Best Drum Pad for Beginners: Your Key to Becoming a Pro
Want to learn how to play drums or master your skills to perfection? I’ve tested and reviewed training pads with which you can practice anywhere and anytime. Double-Sided Pad by Movement Drum Co. proved to be the best drum pad for beginners thanks to its versatility. The set includes three interchangeable 12-inch surfaces that simulate different drums. As it is fully rimmed, you can practice rim clicks and shots.
However, this model is not only good for aspiring musicians. Even experienced drummers need to practice and master their hits systematically while maintaining proper hand placement. I can list this model’s advantages almost endlessly, but it still has a couple of disadvantages. First, it is slightly heavier than its competitors. Second, the price is a bit higher. Although the pad is more expensive than some popular models, I find the cost quite reasonable.
Of course, there are other great models on the market that novice drummers can use for their training. In my article, you will find an overview of 7 top-rated pads, plus a quick buyer’s guide and the answers to some popular questions.
7 Best Drum Pads for Beginners Reviewed
Practice pads are compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport. Thanks to them, you can train hits wherever you are. Plus, they’re much quieter than a full-fledged drum kit, so you will neither disturb others nor violate noise restrictions.
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1. Best Beginner Drum Practice Pad Overall: Movement Drum Co. Pad
I find this model ideal for beginner drummers as the pad comes with three different coatings. It allows you to practice shots on various surfaces, get used to the feel, and be ready to work with any drum. Besides, they give different bounce and sound effects: quiet, standard, and above average. As this pad is fully rimmed, you can practice rimshots, and the frame makes it more durable.
This instrument does not come with a stand, so you will have to purchase it separately if necessary. The product is somewhat heavier than its main competitors at 4.24 pounds.
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At the same time, the pad is made of superior materials and has a solid construction so that it will withstand frequent transportation without sacrificing sound quality.
- Three surfaces included;
- A bit expensive.
2. Vertisale Beginner Drum Pad: Evans Realfeel Pad
It is another great model with superior performance and a lower price tag compared to the first item. It’s a double-sided pad with a diameter of 12 inches and a weight of 3.54 pounds. If desired, you can choose smaller sizes of 6 and 7 inches (they are more lightweight, respectively). One side is made of natural gum with good rebound; the other is denser as it is made of recycled rubber. With this tool, you can train snare and e-drum strokes.
Although the pad has excellent build and surface quality, I should note that it has a “chemical” smell. It is probably the smell of glue with which the rubber surfaces are glued to an MDF base. After a while, it disappears, so it does not cause discomfort.
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Otherwise, it is an excellent tool for both beginners and experienced drummers for daily use.
- Reliable build;
- Three sizes to choose from;
- Can be inserted into a standard snare drum.
- Chemical smell;
- Not rimmed.
3. Affordable Drum Training Pad: Remo Tunable Pad
I know that at first, many aspiring musicians prefer to buy inexpensive instruments so as not to be afraid of ruining them while learning and only then switch to more expensive products. It is a perfectly reasonable approach, and if you are one of those drummers, I recommend the Remo practice pad. It is available in three sizes, 6, 8, and 10 inches, and two colors. This model is the most lightweight on my list (1.25 pounds).
Unlike the previous two items, it is single-sided and mimics the plastic surface of acoustic drums. The Ambassador drumhead installed here produces a nice warm sound but is quite loud compared to rubber covers.
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You can use this pad with or without a stand. Either way, you will feel comfortable playing it as it has a non-slip coating on the back.
- Available in three sizes;
- Very inexpensive.
- Quite loud.
4. Best Beginner Drum Practice Pad for Value: Slint Pad & Stand Bundle
This set comes with a nice pad, a stand, three pairs of 5A drumsticks, and bags for all this stuff, all at a great price. I like these kits because there is no need to look for covers or a suitable stand separately. They make it much easier to buy the right tools for beginners. It has everything you need to train anywhere you want.
The 12-inch pad has two working sides that are covered with gum and soft rubber. The stand can be used to mount this instrument or any other snare drum of 8 to 15 inches in diameter. Its height is adjustable, so you can play while sitting or standing.
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This model is quiet enough so that you can play in small spaces and do not disturb other people. If you wish, you can make it even quieter using gel pads that come with the kit.
- Large set;
- Excellent value for money;
- Sticks are not of the highest quality.
5. Table Top Drumset with Four Surfaces: Drumeo P4 Pad
This pad stands out from many other instruments with its unusual design. Even though the model is one-sided, the manufacturer managed to place four different surfaces on it at once. Thanks to it, beginner drummers will be able to train their coordination and practice striking cymbals, a high tom, a snare drum, and a floor tom. These elements have various colors and coatings that have different sounds and loudness.
Despite the combination of several surfaces on one side, this model has a standard diameter of 12 inches and a relatively low weight of 3.59 pounds.
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The manufacturer aimed to create a compact instrument that would simulate a full drum set. It's a great idea, but the feel of playing real acoustic drums is different.
- Four-in-one instrument;
- Simulates a full drum kit;
- Quality coatings;
- Suitable for training coordination.
- High price.
