DON’T BE A TOOL; TREAT YOUR TOOLS RIGHT

CC Cirillo

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Argh.

My father always taught me: If you don’t respect the tool, how can you respect the work?

It never stops to amazing me how some ham-fisted drummers mistreat perfectly innocent gear.

I rent a monthly rehearsal studio that has a pretty decent house kit. I put a little time and money getting it tuned up, a few new heads, etc. I’m playing it so I wanted it to sound good. No problem, happy to do so.

But, Lord, some of the other drummers…. In the last six months due to people overtightening stands after adjustment, the two cymbal stands have been stripped, one in two places, and the snare stand is on its way out.


This is decent Sonor 400 series stands. While nothing great, I know that with even a modicum of care the 400 series is robust enough as I regularly gigged with this same series for 10 years, up to two rehearsals and one gig a week, with set up and tear downs each time. NEVER any issues.

But someone keeps tightening those poor stands, unnecessarily so, as in more than a few times I’ve had to use a tool to loosen. It’s aggressive, as in “I’m Adjusting This MY WAY And Cranking It Down So I Won’t Ever Have To Adjust It Again.”

Okay, dude or dudes. No idea who you are, but I’m leaving my number and I’m putting up a reminder note on the bass drum hoop not to overtighten and break hardware. And then I’m taking some zip ties and turning these boom stands you broke into straight stands, because thanks to you that’s all they are good for now.

Makes me think if these hamfisters will do that to an innocent cymbal stand, what do they do to a ballad?
 

Polska

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I'm with you on this. I recently got together with a band to work on some original material and they have a nice Ludwig in the rehearsal room. The previous drummer cranked the cymbal stands so tight that no lie, there was one I almost threw my back out reaching over to adjust. I got up, walked around and still could not loosen the wing nut. I decided for practice I'll simply ignore that cymbal stand and make do with a ride and one crash. No big deal, but you'd need pliers to make it that tight. I really don't get it.
 

backtodrum

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My feeling is it's because they have no skin in the game ( no investment) they just don't care because it is not their gear. however truth be told, they most likely treat their one gear just a poorly. My dad taught me to take care of my stuff be it a vehicle or anything else. I once got in a fight with a kid in grade school and beat the heck out of him for making fun of me because I kept my ten speed clean and shiny and in perfect condition. I have always been this way I guess. I have tried to teach my kids of which I have 5 to do the same. Some more than others take care of their things. I have 2 boys who don't take care of anything. However, with that said they all take pristine care of other peoples property whether borrowed or for what ever reason. But there is not enough of that taught anymore, Too many people have no regard for anyone else's property, It's truly sad.
 

Cauldronics

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I think in this case, I’d bring one or two of my own stands to make up for the incompetence of whom ever thought it was a good idea to use pliers or loc-tite on the shared gear.

Not convenient, I know, but at the end of the night you wouldn’t have struggled with or been flexed by the dumb choices made by others. Better and better.

Just remember to take your stuff home lest it become part of the droid graveyard.
 

CC Cirillo

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Good idea, Cauldronics.

Funny thing, since I’m recovering from surgery, and a minimalist to begin with, it’s easy for me to get by with one crash/ride, so all I need to do is lower one of these former boom stands and I’m good.

When I’m up and running and with a full band in there, your advice will be adopted. I might even buy some used thrash stands that are operable and set them up as needed.
 

Cauldronics

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I, too, am recovering from surgery. Well, an elective ablation on my heart. I have to hold off on my usual rigorous drumming for awhile until things get like they should be, and my setup is now simplified as well. Life be crazy.
 

Barden

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A little different, but it starts to explain an alternate reality: I have seen a few drummers set up and tear down their own equipment and show a lack of understanding regarding the hardware design. Things like completely unscrewing wing nuts holding bass drum spurs, tom mounts, etc and removing the freed component to put in some pouch. Then when they setup again they never remember where the various washers and compound parts go. Inevitably they lost critical components because they didn't understand how to manipulate the hardware from setup to packed to setup...

I was dumbfounded as I observed, but reminded that different people have different skills.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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I hear ya... At our last few gigs, our bandgear guy has "benefited" the help of local crews to help with stage setup. One night when I came out to tear down my drum kit after the gig, I had trouble loosenning up the bassdrum spurs. They have very apparent teeth in the mechanism so how someone would think that they need King Kong strength tightening to stay put is beyond me... I'd rather (and usually do) set my kit up myself but sometimes the randomness of the road makes us miss load-in and arrive just in time for soundcheck...

