Carry As Little As Possible

Drm1979

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I've never owned or gigged with more than a 5 piece set. But my days playing a 5 piece were short lived as I discovered I much preferred a 4 piece. 2 crashes ride and hi hat. Which payed off well at the height of my gigging life when our main venue was a 2 story club with no elevator and the stage and playing area was on the second story. Those days cemented me staying with a 4 piece.
 

TonyVazquez

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I’m good with a kick, snare, hats and one crash/ride. Kick gotta be a 20” though.

I’ve been thinking of the ultimate travel kit That is only needs one stand: 20”kick, 14x4 snare mounted off a double braced boom stand. Remote hi hat pedal also mounted off same stand. Obviously, crash/ride is on that stand. Would it be too heavy for one stand?
Hmmmmmm... interesting how all those add-ons are mounted onto one stand.
I think that as long as your double-braced legs are spread at their widest they should
provide a solid foundation to sustain all that weight.

Just be careful of the stages and drum risers you play on, some drum risers tend
to be bouncy from the weight of the kit and the drummer while playing and the
stand might tip over.

Also, positioning your add-ons in such a manner to off-set some items... this should
help as a counter-weight in relation to the stand's center of gravity and mass.
A combination of clamps, and something like a Pearl platform clamp, might help
distribute some of that mid-height weight around the stand so that it will
stay firmly without any wobble.
Light-weight clamps toward the upper tiers of the cymbal stand;
and heavy-weight clamps (such as the Pearl platform clamp) towards
the base pipe of the cymbal stand.

When placing add-ons (toms, cymbals, percussion, etc) I place my heaviest add-ons
(such as a mounted rack-tom or mounted floor-tom) somewhere at low height
towards the base pipe of my cymbal stand; and my light-weight add-ons (splashes, cowbells, etc)
somewhere in the 2nd upper pipe of the cymbal stand. I don't place anything on the top
pipe or boom arm of my cymbal stand (except a plastic Halloween skull, lol)
My Crash-Ride is also on my cymbal stand. But I recently acquired a second cymbal stand
for distributing some of my add-ons onto it.
I also have a straight cymbal arm attached low height to my left kick drum spur
for my stacked China/Splash cymbals.

If you only need one cymbal stand in your travel setup, do what feels best for you.
And then if you still feel nervous about all that weight on the one stand, you may try
adding a secondary stand and move some of your add-ons to it.
You can also clamp items to your kick drum hoops, but that is just an option
to distribute your add-ons only if you're okay with clamping stuff onto
your kick drum hoops.
As long as all your drum kit your instruments are playable within ergonomic reach
you can try these ideas and see what works best for you.
 

JonnyFranchi$e

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This is interesting.

I don't have a ton of experience gigging, but I think of it as "bring the right tool for the job." And this includes sound, versatility and appearance.

So, a small, quiet jazzy trio gig I will bring a 4 piece with maybe 2 cymbals tops. (Kick drum, snare and hi hat are always non negotiable).

I might be able to play the gig better with a 6 piece and add more variety with 3 extra crash cymbals, but it would look wrong and take up too much space.

But for a regular tavern 4 hour gig, I want to bring the house if the stage has enough space. Why? It's FUNNER! I have to do a lot of hitting over 4 hours. I want to have lots of different stuff to hit. Middle of the 3rd set playing a 3 or 4 piece with one or two cymbals I just get bored and want to hit something else. "Oh yeah, I have that 8" tom too tonight! FUN! I think I'll hit it on the next fill! And my inner ADD child stays in the game).

Plus a big kit looks awesome. Come on, who doesn't love the look of an 8 piece kit with extra side snare and 10+ cymbals all around the drummer? Even if it's kind of laughable in a smaller cover band bar gig, you know this guy is COMMITTED and that really does mean something to me.


OTOH, I hear the argument about smaller setups forcing the drummer to focus more on good technique and rudimentary creativity rather than on a bunch of different thingies to hit. So you could convince me to play a monster gig with a smaller set.

But I love me my many splash cymbals for any type of context. You gotta pull those out of my cold dead hands.
 

rculberson

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Standard rig is one up-one down, hats, left cymbal and right cymbal. That gets me all the sounds I need and also helps me fit in most places. Sometimes I have to remove the left side cymbal but that's no biggie.
 

Dumpy

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Depends on the venue. I generally play one up, one down with hats, ride, crash and china. What I play at home is much bigger.
 

multijd

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I‘ve gigged as a percussionist in addition to playing drumset for about the last 35 years. This has included work in “Broadway” shows, on the road with touring shows and with a percussion quartet. I used to have to borrow or rent things but over time have acquired nearly everything including timpani, xylophone, vibraphone, marimba, congas, bongos, timbales, gong, tam tams, temple blocks, wood blocks, cowbells, tambourine, triangles etc.... Over the last few years I’ve started to do less and less percussion and focus on jazz drumset almost exclusively. In that realm I've consistently played a four or five piece kit with 2-4 cymbals 20” or smaller bd. Hauling around the big equipment is exhausting and often leaves me frustrated and upset. The small sets are easier to manage and allow me to focus energy on playing. Being surrounded by a lot of sounds can be very fun and stimulating but overall I like the “less is more“ concept And have recently moved to the lightest stands and even a 16” bd for some things. Although at home Ive been experimenting with a five tom Set up. All of these different setups make me hear differently and creatively so they can be worth it. But in the end I have to carry and pack it up at the end of the night which often becomes the deciding factor.
 

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frankmott

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Yep. As light as possible. In my Zydeco band, I played a bikini kit for a few years (with a 12x26 BD!). Then I got a wild hair and added a floor tom - a converted 15" marching tenor drum. I've stuck with that for many years. There are still many songs where the FT goes un-played.

