How to Practice Drums at Home - Acoustic Drum Kits

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Whether you’ve just started taking lessons at our Manchester studio or you’ve been playing drums for years, at some point you’ve probably had to think about how to practice at home… especially if you live in a flat or have neighbours close by! There are plenty of ways drummers can practice at home and in this article we’ll take you through a few of our favourite practice tools.

In this post we’re going to focus on reducing the volume of an acoustic kit for practice. If you don't have an acoustic kit and you're interested in other practice solutions, check out our post on electronic kits here.

When we want to reduce the volume of a kit there are two things we need to look at - firstly the drums and secondly the cymbals. Let’s have a look at howe we can do this…

Silencer Pads / Drum Mutes

If you already own an acoustic drum kit, silencer pads are a cost-efficient way to reduce the volume for home practice. As well as being cost-efficient, they can reduce the volume of your drums by 95%, keeping the neighbours happy!

Silencer pads (also known as ‘drum mutes’) are made of soft rubber and sit on the surface of your drums and cymbals, when we play we hit the pads rather than the drums themselves.

The great thing about silencer pads is that they bring the volume down for practice but if you want to rehearse or gig with a band you can remove the pads in seconds and you’re back to a full-volume kit!

There are plenty of silencer options to choose from, here are some ranges to check out:

At the time of writing, a set of pads for your drums will cost around £35 and around £30 for a full set of cymbal mutes.

Top tip: make sure you check the sizes of your drums before ordering, the pads will come in different sizes so you will need to choose the right ones for your kit. If you need any help with sizing get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help.

Mesh Drum Heads

Mesh drum heads are another great option for practice. While mutes sit on top of our normal drum heads, mesh heads replace our acoustic drum heads altogether. This does mean you will need to remove your existing drum heads to use the mesh alternatives, so this option takes a bit more work than the silencer pads.

Mesh heads can reduce the volume of your drums by 70%, but still retain as much of the tone and feel of the drums as possible!

Again, there are lots of options for mesh heads, here are some of our favourite ranges:

At the time of writing a set of WHD mesh heads will cost around £40, but prices will vary depending on which range you go for. Don’t forget you will also need to pick up a set of cymbal mutes alongside the heads.

It’s worth baring in mind that if you ever want to play your kit full volume, you will need to change the heads back to your acoustic heads so this is a more time-consuming option for students who also need to play at full volume on the same kit.

Top tip: like silencer pads, mesh drum heads come in different sizes so be sure to order the correct sizes for your kit.

Which one is right for you?

We’ve taken you through the two main options for reducing your acoustic kit volume for practice but which option is best for you?

That depends on how the kit is used - if you’ll need to use the kit at full volume for rehearsals or gigs, a set of silencer pads will be much easier (as well as being the cheapest option!) However, if you don’t need to use your practice kit in full volume situations, a set of mesh heads will bring the volume down but let you keep the feel of hitting a ‘real’ drum head!

These are just a couple of our favourite ways to reduce the volume of an acoustic kit for easier practice at home, but there are many other ways to practice such as electronic kits and practice pads - we’ll cover some of these practice tools in our next post!

If you have any questions about practicing at home, get in touch with us and we can help you to find the best solution for your circumstances.

If you’re new to drumming and want to give lessons a try, contact us at to find out more about our Drum Lessons in Manchester!