Best Bass Drum Practice Pedal Pad: Never Skip Leg Day
The practice is what any drummer needs. Well, you can practice your tom and snare skills with special pads on stands. But what about the kick? Yes, there are practice pads that are way more compact and more silent than the real kick drums, yet they provide the same physical feel.
As for me, the best bass drum practice pedal pad is definitely the one by the famous vendor Meinl, compatible with both single and double kick pedals, providing a realistic feel, and sturdily built while well affordable. Others, though, may vote for different options: some for their portability, some for unusual style, and some for physical properties. What a good practice bass drum pedal pad should be and what’s so special about some of them is the thing to talk about.
- 7 Best Bass Drum Practice Pedal Pads Reviewed
- 1. Meinl Cymbals MDPP Dynamic Pedal Pad: Top Pick
- 2. DW Drum Workshop Steve Smith Bass Drum Kick: Great Value
- 3. Pearl BD10 Bass Practice Pad: Premium Choice
- 4. Prologix Thunderkick Bass Drum Pad: Wood, Foam, and Variable Resistance
- 5. DRUMTOP 1000: So Stylish It’s Extra-Terrestrial
- 6. Evans RealFeel Folding Bass Drum Padding: Great for Traveling
- 7. Gibraltar Gbdp Bass Drum Pad: Cheap and Cheerful
- Buyers’ Guide on Kick Drum Training Pads
- FAQ About Best Bass Drum Pedal Pads
- The Bottom Line: Kick Some Bass!
7 Best Bass Drum Practice Pedal Pads Reviewed
- Akai Professional MPC One
- DW Drum Workshop Steve Smith Bass Drum Kick
- Pearl BD10 Bass Practice Pad
- Prologix Thunderkick Bass Drum Pad
- DRUMTOP 1000
- Evans RealFeel Folding Bass Drum Padding
- Gibraltar Gbdp Bass Drum Pad
While a generic practice pad is a surface similar to a drum head in size and physical feel, being noiseless, bass drum practice pads are quite different. The most important thing about bass drum padding is that they imitate the physical feel rather than the size. Way smaller and more compact, they offer a realistic feel, so you actually feel the rebound while practicing. There are exceptions (for example, a marching bass drum practice pad is held the same way as the real marching bass drum for obvious reasons, for playing with sticks). But for practicing the kick drum a regular drum kit has, these pedal pads are the default.
1. Meinl Cymbals MDPP Dynamic Pedal Pad: Top Pick
Meinl is among the best-known brands that go for practice pads. The one by this German vendor is unusually rectangular in shape, not even trying to imitate the real drumhead visually. Nevertheless, it successfully emulates it physically, providing the same sort of bouncing resistance. As for its acoustic properties, it’s quite low, but your kicks will be heard well enough for adequate feedback.
Compatible with single and double pedals, it also features adjustable height, non-slip spikes on its legs (that do not immobilize it completely, so I had to press it with a barbell plate. Aside from that, it’s a greatly built pad on a stand with adjustable height that maintains it regardless of how hard I hit it. Absolutely recommended, unless you have some problem with fixing it on the floor or carpet (which is absolutely recommended too).
If there is one issue with it, it’s movability. Some drummers cannot make it stand in place, constantly moving it with each hit. Not that it’s a problem of this particular pad, as many others share it. Still, you may have to find some extra devices to keep it still.
- Advanced bass drum pedal practice pad for single or double kick that responds at any dynamic level
- It helps you develop control, independence and feel in addition to speed
- Compact size;
- Sturdy build;
- Name that grants quality;
- Adjustable height;
- Compatible with single or double pedals;
- Very quiet but still well-heard.
- Too easy to move;
- Not always compatible with double pedals.
2. DW Drum Workshop Steve Smith Bass Drum Kick: Great Value
This one looks sturdy! Its massive base seems impossible to move even if you kick it hard with the beater, due to the heavy-duty steel construction. Being about 15 lbs., it’s heavy enough to stand on the floor or on the carpet. At the same time, it’s foldable and easy to transport, if you don’t mind the weight.
In addition, it’s big enough to be played with double pedals, though the pad itself looks surprisingly small on the solid stand. Due to its adjustable height, you can set it up so that you won’t have to readjust your pedal when switching between the pad and the real bass drum.
Not being the cheapest around, it’s yet worth every cent of it. For this money, the manufacturer could have included a manual. Still, anyone with even a little experience in drumming will easily figure everything out. What causes more difficulty is that being quite quiet when the player heels down, makes more reverberating noise when played heel up.
- Steady on any surface;
- Foldable and transportable;
- Big enough for double pedals;
- Adjustable height;
- Premium stylish look.
- Comes with no manual;
- May be rather noisy if you play heel up.
3. Pearl BD10 Bass Practice Pad: Premium Choice
Pearl is, well, quite a name in the drum industry. This Japanese (and recently American as well) brand creates that premium feel that comes from all its products, including these seemingly minor devices. The practice kick pad by Pearl is a sturdy metal construction looking like a little billboard with extra support.
