I'm too loud...aparently


Platinum Member
I get some bands are fussy about volume and it's understandable to a certain level. There are drummers who are too fffffing loud....bad pun sorry!

The thing is it takes years of practice to play quietly with dynamics and feel. If you can do it it's a skill that bands will really appreciate.

I use Steve Gadd sticks and keep a couple of tubs of moon gel in the stick bag. There's a bfsd and an oring for the snare at all times if I really need to dampen the sound.


Regular Poster
My thoughts (probably repeating previous respondents):

Ultimately you play like you practice so will be good to practice at at least moderate volume

1. Sound absorption in the room. If the room is "bright" sound waves from all instruments will reflect off the surfaces and disrupt the direct sound waves coming from the instruments, creating terribly mushy but very loud noise. Be sure to put up some sound absorbing materials (heavy duty moving blankets are probably sufficient) over the open wall spaces to reduce reflected waves and allow you to hear just the direct soundwaves. You will perceive it as much quieter, and clearer.

2. Cymbals. Bright cymbals with lots of wash (like my Sabian B8s) will be perceived as very loud (both the initial strike and the accumulating ringing). Try hitting them more softly and/or apply some gaff tape or Sticky Handz (yep, I have this Target novelty bin staple on mine right now) or moon gel and see if that tames them.

3. Quieter sticks. Try playing with Hotrods or something like that.

4. Earplugs. Your bandmates can use good "music" earplugs (you should too).

Good luck!


Platinum Member
I had a leader like that. We practiced in his house and he'd want it quieter then, at the gig, more was needed. I just learned to make it work in both situations. You gotta use your stage savvy, every gig is different.

yep...it is also based on when his wife is home or not...so we have three levels:

1. wife quiet
2. no wife medium
3. stage loud

and the only thing i ever really change is the agression of my bass drum. That makes te biggest difference.

And is wife really likes us, se is very supportive, so I don't know wat te disconnect is


Senior Member
I have a number of them in my stick bag but, I decided I wanted my loudest and softest dynamics available all the time and I do it with 5B's.
Which brand/model of 5Bs? I'm looking for a stick change!


"Uncle Larry"
As a punk rock drummer, the hardest part for me was learning to stop doing a rimshot on every snare hit, that isn't always needed.
Oh man as a punk rock drummer I'm not sure there is such a thing as volume control lol. As it should be

Do punk rock band play dinner sets?

What a wacked out question


Regular Poster
Here's a short excerpt of me noodling (to drumless track I'd never heard till I recorded this) what I mean closed quiet rolls. about 20 seconds or so I play a real quiet closed triple stroke roll (thereabouts)-most is quiet with quick quiet dribbling closed rolls/buzz rolls and even the louder open rolls aren't that loud. Short heights-dribble-don't go all Tony Williams strong open single or double stroke rolls. Well I should qualify what I call open and closed rolls-a disclaimer I'm no drummer-I just play one on DW ROFL.
I would like to know which track that is if you can remember/find it


Platinum Member
Yep I was playing Latin drumless tracks and this one came up on YT so I started noodling. After I played I looked and said “Funky Latin Downtempo Bossa nova “ which I didn’t get that at all LOL. It reminds me of something? But it wasn’t a Latin bossa nova , but I guess if played one it would fit. I didn’t even get Latin sounded more electronica.


Drum Expert
Which brand/model of 5Bs? I'm looking for a stick change!
Vic Firth "American Classic" 5B
I like being able to do it all dynamically with 5B's, still there are times when sticks with different tips & weights, hotrods etc. might be more appropriate tonally.


Senior Member
Vic Firth "American Classic" 5B
I like being able to do it all dynamically with 5B's, still there are times when sticks with different tips & weights, hotrods etc. might be more appropriate tonally.
I was able to get additional (slightly) more power with some Dave Weckl orange fusion sticks I had in my bag. They look like 5As, but about an inch or so longer than the Jojo Mayer 5As I have. But the orange-ish brown paint on the stick caused me to get a small blister.

No Way Jose

Silver Member
they are saying Im to loud and the question is what to do?
Ive tried playing super gently and quietly but its hugely frustrating so any ideas will be most appreciated.

I sometimes put a towel or rag over my snare drum and other things to quiet them. At home I detune my toms to make them quieter. Peak volume happens at resonance. By bass drum is damped. Sometimes I put a bubble pack bag over my bass drum beater to quiet it.


Platinum Member
Man you have hit the problem on the head....oh and thks all for the constructive replies, appreciate it.

