How many of us gig our Beater/Practice kits instead of our "Good" kits?

singleordoubleheads

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Got a gig coming up this weekend where it's a multiple band thing (we play last, luckily), but it involves schlepping gear up steps and moving stuff around quickly without a ton of room to spread out for set-up, so I have decided to bring out my Ludwig Accent (without cases), instead of one of my higher-end kits with cases for everything. And this isn't the first time--I found myself bringing the Accents out more and more over the last year or 2.

They look fine (solid black goes over in a dive bar or Carnegie Hall), sound pretty good, and I only use a case for the snare (usually a BB or Supra). I can squeeze the whole shootin' match in the back of my wife's Explorer, as opposed to taking my long-bed pickup that does give me a lot more room but is harder to load/unload.

Sometimes I feel like "why do I even have my nice Vistalites and Pro M kits anymore", yet I know they sound and look much better for "important" gigs, and I definately can feel/hear the upgrade in quality when I bust them out (always in cases, of course), but the big question is--can the audience tell? Do they even care? Hmm....
 

Rotarded

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3 kits (1 Large Modern, 1 Medium Vintage, and 1 Small Vintage), all are gigged with, none are beater kits.
I use whatever is right for the room/ stage size, and acoustics. Same with cymbals.
 
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doubleroll

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Having done many multi band gigs I would say use the beater. Typically, at least in my experience, cramped space, rush on/off stage, lots of activity, etc can lead to potential and unavoidable damage. I would use a kit I wouldn’t mind a few battle scars for sure. But I do agree with the comment above, life is short use the kit you want ;-)
 

dangermoney

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I only have two kits, both are in rotation, and both are Ludwig Classic Maples. One is 15 years old with over a thousand gigs on it and the other is almost 3 years old. I never use my drums for multi-band gigs although I have used them for many hosted open mic nights. Both have seen use in small bars, medium venues, large outdoor festivals and just about everything in between. Like others have said, life is short ...
 

rculberson

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I view drums as tools to do my job. I gig everything I own when it's the right tool for that particular job. Maybe I'm dumb, but I've just never felt any piece was "too good" for a gig.
So, what circumstances determine what the right tool for any given job is? Some criteria must be established or the selection process is random, no? If all the gear works for any gig, why have different gear?
 

trappemann

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I have some pretty nice kits. Don't think I am taking them out to a dive bar any time soon.
It is funny though, my nice kits sound so good any sound man would be breaking out the tape. You get the idea.

I have several sets of older, built like a tank, sound engineers love em, Japanese Tama Swingstars. Many have their original pinstripes on them and are microphone ready. They are not afraid of tape either. But I tell the sound people to keep the tape away from them as I can gel em faster anyway.

No cases needed, kit fits easily in a Honda Fit. I would let anyone, but a complete gorilla, play them.

Low risk, low cost, great sound. I guess my Swingstars are more "useful" than my nice kits.
 

MrDrums2112

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I have 3 kits - 2 vintage and 1 modern. I would not say any of them are “beater” kits. I gig them all. They are meant to be played and I bought them because I love the way they sound and look. Everyone here always says “it’s about the sound”, so I would never compromise that. I take very good care of my gear. I’d much rather a scuff or ding comes from being played on a gig rather than falling off of a display shelf at home.
 

speady1

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So, what circumstances determine what the right tool for any given job is? Some criteria must be established or the selection process is random, no? If all the gear works for any gig, why have different gear?
Fair question. I don't take a kit with a 26" kick drum or 7" deep brass snare to a singer-songwriter coffeehouse gig. I wouldn't use 20" crashes or chinas on that gig either. I also don't take a kit with an 18" kick and 14" FT to an outdoor festival gig, unless it's a jazz festival. I don't choose based on what color or finish, age of drum, value, etc. It's common sense, not some random selection from the gear locker. I choose the most appropriate tool for the job I'm doing.
 

rculberson

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Right on! The same common sense applies in my decision to not take an A level set to a C level venue. Right tools for the job. I have plenty of A level gigs to brong the A level set to.
 

Pimp-a-diddle

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Probably not a bad idea to invest in some lower-mid range price kit with a wrap finish if you're doing a lot of "warrior" gigging in the beer halls etc.
 

equipmentdork

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I have kits that I use strictly for more upscale or higher-profile gigs. My well-worn, battle-tested 80's Superstars get most of the outdoor gigs, as do my Pearl Sessions, along with the "divier" places. I don't feel right using my red sparkle Oak Customs in a biker bar, nor will I chance my Rogers or Camcos there. I'll even switch out my cymbals to my practice ones if I'm unsure of my surroundings.



Dan
 

crash

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If I own it, I’ll gig it! Kinda what they’re meant for. Dw’s, Ayotte Customs, Radio Kings, they’ve all been gigged routinely ....
 

jptrickster

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Yes I would definitely bring the beater on a multiple band gig when you have 10 min to set up and go, Beater all the way, preferably someone else's kit!
Fortunately not doing those gigs lol
 

repete

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Not really beaters, but of my 3 kits, the 2 Tempus kits will occasionally travel out of their bags - I'm not too worried about damage to them.
 

tillerva

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The last good I played I brought my nicest drums. After our set the other band asked if they could use my drums. I was very hesitant and figured why not? Bad move . Jackasses were not careful and badly scratched the finish on one of the drums.
 

Mongrel

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Funny when this comes up there is always a "If I own them I gig them" contingent.....

(Respectfully) That is not even the question. The OP and several others didn't say they had kits they wouldn't gig. They said there are gigs they wouldn't take a top tier kit to.

Very different situations honestly. Especially since almost any kit from a top maker can sound great wth the right heads and tuning-even a Pearl Export or Tama Rockstar.

Why not pull out the Exports for a battle of the bands at Dive Bar Dannys and leave the Masters for the wedding at the Ritz or recording your latest EP?

Makes a lot more sense to me anyway.
 

doubleroll

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Exactly as others have stated, I gig all my kits but as to the OP's question, where multiple bands are performing, I would choose a kit that a few battle scars wouldn't be an issue. To put in some perspective, I would use my Pearl masters which I wouldn't exactly call a beater, but would be the right tool for that event...for me anyway ;-)
 

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