Usually you can get the best sound from your drums with basic drum tuning, however sometimes you need a little more. That is where drum muffling comes into play. This article will explain exactly how to muffle various drums. There are many uses for drum muffling, not just to dampen the sound. Top professionals use drum muffling to help control the resonance of different drums. The most common use of drum muffling is the bass drum – most drummers do this whether they know why or not. So read this article as it will guide you in finding the perfect drum sound.
Let’s start with the most common – the bass drum. Bass drum muffling is done to control the amount of air flow in the bass drum. This determines the amount of sustain and resonance in your bass drum, changing the feel of the sound. With the right amount of muffling, you can get a decent punch out of your bass drum. This is an easy task to do that is very personal. Only you can decide which sound you want from your drums. There are a few different ways you can muffle your bass drum. If you have the extra cash; you can buy a special muffler for your bass drum specifically designed to give you the best sound. These can go from 20-40 dollars and are usually worth the money. There are detailed instructions on these in the package, so I won’t go into detail on these. For a cheaper solution, you can always use a pillow or blanket. If you have a hole in your resonant sin you are in luck, if not you will have to take off the skin itself. Do not go excessive with this method, I have seen drummers fill their whole bass drum with blankets; this is not the right thing to do. One pillow or one blanket usually does the trick. Try moving the pillow in different spots in the bass drum. If you are looking at controlling resonance, place it so it rests up on one of the bass drum heads. The reason why you are doing this is to control air flow so it is not super important where you place it, just try and get the best sound.
Now that you have your bass drum covered, let me explain how to muffle you other various drums. For your toms and snare drum, it’s not good to put anything in them. First off, your toms work a little differently than your bass drum, so placing a pillow in these will completely destroy your tone. Second off, these drums are usually a lot smaller, so placing something in them can be a waste of time. The best way to muffle the sound on these drums is to use drum rings. These are plastic rings, maybe 1-2 inches wide that sit on the drum skin itself. You can buy these at your local music store for very cheap. Make sure you buy the right sizes for each drum you have. These work wonders in controlling the resonance of your drums. Not only will it bring down the volume, but it will bring out the true tone of your toms. If you cannot afford these, you can improvise with paper, tape, or paper towel. Tape would be the best option, although it is too good for you drum heads, it will muffle your drums.
These are just a few ways of muffling your drums. Most drummers will only muffle their bass drums; however, you can also muffle your whole drum set. You may want to do this if your drums are too loud, or if you are playing in a small venue. This also helps out if you have a cheaper drum set that you can’t get a good sound out of. Whatever the case, experiment with different options and set ups, every kit is different