Drum hacks

dingaling

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I can’t believe I didn’t come across this earlier in my drumming career but you can take an old drum head (a thin one) and cut out the connectors that attach snares to the throw off instead of buying them. Obviously assuming they take that kind of connector rather then string.

Are there any other drum hacks I’m missing out on?
 

drumstuff66

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You can cut O-Rings, Doughnuts, RemO's out of old drumheads as well.
Arts & Crafts stores usually have gel stick-ons that are basically moongels.
I use my "old" 14" tom head as my "new" snare head. I like them broken in, not everyone does.
 

TonyVazquez

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Homemade "EMAD" damper rings

I bought a pack of foam floor tiles from Home Depot...
I cut one 24"x24" foam floor tile into a ring to make an "EMAD" damper
to go inside the shell of my 16" kick drum.

Once the ring is cut and the center is hollowed out I apply
four packing tape 'tabs' to the foam
and then I sit the foam ring on the inside of my batter head.

The tape tabs will secure the foam ring inside the bearing edge
as I mount the batter head...

Homemade_EMAD_damper.jpg




The nice thing about these foam floor tiles is that I can cut damper rings
for big drums ranging from 16" to 24" diameter. These floor tiles are 3/8" thick.
The foam is quite dense like a rubber sandal; not fluffy like cotton.

As you can see in my photo, I don't need pillows or anything else
inside my kick drum. And my front 'reso' kick drum head is actually an
Evans Hydraulic batter head... this fulfills my desired tune and punchiness
for my kick drum.

For my kick drum I can use one foam floor tile damper ring or as
many as 3 rings stacked together.
More damper rings = tighter punch... and then I mic the kick through a PA
or in a recording studio with a kick drum mic.

A single damper ring gives me a very tight punch with no overtones,
so my little kick drum sounds choked, tight, and punchy for its low tuning.
which is perfect for metal, hardcore, punk-rock, and country.
Instead of a resonant "boom", I get a flat punchy " bt " :-D


Homemade PE plastic Impact pads...

That blue patch you see there on my batter head is a homemade impact pad.
I cut it out from the lid of a half gallon ice cream tub, using a Danmar metal
kick pad as a template.
The material is durable PE plastic and it's about 1/16" thick.
I glued and taped it (with Gorilla Glue, and clear heavy-duty Gorilla Packing Tape)
to my batter head...

Homemade_Impact pad.jpg


I tune the batter head very high and tight, and then I glue/tape my impact pad
to the batter head and let it sit for a day or two, and then I down-tune
the batter head to my desired range.
This way the batter head will settle and the tape and impact pad will flex with it
while I play the kick drum. I bury the beater full force.

I kick it with hard felt beaters, and it sounds punchy... but I prefer my
DW 2-way black hard plastic beaters for a brighter punch and deeper attack.
And to bring my impact pad closer to a "metallic trigger" sound
with a crispy attack and a louder " bt " I cut up a thin sheet metal door sign
into two smaller patches and glued them onto my impact pad,
one patch for each beater (I play DW 5k Accelerator double pedals).

I've had this exact homemade setup for almost 2 years and it's held up really good,
considering that I only practice on my kit 3 hours a week with my band
and we haven't played out so frequently during this pandemic.
It took me some trial and error to achieve my kick drum sound with these hacks.
 

drums1225

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Simple Stick Saver Hack
I very rarely break sticks, but I wear them out in the "rim shot zone" pretty quickly. Once the integrity/feel of the stick is noticeably affected by wear in the rim shot area, I toss them into the "emergency only" pocket on my stick bag. I've found that once I breach the surface of the stick, and see the first chip or splinter, the middle of the stick gets chewed away fairly rapidly, and the countdown to kindling is on. Being a cheapskate, on a musician's income, I thought that if I could protect that area, without affecting the weight and feel of the sticks, I could significantly extend the life of my sticks.

My solution was a single wrap of clear packing tape, wrapped tightly around the rim shot zone of the stick. The thin layer of tape doesn't noticeably increase the weight or affect the feel of the sticks, and doesn't affect the sound of rimshots, but does a pretty good job of extending the life of a stick considerably; such a good job, that now the wood tips are consistently the point of failure for me. If you use nylon tips (as I do on rock gigs), the life extension is even more significant. Yes, sticks still eventually start to get chewed up, but in my experience, the tape wrap can at least double their useful life. I haven't tried two wraps of tape, but it may be worth trying.

Zipper Pull Repair
I'm sure we've all had zipper pulls snap on us, at some point. My Roadrunner wheeled hardware bag has been amazingly durable, aside from the zipper pulls, of which every single one eventually snapped. I used to use paper clips as a quick fix, but now I use split key rings. They're around $1 each, and they won't break. I like the 2" split rings, but they come in various sizes.


Drumstick Sleeves as Bass Drum Hoop Protectors
No adhesive necessary, free, and self-explanatory.

A-Frame Guitar Stands for Storing Cymbals
Got this idea from Alto Music in Middletown, NY.

