Going from your practise kit to playing live on a different kit.

PandaGeneral

Junior Member
Hey everyone.

I was just wondering what thoughts you guys have about playing on different kits live to your practice kit. I play in chapel at weekly masses for my school and I find that things that I would normally be able to do at home on my kit are much harder on the kit they have there. I suspect that it may simply be how the drums are set up and that I need to measure the height of my seat, the distances between pedals and things like that.

Anyways, do you guys have any tips to make the process of playing between your kit at home and playing on a different kit live as seamless as possible?
 

evolving_machine

Silver Member
Hey everyone.

I was just wondering what thoughts you guys have about playing on different kits live to your practice kit. ....I suspect that it may simply be how the drums are set up and that I need to measure the height of my seat, the distances between pedals and things like that.

....tips to make the process of playing between your kit at home and playing on a different kit live as seamless as possible?
We hold our band practice at rehearsal studios, and sometimes when we do a gig. the house provides a shell pack for the drummer. In the studios I bring my own cymbals, pedals, snare and hi-hat. The studio has a few thrones I can choose from and set to my height.

It takes a while to set up all the equipment to my own ergonomic arrangement, even though I have a lot of experience doing it. The toms are always falling, and I have to make sure the bass heads are tight enough, so I do not break them. The toms are always detuned for my taste and I have to tune them up a bit. It also takes some time. Also most of the other drummers are either very short or they like to sit as close to the ground as possible (something I do not understand).

To set up the drums faster, you may want to ask if you can mark with a black marker on the cymbal stands, the floor tom legs, and the tom mounts a line and your initials to make the set up time faster. They can remove the lines later, but from week to week it may make your life easier.

Taking a photo of the drum set from the throne position, when you have it all set up correctly, may also help you remember where the settings are. You may want to bring with you your own snare, pedals and cymbals so that you are more comfortable playing with your own gear and you do not have to spend a lot of time adjusting the snare and pedals. Your cymbals you are most comfortable with too. You can kind of tune the bass drums when you sit down, but your stuck with the muting they have.
 

Vegas Island

Senior Member
I have a helluva hard time playing other kits. It always seems like the bass drum is a reach and the hi-hat is set too low. Everybody is different, so ergonomically everything is going to change. I sit close to my gear so everything is usually pretty tight. I like my hi-hat at a higher setting than most, but that's just me. I also like most of my cymbals flat, but not too high with the exception of my ride which sits at a slight tilt towards me. I've noticed that I can't do on other kits what I can do on mine. Either way, when I sit in... I do the best I can and have fun.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Remember all drums work the same: You hit them, they make a noise.

Playing other kits is something you get used to with time. Sure, at first, it can be unnerving, but after you do it enough times, it becomes less and less of a deal.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
it can be an issue, but some of these things can be quickly adjusted - hi hat height, seat level, tilts of cymbals, position of snare or cymbal stands, or bring your own snare or cymbals for the sounds you want, or are used to.
give yourself the 5 - 10 minutes to get the kit to your specs.
 

eric_B

Senior Member
I have had to play several gigs on unfamiliar drums and my experiences are mixed. Sometimes it went great, sometimes not. Getting everything setup as close to as you are used to will make you play most comfortably. I always need some time setting up because I play left- and openhanded.

As I have some pretty decent gear, I also notice that a lot of things I take for granted, aren't always to be expected from other kits. Like the gig last week: it turns out the drum throne only had height adjustment with a pin, so it was either to low or too high for my taste. My 2 thrones have stepless (if that's the right word) height adjustment.
Or sliding pedals, worn out washers, a hihat or snare stand that can't be set low enough, etc.

About tuning: last gig the other guy's kit was tuned to crappy that the audio tech retuned the entire kit. We started playing more than half an hour too late. Looking back, it would have gone faster to use my own kit.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Playing other kits is something you get used to with time. Sure, at first, it can be unnerving, but after you do it enough times, it becomes less and less of a deal.
+1. Also, don't get intimidated by a different drum set. Things only have the power you give them.​
If you go into a situation thinking "this is gonna be awkward" or "this is gonna be tough", chances are good it will be. Go in with the attitude that "this is gonna be fun", and it probably will.​
I used to bring my own kick pedal, snare, snare stand, and cymbals when I was playing "house" kits. From there, I just faked the rest.​
 

evolving_machine

Silver Member
I think we all have a certain idea of what a good working kit should be, sometimes the degree of quality or working order of our own equipment is different in reality and what you expect. When it comes to other's kits, studio or house kits, there are unexpected things that are found. Some of the things I find are; broken heads, missing lugs, no thrones, pedals that do not work, hi-hats that have broken pedals, and of course no cymbals. It is easier to bring the things with you that you find are most likely to be missing or broken.

Do you show up to a gig with only one pair of drum sticks? If you do, you are very likely to either drop or break one of the sticks during that gig (Although I have not dropped or broken a stick during a gig for while now). Do you show up at the gig just in time to start playing? I used my own kit for recording and brought extra heads. Being prepared for the unexpected makes it easier to deal with the unexpected (I learned that in both the boy scouts and the U.S. Army).
 

Vegas Island

Senior Member
+1. Also, don't get intimidated by a different drum set. Things only have the power you give them.​
If you go into a situation thinking "this is gonna be awkward" or "this is gonna be tough", chances are good it will be. Go in with the attitude that "this is gonna be fun", and it probably will.​
I used to bring my own kick pedal, snare, snare stand, and cymbals when I was playing "house" kits. From there, I just faked the rest.​
I like your way of positive thinking!
 

Juergen

Junior Member
Hello,

the best thing in general is, to practice everything and to play on many different kits.
That needs time, but it helps most.

Another thing is: my rehearsal kit at home ist not so easy to play. Big drums and less rebound, bigger sticks. And: practice, practice, practice.

Cheerio
Juergen
 

choki

Senior Member
If the kit is in good working order there shouldn't be a problem. If you know you're going into a gig with a house kit, be prepared. If your regular setup is a larger kit, practice your set using a basic 4-piece kit, and you'll be more comfortable. Most everything can be tuned and adjusted on a house kit, just give yourself some time. I always bring my cymbals, snare, and pedal. I also keep some spare parts in my stick bag, you always want to make sure you have a hihat clutch, cymbal felts, and a drum key at least. If I can, I'll usually bring my hardware case and throne, and just leave it in the car unless I need something. It's good piece of mind to know you have a working hi-hat stand and snare stand available if needed.
 

denisri

Silver Member
Between teaching, practicing and gigging may sit behind 7 to 10 different kits week. Getting out of your comfort zone is not a bad thing. You may learnsomethingfromthese other kits. for example how different gear works( pedals and stands), different heads and tuning etc. look at as a learning experience. Thanks Denis
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
The longer I've been playing, the less it matters what kit I'm playing at.

At any rate, I've still had to play some really bad setups when a venue forces me to use their house kit. My motto in that situation is keep it simple and steady. Much better than going for the big fill and missing something because I can't reach a tom mounted a foot above my head.
 
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