Learning how to play the drums is an exciting yet challenging task - mostly because not everyone has access to their own drum kit 24/7.
You might want to practice your part in the school band without waking up mom and dad, or you might be desperate to scratch up on your skills when touring with your band.
Regardless of how much you might want to practice on a drum kit, you can’t always risk waking up your neighbors or household members. Sometimes, drumming on every surface just won’t cut it. Especially when your drumstick breaks upon impact against the kitchen countertop.
If this sounds like a problem you’re facing, you need a drum practice pad. Often mixed up with electric drum pads that make funky sounds, drum practice pads are designed purely to help the user practice with their skills and techniques. '
The best part? They don’t make much noise and you can use them literally anywhere - a tour bus, the bus to school, your dorm room, or on campus between classes.
We understand the itch to practice your drumming skills, which is why we have found the best drum practice pads on the market to suit every need. We’ve also accumulated a buyer’s guide to help you find the perfect practice pad for you!
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re looking for an all-rounder, affordable practice drum pad, we’ve got you covered. This Lolunut product is a double-sided practice pad that is designed to withstand the impact of drum sticks without making a loud noise. This is a suitable option for both beginners and experts.
This practice drum pad is made of a high-density elastic rubber and shockproof foam, which is designed to resist damage from impact whilst absorbing the hit from drumsticks. This material is both environmentally friendly, odorless, and has an anti-slip finish that prevents your wrists from fatigue or pain.
The structure of this drum pad is made from solid wood, which is designed to stretch the fabric to keep it in place without sagging. This also means that if you accidentally hit the edge, it won’t make a loud noise as with metal.
This practice drum pad also comes equipped with drumsticks and a bag to carry the pad around.
- High-quality - Environmentally-friendly elastic rubber, foam, and solid wood make this a durable drum pad
- Affordable - Ideal for college students on a budget
- Quiet - Non-slip and impact-absorbing material produces very little noise
- Cheap drumsticks and bag - Not the highest quality bag or sticks, most people purchase these separately
Best Practice Drum Pad Kit
If you’re looking for a practice drum pad kit that comes with all of the extra accessories, you’ve come to the right place. Sometimes, it can be a hassle to buy a stand, drum sticks, and other accessories - but this kit comes with it all.
The Donner drum pad is made of high-density elastic rubber, solid wood board, and a polymer mat. Together, these materials make for a durable, hardy, shock-resistant, and noise-absorbing practice pad. The elastic rubber features an anti-slip covering that prevents the wrists from fatigue upon impact.
The standout feature is the add-ons. This kit comes with a snare drum stand that can fit 10” to 14” snares, which is foldable and comes with rubber tips and feet to provide a stable stand.
It also comes with three pairs of drumsticks, a drumstick bag, and a portable backpack that is designed to hold all of the accessories.
- Accessories included - Comes with a snare stand, 3 pairs of drumsticks, a drumstick bag, and a portable backpack
- High-quality pad - Drum pad is made from premium-quality, durable materials that absorb sound and impact
- Affordable - With the accessories, this kit is a money-saver
- Low-quality drumsticks - Reviews suggest the drumsticks aren’t of great quality compared to the other accessories
Best For Percussionists
This 8” practice pad has the most “original” drumming pad design. This is a great option for those looking for a small practice pad - for example if you want to practice on your commute or between classes when you don’t want to take up too much space. However, some might find the size to be tricky to practice properly on.
This is a good, bog-standard option for beginners and advanced drummers alike. It offers the feel of a real drum with the distinctive “bounce”, which can also be used mounted on a stand or your lap. With a protective rubber bottom, this pad won’t scratch or slip against the surface it resides on.
The standout feature for this practice pad is the tunable feature. The ability to tune the dream head to your liking is what makes this ideal for percussionists.
- Original design - Classic practice drum pad design
- Tunable - Drum head can be tuned, which is ideal for percussionists
- Protective rubber bottom - Can be mounted or safely used on another surface without scratching or slipping
- Small - Some might find the size difficult to practice techniques on
Best Practice Pad Bag
This is an affordable and high-quality bundle for both beginner and expert drummers alike. The standout feature of this bundle is the premium-quality drum bag.
Made from Oxford fabric, this is a waterproof and highly durable bag that is designed to protect your drum pad. It also comes with a pair of 5A drumsticks, which is a bonus.
This drum pad is a lightweight, double-sided pad made of a non-toxic rubber that offers the “bounce” of a drum set, whilst providing a texture that prevents slipping.
The other side features a softer rubber material that doesn’t offer as much of a bounce, but it’s nice to have the choice between the two.
This drum pad bundle also comes with Audiobook and Ebook versions of a beginner’s guide to drumming.
