Best Electronic Drum Pad for Beginners

 

What is an Electronic Drum Pad?

You may have browsed through the acoustic drum sets and taken a look at the electronic kits and have realized that these weren’t right for you. The main reasons why an electronic drum pad would be preferable to the others is two things – size and cost. These small tabletop percussion pads are extremely compact – to the point that they can fit on a tabletop (hence the name), which is invaluable if don’t have the room to practice or if you want to be able to pick up your drums and take them with you wherever you go. Whilst electronic kits can be disassembled more easily than acoustic, it is nothing compared to these pads which can be picked up, put in your bag and you’re ready to go. This is great if you want to start recording samples on the go or in a studio but don’t want to drag around a full e-kit. Most of these can also double up as a midi-controller and so can be plugged into your computer and so be used for an electronic drum set if you eventually get one.

Electric drum pads are also much more affordable for those on a budget, although that’s not to say they can’t be expensive, such as Roland’s SPD-SX Sampling Pad. A pad like this is for more advanced producers, so in this guide we will keep the cost down under $300. One of our team’s kids used these for about a year before graduating to an acoustic kit. They still use them whenever a lick pops into their head that they want to test out. So before taking the plunge to a considerably more expensive kit, you may want to consider these as a great gateway drum. They are a lot less complex than full kits, although some of them retain the same standard configuration as a complete kit, ie the position of the toms, cymbals and snare. They will obviously not be the same in terms of motion and sound quality. That being said that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good rhythm going. So without further ado, here are what we believe are the best digital drum pads and best drum sample pads to get you started:

 

Top 4 Best Electronic Drum Pad for Beginners:

 

ModelName/ RatingSummaryCheck Price
Best Electronic Roll Up Pad for Beginners

Paxcess  Electronic Drum Set

Score:    (4.55 / 5)

Budget roll-up electronic pad, with metronome, pedals and 9 responsive pads
AMAZON

Yamaha DD-65 

   Score:    (4.75 / 5)

Incredible quality electronic pad with Yamaha drum sounds
AMAZON
Kat Percussion Pad

Kat Percussion KTMP1   

Score:    (4.25 / 5)

A budget electronic practice pad great for practicing technique with a range of drum sounds
AMAZON
Pyle Epad

Pyle Electronic(PTED06)   Score:    (4.40 / 5)

More affordable, but basic version of Yamaha. Solid build
AMAZON

Paxcess Electronic Roll-up Drum Pad

Best Electronic Roll Up Pad for Beginners
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The Paxcess Pad is perfect for kids aged 5 onwards and isn’t just limited to kids as it is a useful bit of equipment for first-time players of all ages. Their previous model was a firm favorite amongst kids and with their upgraded version they have brought a lot more drumming sounds to the table as well as giving them a more realistic sound. It is a really fun and effective way to get the hang of drumming techniques without the burden of forking out for a full kit and finding a place to play it. This tabletop set has nine silicone pads with a configuration that tries to imitate an acoustic set as best it can. With built-in speakers and a headphone jack this pad is perfect for practicing well into the night and once you are done it can be rolled up and packed away!

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap for a tabletop kit with decent playability
  • Perfect for traveling as it is compact and can be rolled up
  • Includes pedals which will help coordination
  • 9 responsive and sensitive pads
  • Basic metronome
  • Easily plugged into a computer
Cons

  • Sounds are a bit cheap and basic
  • Can’t mute speakers unless headphones are plugged in
  • Needs to be played on a hard surface

Yamaha DD-65 Portable Digital Drum Kit

Best Electronic Drum Pad for Beginners
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Next up is a more sturdy, premium pad from Yamaha. Still a very inexpensive solution for would-be drummers with little space to play. With loads of quality sounds, sampled from Yamaha’s acoustic drums and semi-realistic styles. The Yamaha DD65 represents a step up, with the touch-sensitive pads having a more authentic feel to them to better emulate a real drumming experience and the rubber pads let the sticks bounce well especially if fitted with rubber tips. Easy to use and configure, this solid kit by Yamaha is perfect for any beginner, kid or otherwise. Overall this is the best tabletop drum kit you will get if you are looking for a compact authentic experience on a budget.

Pros

  • Raised cymbals and realistic configuration
  • Easily adjusted drums and pedal set up (e.g. easy to change hi-hat pedal for another bass)
  • Samples authentic Yamaha drums
  • Play along with inbuilt songs with or without the drum track
Cons

  • Pedals are cheap and flimsy
  • When playing songs from your mp3 the volume is much quieter

 

Kat Percussion KTMP1 Percussion Pad

Kat Percussion Pad
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Moving away from imitation drum kits, KTMP1 Percussion Pad by KAT is a fantastic practice tool to get a rookie off the line for under $100. It looks more like a typical practice pad then an electronic drum kit and it would be more comparable to one, however it has 4 pads on it and 50 sounds to choose from. The pads are sensitive and responsive and are perfect for a first-time drummer to practice rolls, paradiddles and all the other rudiments whilst having some variations in sounds. You can also attach two pedals to the pads giving you a full set to play around with. The sounds on this kit are better than the poor quality sounds you get with a low-end electronic kit so it is quite fun to play with. It also doubles up as a midi controller if hooked up to a computer.

Pros

  • An inexpensive way to have a range of sounds and different drums pads in confined space
  • Perfect for practicing whilst traveling in the car
Cons

  • Very small so not like playing drums, has the feel of a pad.
  • Pad makes quite a bit of noise when the sticks hit the rubber
  • Basic functions

Pyle Electronic Drum Pad (PTED06)

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In direct competition with the Yamaha DD-65 is the competent budget set by Pyle. They may not have the name of Yamaha but they have certainly given them a run for their money with this kit. At nearly $50 less than the Yamaha, this kit is extremely competent and incredible value for money. It is easy to operate with an intuitive control module. The triggers are responsive, clean, crisp and can handle good pace. With an incredible variety of sounds, these sound great with or without headphones and are perfect for a first kit.

Pros

  • Incredibly affordable for a tabletop with 7 pads
  • Lots of sounds, kits and songs
  • Well constructed and produces a good sound
  • Easy to use
Cons

  • Pedals are light, flimsy and move around a lot
  • Lots of sounds and songs are very similar and a little basic

 

Electrifying Beginnings

As you can see from this list of the best electronic percussion pads, their prices pale in comparison to the full gear and so are a great way to test out the waters. If you have a toddler or kid who is picking up the sticks for the first time then these are great to get to grips with the fundamentals. If you are a junior at school then you can keep these with you to bust out when you have a free period. Or if you plan to sample some songs and want to lay down your own tracks then these are a great way to get you started if you don’t want to pay for a full e-kit. Ultimately it will be down to you if you think these suit your needs. It may be the case that you don’t want to spend too much but really want to be sitting on that drum throne surrounded by hats, toms and the bass drum, in which our article on the best budget electronic drums may be more up your alley. If not then the list above should be more than fine to get you on your way.