Newbie alert! Rubber vs mesh heads?


I walk the line
First off, I'm not a drummer, never will be. I don't have the coordination, never will. My hat's off to you guys.

All I want to do is two things.

1) Lay down individual parts (layer one drum or cymbal part at a time) to build and flesh out my own stuff, using midi so I can pick whatever sounds I want later and change them around (and fix mistakes :D).

2) Try and teach myself how to play simple parts on a kit, just for the learning experience. Maybe I could sit in on a slow blues tune at a jam sometime. I also need to work on my timekeeping.

So what's the deal with rubber vs mesh? Why is mesh considered so much better?


New member
In general, mesh heads feel and respond more like an actual drum head than rubber pads.While this is a more significant issue for an experienced drummer who has developed technique on acoustic drums, it can certainly help a newer drummer gain a better feel for technique (the feel of the stick rebounding off the head, etc.)

The rubber pads can not provide the same level of playing dynamics as mesh pads (naturally, based on the level of sensitivity that can be programmed, etc.)

In addition. the rubber pads have little "give" which results in the impact vibrating back into the hands and up the arms, the potential to cause injury, in particular if the player hits hard and/or plays on the pads for long periods of time.

Another consideration is room sound. The mesh heads are relatively quiet, where as the rubber heads created a relatively loud click or thud on each contact. Depending on your playing/recording space, that constant sound can drive family/room mates/neighbors rather mad!!!

Having started on rubber pads and then moving to mesh pads, I would never want to go back to pads.


I walk the line
Thanks, man. I'm not too worried about them not feeling like real drums because, like I said, I'm not a drummer. I've played around on friends' drums before, but not enough to get used to the feel (and it's been a LONG time ago). Room sound is REALLY important to me, though. But I'm afraid if I try and wait until I can afford a mesh head kit, I'll never get any.


If only for a moment.....
Pretty much what Xdrummer said. When I had the electric Roland {I think it was the TD6}, I kind of Frankensteined the kit with a TD8 brain and went for the mesh head snare. I don't play drums but I felt that it was only fair for my friends playing to give them something as real as possible to get them into the tech experience. One used to grizzle and whinge about every aspect of that kit {and I thought I was a purist !} and even the mesh head wasn't good enough but those that could appreciate it did. I think psychologically it was the better bet too.
The thing that really surprised me about the original rubber pad kit was how much noise it made ! Especially the kick. I think it was even more 'thuddy' and annoying than a real kick drum because it had that "drip...drip....drip" effect, especially if you were in an adjoining room or the one directly under.