Keeping Things Light

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
A lot of us want to keep our gigging gear as light as possible because, you know, we have to carry it ourselves. I often get to the gig first which means I have to bring in my stuff by myself unlike the old days where it was a team effort out of a van. Although that sucked too but anyway...

Basically I wanted to get my gear as light as possible while still using a standard "real" drumkit. So no nesting, super shallow drums or overly small sizes. I also wanted my hardware bag to be easy to handle, not too heavy and still hold everything I needed in ONE bag. It's actually possible.

First the drums. I happen to own some pretty light drums. I have 2 Ludwig Club Date SE shell packs. These drums are light because they don't have a lot of heavy hardware attached to them. I also have a Catalina Club Jazz which is also light compared to USA Gretsch which are pretty heavy. My Brooklyn 18" weighs more than my Club Date 22". I still use the the Brooklyn but the Ludwigs are easier to handle so I use them more often.

But the hardware is usually the thing that is the biggest pain. In order to keep the bag light you have to keep hardware to a minimum and as light as possible. That's easier than ever with all the light options out there now. I also like to have the tom mounted on the bass drum and the floor tom on legs. This means cymbal stands and holders can be light duty 'cause they're not holding up drums as well. I have 2 DW Ultralight cymbal stands, an entry level Pearl hi-hat, no-name brand snare stand that's pretty light and a medium duty Gibraltar bike seat throne. My Ludwigs have a cymbal holder on the bass drum so I often just have that and 1 UL stand. But this will depend on if I'm using a second crash or not. Packing a second UL stand makes a negligable difference.

My bag is an inexpensive "Athletic Works" gym bag bought at Walmart for around $20. I used the first one I bought for years and I'm on my second one now. It has wheels on one end so I can pull it easily while carrying drums/cymbals with shoulder straps. It holds everything including all stands, holders, accessories and carpet and is surprisingly light. I can easily lift it to put in the trunk. I can drag it up stairs pretty easily too which is something I have to deal with. One reason why a cart is out of the question.




I can load in this kit in 2 trips from the car. That's not bad for a full-size 4-piece kit.



Would love to see how other people are dealing with weight hauling issues. Show me your clever solutions to the downside of this instrument that we love.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You are so right!

It is usually the hardware that makes things difficult. The drums are almost a moot point in this equation. Especially if you're only playing a basic 4-piece most of the time (which I only play these days).

In my case, I have Pearl flat based cymbal stands and snare stands, a DW7500 hi-hat. All of those (plus my floor tom legs) fit into a slender hardware case made by Pearl just for these stands (very handy). My pedal and throne are carried separate, as are my cymbal and stick bags. The size of the drums are inconsequential due to all this weight savings!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Drumdevil, what are you doing with your bass drum mic? Does it simply lay on a cloth in the bass drum?
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Drumdevil, what are you doing with your bass drum mic? Does it simply lay on a cloth in the bass drum?
Yes, it's laying on a small folded towel. It belongs to the guitar player. I believe it's an AKG D112.
 
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calan

Silver Member
Similar story to all of the above.

My lightweight kit is 22/12/16 made out of super thin Keller maple shells, with some kind of cheaper hardware. I usually use a Pearl sensitone aluminum snare, which is also super light. In bags, I can carry the whole shell pack in one hand pretty easily.

I got tired of the heavy and bulky hardware bag I was using, and ordered a new Tama Stagemaster lightweight pack with bag. I added another Tama cymbal arm and that whole pack is comfortable slung over my shoulder.

Everything else travels separate and is liable to change from time to time anyway.
 

Nate'sKit

Senior Member
drumdevil9 That is impressive. Where did you get that nice lightweight foldable rug?

Anybody have experience with using Gibraltars Stealth Rack. I'm thinking that this would be nice for my virgin kick drum kit. With a cymbal arm, it would replace three stands.

This one.
 

Frank

Gold Member
Well, my "clever"age would not be viable for most.

I have the reso's off of my kit. So, the bass drum and two toms nest into one bag. Snare and backup snare go into a second bag.

Those bags are feather light to me. [light shells, less rims, easy peasy]

Most of the hardware goes into one mother of a bag. That bag is a back breaker. I'm thinking of bringing a cart/dolly for that to future gigs.
 

single-ply

Senior Member
drumdevil9 That is impressive. Where did you get that nice lightweight foldable rug?


