While some drum accessories are pretty affordable, not everyone has $30 or even $5 to spare when you’re in a pinch. If you need a drum accessory that’s easy on the wallet, here are five DIY options:
If you’re looking for that nice fat snare sound, you might already have everything you need at home. Take a spare drum head, flip it upside down, and place it on your snare. If the rim bothers you, you can use a knife to make a slit in the side before wedging in scissors and cutting around the shape of the head. Now it’ll fit on the snare and the rim won’t get in the way.
You can achieve a similar effect by putting a piece of paper on the head. The more pieces you stack, the deeper and fatter the sound you’ll get. Experiment with it!
There’s no need to drill holes in an expensive cymbal to get that cool sizzle effect. Use a bathtub chain, which you can pick up at your local hardware store. First measure your desired length of chain, and break off any extra. Then create a loop on one end of the chain with the clip it came with, and use that loop to keep it secure between the cymbal and the stand.
If you don’t want to go out and pick up a bathtub chain, there’s another cymbal sizzle option that only costs five cents! Grab a nickel and two pieces of tape (each should be double the length of the nickel). Cover half of the nickel with one piece, then stick the rest to the cymbal. Use the second piece of tape to reinforce the first piece. Now the nickel can move somewhat freely, vibrating against the cymbal when you hit it.
If you can’t afford swanky noise-canceling headphones, make some yourself for less than $40. Pick up cheap earbuds and a pair of construction earmuffs from your local hardware store. Put in the earbuds, cover those with the construction earmuffs, and voila!
There are many cheap alternatives for drum dampening. A classic fix is tape (gaff tape leaves the least residue, but you can use duct tape or any wider tape). Just take a piece, make a fold in the middle, and stick it to the drum head. To increase the dampening effect, you can use more tape or put something under it to add weight.
You can also use those floor-protecting felt circles people put under furniture. Grab one, take off the sticky backing, and affix it to the head.
For a different sound, put your wallet on the snare – it’ll mute it quite a bit. Or you can use a T-shirt by covering half of the snare or draping it over the whole drum. Do whatever it takes to get the sound you want.
If you don’t currently have the budget for a real practice pad (have you seen the Drumeo P4 Practice Pad?), there’s an alternative that costs next to nothing. You might already have one at home: a mousepad!
While they’re a bit thin and floppy, they have a good enough rebound when they’re on a table. If you don’t already have a mousepad, you can pick one up at your local office supply store for around $10.
Another option is a cork pad for hot plates. If there isn’t already one in your kitchen, check the local grocery or hardware store. You can even stack this on the mousepad to find a rebound that works for you.
There you have it – five DIY drum accessories that won’t break the bank. Let us know if you try these, or if you have other tricks in your back pocket.
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