The world of drum is full of pads, but there are a few, quite different categories of drum pads, each with it’s own use. This page discusses and explains those drum pad types, and how you can use them in your life as a drummer or drum student.
Electronic Drum Pads
There are various types of electronic drum pads but they all transform physical impact into electrical signals that then trigger sound generating electronic circuitry. Electronic drum pads are found in electronic drum sets (those are great to have), where they are used to simulate actual drum as closely as possible, cost permitting, and in drum machine type devices, which are controlled using the hands or sticks, but are not configured to feel like drum sets.
Practice Drum Pads
The practice pads are a type of silent drum used for practice. They are usually made of a wooden or plastic board covered with a thick layer of rubber-like material to simulate the bounce a tight drum head would produce. Some practice pads are filled with beads that rattle to give a soft version of a sound not unlike that of a snare drum. Every drummer and student should have at least one practice drum pad. A single pad may not help in learning how to get around a whole drum set, but it is an excellent device to practice technique on, when a drum set is unavailable or just too loud for the situation. Multiple practice pads can also be mounted on a rack to form a practice set resembling the configuration of an actual drum set.
Complaints from the neighbors? Use silencing pads to muffle the drum set. Silencing pads fit over the drum-heads and reduce the stick’s impact. Silencing pads are not an expensive item anyway, but it’s advisable to not go for the cheapest silencing pads out there because bad ones can potentially reduce the stick’s bounce making the drums harder to play.