If you love to play drums regularly, you are probably aware that many drummers around the world put pillows or towels in the bass drum. Isn't it exciting to you? Yes, of course, it would be so much enjoyable. However, have you ever tried to know why they would do this? If you are still confused about it, don't worry anymore. Because in this article, I will reveal the truth. I will tell you the exact reason why do drummers put pillows in bass drum.
Drummers put the pillow in the bass drum for adjusting the sounds. Placing a cushion in the bass drum will act like muffling it. It also acts as a dampener. Because it will take away some resonance while playing the drum, in short, if you put a pillow in the bass drum, the thump of the kick will be quicker, and overtones will be less and ringing will be afterward. It also makes the sounds of the drums good.
If you are still confused about it, please don't worry anymore. Stay with me throughout this article, and eventually, all of your confusion will be removed. So, without further delay, let's begin the article.
What Is a Bass Drum?
If you want to name a drum that is specially designed for producing indefinite pitch, you should think about a bass drum. A bass drum, which is also well known as the kick drum is a large drum with the unique capability to create a low definite sound note.
Generally, the shape of this musical instrument is cylindrical. It means the depth of the drum is less deep compared to the diameter of the drum. However, the head of the bass drum is struck at both sides.
The head of the bass drum is specially made from calfskin, or even plastics are used in making the drum. The strings adjust the drums' tension, or you can call those strings as threaded taps as well.
There are several sizes of drums you can find in the market. But, the volume of the drum doesn’t depend on the size of it. Bass drum plays a significant role in the overall drum playing by a drummer.
In fact, it is the most massive drum of the entire drum family that comes with the ability to produce deepest-sound. The drum is typically played with a pair of sticks. However, most of the bass drums come with a single pedal stick when it comes to modern drumming.
Now, Why Do Drummers Put Pillows in Bass Drum
In this section of this article, I will tell you why they actually put pillows in the bass drum. Basically, it is a part of muffling the bass drum. Let’s see how this entire thing happens. In most cases, every drummer wants to perform muffling in the bass drum at first.
In a general sense, a bass drum comes with many overtones and resonance. Now, this sound is so much quick and also powerful. That is why it becomes necessary to dampen the sound. In fact, many drummers want to put something so that the music gets dampened properly. This is the main reason why drummers put pillows in the bass drum.
Generally, when you see drums that make a lot of echoes, it will create a sonic mess. When it comes to playing something slow, in most of the cases, there will not be any kind of mess with the sound. However, if you are playing something fast, the probability of creating a sonic mess will be high.
For example, when you’re playing drums or a quick roll with your drums. When you reach the last one, the first one will be still resonating. That is why you will not get distinct beats. Actually, in a sense, the bass is not the main issue here. In fact, it’s still the same problem. You have to control the resonance of your drum.
That is why most of the drummers put a pillow to control the resonance as well as sound. However, there are maybe some other reasons as well. When playing the drum, you may want to adjust the tone. You want a gentle thump while playing the bass drum.
Actually, you can still adjust the tone just using a new type of drum head or beater instead of putting a pillow into it. Because the pillow only stops the ringing or absorb the resonance only.
However, traditionally still many drummers love to put pillows in their bass drums to get better quality sound. Because, again, many drummers like to do muffling in their bass drum.
Now, How to Muffle Drums
Although muffling a bass drum is a pretty much straightforward, you may go for the wrong way to do it. Therefore, you have to know how to do muffling in the bass drum correctly.
If you have some extra bucks, you can go for some products which are specially designed only for the muffling process. You may find some rings or even pads that can be used in the drum, which will help you control the drum's thump.
So, it will be wise to go to a local shop and find the most appropriate elements for this purpose. Even you can customize the muffling aspects so that it fits on the bottom of the drum conveniently.
Then again, you can also go for other convenient products like a drum ring, which comes with the ability to cover the whole bottom of the bass drum. This product can also control the sound of your bass drum. Now, if you're in a tight budget situation, please don't worry anymore as I will show you some other options, which will cost you no money literally.
Before moving further, let me clarify an essential point related to muffling. The primary purpose of muffling is it will control the airflow in the drum's shell. Now, if you don't leave any space in the drum, the airflow will be stopped totally.
In this case, the drum will produce a flat sound, which is undoubtedly unexpected, right? That is why you have to be careful while putting a pillow in the bass drum. You have to make sure that you leave enough free space for the airflow instead of completely blocking it.
Bass drum pillow placement should be done properly. Generally, inserting only one pillow with a proper size will be good enough for you. If you follow this instruction correctly, the airflow will be controlled without annihilating the sound.
If you think that the sound is not up to the mark yet, you can fix it by adjusting the pillow by moving it around. It will help you to get the music from the bass drum as per your expectation.
If the sound quality is not improved yet you should go for tuning the drum set. If you know how to tune a drum set you can easily improve the sound quality. That is why you should know how to tune a bass drum in the correct way.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I put a pillow in my bass drum?
By default, the bass drum produces a quick and faster sound, which may create a sonic mess. As it resonates quickly and for a long time, you may want to control the drum's resonance.
If you put something like a pillow or towel at the bottom of the bass drum, it will control the resonance and produce better sound for you.
However, you should be careful to see whether you block the drum's airflow or not while putting the pillow. If there is no airflow at all, it may kill the bass drum's sound. But if you are a beginner drummer you must check this beginner drummer article.
Why does my bass drum sound bad?
If you hit the bass drum off-center, it will create an uneven sound. The sound quality of a bass drum depends on the amount of the airflow inside of the drum. When it comes to getting a better sound from a bass drum, you have to make sure that you are hitting the drum in the right spot.
Because hitting the drum in the wrong spot will not create enough airflow inside of the drum. However, there is another reason, as well. Suppose you do muffling by putting pillows inside the drum you have to make sure that there is enough space for the airflow. Otherwise, the bass drum mute phenomenon will happen which is really unexpected.
Bass drum is an essential member of the whole drum family. As a drummer, you always want the best quality sound from your bass drum. However, as the bass drum resonates quickly and produces sound faster, frequently it creates a sound mess.
Now, to control the mess and improve the sound quality, many drummers put a pillow or other things like a towel in the bass drum to enhance the sound quality of the bass drum to a great extent.
In this comprehensive article, I tried to gather all the necessary information about this matter. I believe now you know the exact reason why drummers put the pillow in the bass drum. Remember you can get the perfect drum sound only if you use the best drum set.
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