tomtommagazine

Technique Tuesday: Tuning (Pt. 2)

In Tom Tom Magazine Feature on June 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm

This is a little awkward timing-wise (Welcome to my life!)… The “tuning” blog a week before the “muffling” blog. So I’m sorry if you’ve already tuned up your drum, but uh… You might have to do it again if it needs muffling.

Muffle drums that ring too much. It’s pretty simple, eh? Just keep in mind that some ringing is good. Drums are 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 (…you practice in a nook?). Be aware of the acoustics of your location, and know that some quick changes may need to be made.

Some things you can use (or not use) for quick & easy muffling:

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RTOM Moongel pads. A pack of 4 for around $6. I love these. They come in their own little case, and , yes, they’re sticky, but you can easily wash them off if they get too dirty.

Evans Mini EMAD Tom & Snare damper pads. A pack of 6 for about $7. I’m not a big fan of these. It’s a little velcro strip that sits on the edge of your head.

And, when all else fails:

Some other (not-so-quick) things you can do:

For your bass drum, try a small pillow. Don’t over-do it. I know some people that put huge pillows or even comforters in their bass drums. You want it to sound like you’re hitting a drum not a giant pillow.

I set mine right in the middle. You’ll get a different sound depending on where the pillow is in relation to the two heads.

Also, you can use a bit of weather-stripping on the inside of your top head. Just make sure that it’s around the edge of the INSIDE of your head. It helps if your heads have a stripe to follow.

Weather-stripping works really well for me. 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.

Those are the main things that I’ve seen used for dampening/muffling. There are tons of others, though.

~Bianca.

Next Week’s Blog: I honestly have no idea yet. It’ll be a surprise for all of us, haha.

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