Eigencharacteristics of a longitudinally vibrating elastic rod with locally and non-locally reacting damping are analyzed. The rod is considered as a continuous system and complex eigenfrequencies are determined as solution of a characteristic equation. The variation of the damping ratios with respect to damper locations and damping coefficients for the first four eigenfrequencies are obtained. It is shown that at any mode of locally or non-locally damped elastic rod, the variation of damping ratio with damper location is linearly proportional to absolute value of the mode shape of undamped system. It is seen that the increasing damping coefficient does not always increase the damping ratio and there are optimal values for the damping ratio. Optimal values for external damping coefficients of viscous dampers and locations of the dampers are presented.