Why Do Drummers Use Rugs? What Does a Drum Rug Do?


Drum sets are loud, fun, and essential to any band. But, if you’ve ever played, or if you’re just learning, you’ll know that without something underneath, certain pieces can shift as you play. Of course, that’s the last thing you need if you’re in the middle of a show, but can a drum rug really help?

Drummers use drum rugs to prevent movement in the drum set caused by the kick pedals and the vibrations when the kit is struck. The rug provides friction and dampens the vibrations, making them less powerful. Drum rugs often have anti-slip material underneath, helping keep the drumset stable and in place.

Drums are put on rugs or carpets to allow the player more control over the movement of the instrument. The rug can reduce random jittering or movement during play. The remainder of this article will explain and explore the best size for a drum rug and whether or not you need a drum rug.

Drum Rug

Should I Put a Rug Under My Drumset?

A rug should be placed under your drum set to stop the set from moving while playing. A rug will also lessen the volume, helping to reduce room reverberation and preventing your drums from ringing.

This should be especially helpful to those playing or recording in a small room or apartment. For example, if you need to set up your kit in an area with neighbors close, using a rug will reduce the sound that echoes throughout the room.  

Drum rugs are necessary when beginning to play; not only does that help deliver the best sounds, they also protect your floor from any unwanted scratches. 

Related Content: What Does Putting Tape on Drums Do?

Sometimes when a new drummer sets up their kit for the first time, they do not realize that the rug is more than just stopping the drums from wandering away. 

If a drum kit is on a hard floor and the drums are angled wrong, then the echo from the drum sound can reflect sound off the floor and cause the drums to vibrate or ring.

What Is a Good Size for a Drum Rug?

Drum sets come in a few different sizes, and you’ll need to look at your own set to find the right one for your needs. 

For example, a standard 5-piece drum kit will include 

  • One bass drum 
  • One snare drum
  • Three toms (One floor and two mounted)

A 4×6 foot drum rug is large enough to accommodate a standard 5-piece drum kit. A 6×8 foot drum rug is enough for large drum kits, or to provide a framed look around a standard-sized kit.

You’ll need to consider your personal setup, which may be smaller (like the Beatles) or significantly larger than the standard 5-piece. 

Related Content: What Instruments Did The Beatles Play?

It is solely up to you what the best drum rug is for your setup; however, it is best to measure your drums before purchasing. Matching your drum set and room size is key when picking the best drum set rug for you and your situation. 

The math is simple. If your drumset is six feet wide, you’ll want a carpet that spans at least six feet

How To Pick a Drum Rug

If you have already purchased your drum set and find that your bass drum is moving around, I recommend making a drum rug your next purchase. 

Here are some things to consider before making the purchase:

  • The best drum rugs have non-slip material under the carpet that will allow for no movement and will stop your drumset from vibrating across the floor. 
  • You may want a rug that matches your drum set in terms of color or design. 
  • If you’re practicing at home, it shouldn’t matter what your carpet looks like, as long as you have one. 
  • A good drum rug may cost anywhere from $80 to $300. It depends on your budget and what you are searching for. 

No matter where you’re playing, consider purchasing a high-quality carpet like the Trademark Innovations Drum Rug Carpet (Amazon.com). Its non-slip material will keep everything in place, and it comes with a handy bag so you can carry it from gig to gig. 

However, if you are performing at gigs, then using a rug that matches your drum set, or has a little flair, may make you appear more professional. Plus, they’re more aesthetically pleasing to the eye of your audience and bandmates. 

This YUANZHOU Drum Rug Drum Mat, also has a non-slip surface and comes with six cool designs. Well… at least some of them look cool. 

Alternatively, these BalanceFrom Puzzle Exercise Mat from Amazon.com are an exceptional substitute for a thick and heavy rug. They’re lightweight and interlocking, making them stable but able to pull apart for transport. 

Check out this video for more information on how these work for drum kits:

Best Material for a Drum Rug

Suppose you’ve decided to make your drum rug rather than buy one. Then you may be wondering what the best material is and how to do it yourself with the best results. 

Nylon or heavy wool are the best materials for a drum rug. Make sure to choose high-quality fabrics to make sure your drum rug lasts a long time. Consider the flexibility of the fabric if you are on the road versus keeping the rug in one place.

Simply cut out a square to match your drum set’s size and spray on rubber that stops your drum set from slipping. 

One big consideration when choosing the material is how flexible it is. For example, if you travel a lot, you’ll want something that will easily roll up for better storage. 

Related Content: Drum Anatomy: Parts of the Bass Drum & Drum Pedal

Remember that as long as your footpad and bass drum are appropriately set, you might not need as much material as a recommended earlier; six-foot. So, if you choose to DIY, you can save some space and money by making the rug a little more compact.

Check out this video for more information on how to choose the best drum rug:

Conclusion

In the same way, a pick is critical to a guitar player, making sure your drums don’t move while playing is essential for a drummer. Although any rug will help with vibrations, you’ll want something that can grip the kit to keep it secure.

Luckily, a simple drum rug can help keep your rhythm on point and reduce vibrations. 

Even if your drum set is extensive, remember that the only parts that need a non-slip material underneath are the bass drum and food pad. With that in mind, you should be able to find something that’s a reasonable size for less money.

That said, having something to absorb the sound is important, so don’t try to skimp too much.

Kit

My name is Kit. I am a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer and music teacher. I have toured around the world, taught thousands of lessons, produced hundreds of tracks, self-released an album and EP, and written hundreds of songs.

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