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Practice drum sets are instrumental for drummers looking to refine their skills, offering a quieter, more contained playing experience. These sets are designed to reduce noise while still providing an authentic drumming feel.
The best practice kits available are also lightweight and designed to be easily transported. Their smaller footprint is especially beneficial for drummers with limited space or those frequently on the move.
A good practice drum set will simulate playing on a full-sized acoustic drum kit, in order to help you translate musical ideas seamlessly to a real drum set.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned drummer looking for a quiet practice solution, these sets offer an effective way to hone your skills without the volume of traditional drum kits.
- What are the Best Practice Drum Sets?
- How I Tested and Selected the Best Practice Drum Sets
- In-Depth Practice Drum Set Reviews
- Practice Drum Set Buyer’s Guide
- Practice Drum Sets are Perfect for Small Homes
- Practice Drum Kits are Easy to Transport
- They Will Help to Protect Your Hearing
- Practice Drum Sets are Ideal for Backstage
What are the Best Practice Drum Sets?
How I Tested and Selected the Best Practice Drum Sets
I’ve lived in a few apartments over the years, so I’ve had to use a few practice drum kits to improve while not bothering any of my neighbors.
There was a time when I tried out every single practice option I could find across dozens of music stores, as I wanted to have the best setup to feel natural when playing.
Through that experience, I was able to single out all the best practice kits on the market. The biggest thing I looked for when testing these products was volume control. The quieter they were, the better they’d be.
Crucially, I also selected these practice kits based on their responsiveness and how authentic they feel to play compared to standard acoustic drums.
Finally, I looked at different price tags to see what the best options were in each budget range.
In-Depth Practice Drum Set Reviews
The winner of the best practice drum set is the highly portable DW Complete Go Anywhere Practice Drum Set. This practice pad kit is a dream come true for drummers looking to build chops and technique.
Before I got to try this set out, I saw dozens of famous drummers using it. Drummers like Tony Royster Jr and Cobus Potgieter were big fans, so I was very excited to give it a go.
This is a very high-quality practice pad drum set that mounts on a single, double-braced tripod stand. It features 5 durable pads to simulate playing on a full-sized drum set. It includes a snare drum pad, 3 tom pads, and a bass drum drum pad, with which you can attach a bass drum pedal.
The pads felt great to play on when I played the kit. They provided a solid rebound to build speed and endurance, and they were relatively quiet to help practice for longer without disturbing others.
DW has designed the best practice drum set on the market with this package. It’s small and lightweight enough to be transported anywhere easily.
The DW go-anywhere practice pad drum set is favored by professional drummers and students around the world thanks to its solid construction and low practice volume. It’s one of the best tools for building technique, control, and speed on the drums.
- The best practice drum set on the market
- Exceptional build quality
- Compact and ultra portable
- Doesn't include a carry case
The Alesis Nitro All-Mesh Electronic Practice drum Set is the best electronic practice drum set in its price range. It comes complete with all-mesh drumheads that deliver a realistic and responsive playing experience.
While most practice sets don’t provide actual drum sounds, I thought it would be great to try an affordable electronic kit out to see if it had the same sort of high-quality playability. The Alesis Nitro Mesh definitely did, so it’s a top-tier option for practicing in my book.
The Alesis Nitro drum set includes a powerful drum module that is loaded with hundreds of quality sounds and 40 drum kits to help you practice.
It’s a portable drum set that is also very high quality. While being small and compact, it’s also a lot of fun to play! The mesh heads offer a natural playing response and they are nice and quiet.
This practice drum set includes a mesh kick drum trigger unit and bass drum pedal that simulates a realistic playing experience. It also includes a hi-hat pedal that performs pretty well too.
The Nitro module is responsive and accurately picks up all the nuances of playing on the mesh drumheads. The sounds are detailed and expressive considering the affordable price tag of the kit.
Overall the Alesis Nitro electronic drum set represents amazing value for money and it is a joy to play. It’s the perfect practice drum set for any drummer looking to explore a range of sounds to choose from while practicing.
- Includes everything you need to play!
- Powerful and expressive range of electronic drum sounds
- Durable and robust build quality
- Not as space saving as practice pads
- Expensive for a practice drum set
This pack of Vic Firth Drum Mutes is a basic yet effective noise reduction solution for drummers wanting to practice quietly on an existing drum set.
This drum practice pad set includes drum mutes and cymbal mutes that mount on top of drums and cymbals, and reduce the volume of the drum set by more than 80%!
Vic Firth’s drum practice pad set is an excellent and affordable option that will enable you to play your drum set without disturbing others. The mutes are high quality and durable, and they provide a good rebound whilst being played.
