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Howard uses different percussive elements. Such as:

  • Shakers. Attached to his right hand stick for live performances of City of Delusion and Screenager. It was also used on Endlessly and many other songs. Live, most of the time, this is played by Morgan Nicholls.
  • Balafon. A west African Xylophone which can be seen on Hullabaloo DVD (Disc 1) during Screenager.
  • Animal bones were used for the unique drum sounds heard on Screenager
  • Llama toe nails were used on Unnatural Selection and Screenager, aside from rim shots on beats 2 and 4.
  • 11" Ribbon Crasher (and a 15" on certain occasions). Mounted over his Ride cymbal and next to his 12" rack tom now a days. Can be heard on Megalomania, Apocalypse Please, Time Is Running Out and the B-side Eternally Missed, as well as live versions of Hysteria. It is also quite audible in the Helsinki Jam. Also used on Psycho.
  • Hang. This can be heard on the intro for Falling Away With You. It works like a steel drum that is played with the fingertips, thumbs and the heel of the palm.[1] Dom can be seen recording the intro on the Making of Absolution Documentary DVD.
  • Timpani. Dom uses in live performances the timpani at the beginning of Exogenesis: Symphony Pt. 1 Overture; He also used it on Knights of Cydonia and Supremacy
  • Tambourine. Matt and Dom used it on Endlessly while recording aswell as other various songs in Muse's discography.
  • Gong. Used at the end of I Belong to You and Survival
  • Tablas. Used on Animals
  • Concert bass drum. Used on Unsustainable and Survival. Dom and Chris will also be playing two custom Q Drum built concert bass drums live in tandem on the upcoming world tour (it's unknown yet for which song)
  • Cardboard boxes and an aluminium chair. Throwing them around the studio and later covering them in tons of reverb gave a thunderclap effect to the intro of The Globalist. Played by Bellamy and not Howard.
  • Taiko. A large taiko was used on Unsustainable. Dom's also been seen using a smaller taiko in the studio while recording for Simulation Theory.
  • Tribal African and Japanese drums. Used as drum layers on various songs on Simulation Theory
  • Congas. Used on Break it to Me
  • Djembe. Used on Break it to Me

Dom Howard describes the Hang: "A thing that looks like a cross between a barbeque and a flying saucer. It's like an inverted metal drum with a pentatonic C scale on the top that you tap with your hands. It's made by this company called PANArt. It's a really cool sounding instrument that's pleasurable to play and so relaxing as well."[2]