Playing a backline kit - do you adjust the setup?

Duckenheimer

Senior Member
Playing another drummer's kit - do you adjust the setup?

I used to have to do this as a crutch to make other configurations halfway playable and the drummer's providing the kits were always gracious but when someone does it to me it drives me absolutely mad (I still let them though...). When I've gone to the effort of bringing my own kit I want it set up comfortably way in advance during soundcheck; it seems to be much more awkward to adjust accurately with 2 minutes to go before the first song than it is to set up right in the first place.

So it got me thinking. When a kit is provided for me I now bring my own seat and snare stand (as well as cymbals/snare/pedal) to ensure comfort at the center of things, and leave the rest to the mercy of the provider. How about you?
 
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Too Many Songs

Senior Member
Re: Playing a backline kit - do you adjust?

I now bring my own seat and snare stand as well as cymbals/snare/pedal when a kit is provided to ensure comfort at the center of things, and leave the rest to the mercy of the provider. How about you?
Yeah. I do this as well. The real dilemma I have is with tuning. So many players don't know how to tune their kits and I get behind the provided kit and it sounds and feels terrible. Sometimes it is close to unplayable and then I have to adjust the tunings especially of the bass drum. But if someone did that to my kit I know I'd be pretty miffed! And if I get the provided kit sounding not too bad - what then? Should I return the kit to the original tuning when I've finished playing?
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Hell yeah, I adjust stuff ... as much as time and/or the condition of the "house" kit will take.​
I've had the pleasure to play some really fine DW house kits ... and a Yamaha Maple Custom once ... and then, I've played some kits that simply were "ridin' hard, and put away wet". Once, the kit was in such sorry shape, I removed both rack toms, and just played kick, snare, and floor.​
If the kit is "another drummers" (not a house kit), then I don't change a thing, unless the owner gives me permission.​
 

aydee

Platinum Member
...

I should do the seat too but I dont. Its so important but too cumbersome. For me its an oversized cymbal bag stuffed with a ride, crash, a piggyback splash, snare, pedal and stickbag.

The biggest problem I have is if I have a crappy stool which doesnt quite adjust to my playing height. That upsets me. As for the rest of the kit, I'm a lefty so 'compromise' is my middle name.

Doesnt bother me too much though, because I think it has taught me how to extract nice sounds from bad kits and to really believe that the music is me, not the kit Im playing.

EDIT- I have to change the snare, floor tom & hihat positions so I make that clear to the organizer. They deal with it.

...
 

Duckenheimer

Senior Member
Hell yeah, I adjust stuff ... as much as time and/or the condition of the "house" kit will take.​
I've had the pleasure to play some really fine DW house kits ... and a Yamaha Maple Custom once ... and then, I've played some kits that simply were "ridin' hard, and put away wet". Once, the kit was in such sorry shape, I removed both rack toms, and just played kick, snare, and floor.​
If the kit is "another drummers" (not a house kit), then I don't change a thing, unless the owner gives me permission.​
Oh yeah, I mean a kit belonging to another drummer. I'd have no qualms about adjusting a house kit! I'll edit the title.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
First of all if it's another drummers kit I'll always wander over to him and say hello and have a chat, asking him what he wants from me, what I can move and what he wants to remain the same. If you make the effort with someone providing their gear they are more likely to be open to you moving and adjusting their setup.

Just common curtesy really. Treat others how you wish to be treated yourself.

Always use my own snare, cymbals, pedals and stool anyway. The stool height is always something I'm anal about. Has to be right or it throws my playing feel right off.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I've used many backline kits. Although 99% of the time, the kit was a rental or provided by the venue, and not a kit belonging to another drummer, so adjusting was considered OK.

I learned bringing my own throne was key. Because then I was instantly comfortable at least sitting, and it gave me a good reference point to adjust things to.

Bring a snare or cymbals depended on how many songs were we doing (i.e. if we're just doing 1 to 3 songs, why bother), and perhaps what songs we doing (do I need a specific sound for a specific song?).

On the few occasions where the kit did belong to another drummer I adjust as little as possible, and just go for it. After all, they are drums, you hit them, they make a noise. That part never changes.
 
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