What Are Beat Pads (Drum Pads)?

Do you want to practice your drumming every chance you get? Pick the right beat pads for your needs and budget.

Beat pads or drum pads are generally what you use to practice on if you’re a drummer. If you’re just a beginner, these can give you a chance to practice your drumming techniques wherever you are, without having to bring your bulky drum set along with you. Even if you’re already an experienced drummer, a drum pad can help you practice or warm up for a performance on stage or even in your car while getting an auto detail – I know I’m weird.

Basically, there are two types of beat pads you can use:

The Classic Rubber Type

The basic design of these drum pads is a wooden disk, on top of which you have a thin layer of rubber glued on the surface. This is the traditional design, and even now it’s the choice of many drum players and professionals. 

Rubber Portable Practice Drum Pads

  • The rubber surface doesn’t produce as much sound, so you don’t bother the people around you. This is crucial when you feel the urge to practice late at night or in a busy place.
  • This is usually very portable, with some of the best models measuring only 12 inches in diameter. That should fit inside a backpack or even a briefcase.
  • The stick you use bounces on the rubber like it does on your drums, so you can develop your control more realistically.
  • The surface is also soft enough that you don’t stress out your hands and wrists even after hours of practice.

Since you’re going to use this a lot, you may as well get a good one. Get one that measures 12 inches, especially if you’re going to use snare drum sticks. You should be comfortable with the softness of the surface, the noise it makes, and the response or bounciness of the surface.

You may pick the color of the wood disc and the rubber, and you may even get some good designs on the surface. Some have extra features, such as having a metal box that creates a snare sound. Others may be used on a snare stand, and it may also feature a built-in metronome.

Electronic Drum Pad

The Electronic Drum Pad

Just as you can get a full-size electronic drum kit that surrounds you all around, you can also get an electronic drum pad that can fit well enough on a small desk. In many cases, you can get a drum pad set with multiple pads and even pedals.

  • You can use a headphone, so you can hear the full volume without bothering the neighbors.
  • The drum pads can have touch sensitivity.
  • You can have pedals attached.
  • The pads can have several preset kits, hundreds of percussion voices, along with MIDI voices.
  • You can record your practice on the system, and then you can mix or edit it with your PC.
  • You can even use this for hand percussion.

Electronic Practice Drum Pad

In general, these kits are more expensive, and they’re less handy to bring along with you anywhere you go. But they’re much more versatile, and you can use them to record your play. Still, if you’re going to use electronic beat pads for practice, then it should offer a realistic feel so you can actually improve your control.

Whichever you choose, just practice a lot. You’re never going to be the next John Bonham without practicing on the best drum pads you can find.