How To Practice And Play Quietly On The Drums

A practice pad is a great way to practice playing the drums quietly. Photo courtesy of

As drummers, we have the hardest time dealing with volume. When we sit down behind a drum kit, the first instinct is to play a heavy back beat with some volume behind it, but what if there are neighbors close by? People love to tell us to play softer, and let me tell you, it’s going to happen for the rest of your drumming experience. There will always be critics at venues or in audiences that would prefer the drums be played quieter, so you might as well get used to it and solve it now. I came across an article that provides a few tips on practicing and playing drums quietly that should help out anyone needing to control the volume of the drums. I hope you get something out of it so you can keep learning to play this great instrument!

Playing the drums quietly can be very difficult for many drummers, so hopefully the tips in this article from Paul Donahue of InstantDrumLessons will help. Check out the full article at

Can You Play Drums Quietly

One question I often get from my students is “How do you play the drums quietly?” Frequently, you may hear a neighbor, parent or other household member calling out to you: “Stop that racket! You’re playing too loud!” Well… In the next few minutes, we’re going to help to at least reduce the number of times you hear that in a given week – so that you can play more 😉

The Age Old Question

As you’ve already discovered, one of the hardest instruments to play quietly is most definitely the drums. We as drummers don’t have the luxury of simply ‘turning it down’. Playing the drums quietly requires control.

Control on the drums is something that can take years to master, but read on and I’ll give you some tips to help you play the drums softer (while you’re still practicing on developing your control).

We can finally answer that age old question of “How do you play the drums quietly?”

Sound Off Pads And Brushes

The first thing you can do is to get yourself some brushes. Brushes will bring your volume down immediately. By using brushes, you won’t have to sacrifice your stick height for a softer sound. You will be able to play with the same attack on the drums, but the density of the brush will help you to play the drums quietly.

Another quick fix I offer up for students who ask: ‘How do you play the drums quietly?” is to get some ‘Sound Off’ pads. These are just rubber pads that are easily placed over the drums and cymbals to drastically reduce the volume. You can find these at any music store. Most places have the option of buying a multi-pack which comes with all of the pads needed for a basic five piece drumset including two cymbals and a hi-hat. You can also just buy the snare pad separately if you play primarily that one drum.

I hope you enjoyed reading these tips about playing the drums quietly. In the end, these tips will help your control behind the drum kit and help your progress as a drummer. There’s plenty more coming your way from Play Drums By Ear, so stay tuned.



Leave A Reply (1 comment so far)

  1. Gail Stringer

    Drum Practice Pad and or rubber on opposite side, or rubber pads to place on top of kit, would be for those quieter moments. Brushes, pillow or leather stool, would work to…