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A Drummer's First-Aid Kit for Gig Survival
No, I'm not talking about a medical first-aid kit here - although a bottle of aspirin wouldn't be a bad idea, for those emergencies when the club owner asks you to let a favorite (tone deaf) customer sing with your band. I'm talking about a first-aid gig survival kit for your drumset that contains enough drum gear to help you make it through any on-gig emergencies. Let's face it - Even the most expensive drum equipment in the world can break down at the worst possible moment.
Here's how to build a first-aid gig survival kit that'll keep your gig cookin' even when your gear is out of gas!
Drumming With No Bass Drum
Ever since that day, I never went on a gig without a spare bass and snare drum head. You can survive without a tom, but the bass and snare are critical to every song.
Tip: If you break a bass drum head and have no other option, flip your floor tom on its side and hook your drum pedal up to it. It'll be better than nothing!
Spare Drum Heads Aren't Enough
Some prefer to carry spare parts for repair instead of a backup. But believe me, even a cheap backup pedal is far better, and a whole lot faster, than trying to repair a pedal strap or spring in the middle of a tune (unless you possess the skills of the Drum Guy.)
You Can Never Have Enough Sticks
Don't Diss Your Hi-Hat
If you use amplifiers, mixers, or any electronic equipment that uses a fuse, throw at least a couple of spares in your first-aid kit. This is your insurance against having to wrap a bad fuse in tin foil to get through the gig (like I've had to do), and possibly cause severe equipment damage (I lucked out on that one).
Protect Your Babies
If you use hard fiber-type cases (like I do), you should occasionally examine the straps that hold them closed. Straps eventually wear out and rivets get loose. When you notice this, you should replace them before you find yourself standing on top of a flight of stairs watching your expensive bass drum rolling back down - while you hold the empty case in your hand (you guessed it, this also has happened to me).
Until next time: Stay loose.
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