Learning an instrument has many benefits. While cultivating creativity and improving hand-eye coordination, it also reduces stress. If you want to learn how to play the drums, it’s never too late. To protect the eardrums and sanity of everyone around you, you should soundproof the room that you plan to play drums in.
Here is how you can soundproof the room:
- Pick the Perfect Room
- Rearrange the Furniture
- The Flooring
- Upgrade Your Door
- Soundproof the Windows
- Wall Time
- Soundproof the Ceiling
- Acoustic panels
- Area rugs
- Thick curtains
- Pool noodle
- Adhesive strips
1. Pick the Perfect Room
To reduce the noise transmitted to your neighbors, you should set up your drums in the most interior room of your home. If you increase the number of walls between your drums and everyone else, you’ll reduce the noise that reaches them.
Does your home have a basement? Perfect, your basement is now the home for your drum set. Move those cobwebs aside and set up your instrument. Large closets could also serve as the perfect location for your drum set. Does anyone really need one of those obnoxiously expansive walk-in closets?
You want the room to have a door and as few windows as possible. Windows are thinner than walls, and they let noise out more easily.
2. Rearrange the Furniture
Furniture absorbs soundwaves. If there’s room, consider moving a couch or covered chair into the room.
Bookshelves are also a great way to slow down the transfer of noise. Bookshelves filled with books act as a means of insulation between your loud instrument and the peaceful outside world.
If you already have a bookshelf in another room, move it into your drum room. If not, it’s time to buy one. Not everyone is a reader, but you could also fill the shelves with stuff such as sports memorabilia or collectible bobbleheads. Books will reduce the most noise, but other items will slow down the soundwaves as well.
Any heavy furniture such as a wooden dresser should be moved to a wall that is between you and your neighbors. Furniture made of wood will absorb sound. Wall hangings can also help you keep the noise from your drums contained. When you’re unable or unwilling to hang up acoustic panels, traditional wall hangings and decorations can serve as an acoustic barrier.
3. The Flooring
If the room has no carpeting, you’re going to need to change that. Sound isn’t just transferred through walls; it can also permeate floors. Your downstairs neighbors are going to hate you while you’re learning to play the drums.
When you’re not ready to permanently change the floor coverings in a room, get yourself an area rug. It doesn’t have to be particularly cute, but to serve its purpose, pick a thick rug. Fuzzy or shaggy area rugs are excellent choices for this task.
You want to make sure your entire floor is covered. You may have to purchase several area rugs to cover the floor of a large room. My recommendation is to go to a discount store where you can purchase name-brand items that have been marked down. It’s a very cost-effective way to get rugs.
Not all carpet is created equal, and the carpet already installed in your home may not be enough to soundproof your room. Putting an area rug on top of your existing carpet may not sound aesthetically pleasing, but acoustically, it will be perfect.
4. Upgrade Your Door
Most interior doors in your home are hollow, and this can let a lot of sound pass through them. To soundproof a room, consider changing your door. A thick, wooden door will absorb a lot more sound than a flimsy one made of particleboard.
Whether you change your door or not, you’ll need to do something about the gap under the door. You could shove towels or blankets under the door every time that you close the door, but that isn’t always effective.
To bridge the gap between the door and the floor, use weathering strips. These strips adhere to the bottom of the door and keep drafts out. They’re most commonly used on exterior doors to keep outside temperatures from entering the home.
If your door is unusually short for the door frame, you could use a pool noodle instead of weathering strips. These long foam pieces don’t just help kiddos stay buoyant in the pool; they can also act as weather strips for doors.
You’ll need to cut the noodle down to be equal to the width of the door. Once you’ve got an appropriate length of noodle, slice down one side of the noodle. Slip the noodle over the bottom of the door. The noodle’s natural curved shape will keep it secured to the door.
5. Soundproof the Windows
Windows aren’t meant to keep noise out or in, so it’s no surprise that they’re not very good at it. Give your windows a helping hand. To reduce the noise let out through windows, you can tack up blankets over the windows. Towels work well as well, but blankets are thicker. You may be tempted to use cheap, thin blankets that don’t get much use around the house, but you really need to use thick blankets for this task. Quilts are fantastic for hanging up over windows to block sound.
If you want a more attractive option for window covers, consider getting thick curtains for the windows. These thick curtains will not only keep your sound from getting out, but they will also keep light from getting in. Light-blocking curtains also help temper your home by reducing the air exchange between the outside and your home.
When you’re serious about soundproofing a room, you should also consider getting window inserts as well. These inserts pop right into your window’s frame and they provide an extra layer of insulation. They can keep your drumming noises in and they keep outside noises out. If you live on a busy street, you may consider these inserts for all the windows in your home.
6. Wall Time
The part that almost everyone is familiar with: soundproofing the walls. The most effective option to soundproof your walls is to use acoustic panels. Acoustic panels are layers of foam that can be hung on the wall. They are used in professional applications as well as DIY soundproofing.
Some acoustic panels come with adhesive already applied to the reverse side of the panel. These panels are super easy to apply but know that once you stick them somewhere, that’s where they are going to stay. If you’re afraid of commitment, you may want to use a more reversible hanging option.
You can find reversible adhesive strips in most stores these days. They may use adhesive or Velcro to secure your items to the wall. You can also use nails or tacks to hang up your acoustic panels as well; just be aware that puncturing the acoustic panel could lead to lower sound absorption. They are designed to remain intact and absorb soundwaves.
Acoustic panels can come in several small panels, but there are also rolls of materials available. If your room is large, it will be more cost-effective to invest in the roll of acoustic material.
When you’re on a budget, you could tack up blankets or upholstery instead. You may need two layers of blankets to achieve the same effect as the acoustic panels. Completely cover your walls with blankets, leaving no area bare.
If you’re a serious DIYer, you could change the walls completely to reduce the transfer of noise between your drum set and everyone else’s ears. Adding an extra layer of drywall will effectively soundproof the room. The room will also be more resilient to damaging winds from natural disasters. It could serve as a drum studio and a safe room when there’s a tornado coming to town.
Soundproofing wallpaper is another option for wall coverings to soundproof a room. These thick wallpapers are made of foam but feature decorative designs that add character to a room. This wallpaper is also great for making walls softer when you have young children running around.
7. Soundproof the Ceiling
One area that many people neglect when soundproofing a room is the ceiling. For the ceiling, you can use the same materials that you hung on the walls. In fact, I highly encourage it to create equal sound absorption across the room.
You could also invest in, or make your own, sound cloud. These masses of foam are hung from ceilings and absorb sounds. Ceiling clouds are especially useful in lofted rooms with high ceilings, but they can get in the way of ceiling fans.
Make sure that your cloud is secured firmly to the ceiling above the ceiling fan. If the cloud is hung lower than the ceiling fan, it will block the airflow created by the fan. If you attach the soundproofing wallpaper to your ceiling, you can create a feature piece in your drumming room.