Saturday, July 10, 2010


As a drummer who has gigged off and on for the past 30+ years, I've learned a lot in hauling drumming gear around. Just a few tips about what I've learned and what makes my life easy when I'm gigging. Over the years my live gear, has varied from large acoustic sets to Simmons drum sets to electric/acoustic sets and back to smaller acoustic sets for live drumming.

For many years, I carried WAYYYYYYY too much drums, cymbals and hardware and stuff. I was young then, and the packing of all the gear was a big time consumer when you're under the gun to get off the stage for the next act or to get home. But I had energy and strength and stamina to haul large heavy bags and cases in and out of gigs and venues and home.

In the late 1980's, I bought the first of several Tempus drum kits. Made of Fiberglass by a great guy named Paul Mason, they are not only lightweight but louder than similarly size wooden drums. They are also very toneful. They weigh a lot less than regular drums and project at least 30% to 50% more.

That was step one in lightening my load.

Just think about it. I had to load my drums in my ride at my house to go to a gig, unload and setup from car to club, take down and unload from club to car, and then unload at home from car. Sometimes, I played multiple gigs a night, meaning an extra set of load in/load out of a club if there was no house kit or no drummer playing that night who would let me use his kit.

In addition to trying to lighten the load I was carrying, I wanted to lesson the trips in and out for each load. In other words, I wanted not spend all night loading and unloading my gear from my car/truck/suv/jeep, depending on the time period and what I was driving.

Step number two was buying light weight hardware. I use the following items:

-One Gibraltar AX series aluminum cymbal stand (early 90's);
-One Gibraltar AX series aluminum HH stand (early 1990's);
-One Sonar Protec aluminum cymbal stand (early 90's);
-One Ludwig Atlas tubular cymbal stand (1970's);
-One Pearl lightweight but sturdy throne base;
-One Yamaha Mesh Throne seat;
-One DW red 5000 pedal;
-One Tama single-braced snare stand, lightweight (late 1980's);
-One Collarlock tom holder and T-rod for the bass drum mount and
One modern DW Tom Mount on the RIMS attached to the mounted Tom;
-Three aluminum Collarlock floor tom legs;
-A Beato drum rug.

Step number three was buying an SKB lightweight plastic stand case with wheels.

I use a rolling hard stand case from SKB that is 4' long, long enough to leave the hi-hat and cymbal stands extended to their perfect height. Just fold the feet and in they go. Likewise with all other stands, tom arm and floor tom legs.. The bass pedal and removable bass drum spurs go in a small padded ice chest bag that fits it perfectly, and that bag is then placed in the top part of the stand case. The drum rug is placed in the bottom portion of the stand case on top of the stands and that keeps them from rattling.

By going to some of the lightest hardware I could find, I lessened my load by about 30 lbs. Plus, Tempus drums are very lightweight, so that was a big decrease as well.

Step four was buying a collapsible dolly for the Tempus drums. Stack them and strap them down and away we go, loading in and out of a gig in two trips, or one trip if you've got a helper.

Instead of five or six or seven trips to load in and out.

This came in handy when I played a gig at Johnny Fins at Lake Travis in 2003. The golf carts that the parking attendants drive took me from my car to the place, with me sitting on the back holding the drums/cymbals on the dolly in one hand and the stand case in the other, towing them right along.

No comments:

Post a Comment