Rock Drumming System

Learn To Use A Practice Pad Effectively

Most drummers own, or have heard of the practice pad. It is basically an imitation drum, designed to play and feel like a drum, without making a lot of noise. They are usually small and light weight, making them very portable and handy to have around the house so you can practice. A practice pad can easily turn into a drummer’s best friend. Any instructor will tell you to practice with a pad, and they are not wrong. Practice pads are very useful, and offer a ton of advantages. However, there are some disadvantages to using them as well. So where do you draw the line between pad practice, and drum kit practice. Or does it even matter?

Advantages Of Using A Practice Pad

We will start out with the pros of using a practice pad. The first obvious pro to using a pad is the convenience. Being able to sit in front of a TV, practicing rudiments on a responsive pad that makes little noise, is very convenient. Using a pad will definitely cut out the loud noise a full drum kit will make. Another big advantage to using the practice pad is the ability to track your progress. Although you can do this with on a kit, it makes it a lot easier to hear a metronome, and gauge what speeds you are performing your rudiments at. Logging your progress is very useful, and should be done by every practicing drummer.

Practice Pad

One big benefit to using the practice pad is it is very unforgiving. You will be able to hear and see where you are weak, and where you need improvement. Having a lot quieter tone, it allows you to hear a lot more of your drumming, and you can hear the metronome louder than your practice surface – making it harder to cover up your mistakes by the sound of the drum.

When you are playing on a drum set, you can get very distracted with all the drums in front of you. This can easily hurt your practice session, causing you to lose focus faster. With a practice pad, you are limited to the pad itself, as well as the sound it makes. Having only one drum will force you to focus on the essentials, like drum rudiments and stick control exercises.

Disadvantages Of Using A Practice Pad

There are some cons, however, to using the practice pad. The first obvious con is it is not an instrument! You can practice all you want on the pad, but you will never actually play the pad at a show or in the studio at all! This poses a big problem you spend a lot of time getting used to the feel of the pad, then are forced to play on a totally different surface. A pad is supposed to imitate a drum head right? But what about the cymbals and other drum voices you use. You will not get the same feel at all from these, and therefore will find it more difficult to utilize what you have learnt. Plus, with most toms there is less bounce than a pad. Playing a single stroke roll at 200 BPM may be possible on the practice pad, but when played on a tom, you may not be able to do it. This brings your confidence level down, which discourages you from playing the drums all together!

Unless you have a practice pad drum set, you are limited to one drum. Now I said before this is a pro, it is also a con in some ways. It may force you to practice your rudiments, but it will stop you from practicing had independence, and creativity. Having a whole set in front of you breeds creativity – something that sets you apart from every other drummer. When you only practice on a pad, you will feel more like a technical drummer, and will not have experience of the whole drum set. You will also find moving around the drum set is more difficult. However, if you own a padded drum kit, you will not have to worry about this.

The Practice Pad Is Essential

All in all the practice pad is a must for drummers. Being able to work on your rudiments whenever and wherever you want is perfect. Having the ability to track your progress and see your mistakes is what will allow you to improve that much faster. As long as you do not spend all your time on one, you should be ok. Getting equal time on the drum set as well as the practice pad will turn you into a well rounded drummer, ready to take on any style of music! If you are interested in a pad for yourself. There are many practice pad reviews in the product reviews section of the Rock Drumming Underground.

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