I had to stess our guy how important it is that, if outside hands are to touch my gear, they are to be briefed on how to just put things SNUG, I'd rather have to readjust in between songs than have to spend time I don't have on travel days, trying to shop for spare stands, spurs or any other screwable part in Nowhereville pop. 2000 souls...
 

RogersLudwig

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The Union hall in Hollywood has some once nice Remo drum sets, but the hardware has been so abused that either it can't be tightened or it is tightened so tight it will never be undone. Sad really 'cause they were used by supposedly professional musicians and the shells actually sound good.
 

CSR

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My big band currently rehearses in a community college band room. The available set is a basic Ludwig set, which is preferable to loading one of my own sets in and out. I usually find cymbal felts and washers missing, cymbals tightened down so that they don’t move, the throne lowered to extremes and tightened so I have to use the two-drumstick-trick to loosen it.

The rule is…if it’s everybody’s, it’s nobody’s. There needs to be one person in charge of equipment - a section leader, a bandleader, a band director, a manager - someone. Otherwise, things that “belong” to everybody get trashed. Sad but true.
 

hsosdrum

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Haven't any of you seen how people treat rental cars?
 

studrum

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I, too, loathe such boorishness. Tama makes a tool, kind of a Swiss Army Knife deal with a zillion screwdrivers and things, that has a big slot in its side that is exactly for tightening and loosening screws, wing nuts, etc. Mine came free with the Iron Cobra I bought. We all should have one of these to deal with the "work" of those weinies.
 

Swissward Flamtacles

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You can use a pair of sticks to get more leverage when wing nuts can't be operated with your hands. Yes, it sucks.. maybe smear some peanut butter on the wing nut to prevent other drummers from touching it.
 

Soulfinger

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Boy, I know what you are talking about.
We used to go to a rehearsal space that had Pearl Vision kits - pretty decent and easy to get a good sound if you were so inclined. Most of my fellow drummers weren´t, though, and plastered the kit with gaffer tape which I duly removed every week - at least from the snare so that I could play brushes.
And there was always some gorilla who cranked the screws on the stands down so hard I couldn´t believe it. Forget about the two-stick-trick - I once had to insert the wing nut of a cymbal stand in the door frame and use the stand for leverage to pry the thing open. Yikes. How do they do it? (As for why, I stopped wondering.)
 

Cpb282

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My wife gets on my case for never accepting help from others with gear. I’ve got PTSD as in high school I handed my trumpet to a “friend” so I could take a quick leak before we walked out to the field. I came back and he had dropped it on a tile floor, tragically denting the bell. I have my suspicions that he acted like a clown with it.

That killed me. We didn’t have much money, and it was a 30 year old horn that was amazing other than some to-be-expected wear through the silver. It broke my heart to show it to my dad.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and I’m my kids’ band roadie when they have gigs. Of course I have my kids help set up and break down (two have hit their teens), but they “get it.” The only thing I’m trying to work on is to get them to understand that there’s no need to fully collapse the cymbal stands and to make sure that they put the cymbal wing nuts back on and not in the side pocket of the bag.

In August they had an outdoor gig and a huge lightning / thunderstorm with torrential rain came through, so I had little option but to accept help from some nice folks in the audience.

I was appreciative of the help. But the shape of things when I got home and sorted things out had me twitching. Some wing nuts tightened like wheel lug nuts, others fully unscrewed and nowhere to be found. The tom arms removed from the tom holder. But I can’t blame the helpers as they never broke a band set down before. The drum set suffered the worst as I have to get all of the amps, guitars and PA system out of the rain first. Next were all of the cables that were knotted beyond comprehension.

But it did make me think back to when my daughter was taking drum lessons and the music school. The drum sets were always falling apart due to abuse (not just use). Perhaps one of the early drum lessons should be how to treat and respect gear.
 

noreastbob

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It's the same phenomenon as the "the bigger a group gets, the dumber it becomes as a whole." The more people in a group the harder it is to remain concise, on point, and functional.
Obviously the more people handling the gear the better the chances are there will be mistreatment. 'Tis a given.
 


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