Although drums are usually not loud enough for someone who loves percussion, they can sometimes disturb your neighbors and household members whenever you practice at home. Thus, regardless of whether you play rock, funk or jazz, learning how to practice drums quietly is essential.
To help you with this aspect, the following tips explain how to complete your drumming rehearsals without testing the patience of the people around you:
- Get an Individual Practice Pad: Besides the fact that a good practice pad allows you to practice drums without annoying your neighbors, it can help you exercise different stick control techniques, boost muscle memory of your hands and learn the fundamentals of odd time signatures. You can find a variety of individual practice pads, which offer different feels, volumes and playing surfaces. One of the best products is the ironwood block covered with a rubber pad.
- Choose a Practice Pad Kit: You can also look for practice pad kits. Made from rubber-covered wooden blocks, these kits provide the same arrangement as a regular acoustic set. A great thing is that they are quiet enough to practice in an apartment. However, they can be quite loud for a roommate who is trying to watch TV or have a conversation in the same room.
- Look for Sound-Off Pads: Another thing you can do to practice drums quietly is to purchase a set of rubber pads or individual snare pads and place them on top of your drums and cymbals to reduce volume. You can find these pads at any music store.
- Use Brushes: You may also consider getting some brushes. These drumming tools permit you to play drums quietly without sacrificing your stick height to get soft sounds. Additionally, brushes make it possible for you to play with the same attack on drums as if you’re using sticks.
- Develop New Skills: Learning how to play the drums with a lighter touch and lower stick high is the best way to lower the volume of your practice sessions, but it’s the most difficult one. Focus on your technique, and work with a private drum teacher to master the skill.
- Get Thinner, Lighter and Smaller Sticks: You can practice drums quietly by simply getting thinner, lighter and smaller sticks. That way, you’re able to practice at low-velocity swings. However, this solution is appropriate only if you live in a home surrounded by landscape, which can stop the sound transmission from your living space to adjacent houses. If you’re living in an apartment, you may want to try another solution.
- Purchase an Electronic Kit: Electronic kits, also referred to as E-kits, are available in a wide range of designs. The nice thing about these kits is that, unlike regular acoustic kits, they have a volume knob and hundreds of sounds you can choose from. This means that you can tailor your E-kit to match any type of song you want to play, while keeping the volume down.
- Buy an Isolating Drum Booth: Another thing you can do to practice drums quietly is to purchase an isolating drum booth. This booth doesn’t only enclose the sound, but also absorbs it, while preventing sound transmission to neighboring areas. Since most drum booths are large enough to accommodate an acoustic kit, they are suitable for spacious apartments or houses.
- Tune Your Drums: Tuning your drums to a pitch lower than the natural resonance can also lower the overall volume of your acoustic kit. To lower the volume even more, you can get oil-filled drum heads and tune them to very low pitches.
By applying any of these tips, you can practice drums quietly and allow your neighbors and household members to fully enjoy the time they spend indoors.
Photo by The Hamster Factor