How to Make a Snare Drum Silent

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The challenge with silencing a snare drum is reducing the sound as much as possible without changing the feel of the drum too much. Unfortunately, to really completely muffle the drum you will have to put up with some changes in feel, which can make it a bit difficult to adjust to normal playing again. Taken together, the first three steps will mute the drum set partially without changing the feel. Steps 4 and 5 will completely mute the set but slightly change the feel.

Things You'll Need

  • Cards Cloth Duct tape Muffler ring Clothes Drum-mute pad Mesh head
  • Adjust the snare. The snare drum owes much of its volume to the metal snares banging against the drum head with every stroke. Adjust the lever that moves them away from the drum head or uninstall the snares entirely.

  • Mute the drum. Duct-tape cards, pieces of cloth and other items to it. Alternately, you could buy a foam muffler ring and set it on top of the drum. You will be able to still play normally in the middle of the drum, but at reduced volume and with less ringing overtones.

  • Stuff the drum with clothes. Use duct tape to hold them inside the drum.

  • Get a drum-mute pad such as the one linked to in Resources. These rubber pads sit on top of the drum and absorb pretty much all the sound. They look and feel like practice pads, except they are not mounted on a frame. They do have a different feel than snare-drum skins, so try one out in the store before purchasing it.

  • Get a mesh drum head such as the ones linked to in Resources. Mesh heads are as quiet or quieter than mute pads, but are somewhat less convenient. You will have to unscrew your normal drum head and screw in the mesh head to practice with it. As with rubber pads, mesh heads have a slightly different feel than normal skins.

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