Easy and Cheap Ways to Soundproof a Room for Drums

Easy and Cheap Ways to Soundproof a Room for Drums

When you play drums, it can be hard to find a time to practice that won’t disturb anyone else. Whether it’s others in your own home or the neighbors surrounding you, it can be disruptive to others, even if they love your music.

That’s why creating a completely soundproof drum room is a must. No beat or sound gets out at all.

Unfortunately, it can be a very huge and expensive task to create a room that is fully soundproof for drummers.

However, there are ways to reduce the sound that comes from your drum room in such a way that your family and neighbors are happy without spending a fortune. You really don’t need a fully soundproof room.

You just have to reduce the amount of sound that leaks out of your practice area to prevent noise complaints and grouchy neighbors from rearing their heads.

The key to mastering this achievement is to understand a bit of science. Sound, as you well know, is measured in decibels.

Your drumming might create anywhere from 110 to 120 decibels when you’re jamming. Interestingly, if you just hit it a little softer, even just 10 decibels less, it sounds half as loud.

Taking that science lesson in hand, all you really need to do is reduce your practice space sound emissions by just 10 decibels to keep the sound from being so loud outside of it.

Materials You’ll Need to Soundproof Your Drum Room

So what will it take to soundproof your drum room just enough not to upset the outside world? Keep reading and you’ll find out everything you’ll need to make your future practices less noisy for everyone else. 

■ Use Cheap Absorbing Material like Sound Absorption Sheets

One of the cheapest ways to keep loud music from escaping its confines is to adhere sound-absorbing materials to your walls. The right product really matters.

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These absorption sheets by Sure-Max for example can absorb the sounds of even the heaviest metal band around.

They attach easily to the wall via hanging clips and have the potential to keep sound levels down by as much as 60%. The NRC (noise reduction coefficient) rating can tell you all you need to know. There are environmentally-friendly options you can choose over fiberglass or foam so you can reduce sound without reducing the amount of cash in your wallet.

■ Use Acrylic Drum Shields for Soundproofing

Of course, the simplest solution for reducing drum noise is also among the most expensive. An acrylic drum shield is ideal if you have plenty of cash to burn. It’s about as costly as the drum set you play on.

Not all of them will break the bank though. There’s Pennzoni Display which offers a more affordable array of acrylic drum shields.

These drum shields certainly block the noise going in all directions, though it’s less effective for keeping noise from traveling upward.

Still, it can be one of the quietest ways to block out noise coming from your drum room.

What You Need to Soundproof in a Drum Room

Before you get ready for your jam session, you’ll want to get what you need to soundproof your drum room.

This way, you can practice unencumbered and without bothering anyone that isn’t up for your beats. Keep reading to know what to do.

Soundproofing the Walls of Your Drum Room

One of the biggest investments you’ll make is soundproofing the walls of your drum room. It will be well-worth it though in the long run.

Think about it this way. If your family or neighbors keep interrupting you during practice to ask you to knock it off, how are you going to be a great drummer? Exactly!

Basically, you can approach this one of two ways. You can either install soundproofing materials on top of your wall, or you can put those materials inside of it.

Since putting something on the exterior of the wall is cheaper than knocking them down and rebuilding, you’ll likely choose that option.

When it comes to soundproofing your drum room walls, don’t select basic acoustic panels. They just can’t take the impact of the noise that comes from drums. Don’t choose foam panels either if you want to do this the right way.

For adding soundproofing over your walls, which is the easier way to go about all of this, it can take you just a few hours to complete and then you can get back to doing what you do best.

To put it inside your walls is a huge investment, ideally one you’ll think of first if you’re building a new home and want to have a soundproof room.

Building it into a wall is a permanent solution, one that bodes well if you can afford to do so.

It can be very costly to tear down walls and rebuild them this way, but in a new buildout, it might not be so much when you’re planning the construction with a contractor.

Mineral wool boards are one of the best solutions for this as they lend a truly peaceful air but they must be done right, inserted between the joists by a professional.

Outside the walls, you can use sound absorption sheets as mentioned above. It’s an economical and environmentally-sound way to keep sound from escaping any existing room.

Soundproofing the Floor of Your Drum Room

When you have rooms below the room you practice in or lived in a shared building, your drumming will most certainly travel through the floor and affect those underneath you.

Drums make lots of noise on impact but it’s also that vibration they make that goes through the floor. This will vibrate your building’s whole structure.

So your neighbors don’t just hear your drumming. They FEEL it. And if they have small children or babies, they’re not going to welcome any of it.