But yes its all, 70's/80's chart dance stuff, the usual suspects and darned if its hard just gently tapping the hats and snare at home. Try just tapping to "Rock With You"...its darn near impossible.
Anyway the first "quiet" rehearsal is next week, I'll report back.

If the band is used to a drum machine and e-drums, then they're probably used to a muffled (rather than wide open) bass drum sound, low-volume, warm-sounding cymbals, and a deep, muffled snare sound. Dial up any drum machine or e-kit, and you're likely to hear a drum sound that you would get on a smooth jazz recording: processed, and tightly controlled. A wide open kit with bright cymbals is the polar opposite. Doesn't matter one bit if the acoustic kit is "nice" or not -- what matters is how it's tuned and treated.

When non-drummers say something is "too loud", they often mean there's at least one offending, bright sound. Most likely, it's a bright ride cymbal or hi-hat, an unmuffled, ringing snare, or a boomy bass drum. Or all three.

So, muffle and dampen the crap out of that kit, including a pillow in the bass drum, and bring some cymbals that are more mellow in tone, if you have them. If you don't, get some K Customs or HHXs -- something darker than what you have. You can't "warm up" a bright cymbal, or make it more washy. New Beat hi-hat can vary widely, but most are fairly bright. Certainly not the brightest out there, but I wouldn't describe them as warm. If you're playing nylon tipped sticks, try out a wood-tipped pair.

Your internal dynamics are also a possible source of "too loud". How balanced is your playing? Some video and/or audio of the next rehearsal will help. Not knowing your skill level, it's more or less impossible to advise you any further, without some content to evaluate.


Staff member
Oh man as a punk rock drummer I'm not sure there is such a thing as volume control lol. As it should be

Do punk rock band play dinner sets?

What a wacked out question
I know of a (70's era Brit - think Sex Pistols) punk band who played a wake. Punks are getting old!

Fairly commonplace for 70's / 80's era rock bands to play corporate & wedding gigs these days too :cool:

Rock Salad

Junior Member
Highly likely. Guess I need to ascertain from the band exactly which piece is hurting them.
They will tell you it's the cymbals or snare. Nobody realizes that it's the bass drum because you don't hear that rumble when everyone is playing. Just do an experiment and see if a little muffling in the bass removes the complaint?


Platinum Member

Janet Tambour

Junior Member
Try a smaller in diameter stick and also a lighter stick. I actually weigh all of mine and try to find the lightest possible. This doesn't mean best made and I've broken a ton of them, these can be found in those no-name stick bundles. But they do help keep the noise down. Watch out for the 'rods' I've tried using those and if hit too hard or connected with rims they will break! I don't know about you but $20+ for a set of those a practice period is too much to spend. :(
On a side note: When I played with my first real gigging band, I didn't now jack about mic-ing drums and they apparently didn't either. But they kept saying play louder, louder. So one day we're practicing and the bass player stops and if very annoyed at the guitar player. "Hey man did you turn up? My ears are ringing!" "Not me dude." Then they both look at me, Ta-Da, you wanted louder... :)


Platinum Member
Equipment: drum rings to dampen the snare/toms. HotRods and Brushes.

Technique: After I learned about using my fingers(thanks to Dave Weckl's 80's great instructional video offerings) I found I had a MUCH greater dynamic range. Practice playing quiet(so you really have to listen to hear the set) until the frustration goes away and you start to pick up/utilize nuances in your playing that higher volumes tend to wash out...I started doing more head/cymbal scraping, stand/rim/stick-on-stick strikes and crash/HiHat cymbal bell usage.

Really makes you aware of the transient sounds your set makes...and the various grunts and breathing cadence breaks/fluctuations we make without realizing.

All that said, respect yourself and check the venues before accepting. Never allow one person to take the booking reigns without your input and a fair 'consensus' voting practice. (there is another thread out here talking about the possibility of ethical lapse when only one person holds the $ reigns without oversight..forgot which one)...or just accept a sideman role and the disrespect that tends to go with it as trade off for reduced responsibility and effort/employability...whatever works for your vision.


Regular Poster
Vic Firth AJ5 sticks (smaller than a 7A).
Hot Rods

Also, check out the Big Fat Snare Drum or some of those SnareWeight M80's.

In addition, what I've found is that sometimes when band members think there is a volume problem, it's actually a pitch problem. The lower the pitch my drums and cymbals, the happier everyone else seems to be. Tune the kit down a little.

Room treatment (or lack thereof) may be an issue as well.

Has this band had a history of running through drummers?