Gig survival kit


I'm starting to gig quite a bit now. I've got nice equipment but I want to be ready in case of an emergency. What should I take with me and is there a repair 'kit' that I could just buy that already has most things in it that is fairly small? I already take an extra snare drum (usually).


Senior Member
i never have any spares really. only sticks. apart from heads, what is there to break? as long as you have good quality hardware and you look after it then all is well

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I don't carry an extra snare drum, but what I have with me in the truck are:

snare drum batter head
bass drum batter head
snare wire
extra hi-hat clutch
extra bass drum pedal

Those are the things I've discovered will most likely die on a gig when I go out. If I break a tom head, I can play without it. If the throne somehow breaks (that's never happened) I can always grab a chair and whatever else to elevate me on the chair at the venue. I'm carrying three cymbals stands utilizing two crashes and a ride, so if one of those breaks, I go down one. If you notice, the most important parts to always have is bass drum, snare drum, hi hat, and ride. Anything more than that is superfluous. If you can do the gig on just those pieces, no one will notice anything broken!


Senior Member
I always take the following spares to gigs in a seperate bag:
Cymbal sleeves and felts; it's amazing how easy these go walk about.

Wingnuts; same as above.

Bass pedal beater; I had a gig where another drummer forgot his pedal, me being the kind soul I was let him use my pedal. End result (and I still have no idea to this day how he managed it) was a beater stem so bent that the beater didn't even reach the head!

Drum key

Footpedal base plate screws; I had a pedal for many years that was treated with the respect due but one show the screws in the base plate decided to come out and do the old disappearing trick, leaving me with a throughly unusable pedal.


Pliers, I've had many occassions where other drummers have tightened up the stands so tight after re-adjusting them that I can't loosen them by hand when I go up.

Gaffa tape

That's pretty much it,



Junior Member
I carry cymbal sleeves, felts, snare cords, a spare batter and snare side head, leatherman tool, roll of tape, zip ties, spare tension rods/washers, bass drum beater, flashlight, hihat clutch, and even band aids.


Platinum Member
Cymbal felts. Never underestimate the value of extra cymbal felts.
Yes, cymbal felts are important because they're easy to lose.

What I also carry:

Extra wingnuts
drum key and basic tools
Extra tuning bolts
Spare hihat clutch
Extra snare cord
Bit of duct tape
Band-Aids, Tums and Tylenol
Small flashlight
Pencil and a bit of paper
A few spare nuts, bolts, wing nuts and wing bolts


Gold Member
extra heads for bass and snare, extra snare drum, bass pedal then the tape,keys,felts,rods (have all these in a tackle box)

We played a gig that WAS 2 hours away this past Sat...started setting up and realized we forgot to pack the snake...good thing we have plenty of mike chords had to double some now we will use a CHECKLIST


Pioneer Member
usual stuff - tuning key, moongel, felt or two, leatherman tool, digital click/tuner

the only things that may be different than on others' lists would be:

zip ties - i started bring these because if I end up farther away from the snake, there's always some mic cable trip-up scenario.


Senior Member
I carry an extra snare drum, bass pedal, an extra crash cymbal and cymbal stand which I leave in the car.

I have a small tool box that I have cymbal felts, a hi hat clutch, a screw driver, pliers, duct tape (which cures all ills), painter's tape (for sticking the set list paper somewhere), a few small zip ties, and a couple of hose clamps...which I have never used but figured ya never know they may come in handy sometime.


Platinum Member
Drum key (always in my bag)
Spare pair of sticks
Gaffer tape
Pen & paper (always in my bag)
Nicotine gum (always in my bag)
All you need is duct tape. Duct tape will fix anything.

Just kidding! The only extra things I bring to a gig on a regular basis are a couple pairs of sticks and a drum key. Sometimes I will bring an extra snare head depending on the gig but that is really about it.


Gold Member
Honestly, in all the gigs I play (just under 200 so far for 2010), I have never needed anything except the following:

- Back-up snare (never actually used, but if the main snare head goes, don't want to waste time changing it).
- Extra sticks (duh)
- Advil, Tums, Immodium, Band aids, etc
- Duct tape - If I break any head, I can tape it up and make it sound decent enough for the rest of the show. I don't carry extra heads unless it's a multi-night tour.
- Drum key - I tune to different rooms and situations.

I've been drumming since I was three and have never lost a felt. I carry extra ones, and it seems common here, but I just have never had it happen. Of course, now that I said that, I'll lose three or four by the end of the year.

I also find it's wise to keep the following on hand, just in case:
- Pack of your guitarists favorite strings
- A few pics
- Extra mic, mic cable, mic stand, etc. Mic stands may break more than any gear other than sticks and strings.
- A quarter inch instrument cable (standard guitar/bass/keyboard cable)
- Electrical tape - you just never know when you have to run wires in a bad place, or are outside and need to tape down setlists, or whatever. I also have it in two colors (Purple and gold, for my Ravens), so that if someone borrows my gear, I mark it with purple/gold/purple tape so they know that it's my cable or whatever they are using, and I get it back at the end of the night.

You just NEVER know who is going to forget something small, or break their last one. In my more professional bands I haven't had to worry about this much, but a lot of times in the past I have played with guys who forget EVERYTHING. I used to go through about 8 picks a month playing with dudes who forgot theirs, or didn't have enough and ripped one. For the low price, it's worth having that one extra mic cable, instrument cable, pack of strings, and a few picks.


Gold Member
All you need is duct tape. Duct tape will fix anything.
Yeah, thats basically true, to a degree, I always carry duct tape.


Xtra drum keys (I have many)
Xtra snare (snares do break)
Xtra drum pedal (you never know, and a quick swap is priceless)
Pliers (needle nose)
2 Screwdrivers (phillips and flat)

I guess an extra BD head is a good idea but its pretty combersome.

Dont see the need for an extra HH clutch. I've never had one break or dissapear. But what the hey?.