A practice pad is a type of percussion pad used by drummers for rehearsal and training. The surface of a practice pad is commonly made of rubber or silicon, thus simulating the bounce of a drum without producing the loud noise of an acoustic performance drum (such as a snare drum).
In recent years, many types of practice pads have been developed. The pad pictured to the right is known as a tunable practice pad because it consists of a drum head that is tensioned on a frame and can be tuned. These are favored by classical percussionist due to how closely they can simulate the feel of a concert snare drum, though these pads can be much louder than other types. Others, most notably HQ Percussion's Real Feel pads, are made by adhering gum rubber to a piece of particle board or something similar. The feel of these pads are noticeably stiffer with much more rebound, making them less favorable to some in the classical percussion realm, but preferred over the tunable pads by those involved in the marching arts due to the extreme tensions marching drums are tuned to. Continuing this line of thinking, HQ, among other companies, also uses neoprene in place of gum rubber, which actually has such a stiff feel that the drummer must work harder to achieve the same effect (thus strengthening the muscles of the forearms and hands). Vic Firth, in co-operation with Bill Bachman, created a line of practice pads using very thin gum rubber for a playing surface, giving the pads a little more rebound than neoprene. They use mylar laminates (sold separately) to stiffen the feel a little if the player so chooses. This line of pads is geared specifically for the marching percussionist with pads to simulate marching snare (with a Kevlar head), tenors, and bass drum.
Another direction pad makers are taking is the one of electronics. Essentially a simplified electronic kit, some pads consist of a mesh head with a built in metronome, beat counter, and even sampled sounds and loops.
Some pads are manufactured with small chains or other noisemakers mounted underneath, simulating the sound of a snare drum when the pad is struck.
Most major drum and drum accessory manufacturers make practice pads that are essentially the rubber without any backing. These are meant to be placed over the head of an acoustic drum to dampen the sound with minimal loss of rebound.
The versatility, relatively subtle sound and portability of a pad make it a practical means of rehearsing for both seasoned drummers and aspiring drummers who wish to learn to play the drums before investing in a drum kit.
Ace Grafix Series brings new look to practice pads.(PRODUCTS: THE LATEST AND GREATEST IN NEW PRODUCTS INTRODUCTIONS)
Sep 01, 2007; THE NEW GRAFIX SERIES professional practice pads by Kaces are designed to make practice an artistic experience. With a set of new...