Drum Tech Tips: Common Problems & Solutions

  • Ripped Kick Drum / Heads
  • Hi-hat clutch fall short
  • Slipping bass drum

Tech gear:

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  • Duct tape (Black Cloth Tape)

It is fantastic. Immediately after many years of own and collective effort and hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and selfless teamwork, you ultimately find your self in the opening slot of a bought-out exhibit at the largest location in your city.

The headliner’s watch person, on noticing your lack of crew, not only made available to do your blend, but is boppin’ to your tracks and providing you a big thumbs-up. There are in fact people in the audience singing alongside with your tunes.

Actual, live famous people are standing in the wings, smiling and nodding their approval. The total band, together with, no, particularly, you is enjoying like a fiend. It’s ideal.

Abruptly, with the split-next pace of a sucker-punch, in advance of your mind can even tell specifically what it is, you know one thing has absent terribly improper. As a nauseating shock shoots by means of your entire entire body, your mind tells you it is your kick pedal. It’s not returning.

You appear down to see the headless shaft of the beater buried in a rip in the head, and in that incapacitating nanosecond, which is the shattering of what was perfection, you ought to someway find the clarity to shut out the panic and assess and fix the situation.

Now, no question when the editors at DRUM! assigned this short article, they sought a participant who was the perfect blend of McGyver and village idiot somebody adequately fifty percent-witted to get himself into such predicaments, even though remaining (usually) resourceful adequate to get himself out.

So join me, will not you, as we draw upon a very long profession reasonably teeming with these terrifying times, and try to retroactively make some good out of a handful of of the horrifying experiences I have endured.

Preserving in thoughts that we don’t all have the similar hardware, let’s just go around the package and appear for prospective difficulty regions. It’ll be rough to be precise, but there are a handful of wide strokes that implement to us all. Paramount among the these is gaffer’s tape, aka duct tape, or as some simply get in touch with it: “rock and toll tape.”

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This things is liable for extra foolproof fixes than the Nevada Boxing Fee. Never skimp on the quality — get the excellent stuff it can be observed at most serious hardware or plumbing offer retailers. The black fabric tape is the strongest and will go away the least sum of sticky residue when taken off (you seriously should really clear away it and actually resolve the trouble at some place).

It’s not cheap, but it’s properly worth it. I hold a roll in my backup snare case that stays following to me on phase. Oh yeah — have a backup snare.

By now you know a broken head (improve those heads!) can place a huge gap in your groove. When your snare drum craps out, throwing a new drum into perform is frequently preferable to trying to do an on-the-spot repair service. Obtaining a 2nd snare already established up will complete this.

With the enable of, say, a observe individual, the changeover can be manufactured efficiently and rapidly. Also, I’ve arrived at gigs to uncover, to my horror, that the bottom head on my snare is torn. Consider obtaining a snare head at 7:00 P.M. in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

I often pack new batter and snare heads, upside down, within the top rated rim of the backup snare. New snares and cords (or regardless of what you use to connect your snares) fit snugly inside of these. If your snare stand goes, it’s generally a tape-up position — and loads of it!

As much as your stool is anxious, not a lot can go mistaken here. Bear in intellect even though that however not likely collapse may possibly be, if that stool goes for the duration of your present, it goes rapidly — and generally with disastrous outcomes. Normally give it a rapid when-about in the course of set-up.

Okay, your hello-hat — a lot of margins for mistake here. I’ve found the two most preferred trouble spots to be the clutch and the pull rod, and it is typically one of two things: something’s possibly stripped, or has come unscrewed.

I often carry an further clutch in my stick bag they’re modest and can get you up and working speedily with no a whole lot of restore/down time. Always verify 1st, nevertheless, to see if the decrease (inside) threaded washer has simply backed off. The pull rod is not so straightforward.

Usually, the reduce and upper pull rod assemblies come apart. Once more, make confident the bottom 1 (or the top just one) has not just backed off. The threaded connector between the two rods will occasionally back again down the reduce rod, due only to gravity and time.

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This leaves insufficient place for the higher rod to be adequately screwed in. In the course of set up, sometimes check out to make confident this is not occurring. If the grooves on any of the three pieces have stripped, you have obtained the skinny hope of gaffer’s tape to maintain it all jointly, which is not terribly likely if you have a tendency to stomp that pedal.

