Playing at home by myself?


Active Member
How best do I listen and play along with sings without breaking the bank , just having fun ? Is there technology or a simple system using headphones etc...?

Thin Shell

Active Member
A stereo and a good set of isolating headphones is just fine. GK Ultraphones is kind of the gold standard. I built my own pair using the same components, and given the time I spent, didn't save any money. You can even just plug them into your phone or other device but a stereo will have the power to drive them with less distortion. Just keep the volume down to protect your ears from the music. I like to play along to many of the drumless tracks that are on youtube. I download them using one of the many download programs because many times they will get pulled down due to copyright claims.


Active Member
This has been my goal too. I recently pieced together my solution.

Mac Book > Focusrite 18i20 > 50" TV and studio monitors and a single (two channel capable) Yamaha powered PA speaker.

I know you said low budget, but with this set up I had everything years before except the TV and the HDMI cable. This set up could be paired down to just a laptop/desktop, interface, and headphones. After that the other items are gravy.

I use headphones out of the Focusrite and use the powered Yamaha to produce sound levels equal to my playing. Basically the Yamaha is stage volume and the in ears are, well in ears that allow me to save my ears from the "stage volume".

The studio monitors are not really loud enough to play along to, but are good if watching technique videos and working the techniques at lower volumes.

I can play along to music saved on the Mac, on Spotify, or you tube videos.

You can see part of the set up here. Most items are set up to drummer's right. TV and studio monitors are directly in front out of the pic.

Last edited:

Thin Shell

Active Member
In my experience, ear buds will do more damage to your hearing than just about anything. The ones that just sit in your ears do nothing to block sound. The ones with the rubber earpieces are slightly beter, but just barely.They don't block the sound any better than putting a piece of cotton in each ear. You have to turn the music up so loud to overcome the drums that the music is going to do more damage to your hearing than the drums. I even tried them with my mesh head Roland Vdrums and I could still hear the hits on the cymbals and bass drum pad and to a lesser extent pads. Anything short of custom in ear monitors is going to damage your ears over the long term. If you do use ear buds use some of the Peltor hearing protectors over them. This is what the GK Ultraphones are made out of. Keep the volume as low as possible. If you hear any ringing after playing, you have it too loud.

Keep in mind that playing drums outside or on a stage in a larger inside venue is a completely different animal from playing drums in a small room On a stage, the sound has somewhere to go. In a room it is al concentrated in the room and will end with much higher dB assaulting your ears.

Take it from someone with Tinnitus. Don't mess around with your hearing. Things you do today will come back to haunt you as you get older. I have constant ringing in my ears. Most of the time I can tune it out, but at night it is very noticeable when I lie down to go to sleep.


Silver Member
* A decent small mixer with about 4 XLR inputs
* 3 mics (kick, snare, overhead) + stands and cables
* mp3 player like a sony walkman (longer battery life than phone) plugged into the mixer
* in-ears or noise cancellation headphones

I prefer the headphones but they're just too hot after a while.


Gold Member
I use a computer into a projector (or tv would work) and i play along with youtube or whatever music all night..

One thing.. get REAL headphones i didn't take it seriously enough and now my friend tinnitus visits me every couple of days.. I bought some ultraphones and wish i had when i started...


Gold Member
I use these and plug them into my phone. Works better than anything else I've tried.

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I prefer over the ear headphones and a tablet computer. The over the ear headphones reduce room drum volume. The computer lets me play Youtube videos.


Gold Member
It's best to play with yourself at home, folks at work don't take kindly to that sort of thing in the break room.


Active Member
I’ve never understood why drummers play with stereos/pa systems? That sounds like a quick an easy way to go deaf lol Or get evicted.

I think having some in ear monitors is the best option. that way you don’t have to turn it up so loud. In-ears protect your hearing from drums too.


Get a pair of in ear monitors (like the shure 215s), plug them into your iPhone and play to your music.

if you want to take it up a notch, mic your kit and get a small interface. You can hear whatever music is coming from your computer + a couple of mics this way (depending on how many inputs your interface has).

For mics I recommend Kick and overheads L + R. Some people say one overhead, kick, and snare mic, but I have no problem hearing my snare unmic’ed when I play. To each their own.

an interface may be breaking the bank for you, if you could tell us your budget that would really help with specific suggestions.

But the cheapest route is to get some headphones/in-ear monitors and play.


Platinum Member
Get a pair of in ear monitors (like the shure 215s), plug them into your iPhone and play to your music.


If you find you are hearing too much of your kit bleeding through the buds, then change them out for the more firm gray rubber tips (they are included if you buy new). I like the factory foam because they allow just enough of my kit to bleed through, but not too much. I've been playing for years, and this is what I used to use.