22 SIMPLE DRUM HACKS | You Can Do Right Now! Hello again everyone! Here is a round up of simple drum hacks that you can do right now using everyday household items or parts from your drum kit. Some of these you may have seen before but there is sure to be a few in here you have not tried!
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1. Tea Towel Snare Dampening
Every house has a tea towel...right? This hack is a great way to achieve a sound commonly used in 60/70's recordings. A muffled sound with little to no resonance. HOW: Simply lay the towel over the head of the snare drum and play as your normally would. Why not try folding the tea towel in half to give the drum room to 'breathe'. This will give you more control over the amount of muffling is applied to the drum.
2. Duct Tape Sound Control
Im sure if you look hard enough you'll find some duct tape around the house (or garage). Drummers tend to use duct tape to a similar affect as hack 1. Duct tape is strategically placed to eliminate ringing and sustain of each head. It can also be used in a similar way to muffle the drum head. HOW: Place duct tape near the hoop of the drum and apply 1 or 2 folds.
3. The 'BFSD' Sound
Finally!!.... a way to make use for those old drums heads. Now this is a great way to get that FAT drum sound similar to the Big Fat Snare Drum sound. This is a sure way to get your snare sounding deep no matter the depth of the drum.
HOW: Simply turn your old drum head upside down and place it on the top of your snare drum. It's that simple.
Here's an example
4. Wallet Muffling
Now this one is one of my favourites.
This techniques is so quick and easy and is applied to many styles of playing.
HOW: Placing your wallet on the snare drum at the furthest point away from gives just that bit more muffling that hack 3. Open your wallet and put one half on the drum and the other hanging over the edge of the snare to prevent the wallet sliding.
This demo shows how it works.
5. Drumhead Drum Clock
Now this one you may need a few extras.. - Clock Mechanism from £1.99 on Ebay - Strong Glue This makes a great addition to your drum room, teaching room or studio and its really easy to make. HOW: Find the centre of the drum head and cut a small hole just big enough to fit the mechanism rod through. Glue the clock mechanism to the back of the drum head and attach clock arms.
6. Homemade Sizzle Cymbals
Sizzle for dayssss..
Now I'm sure you have seen this one before but isn't it great! You can have that signature jazz sound on any cymbal you want. HOW: Use an old bath chain or any small balled chain and attach to cymbal thread on top of cymbal. Alternatively you can glue the chain to a cymbal felt for simple application.
Don't want to make your own ? Buy them here.
7. Coin Sizzle Cymbal
All you need for this one is a coin. Small change such as 1, 2, 5 pence pieces work well for this. Achieve a heavy sizzle sound that will cut through the noise when playing with a band!
HOW: Loosely attach the coin to the underside of the cymbal with strong tape at the furthest point away from where you will play the cymbal.
8. Homemade Cymbal Rivets
Approach this one with confidence. This is how most professional riveted cymbals are done is more of a permanent fixture. Your guaranteed the smoothest sizzle possible using this method. HOW: Drill the desired amount of holes into the cymbals edge. Ensure the holes are just wide enough to allow the rivets to pass through. Insert rivets and hammer out rivets bottom.
9. DIY Cymbal Tuners (dampeners)
I am sure you have heard of the new cymbal tuners by Meinl? ....well there a MUCH cheaper option. The cymbal tuners are used to control the cymbals decay by placing them in different positions on the cymbal. You can get Neodynium magnets here cheap. Just stick a soft surface on one side of each of the magnets.
HOW: One magnet goes on the top of the cymbal and the attracting magnet goes on the underside of the cymbal.
10. Two Cymbals, One Stand
This is a must for me on gigs to keep my set up nice and compact. More on that here.
Save space on your kit and add a splash cymbal or bell on top of your crash or ride cymbal.
HOW: All you need to do is place you crash or ride cymbal on the stand as you normally would. Next add a cymbal felt and the splash or bell upside down. Finally one more felt and the nut to hold it all in place.
11. Cymbal Stack
The cymbal stack is the new 'in thing' at the moment, and for good reason. The possibilities are endless and you can create some unique cutting sounds that are great for using in fills and accenting areas of music.
HOW: Find two cymbals, one smaller than the other. Place the smaller cymbal upside down inside the larger cymbal. This works great with a splash inside a small china.
