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  #1  
Old 12-13-2017, 02:15 AM
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Default Snare vs practice pad

I'm really sure this has been asked about a billion times but I have a snare and I want to get better at drum rudiments. Does the majority say I need a practice pad too?
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Theoretically, having a practice pad allows you to work on stuff at all hours without bothering everybody.

However, although I own several pads, if I can work it out on a snare drum, I will. After all, you're gonna get hired to play a drum, not a pad. There's a time to spend getting your sticking right, and then there's time you need to hear what the stuff actually sounds like as you make music. I advocate always working out on the drums, so you're working on both all the time. But having a pad is good to keep quiet and not lose out on playing time.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

The more surfaces you have to play on, the faster you will improve, all other things being equal. The most important work is done on pillows and other soft surfaces, even air drumming. That teaches you correct technique, and helps you to not rely on rebound.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

This video by Ted Warren explains the problems with it, and I agree with him. Basically: it's a bad idea to separate technique from sound-- the whole point of technique is to make a good sound.

Realistically, it is also hard to listen to a full volume real drum for all the hours it takes to get your snare drum chops together, even if you're the one playing it. If you'll practice more if you own a pad, you should get a pad.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Unless you live in your practice space and can play any time of day or you have a portable fully equipped and soundproof practice room that can be folded in your pocket antman style......

Actually.

It would still be nice to have a pad when working on certain things. I like the quiet when working on certain things, too.

I like working on technique and even independence when travelling, watching a movie, waiting for dinner, inbetween students if one of them is sick or not showing up for some other reason.

I have a pad and a pair of sticks lying around anywhere I might en up spending some time during the day or week as well as in the small backpackk I usually carry with me along with a copy of All American Drummer, Modern Rudimental Swing Solos and Sticking Patterns.

I normally only use 1-3 pads, but since I know that sometimes I just won't have access I've actually copied my eintire big kit with Super-Pads and L80s. I also have some smaller sized pedal options.

It's usefuÝ like in my current job where I travel quite far to work for two days and I teach in he basement of a school where I can't really make much noise in the daytime. It would also be great should I move to a city, need something to play at a girlfriend's place or whatever.
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Last edited by Odd-Arne Oseberg; 12-13-2017 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

The best practice is on the snare, but if that isn't always feasible a pad is really helpful.
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2017, 12:55 AM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Get a pad like the prologix blue lightning.

Less rebound than a snare and quiet... Makes you have to work for it.. I play it while watching TV.. A good way to get an hour in when your not behind the kit... Also, it's too distracting and tempting to play the cymbals and other drums etc.

I take what I learn on the pad and move it to the kit.. Also, playing with a pad and a metronome allow me to hear the metronome very well..

I do about 30-45 minutes a day on the pad and it has done wonders for my playing.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Pillows and air drumming are better for practicing everything except buzz rolls. Even with buzz rolls, you still use the chops from pillow practice.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2017, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

For my money, it would be optimal to always practice on a snare drum, as no pad can make you as aware of every tiny little dynamic and rhythmic incongruency like a snare drum can. Both ear fatigue and other people wanting their piece and quiet make that extremely impractical for all but a few people however, so pads tend to win out.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2017, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

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Originally Posted by Ghostnote View Post
For my money, it would be optimal to always practice on a snare drum, as no pad can make you as aware of every tiny little dynamic and rhythmic incongruency like a snare drum can. Both ear fatigue and other people wanting their piece and quiet make that extremely impractical for all but a few people however, so pads tend to win out.
Throw a snare reso head over a pillow. Itís even more unforgiving than a snare drum.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

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Originally Posted by Push pull stroke View Post
Throw a snare reso head over a pillow. It’s even more unforgiving than a snare drum.
Cool. I'll have to try that. It would however change the way I practice since rebound would not be a factor. The way I play on something like a pillow is completely different than how I play when employing rebound control. Also kinda hard to practice delicate rebound control ghost notes or pressed rolls on a pillow...
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2017, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

I'd love to play my actual drums all the time, but my living situation precludes that. Pads are how I get in my hour or two of practice each night. I think this is a reality for many of us. If it's not a limitation you have, then you shouldn't feel obligated to own a pad.
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2017, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

This combo gets pretty darn close.

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Old 12-14-2017, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

For sticking technique you need a pad.

You can tell when you're doing something right on a pad by the sound of the stick. A pad is better for cleaner rudiments.

Would be nice to have a snare to practice on but I can sit on the sofa with a pad and a pair of sticks and not annoy anyone :)
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Iíve always played my kit and practiced rudiments on snare. I tried a pad a few decades ago and didnít like it-didnít respond like a drum head at all. And I like to hear my notes on the snare - Iím more concerned with sound than technique anyways.
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Practice on both, but put a healthy amount of time in on the snare itself. Playing on a pad only may promote heavy and clumsy playing because you tend to play harder in order to hear what you're playing. To get total control playing rudiments dynamically and evenly, you need to practice them that way on an actual instrument.
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2018, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

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Originally Posted by GetAgrippa View Post
Iíve always played my kit and practiced rudiments on snare. I tried a pad a few decades ago and didnít like it-didnít respond like a drum head at all. And I like to hear my notes on the snare - Iím more concerned with sound than technique anyways.