Nate's Kit, I'm not sure where he got his but mine is incredibly light. I went to Lowe's and got some dark grey indoor / outdoor carpeting for 20.00 and cut it down to as small as possible and still get the bass spurs, hi hat legs, and a couple of my throne legs. I had to buy a standard piece, but made two rugs out of it. When the one I use gets ruined or lost, I have another ready to go.

Weighs about a pound and folds up as small as I need.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
drumdevil9 That is impressive. Where did you get that nice lightweight foldable rug?

Anybody have experience with using Gibraltars Stealth Rack. I'm thinking that this would be nice for my virgin kick drum kit. With a cymbal arm, it would replace three stands.

This one.
Bought at Walmart. It's a 4x3 thin rubber backed carpet for a door entrance or the like. Fairly cheap.

I had a Stealth rack for a while a number of years ago. It's a great rack and smaller than a conventional rack but at the end of the day it's still a bunch of bulky heavy pipes. I wouldn't use it for this kind of light compact setup.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Kinda on subject, but I had a gig the other night. My setup takes 3 trips to transport by hand (play a Sonor Bop for reference, everything in cases). One of the trips back to my apartment, I was carrying a duffel bag with half my hardware, my cymbal bag, and my stick bag. Decided to step on the scale to see how much it all weighed. About 60-65 lbs. worth of stuff. More than I thought it was.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Well, my "clever"age would not be viable for most.

I have the reso's off of my kit. So, the bass drum and two toms nest into one bag. Snare and backup snare go into a second bag.

Those bags are feather light to me. [light shells, less rims, easy peasy]

Most of the hardware goes into one mother of a bag. That bag is a back breaker. I'm thinking of bringing a cart/dolly for that to future gigs.
That is certainly a good solution if you're willing to go without reso heads. And if you don't have to deal with stairs a cart is a good option.
 

Frank

Gold Member
Of course, then there's the guitarist in my band who gigs with a giant Marshall stack. I kid you not.

Before I met him last year, I didn't think there was a remaining weekend warrior guitarist hauling something like that to gigs anymore, but, he proved me wrong. That rig is enormous, and the opposite of light. [back to thread topic. :) ]
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Kinda on subject, but I had a gig the other night. My setup takes 3 trips to transport by hand (play a Sonor Bop for reference, everything in cases). One of the trips back to my apartment, I was carrying a duffel bag with half my hardware, my cymbal bag, and my stick bag. Decided to step on the scale to see how much it all weighed. About 60-65 lbs. worth of stuff. More than I thought it was.
I just stepped on the scale with the bag. I don't know how accurate it is but it's about 45 lbs.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Anti-Light just the opposite of intent of OP

drumdevil9 That is impressive. Where did you get that nice lightweight foldable rug?

Anybody have experience with using Gibraltars Stealth Rack. I'm thinking that this would be nice for my virgin kick drum kit. With a cymbal arm, it would replace three stands.

This one.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I bought the DW light hardware set with bag. I added a snare stand for rack tom and a kick mounted cymbal stand that goes with normal rack tom mount goes. It weights about 30 pounds.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Kinda on subject, but I had a gig the other night. My setup takes 3 trips to transport by hand (play a Sonor Bop for reference, everything in cases). One of the trips back to my apartment, I was carrying a duffel bag with half my hardware, my cymbal bag, and my stick bag. Decided to step on the scale to see how much it all weighed. About 60-65 lbs. worth of stuff. More than I thought it was.
I finally got mine down to less than 45 lbs (no rug in there), playing a 4 piece. I shed a lot of weight by not using anything double-braced that wasn't needed.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I bought the DW light hardware set with bag. I added a snare stand for rack tom and a kick mounted cymbal stand that goes with normal rack tom mount goes. It weights about 30 pounds.
Amen to that. The Ultralights are a winner. I've gigged 16" hats for the past year or so, also anywhere between 13 1/4-18", and I can't see going back to any of my regular hardware unless it's windy.

Edit: forgot to mention the regular ultralight cymbal stands are the wind heaters. The hh stand and snare stand don't mind the wind.
 
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alparrott

Platinum Member
With all the outside gigs I play, plus the fact that I'm not mounting anything on the kick, ultralight hardware is not going to work for my situation. But my bandmates each have one of these types of foldable wagons, and I ended up getting my own. I can haul all my stuff in three to four trips, so long as there's no stairs involved.

 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
I used something like this to haul my climbing gear and saws around on jobs that required that. All the other climbers just humped all their stuff and were jealous of me, ha. They thought it was too pricey.

Definitely a back saver and a great place to sit and take a load off.
 
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