Drums are a fantastic musical and exercise outlet, and they offer many therapeutic benefits, as well. However, they are not the quietest instrument available, which is why people have come up with ingenious ways of muffling drums throughout the years. Whether they use pillows or tape or the more commercial methods of dampening the sounds of their enthusiasm, almost every drummer will come across a need for it at one time or another.
Drummers usually want to dampen or muffle their sound for two reasons: tone and volume.
For tone muffling, the emphasis is on controlling the sound, such as ringing or overtones. Volume muffling concerns playing more quietly so as not to disturb the neighbors. While drum pads are also good for this purpose, muffling drums offers the ability to play on the intended surface while keeping noise down. There are various accessories available for dampening the sometimes deafening sound produced when playing your drums and it is a good idea to try more than one product.
With experimentation, you will probably find that you like different things for muffling different drums. Besides the obvious differences like using pillows for a bass drum and tape on a snare, playing around with sound quality might show you that you like the way moon gel makes your toms sound, but you would want to use something else for other drums. And, while some drummers may have drum kits that seem to be covered in muffling devices, other drummers don’t care for the technique at all. In the end, muffling drums is about style and desired effect.
Some drummers muffle their sound by placing things into their drums and others simply stick things onto them. Of course, mix and match works here, too. The best way to figure out what works for you is to try different things and use different objects until you are satisfied. And, if nothing works to help give you the sound you are looking for, never hesitate to go buy a different drum by a different company. Experimentation is the right of the artist.
If it is noise pollution that primarily motivates your desire for muffling drums, practice pads are a most useful tool. With them, you can drum to your heart’s content without disturbing anyone. There are even drum pads that use headphones, making sure you are the only one who gets the full benefit of your talent. When it comes to drumming, consideration for others will come into play eventually and drum muffling techniques will come in handy.