What is a Drum Mute?

What is a drum mute? Woman giving the shush sign.

Quite simply, a drum mute is anything that muffles the loud percussive sound of an acoustic drum. Typically, they are used to dampen the noise levels coming from an acoustic drum kit.

This can be a DIY job, or you can purchase them from most music stores that carry drum accessories.

You can also find drum mute pads online at zZounds if you don’t feel like going to a brick-and-mortar store.

DIY jobs usually consist of some sort of padded material that may or may not be taped to the center of the drum. If the silencing pad is made from a non-slip material and fitted correctly, it probably won’t need to be taped.

What is a drum mute? Drum mute pad.

On the other hand, many drum mute pads purchased from a shop or online will come in a pack that contains different-sized pads designed for the different drums in your kit. A lot of these packs contain muting pads for all the drums including the bass drum and several different cymbals as well.

There are pros and cons to using drum mute/silence pads which I’ll discuss below.


Great for muting the intense volume of an acoustic kit, especially if you live close to annoying neighbors who complain about noise all the time.

Allows you to get a good practice session in, even if your drum set is in the living room and your family is watching Downton Abbey.

Helps develop strength as you will have to put more effort into playing rudiments since the stick won’t have as much rebound. (This can also be a con)


Each drum will have very little difference in sound. The bass drum will stand out a bit more than the others, but in my opinion, silencing pads make the cymbals sound a bit odd or even annoying.

Drum mute pads take away some of the fun of playing the drums because everything sounds homogenous. I do realize, however, that that’s the price you have to pay to be able to practice your drums without driving everyone bonkers.

As mentioned above, silencing pads will help you develop wrist and forearm strength but it can hinder your technique to a certain degree because it doesn’t have as much rebound as striking the drum head without the pad on it. This means you’ll be working less on finger technique and more on brute force.

With all that being said, I’ve used them extensively and sometimes they are a must-have for drummers in certain circumstances.

What is a drum mute? Drum mute pads.

Years ago, I owned a four-plex and lived onsite. As you can imagine, I didn’t want to scare all the tenants away with my noise, so instead of getting an electronic drum set, I opted to purchase some drum mute pads that I could place on my drums.

In the end, I would say I was quite happy with them given the circumstances. If I had the option of not using them, I would pick that for sure, but they were great for the purpose they served.

I would also like to mention that there are many great sound dampeners for the bass drum that can help you fine-tune just how much sound you want to get out of your bass drum, but if all else fails and you don’t want to spend the money on anything, grab a few pillows or some blankets and shove them in the bass drum.

That will help dampen the sound for free!

I hope this post has been helpful and as always, keep being awesome.

What to do next?

If you are brand new to music, music production, or are interested in learning to play the drums, you can check out my article: What is a DAW? – What Does DAW stand for?

You might also want to check out this article: Acoustic Vs. Electronic Drums – Which One is Right for You?

If you are looking at buying your first drum set or any other musical instrument for that matter, take a look at Zzounds. They have a variety of acoustic drum sets and electronic drum sets for purchase.

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Andrew has been a life long lover of music. Although starting his musical journey on the guitar, (we won't talk about his skills on that particular instrument) he found his true passion was for drumming and making music to share with others. He also enjoys writing blog posts about off the wall subjects that are very much real—such as Bigfoot, UFOs, and what's up with European mayonnaise. Why is it sweet???
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