Image Copyright - Dave Furlani Click for bigger image

Oh $@%#&! Something Broke.

Quickly! Into the Drum fix-it kit!

I decided to put together a list of things that the average working drummer, or just the drummer at home, would benefit greatly by having in a box, somewhere near the much loved drums, or in the car. I have mainly addressed kit players, though there is an Electronic section, and I'll add in time, an african section. Mail me any african fix-it items, or other good suggestions you have, and why you think I should add it. My E-mail.

These are slightly prioritised, though the most important item will always be the one you don't have on hand when something breaks. These items cover about 98% of possible breakages that could happen on the road, or at a gig, or just when your local music shop has closed. If you had each of these items in stock, you would (almost) never get caught out, no matter what went wrong.

Keep spares of...

These items either wear through extended use, and are always needed (so stock batter heads before resonant heads), or are the sort of item you lose in transit, behind stages, or at practice. Insurance is to cover theft. Don't ever go on tour without insuring your gear, even if it's expensive.

  • Sticks (Betcha all guessed that one!)
  • Heads (Snare batter as a minimum, then kick batter, then snare bottom head, then toms - top then bottom)
  • Lugs (Tom, snare, kick)
  • Snare cord to hold the snare wires - stip of folded gaffer can cover till end of gig
  • Snare wires (Especially if your snare isn't 14")
  • Cymbal felts
  • Kick beater
  • Kick spring
  • Bolts and Wingnuts (For stands, pedals, etc.)
  • Rubber grommits (If your kit has them on RIMS, pedals, etc)
  • Plastic sleeves for cymbal tilter (Gaffer tape would cover for 1 gig, never more though)
  • Replacement strap for bass pedal (A very thick strip of folded gaffa can last a few songs if need be - play soft)
  • Washers - Lug and cymbal
  • Old skin - An O-ring can be made from one for extreme dampening (way too much, I say), or tape 3 inch square on your kick heads where the beater hits to save wear on your skin. Tape it on so it flaps about.
  • Ear plugs - Washable ones, in case they need to be borrowed out
  • Mic cables and clips - If the venue does not provide them, or you use your own mic's
  • A spare kick pedal, and a spare snare with stand are a good idea when touring. Some drummers choose to hire almost everything when touring, usually only using their own Snare, Cymbals, Sticks, Kick pedal, and perhaps stool.

  • Items for a tool kit:

    These items would be good to have in a little box, or in your snare case, or in your cymbal bag side pocket, etc.

  • Drum key - Normal +/or sonor type
  • Gaffer (Duct) tape
  • Swiss army knife or X-acto knife. (Which may remove the need for the next two items.)
  • Screwdrivers - Flat and phillips heads
  • Pliers - long +/or short nose
  • Adjustable wrench (also known as a shifter)
  • Allen key - if your pedals or stands have them
  • Pens - especially permanent markers for stands, notes, set lists, etc.
  • Large-ish carpet (In back of car). Protects drums, and can be a gig rug for slippery floors.)
  • A towel (For wiping sweat, and can double as muffling for kick)
  • Blanket (For in bass drum, or crashing out in the van)

  • Other items that come in useful:
  • Parking meter and phone change
  • Soft gloves for cymbal setup
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken hand wipes (Great for greasy hands, or after eating)
  • Vise-grips or clamps
  • Spin key and Ratchet key (Fast wind drum keys)
  • Masking tape (Good for writing on with marking pens - labelling mixing desk)
  • Parafin wax (For where drums bearing edges come into contact with the heads)
  • Vaseline or carbon sprey lubricant (For lugs)
  • Band-aids (For cuts, or with vasaline on the inside can stop a blister getting worse)
  • DW40, or other lubricating spray (For squeeks). Don't go to a studio without it!
  • Corkscrew + Bottle openner (For refreshments)
  • Black & decker power drill with drum key attachment (Sold by promark) - luxury item!
  • Practice pad (Warm-ups, practice)

  • Electronic kits
  • Pliers - long or short nose
  • Screwdrivers of all sizes - flathead and philips
  • Wrench, multi-grips, or adjustable wrench (Shifter)
  • Allen keys (If on your kit)
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Solder and soldering iron (Butane irons need no electricity, though if you have no electricity, that's why your kit is soundless.)
  • Wire
  • Vise grips
  • cable tester, multi-meter, or Volt Ohm Meter (VOM)
  • Spare plugs/jacks (As used with your setup)
  • Spare leads
  • Shrink wrap

  • Wierd things wierd people suggested:
    MOSE - Rubber knife - throw at roadies to freak them out, and lighten things up.
    MUFF (Steve Mills) - A big purple crayon from kindergarten. I have NO idea why that's in there, or even why I still have it after 27 years or so.
    Joe Santoro - Guitar picks. I can't tell you the amount of times that a guitarist would forget their picks and to have to borrow one from the drummer! From that point on, I would throw in a few extra fills for my troubles.
    Gary Gore - The big band-aids (inch or more wide) can be used for light muffling. A pack of multiple sizes allows you to chose the level of muffling. 'I wonder if that's why they're called Band-aids?'. STIK - I have a Purple snare case with my kids artwork on the top, suiloetted by a big peace sign. Gets some looks - road cases are meant to be black and tough loking. Inside is a secret compartment with all my tools and bits and a minauture yellow tonka dump truck.

    E-Mail Dave!

    Back to Dave's rather strange little page.

    Stik's kick drum tuning page.

    Comments? Wierd or useful item to add? E-mail me.