That’s why you need to soundproof the floor of your drum room. Of course, it depends on the type of flooring you have for what will work best so keep reading.

The basic principle of soundproofing the floor of your drum room requires an insulating layer. The thicker the layer, the better the soundproofing.

Soft and fuzzy materials are very absorbent and can be an outstanding way to reduce that impact noise.

An acoustic underlayment is just one example of something with a fibrous structure that will soak up those sound waves.

Dense rubber or PVC also works well because it just blocks the sound waves from escaping.

Put a Drum Rug underneath the Drum Set

When you have the walls, windows, and doors firmly soundproofed, the rug under your drum set is key. It holds the drums themselves in place.

This is not a replacement for the carpet or other floor soundproofing you install. You need both because it will lessen the room’s echoing capabilities and keep the drums from contacting the floor.

This added measure of protection will also ensure your drum set doesn’t ruin whatever flooring you’ve got, even when you do put a soundproofing rug across the floor.

It’s the finishing touch… the encore, if you will. You can’t just add it and hope for the best. All the other soundproofing measures must be in place.

Insulate Your Hollow Door for More Soundproofing

Just as walls, windows, and floors are important for soundproofing, so too is your door. If it’s hollow, you will need to decide which method you want to use to soundproof it. You can invest in a solid core door, though that will be pricier.

Instead, you can save a bit if you insulate your existing hollow door. To do this, you’ll either need to add mass to it, or open it up and manually insert some insulation into it.

By far, the easiest way to do it is to add soundproof fiberglass blankets. You can also opt for mass loaded vinyl. Attach either of these with staples or alternatively, strong adhesive strips.

Both the fiberglass blanket and mass loaded vinyl are a bit pricey though. In the event you need to cut costs further, you can grab cheap drywall and simply nail that to your door. Dense hardwood will also work in a pinch.

Got carpentry skills? Then you can manually insert insulation inside your door. This isn’t recommended if you don’t know what you’re doing though.

It’s also a bit time-consuming even if you’re great with woodworking. Handy and enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together? Then trying this will most definitely be a fun weekend project for you.

You can drill into the door and then stuff your insulation inside. It’s a big chore though, one that will go easier if you rent out an insulation blower machine from your local hardware store.

Don’t Forget to Seal Your Room GAPS

Incidentally, the very first thing you should get on before adding on all the bells and whistles to your walls, windows, floors, and doors is to seal any gaps that you might have in the room.

Another fun science fact is that high decibels can seep through even the tiniest cracks and gaps. By targeting them first, you’ll have reduced a huge amount of sound from escaping your room.

Where do you find these gaps? Glad you asked! They’re usually found in the following 2 areas, though you should inspect your room to ensure there aren’t any other gaps you’re overlooking.

■ Doors

The fact of the matter is that most doors aren’t built for soundproofing. Unless you’ve had your home built from scratch to your specific requirements and have insisted on soundproof doors, the doors you have in your property will most definitely have gaps around them that leak sound.

You’ll find them between the door and door frame as well as spacing underneath the door. First, locate the gaps by turning off your lights while you’re in the room and turning on the hallway light outside of it.

This will reveal any gaps your door has, allowing you to easily target them.

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You can seal them up with ease by using a medium density fiberboard. You can glue it on with this noise-proofing glue. Both of these items are completely inexpensive, making it an easy task.

A layer of this fiberboard can help add more density to the overall door to soundproof the whole thing, not just the gaps.

■ Air Vents

Noise can also escape from your air vents. The difficulty here is that if you cover them up, you’ll block your ventilation which makes for a hot room you won’t want to spend time drumming in.

It depends on the style of your vents and how much echo comes through the air ducts as to how you’ll manage that.

One great solution is to try soundproofing curtains or blankets. This isn’t too costly and will still allow air flow through your vents, keeping the room a pleasant temperature while you’re practicing your next big drum solo.

Final Thoughts on Soundproofing Your Drum Room

If you keep getting complaints from the neighbors or others in your own home about the noise level when you’re drumming, soundproofing your drum room is the way to go.

As you can see from the points in this article, there are many ways to go about it affordably. Even reducing how hard you hit your drums when you play will stop a lot of the noise from going out of the room.

Taking steps to soundproof your doors, windows, walls, floors, and secure all gaps will keep the sound locked into your drum room rather than disturbing everyone else around you.

In the end, if you take drumming seriously, this is something you really must do if you want to practice without being cited for constant noise complaints so everyone can live in harmony.


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