Jam Sessions and drum desecration

Mongrel

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I think I have you all beat... last year I was the house drummer at a jazz jam, and the first guy who sat in broke TWO of my heads, the snare and the mounted tom.
So, in light of this experience, do you advocate "playing your best kit out?" I mean why not set up the Noble and Cooley and let the gang have at it? (Obviously...joking)

Sorry...just couldn't help myself.
 
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Elvis

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Did a jam session today for my local jazz society. Four drummers wanted to sit in. Fine with me, as long as they don't fuck up my drums. All the drummers were courteous and didn't commit any major crimes, other than moving the hi hat, no biggie. I got lucky.

But I've been the house drummer on jam sessions in past years where guys....

1) Broke my snare strainer. How can you do that, unless you're a gorilla?

2) Pulled out a drum key and changed my tuning

3) Spilled drinks all over my drums and didn't bother to mop up the mess

4) Put dents in the heads and didn't offer to replace them

5) Changed the adjustments on my bass pedal

That's just a partial list.

I suspect a lot of you guys know what I'm talking about.
...I guess I won't be playing your drums anytime soon then...


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70's Drummer

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I do not share my kit. Several years ago, I was playing at a county fair and the group following us asked if they could use my drums, I told them I was leaving after our set. As I was loading, I could see him playing. He played his cymbals harder than anyone I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen Tommy Lee play. I would never bash someone’s kit or move their stuff around. This stuff costs too much to have others break everything.
 

LFBarfe

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I've got a big band gig on Wednesday night and I'm depping as house drummer at a jazz jam on Thursday night. On Thursday morning, I'm going to take the nice new-ish heads off and put the previous set back on for the night.
 

Rick

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About a year ago, we played a set at my regular restaurant gig for a private party for The Walking Dead cast members. They brought in some killer LA musicians to play the second set, and the drummer used my drums. She was great (way better than me) but was a pretty heavy hitter. She also had a technique where, when she went around the toms, she would strike them at a pretty extreme angle. She sounded great and it was really cool to get to sit out in the room and hear what my drums really sound like out there. But when I got back to the kit after it was over, the first thing I noticed was slash marks (stick marks) on my heads along with a couple of dents. I wasn’t real happy about that and ended up changing those heads as the sound was compromised. She also retuned my snare drum without asking. Not cool, but as it turned out I ended up changing my preferred tuning on that drum to something a lot closer to what she had on it. While I was kinda pissed at the time, I’m actually glad she did that because it sounded great out in the room and I learned from it.
 

RogersLudwig

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I've always prided myself with regard to playing someone else's kit and not adjusting a single thing to suit my liking. I'll play whats's there, and where it is. It takes seconds to get used to something foreign -- akin to driving someone else's car. You get used to it very quickly.

Then the drum owner sits back down and doesn't have to touch a thing. :)

No big deal; I'll adapt, and let the particular drum set play me!
I got to thinking about a jam session I once attended where the drummer who supplied the back line set had it arranged to his liking. I was asked to sit in since I was the only other drummer to show up that day. Unfortunately, the mounted toms were set so the heads were perpendicular to the ground and set at head-height when I was standing! It was the most awkward set up I have ever encountered and I played like sheeet. Never again will I attempt to play a set that makes me feel uncomfortable just looking at it. Yeah, it was a one-off encounter and I've never seen one like that before or since, but man was it horrible. I'm usually polite and before changing anything, will ask the owner about doing so, but this was beyond the pale.
 

hardbat

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So, in light of this experience, do you advocate "playing your best kit out?" I mean why not set up the Noble and Cooley and let the gang have at it? (Obviously...joking)
Oh yeah, it was my "B" kit for sure (although my "B" kit would probably be most people's "A" kit). There's no way I'd bring my aqua flame round badges and old Ks to that jam.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Yesterday, we did a gig (granted not a jazz jam!) at one of the local libraries. I decided to take a smaller kit (8x12/11x13/14x16) for the room - one of my favorite bop kits - a modded Gretsch SSB in tangerine glass with a nearly matching RB 5x14 4157 snare. It was great for the gig but one of the later bands was a group of high schoolers who have a garage rock band (something between Nirvana-Weezer-P. Floyd) - and the main teacher of our group asked if they could use my kit. I knew the drummer as I've worked with him and the group a little. Ultimately, I really had no choice, though, and said sure.

Since the floor was tile (I forgot this, thinking it was carpet - which, last time we played, it was!), and didn't take my rug. Immediately I had bass creep and HH creep. So I duck taped both my bass pedal and the HH pedal during our set so they weren't going anywhere. And he didn't really adjust anything else, he was a decent player with everything and he wasn't bashing so it worked out..........and I got props for the "great tone" of my drums from our head teacher!


20190414_145308 edit.jpg
 
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RickPlaysDrums

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I got to thinking about a jam session I once attended where the drummer who supplied the back line set had it arranged to his liking. I was asked to sit in since I was the only other drummer to show up that day. Unfortunately, the mounted toms were set so the heads were perpendicular to the ground and set at head-height when I was standing! It was the most awkward set up I have ever encountered and I played like sheeet. Never again will I attempt to play a set that makes me feel uncomfortable just looking at it. Yeah, it was a one-off encounter and I've never seen one like that before or since, but man was it horrible. I'm usually polite and before changing anything, will ask the owner about doing so, but this was beyond the pale.
Yeah. Iv'e encountered that scenario too. I just played 'em as is -- the hell with it!
 

studrum

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My gigging kit with my band is a 1959 Rogers kit. 12-16-22 with a Holiday snare. My band's music is folk-rock, so I have thick heads tuned pretty damn low to be warm and full sounding. All of the bread and butter lugs are original and most are unbroken (these lugs are drawn brass and hollow inside, so they are notorious for breaking) and I've been able to keep them that way because of the low tunings and my soft playing.

