Best Drumming Gloves for Practice and Live Performances (2023 update)
The one thing I have learned at my age as a drumming enthusiast is that once you get into a rhythm, there is no stopping. I know this because, since the age of eight, I have been a member of several bands. Sadly, repeatedly, we have had to put our sticks down because of pain and blistered hands. This is not an issue to be ignored. I can’t tell you how many times such pain kept me from practicing. I even have friends who gave up on the whole idea of being drummers simply because they couldn’t bear the discomfort.
So, why do people wear drumming gloves? The challenge of pain while playing can be ideally resolved by wearing professional drumming gloves. However, if to look at professional drummers, you will notice that not all of them wear gloves when playing. This is because there exist different theories about wearing them while playing. Some purists argue that wearing gloves is nothing but obstruction, and with time, your hands will get used.
However, other drummers like me argue that percussion gloves are just like any other accessories in your drum set that help improve your experience. Playing the drums should be something that you enjoy but not the thing that brings you harm. This is why, in this article, I have decided to review some of the best gloves for drummers.
A Review of the Best Drumming Gloves
This is a comprehensive drum gloves review for those looking out for information and useful tips. The gloves to be reviewed include:
1. Promark DGL Drummer’s Glove- Large
Pro-Mark is a very common brand among drummers. A large company is dedicated to the designing and production of drumming-related gear such as drumsticks. I do not remember the last time I ever bought drumsticks, not from this brand. These gloves are made from finely cut Cabretta leather. This effectively makes them among the most long-lasting hand drumming gloves you will come across. From my experience with them, you buy these gloves with the expectation of a longer lifespan. So far, they have not disappointed me because I have had mine for about a year now and so far, no signs of wearing out. These gloves also include extra padding that is found in areas around the fingertips, thumbprint area, and knuckles.
These pads play three important roles:
- They help increase the durability of the gloves by minimizing wear and tear of the leather.
- They help protect your hands from possible impacts and vibrations resulting in playing.
- They also help improve your grip of drumsticks and minimize incidents of slip out while playing.
Another noticeable design feature of the Promark Gloves is the mesh top that is capable of providing enough ventilation. The function of this mesh is to allow air to flow through the gloves. This helps decrease sweating while playing. Sweaty hands are not ideal for drummers. I remember in the early days how frequently I would apply baby powder on my hands to keep them dry. However, when you grow as a professional, there are better ways of doing things such as buying quality Promark gloves.
Another thing I love about these gloves is the fact that they have a loop wrist strap. The strap is adjustable for you to maintain the perfect grip on your wrist and prevent them from coming off when playing. Another element that helps contribute to the quality of these gloves is the fact that even with all these features, they still manage to retain their lightweight. They do not feel heavy on your hands.
As a drummer, you want your hand to feel free and flexible, and these gloves have put this element into consideration. The hygiene aspect is also catered for in designing these gloves. This product can be easily cleaned using warm water and light detergent. After this, you can leave them to dry away from direct sunlight. However, do not make the mistake of machine-washing them, otherwise, you will destroy the gloves.
The ProMark drum gloves are made from thin-cut Cabretta leather featuring 8 specially-placed pads on the four fingers and three on the palm for vastly improved grip. Extra padding is used on the thumbprint area, fingertips, and knuckles to increase the glove lifespan by slowing down the wear-through process. Breathable mesh is used on the top of all of the fingers and backside of the hand to reduce perspiration. The hook and loop wrist strap does not interfere with wrist motion. The drum gloves are washable with warm water and a mild detergent, then air dried. Available in small, medium, large and extra large.
ProMark offers a wide variety of accessories to meet the needs of any drummer/percussionist. From stick/mallet storage solutions to ergonomic drum keys, ProMark has the tools to make your life as a musician easier.
For over 50 years, ProMark has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of drumsticks, mallets, and percussion accessories. Owned and operated by D'Addario & Co., the Houston, Texas based ProMark produces products used globally by the greatest drummers and percussionists in the world, including Neal Peart, Phil Collins, Simon Phillips, Ringo Starr, and many more. ProMark – Make Your Mark.
- Made from thin-cut Cabretta leather
- Made of Cabretta leather for improved durability.
- They can be easily cleaned.
- Mesh top for improved air circulation in the gloves.
- They have an extra pad for increased grip and improved durability.
- It costs relatively higher compared to other brands.
2. Zildjian Drummer’s Gloves Large – Affordable Drum Gloves
If you are a beginner or a drummer operating on a budget, the Zildjian drummer’s gloves got you sorted. This is because the affordability of these gloves makes them among the most frequently purchased by drummers. Every drummer who would share their experience about their baby steps into a professional level would certainly have that pair of gloves that they bought solely due to affordability. Most recent beginners will recommend Zildjian drummer’s gloves because this is a brand that has done enough to target this market segment. As for me, I have regularly used them for practice to help extend the life cycle of the pair that I use for performances.
