practice Pad

Our recommendation

The Drumeo P4 practice pad is great for drummers who want to practice their drum set hand work on the go

The most unique practice pad on our list is the P4 from Drumeo. The pad features four different playing surfaces that emulate a traditional drum set.

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. 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.

Drumeo P4 Practice Pad

Moving the right is a grey surface that is designed to feel more like a floor tom – much less responsive than the other two pads thus far (it’s also the quietest, so you can use this part of the pad late at night).

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 we love it (there are even rip-offs of this practice pad on Amazon).


  • 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


  • 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
  • Some of the playing surfaces are fairly loud

What Retailer to Buy From?

6) Remo SilentStroke Tunable Practice Pad (8in)

Remo SilentStroke Tunable Practice Pad

Our recommendation

Ideal for concert percussionists, recommended by many professors at universities across the US

Remo’s Tunable practice pad is great for concert percussionists working through snare drum excerpts and practice books like Stick Control. The pad features tension rods that can be tuned like a regular drum.

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. If you’re a drummer, you probably know how awesome Remo is and why you should use their drum heads. 🙂

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. That being said, it is a nice choice for concert snare drummers, who are potentially working on excerpts from a repertoire for a orchestra audition.

It provides a rebound that doesn’t seem too far off from a snare drum and buzz rolls feel very realistic.


  • Drum head is tunable
  • The pad is very easy to mount on a stand and sits nicely on a table, desk, etc…
  • Perfect practice pad for concert percussionists


  • Practice pad is very small
  • Very outdated compared to other brands

What Retailer to Buy From?

7) RTOM Moongel Workout Pad (7in)

Our recommendation

For drummers who want to build wrist strength and speed (we suggest using in combination with another practice pad)

The next entry on the list is a unique one. While most practice pads are incredibly responsive and bouncy, this practice pad does just the opposite.

The Moongel Workout Pad features almost no rebound, making it perfect for those working on wrist strength and diddles.

The RTOM Moongel Workout Pad encourages using full wrist motion with a playing surface that features almost zero rebound. If you’ve ever tried practicing rudiments on a pillow before, you’ll know what to expect.

RTOM’s workout pad is 7″ in diameter, is super quiet, features a base plate with a screw for mounting, and builds chops quickly. Because many practice pads are bouncy, it’s often easy to rely on bounce-strokes to pull off rudiments and diddles at quicker speeds.

While you can get away with this on a practice pad, when applied to a drum kit, for example, this is rarely the case.


  • Having little rebound works your fingers and wrists
  • Great for developing speed, strength, and chops
  • Perfect practice pad for concert percussionists


  • New model may be bouncier than past, limiting the effect
  • Not ideal for beginners

What Retailer to Buy From?

8) Prologix Percussion Method Pad (10.75in)

Prologix Percussion Method Pad

Our recommendation

For drummers who want an awesome dual-sided practice pad, made in the USA

The Prologix Method Pad measures 10.75in and features two playable sides. One side features the traditional green Logix surface, while the other side has the Midnight Vortex recycled rubber surface. The pad is mounted on an MDF fiberboard base.

The two different surfaces offer unique playing experiences. The traditional green Logix pad is slim and bouncy, providing a comfortable feel. On the flip side, the Midnight Vortex recycled surface produces a slightly clickier sound, good for use with marching sticks.

The Method Pad is made in the USA and is a perfect choice for any drummer who wants a pad with a unique design.


  • Dual-sided practice pad
  • The green, natural rubber provides an awesome snare feel
  • Excellent for beginning drummers learning rudiments


  • Simple design
  • Fiber board is a little cheap

What Retailer to Buy From?

9) Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Practice Pad (12in)

Vic Firth Heavy Hitter Slim Practice Pad

Our recommendation

Perfect for drum corps and marching percussion

The Heavy Hitter Slim practice pad from Vic Firth is one of the best marching snare practice pads. It’s great for drum corps players, but misses the mark with no inclusion of a rim.

The Marching Practice Pad

Vic Firth makes quality products. I proudly endorsed the company when I was touring 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.


  • Great build quality
  • Very portable
  • Double-sided


  • Hard rubber side can be very loud
  • Design colors are a bit ugly

What Retailer to Buy From?

10) Vater Zero Pad (11in)

Our recommendation

Vater’s Zero Pad is the best all-around drum practice pad

A Good Runner Up

I love my Zero practice pad from Vater. It feels wonderful to play and is a joy to practice with.