- Premium-quality bag - Oxford fabric is waterproof and durable to protect the drum pad
- Double-sided - Pad features two rubber textures for different drumming feels
- Bundle - Comes with bag, drumsticks, and an online beginner’s guide
- Dampening strips not for pad - Dampening strips include din bundle are for real drums, not practice pads
Best For Wrist Workouts
Some drummers will want a practice pad that offers the feel of a real drum, which is exactly what this product offers.
The Vic Firth practice pad features two sides made from different materials to offer a different feel - one side has a hard black rubber surface that offers a faster rebound and more noise, whilst the other has a soft rubber that is shock-absorbing and ideal for strengthening wrists.
This practice pad can be mounted on a snare stand or played on a surface like a table or lap. Due to the double-sided feature, this is an ideal pad for those looking to strengthen their wrists and therefore improve their technique - which is why it is often preferred by drummers in rock bands.
This isn’t a bundle kit, so drumsticks, bags, stands, and other accessories must be purchased separately.
- Double-sided - Different materials offer different feels for techniques
- Good wrist workout - Soft rubber material is ideal for strengthening wrists
- High-quality - Ideal for rock drummers, beginners, drummers in orchestras, and more
- Just a pad - Accessories are not included
The Most Surfaces
This is the most unique-looking practice drum pad on our list, and for good reason. This impressive product features four playing surfaces on three different levels, which is what makes this pad stand out from other pads.
Drummers don’t just hit the heads of a drum kit. This pad is designed to simulate the feel of every aspect of a drum kit, from the cymbals to the rim. Sure, you’re going to have to focus on your aim when hitting a particular surface, but this is the ultimate all-in-one practice pad.
The blue zone simulates the rebound properties of a tom, the black zone simulates a snare, the gray zone simulates a stagnant tome, and the red zone simulates the feel of a ride cymbal. This is ideal for those who want to improve their speed and creativity with drumming.
- 4 surfaces - Different surfaces simulate different aspects of a drum kit
- Improves speed - Encourages drummers to develop their speed
- Improves creativity - Allows drummers to be creative with a pad and drum kit
- Expensive - Quite pricey for beginners and those on a budget
Best For Beginners
The final product we recommend is a bog-standard, box-ticking practice pad that offers everything a beginner would need. This is a versatile practice pad that offers four different playing surfaces to help beginners to develop their techniques with different feels of a drum kit.
The top surface is made of silicone rubber that simulates the feel of a snare drum. The bottom surface is a hard neoprene material that resembles a tighter snare with less rebound.
A conditioning surface is included, which can be inserted for a silent sound to strengthen the wrists. A laminated surface can also be inserted to offer a loud volume for drummers to develop their accuracy.
- Four sides - Double-sided pad with two inserts allows for complete versatility
- Box-ticker - Great option for beginners who want to practice everything
- Lightweight - Easy to carry and transport
- Expensive - Quite pricey for budget beginners
Best Drum Practice Pads Buying Guide
What to look for in a drum practice pad
There’s no point buying a practice pad if you don’t like the feel of it.
If you’re a beginner who is reluctantly buying a practice pad with little motivation, you’re not going to get anywhere with a cheap pad that is poorly designed.
Some practice pads are double-sided, which is a bonus. Some even come with inserts for more surfaces, which is even more of a bonus.
Whilst the pads with versatile surfaces might seem pricey, consider how much you can do with these pads. They are designed to simulate different drum kit feels and rebounds, which will only improve your creativity, speed, and technique over time.
The whole point of a practice pad is to avoid the noise of a drum kit. Why bother getting a cheap practice pad that is noisy and not shock-absorbing?
If you’re wanting to practice late at night or on your morning commute, everyone will appreciate some quiet.
Technically, you only need a practice pad if you already have your own drumsticks and snare stand. However, some affordable bundles make the shopping experience much more convenient, as they can include snare stands, drumsticks, bags, and more.
Bags are an essential accessory to keep the pad safe whilst providing convenient storage and portability for you. Try to get one with a handle if you’re one to carry lots of bags and things at the same time.
Best Drum Practice Pads - FAQ's
Can you learn drums on a practice pad?
Practice pads are a brilliant way for beginners and experts to practice their drumming skills. Some pads will offer more surfaces than others, which simulates the feel of a real drum kit.
Sure, a practice pad won’t teach you how to play a drum kit if you’ve never sat behind a drum kit, but they are great for developing rhythm and understanding the rebound feels.
It’s worth noting that practice pads won’t offer the same sounds as a drum kit, in which case, you’re more likely to benefit from an electric drum pad that simulates the sounds of a real drum kit. Practice pads, as the name suggests, are purely for practice without noise.
How can I practice drums without drums?
The best way to practice drums without drums is with a drum practice pad. These are designed to simulate the rebound and feel of a drum kit without the disadvantage of loud noise.
You can also get creative with drumming on pillowcases and other surfaces, but to understand the rebound of a real drum, a practice pad is the best way to go.