Rebound on my snare vs my practice pad - way off


My snare is the stock snare that came with my OSP kit (trashy poplar kit from some Arkansan company). It has an Evans EC Reversed Dot head on it. My pad is a 6" HQ Real Feel. I've been using the practice pad a lot to do rudiments, as I live with room mates whom I don't wish to disturb with my crappy out-of-time beginner playing. I've noticed, though, that when I move to the snare drum to do the rudiments, I have barely any rebound compared to what I have on the HQ pad. Is this normal? Are Real Feels known for having an unrealistically high degree of bounce? Are EC Reversed Dot head known for having bad rebound? I've tried tuning my snare tighter to improve its rebound, but I'm worried that if I go too tight I'll damage the wood or the hoops. I have no concept of how tight is normal or safe for snare tuning. What would you guys recommend?

Edit - In case it's relevant, I'm using Zildjian 5B hickory sticks with nylon tips on both the pad and the snare.


Platinum Member
Re: Rebound on my snare vs my practice pad - WAY OFF

I am yet to find a practice pad.....any practice pad.....that accurately replicates the feel of a drum head. The Sabian Quiet Tone does a good job, but as good as it is, it still falls short. Real Feels, Vic Firth and Vater pads et al are quality pads and make for excellent training aids, but they are just aid. The only way to get the identical feel of playing on a drum head is to play on a drum head.

You can try cranking the tension on your snare a little, so that the disparity between head and pad isn't so great. But at the end of the day they can only do so much. Hence why they are called "practice pads" and not "replica drum heads for quiet practice" :)

I always try to use several different pads with different feeling surfaces on them (some that offer a lot of rebound, others that offer none and everything in between) in order to try to get used to playing on any surface. You can achieve a similar effect by folding a towel or tea towel and putting it on top of the pad. The more layers, the less rebound you'll get. But ultimately, get on your snare drum as often as is possible.
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Gold Member
Only a drum will feel like a drum. But, I'm going to say that it's great that they don't feel the same. Developing finger control requires rebound. The pad does that greatly. So, how ever much or little finger control is applicable on any given surface you'll have ready to go.


Platinum Member
I guarantee your snare can go higher than it's tuned now, especially if a RealFeel is giving you more rebound. However, I can understand your issue right now, caused by a few things-

A) Soft wood snares are going to be lacking in rebound generally, in my experience. Not much you can do about that.

B) The EC Reverse Dot is a very muffled head. The most bouncy heads IMO are thick single-ply heads, but the EC is two plies and a dot. Not a lot to work with.

If you're interested in getting more rebound, try a higher tuned G14 (or X14). I think they sound fantastic as well.

I am yet to find a practice pad.....any practice pad.....that accurately replicates the feel of a drum head.
Try an Offworld pad with their "dark matter" stuff (Invader or Outlander). They offer IMO a very, very high degree of accuracy- at least for my high-ish tuned snare tastes (and to be fair, I use it more for concert snare practice). I found the Aquarian Tru-Bounce to be similar in feel as well (at least much better than my RealFeel [gum rubber] or soft Vater [colored gum rubber, I believe?] pads).

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
This adds fuel to my argument that you need to practice on your drums alot more. I get the use of the practice pad, I even own a few, but my work is done on actual drums, and all that finger control stuff is useless if you can't do it on a real drum. Find a way to make practicing on your drums happen more.


Silver Member
I would agree the more time you can practice on the real kit and snare, the better.

Unfortunately, I fall into the category of people who don't have the luxury of playing my real kit very much. In a house with two children under the age of 5 and not having the money to spend $10k on a sound proof room, I'm sort of SOL.

Here's what I've done to help "feed the addiction."

I bought a set of those DW deadhead practice pads (see here). Scored it for $40 on ebay. I use one of those on a snare stand for my practice snare. Or just use a practice pad of any brand. Over that, I put one of those black vic-firth rubber drum mutes. This serves to deaden the rebound to what I think is a pretty realistic feel. Still not spot on with a real snare but it helps me work on form and not rely on the rebound of a practice pad alone.

For a bass drum, use one of those Gibraltar practice pads.

For the rest of the this. There are tons of people on CL trying to unload those Rock Band drum kits (see here). I was able to get one for free on CL but most people just want them gone and will take reasonably low offers. The Rock Band drum kits were basically cheap ION electric kits that plugged into the game. It's got two cymbal pads and four drum pads and a pedal. I use the pedal to simulate the hi-hat pedal. The drum pads are not too bouncy and again, I think they provide a good practice surface that's reasonable close to my toms. It's fully adjustable so I can set the practice pads up exactly like my real drum set.