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Thread: Playing quietly

  1. #1

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    Default Playing quietly

    I haven't been playing in over 10 years, and recently started again. When I used to play, I always played with a band. So now not only am I extremely rusty, but I am married, and my wife isn't a big fan of loud music. I am trying to play at low volumes, but it doesn't have the same feel as playing at full volume. I find it difficult to play at low volume, anybody else feel this way?

  2. #2

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    it seems easier to play quieter with a light stick but i never have any because i like playing harder and louder
    RED DIRT MOUNTAIN
    UFiP TAMAHA Zildjian REGAL TiP

  3. #3

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    If you can,make a "quiet room". I live in a townhouse and I made a small room in the basement by hanging 2 layers of carpet(that I got free off CL) from the rafters,and carpet for the ceiling,i also have Evans soundoffs on my drums,the sound is great the tone in the drums is there,I play as hard as I want down there neighbors don't hear it ,I hit my cymbals as normal,you can also go a more expensive route and make a real room with sound deadening drywall from the hardware store, I was thinking of this before but it's pricey,I was also thinking of those sound deadening office dividers,you can get them cheap or even free of CL,but what I have works great, I'm down there every day for an hour or so
    You may have to buy and sell cymbals until you find what you like..what sounds good in the store can be pretty harsh in a small room, or rent cymbals until you find what you like, I went through a lot of different ones..ended up with AAX stage hats, AA 16" thin crash, HH 20" medium ride, and 21" special dry ride


    Mike
    Last edited by myk; 04-25-2016 at 08:19 PM.

  4. #4

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    Throw on some Remo Silent Stroke heads and get a set of Zildjian Low Volume cymbals. You can bash away all you want and not bother anyone. That setup will give you enough tone that you get some good practice. You can use full strokes and not change how you play, trying to play quietly. Swap the heads and cymbals back in 15-20 minutes and be back to your regular kit for full sound and volume.

  5. #5

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    I bought my 1st kit @ 15, parents' basement in a semi detached house, from the get-go i learned to play quietly...but I've been in bands where I need gloves to be able to hold on to the darned sticks! Jumping ahead 37 years, we play real little pubs/bars, where we are the only "band" that has a drummer...all the other acts are 2 piece guitar stuff...and they're often down the street from me...and we're done by midnight sometimes...so there are advantages to playing quietly, like more gigs....I also live in a semi detached now..kit has mesh heads on it....I can play it without upsetting the neighbours, which for me is key to a happy life...It sure isn't the same as playing normal heads, but I gig a lot, so I'm ok with mesh heads..

  6. #6

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    Volume is always an issue for me as I live in an apartment. Most of the time I have to use foam rubber pads if I play in the evenings which are really effective at noise reduction - unfortunately they reduce feel and rebound by a similar amount and I've come to hate them.

    G-Man's suggestion of silent-stroke heads and the Zildjian low volume cymbals sounds like the best way to go, but the cymbals are rather pricey.

  7. #7

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    You can try to sound proof the room, maybe she will compromise and wear ear protection, or like G-Man said the low volume drum and cymbal options.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by crispycritters View Post
    G-Man's suggestion of silent-stroke heads and the Zildjian low volume cymbals sounds like the best way to go, but the cymbals are rather pricey.
    Yea but a divorce could be even costlier !

    There is always the electronic drum rout .
    Rudy .

  9. #9

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    For a quick fix, try laying towels over each drum. You lose some of the rebound but the loudness factor is significantly diminished.
    Signature here

  10. #10

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    I really can't play quietly either
    Mapex Saturn 6 pc
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  11. #11

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    I can play with less force, sure.
    I can play with dynamics, yes.

    But, in the context of drumming, "playing quietly" is an oxymoron.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    I can play with less force, sure.
    I can play with dynamics, yes.

    But, in the context of drumming, "playing quietly" is an oxymoron.
    I couldn't of said it any better. We've all been there, like you, in one form or another. Back in the '80s, I was often threatened by law enforcement that they would drag me off to jail if I didn't knock off the noise and I always played as quietly as possible but sometimes, it ain't going to happen.

