If you’re a beginner drummer, the word/term/whatever-you-wanna-call it Moongel doesn’t probably mean that much to you. It’s just something you’ve seen a lot of times on drumming forums but never cared to ask. Today, we’ll try to tell you everything about this piece of drumming equipment using the least amount of words.

That’s right. This, let’s call it Moongel topic, certainly deserves more attention than it gets. That’s all about to change. Here at Music Gear Heads, we’re, as always, dedicated to shining a light on the often overlooked music-related topics. In the article you’re about to read, we’ll, among other things, tell you just where you apply Moongel and exactly how will you do it!

In order to find the ideal spot to place your Moongel pads, simply run your finger along the edge of the drum until you stumble upon a point at which the overtones begin to diminish. That’s the place you’ll want to stick your Moongel drum pads. Also, don’t forget you can also stick them on your resonant head for greater dampness.

Now, reading just this tiny preview won’t help you grasp the full story surrounding Moongel and the way it’s applied. In other words: read the whole thing! 

Table of Contents

What is Moongel?

Before delving deeper into the mesh that’s our today’s subject, let’s first define the most important term we’ll use in this text. That’s right, let’s consider the question: what exactly is Moongel?

Okay, so you’ll want to know that Moongel represents a sticky substance similar to a gel. You’ll recognize it easily by its translucent blue-ish color. It’s manufactured by a company called RTOM that specializes in the production of products meant to be used during drum practice (more tips about the latter you’ll find here). Also, Moongel has already been incorporated into several products that RTOM makes (such as Moongel Workout Pads). What about the packaging? Well, it comes in packs of four and six.

What is Moongel used for?

Let’s continue to define this wonderful piece of drumming equipment by pointing out why drummers use it! The thing about Moongel is that you stick it to your drumheads in order to modify the way your drums sound. To be more precise: they’ll help you do away with the irritating ringing that drums possess. Drummers put them in different areas according to what kind of sounds are they planning to achieve. For instance, if they want a less dampened sound, they’ll stick the Moongel closer to the drumhead’s edge. Otherwise, if they want to get a more dampened sound, they’ll put it closer to the center.

Here’s a fun fact: Moongel is the most widely used drum dampener out there.

What is Moongel made of?

You know how they say: you want it, you got it. Here’s some info most of you will (understandably) want to skip. Moongel pads are made from:

  • PVC copolymer resin (53%).
  • Dioctyl Terephthalate (27%).
  • Epoxied Soybean Oil (2.5%).
  • Calcium-Zinc Stabilizers (3%).
  • PVC-based Thixotrope (7%).
  • Adipate Plasticizer-based Thixotrope (7.5%).

We’ll take a guess and say you’ve mildly recognized only the third one on the list (Epoxied Soybean Oil). Because? Because, you know, it’s got soybeans and oil in its name. Also, we hope chemistry majors will forgive our bad attempts at humor. Anyway, let’s see if there is anything else worth mentioning about Moongel.

What is a Moongel damper pad?

First of all, let’s just say that you’ll find your Moongel damper pad on this web address. Anyway, a Moongel damper pad is simply another name for that sticky, non-toxic, blue, and translucent substance we’ve mentioned near the beginning. Wondering what you’ll get with the package? Here’s what:

  • Six self-adhesive, non-toxic gel strips. 
  • A durable plastic case for carrying. 

Also, know that your Moongel damper pads are reusable and washable. Now, ain’t that neat? Also, you’ll find them in two colors: clear (not technically a color, but you get the point) and blue.

How to use Moongel for drums?

Okay, so here we’ll show you how to get the desired sound with your Moongel pads. The way you’ll use them (also, where you apply Moongel pads) depends on what you’re trying to achieve:

  • For maximum damping, you’ll want to put one of the pads at 12 o’clock, and another one at 9 or 3 o’clock on your drumhead.
  • For minimum damping, just cut one pad in two, or bend it against the rim allowing the second half of your pad to touch the head.

Simple as that!

Where to put Moongel on cymbals?