12. DIY Cymbal Pads
We have all seen the Vic Firth cymbal pads and pads like the one in the picture. How hard can they be to make?...
Cymbal pads are used for quiet practice and teaching. They mute the cymbal resonance giving a dull thud sound. HOW: Find some thick rubber or foam and cut into the shape seen on the left. When lined up on he cymbal make a mark for where to cut a small hole to allow the cymbal thread to pass through.
13. Cracked Cymbal ?
We have all done it. Cracked our favourite cymbal... You can save your precious cymbals by catch cracks when they are small before they spread. HOW: Use a grinder to cut out the edge crack and smooth out the cut using fine sandpaper.
Or get this expert to do it for you..
HOW: Rather than cut the whole crack out you can find the end point of the crack and drill a small hole to stop it spreading. Cymbal Magic are THE BEST at this.
14. DIY Noise Cancelling Headphones
We all like to practice along to music. But what if you don't have IEM's (In Ear Monitors)?... Noise cancelling headphones allow us to play along to our favourite songs and still hear what is going on when we are playing drums. However noise cancelling headphones do not come cheap, but these do...
HOW: Put your normal headphones for listening to music in your ears. Then place the noise cancelling ear defenders over the top.
15. Dampened Bass Drum Beater
The perfect hack for those quieter gigs... We've all been there where your bass drum is overpowering everything. It can be fixed temporality without having to buy a thing. You can achieve a subtle muffled bass drum sound by using a sock and rubber band. HOW: Wrap the sock around the bass pedal beater ensuring most of the material is covering the front. Secure it in place with the rubber band.
16. DIY Moon Gel
What is Moon Gel ? Moon Gel is a blue gel like substance used to muffle drums and control high pitches and decay. Rather than forking out for the brand name of Moon Gel you can achieve the same results for a fraction of the price. HOW: Head down to your local pound store and look for window stickers and jellies. Get some of those and cut them to your desired shape. Be Warned these might potentially stain your drum heads.
17. Drumstick Floor Tom Leg
Forgotten or lost one of you floor tom legs?....we have all done it. It's rare we forget our sticks and normally there is always a spare drumstick to hand. So, let's make use of it!
HOW: Hold your drumstick butt down and tip facing up towards the ceiling. Place the tip of the drumstick in the floor tom leg clamp and the butt of the stick on the floor angled out slightly to take the weight of the drum.
18. DIY Bass Drum Hoop Protector
Looking after those expensive drums is very important and this simple fix could save you a lot of money!
Protect your bass drum hoops from pedal scratches and scuffs with a drumstick sleeve. Drumstick sleeves come with every purchase of drumsticks so your sure to have at least one laying around.
HOW: Place the drumstick sleeve between the bass drum clamp and the bass drum wood hoop on the top and bottom side.
19. Home Made Mallets
This has got to be one of the simplest and most effective hacks going... Have you ever turned up to a gig without your mallets thinking they wont be needed, then quickly realising you need them for a certain song!! You can solve this problem is second with a couple cymbal felts. HOW: Turn your stick around so the tip of the stick is in your hand and slide 1 or 2 cymbal felts down the on to the butt of the stick. DONE!
20. Home Made Cymbal Sleeve
This one is a MUST!....and not to mention genius! Protecting your cymbals from keyholing and thread damage can be done using just an old pen with a rubber grip.
HOW: Remove the rubber grip from the pen, cut it to the size of the cymbal thread and slide on to the cymbal thread. Now you have and endless supply of cymbal sleeves. We all know how often they go walkies..
21. Healthy Cymbal Cleaning
I know, I know ....Yet another cymbal cleaning method. I'm not really one for cleaning my cymbals but if your after a mirror shine finish then look no further. HOW: Cut the lemon in half and using one half of the lemon squeeze some juice on to the cymbal. Rub the juice into the cymbal using the inside of the lemon and then rinse with hot soapy water.
22. Quick Drum Set Up
This might seem obvious to most but it can save SO much time for players who have not tried it. Mark out where your drums stand and other hardware go on your mat so you can get the perfect set up every time.
HOW: Use bright or luminous tape to mark out the border of where your stands go.
Thank you for reading 22 Simple Drum Hacks You Can Do Today. If you have any suggestions for new drum hacks please put them in the comments below.
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