The pad is compatible with various pedals – though not with all of them, as the practice shows. For some double pedals (like Pearl Powershifter), it’s just too small; for most of them, though, it’s large enough.
As for the sound it makes, it’s just what one should expect from a practice pad for a kick drum. Quite distinct and well heard for a drummer, virtually unheard for the rest of the world. The only exception is some rattle which Pearl engineers failed to extinguish, so in some items, it’s heard distinctly (though it depends on your floor coverage and your manner).
- Formulated for extremely low noise and realistic feel
- Universal fit compensates for different floor surfaces
- Great realistic feel;
- Extremely sturdy build;
- Ready for various surfaces;
- Recreates the feel of Pearl kick drums.
- Not compatible with some double pedals;
- Some rattle reported.
4. Prologix Thunderkick Bass Drum Pad: Wood, Foam, and Variable Resistance
That’s one unusual pad! While all the others show off the win-win combination of metal and rubber, this one is made of wood and foam. It’s also very unusual in its low profile, so it’s not raised over the pedal like other pads, but stays way lower. This means you will have to mount the beater to the pedal in a special way to have it aiming properly. The reverse beater is included. Alas, it cannot be used with double pedals.
As for acoustic properties, wood (Baltic birch, used for many musical instruments) and foam provide both great physical feel and silent (maybe, even too silent) response. There are two foam inserts that emulate various resistance, depending on which side up you install them. One side of the insert is rubberized, another is pure foam.
Lightweight and compact, it’s one of the easiest ones for practicing on the road. It causes no rattle (due to its construction with as little metal as possible), it stands firmly due to the rubber pad on the bottom, and it works great both with Prologix practice kits and those by other vendors. The price is justified by its uniqueness.
- Two interchangeable pad inserts provide you with a variety of resistance options that replicate the tension and pitch of a large or small acoustic bass drum.
- Each pad insert features a unique density having a medium or firm feel on one side and a low volume, softer feel on the opposite side.
- Attracts attention;
- Has all it takes;
- No parasite sounds.
- Unusual construction;
- Rather expensive;
- No double pedal support.
5. DRUMTOP 1000: So Stylish It’s Extra-Terrestrial
Very traditional in its idea, this kick drum practice pedal pad looks like a masterpiece of an alien industry. Though the round shape of the 10-inch pad itself is very logical when seen next to other drum pads, it’s shockingly unlike all the analogs we’ve reviewed before. Resting on a heavy-duty steel base, it’s hard to move. It’s worth noticing that this metal base causes no rattle.
When it comes to using, it’s perfectly compatible with double pedals, as well as with single ones. The sound it provides is rather low and soft, easily heard by the drummer, and not annoying for the rest of the world.
If you are unlucky, you may run into a piece that needs constant retightening. Don’t be afraid to call the support and claim for replacement. Those with decent items (including my friend who let me experience its feel) are very satisfied. Given its affordable price, it’s a reasonable purchase.
- DRUMTOP BASS DRUM KICK PAD IS DESIGNED FOR YOUR DAILY, MUTED BASS DRUM FOOTWORK PRACTICE - This is not a digital trigger for electronic drum kits. See installation guide video below on this page
- THIS BASS DRUM PEDAL PAD FEATURES A 10-INCH DIAMETER PAD, allowing you to mute your single or double bass pedal, and recreating a bass drumming experience that feels very authentic
- Unusual look;
- Sturdy feel;
- No rattling;
- Great for double pedals;
- Realistic price.
- Some items are defective and unstable;
- The shape might seem excessively smooth.
6. Evans RealFeel Folding Bass Drum Padding: Great for Traveling
The foldable practice pad by RealFeel (in fact, by Evans, and in reality – by the famous string maker D’Addario) is the one that you will gladly take on whatever trip you plan. Training is the process that should never stop for lack of equipment. This pad is easy to fold and pack due to its well-thought-of construction.
When unfolded, it’s quite a regular kick drum pad. It may seem too fragile, but no, the construction stands firmly on the floor or on the carpet. You will only have to tighten the arm that supports the pad itself. If you attach a pedal with a good grip, you will experience no problem with its moving at all. As for its sonic abilities, the response is neither too loud nor too quiet. The pad itself is large enough to work with double pedals.
According to D’Addario’s philosophy, the item is quite affordable. The only serious drawback of this model is its low adjustability. The height is fixed, so it will lead to the necessity to readjust your pedals and beaters when switching from it to the actual drum and back. Given its price and other virtues, though, it’s quite forgivable.
- Bass pedal practice pad with collapsible construction
- Gum rubber surface for a realistic rebound
- Lighter and more portable than others;
- Double pedal compatible;
- Foldable and great for traveling;
- Sturdier than it seems;
- Very affordable.
- May need some screwing around.