THIS is exactly why you need to use a pad.. It feels different. Every snare feels different, every tom, cymbal etc. Learn to do you rudiments, singles, doubles on every surface available.


When someone asks you to sit at their kit you want to be able to play and not go home and get your own perfectly tuned snare drum that is at the only tension you can do a double stroke at.

There is a reason guys practice on pillows and couch cushions, use your legs too as there is no rebound there.

I use the prologix blue lightning pad. it is quiet and has less rebound than a snare. It has made me faster and cleaner. Not hearing the snares really shows every little mistake too as you are not hiding it under a longer sound.


Just a piece of advice, but I tell all my students to use a pad, and once I started myself my playing improved MUCH faster than just using a snare drum.

There are less distractions too when your just watching some tv and playing on one pad rather than having the temptation on playing grooves, fills, and messing around on the kit.
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2018, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Yeah, the opportunity to practice mostly anywhere at any time gives you a lot for time with the sticks in your hands.

I once was in the ideal situation having a my kit set up in another room just a couple of yards away from where I would mostly be. I could go on the regular kit while cooking dinner and so on, but I still had a pad. Now I have a whole bunch.

Sitting at my practice kit right now infact. There are many versions, I can copy my full kit and have several options for the feet with both real pedals. Now it's just a small 4-piece., but the point is that I don't have to go to the shed and can put in a few minutes any time I want and yeah I can watch a movie while doing some conditioning or ingraining a new sticking. Not ideal practice, but it gets more time in both as a whle and where I otherwise wouldn't be able to. In my case there's almost always an L80 ride and hats, too.
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  #19  
Old 01-05-2018, 03:02 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

I haven't read all the replies, but I'll add my opinion. I have 2 pads. A real feel and a super pad. They are total opposite as one has to much rebound, and one has very little rebound. I switch them up every week so I get different feel of how to play on each pad. My goal is the same with both pads.

I only play very simple exercises for the first 20 minutes with French and German grip. Then ill start playing rudiments and get them to sound good on the pad. You need to have a routine on pads. It's for technique work, and they work as well as any drum. I'm going to get one more pad just to switch up the feel. You could play on any surface if you get a real good foundation of technique ingrained. It's just a lot work, but well worth it!
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  #20  
Old 01-07-2018, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

I like to practice on both. Its obvious that the rebound is different between the two, but practice is practice. :)
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  #21  
Old 01-10-2018, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Practice pads do allow your hands to learn how to control the stick when the pad has lots of bounce or minimal bounce. It helps train the muscles.
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  #22  
Old 01-12-2018, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

A happy medium I've found is using a computer mouse pad. They're made from neoprene rubber, yet due to their reduced thickness, they don't have the rebound that the gum rubber has on most pads.
It's not only a good way to work the muscles that pillow practice would do, but it's also a lot cheaper.
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  #23  
Old 01-12-2018, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Yeah. They're all different. I have a bunch and sort of use them all depending.

I have:
Full kit of Super pads
Evans/HQ 12" rubber
Gretsch 12" rubber
Steve Smith Backstage
Reflexx
14" Moongel
P4 Petrillo pad
Brush-Up
14" Xymox
12" Remo
12" Billy Hyde
Several generic 8" rubber pads

HQ Soundoffs for when I travel but have to be quiet when waiting for students.

Wrestling mats and cork trivets also work well.

Just ask if you wonder about any particular one.
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Can I offer a slightly contrary opinion to most of those offered here?

For years I only practiced on the kit. As an untrained drummer with frequent access to a full kit and sound-dampening rehearsal space, I just sat on the kit and muscled my way through learning, because I had the time/freedom to do so.

What I found out later was that by only using the full kit, I was actually hiding my technique behind big drum sounds. I was doing a lot of instinctive drags on the snare, and there was a lot of sloppy rebounding on the bass drum - but in the context of a full kit playing with a full band, the sound of those errors was minimized, and therefore forgivable.

It wasn't until I started recording in nice studios and attempting to play electronic kits that I realized how horrible my technique really was; close-miking and e-drum pads are almost humiliatingly unforgiving, and my sloppiness was amplified. I was horrified.

Around the same time, purchasing a practice pad was almost happenstance for me - I only got one because I felt I wasn't practicing enough in between tours, and living situations prohibited full drum volume. But I immediately realized, playing at that lower volume and hearing each individual strike without any ambient noise to mask them, that my poor technique was just as evident on the pad as it had been in the studio and on the e-kits (especially when practicing on the hard rubber side of the pad, where drags and ghost notes have to be extremely precise to sound right).