Some even say that Moongel pads were originally meant to assist in dampening cymbals, but we haven’t confirmed the story yet. Anyway, you can try out the following strategy: put 1/4 of a pad along the edge of your cymbal (ideally: a medium ride cymbal) and see what happens. Most likely, you’ll get a sound that’s a bit drier, with something you’d call a “gentlemanly” wash and what some call “the perfect sustain”. Needless to say, please try it out!

Also, here’s another thing: when using Moongel pads on your cymbals, the further your place them away from the center, the more effective they’ll be at reducing the sustain. Speaking of cymbals, here’s an article on why drums and cymbals never sound out of tune.

Okay, it’s safe to say that’s enough when it comes to the whole introductory what’s-Moongel part of our today’s talk. Without further ado, let’s tackle the main question: just where do you apply Moongel, and how to do it? 

A person playing the drums with Moongel pads, wearing a red hat.

Where Do You Apply Moongel (And How to Do It)

We reckon you’re here because you want to know where is the best place to place these little sticky items. To find the ideal place for your Moongel pads, you’ll want to run your finger along the edge of your drum right until you find the point at which the overtones start to diminish. That’s exactly the place where you want to stick your Moongel pad. By doing this, you’ll make sure that you’ll:

Another thing: you’re also allowed to use Moongel pads on your resonant heads. That way, you’ll even further reduce the overtones from your snare. If you place your Moongel pad more towards the center of your resonant head, will help you reduce the sustain even more. Now that you know where can you apply Moongel pads, let’s see how can one wash them (if they’re washable in the first place).

As we’ve mentioned earlier, Moongel pads are totally washable and reusable. You’ll want to utilize the famous dish soap (no harsh cleaning products allowed) and water combo for the task. Next up, simply shake the excess water and let your Moongel pads air dry. Don’t use any alternative methods of drying, just the one we’ve suggested.

For more cleaning methods related to drums, click right here.

How do you make Moongel sticky again?

Different folks treat their Moongel drums pads differently. If you’ve noticed your Moongel pads have lost their stickiness, we’ve got a suggestion. In other words: we’ve prepared a little step-by-step guide on how to make your Moongel pads sticky again. So, shall we kick-start the adventure?

#1 Pre-treat your Moongel pads

First of all, you’ll want to pre-treat your Moongel pads that have lost their stickiness. It’s a fairly simple task. Just fill a bowl with water (110°F/43°C) and add about 3-4 drops of mild dish soap. Let sem sit inside the mix until the water reaches room temperature. Also, you’ll want to smush them every now and then during the process.

#2 It’s rubbing time

Next up, you’ll want to pour some dish soap into your hands, find your Moongel drum pads, grab ’em, and put them under the hottest water your hands are able to handle. Now, rub ’em together like there’s no tomorrow. Once you’re done, your Moongel drum pads will look similar to the way they looked back when you bought them. However, they still won’t be sticky enough for usage. You’ll need to do some additional tasks.

#3 Simple Green?

Yup, that’s the magical ingredient: Simple Green. But first, you’ll want to cover a wooden cutting board with some plastic wrap. Next, spray some of the product on it and gently put your Moongel pads on the surface afterward. Then spray some more on them.

Let your Moongel drum pads rest like that for about 10 mins or so, just make sure that Simple Green doesn’t dry out totally. This will really help your Moongel pads reach the desired stickiness.

#4 Rinse!

Of course, rinse your Moongel pads under the hottest water your hands are able to handle. Don’t use any soap on this occasion.

#5 Dry your Moongel pads

Before you put them to dry out, you’ll want to re-wrap the board you’ve used earlier with a fresh piece of plastic wrap. Okay, once you’re done, put your clean Moongel pads on the surface and let them chill there for an hour or so. That’s it! You’ll be able to enjoy the good ol’ stickiness your Moongel pads will provide you with!

Final thoughts on the subject

Alright, dear drumming enthusiasts! This was some good old info on the subject of Moongel drumming pads. Now you know how to use and where to apply your Moongel pads. For more tips on various drumming-related subjects and themes, feel free to visit our blog page dedicated to this wonderful instrument.