    Every post was thoughtful and helpful but communication with neighbors and spouses are so important to consider. Ekit, sound proofing a room or renting a storage shed where they allow bands to practice are viable solutions but it boils down to money and how much you are willing to compromise. Good luck with the drumming and welcome to the forum.

  13. #13

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    Yes, Rich............thank you for that.

    In addition, when I try to play quietly, I play horribly............it's not me.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  14. #14

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    It is as simple as A B C

    A:



    B:



    C:




    And D


  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by G-man View Post
    Throw on some Remo Silent Stroke heads and get a set of Zildjian Low Volume cymbals. You can bash away all you want and not bother anyone. That setup will give you enough tone that you get some good practice. You can use full strokes and not change how you play, trying to play quietly. Swap the heads and cymbals back in 15-20 minutes and be back to your regular kit for full sound and volume.
    That is some good advice there G-man. Thanks!
    Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.

    -Karrie

  16. #16

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    One thing I can say, it has brought out new ideas. My wife yelled down to me "sounds good honey". I told her the hardest thing to do as a drummer is to make my kit sound musical, instead of obnoxious and annoying. I am not a great drummer, but over time if I can train my hands to do what I hear in my head, learning to play quietly, will help to develop my playing. The other thing, when you watch a band play in a small place, and the drummer's fills and accents overpower the other players, it doesn't sound good.

  17. #17

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    I'm running mesh heads and zidjian L80's on my practice kit at home. I also padded the walls with blankets. The blankets on the walls really really helped.

    Playing quietly sucks because now you're focused on trying to keep quiet rather than focusing on technique and the beat.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    I'm running mesh heads and zidjian L80's on my practice kit at home. I also padded the walls with blankets. The blankets on the walls really really helped.

    Playing quietly sucks because now you're focused on trying to keep quiet rather than focusing on technique and the beat.
    Then how come jazz players can play quietly and still have chops and groove coming out the ying yang?!

    all the best...

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Then how come jazz players can play quietly and still have chops and groove coming out the ying yang?!

    all the best...
    Because they have been doing it for years and that's what their muscle memory is geared up to do.

    Playing quietly isn't as simple as just not hitting as hard, you have to adjust your sticking height, intensity and change your dynamic range to accommodate for it.

    It's very useful though, especially when recording as some of the biggest sounding drums I've heard back have been played softly.

  20. #20

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    Same boat. My wife doesn't want to hear it...so I just wait until she's not home or out of town.

  21. #21

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    Playing quietly isn't as simple as just not hitting as hard, you have to adjust your sticking height, intensity and change your dynamic range to accommodate for it.
    Exactly. It is something that needs to be consciously practised, especially if you came from a more rocking background. At this point in life, I'm on a mission to attain this ability. If I could have a dream music gig it would be with a grand piano and upright bass. The flailing and hard hitting stopped impressing me years ago.

    all the best...

  22. #22

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    I'll tell you a little secret that not many people know about. If you literally play them as hard as you can, you'll surpass the variant sound threshold and they will automatically turn quiet. Try it and see. It's amazing! Wait till she's home first to test it out. Tell her you learned it on Drum Chat.
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  23. #23

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    That's true. I guarantee after about a minute of playing as hard as you can, while the wife is home, the drums will become silent for an extended period of time.
    -Brian

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    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  24. #24

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    I've tailored my entire life around this instrument since I was 12 years old. Homework, sports, college, work, relationship, etc. Some of the "problems" you other guys run into are absolutely foreign to me. I've maintained a downtown rehearsal space for over twenty years.A band room with 24/7 access to my drums. I can't get my head around how you guys deal with obstacles. Women? You knew I was snake (drummer) when you met me. Volume? Its the same as sex, GET A ROOM! I love life, especially mine, and taking a half-assed approach toward a passion seems like a massive waste of time and effort that will only ever yield less than great pleasure. Drums? Play'em like they're meant to be, with passion.

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  25. #25

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    My take on this situation is a little different...I would give your wife 20 dollars and have her go find some shoes...that should buy you several hours of full playing time...IMHO
    Enjoy the Music!

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