There’s nothing quite like playing the drums in music. A great drummer usually doesn’t get a ton of recognition, but it’s very easy to spot a poor one. Practice makes perfect, but there might not be a tougher instrument in the world than drums to practice.
It doesn’t have to do with the difficulty of playing drums. It has everything to do with finding a place to practice drumming that not only provides quality sound feedback but also allows everyone else not to be disturbed.
Drums are one of the most annoying and overall loud musical instruments out there. Even though they are needed in so many different types of music genres, practicing around other people is hugely distracting. It’s impossible to turn down the volume too much, so a soundproof area is usually the best way to go.
Every drummer has dealt with noise complaints either from inside their home or from neighbors in the surrounding areas.
How can this be fixed? Soundproofing a room for drums. Whether it be a quick fix or a permanent solution, every bit of effort helps.
What Soundproofing Fixes Work for Those on a Tight Budget?
Some people find themselves in a situation where they can’t spend too much money on soundproofing in a particular area. Maybe they don’t have the budget for it, or it doesn’t seem like it is worth the investment.
There are a few minor steps that work to make some quick improvements. The most important thing is to focus on the areas that are causing significant issues. This will show the greatest change, and determine whether or not it is worth continuing the soundproofing process, one issue at a time. But first…
Examine the Entire Room
Before spending a dime on anything to help soundproofing room, examine the entire room.
See if any leaks are allowing airflow in or out of the room. These leaks could allow sound to leak in and out ay any time, reducing the quality of sound inside while annoying people outside.
Sealing off the biggest areas will provide the most significant changes in the beginning. After that, focus on anything noticeable when physically checking every corner of the room.
Most leaks are going to be noticeable with the eyes, but also feel free to touch around and see if there is any airflow. It might be surprising to see just how many leaks there are in any room that is causing sound issues. What might seem small could be causing a big problem.
Focus on the Door First
In most cases, the door is going to be one place to focus on in the room. That is because a lot of doors are completely hollow. This is especially true for doors in newer homes tocut costs. A solid core door is much more expensive than a hollow core door and are certainly not needed all over the home.
A hollow door is going to amplify any type of sound in a way that doesn’t sound good. A door that does not seal is also going to be loud and extremely frustrating to deal with.
The easiest way to fix any door is by sealing any gaps or cracks. Self adhesive weatherstripping will work wether the door is solid or hollow. Weatherstrip is a cheap and easy fix that will help greatly.
Another thing that can be done to help seal the cracks is by using Green Glue Noise Proofing Sealant around the door casing. This type of sealant is flexible and will not crack over ime letting noise pass through.
Stopping Sound From Underneath
Drums are anchored to the ground when they are being played, so it makes sense that eliminating some of the sounds from that area is going to help out quite a bit.
There is a type of rug that are built specifically to put under a drum set, so they can soak up a lot of sound without costing too much. One of the best things about these rugs is that they can be rolled up in case you’re going on the road.
The way these types of rugs work is that, not only do they help kill the sound, but they allow for much less movement or accidents from happening. The spurs and stands of a drum set will dig into the rug, instead of possibly slipping on flat surfaces. Drums that are not adequately secured has the ability of moving all over the place.
It’s never a good idea to play the drums consistently on hardwood floors, and a rug will certainly help.
For a slightly more expensive way to kill sound permanently, look into carpeting the floors and using a specific drum rug (Amazon) on top of that. That might seem like overkill, but it’s the recommended way to set up any drumming area inside a home or studio.
After looking at the door and the flooring, windows are next up on the level of importance. Windows usually provide a decent amount of soundproofing, but not to the level of most who are into drumming.
That is where blackout curtains can come into play. Not only do they control the lighting of the area, but they are so thick that they kill a lot of sound.
Not that many curtains are explicitly designed to limit noise, but usually the thicker, the better. Click the link for a list of the top blackout/soundproofing curtains from Amazon.
Walls and Ceilings
The walls and ceiling are usually not that problematic for the typical room, at least compared to the other areas covered above. That doesn’t mean that there are not special situations where this is the most critical part of the room to soundproof. Each home is constructed differently.
The best way to soundproof walls and ceilings on a budget is to look into an acoustic foam. Drums make loud noises mostly due to bouncing off hard surfaces. Reducing those hard surfaces will reduce the overall sound of the drum, and also allow for a better sound overall.
Some people will use foam that is easy to attach and take-off of the wall or ceiling when the time comes. This is good for temporary setups, but some people might want a more permanent solution. This is where the foam can be attached either to the outside or used inside the outer layer of the wall or ceiling.
A Permanent Solution
Anyone who treats drumming like more than just a hobby should probably look into a more professional way to completely soundproof a room.
soundproofing a room is certainly going to be an investment, but most people find it worth it in the end. Otherwise, it comes down to either making compromises, or booking expensive recording studio time and to make everything work.
If there is some piece of good news, it’s that there are a lot of ways to reduce the amount of professional assistance needed.
Some people have successfully soundproofed an entire room for drumming without having to hire anybody else to help with the construction. It usually takes a little bit of handyman knowledge, but it’s certainly not impossible.
Here are a few tips on the entire process. These tips are focused on helping people save time and money, hopefully resulting in the best room possible without the cost being too high.
