I know silencing a drum kit probably won't help the sound, but I do have neighbours and i'm sure they won't appreciate me pounding away for hours on end.

What in your opinion are the best methods of doing this?

I've seen the silencing pads you can buy, but i'm sure they are just a waste of money when you can probably find your own diy solutions.

A mate of mine said he used to cut out circles of carpet size and put them on the drums and I have also seen people put towels over the drums and use something soft such as a sock for the bass drum hammer.

The silencing pads... They make it quiet, but if you want rebound or any decent sound, then Look elsewhere.
You can put a pillow in the bass drum, and do something of the like for the toms (I assume) and the snare, but this cuts off the bottom heads vibrations, therefore making sound quality nonexistant. The Zildjian cymbal silencing pads that they make work pretty well. I'm assuming you could do this.
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I have silencing pads of my kit. They work pretty well for stopping the sound, the bass drum silencers a bit rubbish though, put a hole in mine. I just filled that with pillows after that which doesn't cut the sound completely but its definitely quieter.
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You can get these little jelly pads that dampen out drum acoustics a bit, but you can get the same effect by putting a little loop of gaffa tape on drums, that works a bit.
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You can get these little jelly pads that dampen out drum acoustics a bit, but you can get the same effect by putting a little loop of gaffa tape on drums, that works a bit.

*Sigh* NEVER use duct/gaffa tape on drums, especially cymbals, when it can be avoided. The little jelly pads are called Moongel, they're inexpensive and don't even leave behind any residue, as well being cleanable.

Aside from that, when it comes to muffling drums, there's no sure fire way to do it acoustically. Practice pads are your best bet, although I have seen toms with a cushion or two inside them and kick drums filled with pillows.
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There is no way to muffle your drums without hurting tone and changing the way the feel so don't get your hopes up or chase a dragon that you will never catch.

That said, it's also essential for a lot of people to muffle your drums. To make my bass drum quiet I simply using one of those cheaply foam sleeping mats that you can get at any camping store. Not the expensive ones with the ridges, just the cheap blue ones that are flat and about .75" thick. They to wear out but no faster than the commercial bass drum silencers and they do just as good of job. If fact, I think they are made of the same material.

For the stare I suggest using one of the "practice drums" that you can buy at most music shops. They have a natural feel to them but make very little noise. I simply lay it on top my snare and move the height of my snare down a little so compensate for the fact that the practice pad is about 1.5" thick.

For the toms and cymbals I use what comes in the standard drum silencer kits. They are "good enough" and do work better than most home made options.

The problem with the home made remedies is that they have at least one of the following problems
don't silence well enough
damage the drums
are hare to put on and take off
simply don't give you enough bounce.

Because of this I do recommend buying the kits for toms and cymbals but think you should get a practice pad for the snare and make your own bass silencer out of a camping pad.
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