HELP! experienced touring musician help please!

Gabish

New member
One of My bands has begun planning on touring for the spring/summer of '08. The problem is that i taught myself the drums on my own with stick rudiments, but i borrowed my friends little brothers kit playing shows and what not. Its established that i wont be allowed to take his kit on the road, so now i just practice my rudiments on a textbook like usual. I was looking at custum drumset sites and different sites that offer kits and i honestly have NO idea what to look for in a kit. i know that its really around what kind of sound i want, but im still totally lost. please help! thank you!
 

BillRayDrums

New member
Wow lucky you! Sounds like a golden opportunity.

I would find a kit like Taye (http://tayedrums.com). I use the TourPro series (not even the top of the line). They sound great, are durable and I don't cry when a ding occurs, not like I would if I had a Sonorlite or Designer kit (a very high end brand).

Get a 20" or 22" bass (kick) drum, a 13" or 14" snare (I prefer 13" diameter), 10", 12" 14" toms and some decent cymbals. I'd go used on the cymbals- more bang for your buck. Don't get the brand new shiny ZBT models or whatever the lower line is nowadays. Get some old tarnished Zildjians, Sabians, Meinls, or Paistes and you can polish them up should you feel like it.

Make sure that with whatever you get in drums and cymbals, no matter how good or bad they may be I would spend at least $175 on a throne (drum seat). Get a Roc-n-Soc. The throne is the most important part of the kit!
 

rlrrll

New member
The thing to remember here is that there is a difference between a road kit and your dream kit.
One the road, you stuff gets thrown around, knocked over, and generally beat up. So you want something that is gonna take the beating and work for the music you play.

I've toured for years with a DW Kit, which sounds and looks great, but I can't tell you the amount of near heart-attacks I've had because stuff got knocked over backstage or someone sprayed water on them. Once in NY, the opening band did this trick with a chain saw, which sent sparks all over my kit. I was fit to be tied!!

Also, if your doing little clubs with bad sound, it's really doesn't matter how good your toms sound. No ones gonna hear them anyway.

I have often thought it would be worth buy a $400 set of Grooves or Pacific's, and then at the end of the tour selling them or blowing them up! It's still cheaper than renting kits at each town.

On some out of town gigs, the promoters will supply a backline (drums, amps). This makes life easier. In this case, alway bring your own Cyms, pedals, snare w/stand and throne. Bring heads for all the toms just in case.

So in your situation, I'd buy a basic low level kit -- TAMA, Pearl, Pacific. They all are fine and can be had for no more than $600. I'd invest in cases for sure.
If you can borrow or rent a high quality snare and cymbals, it would be worth it if you can't buy those. Bring and extra snare if possible. Bring an extra set of heads for the snare and toms.

If it's a short tour, bring clothes you can throw away as you go. You don't want to carry dirty laundry around the country for 2 weeks! Or wear stuff that you can wear all the time.

TC
 

rufus4dagruv

New member
Rockula!":tpb8fm08 said:
Condoms
Lots of condoms
LOL!

But realistically, BillRay is right. I opted for a Gretsch Renown maple. Not top of the line, but durable and it sounds good. I've played about 150 show on it in the last 2 years and have had no issues. Just about any intermediate kit is going to work for your situation. BUY A NICE THRONE. When you budget, don't forget to figure in cases too.
 

SGarrett

New member
BillRayDrums":1obt2xf8 said:
Wow lucky you! Sounds like a golden opportunity.

I would find a kit like Taye (http://tayedrums.com). I use the TourPro series (not even the top of the line). They sound great, are durable and I don't cry when a ding occurs, not like I would if I had a Sonorlite or Designer kit (a very high end brand).

Get a 20" or 22" bass (kick) drum, a 13" or 14" snare (I prefer 13" diameter), 10", 12" 14" toms and some decent cymbals. I'd go used on the cymbals- more bang for your buck. Don't get the brand new shiny ZBT models or whatever the lower line is nowadays. Get some old tarnished Zildjians, Sabians, Meinls, or Paistes and you can polish them up should you feel like it.

