When it comes to practicing drums, people are always concerned about the noise. We all know that drums are naturally loud, and this can be difficult if you need extensive practice.
Most beginners don’t go far because of limited mobility and time factors. They can be a big hurdle for gaining the right experience necessary to become a good drummer.
It is especially challenging if you move around a lot, or you don’t have a dedicated practice area. For those who live in apartment homes, your neighbors may not enjoy the loud noise.
Fortunately, technology has made it possible to use your drum kit without creating a ruckus. Here how you can make your drumming quieter so that you can practice anytime and anywhere.
In this article, I am going to introduce you to the best quiet drums on the market. I will discuss built-for-purpose quiet drums for practice. Let’s get to it.
Can you practice drums quietly?
The most straightforward answer is yes; you can practice drums quietly!
Well, I am going to share a few tips I have found very useful with beginners. There could be other ways, but the ones I have highlighted below are easy options you can start doing right away.
Use practice drums kits
There are many drum kits dedicated solely for practice. When it comes to practicality and functionality, nothing works better than a practice drum kit.
The best part is, there are light, portable, easy to set up, and the sound just as good as a real drum kit. Therefore, they can be all you need for practice.
In many cases, they come in very basic designs. A normal drum set comes with hardware, including stands, screws, and other things that may take longer to set up. You may not have much space or time. The practice kits, on the other hand, are explicitly designed for easy set-up and portability. One great thing is that the positions of the pads are pretty similar to a regular drum set.
I always advise those looking for a new kit to look for something simple. Consider features like portability and overall practicality. These are ideal for apartment practice and you can also use them on the go.
One of my favorite drum kits is the DW Workshop Go Anywhere Practice Set. In this drum kit, everything is mounted on a single stand, which is really awesome in terms of space.
And even better, the kits come fully equipped with five pieces. This means it will only take you a few minutes to set up and start drumming.
Don’t think that it’s weak. Everything on this kit is sturdy and durable.
The drum pads are large enough to produce a wide range of sounds. Besides, you can easily adjust the position of the rubber pads.
But most importantly, this is a very quiet drum set. For this reason, you can practice any time of the day and anywhere you like.
Another really good portable option is the Gibraltar Gp08 Powerrack Pad Outfit, which has everything you need for practice.
It is an adjustable set, so you can regulate it and use it the way you like.
Gibraltar Gp08 Powerrack Pad Outfit
Drum Practice pads
Perhaps you have already come across the table-top drum pads. Sometimes even the practice kits above may be inconvenient. This is especially true if you move around often. You may need something that can fit in your luggage.
In that case, what you need are practice pads.
The most significant benefit of these items is clearly their portability. They are better than practice drum kits. You can even carry one in your backpack without even noticing.
They allow you to practice anytime and anywhere, and the best part is that they are quite affordable. For this reason, they should be essential items for every drum player.
When I say they are pretty simple tools, I don’t mean they cannot perform well. Today’s market is full of various types of practice pads, with different characteristics and features. They come in different sizes, sounds, surfaces, and quality.
The most basic is made from rubber pads. But the most complex ones can have several different surfaces.
Evans Realfeel 2 Sided Practice Pad 12 Inch
Consider the Evans Realfeel, for instance. It is a typical item with a double-sided pad in two dimensions, either 6-inch or 12-inch. The larger one is more convenient in terms of quality and sound. Yet, the smaller one is better for traveling. Each has two sides, with different tonal variations. Each side is built with different materials for more or less rebound.
They are simple tools, but quite effective for practicing. It is a popular kit among many drummers, including experts. You can use it by yourself, practicing wherever you wish, with varying complex techniques. You should consider playing with a metronome if you are choosing this pad.
The Drumeo P4 Practice Pad Four Different Playing Surfaces
And for those who need something more complex, I would recommend you try on the Drumeo P4 Practice Pad. It features four varying surfaces on three levels. It is more practical because it gives you the feeling of an actual drum set.
Quiet Acoustic Kits
A quiet drum set is among the best way to get the necessary experience as a drummer. Besides, many drummers, like me prefer to practice onmy own acoustic drum set. But noise is the biggest issue, especially for those who live with roommates.
The good news is, drummers are innovators, and they can always find a way to get through challenges. Many have used different muffling methods to mute the drum heads.
Such improvisations can silence acoustic drums. Only that now they will not give you the best experience. Things like muted drum heads do not inspire great drumming and that can put off many drummers from their routine practice.