I've gone so far as to cut off the excess tubes of all my stands to lighten the load. The floor tom legs were cut to be flush with the top of the brackets. No need for memory locks. Yep. I'm pretty obsessive about extra weight. Everything fits into a canister throne.
IMG_1373.JPG
 

cribbon

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I’m good with a kick, snare, hats and one crash/ride. Kick gotta be a 20” though.

I’ve been thinking of the ultimate travel kit That is only needs one stand: 20”kick, 14x4 snare mounted off a double braced boom stand. Remote hi hat pedal also mounted off same stand. Obviously, crash/ride is on that stand. Would it be too heavy for one stand?
The biggest issue (in size, sound, importance and difficulty) in having a good sounding yet easy-to-schlep travel kit is the bass drum, and there are two approaches: reduced diameter or reduced depth. Because a drum's pitch range is a function of its diameter, for a bass drum, generally the best alternative is to reduce the depth of the shell rather than its diameter. (But keep in mind that the choice of shell material and different types of contemporary batter heads can help make smaller diameter kick drums sound lower than you'd expect.) Think back on the original "travel kit," the drummers in marching armies and, later on, marching bands a la the Shriners, et al. What did they use? Large diameter bass drums with shallower depths, the ultimate version being the "scotch" bass drum that featured 22 diameter heads with super-shallow depths, sometimes as thin as 6".

From years of experimentation, the 3-piece kit shown below is the best combination of light weight/compact size & good sound I've come up with. It gives me all the basic elements (kick, snare, hi-hat, ride cymbal and tom) in a compact configuration.

One factor to be aware of is that because in most cases a travel kit will usually be used in lower volume/smaller room situations, a drum's tone may be a more important factor than its potential volume. Also bear in mind that such a kit will force you to compromise somewhere to some extent. I have come to love the practicality and flexibility of the Pearl twin tom receiver: you can use a minimum amount of hardware (a 7/8" Gibraltar cymbal boom arm and Gibraltar, Pearl or Yamaha 7/8" tom arm - whichever you prefer) to mount a tom and a ride cymbal. Hardware is usually the biggest problem in terms of weight, but this leaves you the option of being able to use lightweight hardware (snare stand, hi-hat stand, throne and pedal) to flesh out the kit - all this hardware (plus LP jam block and cowbell) can fit into a old lightweight Ludwig Accessory rolling case. I find this preferable to trying to mount a lot of stuff off of necessarily heavier and bulkier stands, and I'm guessing that a double braced stand with some kind of snare basket attached plus remote hi-hats would weigh a lot more than a Tama flat-base snare stand and single-braced Gibraltar hi-hat stand. Just something to think about. Good luck on your search!


IMG_9378.JPG
 

musiqman

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I’ve heard that (some) drummers in Amsterdam take their kit to the gig on a bicycle. Is this true?
If you have a transport bike or one with a carier up front, you can take a small one.

Im in the process of getting - transport bike for this reason again. We don’t have a car nor driverslicence so the bike, public transport and uber are the only options we have.
 

High on Stress

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So earlier I posted that I have a gig coming up and that I'm going to bring everything. We had an outdoor rehearsal yesterday and I did just that, brought a six piece kit instead of my usual four, with some extra cymbals. May not seem like that much more, but I've had this three up, one down configuration set up in my basement for about a month and have been having a blast playing Phil Collins style herta fills, Stewart Copeland licks, etc. on my own and playing along to recorded music. When I got to yesterday's band practice I found that none of that stuff was relevant to the band's music.

Believe me, I tried! I thought it might inject some freshness into arrangements that haven't been touched for almost a year. The extra drums actually made me play less creatively and less musically. Before anyone gets offended, I'm quite sure it has to do with my lack of familiarity and practice on this bigger set and not just because there were a couple of extra toms. But after a couple of hours, I stripped back down to a four piece and felt my timing and fills and overall playing quality improve. Whether I want to admit it or not, having more toms and my cymbals higher up and at an angle really does affect how I play and how it sounds. And that IS the value in changing setups once in a while, but ultimately you need to play whatever expresses your voice on the instrument whether that is a large or small kit. When we play out I will be back to my regular set.
 

RIDDIM

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I don’t know about any else and I am most certain it is age, but I find myself taking less and less gear to gigs. When I first started gigging in my teens, I would bring everything but the kitchen sink

I remember playing a wedding and showing up with six toms and 7 cymbals. I was so into Neil Peart at the time and I thought it was cool. I am sure the band (who was much older) was laughing at me.

Now I bring the minimal amount necessary. I did a brush gig recently with an 18” bass drum, no toms, snare, 16” crash and hi hats.
Is this just me?
- No.

Been there. It's nice to have lots of sound sources, but bringing a large kit to a gig and then not using half of because the gig doesn't need it makes one rethink what one wants to bring.

That's a function of musical maturity, I like to think.
 

CherryClassic

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Years ago I thought I needed at least an 8 piece kit playing Big Band and I could crowd then in to the smallest stages. LOL But never had more than two cymbals and Hi-hat. My new kit only has 5 pieces plus a ride, crash and Hi-hat.

I remember a gig in Houston doing a fill in job. I set up a 5 piece kit and one of the old band members said; wow, that's the most drums I've seen a drummer use. I replied; I have three more in the trailer if you want me to bring them in. We laughed and he said; Oh no that plenty. LOL

I play gigs now, with any configuration from just a snare to a full kit of 5 pieces and still only two cymbals plus Hi-Hat. And yes, old age is setting in but still having a blast making noise.

sherm
 


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