Why Do Drummers Have Plexiglass In Front Of Them

Posted by Mike Schumacher

A plexiglass drum shield helps control sound problems with the drums.

This article will discuss why drummers use this and some tips for making your drums sound great.

Why do drummers have a plexiglass shield in front of them when they play?

black music drum set

Plexiglass is used to prevent sound from leaking onto other instruments. This is especially important when playing louder and louder drums and cymbals.

However, the plexiglass shield also keeps the audience out of the mix and helps to prevent damage to your drums.

Drum shield tip 1:

A plexiglass shield also helps to keep your drum sticks in place.

Picking up and moving your drum sticks when you need to is a common practice to keep your sticks from getting out of shape and causing your drums to lose their resonance.

A plexiglass shield helps to keep your sticks in place while also preventing them from rolling around and causing you to lose your touch.

Drum shield tip 2:

A plexiglass shield will also keep the inside of your drum stick dry, which can help prevent a certain characteristic of your sticks called “float”.

Drum shield tip 3:

A plexiglass shield can help you make a neat bass drum, cymbal, or high-hat cymbal setup.

Here are some more tips on using a drum shield:

Use the drum shield for single strokes

brown and white drum set

Drummers tend to work with their sticks a lot when they play a drum set. One of the keys to keeping your sticks in shape and preventing damage is to practice with a single stick and not a multi-stack setup.

The drum shield helps to help keep you in tune by limiting your stick motion.

For this reason, a single stick setup is ideal for drumming, especially when using single hits like on your hi-hat or bass drum.

Drum shield tip 1:

If you are using a single stick setup, be careful of the sound you make when you hit the drum.

You don’t want your stick to sound like it is going to start to vibrate (which is called “float”) when you hit the drum.

If you have the spacing between your sticks right, you don’t want the sound of your stick to come up high and float.

Drum shield tip 2:

While practicing with a single stick, be careful of making your sound too “sweet” sounding.

To make your sound “softer” and to keep your stick vibration limited, make sure to hit with the sound of your stick and not too much air, which will make the sound of your stick sound “sparky”.

Drum shield tip 3:

When playing a single sound you can add a little rebound to the stroke. That is, when you hit a sound, it will almost sound like it “floats” again and you can add some reverb to the sound.

To do this, you should hit the drum with the sound of your stick. But, since you can’t play an actual note with a single stick, you can use an EQ to keep the sound more muted and gain some depth.

Play the cymbal and the snare separately

close-up of white and gray drum set

This is another strategy to use a drum shield. If you have a cymbal set up as your ride cymbal, play the ride cymbal like a ride cymbal.

Don’t play the ride cymbal with your snare.

As a part of the ride cymbal kit, it can be confusing if you hit your snare toms together or in different places (i.e. more or less with your snare hand) and when you have a cymbal set up as your ride cymbal, play the cymbal separately.

Drum shield tip 1:

Another option that is advantageous for drummers practicing the ride cymbal as their ride cymbal is to use a drum shield.

To use this strategy, make sure to stand your snare drums, which are set up closest to the cymbal, on one side of the cymbal set up.

You want to place your cymbal a little ways from the side of the snare drums, which is where the snare ride cymbal should be placed.

If you don’t place your snare close to the cymbal, it can get in the way.

Drum shield tip 2:

For the snare drums, it is easy to use a single ride cymbal to add a tone to the ride cymbal sound.

Drum shield tip 3:

When using a single ride cymbal as your ride cymbal, hit the sound with a stiff backstroke, which will be a short, sharp sound.

Drum shield tip 4:

If your snare drum kit has a hi-hat cymbal setup, you can use a similar technique to add a tone to the hi-hat cymbal sound. For this example, play the hi-hat cymbal like a hi-hat cymbal.

Don’t hit the hi-hat cymbal with your snare hand. You want to hit the hi-hat cymbal with your sound.

If you are playing a hi-hat cymbal as your ride cymbal, be careful of making it sound too soft and “sparky”.

If the hi-hat cymbal gets too soft, it can take away from the signal of the hi-hat cymbal and the hi-hat cymbal can sound more “floating”.

Drum shield tip 5:

To reduce your cymbal vibration, you can also do the same thing and hit it with a single ride cymbal, only this time, use a softer, vibrating stroke.

Make sure to hit the cymbal with your ride cymbal and not too much air.


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