Vater’s Zero Practice Pad is an excellent quality product and is one of my many drum pads that I use on a regular basis. Like the Evans Realfeel drum pad, this pad has a similar design. You get a single-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.


  • Great looking design
  • Excellent build quality
  • Double-sided


  • A bit on the expensive side
  • Very similar to many different practice pads

What Retailer to Buy From?

Why should you use a practice pad?

Practice pads play a vital role in your practicing regimen. Not only do they allow you to work your chops and learn new licks, but you can also 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.

How to make your own DIY practice pad

If you don’t have the funds to buy your own practice pad, you should consider making your own.

All the materials required to make one are relatively cheap and can be found at most Dollar stores.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cheap round cutting board
  • A soft rubber-like material
  • Super glue

You could most likely scavenge around your home or apartment and find something that would work.

Watch this video Drumeo.com put together on how to make your own practice pad.

Another sort-of-DIY practice pad I still use all the time is just hitting a mouse pad on a desk. Try it; you’ll be shocked at how well it works!

Avoid these types of practice pads

Some practice pads are not practical and you should not waste time with these.

Don't use these types of practice pads; they look like they're made from rubber and sit on top of a snare drum.

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 fourth grade. Why do they even make these?

They are absolutely terrible.

You won’t get 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.”

Practice pads vs drum pads

Also, be sure never to confuse a practice pad with an electronic drum pad. While they can look similar in nature and can perform similar functions, practice pads don’t have the ability output sound to a PA.

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 where you need to be quiet, you’re going to need a drum practice pad that is both portable and silent. All of the practice pads on this list that have a soft, gummy top will be quieter. This includes the Evans, Vic Firth, Prologix, and the Vater.


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.

What about practice pad drum sets?

Practice drum sets are becoming more and more popular with both touring musicians and drummers who need to keep the noise down. While less expensive than an electronic drum set, practice pad drum sets offer a great means for working your skills on the kit.

Drum Workshop makes a practice kit called the Go Anywhere. Similar to a traditional practice pad, the drum kit variety usually features a set of pads that are arranged in a similar fashion to a regular drum set.

The pads can be re-arranged to fit your feel and acoustic drum setup. This practice pad kit does not come with cymbals or hardware for said cymbals, so you may have to invest in additional stands and practice cymbals to get the full experience.

Donner also sent me a hybrid practice pad drum set, which you can read about here. It features built-in practice pads under the heads and low-volume cymbals. You can also switch the pads to the off position, to play it like a normal acoustic drum set.

Our Favorite Practice Pad

What’s the best 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. It feels great to play, and we personally love it. 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.

You really can’t make a mistake when buying a practice pad. All the choices we have listed function ideally and will help you become a better player.

The thing is… you have to use it.

No single pad will help you achieve faster. It all relies on you, as a player, putting the hard work in by practicing regularly and correctly.

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.

Nick Cesarz

Nick is a drummer, percussionist, and blogger from Milwaukee, WI. He toured extensively with Vinyl Theatre, opening up for acts like twenty one pilots, Panic! at the Disco, and more. Now no longer touring, his passion lies in gear and playing the kit as much as time allows.


  1. Good information! Have you ever tried the OffWorld Darkmatter practice pads? I am a 20-year veteran of marching percussion, and the Invader V3 has probably the most realistic feel of a high-tension snare drum I’ve ever felt. Never suffer from pad hands, and it makes you work for every note. Check them out if you haven’t yet, may change your mind!

    1. Thanks for the info, Scott! I actually used to have an OffWorld practice pad back in college (2008ish, I think maybe have been an Invader, actually!). I’m happy you reminded me about them… Will have to go back in and add a little blurb about their pads!

  2. Have you checked out Groovpad? They’re hard to find, but I just saw on Amazon.com … Also found them on Gigpadmusic.com
    They have really accurate snare drum like bounce super quiet and bendable and double sided.
    I heard about them from Kelly Clarkson’s drummer Randy Cooke.

  3. Could you tell me which sticks you have pictured under the “Excellent For Practicing Marching Or Drum Corps Music” heading?

    1. Hey David. I can’t remember the exact model, but they are made by Cooperman! They make excellent sticks for concert percussion. They are either the Fastick or Mike Rosen model.


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