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Taking Care Of Drums Cymbals And Other Equipment On Gigs

Taking care of drums, cymbals and hardware, comes down to common sense. For the most part, if you treat your equipment right, it should last you a lifetime. Buying expensive new gear should only be the result of a desire to upgrade, not the result of poor instrument management.

If you're like most people, you've done something absent-minded. Maybe you lost your car keys or left your bank card in the ATM. Who hasn't left their brown-bag lunch on the kitchen counter at home? There is probably no working musician who hasn't had something break during a performance or left something behind after a gig. As a drummer, you are usually one of the last to leave after a show.

It's not uncommon to see sheet music, a stray stand light, or some other small article left behind by the other musicians, who are in a rush to get home or to another gig. Don't let this be you. It is ordained by life that you will make some mistakes and unwise decisions. But with regard to your drumming career, minimize distressful and forgetful moments by following some basic commonsense guidelines.

First of all, if you take your equipment outside of your home, keep a close eye on it. Second, if you decide to store your drums where you're not, make sure they're in good hands. Let's look at this common scenario: Let's say you're performing at a rock club. Do you feel safe leaving equipment at the club while you go and eat dinner with the rest of the band? Is it safe to even leave your equipment in the back room while you chat with friends at the bar? Rock clubs, indeed all clubs, are potential hazards. Most rock clubs book a lineup of bands each night and time slots are given to each group. Band X plays for forty-five minutes, the stage is quickly struck, and then the next band comes up followed by yet another band, and so on.

The evening's bill may include as many as ten bands, especially if it's some sort of festival or benefit concert. Musicians will be carting equipment in and out of the club often in assembly line fashion. Usually, the backstage area of a rock club is a whirlwind of activity.

To make things more complicated, there is usually only one spot in the club where musicians pile up gear. Often, drum cases and cymbals bags are jumbled together, along with guitars, speaker cabinets, personal wardrobe, and so on. Of course, you need to know the look of your gear from afar. Drum cases tend to make everybody's equipment look identical.

It's a good idea to place brightly colored stickers on your cases so that your gear doesn't get mixed in with that loud metal drummer who played before you. Also, include a tag on all of your cases indicating your name, address, and telephone number. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to calculate that this environment equals trouble. The good news is that rarely do musicians purposely steal equipment from other bands, but mistakes do happen. In a situation like the one just described, watch your gear with an eagle eye. If you have other responsibilities such as greeting friends, first make sure that your equipment is safe and secure.

If you absolutely must leave your drums' side, don't go too far and check back about every five minutes. When you're at a club, survey the scene. Always ask yourself, "Are there back exits to the club?" If so, be extra-careful since, as mentioned, equipment will be going in and out. If there is no back exit, but you need to say hello to Uncle Gary, who is sitting in the corner, keep one eye on the front door to watch what comes in and what goes out.

Again, this is just common sense.

Depending on a gig, Eric is using different Drum Sets, sometimes he utilizes a set that is build from different Drum Parts, or Hand Drums only.

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