gig with no cymbals

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
last sunday i arrived at a gig, unpacked my car and to my horror i realised that for the first time in six years i'd left a vital piece of gear at home - my cymbal bag! i was at least an hours drive from home and we were due to start in 20 minutes. i had no choice. set up without any cymbals, put two egg shakers in my left sock, put a mic down there next to my ankle, mounted my cowbel and went for it.

turned out to be one of the best and most creative gigs ever. it was so strange figuring out what to ride on for each song (toms, ride snare or rims) - imagine greenday, nirvana and kings of leon without cymbals for example. it was weirder still playing fills with no crashes at the end. the strangest thing was ending songs without a big crash. i started beatboxing on my vocal mic and that went down well too.

its not something i would recommend but it was a good experience. i had a brilliant art teacher once who would make us draw with cigarette butts dipped in ink, or paint with bits of gravel or leaves instead of brushes. the results were always better than the paint brush and pen pieces. i guess this was the same principle.

anybody else had a similar situation/experience? i once left my snare at home and played the gig with a miced tom-case with a tambourine inside.

j
 

Fishbones

Silver Member
i once left my snare stand in my garage. i ended up taking my 16 inch floor tom and lowered it to the height of my snae stand. i then just put my snare on top. it was pretty tough - i was constantly adjusting the angle and height of where it was. but i cant imagine gigging without cymbals. i have nightmares about stuff like that all the time :p
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I forgot my cymbals at ONE gig. Yeah, never again. Luckily for me, though, we were sharing a bill and the other drummer was kind enough to let me use his. I didn't particularly care for his choice of cymbals, but it was sure better than nothing.

I have been known to forget my throne from time to time. Luckily, most places have chairs.

I have a mental checklist about what goes in each case, in what order, and how they are configured in my car. When I finish packing my car, I make a quick visual confirmation that EVERYTHING is in there. Then, I check again...
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
I've done that once before out of the 25+ yrs. gigging too. the songs all of the sudden had a tribal feel too them lol.

it was almost as much fun as when I busted the screw that hooks too my chain on my dw5000 & i'm a single bass guy.

when things like this happen it really brings out the creativeness in you & makes you deal with situations in a new way if don't go crazy first haha.

Keep Swattin'
Bonzolead
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
i once left my snare stand in my garage. i ended up taking my 16 inch floor tom and lowered it to the height of my snae stand. i then just put my snare on top. it was pretty tough - i was constantly adjusting the angle and height of where it was. but i cant imagine gigging without cymbals. i have nightmares about stuff like that all the time :p
I bet that was the deepest snare you've ever played lol. pretty imaginative. it's surprising what you'll come up with under pressure, I went through a bass drum head one time & had too invert my floor-tom & put a mic stand in front of it. didn't. sound the greatest but made it through the night & got paid so I guess I did my job lol.

Bonzolead
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
lol glad its not just me.

nearly every time i drive away from home i find myself reaching behind the seat while i drive feeling for my cymbal bag snare drum and bass pedal case.

j
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
My biggest fear has been leaving the seat for my throne behind. The base is in the hardware bag, but the top is something I always double checked for. Would make for a very uncomfortable gig. ;-)

Now that I have a Roc-n-soc pneumatic throne, it's all one bit, and kind of bulky. Harder to leave behind.

The other thing is to keep some extra sticks in the hardware bag in case I forget the stick bag. I used to have a cymbal bag with a pocket that held the stick bag, but the Protection Racket cymbal bag doesn't do this.

But like most folks, it's one more double check for snare, cymbal bag and kick pedal (which doesn't fit in the golf bag/hardware bag I use.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Hi Jason ... LTNS

Sounds really interesting - like playing on an early 80s Peter Gabriel or Crimson album. Interested to know more about your beatboxing ... mostly faux hats and crashes? Pissshhhhh! :)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Had a gig one evening that I was going to directly after work, and got to the venue and realized I had forgotten my stick bag. Fortunately, my wife was coming to the gig, and so she just showed up a bit early with the missing item. I bought her an extra drink that night for a job well done.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
What a nightmare....

No cymbals.

It's like that dream where you go to school or work and you have no pants on. So you run away but you can't move fast. Completely unnerving.

