Back-up gear (what do you take/stories)

notINtheband

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For 3+ decades I’ve been taking a spare snare drum and spare bass drum pedal to all my gigs.
This habit came from a couple very early experiences.
First one was my first year gigging. On the first note of the first song I put a stick right through the snare drum head.
Luckily back then I ran 2 snares so I had a perfectly capable acrolite sitting to the left of my hi-hat. So the show went on.
Another time, early gig sometime in the 80’s, my bass drum beater( held on with a threaded nut) came off and I put the beater shaft right through the drum head.
Again, at the time I was running a double bass so was able to take 5 minutes and rearrange the kit to play the left bass as primary. (After locating the beater head and nut).
In all the time since then I’ve only had a bass drum pedal go wonky on me once, which I fixed with an Allen wrench during the break and didn’t have to swap out.
Also once had to loan out my hi hat clutch to another artist that lost theirs somewhere between gigs, so I added a spare to my normal back up items, along with drum keys in zipper pockets, sticks in my foot pedal bag, rubber grommets and felts, even an extra tension rod.

What items do you bring along to gigs as spares and have they ever bailed you or another drummer out?
338900FA-78E4-420B-8A2E-DE0465EF740D.jpeg
 

flippantminister

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For years I carried a spare snare & spare kick pedal to every show, which I'd always leave in the van until needed(which, once i started carrying backups, they never were). The last big touring cycle I did I started out carrying the spares, but after the first leg I quit bothering. The way those guys loaded/unloaded the van, they almost got left behind a few times, so I figured the liability of carrying them was higher than the liability of having something go wrong! :compress:

I have definitely thought about carrying cables/picks/strings, but never actually done it!
 

notINtheband

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they almost got left behind a few times, so I figured the liability of carrying them was higher than the liability of having something go wrong!
That’s been exactly what I’ve asked myself several times. With the exceptions I mentioned, it’s been hundreds of gigs with no need. Plus always triple checking to make sure I didn’t leave a very expensive spare at the gig on load out. Maybe I need to use my cheapest snare as the backup in case it gets lifted or left behind.
 

flippantminister

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Maybe I need to use my cheapest snare as the backup in case it gets lifted or left behind.
That's actually what I should be doing. good idea! Of course, almost every show I play, there are other bands on the bill, so if things got dire, I could secure a backup for a few songs.

I say that like I actually play shows anymore. Ha! Maybe one day...
We actually just booked a show, first in two years. But I'll be on vocals for that, all I carry is a mic!
 

cplueard

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I've got a set of Tama Classic hardware with an old Tama pedal that has a collapsible base, a 13 x 3 aluminum piccolo snare, a small old throne, and one of the Aquarian bass drum patches. I can fit almost all if under my two font seats so it doesn't really take up any car room. I also use these as my small gig/rehearsal gear that way I only load a cymbal bag and a junker set of concert style drums that I nest to get to those types of things quicker.
 

bassanddrum84

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I bring two snares. That way I can switch heads on break instead of freak out trying to finish the set with a busted snare. I carry a pedal train guitar pedal board case exactly like the one pictured. In that I keep a extra hi hat clutch, spool of ribbon, felts, wing nuts, cymbal seat sleeves, wax, dampening gels, at least a brick of sticks, a stick bag to hang from floor Tom fully loaded, and parts for my kick pedal. In my flight case I keep extra top heads for every drum I set up. Extra mic cords and mics. Two bricks of sticks. (Once stick feel rubbery or shredded I save them to give away to kids or who ever our singer gives them two. A big must is a small cordless drill and multi tool.
Soon as I get my cases in I keep my drill plugged in charged just in case. It actually comes in handy a lot for me and the others stringing guitars and basses. Some may say it’s to much but I play two to three nights a week and we use a trailer and I use to flight cases. So I keep extra everything if possible.
 

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Aaronjiski

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I’ve only had 1 thing break during a show. It didn’t technically break as much as fall apart. It was the muffler on my acrolite that decided to pop off and jump around in my snare after each hit during a song. I was trying to communicate with the guitar player who couldn’t care less and proceeded to start the song with a little grin on his face. Long short, I left that band in a heartbeat after that display of “teamwork” and removed the muffler and I use moon-gels now instead. I always do an “idiot-check” before I head to a show. As for lending gear I’ve done that but now I don’t. If you come to a gig and come empty handed that’s on you.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I have a Beato combo bag that holds two snare drums . I bring a metal and wood shell snare to each gig . I have the Aquarian patches for bass drum and tom/snares .
I also have a spare folding Sonor Perfect Balance pedal that stays in the car .
some other items I have available
Drum keys
Extra ride cymbal
Hihat clutch
Extra stick bag with sticks/brushes
Snare side head
Gaffer tape
Meinl drum honey (moon gel)
Extra mic cables
Speaker cables
Patch cables
Guitar pics
Acoustic guitar strings
 

CC Cirillo

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My most-used backup gear is _consistently_:

Guitar picks, 9 volt batteries, a guitar cable, and a full set of guitar strings


:D

(I'm serious, though. Having those things has saved the band's ass on several instances)
Right on, b!

I played for a while in a band where it was their first gigging experience ever and started with the 9-volt, power strip, picks accoutrements and been doing it now for years.

Even more experienced players have hit me up once or twice. First pick is free, second pick is $25, third pick is $75 and they have to carry my gear to the car.

Second or third instances have never happened. I razz them mercilessly. Following them around, with a good-natured harangue such as “Look at my gear, pumpkin: 13 bags with numerous large and small pieces, and if I leave behind anything, affects my ability to play. And you can’t bring a tiny guitar pick? Real players always have a pick in their watch pocket. Are you a guitar player or a guitar owner? This is why the drummer always gets the girl. Not only are we more studly , we are more reliable. If this were a blues band, we’d just shoot you and move on to a harmonica player. Oh look, your mom’s at the bar. She brought you your silly straw for your Shirley Temple….”