My other drum hacks have been mentioned:
  • Cut old heads to make bass drum impact pads/quick patches, and DIY ZeroRings. Nothing too inventive, but definitely useful.
  • Dollar store gel window clings. Years ago, I bought a couple of bags with a sea theme, and now I have a lifetime supply of fishies and sailboats at my disposal. I don't generally muffle my drums, but sometimes (especially on backline kits, or when recording) it's good to have some on hand.
Great thread! I'm interested in hearing more useful drum hacks. Keep 'em coming!
 
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drums1225

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You can cut O-Rings, Doughnuts, RemO's out of old drumheads as well.
Arts & Crafts stores usually have gel stick-ons that are basically moongels.
I use my "old" 14" tom head as my "new" snare head. I like them broken in, not everyone does.
I never thought to recycle a 14" tom head to the snare, probably because I use clear heads on my toms, and coated on my snares, but still a great idea! My 14" STAR Maple floor tom came with a coated Ambassador which, thanks to this tip, will end up on my snare.
 

mebeatee

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Well I'm deflated.....I thought finally a thread about ME......drum hack.
Instead it's about nifty tips.....cool.

+1 re the dollar store stick on gel's.

Most of my bass drums have no holes in the reso head...various kinds....and for the most part the batters are powerstrokes. What I do/did was put an old t shirt inside for a variable bit of dampening if needed.....shaken...not stirred...so the cloth inside can either rest or not rest on the reso head for the most part if needed. This in addition, again if needed, to a bit of dampening on the outside of the head(s).

It's hard to find a drum key for a Premier snare and my '65 Sonor's with slotted lugs so I got a spark plug wrench.....perfect leverage....waaaay better than a coin.
bt
 

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Rich K.

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Got this from another forum member. I only do it on my Tama classic snare stand, but you could do it on any stand.
Put a hose clamp under where the wing screw is, so every time you open the legs, it stops in the same place.
I also keep a hose clamp with a thumb screw to use as a memory lock / fast fix if something fails. I've used it once or twice. It's much easier to deal with the thumb screw than having to use a screwdriver.
tamst2.jpg
 

dyland

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Best I can think of is, instead of buying multiple sizes of snare cases, buy one with dimensions of your deepest snare and then when you put your shallower snares in it pack the top of the case with gun case (egg shell) foam.
 

Tigerdrummer

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A hi hat bottom cymbal felt can go under your ride cymbal to settle it down instead of gaff tape or moon gel. Not one I thought of but I heard from another person.
 

TonyVazquez

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Slightly off-topic, but related to my kick drum hacks which I posted earlier...

In case anyone is wondering how my kick drum sounds Live,
I played an incidental gig last night...

We only used 3 vocal mics. No instruments were mic'ed.
My drum kit was not mic'ed at all, but it's natural volume was picked up
through my vocal mic.

Due to limited car space, I stripped down to just my kick drum, snare,
hi-hat, and cymbals (crash-ride, china, toy splash) for this gig.

This video was recorded with my smartphone, no EQing or special processing used...


The venue was about mid-sized, 150 people capacity on a normal day,
but due to covid we can only fit 25% capacity for the time being.
 
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repete

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i second the hose clamps for tripod stands. Without the same spread, your height will vary.
 

dboomer

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Hose clamps work great. But shaft locks are sexier if you don’t mind a couple of bucks.
1613965155775.png
 

TonyVazquez

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Hose clamps as "memory locks" for floor tom legs, and narrow-diameter boom arms.

And since hose clamps come in several sizes, you can use a 1" or 2" hose clamp to
attach your cowbells to other hardware pipes such as tom holders/mounts
and cage racks where you can play them closer to you.

---------------------

Also, my old laptop bag has a shoulder strap with plastic hooks...
...I use the shoulder strap to leash my kick drum to my drum throne
so that the drum won't creep or slide away from me while I play.

---------------------

Sometimes I don't have paper to write down a copy of the band's set list,
and so I write the song titles on my floor tom head with a dry-erase marker.
This works best with Mylar drum heads, such as the Remo Pinstripes,
because after the show you can wipe the ink off with a wet napkin...
...and if any ink residue remains on the drum head, you can wipe it away
with Rubbing Alcohol after you've transported your drums back home.

If you wanna make a novelty of it, write the set list song titles onto
a coated drum head with a Sharpie marker, and display the drum head
on your wall or inside a picture frame! :-D

Do the same for an old drum head, or an old cracked cymbal,
with a Sharpie marker, and have your band members autograph the drum head
or cymbal and give it to a young fan or aspiring drummer; or hang it on the wall
inside the venue among the gallery of Rock stars who've played there before, lol.
 

TonyVazquez

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Your pens run out of ink? Don't throw them out...

Remove the inner ink tube, and Keep the outer tube ...and cut it
into 2" sections (or 1 &1/2 inches)... and use the cut tubes for "cymbal sleeves".

This pen plastic tube is durable to protect your cymbals from Keyhole damage.
When the tube gets worn out from cymbal nicks just replace it with a new tube.


DIY Cymbal Sleeve.jpg


NOTE: this pen tube will only fit cymbal posts that are smaller diameter.
 


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