I never unpack my truck anymore, it's a permanent home for my stuff, so basically I can't forget stuff anymore. I just have to watch that I don't leave stuff at the gig.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Played a gig last night. First one in a while. Had to go through the lengthy process of breaking down my kid and loading it into the truck. Made it to the venue and realized I had forgotten my rack tom and our stack of demos.

I play a 4 piece so this was my only rack tom. I was in the process of angling my floor tom so I could use it as my only tom when my girlfriend noticed that the drummer of the band before us had the exact same kit as mine, Stage custom 4 piece with the 24" kick. Luckily he was nice enough to lend me his rack tom so I didn't have to do the Jack White thing. The gig went very well too.
 

Mikecore

Silver Member
I got to a gig and realized that I brought everything.........except the pull-rod to my hi-hat stand.....and we were last band to go on, so no bumming a stand from the other drummers.

If having to "Keith Moon" it for the rest of the night was all there was to it, that would have been fine. My drums, however, can sense rage, and they respond to it by testing me further.

30 seconds into our third song, my snare head split right down the middle. That will teach me not to keep a spare drum in the car! A few strips of duct tape later and now my snare sounds like the other 75% of snares in this town (that is not a good thing, BTW). We could end the story there.




But we won't. Next to last song, all of the cymbals on the right side of the kit begin a slow arc towards my floor toms. Now, I am limited to my snare (such as it is), my small rack toms, a ride and a crash. My hand is also bleeding from trying to stop the descent of the cymbals. I'm fine.....only one more tune left. Three minutes and we're outta here.

NOPE! My guitarist changes things up and now we're doing "Stranglehold". All eight minutes of it.

The funny thing is, nobody seemed to notice the carnage unfolding right in front of them. They kept asking for more, as though it's perfectly normal for a drumset to implode upon the drummer. Perhaps this is the effect Monty Python and The Simpsons has had on the world.
 

Denzo

Junior Member
Some funny stuff here, thanks to all for sharing. The only thing "I forgot" was my drum mat, made do with a towel. I did break my bass pedal dring a gig, the pedal itself snapped in half...duct tape and butter knives saved the night..
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Mike's story reminds me of when my band finally got a slot at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz.... we were so excited, so we came up with an instrumental intro to our most popular song, which ended with the band going BA-DUM, BA-DUM, BA-DUM, with me echoing that on my suspended floor toms... which were on my rack.... which actually causes one of the right angle clamps to crack in half and the entire right side of my drumset to fall in towards me as we start the next song.

My wife was my roadie and she didn't understand what had happened, so I guess yes, when weird stuff happens to a drumset nobody knows.

Anyways, there was no stopping the guys, and so I soldiered on through the song as best I could with three cymbals jabbing me in the right side. The song was over and believe it or not, the lead singer was just about to kick off the NEXT tune, still none of the rest of the band had noticed something was amiss, even though I was yelling at them to stop a minute. Finally the last desperate measure a drummer must take: I threw a drumstick at the bassist. That finally got them to pay attention for a second, I got my wife up there to help me, I fixed the problem I don't know how to this day, and got back behind the set to finish us out.... total time from end of song to ready to go again, about a minute thirty. To this day I keep a spare right angle clamp or two in my hardware case if I gig my rack.... just in case.
 

Lucho

Member
Yikes, showing up without cymbals sounds like a nightmare.

I've had a couple shows were I've forgotten stuff before. One gig I was told all I had to bring was my snare and cymbals, the drummer from the headliner would provide the kit, and stands. So I brought my snare, cymbals, and kick pedal (because I prefer my own and just in case). I got there and found out that I was supposed to bring everything of my own apparently. All of the other drummers had brought their own kits and were tearing down after their sets. I was fortunate enough that the guy from the band before us let me use all of his gear. I was SO grateful.

Another time I forgot my throne, had to play on a lawn chair.

And there's been a few times when I've forgotten something like a cowbell or block, but never something as crippling as my cymbal bag.
 

j.son

Junior Member
i forgot my snare stand one time and had to hold the snare squeezing it between my knees and butting it against my kick...i cold not wait for that show to end!
 
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