7. Gibraltar Gbdp Bass Drum Pad: Cheap and Cheerful
When you look at this 10” kick drum practice pad, you may feel it’s a DIY item by some enthusiast who was not satisfied with any previous one. Its round shape may remind of a disassembled speaker, and the arm looks sort of bare and non-adjustable but sturdy. Only the logo on the rubber reveals that, in fact, it’s manufactured by a well-known manufacturer of affordable accessories. Therefore, the look is quite deceiving.
But if it’s the sound and the feel that you’re really interested in, it’s okay. The surface provides a realistic rebound, similar to the real drum but a bit softer (due to air channel design), and the 10” diameter allows for using double pedals.
The item itself is rather lightweight at 6.8 pounds, so it can move while training (though this occurs very rarely). Two screws for fixing are provided. Or you may choose a bulky pedal to attach it to. By the way, the design inspires some users to further DIY explorations: some even turn it into a trigger to make their kick drums electronic. It’s far from perfect, but certainly very decent, especially given its budget-friendly price.
- Double pedal compatible;
- Very affordable;
- Underground style;
- Upgradable in unexpected ways.
- The feel is weaker than with the real drum.
Buyers’ Guide on Kick Drum Training Pads
After reading any bass drum practice pad review, you might feel like: is this what I need? Maybe I should choose another one that is not that pricier? Or, on the contrary, why pay more? Do I need one at all? Maybe, real rehearsals, plus gigs, plus a bit of gym will do the work?
How to buy the best bass drum practice pad?
Here are some aspects you should pay attention to in order to get the kick drum practice pad that will provide you with the possibility to benefit from the practice. This means more than just its training virtues but also some others.
You often need a bass drum pad when you have no access to your real drum kit but do not want to lose your shape. It may be when you need to leave your town for a reason that’s not gigs. A vacation, a business trip, a visit to your family, and so on. A pedal pad, given its small size and weight, is easy to take with you, along with the pedal itself. But they differ by this parameter. Some are still larger and heavier than others. Some are foldable, while others are not. Decide for yourself whether you’ll need the pad at home or away. In the latter case, you’ll need a more portable one.
Though these pads are never as loud as the real kick, their volume still varies. In addition to the kick sound itself, muted as it is, you should also mind the rattle if there is any. Alas, some otherwise great models may rattle when used in your circumstances and behave perfectly at your friend’s.
If you have to practice kick drum playing without the actual kick drum, you may be surprised when trying your manner on a real drum after a break. First of all, you will need an adjustable height. If you play with a double pedal, you need to make sure that the pad is also compatible with doubles.
How to check your bass drum pad?
Well, it should be checked under the same conditions that you intend to use it under. In the perfect world, you should take it to where you will use it, take the pedals you plan to play it with, check the sound, check the stability, check the comfort, and check whether you will have to adjust your pedal for it and readjust it for the real kick drum.
FAQ About Best Bass Drum Pedal Pads
As clear as it is about using this type of accessory, there are still many aspects to shed a light on. If you are in the very beginning of your drummer career, there are some things to make clear right here.
What is a bass drum practice pad?
As I’ve said, it’s the piece of effective resistant material you operate with the pedal. It imitates the physical feel of a bass drum but makes little to no sound. This pad is a good training machine when accompanied by a metronome and a set of other practice pads (like, say, a snare practice pad). With these and some stands, you can assemble a good practice setup.
Do I need a bass drum practice pad?
If you want to maintain your shape as a drummer, and you have no access to your drum kit for a long time, you definitely need it. With a drum training pad, you will keep your legs and feet fit.
How do I choose a bass drum practice pad?
First of all, it should fit your manner. Single or double pedal? How high is the beater from the floor? What’s your posture while playing? Choose the one that fits all the mentioned criteria the best. If you choose between multiple options, choose the most adjustable, so later you’ll be able to personalize your training experience if necessary.
What do I need along with a bass drum training pad?
The list includes:
- The pedal. It would be perfect to use the same pedal that you use with the real kick drum. Otherwise, try to get a similar one.
- Other training drum pads. Of course, they will, in their turn, require the same sticks that you will use while playing a real gig.
- A metronome. It’s an absolute must when you’re practicing alone. You can also use your favorite tracks, but in fact, they will mostly do the metronome’s work.
The Bottom Line: Kick Some Bass!
As you see, a pedal pad is a must if you want to practice playing drums. Recreating the sound and the rebound of a kick drum is what makes your training setup complete, along with other pads and low-volume cymbals. As for choosing the best one for you, you have my recommendations along with more reviews. If you don’t like the bass drum training pad by Meinl for some reason, you have lots of others to choose from.
So, if you have something to bring to the table to share your experience or ask a question, feel free to do it in the comments. Despite all that drum mayhem, you will be heard. Or take the article to your Facebook or Twitter to discuss it with your friends. Maybe one day, we’ll all talk about it on Clubhouse (what a name for a social media where drummers may meet) and discuss it there with mics and records.