Nowadays I still practice on the pad during the week (quiet neighborhood) then hit the full kit for band practice on the weekends. The pad work has kept my hands in great shape - so much so that I fashioned a similar setup to use with my bass drum pedal, and that's helped my foot technique immensely. I find that while there is not - and can never be - a perfect translation between what I do on the pad versus what I do on the kit, there are certain fundamentals that can be exercised on a drum pad and absolutely have a positive effect on the kit playing (internalizing tempos, keeping even fills, noodling out complex parts, etc.).

TLDR: Plenty of work on the drum pad has undeniably improved my playing on a full kit.
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
Realistically, it is also hard to listen to a full volume real drum for all the hours it takes to get your snare drum chops together, even if you're the one playing it. If you'll practice more if you own a pad, you should get a pad.
That's me. I may be a drummer, but I can only take so much crash-bang-boom in a day. But if I sit down with a practice pad and some headphones, I can practice rudiments til the cows come home.
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  #26  
Old 01-23-2018, 04:54 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

The pad is a supplement, not a substitute for the drum. Certainly this means doubly so for the drum set, where you're using all of your limbs, doing unison strikes, moving laterally, up and down to reach cymbals, different surfaces, etc.

BUT...when you're working on repetitive patterns such as rudiments or a new type of stroke, you're going to want to use a pad.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have about 20 different ones, including a brush pad and use them regularly, in addition to the set.
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  #27  
Old 01-23-2018, 04:56 AM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

I agree that a pad with a click is very honest, no snare buzz, no overtones.. If your off, you'll know... You can hide behind the volume of a drumset
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  #28  
Old 01-24-2018, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
Yeah. They're all different. I have a bunch and sort of use them all depending.

I have:
Full kit of Super pads
Evans/HQ 12" rubber
Gretsch 12" rubber
Steve Smith Backstage
Reflexx
14" Moongel
P4 Petrillo pad
Brush-Up
14" Xymox
12" Remo
12" Billy Hyde
Several generic 8" rubber pads

HQ Soundoffs for when I travel but have to be quiet when waiting for students.

Wrestling mats and cork trivets also work well.

Just ask if you wonder about any particular one.
The super pad is great for building chops! I got a 10" and it gets a ton of use. It feels like a floor room. Also, I recently purchased 3/4" rubber tile mats to put under my drum set. It's on a hardwood floor and it opened up the lower end and pretty much EQ'd the set perfectly. I couldn't believe how much of a difference that made!

Which pad is your favorite?
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  #29  
Old 01-24-2018, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Not much of a fan of rubber in general, but the Billy Hyde has the right feel for conditioning. They are good for finger stuff, though.

The nicest feeling one would be a 12" Super-Pad that I have on top of a Remo TSS. I have these mainly to have quiet version of my whole kit at home.

Lately I've been using the Xymox a lot. It's a diffeent feel when working on technique and etudes. It's very articulate.

At work I have to be quiet in the daytime so I have standard Remo.

Reflexx and Moongel are glorified pillows, sorta.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomstick View Post
That's me. I may be a drummer, but I can only take so much crash-bang-boom in a day. But if I sit down with a practice pad and some headphones, I can practice rudiments til the cows come home.
Oh I hear ya. I love playing rudiments.
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  #31  
Old 01-24-2018, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Drum is a drum, pad is a pad. Always use snare when possible.

But there's also a third alternative to use at home if you got a extra drum lying around. A drum with a mesh head tuned quite loose feels quite close to an actual drum and the rebound is much more "realistic" and its also quiet.

I have been using this method for last ten years and its proven very good. I have a 13"x11" power tom which I'm not using, I have the lower part of a cheap snare stand with a tom holder in it. Any time I sit at the computer watching something or get bored or lazy enough to not go to the rehearsal room, I play with this thing, tuned low the rebound is almost exactly like on my snare. Tuned higher it gets over the top.

The best thing for this might be a piccolo snare with a mesh head, wouldn't even take the space. Try it out if you got extra drum lying around, mesh heads are cheap and can take years before they break. :)
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Snare vs practice pad

Really, your post title is just wrong -- it should say "Snare AND practice pad AND other stuff too" or "ONLY pad practice is a bad idea".

I always have my students learn technique on a pad. When you're not creating a loud snare drum sound, it's easier to focus on the movements of your sticks, and how your technique affects those movements. The exaggerated rebound of a pad is not a bad thing either. It forces you to notice, and (hopefully) control or utilize the rebound of the stick.

But the pad is just a learning tool. You should practice on a real snare as well. And on your hi-hats, toms, floor toms, cymbals, pillows, thighs, etc. Get a pad, a Wilcoxon book of snare solos, the Rudimental Logic and Great Hands for a Lifetime DVDs, and learn your rudiments already!
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