There are many different forms of drum pads. Choosing them can be a very difficult process if you don’t know much about them, or if you haven’t tested them out.
I’ll be explaining what the different drum pads are used for, and how you can make an educated decision on what will best suit your needs.
Practice pads are great for improving your general stick technique. Many people use them to practice their drum rudiments. They are also very handy if you want to work on your drumming but don’t own a drum kit.
Lots of people that play in drumlines use practice pads so they can improve their snare drum technique. They are also used a lot for stick tricks and practicing backsticking. This is good if you want to brush up on the showmanship side of your drumming.
The most popular forms of practice pad are then octagon pad and round pad. They are both exactly the same, simply just a different shape.
Rubber drum pads can be placed on top of a drum kit to dampen the noise. They can be good if you don’t want to practice on a single drum, however they don’t really feel like drums. Most rubber pads don’t give you the right amount of bounce off the drum. The other downside is that they don’t last as long and wear away very quickly.
One of the main benefits of using rubber pads is that you are able to dampen the sound of both the bass drum and cymbals. This gives rubber pads a slight edge over other forms of pad as they provide the only way for you to practice beats and fills efficiently.
To get the most out of rubber pads I would recommend combining them with practice pads. This way you will be able to use the cymbals, bass drum and then be able to practice stick technique.
If you are a casual drummer then digital pads can be a lot of fun. I wouldn’t recommend a set of pads if you are a serious drummer as they are very small, and don’t have the same feel as a drum kit.
Having said that, the digital drum pad can be great for practicing rudiments at home. Just don’t expect to build up much speed on them. Another problem with digital pads is that they are very fragile. Since the drums are so small it can be very easy to miss them, meaning you will hit the actual device itself!
Although pads won’t help you build up your foot technique, they will help you improve your sticking. If you don’t have access to a full drum kit, or if you have noise restrictions that you have to follow then they are definitely a great alternative.
Daily practice on pads will build up your overall sense of timing, speed and tonality. They will improve your strength, and allow you to focus on the rudimental aspect of drumming without any distractions.
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