But technology is improving day by day. As such, we are getting better methods of reducing sound on acoustic drums. One good example is replacing the drum heads with Silent Stroke drumheads.
You can also do the same on with the cymbals. Low volume cymbals are just perforated hardware. Some manufacturers use special kinds of coating to make them quieter.
Electronic Drum Sets
If you are looking for a more complex practicing kit that will give real drumming experience, electronic kits are the best way to go. Besides, there are professional high-quality electronic kits used in real gigs. This means they are not only for practicing.
Companies like Yamaha and Alesis have invested heavily in this technology. You can get a full drum kit with heads and cymbals. Just make sure you’re choosing from a reputable brand.
For instance, Yamaha DTX400 is one of the best starter electric drum set in the market. It has mesh heads and everything you need to practice at an affordable price. It does not have a proper kick pedal set up as you would find on a whole kit, but you can start practicing if you are a beginner.
A really intermediate/advanced model is the Alesis Nitro Mesh drum set, that has mesh heads that mimic the feeling of an acoustic drum kit while remaining quiet. This model is suitable for intermediate players who are looking for a quiet drum set.
Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit
All these models come with headphone jack connections. With this, you can use the drum kit in your room without anyone noticing what you are doing. It is only you who hears the music, but the others will only hear a soft thud if they are close enough.
Most electronic drum sets are also very portable. Though not as portable as practice pads, they are an excellent alternative for a quiet drum set. Besides, a high technology electronic drum kit will give you the same or even better experience than acoustic drums.
Soundproof your room
If you think the sound is the only thing that is keeping you from proper practice, then perhaps you should soundproof your room. Whether it is in your bedroom or in the garage, there are easy steps to insulate your space without spending a lot.
Common materials used in the construction industry can be used for this project. Consider, for instance, the weatherstrip tapes used in insulating a door or window. There are also fiberglass curtains and panels for doors. Soundproof curtains are used as a solution for windows, and they can be a good starting point.
There also several materials that can be used in wall insulation. For instance, the familiar acoustic foams used in studios. They can keep your walls fully soundproof, letting you drum as hard as you want without disrupting the neighborhood.
Also, a few materials used in the construction industry can be a great way to keep your walls clean. Some of them are quite cheap and efficient.
Soundproofing your room will allow you to practice any kind of drum set without making too much noise.
How Effective are Drum Mutes?
In addition to the methods mentioned above, you can also consider drum mutes. They offer the quickest and most convenient way of reducing the volume of your kit.
Drum mutes are simply soft rubber pads that a player can put on the drumheads. Instead of directly hitting on the head, the drummer beats on the mutes. They absorb the sound while letting you feel your drum set.
Drum kits aren’t quiet, and they don’t a volume control button – apart from electric ones. Hence, drum mutes serve as great volume controllers. One good thing is that you can remove them when you want to play at full volume.
Drum mute works quite well in eliminating drum noise. One of my favorite mutes is the Evans SoundOff drum mutes. They come in packs so that you can set your kit more easily. Some come separately, but they are still pretty easy to use.
Evans Soundoff Drum Mute Pak
Drum mutes can reduce the volume of your kit by about 70%. This is enough to keep you practicing every hour without disturbing your neighbors. If you live in an apartment and practice from here, sound can travel through the floor and thin walls. So keep this in mind.
There are mutes for both drum heads and cymbals.
One of my favorite solutions is the Vic Firth Practice Pad. They ship everything you need to make your drum heads and cymbals quiet enough to play peacefully.
Vic Firth Practice Pad
The main reason why many drummers don’t use mutes to make their drums quiet is that they don’t offer the same feel as real drum kits. Though they are quiet, they might not offer the same experience as playing on acoustic drums.
But looking on the bright side, they will help you build your strength and playing speed. After all, you will be relying more on your muscles and technique than on stick rebound.
Why are Drums so Loud?
Drummers know their instrument isn’t quiet. Here’s why:
- Drum kits don’t have a volume control knob; so they are naturally loud.
- The harder the drummer hits, the louder they sound.
- The type of music contributes more to the sound of the drums. For instance, hard rock encourages competition between the drums and other equipment like guitars.
Even though a drum kit isn’t quiet, you can still improve your drumming skills from anywhere. The importance of quiet drums cannot be overlooked by any drummer. With the tips I have shared above, you should be able to get the best out of your kit. This way when the time’s right, you can smash the cymbals and bang the bass drum in style.