Taiko drummer - first questions on sound insulation


Junior Member
Hi All

I'm new to the forum and have spent the past few hours reading older threads about soundproofing and insulating.

I have a couple of quick initial questions I didn't really find clear answers too. Here's a rundown of my situation for context.

I teach Japanese taiko drumming for a living. At the moment I have a great space - big wooden hall in a valley. Don't bother anyone.

My wife and I have just bought a house where I want to offer more classes (my current hall is being used to capacity now - no more space/times for rent there - lots more interest).

The house is a large-ish farm house with an old pig stall about 4m x 8m in size and about 2.5m in height, and an adjoining garage workspace the same size. A load bearing wall separates these two spaces. The carport and the neighbour are on the other side of that workspace(not attached at all). I'm planning on converting the pig stall into my new teaching space.

The 2 side walls are solid concrete about a foot thick. The floor and ceiling is also concrete. We'll put in a triple glazed window at the back wall and brick the rest up and more than likely brick up the front wall as well (a large triple glazed door would be nice at some stage but is out of the budget now). There is a connecting door on one side wall to the cellar stairs which lead down to the cellar and up to the living space. Will probably replace that with something heavy.

I've read a lot of mention about sheetrock here. My first question is - will the mass of the existing walls (plus the extra space of the adjoining garage between me and the neighbour) be enough to control the noise or should I be looking further at sound reducing solutions?

The house is zoned in a 'mixed' area which means I'm allowed to make a little more noise than I would in a residential location, and my closest neighbour would be a good 25m away, but taiko is pretty loud (and deep), especially with enthusiastic beginners banging away. I wouldn't have more than 5 people per group here - and not all of them would be on miyadaiko drums (the big barrel ones).

So - long first post summarised. I'll be converting a 4x8m thick concrete box with neighbours about 25m away. Should that be enough to contain most of the sound or do you think I should start thinking about other measures as well?

many thanks in advance for any ideas.



Platinum Member
My experience of Taiko drums (providing sound reinforcement for performances of them) is that there is a lot of low frequency energy. This is much harder to contain. You have a great start with the mass of the concrete walls. But LF has a way of getting though structures.

The other thing is the amount of LF build up within your space. It may get very loud in a smaller confined space that reflects most of the sound back into the room.

I would think that having very floppy and damped walls and ceiling would help tremendously. Both in the conduction to the outside world, and the sound levels inside. Something like vertical channel on iso clips on the 48" centers of the sheet rock panels with two layers of 1/2" and Green Glue in-between. The 1/2" rather than 5/8" to add "give" and absorb the LF in the room rather than conduct it to the outside. Fairly dense insulation like rockwool or OC703 in the space to disperse the compression of air when the wall flexes. I'm not sure I would want a ceiling supported on 48" centers over my head but 24" centers is fine and what I have in my room.

Then you'll want ample bass traps and some level of reflection control inside the room to keep the apparent sound levels down and not deafen your students.

Best of luck.


Junior Member
Thanks for your response Aeolian. You're quite right - sound absorption inside is another thing entirely, and I'll need to look at that, but it's the neighbourhood I'm worried about right now because we haven't started renovations yet (we haven't even moved in yet).

I have bass traps planned and will try my best to put softeners up once we're done with the renovating. It's a bit of a juggle - nothing sounds sadder than dead drums, as I'm sure you know. Dead sounding taikos = tragedy.

Have you, or has anyone had experience with the PhoneStar/Silence Panel product? It's a sand filled board, but I don't know how much low frequency they would stop.


Senior Member
I'll intro by saying I have NO experience in the conditions or music you're discussing, but I'll throw in my own two pence in the vain hope I can help.

I have the rear half of a single garage in a built up residential area. It's got a partition wall and plasterboard up on wooden truss against the brick walls of the garage, and packed with loft insulation: total space about 2.5m(3). The floor has loft board on top of concrete with carpet on top of that and all the walls and ceiling have shaped foam and duvets on them, on top of the plasterboard.

In terms of low end, there is still an audible thud from outside; however it's far, far less than previously and I've never had a complaint (touch wood).

With basic wood stud, plasterboard, some carpet and cheap curtains, foam and duvets I seem to have a decent setup, so here's hoping you'll have a much better time with yours. Total cost for the 2.5m(3) was around £300 and that included everything (but all pretty basic, low end materials).


Platinum Member
The 2 side walls are solid concrete about a foot thick. The floor and ceiling is also concrete.
That is certainly more sound resistant construction than most studios. I only wish I had that for my home studio.

I'd suspect a concrete room would be sufficient given the circumstances.

I'd still consider drywall for aesthetics, and as mentioned, a place to hang sound abortion material from.

Sounds like a neat project!


Junior Member
Thanks Nuka, Thanks DrumEatDrum

Aesthetics are very important! Japanese drumming is as much about presentation as music - compared to kit drumming our rhythms are very basic.

It's a balance between what I can afford now and what I'll be able to afford once the room is built but I'm using it for a teaching space so I want it to look nice.

Nuka - here's what I'm teaching


Hoping my new neighbours might be old and deaf. That would be helpful too.


Platinum Member
If you really want to get into the technical details, I recommend picking up a copy of
"Build it like the pros" by Rod Gervais.

My 1st studio build wasn't that sound resistent, and I made a lot of mistakes. After reading that book, my 2nd build was much more sound resistant, even in less than ideal circumstances.