Beginners should be okay using any practice pad as long as it provides some good response and stick definition. However, we have a few recommendations for reliable practice pads for beginners since there’s so many on the market.
What Makes a Good Practice Pad for a Beginner?
Before we check out our recommendations, let’s briefly discuss what we feel makes a good practice pad for a beginner drummer. Then our recommendations will make a little more sense.
First of all, we like practice pads that are a little more on the affordable side for beginners. There’s no reason to overspend for a pad when you are just starting out. Once you practice for a while and get a better idea of what you might prefer as a drummer, you can always upgrade or switch out your first practice pad for another.
Portability is also worth considering. Beginners might be bringing their practice pad with them to school or hauling their pad around to get more practice in when traveling. It’s easier to fit a smaller, more portable pad into a backpack, especially if you’ve already got other stuff you’re hauling around as well.
Noise levels are worth considering, and if you have family or roommates that will be listening to you practice, it might be worthwhile to go for a pad that is more quiet, or at least not unreasonably loud.
Evans RealFeel Practice Pad
The Evans RealFeel practice pad is a good standard option. It’s playing surface is a gum rubber pad with good response and sticking definition. The double sided version of the pad also has a harder rubber surface with less rebound for options when practicing.
There are multiple reasons that we like this pad for beginners.
- The playing surfaces feel great and are good for learning.
- The gray gum rubber surface isn’t overly loud and has a reasonable volume.
- This RealFeel pad is easy to find, most drum shops or retailers sell them.
- There are larger as well as more portable sizes available with both the 12 inch and 6 inch version.
- There are single and double sided versions, the single side versions are cheaper.
- There are versions that can be mounted on stands as well.
Overall, this is a just a good pad with no-frills design that plays well and is affordable.
Remo Practice Pad
The Remo Practice pad is a good standard option for a practice pad at an affordable price. It uses a real drum head and offers a great feel during practice.
This pad is pretty popular and you’ve probably seen them around. They offer some nice tools for beginners.
- It’s affordable.
- The coated Ambassador head is highly playable and offers the feel of a snare drum head.
- The head is tunable and tension adjustable.
- There is a rim which helps with developing sticking accuracy, playing rim shots and also using cross-sticking techniques.
- There are multiple sizes available.
- They are stand mountable.
The only real disadvantage of the Remo practice pad is the volume level. They are one of the louder practice pads out there. However, there is also a Silentstroke version which uses a mesh head instead of the coated Ambassador head, which is much more quiet.
Vic Firth Double-Sided Practice Pad
The Vic Firth double-sided practice pad offers both harder and softer rubber playing surfaces which feel great during play. This is a good pad for developing chops at all skill levels.
This pad isn’t quite as easy to find locally in my experience unless your local shop sells Vic Firth gear. It’s pretty easy to find online though. Here’s why we like this one.
- It’s not overly expensive.
- The two rubber surfaces have excellent playing feel and stick definition.
- The softer rubber surface is fairly quiet.
- The painted wooden base has a smooth finish.
- The larger 12 inch pad isn’t overly bulky and is fairly portable.
- Vic Firth offers some other variations of this pad, such as one with two different playing surfaces on the same side.
The main issue that people have with this pad, if anything at all, is that the playing surface isn’t completely round and is notched out to make room for the logo. But it’s not really a major issue overall and doesn’t keep this pad from being a top recommendation.
Prologix Green Logix Practice Pad
The Prologix Green Logic practice pad is a solid option for beginners who want a rubber practice pad with a rim. The addition of the rim help you learn how to play with a rim in the mix, which can translate well to snare drumming.
This 12 inch version of this pad is one of the more expensive that we recommend, but it’s worth the money. There is a smaller 8 inch version that is more affordable for those with a smaller budget. Here’s what we like about this pad.
- The bulky feel can be an advantage since it stays in place during play on smooth surfaces.
- There are two rubber surfaces to play for variation in feel.
- The softer, green rubber surface is actually pretty quiet.
- The Poly-Tech rim feels good during play and helps practice rim shots and cross-sticking techniques.
- There are multiple sizes available to fit your preferences.
This is a good pad to go for if you like a little more bulk and substance, a quiet playing surface, and a rim.
For Audio Examples and More
For videos that show what each pad sounds like and how loud they are, be sure to follow the full review links. We have examples for each pad on this list as well as other pads that we’ve reviewed.
If you’re wanting to see more options beyond these, check out the rest of our practice pad reviews. These are the pads we’d recommend to most beginners, but any practice pad can work as long as it fits your budget, noise level preferences, and is easy for you to haul around. Or maybe you just have a favorite brand, nothing wrong with that. Many drum accessory manufacturers offer pads that aren’t wildly different from one another.