£39.99 Keo Per­cus­sion’s sig­na­ture pad will have you prac­tis­ing like a trooper...

Rhythm - - DRUM LESSONS - Words: Tom Bradley

Of­fi­cially launched at the sum­mer NAM show in 2018, Keo Per­cus­sion is the lat­est brain­child of Keith Keough, the Bri­tish Drum Co’s renowned wood­smith.

Keo of­fers a mouth­wa­ter­ing range of UK man­u­fac­tured per­cus­sion in­stru­ments and ac­ces­sories. Our first taste of the new wares ar­rives in the form of a very spe­cial prac­tice pad.


De­signed in con­junc­tion with le­gendary Iron Maiden sticks­man Nicko McBrain, the 10" pad fea­tures a 5mm thick red nat­u­ral gum play­ing sur­face with a black en­gi­neered HDF base­plate. Un­like other prac­tice pads the Boomer in­cludes a large bor­der with a raised rim, de­signed for rimshot and cross-stick prac­tice. Small cir­cu­lar cutouts around the outer rim em­u­late the tun­ing rods of a 10-lug snare giv­ing it a fun, authen­tic aes­thetic.

The pad bor­der is em­bla­zoned with the words Nicko ‘Boomer’ McBrain writ­ten in the un­mis­tak­able Iron Maiden font, plus a Keo logo on the op­po­site side. The un­der­side of the pad fea­tures a 5mm non-slip foam base­plate for ta­ble-top prac­tice and an en­graved nat­u­ral­wood Sig­na­ture Se­ries name­plate.

Hands On

The rub­ber play­ing sur­face pos­sesses plenty of re­bound and re­sponds nat­u­rally as we put it through its paces. Placed on top of a snare drum the pad feels se­cure and doesn’t bounce around as some smaller pads do, this is likely due to the ex­tra weight of the base. The non-slip foam on the un­der­side keeps it firmly planted on any flat sur­face. The pad also works well in a snare stand but has no mount­ing thread for at­tach­ing to a cym­bal stand.

The rim is an in­ter­est­ing ad­di­tion that we haven’t seen on a prac­tice pad be­fore. In the­ory this is a good idea for de­vel­op­ing tech­nique and ex­plor­ing dy­namic op­tions, but in re­al­ity the solid wood cre­ates a con­sid­er­able noise, which is dis­pro­por­tion­ate to the qui­eter rub­ber sur­face. Cross-stick also feels a lit­tle un­nat­u­ral due to the small di­men­sions of the pad.

The Boomer cer­tainly serves its pur­pose as a por­ta­ble prac­tice tool; it’s the per­fect size for stash­ing in the bag with a pair of sticks if you find the time to grab a few min­utes prac­tice on the hoof.

Run For The Fills The raised rim al­lows for prac­tis­ing rimshot and cross-stick tech­niques The Sticker Man The pad base fea­tures 5mm non-slip foam for se­cure po­si­tion­ing on any flat sur­face Be Quick Or Be Red The 7" play­ing sur­face made of 5mm deep red gum rub­ber

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