As a drummer, you probably have drum practice sessions where you start making so much noise your neighbours threaten to call the police.
So, how to make the drums quieter?
The most efficient way to keep the sound of drumming low is to use electronic drums or practice pads.
If you want to stick with the acoustic set, you can muffle the sound of drums with mesh drum heads, drum and cymbal mutes, or other materials.
Additionally, you can use low-volume cymbals and quiet drum sticks and preserve the natural feel of playing the drums while keeping the sound low.
In this article, we will give you the seven best ways how to make drums quieter.
Practice drum kits
Practice drum kits are your solution to learning the drums without having to play loud enough for other people to hear.
These kits are made up of practice pads that have been installed on stands and assembled as an acoustic kit.
Unlike electronic drums, a practice drum kit does not require electricity to make a sound.
Practice pads indeed don’t have the sound of drums, but they are great for practising at home without noise coming out of your room.
They are cheaper than acoustic and electronic drum kits, easy to install, and practical to carry around.
Electronic drums allow you to listen to the sound of your drumming on headphones, so you can adjust the volume however you want, but you will be the only person to hear the sounds.
They consist of an electronic or digital sound module that produces the synthesized or sampled percussion sounds and one or more electric sensors to trigger the sounds.
Like traditional drums, electronic drums are struck by drum sticks or hands, producing a sound.
You can adjust the volume of electronic drums, so even if without the headphones, electronic drums can be much quieter than acoustic ones.
Mesh drum heads
Mesh drum heads are a fairly new phenomenon, and they’re a great solution in situations where you need your drums to be quiet.
In general, any drum kit can be converted into a quiet drum kit by replacing all or some of the standard acoustic heads with mesh heads.
They have a very similar feel and response to standard drumheads, but the sound you will hear will be very weak vibrations bouncing off the drum shells.
They’re made of woven material and have pores that reduce volume significantly.
You can find mesh drum heads online or at any music store, but keep in mind that they’re different sizes, so you need to be aware of what size you need before buying them.
If you’re buying them online, search for the model number on your current drum heads, and that will tell you what size you need; if you’re buying them at a store, ask one of the staff members there for help matching up the sizes.
Drum and cymbal mutes
Drum and cymbal mutes are pads that you can place on top of your drum and cymbal surfaces to make them quieter.
They look like thick foam pads, and they come in different shapes and sizes depending on what type of drums or cymbals they’re meant to cover.
Drum and cymbal mutes are usually made of rubber that reduces the noise of your instrument without lowering the quality of sound.
They can be used whenever you need to reduce the sound of your drums, at home or on stage.
The main benefit of drum and cymbal mutes is that they are relatively affordable and easy to set up.
Muffling the bass drum
If you need to muffle the bass drum, which is the loudest component of your drum set, there are a few ways to do it.
If you want a cheap solution, you can remove the resonant head place and place some material such as a blanket, towel, or a pillow, inside the drum.
However, there are specially designed muffling pads that you can place inside the drum, and they are available for purchase online or in music stores.
This way, you have more control over how much of the sound you want to kill.
Low-volume cymbals are designed to be quieter than their regular versions.
These cymbals have numerous holes placed all around them, which lowers the sound.
They are thinner and lighter than regular cymbals and are typically made of brass, bronze, or nickel alloys.
Low-volume cymbals are great for practising at home and in other noise-sensitive circumstances, and they assist in keeping and protecting your hearing as well.
Compared to regular cymbals, they offer a volume reduction of around 80%, but they still feel and respond like real ones.
Quiet drum sticks
Quiet drum sticks such as rods and brushes can reduce the noise made by a drummer.
With quiet drum sticks, you are getting a feel that’s very similar to what you’re used to, but with the dampened sound of playing.
Hot rod drumsticks are a form of drum beater made by wrapping thin wooden sticks together.
It produces a sound that is somewhere between that of a standard drumstick and that of a brush.
Brushes are made from metal wires, and besides they produce a quieter sound than the drumsticks, they are also used for their specific sound, especially in jazz music.
The most efficient way to play the drums quietly is to use electronic drums or practice drum kits.
If you want to make your acoustic drums quieter, you won’t get the same result, but you will be able to reduce the sound by using mesh drum heads or drum and cymbal mutes.
You can also try using low-volume cymbals and quiet drumsticks, and you can muffle the sound of the bass drum with different materials.
Living next door to a drummer can be exhausting.
You can avoid annoying your neighbours by using some of these solutions to make drums quieter and keep the drumming within your walls.