Drum mutes


Senior Member
Hey all

I hate electronic drums and want a solution for low volume home practice.

I don’t fancy chain g the heads constantly so silent strokes are out.

What’s the general consensus on drum mutes?

Do drum mutes damage the cymbals?
Ok for toms, snare and bass?

All advice is gratefully received.


Senior Member
Do you mean the rubber or silicon tips you put on your sticks?
Or do you mean pads like Evans SoundOff, RTOM Black Hole or Aquarian super pads?
I haven't used the tips (although I just ordered a set to try out) but am using the latter ones.

BTW: I don't get the 'damaging cymbals' question as you normally hit cymbals with a piece wood - not the most delicate way of handling them.


Senior Member
The pads like the sound offs.

I’ve read somewhere in the past that using cymbal mutes may damage the cymbal as the sound waves don’t dissipate correctly.


Platinum Member
I bought a set of really cheap used drums (less than $ 50) and put mesh heads on and use L80 cymbals. ...a basic 4 piece.
You then have a 'mesh head' kit for quiet practice and then acoustic kit for loud play when you can.
Soundoffs/mutes don't sound good and don't emulate the feel of drums. They are also louder than mesh heads to my ears.


Senior Member
Opentune makes a good suggestion: it depends on the space you have (and the money you want to spend).

I had a set of Evans SoundOff pads and they are OK-ish for toms but I don't like the rubber pads for the cymbals and the contraption for the bass drum is awkward.
When I wanted to play silently I got a set of silent cymbals (from Millenium) and some other pads.

I have an RTOM Black Hole on my snare and I guess that's about as good as there is out there right now for a snap on/off drum mute pad. But it is not cheap and rimclicks don't work.
I also bought a 12" Aquarian Superpad for one tom and it is better than the SoundOff - but not so much to justify its price. It feels a bit like a Vic Firth practice pad. It lets you hear more sound of the tom than the SoundOffs which sound dark.
And I got an Aquarian Superpad for the bass drum which I actually like.

Overall muted drums don't offer the sound nor feeling of acoustic drums and are not the best option to work on technique.
But they are closer to acoustic drums than an electronic one.
I use mine for practicing or learning songs for my band at a low(er) volume.
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Senior Member
BTW: although I didn't like cymbal mutes I never had any damage problems.
Maybe if you wack the crap out of them with 2Bs but probably drum mutes aren't the way to go then.

Ghostin one

Senior Member
About the cymbal damage, people have had their cymbals discolored from leaving the pads on too long, from some chemical reaction I guess.


Senior Member
About the cymbal damage, people have had their cymbals discolored from leaving the pads on too long, from some chemical reaction I guess.
Aha, that could be possible although I haven't experienced it.
And maybe the rubber gets sticky / leave marks when in high temperatures for a long time.


Active Member
I use them.

I went for this option because I need to be quiet when practicing in the evening (kids in the adjacent room) but I want to be able to unleash the noise in no time when possible without going through head change etc. Didn't go for black holes or superpads simply because I never tried them, so I simply don't know any better (and I want to keep it this way ;) ).

The "crash" mutes I doubt they would damage the cymbal, while indeed the hi-hat and ride ones leave some residues after some time. I don't have any problem with it on my cheapo practice cymbal, and to be honest it could be that it is simply easily cleanable with just water and soap (didn't try yet).
I however remember somebody over here posting the issue about a very precious Paiste I think.


Platinum Member
When I needed mutes, I found a large piece of carpet padding and cut them to the sizes of cymbals and drums. It only cost a few dollars.


Well-known Member
Mutes sound and feel much worse than electronic kits, and you can't hear your dynamics on them. I'll practise on an electronic kit any day of the week (save for rudiments on a pad).


Before I did an A2E conversion, I tried Soundoffs, Silent Strokes, Black Holes and SuperPads. Black Holes were my choice for toms and snare for feel and sound, with a SuperPad on the kick. All fit over the acoustic heads, so easy on/off.

I used low volume cymbals, so can't comment on cymbal pads.