Practicing pan in a small apartment with thin walls can be a challenge. Many neighbors cannot appreciate our efforts at mastering our instrument. I found myself in this position and found a surprising solution. Surprising in that not only was it simple, but also musical.
I had a backup to my primary instrument, a Leroy Williams tenor, and decided to try to modify it. I needed to make the instrument softer in volume without damaging it and hopefully without changing the tuning.
I decided that I wanted to try gluing pieces of felt to the bottom of the pan. The felt is lightweight and thick, and I used easily removable rubber cement to attach it. It worked! The pan was much softer in volume and had a unique muted tone that I really liked.
Here is a track from my album Comfort Zone that features the muted pan.