Aquarian’s Quick-Bounce practice pad is the smaller version of their Tru-Bounce practice pad which has the same realistic feel of the Tru-bounce but less expensive. Its smaller size also makes this pad easier to fit in your stick bag or hardware case. The Quick-Bounce has a neoprene surface that has a very realistic feel for rolls and other rudiments. It’s not overly bouncy like other pads and evens responds to soft playing.
I often encounter the problem of having to switch between different practice pads for different exercises so I can accurately hear what I am playing. However, when using the Quick-Bounce, I don’t have to change pads. It has a realistic feel and response at any volume or speed of playing so you can use this pad for practicing drum set techniques as well as classical and rudimental drumming. It can be mounted to an 8mm cymbal stand for easy placement while practice sticks and some instructional studies are included with your purchase.
DW’s 12” multi-surface 3-way pad has three different playing surfaces. One side has a foam surface that is mean to build strength, making it great for stroke exercises and accent building. The other side has split soft and hard rubber playing surfaces; the soft rubber simulates the feel of drums while the hard rubber is meant to feel like the surface of cymbals. I like to practice drum set patterns on this side because it gives me a more realistic feel. The 12 inch practice pad can be mounted on a snare drum stand or can simply be placed on top of a snare drum. DW has always made the highest quality products, and this is one of the best practice pads featuring multiple surfaces for more effective practicing.
The playing surface of the Sabian Quiet Tone Pad feels very close to that of an actual drum. The playing surface is an actual drumhead and can be tuned to be tighter if needed. I like this pad because it the closest thing to playing an actual drum while remaining very quiet at the same time. The Quiet Tone also has rubber feet so you can place it on top of your snare drum for warm-ups. Since this pad has a real drumhead, it can also be used to practice a limited amount of brushwork. Available in 10 and 14 inch model, I recommend the 14 inch because it fits perfectly on top of most snare drums and doesn’t move around when played.
The Real Feel pad is probably the most popular practice pad because it does a great job of warming your hands up quickly. The RF6D features a soft side and a hard side with the soft side being a bit softer than an actual drum and great for building strength. I usually use the soft side for pre-gig warmups because it is quiet and can even be played on stage. The hard side is great for practicing rolls, because it makes me work hard to get my own rebound. There are larger sizes available, but I like this 6 inch model because of the small size so you can even fit it into a stick bag if needed.
Vic Firth’s Heavy Hitter Slim Pad is the best practice pad for simulating the feel of a marching snare drum. Slim Pads are perfect for high school students looking to practice their drum line/ marching music at home and beneficial to drum core drummers and college marchers as well. Very well made and durable, this practice pad features a very thin rubber surface to simulate a very hard marching drumhead.
To be clear, this pad isn’t designed for concert or drum set practicing, but rather designed exclusively for practicing marching snare drum. It’s been made to take the beating thick marching sticks dish out. It also has a strong wooden base that will last through many marching band seasons. Traditional drummers can mount it on a snare stand and angle it to their preference.