What is the #1 tool that new drummers must use for fastest development of your skill?
The Drum Practice Pad of course!
Most pro drummers swear by its importance, expecially to the growth and development of a drummer.
Many continue to kickoff their drumming sessions with a quick warm up on their practice pads, even after they have developed a strong foundation.
You can carry them everywhere and make any place, your practice ground.
Ok, enough talk.
Let’s dive straight in right now:
What is a drum practice pad?
A drum practice pad features a surface that emulates the feel and bounce of the drums. It allows drummers to practice (and warm up) on it.
Drum pads are relatively cheaper and quieter compared to the actual drum kit. Hence, they are commonly used to practice drum rudiments, train stick control, arm strength and coordination.
Ideally, drummers should use drum practice pads to build up their foundations – even the pros continue use drum practice pad to improve or to practice their rudiments!
Most drum practice pads have a single surface for users to play on. Depending on the material of the practice pad, it can provide different feels and bounce to emulate different types of drum surfaces.
These pads may be mounted on a stand or placed over a snare drum during practice – although to keep things simple, we can just place the pad on a table of suitable height and start practicing anyhow.
Here’s an interesting (old) video that compares several drum practice pads using different drum rudiments:
(BEWARE OF THE BUZZING SOUND AT THE START!)
Can’t wait for it to arrive anyday now!
Featuring 2 surfaces (1 softer with greater bounce, the other harder and louder), I think the Vic Firth practice pad will probably be sufficient to help me build up my drumming foundations for now.
There are various sizes of practice pads in the market, the common sizes being 6 inches and 12 inches. I went for the smaller one as I have limited space on my desk to place it. If you have access to a snare drum or have a bigger desk, you can opt for the 12 inches practice pad instead.
If you are a new drummer like me, get the Vic Firth New Drummer Starter Kit and let’s start drumming together soon!
In the meantime…
What’s a new drummer gonna do to start drumming while waiting?!?! *bangs head in boredom*
Alternatives to a Drum Practice Pad
To kill boredom and to start some form of practice and drum training, I found some alternatives to a drum practice pad while I wait! If you are in the same, painful state as I am, here are some alternatives you can consider!!
Thick Books / A Stack of Magazines
The bounce on these is horrible. But, the wise drummers on forums argue that practice pads with less bounce helps a drummer to build arm strength while training. I guess it has it’s advantages then.
I’m using a stack of old magazines I found lying around at home. Before you start hitting these tape them together to prevent them from shifting around as you go crazy with your drum rudiments (not that I didn’t think of that before practicing…)
Get ready to change the magazine on the top depending on your strength. I left dents on mine, but I can imagine anyone who is hitting those with greater strength can actually create tears on the surface.