Most drummers are pretty well equipped these days.
They’ve got their drums, they’ve got their cymbals and they’ve got a stick bag that resembles Sherwood Forest.
They do, however overlook some little things that are hugely important. These little tricks of the trade help gigs run smoother, help you to play better and prevent those nasty nightmares that all drummers have at least once in their lifetime.
So lets take a look at the 5 things every drummer needs:
This may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many drummers forget to take a drum key to gigs or they don’t have a back up when they lose one. It’s just as important as your drums because without a drum key you’ll find yourself in a pickle if you get to the gig and your drums are badly out of tune or you need to change a split head on the fly? For safety sake, carry two drum keys in your bag at all times.
There’s nothing worse than tearing the batter head on your snare drum on the first song of the night. If you don’t have a spare head no matter what ‘quick fix’ you try, it will still sound pretty bad. It’s happened to the best of us so it’s much better to be prepared for the eventuality. The best thing to do is to carry a spare head or two that you can quickly replace if and when you need to.
Thick tape is a god send for any gigging drummer. You can use it to muffle drums if you have to deaden the sound in a small venue, you can use it for quick repairs on heads and cymbals if you get any splits or cracks and you can use it to tape down cables and back-line equipment to keep the stage tidy and safe. It also comes in handy when your lead singer gets lippy and you need to shut them up!
The more you gig, the more abuse your hands take especially if your are the one carting all your equipment around. It’s a great idea to get yourself a good pair of gloves to protect your hands when you are lugging your cases, drums and cymbals to and from the van. Your hands are one of your greatest assets so take good care of them. Another reason for carrying gloves is to protect your cymbals from finger prints and grime when putting them on and taking them off their stands. Your cymbals will keep their sparkle much longer if you avoid fingering them all the time.
The importance of ear protection can’t be emphasized enough. When your hearing goes their is no guarantee that it’s coming back so do whatever you can to keep your ears healthy. Ear plugs, in-ear monitors and isolation headphones will help cut out the damaging frequencies that you are exposed to when you practice and perform. They’ll prevent short-term damage and long term loss to your hearing so do yourself a huge favor and find an ear protection solution that works for you.
Hopefully you’ll now see why drums, cymbals and hardware are only part of your gigging rig. Find a place for these little treasures in your kit bag and your life will run much, much smoother.
If you really want to improve your drum skills then check out Mike Michalcow’s Drumming System. This comprehensive training package covers everything you need to progress from complete beginner to seasoned professional.
Just starting the drums? Check out the Rock Drumming System where you’ll discover how to play beginner-to-advanced beats, fills and more whether you read sheet music or not!