During set up and loadout I look around the stage for lost guitar picks, and have developed quite a collection.

For me, it’s like many of you have said—a spare old snare head in the case, snare cord, and a kick pedal in the car.
 

notINtheband

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Right on, b!

I played for a while in a band where it was their first gigging experience ever and started with the 9-volt, power strip, picks accoutrements and been doing it now for years.

Even more experienced players have hit me up once or twice. First pick is free, second pick is $25, third pick is $75 and they have to carry my gear to the car.

Second or third instances have never happened. I razz them mercilessly. Following them around, with a good-natured harangue such as “Look at my gear, pumpkin: 13 bags with numerous large and small pieces, and if I leave behind anything, affects my ability to play. And you can’t bring a tiny guitar pick? Real players always have a pick in their watch pocket. Are you a guitar player or a guitar owner? This is why the drummer always gets the girl. Not only are we more studly , we are more reliable. If this were a blues band, we’d just shoot you and move on to a harmonica player. Oh look, your mom’s at the bar. She brought you your silly straw for your Shirley Temple….”

During set up and loadout I look around the stage for lost guitar picks, and have developed quite a collection.

For me, it’s like many of you have said—a spare old snare head in the case, snare cord, and a kick pedal in the car.
I am SO copying and pasting this response to my band messenger thread. LOL priceless. I will cite appropriately. ;)
 

Aaronjiski

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Right on, b!

I played for a while in a band where it was their first gigging experience ever and started with the 9-volt, power strip, picks accoutrements and been doing it now for years.

Even more experienced players have hit me up once or twice. First pick is free, second pick is $25, third pick is $75 and they have to carry my gear to the car.

Second or third instances have never happened. I razz them mercilessly. Following them around, with a good-natured harangue such as “Look at my gear, pumpkin: 13 bags with numerous large and small pieces, and if I leave behind anything, affects my ability to play. And you can’t bring a tiny guitar pick? Real players always have a pick in their watch pocket. Are you a guitar player or a guitar owner? This is why the drummer always gets the girl. Not only are we more studly , we are more reliable. If this were a blues band, we’d just shoot you and move on to a harmonica player. Oh look, your mom’s at the bar. She brought you your silly straw for your Shirley Temple….”

During set up and loadout I look around the stage for lost guitar picks, and have developed quite a collection.

For me, it’s like many of you have said—a spare old snare head in the case, snare cord, and a kick pedal in the car.
Reminded me of Randy Savage, I read it in his voice. :)
 

equipmentdork

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Spare snare and bass pedal, even a spare bass drum head if I have the room.

I once split a snare head right before an encore with 1,000+ people in attendance. Better to have a spare and not need it than to need one and not have it.


Dan
 

Whitten

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yep.
I carry a spare snare and a spare bass drum pedal.
They are always ready to go, on the drum riser if needed during the show. My bd pedal broke in the middle of a song a couple of years ago. We made it to the end of the song, but within a couple of minutes I had my spare installed ready for the rest of the show.
I've had snare wires break or bottom heads.
 

multijd

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Bass pedal (I had to use it recently when the spring broke on my Tama Classic pedal)
Spare sticks and brushes in the car (It’s been a while since I left my stick bag but I’m prepared in that event).
 

Quai34

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My most-used backup gear is _consistently_:

Guitar picks, 9 volt batteries, a guitar cable, and a full set of guitar strings


:D

(I'm serious, though. Having those things has saved the band's ass on several instances)
Yes, me too, add to that some mikes and XLR cords for the singers, mikes for the drums set, mixers and PA for the singers and IEM for all the band....So, now, it's all mine and the on!y thing they have to do is to learn their parts, be on time BOTH at practices AND shows and he!p me to set up and tear down...Which is even more difficult because buying back up/main Instruments for all is easy, you just need cash...The rest is another story!!! Last shows before Covid, the 3 older guys were doing all of the heavy lifting and the 4 youngest had way more importantortant stuff to do that to set up. Next time, I will hire two roadies and take their shares on the young members...
 

Deafmoon

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I recommend a spare snare, pedal, heads and if you play brush tunes - two sets please. As well as little stuff, like cymbal nuts, keys, tension rods. I had tension rods loosen under a drum and fall out losing them in the dark. Same with flying wing nuts never to be found, so keep extras in a case. And an entire brushes wires disintegrate into the air off a ride cymbal. The worst I had ever happen to me was that my gear sometimes went from one show on a Friday to another venue on a Saturday and so stayed in the locked equipment truck. Well I do remember at one show my Tama King Beat Pedal cracked right at the post where the compressed spring was. That was cast and the cold from being in the truck and then hooked up and played, broke the entire piece right off. Piece of garbage Tama no longer makes, after that I went DW. But, without a second pedal, you can be caught off-guard. Broken beater heads was another nightmare sending the rod right through the head in the middle of a song. It's very tricky at that point to shift your mind into using the floor tom as your bass drum to get through the song, but it can be done. Quickly, loosen the bass rods and turn the head 180 degrees and retighten, slap the second pedal to the hoop and count off the next tune. 3 minutes. Any tom head problems can wait til a break and you can change the heads.
 

underratedcowbell

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I usually bring a spare snare and spare kick pedal. The snare bag also has a spare drum head, cord or strap, o-ring, moon gel, WD40, washers and tension rods.
 

drumtimejohn

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An extra clutch because I lost the fastening nut once in 25 years. Duct tape or electrical tape yet nothing has ever broke.
 


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