The truth is that these gloves are not all about affordability. Other features make them rank on this list. For starters, the gloves are made from soft lambskin. This makes them very comfortable to wear due to their softness on your palm. These gloves are so smooth that when you wear them for long, they will start feeling as if they are part of your hand. This makes them an ideal choice, especially when you are looking to nurse blisters or sore hands resulting from playing for long without gloves. They are also a good choice if you are searching for comfortable gloves that have a perfect fit for minimal obstruction while playing. This is why I have them as a brand of choice for practice and occasional performances.
Any drummer who has worn these gloves will agree with me that if you choose the right size for this product, they will automatically fit into your hands. However, for extra comfort and better fitting, the gloves have been designed to include a Velcro closure. It has also been made to look stylish too for improved aesthetic value. The eye-capturing red Zildjian logo coupled with the appealing black leather-look makes the closure appear classy. Additionally, the gloves come with a support band for your wrists. The idea is to maintain a comfortable grip on your hand, thereby ensuring that you have excellent control of the drumsticks that you are holding.
In short, you do not have a situation where your drumsticks keep flying all over the place. You do not want this happening to you on a live performance, as it can be embarrassing. For even greater comfortability, the Zildjian gloves feature a vented back. This option helps you feel at ease and cool while wearing them. For such a bargain price, I would say that these gloves are offering more than you would ask for at that range.
- Comfortable and breathable with a vented back and soft, lambskin palm
- Size: Extra-Large
- Very affordable price.
- They feature a vented back for improved comfort.
- It has a Velcro closure for an adjustable grip.
- They are good fitting.
- They have a stylish design.
- After some time, the stitches begin coming, and the gloves deteriorate, especially if you try sewing them back.
3. Ahead Drummer’s Gloves with Wrist Support Large
Ahead is a brand that is commonly known among drummers for their metal drumsticks. Any drummer who has ever thought that they do not want to buy drumsticks frequently must have tried the metallic option. I have had this thought too and went on to buy them. However, since today it is not about the drumsticks, I will reserve sharing about that experience for later. Looking at the Ahead Drummer’s gloves, you get the feeling that the designer must have been testing them using their metallic drumstick. The reason I say this is that by examining them, you can tell they are made for durability and heavy-duty usage.
To put this into perspective, these gloves are made from high-quality ultra-soft leather, spandex, and lycra. This way, they are gentle on your hands as they absorb shocks and vibrations, thereby effectively protecting you from getting blisters or sores. The materials are also suitable for making drummers gloves as they help maintain an extra grip of your drumsticks. Therefore, when wearing these gloves, you do not have to worry about the possibility of slipping sticks.
Among the exceptional design, features in these gloves include fortified fulcrum both at the thumb and finger index. Its role is to offer the user protection against shock while playing. At the same time, it helps in improving the glove’s lifespan. However, this does not compromise the flow of air within the gloves because they have a vented back. This effectively ensures maximum air circulation and minimizes the likelihood of sweating while wearing these gloves. Among the reasons that most drummers hate wearing gloves is because some of them make the hands sweaty.
However, Ahead drummer’s gloves seem to have addressed this issue effectively. The design also integrates wrist support that includes a flexible Velcro closure. The support helps in protecting your wrist from strain-related injuries. Its adjustable nature ensures that you can gain maximum wrist support without compromising on breathability and flexibility.
- Professional Drummers Gloves by AHEAD feature "Hot Spot" pads for longer life with wrist support for extended playing comfort
- Ahead Drummers Gloves With Wrist Support Pro Drumming Gloves Designed specifically for drummers " not golfers" and used by more professional drummers than any other drum glove on the market today
- They contain integrated wrist support to minimize strain-related injuries.
- They have been made from high-quality leather and spandex for improved durability.
- The gloves contain reinforced pads at the thumb and index for improved durability and protection of the user against shocks.
- They are vented at the back to minimize the possibility of sweating while in use.
- Stylish look with the company’s logo.
- Vulnerable to stitches coming off after continued usage.
4. Vic Firth Drumming Gloves – Best Drum Gloves
Vic Firth is a company that is renowned for the manufacture of excellent quality drumsticks. Additionally, they also make other drumming accessories such as gloves, kick beaters, mallets, and brushes. Owned by a former American musician, this company is setting higher standards in the production of accessories such as headphones for hearing protection, practice pads, and cymbal mutes. It is a company where I have bought more drumming accessories compared to other brands in the market. The simple reason behind this is that they are committed to producing quality, stylish products.
Talking of style, you should see their Vic Firth drumming gloves. They represent everything and anything you would want from a professional glove. Their appearance makes you feel like engaging in impulse buying so that you can have them in your hands. Their style and appearance are the best. I remember when I first saw them with one of my friends who is a drummer and she told me that these are the first gloves that considered the woman’s needs. I honestly, would have to agree, they seem to match perfectly with their fashions. However, do not mistake this to mean that this glove is made specifically for women.
