Muffling. I’ll try to make this short & sweet. Muffle drums that ring too much. Pretty simple, eh? Just keep in mind that some ringing is good. Drums are obviously supposed to speak. When you’re practicing at home the ringing might be annoying, so you muffle the drum. When you go to play a gig in a big open space, this will change. You’ll need to project more at the gig than you would at home in your little practice nook. Be aware of your playing area, because some quick changes might need to be made.
Some things you can use for quick & easy muffling:
RTOM Moongel pads (show above) About $6 for 4. Washable (they can get dirty.)
Evans Mini EMAD Tom & Snare damper pads (6) for about $7.
And, when all else fails: tape. Scotch tape, duct tape, masking tape, gaffers tape… I’ve used it all. Most of them will leave some sort of residue on your heads, so you’ll probably want tape to be a last resort.
Some other things you can do:
For your bass drum, try a small pillow or blanket. You’ll get a different sound depending on where the pillow is in relation to the two heads. Don’t over-do it. I know some people that put huge pillows or multiple comforters in their bass drums. You want it to sound like you’re hitting a drum not a giant pillow, so go easy on the bedding.
Also, you can use a bit of weather-stripping on the inside of your top head. It helps if your heads have a stripe to follow.
This works really well, and doesn’t look too shabby. I haven’t tried to remove any yet, so please keep in mind that this will more than likely leave gooey residue on your head.
There are tons of other muffling products available in the wide world of drumming that I haven’t tried yet. What do you use? Let us know!