10 more essential damping tips for drummers

How to damp your kit correctly

Following part one's damping guide, here are 10 more essential tips courtesy of our friends at Rhythm Magazine. From the bottom…

10 essential damping tips

1. Damp the bottom head

The bottom is the resonant head, so damping it will often be more effective than damping the top. It's out of the way of your sticks too.

2. Try Moon Gel

Instead of tape, try Moon Gel. It comes in handy tubs and just dollops onto the head. Experiment to find where it's the most effective.

3. Try it on a cymbal, too

You may even occasionally want to dampen a cymbal by a small amount – Moon Gel works well here again.

4. Don't over do it

Sticky tape on the underside of the cymbal also works, but don't over do it. Remember that it can be difficult to remove.

5. Try double-ply heads

Many designs incorporate damping. Double-ply heads, especially if they are bonded, like Pinstripes, cut out a lot of overtones.


Next: felt, paper and pillows

Evans geneva dry

6. Or vented heads

Other designs, like Evans Genera Dry, are 'vented' with pin-sized perforations. The holes control decay and focus the sound more.

7. …but not on the kick

Bass drums are a special case: they usually have a greater internal volume; the head is struck with a fat beater rather than a thin stick.

8. Bass drums need felt or paper

Bass drum solutions range from a felt strip across the head, tucked under the bearing edges, to putting shredded paper inside.

9. Think before you cut

Remember that cutting a hole in your front base drum head results in a big loss of overtones and resonance straight off.

10. Finally, the good old pillow

Drummers still use a small pillow touching the bass drum's batter head. The pillow is best taped down to stop it moving around.

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For the best monthly drumming tips, video lessons and reviews, check out Rhythm Magazine.

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