Are Drum Cases Necessary?

Old Drummer

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Back in the 60s when I was starting out, I don't remember any of the drummers in my small orbit having cases for their drums. Even my teacher, a weekend warrior, didn't have cases. We all just hauled our drums au naturel, and I don't remember anyone having a drum damaged in transit. Car backseats are padded, after all.

As fate had it, I soon chanced across a set of used cases cheap and bought them. They were really lousy cases, just cloth coverings, a few with holes in them and one with a broken zipper. But for the price I figured they were worth it. I proceeded to use those cases for many years and never had a damaged drum, but I have no idea whether or not the cases helped.

Now I once again don't have cases--and don't think I need them. It's not as if I'm hauling my drums anywhere, and I only paid $530 for my drums to begin with. Who cares if one gets damaged? I also have a sneaking suspicion that you don't get your money out of cases on resale. If cases are thrown into a sale, great, but I doubt that buyers pay much more for drums with cases than they pay for drums without them. And selling cases separately is surely tough, since everybody's size requirements are different and nobody wants to pay a lot.

Today though I saw an ad from a local seller offering a set of 5 cases exactly the sizes of my drums for $150 total. The cases don't look bad. There aren't any holes, the zippers all work, and they're even padded. Also, because I don't live in the US or another big market country, buying cases from sites like Amazon, Reverb, and Sweetwater is very expensive as a result of international shipping charges and import taxes. $150 looks cheap for a set of cases.

If I even want cases. Do any of you go without cases? My sense is that nowadays almost everyone has cases for their drums, but I'm not sure they're necessary. Are they? Or are they an unnecessary add-on sale that we've been duped into buying?
 

Frank Godiva

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I use an old set of Phonics 13 16 24 that are in what I call Smokers Teeth White wrap. Kinda yellow with brown spots, but great chrome. Throw and go in the back of the Explorer with old pillows and blankets. I never worry about em much. Banged into a door once and immediately apologized to the owner of the door for any damage caused.

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studrum

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I play out a lot (pre-Covid), and cases are what protects my drums from all kinds of hurt. I have nice drums, though.
No, you won't get "what I've got into them" when you go to sell your cases later, but think of all the years of protection you'll have gotten. At the same time, cases - both hard and soft- seem to sell pretty quickly around here. I know I've snapped up quite a few from Forum members.
In my era, all serious players had cases. Then, when I started playing original music in the punk/alternative world, I noticed that cases weren't "cool" to that crowd. For my 1969 Round Badge kit, though, they were cool.
$150 for a set that fits your kit is a pretty good deal, unless they are those super thin ones. Can you tell us the company, and got pics?
 

RIDDIM

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I don't know a skilled artisan who doesn't protect his or her tools.

When I was a kid and couldn't afford protection for my gear, it didn't get protected, other than the odd duffle bag, army blanket or whatever used hard case I could find. As my earning ability increased and investment in my tools rose, I bought cases to protect my tools. Some of my gear/cases date from the early 70's as a result.

Would you hire a craftsman who didn't take care of his or her tools to work on your car or house?
 
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CC Cirillo

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I had cases for my Vistalites and all my other sets have had bags. I babuaka the bags one inside the other and—boom—I have a stick and percussion table to put next to my floor at a gig.

Cases and/or bags are a must.

I once saw a guy on the freeway with some old Camcos in the back of a pickup. I had to look the other way.
 

Old Drummer

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Not when you transport your own drums.; Thrown in the back of a van Yes.
you know like when you were 17..
I was thinking of this. When you're driving yourself and your drums, no, you don't need cases (or bags). But when you're piling into a van with all manner of people and equipment, some protection for your drums is probably a good idea. Others tend to throw your drums around when loading and unloading their stuff, quick stops sometimes toss stuff around, and all manner of helpers/roadies end up manhandling/mishandling equipment.

Since I'm more of a drinker than a driver and gigs in these parts tend to be far enough away for band mates to carpool, it looks like I may be out $150 . . .
 

Old Drummer

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I play out a lot (pre-Covid), and cases are what protects my drums from all kinds of hurt. I have nice drums, though.
No, you won't get "what I've got into them" when you go to sell your cases later, but think of all the years of protection you'll have gotten. At the same time, cases - both hard and soft- seem to sell pretty quickly around here. I know I've snapped up quite a few from Forum members.
In my era, all serious players had cases. Then, when I started playing original music in the punk/alternative world, I noticed that cases weren't "cool" to that crowd. For my 1969 Round Badge kit, though, they were cool.
$150 for a set that fits your kit is a pretty good deal, unless they are those super thin ones. Can you tell us the company, and got pics?
The company appears to be Drum Logos, but a quick google search doesn't turn up anything. I'm thinking that this might be a local guy who makes cases, but I don't know.
 

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sixplymaple

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I guess they aren’t worth it for a $500 kit, but for anything nicer I think they are essential. They also limit the risk of something going wrong on the way to a gig. The drums still have to make it to the show and be playable lol.
 

pwc1141

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I had cases and or bags for two kits in the past but found I rarely used them since I have a big SUV that has space and safety built in. When I did use them, I always had issues with where to put them in small venues while playing. Sometimes I just had to take them back the car before playing and that got old quickly. Now its just cymbal and snare drum leather cases and a hardware case and none for the rest. I use big old towels around the drums when in the car to prevent any scratches though.
 

Targalx

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I have nearly all of my drumsets in bags only. I kept a set of hard shells just for long distance transport, and I have one kit in those. I used to use hard cases when I’d fly out for gigs and the promoter would pick up the costs to ship my gear out via Rockit Cargo or whatever freight forward company they used. But other than that, bags only. Bags are so much better in terms of weight, storage and portability. I’m not super precious about any of my kits, so bags are the best option for me.
 

bassanddrum84

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I use road cases my large one can fit my whole kit kick rack two floors snare all my hardware cymbals mics cables electronic stuff and spare heads and just recently put some into a smaller case to lighten the load on the big one. I went through the not using cases when I didn’t have the money for cases and hey got beat up bad now I use them out of connivence.
 

drumtimejohn

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Simple answer, no. For the first 20 plus years of my gigging I used a case or bag for convenience only when transporting gear. It had little to do with protection. One fiber case to hold the snare, hats, crash(s), stick bag, beta 58 and SM57, mic clips and wires, and a clutch. I used a soft wheeled durable luggage bag for hardware, ride, thin gig rug, and misc. No cases or bags on the club date. TT stacked on FT on the first trip followed by the hardware bag, snare case, and BD by rail mount on the second. 2 in, 2 out. 15 min up, 10 min down. I’ve now prescribed to the disease of “collecting” drums that warrant cases but I mostly play out with the CD or similar and might use bags (at best), especially at gigs where people want to “help” humping gear.
 

rculberson

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Bags for toms and bass drums, hard cases for snares. I'm clumsy, use a Rock and Roller cart, and often have to jostle my way through buffoonery to get to where I'm gonna set up. The protection afforded by the bags and cases gives me peace of mind. Were I to do the van thing again, I'd go all hard cases like Joe mentioned. Ahead, Beato and SKB, respectively.
 

vintagedrummersweden

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I always use cases, even if I transport them in my own car.
The weather in Sweden isn't that reliable even in summertime.
And hard cases can be used as stick trays, song list table, drink table etc...

I've just read the book "The Who in Sweden", covering their tours here up to 1972. There's some pictures with the van filled with drums without cases, mixed with Marshall amplifiers and other stuff. But then mr Moon probably hurt the drums more on stage...
 


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