The mutes fit snug on top of the drumheads for their specified sizes and the cymbal mutes will fit on top of any sized cymbals.
The biggest thing I found with these mutes was that they lowered rebound a bit. I actually enjoyed that quality, as it was quite different from all the other practice sets that I tried which had too much stick rebound.
If you are looking to keep practice noise to a minimum, and you still want to play your drum set, this is the best drum practice pad set that is both practical and effective.
This practice drum pad set will enable you to play a full sized drum set whilst eliminating most of the noise to help you play for longer!
- Practice without disturbing others!
- Drum mutes fit on top of existing drums and cymbals
- Affordable practice drum set solution
- Pads don't offer realistic rebound compared to normal playing
This Remo 10 Inch Practice Pad is the perfect tool for drummers looking to build hand technique, speed, and endurance anywhere.
The Remo RT10 practice pad features an ambassador coated drumhead that provides the authentic bounce and feel of a real drum. The drumhead is tune-able which means you can adjust it to your favored tension for practicing.
This high-quality drum practice pad set will enable you to build your rudiments and chops when you don’t have access to a full drum set.
I didn’t have high expectations of this pad at first, but I was pleasantly surprised when playing it, and I loved how I could change the tension by loosening the screws around the head.
Overall this is one of the best drum set practice pads for beginners and pro drummers alike to build hand control and technique. It’s a solid pad that produces a realistic rebound and it’s a great tool for practicing on.
- Ultra space saving practice solution
- Genuine Remo ambassador drumhead
- Offers realistic bounce and feel
- Only one single pad to practice on
- Doesn't simulate playing a real drum set
The Prologix Percussion Rich Redmond Practice Pad makes use of 2 different playing surfaces to allow you to work on your drumming chops anytime and anyplace.
This is one of the most versatile drumming practice pads that I’ve ever tried out, and I thought that it was designed exceptionally well. This drum set practice pad allows you to practice more effectively and explore your creativity with ease.
It also features a countersunk, non-marking rim that allows for realistic rim shots and cross-stick patterns.
The 2 individual playing surfaces feel great to play on and they simulate movement around the drum set, which is something you can’t achieve from a conventional single surface practice pad.
The medium-resistance red surface offers a solid rebound, whilst the extreme-resistance black surface is designed for building strength and endurance.
This is an excellent drumming tool that will help you develop greater speed, control, and accuracy.
- Really solid build quality
- Sturdy hoop allows for rimshots
- Builds speed, technique and endurance
- Can only practice hand technique
- Expensive for a practice pad
Practice Drum Set Buyer’s Guide
A quality practice drum set makes a great investment. They are versatile, lightweight, compact, and valuable tools to use in order to hone and develop your skills as a progressing drummer!
Even if you already own an acoustic drum that you are able to play on, a practice drum set is an affordable tool you should consider buying for a number of reasons that I’ll list below.
Practice Drum Sets are Perfect for Small Homes
Practice drum sets save a lot of space and they are able to be packed away within minutes. So if you don’t have a permanent place to fit your drum set, then a practice drum kit can be set up quickly for whenever you want to play!
Another issue many drummers have to face while living in small living spaces is noise levels. You don’t want to be dealing with complaints, and practice drum sets are much quieter alternatives to full-sized acoustic drum sets.
Practice drum sets utilize rubber or mesh pads that produce far less noise than regular drum sets. This means you won’t have to deal with neighbors’ noise complaints! They also provide a good rebound that mimics the playing response of real drum heads.
Practice Drum Kits are Easy to Transport
If you tend to move around a lot, or simply need to practice in different places, then a practice drum kit is what you’ll need. they can fold away extremely quickly and are ultra-convenient to transport.
They also take up a small amount of space in a car, and a practice drum set like the DW Go Practice Kit can be transported in a taxi or a bus if you don’t own your own car.
They Will Help to Protect Your Hearing
Even if you own your own full acoustic drum set and can practice on it whenever you like, it’s not always a good idea to expose yourself to such loud noise volumes for long periods of time.
With a practice drum set, you’ll be able to play for longer and more efficiently, too. You can play at obscure hours such as late at night if needs be. With a practice drum set, you can translate your musical ideas even while you’re away from the drum set.
Practice Drum Sets are Ideal for Backstage
When you need to practice at a show, you’ve got to use either a practice pad or a practice drum set backstage. A practice drum set is a more advanced option of the two and allows you to play as if you’re on a real kit with the different pads.
Many pro drummers rely on practice drum sets backstage in order to warm up effectively and be best prepared for executing killer performances on stage.