How To Build A Tennis Ball Riser To Quieten Your Electronic Drum Kit

Even the quietest electronic drum sets still make noise.

Sure, they’re significantly quieter than an acoustic drum set.

Yet if you buy an electric drum set chances are one of the reasons you bought it was so that you could practice freely without having to worry about disturbing anyone.

Electronic drums make noise in a number of ways:

  • Drum sticks hitting the drum pads.
  • Drum sticks hitting the cymbal pads.
  • Kick pedal being pressed.
  • Kick beater hitting the bass pad.

All of these create vibrations which travel through the frame of your drum kit and into the floor.

While it may not sound very loud at all to you, your neighbor downstairs or next door is likely to be able to hear constant tapping and clicking as you practice.

This is because the vibrations travel through the floor/ceiling joists and through the walls.

Building a tennis ball riser is a relatively cheap and highly effective way of stopping those vibrations from getting into the floor and disturbing anyone.

What You Need:

  • 3 MDF sheets measuring approximately 1200mm x 2400mm x 20mm
  • Green glue (or similar)
  • 30 tennis balls
  • Drill with 32mm wood drill bit
  • Cables ties
  • A thick rug

How To Build A Tennis Ball Riser

When you start building your riser build it in exactly the spot you want it to stay in as they are heavy and difficult to move.

Also, ensure that it is not touching the wall as this will allow vibrations to travel straight into the wall making your riser completely ineffective.

To build your tennis ball riser follow the steps below.

1. Cut The MDF Sheets To Size

The exact size you need will depend on how big your drum setup is.

1200mm x 2400mm should be enough to cover even the most expansive setups.

Make sure all three sheets of MDF are the same size.

2. Glue Two Of The Sheets Together

Use the green glue to glue two of the MDF sheets together.

Gree glue is a sound deadening compound which will help dampen vibrations so apply it liberally.

Using two sheets together is a way of adding mass to the structure which will help make the tennis ball riser more effective in blocking sound.

You can just use one sheet of MDF on the top if you would rather save money.

3. Drill Holes In The Third MDF Sheet To Hold The Tennis Balls

Use the 32mm (or thereabouts) drill bit to drill 30 holes in the remaining MDF sheet.

These should be evenly spaced out.

Though if you feel it is necessary you can drill more holes under the part where you will be sitting to give that area a bit more structural support.

4. Drill Tie Holes

Drill small holes (big enough for a screw) every 6 inches or so around the perimeter of the riser, roughly 1 inch away from the edge.

These holes need to go through all three MDF sheets so that the cable ties can be threaded through them so it is important to ensure they are aligned.

Pile all three MDF sheets on top of each other and drill straight through all three at once to ensure hole alignment.

5. Glue Each Tennis Ball Into Place

Spread some green glue around the rim of each hole and place a tennis ball in it.

If the hole is the right size the ball should sit comfortably in it.

6. Place The Doubled Up MDF On Top

Before doing this cover the top of each tennis ball in green glue.

Then enlist the help of a friend as the doubled up MDF will be heavy.

Carefully lower the MDF down onto the tennis balls, ensuring that it is aligned properly.

It should now look something like this cross section:

tennis ball riser cross section

7. Secure It With Cable Ties

Take the cable ties and thread them through the tie holes you drilled earlier.

Tighten them as tight as they will go without forcing the tennis balls to compress.

8. Place A Rug On Top

Placing a thick soundproof rug (any rug will help) on top of your tennis ball riser will not only make it look significantly nicer but it will also help dampen the vibrations before they reach the platform.

And there you have it you are good to go, you should now be able to play your electronic drumset without your neighbors hearing any annoying tapping.


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2 thoughts on “How To Build A Tennis Ball Riser To Quieten Your Electronic Drum Kit
  1. How many 28oz things of green glue do you think i’ll need for this project?

    1. One or a couple at most should be more than sufficient for a modest-sized riser, you don’t need to coat the whole thing just a few splodges here and there

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