It is not only the style that has been made unique in these gloves. They are specially made from high-quality Cabretta leather combined with customized synthetic rubber. What these materials guarantee you is an improved grip on your hand also of the drumsticks. It means that you can depend on these gloves for prolonged use as they are made from durable materials. The leather on the palm is effectively combined with a synthetic mesh. This design aspect has worked to a greater effect because it allows the user to have a good grip of the drumsticks thanks to the high-quality leather.
Additionally, it ensures that the drummer’s hands are protected from possible injuries caused by friction and shocks resulting from the continued use of your drumsticks. On the other hand, the synthetic mesh, which extends to the back of your hand helps keep your hands cool even when playing for long. Some people also claim that the design is suitable during winter. The gloves are both comfortable and can provide you with enough warmth.
Moreover, if you look at the gloves carefully, there are white dots that extend between the thumb and first finger. For one, they fulfill their aesthetic value of making the gloves look desirable. A splash of white on a black surface is something that will make everyone turn back for a second glance. However, if you are keen enough, you will note that the dots are not just painted on top. They have been perfectly fitted into the leather and nylon-like patch. If you also observe, they have been placed on and between the fingers used in holding the drums sticks. This implies on top of the aesthetic value. They help improve your drumstick grip. They are also strategically placed on the location where the hands come into regular contact with the drumsticks while playing. Therefore, it can be considered as an added layer of protection for you. The gloves also feature wrist support that has a Velcro strap. It can effectively be adjusted to match the individual’s wrist size.
- Great appearance and design.
- Made of high-quality leather and synthetic rubber, which helps improve their durability and grip.
- They also include a synthetic mesh that helps improve their ventilation.
- They include dotted white patches for better grip and added aesthetics.
- Guaranteed value for money.
- Certain customers have reported the white dotted patches coming off after some period of usage.
5. Meinl Half Finger Drummer Gloves- Fingerless Drumming Gloves
If you are the type of drummer that hates gloves but has no option but to wear them for extra protection on your hands, half finger gloves may be better than full finger ones. They will give you the freedom to feel your fingers while at the same time protecting them from getting blisters after long drumming sessions.
Meinl, a German-based company, had you in mind when they created these classy half finger gloves. The cover three-quarters of your fingers with the tips left in the open. This brings about a cooling effect, especially during summer. While full gloves would make you all sweaty and generate too much heat, these have spaces for air to flow and cool your hands.
They are black. Therefore, they can go with any clothes you wear. If you are sensitive about the clothes and colors you wear, these gloves may not be an issue because black is neutral. The color may also not be noticed by your fans.
A special feature about them is that they are padded. The thick pads act as your protective gear when you are hitting those drums hard for the audience to enjoy your piece. This means that you can beat the drums with whatever force you would like without worrying about getting blisters.
With some areas covered with thick pads while others are not, the gloves are therefore a bit rough on the side that holds drumsticks. This makes you have a tight grip on the stick. It cannot slide since the gloves are not smooth all around. Since there is no room for sliding, it also means that they are secure because you can play without worrying about the stick falling off your hands. This would spoil your performance, and if you were playing in an orchestra, it would also spoil the presentation for the whole team.
The pair weighs only 1.44 ounces. This is very cheap to ship, and it is one of the reasons these gloves are comfortable. When you are wearing them during a presentation, you may not remember that they are on your hands until the performance is over. They measure ten by four by 0.3 inches. This adds to their compactness.
These Meinl gloves are made of high-quality leather. It is soft and not hard and stiff as is the case with some products. You can easily maneuver your hands in any direction, and the material will allow you to do so with ease.
The mesh pattern on the gloves is another great feature that adds to the capabilities of this product. It enhances you in holding the drumstick tightly, and it does not let it fall off your hands.
- They are soft.
- They are made of leather, which is a high-quality material.
- They have a mesh pattern that enhances the grip on a drumstick.
- They are very light.
- They fit perfectly.
- They cover only three-quarter of your fingers, leaving the other part open and prone to blisters.
Choose Drumming Gloves That Meet Your Unique Needs
From my point of view, the idea that hardcore drummers do not need to wear gloves is largely misinformed. The thing about innovations is that they bring about evolvement in the way of thinking and doing things. From my experience, you need professional drumming gloves for a better grip of your sticks and protection of your hands from unnecessary injuries. These are both important aspects if you are to grow professionally as a drummer. For example, a better grip of the drumming stick helps you keep up with the rhythm and cope with the intensity of playing in high-intensity situations such as a heavy metal band. On the other hand, if your hands are hurting from blisters or injuries, you cannot be able to practice enough or even be available when called for live performances.
From my experience, you will always take time before having a good feel of playing while wearing drumming gloves. However, it does not mean that you should entirely give up on the whole idea. Keep wearing them until you get used to them. Alternatively, you can begin by wearing them during practice up until they are comfortable on your hands. The affordability of these gloves means that you can adopt a routine of alternating them between practice and performances. Generally, from the list of gloves I have reviewed, you can be certain of finding one that satisfies your unique needs. So, take your drumming experience to the next level by getting yourself a professional drumming glove. What type of gloves do you prefer? What is your favorite model? Share your thoughts.