I am about to start a tour that will include tons of fly dates. This will be my first time flying to gigs. I am a drummer and therefor I would like some advice as to what to take, and how to take it. There will be back-line at all the tour stops that we will be flying to. I am assuming to take cymbals, and a flight case with my click, ears, and sticks. I will also take my suitcase and a carry on backpack with ipod, and book, ect. Anyways advice on what to take and how to take it. Thanks
absolutely. And don't forget some moon gels or remo rings, you never know what kit you are going to end up with when it comes to rentals. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to take your own kick pedal if you have a favorite.
I like to take a 14x14 flight case that can fit my snare, BD pedal and hardware extras, it never hurts to have extra cymbal pads and hi hat clutch. Also, I used to use a hard case for my cymbals, and i've recently gone back to using a soft case and carry them on because its lighter and easier to carry. Also, it never hurts to put a print out list of what is in your gear cases so that if TSA wants to rummage thru your gear, they might see the list and take your word for it.
I've never been to the rodeo, but I've done a lot of fly dates :-)... and what I can tell you is this, the more I fly, the less I take. I care a lot less about having *my* snare and *my* cymbals. Honestly, I can get any snare drum to sound pretty good and depending on the music genre, if they provide high end cymbals, I don't care what they are.
A lot of it depends on the accommodations and backline companies. If I absolutely know they will provide good cymbals and a good, working hardware, I will take sticks, and click/in-ears rig and that's it. And that can all go in my carry-on if needed.
I don't know what kind of venues your dates are in, but if it's a festival, with lots of signed artists playing, the backline drums and cymbals will be pretty good. If you're at the Northwest Shoodlepit Tri-County Fair and Livestock Auction, opening for an 80's artist who's best-of album is called, "Greatest HIT," then the cymbals will be broken Sabian B8's and all the hardware will be stripped. If you're headlining the Podunk Iowa Civic Center (high school auditorium), the backline with probably be the opening band's drums.... so who knows?
If you must fly cymbals, keep in mind that you can't always carry-on. They will fit in the overheads of a Southwest 737, but not the little jets Delta flies out of BNA. Delta and others will make you check the cymbals at the door to the plane and you'll wish you had a flight case. Also keep in mind that they cymbals WILL BE inspected. Nothing sets off more red flags at the X-ray station that a 20" diameter, 2" thick blob of metal. So all that intricate packing you did will all be undone by Barney Fife.
Put your stick bag in your suitcase if you're checking it, otherwise you can kiss your drum keys and little tools goodbye. It may be different for different TSA Barney's, but they've never let me take a drum key. Apparently, airplanes are put together with tension rods.
Mike, great response. I feel the same as you, I dont want to fly with very much. I feel that the back line will be good. There are other signed artist on major labels there. I think I will take a small flight case, "similar to a suitcase but ATA design". I will put my click, ears, sticks, drum key, (if I can sneak it by) in the case. I think I will gate check the case because I want to carry on my suitcase.
I was really thinking of taking my snare, but I have decided it not worth it to lug it around and deal with TSA over something I can truly do with out. Thanks for all yalls help. NMP is not only a great site, but a great tool!!
I have never taken a snare, cymbals, pedal or additional hardware.. I always check with the guy in charge (road mngr) to see that everything is provided and it usually is. I've played some pretty awful backline but I just make it work. It's actually kinda fun and challenging. If i have ever needed something, the backline guys have always been accommodating..Now granted, it would be nice to have some of MY stuff, but the idea of checking it (which can cost more, and the artist is always thankful if you can save them some $$) or carrying it on and shleping it around the country isn't appealing.. I've been real lucky with carrying on a bag that contains sticks, key, click, cables, ears, ipod, batteries and other assorted items. Only a few times have they pulled me aside to dig through it.. Plus, if they loose my luggage I always have my essentials with me. I've even thrown in deodorant and underwear in my gig bag just in case..
One time I played at a baseball stadium and the cymbals were so awful, it was comical. they were equivalent to sewer lids and they were cracked too.. But it was an opener and only lasted 45 minutes of my life.. oh well.. make lemonade..
Good stuff from Mike Z, as usual. Sometimes you have to measure the PITA factor against what you're getting paid. We all want to be professional and sound great, but with drums, I mean c'mon. It's not like a lead electric player and his pedals. We hit stuff and as long as there's stuff to hit, we'll sound fine. Look at Steve Gadd... he's probably the only guy who thinks his toms sound any good, but man, when he plays them.... who cares?
As drummers, we're getting hired for our playing, not our sound. I think that's probably 90% accurate when you take into account all the live gigs a working drummer plays.
Funny thing about pay. It seems like the less a gig pays, the more work there is involved with it. And conversely, the more the gig pays, the less work there is involved. :-)
Good stuff guys. I agree its the drummer that make the drums sound good not just the kit. Good point
Mike, I have never had anyone say "Jeremy we r hiring u because we love ur snare and tom sound"... They hire me for what I can do with those toms and snare. Thanks guy!