Normally, your finest bet is to established the cymbals at the distance relative to that which you most often participate in, i.e., a bit apart for sloshy appears, shut limited for funk things.

Speaking of pedals, the bass drum offers a hornet’s nest of alternatives. I carry an previous, collapsible pedal in my entice scenario. Today’s pedals are usually completely mounted on a footboard, but many more mature kinds fold down flat for storage.

These get up quite minor space and will nearly undoubtedly just take less time than remounting a spring assembly, or even refastening a thrown beater. To tackle the nightmare condition explained in the introduction, I have a cutout part of an outdated ground tom head for patching reasons.

If your bass drumhead rips, safe the patch to the beater side of the head, and protect (and I indicate address) the patch concentrically, inside and out, with — appropriate you are — gaffer’s tape. (Be aware: Despite the fact that the patch needs layer on layer of tape, be sure you really don’t get tape in the space where the beater makes call with the head.

If this comes about, the beater will soon have on as a result of the tape and start off to adhere to the adhesive beneath — belief me). Extra than as soon as, this small trick has gotten me to the split, when I can put on a fresh new head (stored the similar way I stash the snare and all other spare heads).

In the party of the “dancing drum” (slipping bass drum), a smaller, major item, placed straight in opposition to the entrance of the drum, with — you guessed it — the bejesus taped out of it, will commonly get you through the set. Sometimes, stagehands will have sandbags or iron weights that will provide the reason.

There are nonetheless venues out there that, mystifyingly, do not have drum rugs. I bought a rubber-bottomed doorway rug at 1 of individuals behemoth hardware merchants for about $15. Very well well worth the expense.

“How about cymbal stands?” you may well well question. This is a excellent position to advise the “bag of tricks”: a baggie loaded with felt pads, washers, wing nuts, rubber sleeves, pressure rods — all the very little requirements that are the percussive equal of laundry day’s mysterious lacking sock.

The bag fits nicely into the pocket of your adhere bag, and you are going to be glad you have it. Specified pieces of hardware, specially pedals, demand Allan wrenches for changes. The “B.O.T.” is a fantastic put to retain these little, quick-to-get rid of resources.

As to the real stands, it’s (the envelope, you should), at the time all over again, “butt-hundreds of tape!” Ought to a leg collapse, prop it up and lay on the tape. If a tilter need to strip out, a “splint” can be fashioned out of a damaged adhere or two, and gobs of tape that will reconnect it to the major arm of the stand.

Not ideal, surely not long term, but normally satisfactory for the instant — not not like your ideas for the end of the night.

Ok, let’s see … broken tom heads. Simple. Eliminate the Swiss Army-design knife from your stick bag (you do have 1, right?), and with the scissors, slash absent as much head as doable, then flip the drum more than. Come crack time, you just swap the heads (becoming absolutely sure to secure new kinds as soon as doable, as you in no way know when a great head will go lousy).

Memory locks are useful products, not only for the duration of set-up, but at repair service time, as very well.

For instance, if the positioning/locking assembly on your ground tom leg strips out, the drum will rest a lot more stably on the memory lock, and can be secured with — do I even need to say it?

If your hardware did not arrive with these cool minor gizmos, you can use hose clamps, purchased at a components or auto offer retailer for up coming to nothing at all. Phrase of warning: Mainly because hose clamps won’t keep as safe as the manufacturing facility-set up units, repeated retightening is necessary.

Cymbals are the only matter remaining I can think of, and I’m worried there are not only no swift fixes, but no guaranteed repairs of any variety. The only surefire remedy for a cracked cymbal is a new cymbal.

The 1 excellent detail (if just one can simply call it that) about a cracked cymbal is that it commonly usually takes quite a while to distribute to the position at which the cymbal is unusable, and is consequently hugely not likely to be a show-stopper — a temper-buster, certainly, but not a exhibit-stopper.

My a single recommendation for staving off the inescapable is to drill a hole a little bit bigger than the crack, at the place at which it stops — a form of “cul-de-crack,” if you will. This will hopefully arrest the distribute and give you and your cymbal additional time collectively right before it’s relegated to the exercise kit.

In closing, I’d like to leave you with one piece of advice extra beneficial to your upcoming than anything else in this write-up combined: Acquire inventory in gaffer’s tape, and purchase major. Your youngsters will thank you.