Low volume cymbals can be great for drum practice sessions and drummers find that they can sometimes be a better option than other alternatives such as traditional full volume cymbals or electronic drum kits. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.
More Options For Drum Practice Locations
Being able to practice drums is crucial for advancing skills, and sometimes drummers struggle to find a place where setting up their drum kit is reasonable and won’t be overly annoying to other in terms of noise. By reducing the volume of your drum kit, you’ll find that there might be more places that are acceptable to play than with a full volume kit with traditional cymbals.
Examples of difficult places to set up a drum kit might be at home, shared practice spaces, schools, dorm rooms, apartments or office buildings. By using low volume cymbals, you open up the ability to play in those types of spots without being as much of a nuisance. This gives you more places to potentially setup your kit and get more consistent practice in.
When I was in high school, for example, we could use the trap set in the music room to practice, but we had to wait for specific times to do so. Otherwise it was considered a noise problem. If we would have had access to some low volume cymbals and drum heads back then, it would have been much easier to find times to practice without annoying others. And then we would have been able to practice more.
I also once had an office location that was right above a coffee shop. An acoustic drum kit set up in there with traditional cymbals was too loud when the business was open downstairs. I could only play after hours when it was closed. Using low volume cymbals and drum heads would have made it possible to practice at any time in that location.
The same examples could be found for apartments, home life and more.
Practice Locations With Terrible Acoustics
Another thing to think about is what if your only option to practice is a place with bad acoustic properties? Locations that involve lots of concrete or hardwood and not much else to help keep acoustics under control are some examples. Basements, garages, empty sheds, places like that. Traditional cymbals can sound overly loud or harsh in those types of environments. Low volume cymbals won’t project as much and can sound much more reasonable in situations like that.
Protect Your Hearing
If you’re younger you might not think of this much, but if you stick with drumming for a few years or more you’ll come to appreciate the value of hearing protection. Using lower volume cymbals to practice will help preserve your hearing health and help you avoid nasty hearing problems in the future. This is especially the case if you like to play without ear plugs or hearing protection.
I’m personally at a point where I can’t play acoustic drums and traditional cymbals at all without a pair or earplugs in or some very good noise isolating headphones on. The noise just sounds too harsh to my ears and I’m worried about my tinnitus getting worse than it already is. But if I use low volume cymbals I can practice without wearing any hearing protection at all, as long as I’m careful with how hard I’m whacking the snare.
Get The Advantages of Lower Volume Without Sacrificing Feel
Playing on low volume cymbals feels the same as traditional cymbals. The sticking and rebound is the same and the movement and sway during play is the same. This can be preferable to the rubber cymbal pads on electronic drum kits which may or may not have the same feel as a traditional cymbal and might be smaller in size than traditional cymbals.
By practicing on lower volume cymbals, you will get all the benefits such as a lower annoyance factor and retaining the feel of a traditional cymbal. Your drumming will translate well when you switch back to full volume, traditional cymbals in terms of muscle memory and familiarity.
All of these factors can combine to make low volume cymbals a good options for practice situations. I know for sure that if I had some lower volume cymbals when I was younger I would have been able to practice behind the kit much more. It always felt like it was such a struggle to find a place to set up the drum kit due to the noise factors.
If you’re looking for some recommendations for low volume cymbals, check out our favorite low volume cymbals for recommendations.