The multi-piece drum set may be the musical backbone of most contemporary pop ensembles, but as anyone who's ever lived with a drummer knows, it wasn't exactly made with sleeping quarters in mind. Trying to keep this noisy set of instruments in your bedroom is sometimes a necessity, but it can create an annoyance for other residents of your house or apartment building. With a basic understanding of acoustics and sound dampening, you can minimize or eliminate the sound that escapes your room without losing your ability to practice in it.
Move the drum set to the center of the room. This will create the most distance on all sides between the drum and anyone listening from the other side of the walls, minimizing the sound that travels from the bedroom to other areas of the house.
Put carpet or a thick rug on the floor if the room has a hardwood or other smooth-surface floor. Try to cover as much of the floor as possible, and add an extra layer of small area rugs or carpet samples beneath the set for best results. Not only will this absorb sound, it will prevent the vibration from traveling directly through the floorboards.
Install a threshold beneath the door to prevent sound from traveling through this empty space. Use a piece made of soft materials (such as rubber) that can form a good seal. If you are unable to make this alteration where you live, stuff cloth in the crack between the door and the floor.
Apply soundproofing foam to the walls. This is a special material used by professionals to soundproof practice and recording areas. You can buy this foam locally from interior design companies, or order it online at sites like Soundprooffoam.com or Soundproofing.org. You can attach this foam using temporary wall adhesive strips for easy removal. If you need a cheaper option, regular insulating foam will also absorb a fair amount of sound, as will paper-fiber egg cartons, hung round-side out on the wall.
Keep soft goods and furniture in the room. Couches, beds, draperies, stuffed animals, or any items made of soft cloth will absorb and muffle the sound in the room. Don't forget the ceiling, where you can hang light, printed cloth tapestries using thumb tacks.
Cover flat, hard surfaces with cloth wherever possible. Even things like desks and tables can act as resonant sounding boards that will reflect and amplify the sound of your drums.
Prepare windows to absorb sound. Install double panes if possible, and make sure windows are properly sealed and remain closed during practice. Like the other flat surfaces, the glass will reflect sound, so cover them, and use curtains rather than blinds, the thicker the better.
Lauren Vork has been a writer for 20 years, writing both fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in "The Lovelorn" online magazine and thecvstore.net. Vork holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from St. Olaf College.