Make sure that with whatever you get in drums and cymbals, no matter how good or bad they may be I would spend at least $175 on a throne (drum seat). Get a Roc-n-Soc. The throne is the most important part of the kit!
Great advice. I'd also recommend a Pacific. I love my LX and like Billy Ray's TourPro, I don't worry about the finish getting messed up. Even regular gigging around town will tear your gear up. Hit the road with a new kit and it'll look very old by the time you come off the road.

Also, you're going to want hard shell cases. I found a smokin' deal on a brand new SKB four pack on eBay. Hell, maybe you can find a kit on eBay or Craigslist.org that's being sold with cases.
 

screamkevin

New member
All the above advice is great. Any of the entry-level lines from the major drum-makers should fit your needs, like *ahem* Yamaha Stage Custom, Pearl Export Pro, etc. I do also STRONGLY agree with the advice about investing in a good throne. Your ass will thank you, believe me. Also, I strongly reccommend investing in a good, pro-level kick drum pedal. Something like an Tama Iron Cobra, Pearl Eliminator, Yamaha Flying Dragon, Axis, or DW5000/9000 will hold up for a tour taking the constant pounding, and it won't fall apart.

Some other tips:

-Remember to save your heads that you change that aren't broken. They can be spares in a pinch.

-Buy plenty of sticks. You'll want whatever you are using, and double the amount in "junk" or cheap sticks. I give away junk sticks that are pre-signed so I don't have to worry about it.

-Bring a spare snare drum if possible, spare snares, spare tension rods, spare felts, spare drumkeys, and a spare kick drum pedal, just in case.

-Make sure to do your absolute best to eat right, get plenty of rest, and don't do anything to excess. Tours can really grind on you if you're not ready.
 

Rockula!

New member
screamkevin":t3jojlni said:
-Buy plenty of sticks. You'll want whatever you are using, and double the amount in "junk" or cheap sticks. I give away junk sticks that are pre-signed so I don't have to worry about it.

Reminds me of the movie "Honeysuckle Rose" where Willie Nelson's drummer would write little messages on his drumsticks and throw them at girls in the audience
 

m

New member
Gabish":gsgc17d7 said:
I was looking at custum drumset sites and different sites that offer kits and i honestly have NO idea what to look for in a kit. i know that its really around what kind of sound i want, but im still totally lost.
if you decide to go the custom route (or really, even if you don't) it wouldn't hurt to contact a company and start a dialog about putting a kit together. A builder would be in the best position to recommend what would suit you if you can describe what you like.
It's also a very cool learning process, where the info you get from the pro builder can really expand your knowledge of what you need to know about finding the right kit for you. They're the experts, may as well take advantage of that resource.
PJ from Medicine Man drums is a member here and is very helpful when it comes to questions like this, you might want to get in touch with him.
I think he goes by the user name 'timekeep 69' here
 

JasonS2C

New member
I have 2 DW kits at home and didn't want to take either one on the road for the many reasons listed above. I picked up a maple Ddrum kit for cheap at Guitar Center and use that while touring (getting ready to leave again in 2 weeks). Pacific makes great stuff as well. Definitely heed the advice above and spend the $$$ on a comfortable throne. Depending on the venues you're playing and what you're traveling in I'd get hard cases as opposed to soft bags for WHATEVER kit you get. I used Humes and Berg for years. Some of my snares lived in SKB's too. Great cases. Not much $$$. We recently acquired a trailer for behind the van and I switched over to Maxline ATA flight cases. 1 holds all my hardware. 1 holds all toms, snare, and backup snare. And a third holds my kick and cymbals, with space for extra heads etc. They aren't badly priced (especially if you dont get cases with whatever kit you buy) and its nice to roll into a venue with 3 cases instead of a ton-o-trips to the van. I'd look for a used kit on craigslist to save some $$$ and use the difference toward a better throne and cases. Also lots of spare sticks, heads, washers, felts, etc... are a given. I break stupid s%#! on tour that I dont carry extra with me (like snare wires, etc...) and then have to track down a Guitar Center in whatever city we're in. Plan ahead and you'll save a bunch of headaches.
 
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