I can't tell you how many times I'd show up to a gig and have the drummer from another band come up to me and ask if my kit can be backlined because he DID NOT bring his own drums. Just sticks and bass drum pedal. I'd roll my eyes, shepherd the two or three other drummers over to my kit on stage, and tell them "I have no problems with any of you using my drums, but these lugs will explode if you hit the drums too hard. They are fragile and will crack under hard playing. That's why my kit is tuned low and why I play softly. If any of you break a lug, you will owe me a new one." I'd then shake hands with them and help them adjust the kit to their liking. You should have seen some of these drummers, with their baseball bat sized sticks, start to play too heavily and remember what I said! I was absolutely not rude, I just told them the realities of the situation and made sure they understood and then everything was peachy!

I've had a few guys actually compliment the drums afterwards, since drummers I share the stage with are 18-24 year olds, most of whom have never sat behind a vintage drum set, let alone a Rogers kit! I may have gotten a few of them into checking out Rogers stuff, those drums are addictive!

It's all about the attitude of the drummer using your stuff - almost always they're super chill and willing to cooperate with the circumstances. The few times where things turned south were handled accordingly. You gotta do what cha gotta do!
You are a brave man!
 

lcondo123

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You are a brave man!
So far so good!! The lugs on the bass drum have the hairline cracks, so showing the dudes about to use my kit those cracked lugs and saying "these are on the verge, be careful" was a trip. Fun to mess with them a little bit - you could tell some of these drummers had sh*t-kits at home and never really thought about playing drums with respect to the instruments before. A bit of a new perspective, per say!

Again, most players would come up to me afterwards and talk about how nice the kit sounded and felt while playing. It always made me happy seeing these people with a huge grin on their faces talk about how fun the set was. It's all about spreading some happiness!
 

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rondrums51

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So far so good!! The lugs on the bass drum have the hairline cracks, so showing the dudes about to use my kit those cracked lugs and saying "these are on the verge, be careful" was a trip. Fun to mess with them a little bit - you could tell some of these drummers had sh*t-kits at home and never really thought about playing drums with respect to the instruments before. A bit of a new perspective, per say!

Again, most players would come up to me afterwards and talk about how nice the kit sounded and felt while playing. It always made me happy seeing these people with a huge grin on their faces talk about how fun the set was. It's all about spreading some happiness!
You probably know that the new Rogers company has replacement bread and butter lugs. They're die cast, not drawn brass, so they're bulletproof. Very nice. But I've wondered of they change the sound of old Rogers.
 

Stretch Riedle

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I played a show with a friend's band years back and their drummer asked to use one of my drum mics for his snare. Feeling obligated I told him yes. He proceeded to nail backbeats directly onto the my Audix F90 and the little gooseneck holding this tiny mic over the snare until the whole diaphragm was hanging out of it's casing by two wires, completely wrecking the mic. After his drunken set he told me with glossy eyes that I should contact Audix about a replacement. Lesson well learned.
I'm not a violent guy. I would have slugged him in the face and broke his nose. Then tell him to contact someone and they'll fix it.

Stretch
 

lcondo123

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You probably know that the new Rogers company has replacement bread and butter lugs. They're die cast, not drawn brass, so they're bulletproof. Very nice. But I've wondered of they change the sound of old Rogers.
Am aware! Those lugs only fit the small double-sided snare drums. The floor tom and bass drum have the big, single ended lugs, and the tom has the peanut lugs, so I'm stuck to having to reinforce them, which I'll do eventually. I doubt they change the sound of the drums at all, besides giving them a wider tuning range to be able to handle.
 

rock roll

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I don't have a lot of horror stories , luckily.
I've had my bass drum head broken , and one really nice cymbal cracked.

I learned from my drummer/mentor friend long ago , that you should be good enough to play on anything.
You adjust and thank the other person for not having to bring your set.
But... Having said that ... I'm a big guy, so I usually have to move the hi hat back a bit. Most kits seem like kids sets to me, I have to squeeze into them. My problem for being tall.
When I'm on someone else's kit...
I'll always bring my own snare on my own stand , cymbals , and sticks. I'll use the house hi hat and ride but I feel you never use another drummers crash cymbals.....everyone should bring their own crashes. It's the worst when at the end of the night you notice a crack in a cymbal. Or they do .
I will have a bass drum pedal in the car , but I usually just use what's there.
When others play on my kit,
I hate when they move things too much, but it's usually too late to do anything about it , by the time you notice what there doing .
I bought a set of cymbals just for multi drummer gigs, they sound good but are more hvy duty than my paiste or zildjians etc. and most importantly cheaper. In case a hvy hand breaks one .
I don't worry about heads so much , but that just means I've been lucky. If I see someone playing too hard I'll jump onstage and make my feelings known.
I hate the hard bangers..unless the style of song calls for it. Then I just back up as far as I can.
 

rock roll

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Am aware! Those lugs only fit the small double-sided snare drums. The floor tom and bass drum have the big, single ended lugs, and the tom has the peanut lugs, so I'm stuck to having to reinforce them, which I'll do eventually. I doubt they change the sound of the drums at all, besides giving them a wider tuning range to be able to handle.
I bought one as a test for replacing my B and B snare lugs.but it didn't fit. I haven't taken a pic of the snare but here's the bass drum.
image.jpeg
 

bigbonzo

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Maybe it would be a good idea to tell the drummer sitting in that he can't adjust, change, or otherwise mess with anything other than the height of the snare and/or hi hat.

Get his/her name in case he breaks/damages anything.

If they don't agree with what you are asking, then they don't play.
 
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