Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What Do Drummers Need To Make Their Set Complete? | My List of Drum Accessories

Drummer's Gig Bag
I play a pretty large drum set. Yes, I see that the trend is going the other direction.  So many drummers are carting around one floor tom, one rack tom, and a bass drum. Add two cymbals and a hi-hat, and you have what seems to be the norm these days. I suppose that it's easier to carry such a light load. The music doesn't seem to suffer that much when all you hear are those two toms and one crash cymbal. It's just not for me.  I play two floor toms, two rack toms, four crash cymbals, one ride, and my hi-hat. It's big. It's heavy, and I like it. This post is more about drum accessories that make my life easier behind the kit, when I'm playing live.  What should you add to your drum set that will make your night more comfortable?  I'll give you my list of "must haves."

One of the first things that I purchased as an add on, was a drink holder.  If you play in clubs and bars, the stages and drum risers tend to have soft spots, uneven surfaces, along with tons of cords, and stands.  That's not a safe place for your drink! What if your singer uses the front lip of the drum riser to launch themself into the crowd?  That riser is going to shake, and your drink will surely get dumped. Now you are looking at either a long night without liquid, or you might have to request that a patron bring up something for you.  Neither option is great. Gibraltar drums makes a great drink holder.  The best part is that it fits into a "gig bag" very easily.

Yes, get yourself a "gig bag." It should be something that zips tight, is a bit bigger than a shaving kit bag, but small enough to store under your floor tom. I suggest a canvas bag from an army surplus store. Don't fall for the old ammo case made out of steel.  It's too heavy, and the lid is a pain the butt.  The canvas bag can be squashed into your drum case, when you are in a rush to get to the club.

What do you put in that gig bag?  I'll tell you.
This is my list of gig bag essentials.
  • Spare cymbal felts
  • Cymbal screws - Ones that fit your stand's threading!
  • An extra drum pedal spring - Also one that fits your pedal!
  • A handful of spare ear plugs
  • Snare string
  • A multi tool - Don't splurge on a Leatherman, try a Gerber.
  • A comb.  Yes a comb for your hair!
  • Your cool Gibraltar drink holder
  • A drumstick holder
  • A ziplock bag for your keys and spare change
  • Multiple drum keys!
  • If you can afford it, a spare hi-hat clutch - Again, one that fits your hi-hat!
The drumstick holder was probably the second thing that I bought, after plunking down big money for the drum set. I'm not talking about a fabric stick bag, but a stick holder that you attach to a stand.  Dropping a stick during a song is almost inevitable for me. Dropping two is the norm.  Consider this double stick holder from Stagg.  It should also fit in your gig bag. Why do I keep bringing that up?  Because you really want all those little extras in one spot, a place that you are going to work from when you are setting up your drums in that dank, dark corner of the club.  Same goes for breaking down the kit, put all that stuff back in your bag! Don't fall for the "I'll toss it in the hardware case, because the sound guy wants us off the stage ASAP!" All those little parts need to be in one location, easy to get to, and safe.  After all, the stuff in your gig bag could save the show one day.  Break a leg!