6. Single-Sided Drum Pad for Kids: Vic Firth Slimpad
Vic Firth is known for its drums and accessories. They are made of high-quality materials and have reliable construction. This pad can handle any load, making it suitable for the youngest drummers. While it may seem to some that this pad’s price is relatively high for a one-sided instrument, it is not. In my opinion, it has a reasonable price given its superior quality and durability.
Natural gum coating gives a truly realistic rebound, similar to a marching snare. Even if you are used to hitting drums hard, you will not disturb others as the rubber coating perfectly absorbs impacts and dampens the sound.
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It is very lightweight and thin, making it ideal for on-site rehearsals.
- Ideal for young musicians;
- Thin and lightweight;
- Excellent quality;
- Reasonable price.
7. Double-Sided Beginner Drum Pad: Vater Chop Builder Pad
Although the Vater Practice pad is the last on my list, it is not the latest in quality. The model refers to a more expensive price range, but its excellent quality justifies it. If you are looking for an instrument that an aspiring drummer can train on and that will last for many years, you should definitely check out this item. Like all Vater products, it is made of quality materials, so it is suitable for even several-times-a-day practice.
The pad is 12 inches in diameter, medium weight (3 pounds), and has two sides with soft and hard surfaces.
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They give a different bounce but absorb the sound of hits and strikes equally well. You can fasten the instrument on a standard snare stand, lay it on a flat surface or your lap.
- Gives excellent response;
- Very durable;
- Suitable for daily practice;
Drum Pad Buyer’s Guide
While practice pads may seem like a fairly simple and straightforward tool at first glance, there are a few things to consider when purchasing one.
First of all, you should pay attention to the material on which a tool is made. The most common ones are natural gum, rubber, and silicone pads. You can also see gel, kevlar, and even sand models. Some manufacturers produce double-sided tools or provide several different surfaces of various stiffness to the mainboard.
The volume of an instrument also plays an important role since practice pads are mostly purchased by those who do not have the opportunity to play real drums regularly. The quietest are silicone and rubber models, while plastic and Kevlar surfaces may not be quiet at all. However, you can tune them if necessary.
Size and weight
Also, if you regularly transport your pad, you should consider its size and weight. The most common instruments are 12 inches in diameter, as it is the standard snare drum size. However, if you want compactness and portability, you can find even 6-inch models. Of course, the smaller the diameter, the lower the weight of a product. Mini pads fit easily into any backpack.
I’ve included only models without mounts on my list, as I find them the most versatile. You can put them on any flat surface and practice. If you have a standard snare stand, you can attach a pad to it. However, there are also models with a dedicated knee mount or vertical instruments that mimic a kick drum. If you wish, you can purchase several items with different surfaces and mount them on stands in such a way as to create a quiet drum set.
What practice pad do you need and how to choose it?
Choosing the right pad depends on the area where you are going to practice, your needs, and your skills. Beginning drummers are advised to purchase the most durable models that can withstand any load. At first, it might be difficult for you to calculate your hits’ strength. If you are looking for the quietest instruments, go for silicone or rubber models. They are practically silent and, at the same time, perfectly simulate the rebound.
If you want a full drum set but don’t want to spend money on multiple separate pads, you can purchase a double-sided model with interchangeable surfaces. It is worth mentioning that you can find a digital drum pad on the market. This instrument has an output for headphones or an external amplifier, as well as a metronome and additional functions for analyzing your work: counting the speed, frequency, and uniformity of hits. Digital instruments are also available as a single or a set.
Drum Pad FAQ
Now that you know all about which pads I think are the best and why I will answer a few questions that aspiring musicians often ask.
How do I choose a drum practice pad?
When choosing pads, you should be guided by your own skills, the location you plan to practice in, and your budget. The key element of these tools is a work surface. The most versatile and quiet are rubber or silicone models.
However, if you are a more experienced drummer who needs to tune a pad, opt for plastic or Kevlar surfaces. If you are a frequent traveler and want maximum portability, choose 6 or 8-inch instruments. And if you want and have some free time, you can even make your own practice pads.
What drums are best for beginners?
Training pads are excellent tools for mastering skills, but they cannot entirely replace a complete drum kit. Novice musicians should purchase an inexpensive product, hone their skills, and then switch to more sophisticated models.
Generally, e-drums are much easier to set up and tune than acoustic instruments, which is why they are recommended for those who just start drumming.
Should I get a drum pad?
My answer is definitely yes. Practice drum pads are a cheap and quiet option for home use. They make it possible to train the coordination of your movements and the speed on several surfaces. Also, they will serve you for a very long time if you follow the basic rules of percussion cleaning. Due to their small size, you can carry drum pads everywhere, practice rudiments in a hotel room, or do drum pad exercises in a dressing room before a gig. You can purchase a single-sided or double-sided pad.
Master Your Drumming with the Best Practice Pads
If you can train daily with a full drum set, you may not need to purchase practice pads. However, most beginner musicians do not have this option, so such tools will be a great solution. I hope my drum pad for beginners review can help you choose the right instrument. In my opinion, you can achieve the best results with the Movement Drum Co. Pad. I find this model ideal for both beginner and advanced musicians.
Please share your thoughts on choosing practice pads. Do you use them in your training? Which model do you think is the best?