Snare vs practice pad

Drum4Jesus

Member
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?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
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.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
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.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
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.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
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 usefuø 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.
 
Last edited:

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
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.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Pillows and air drumming are better for practicing everything except buzz rolls. Even with buzz rolls, you still use the chops from pillow practice.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
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.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
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. It’s even more unforgiving than a snare drum.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
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...
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
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.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
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 :)
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I’ve always played my kit and practiced rudiments on snare. I tried a pad a few decades ago and didn’t like it-didn’t respond like a drum head at all. And I like to hear my notes on the snare - I’m more concerned with sound than technique anyways.
 

gconyers

Senior Member
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.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I’ve always played my kit and practiced rudiments on snare. I tried a pad a few decades ago and didn’t like it-didn’t respond like a drum head at all. And I like to hear my notes on the snare - I’m 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.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
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.
 

Hummada

Senior Member
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!
 
Top