Scouting out a Location
Ideally, pick out a room that is the easiest to turn into a soundproof location. For example, a room with a lot of open areas, doors, windows, and more probably won’t make a very good location overall. It’s just going to take too much work to get a room sounding the right way.
If possible, make sure that the drum room is located as far away as possible from the main living areas. One of the most popular drumming areas is in the basement if a home has one.
Not only do basements have limited doors and windows, but the walls and floor come with some pretty good deal and soundproofing already. The only area that needs a lot of focus is the ceiling, and that reduces the time and overall cost of the project.
A room also needs to be pretty big as it is because that area might be reduced a little with soundproofing material added to it. This could potentially add a little bit of bulk to the entire room, since some soundproofing methods will include building a room within a room. Even if it only reduces the living area by an inch or two on every side of the room, it is still something to consider.
Examine All the Areas Above First
The same steps used above for quick fixes should also be used for soundproofing an entire room. It makes sense in a lot of ways because this takes care of the smaller issues before adding any blanket soundproofing material. It making everything a little bit more uniform, and it makes it easier to address now rather than later on.
Remember that not everything needs to be perfect since there will be another layer of soundproofing added in most cases. This is simply the initial prep to make sure that everything goes smoothly after that.
Installing Soundproofing Material on all Surfaces
To thoroughly soundproof an entire room, every surface needs a uniform amount of soundproofing material. This can either be added to the existing surfaces on the outside or in between two layers to hide the material.
Most people will start with the most problematic area. If the drumming room is not on the bottom floor, it becomes very hard for people to ignore all the sound coming from above. Soundproofing the floor takes a lot of hard work, but it makes a world of difference.
The more surfaces between the floor and the next room below, the better. That means insulating the floor. It also means adding carpet and a drum rug to help out. This cuts down on vibration significantly, which will keep people from dealing with too much sound.
Walls and doors are probably the easiest to address since they are relatively easy to install soundproofing material on. To cut down on difficulty, building out the walls a little bit by using drywall and soundproofing material is probably the way to go. It can be knocked down, and completely removed from a rental home, and it doesn’t mess up the existing wall at all. The room can be reverted at any time.
Finally, the ceiling is a little tricky, especially if there are a lot of vents, lights, fans and other tricky things to work around. Look for something very thick and durable for the soundproofing material.
Remember that the drums won’t need as much material as the floor since sound doesn’t cause as much of a hinderance going up (and not being attached to the ceiling like with the floor).
The Importance of Green Glue, Sealants, and Similar Materials
When trying to separate the entire home, not everything is going to fit nicely together and create a perfect set up. There will be cuts needed, so the material fits correctly. That also means there will be gaps, areas that need extra attention, and more.
Green Glue is one of the best soundproofing options out there since it can help connect two solid materials easily. This means less movement, a better-sealed area, and a quieter room overall. Ask someone who does soundproofing for a living, and they will say that Green Glue has been a true lifesaver for them over the years.
Sealants are a great way to help fill those tiny areas that become problematic as well. Once the soundproofing material is installed, there are found to be a few areas that just didn’t get closed off as they should. A sealant is very versatile, provides quick fixing and can be useful at any time.
There is Help When Needed
Some people might be at this part in the article and wondering how on earth they could pull off soundproofing a room by themselves. It might seem like a task that is next to impossible, but plenty have tackled entire rooms by the cells.
There are so many walkthroughs and instructional videos online these days to help people get the results they want if they are willing to put in the work.
Buying the material needed is pretty straightforward. Some estimates are required to make sure the right amount is purchased, but there is always the opportunity to buy additional soundproof panels or sealant if needed.
Do the simple things first. Most people can check their rooms to see if they need addressing in specific areas. If doing the entire soundproofing work becomes too overwhelming, ask a friend for assistance in the beginning. Maybe just one extra set of hands can make a big difference, and that will still keep the cost low compared to hiring a professional.
Professionals can get the job done very quickly, and they know what to expect in any situation. There’s no shame in getting a professional, but if ever there was a time to handle soundproofing a room for drums, now is the time.
For casual drummers, a lot of people are just looking for a way to comfortably use their drums in their own home without disturbing others. They also want to have a pure, crisp sound coming from the drum set so that they don’t feel like they are not hearing everything.
Examining the room is the best way to get started with any type of soundproofing. In most cases, people realize a lot more about the room they are using.
Some even realize that they might have a better room in their home that they can use for drumming that will need less work done.
Experiment with a few of the inexpensive solutions first, to see if it is good enough. That way, a person doesn’t invest a ton of money into soundproofing an entire room, only to notice that it wasn’t necessary for their usage.
For a major project of soundproofing the entire room and turning it into something that resembles a professional studio, try to handle as much of the labor work as possible. It might surprise some people to find out how easy everything is.
If it just seems like an impossible task, there is no shame in hiring a professional. It’s one way to ensure that everything is done correctly, and it will likely last for years and years with minimal maintenance. It’s going to increase the price significantly, but some people don’t want to deal with all the headaches of doing things themselves.
Whatever the case is, soundproofing a room for drums makes a huge difference. One of the most challenging things about drums is finding a place to comfortably practice and work on performances. By building a soundproof room, life becomes a lot easier for drummers. It is also the most cost-effective thing to do for those who practice and play their drums a lot