How to play quieter?


Senior Member
Definitely using smaller sticks. That could help. Loosening up your grip, as well, could play a large factor. Understanding mentally that everything you play doesn't have to be loud. A lot of things sound better quieter and with control.


Senior Member
I agree with the other guy. If you're playing Ozzy and Van Halen I don't see how you can be too loud. Tell them to get louder. That's how it's meant to be played.

con struct

Platinum Member
It's called dynamics. Instruments are made to be able to be played at different levels of volume and intensity, from piano to forte and everything in between.

It shouldn't matter what sticks are used. It's all a matter of technique, isn't it?

So how to play quietly? Practice playing quietly. Practice your stroke, learn to be able to go from a whisper to a roar. It's all there in your drums, you know, it's just a matter of bringing out the sound at different levels of volume, and I think the way to do that is to have a well-controlled stroke.
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"Uncle Larry"
Technique is the best answer all the way. But I'll take any advantage I can get. Some rooms are just so loud that even quiet playing is pushing it, that's when I pull out the choke


Silver Member
Don't play loud. Just kidding. Set your metronome to 100 to 120 pick a groove and practice dynamics from MP to MF to PP. when starting out practicing dynamics, the feel and groove tend to go out the window when playing quiet (slowing down) and playing loud causes tendencies to rush. by practicing with a metronome it will keep you in check at all volume levels. I feel having good dynamics is just as important as a good groove.


Silver Member
Also, cut-out the arm motion, arm is effectively a large lever and means more power.



Wrist, fingers and a little arm movment, for a full stroke with lots of volume.

Wrist and fingers for medium strokes.

Wrist bobbing a little and fingers for soft strokes.

...and of course you can vary for more specific dynamics.


Senior Member
Nope. Sorry, I really don't think the wood type of a stick matters. You could give me willow branches and I could play loud or soft. Same goes for the 7A vs. 5B. The shape of the sound might be different, but you should be able to play just as loud with 7A's or just as quiet with 5B's its totally up to you to control the sticks movement.

That said, I do use 5B's outdoors for bigger venues, and 7A's for indoor stuff, but if I broke a stick or couldn't find a matching set, I could use either. We shouldn't have to rely on equipment to make up for our technique. Its a convenience to be able to choose what we play, but the player has more bearing over the sound than anything.
Well, the stick does matter. A lot. It's probably the easiest way to reduce volume.

I play softer with maple sticks and if I hit too hard, they break. There's a built-in treshold. A good stick size is vater super jazz; slightly thinner and longer than 5A for an airy feel with faster rebound. They come in hickory and maple so you can have a stick for indoor and outdoor or practice.

Also consider hearing protection you're wearing. Regular earplugs or muffs attenuate too many high ferquencies, losing clarity and sensitvity. Get some custom earplugs because the better I hear, the more I'm aware of excess noise.

Further: light cymbals, small shells, coated heads, a large isolated room or a drum shield all reduce overtones and volume.

con struct

Platinum Member
Well, the stick does matter. A lot. It's probably the easiest way to reduce volume.
But playing well isn't easy. It requires practice. Drum sticks are not like golf clubs, different sticks for different situations. Brushes were not invented so a drummer could play more quietly.

A violinist doesn't change bows to play louder or softer. A piano player has only his fingers. A trumpet player has only his lips.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it's perfectly possible to play whisper-quiet with a pair of 2B sticks. It's all a matter of technique.


Gold Member
may i also recommend tuning higher.
for me i can get the tones i like with less volume when my kit is tuned higher.