[Waywood Music shows how to use mufflinng to improve your drum sound]

Muffling (Damping) Drums for Drummers


In some settings e.g., miking-up for live work or when working in the recording studio, the natural resonance of the drum shell and/or skin may be too much. In these situations SUBTLE muffling (damping) may be necessary.

The following methods to cover most needs in these areas:

Gaffer Tape
Double-Ply Drum Heads


Gaffer Tape/Duck Tape

Contrary to the popular belief that you need to cover the drums completely with gaffer tape, SUBTLE muffling can be achieved with this product by using the following method:

Tear off a one inch (2.5cm) length of one inch wide tape.

Roll it 'back on itself' so that you form a narrow tube with the STICKY side facing OUTWARDS. See picture below.


[Gaffa-tape tube wth sicky side facing outwards]

Gaffa Tube (click on image to enlarge)


Place this PARALLEL to the rim, approximately one inch in for more subtle muffling. See picture below.

[Gaffa-tape tube parallel to edge of drum for more subtle muffling]

Gaffa Tube Parallel to Edge of Drum
(click on image to enlarge)


Alternatively, place the tube about half-an-inch in at RIGHT ANGLES to the rim for increased muffling. This method works well on all drums. See picture below.

[Gaffa-tape tube at right angles to edge of drum for increased muffling]

Gaffa Tube at Right Angles to Edge of Drum
(Click image to enlarge)


For larger sized drums, more than one 'tube' of tape may be needed to achieve the desired amount of muffling.



These small, re-usable, rectangular pieces of a sticky plastic gel adhere to the drum skin. They should be positioned as for the Gaffer tape example above and work well on all drums. For larger sizes, more than one piece of gel may need to be applied.


[Moongel™ Muffling Material]

Moongel™ Muffling Material
(Click image to enlarge)



These are slim O-shaped rings between about half and one inch (1.3 to 2.5 cm) wide, made of thin plastic or drum head material. They can be made in all sizes to fit your different drums, and 'sit' just inside the rim.

When in place they produce quite pronounced muffling, although they work well on snare drums IF you want to eliminate the high-pitched ring. See picture below.


[O-ring in position on snare drum]

O-Ring on Snare Drum
(click on image to enlarge)


Double-Ply Drum Heads

If you want a 'thicker' or 'fatter' drum sound with less ring then try using one of the brands of double-ply drum heads which are available. Popular models include the Remo Pinstripe™ or Remo Emperor™. The latter produce slightly more ring, but seem to last longer. In my experience, Pinstripes seem to sound 'dead' or 'dull' quite quickly, although that is EXACTLY the reason some drummers like them. Evans and Aquarian also manufacture excellent double-ply drum heads to suit all needs.

One disadvantage of the thicker heads is that they need to be hit harder OR with heavier sticks to produce their full response. This can be a problem in quieter settings, or where brushes/multi-rods are used.


Select 'Tuning Bass ('Kick') Drums for Drummers' for how to muffle bass drums.


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