Set up/Breakdown

stevo

Senior Member
This is the one element of playing I like the least. I'm sure it's been a topic here before. But to play a gig, and having only one set, breakdown-pack everything up, load it, haul it in, set it up, break it down.... The worst part of playing for me.
Does anyone else feel this way?
 

Leadfoot

Senior Member
Better get used to it and accept it as part of the whole "being a drummer" package, if you can't, you're in trouble. Then you get in a band where you have to help move the p.a. system.
I spent many, many years moving my drumset (heavy Sonors) from my upstairs room to rehearsals & gigs & back, it's a drag but you have to do it until you have the resources to buy a second or even a third drumset to avoid all the gear shlepping. I'm 47 now & have drums in my practice room, rehearsal studio, and in my drum van for gigs but trust me, it didn't happen overnight.
Another thing which changed my perspective about gear moving was that I was an extra help stagehand at my local arena for 18 years. After you load a few dozen shows that have 10 or 12 semi trucks full of extremely heavy gear, you quickly realize that moving your drumset is really no big deal at all.
Good luck & remember, lift with your legs, not your back ;~)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Stevo, you should do what you have to to get a 2nd set, so your workload is halved. And with all due respect to you, stop the whining and man up. Sorry for being unsympathetic but it needed to be said. There are people who would love to have that "problem" You should count your blessings instead of cursing them.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I actually enjoy setting up and breaking down, as long as I'm not in a hurry to do so. There's something zen about it.

Now, my marimba on the other hand, takes about 45 minutes to break down and load into the car, 45 minutes to unload and set up, another 45 minutes to break down and load out, and another 45 minutes to set it back up at my house. That's 3 hours of loading/unloading/setting up/breaking down heavy gear. I only take the gigs that are worth that much trouble, needless to say. And, compared to this, a drum set is cake to transport!

When I start going down the dark path of, "man, it's times like these I wish I played the flute" or "if I wanted to move this much stuff for a living, I would have gotten a job at a moving company" rants, that's when the gigs never seem worth it. If I just focus on the positive and keep my mood up, then there's no problem with loading. That's what works for me. I know some people who this never works for. The whiny young musicians of today that stick with it become the unhappy old bitter musicians of tomorrow...
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I actually enjoy setting up and breaking down, as long as I'm not in a hurry to do so. There's something zen about it.

Now, my marimba on the other hand, takes about 45 minutes to break down and load into the car, 45 minutes to unload and set up, another 45 minutes to break down and load out, and another 45 minutes to set it back up at my house. That's 3 hours of loading/unloading/setting up/breaking down heavy gear. I only take the gigs that are worth that much trouble, needless to say. And, compared to this, a drum set is cake to transport!

When I start going down the dark path of, "man, it's times like these I wish I played the flute" or "if I wanted to move this much stuff for a living, I would have gotten a job at a moving company" rants, that's when the gigs never seem worth it. If I just focus on the positive and keep my mood up, then there's no problem with loading. That's what works for me. I know some people who this never works for. The whiny young musicians of today that stick with it become the unhappy old bitter musicians of tomorrow...
I also enjoy the physicality of the drums and transporting and setting them up. It makes you pause and think about life.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
I am fortunate enough to have a drum tech who does my dirty work for me...sometimes. He's a college student, so I have him for summers, some fall dates, some winter dates. The other dates, I am on my own. I find that I actually enjoy setting up more than having him set me up...as Caddy said, there's something zen about the whole thing...bonding with the drums, so to speak. But for breaking down after a long show, I always prefer having my tech. Still, I find that when he's not there, the adrenaline/post-show euphoria is enough to make me not really upset about breaking down and packing up at all.
 

Vipercussionist

Silver Member
This is the one element of playing I like the least. I'm sure it's been a topic here before. But to play a gig, and having only one set, breakdown-pack everything up, load it, haul it in, set it up, break it down.... The worst part of playing for me.
Does anyone else feel this way?
I hate it too, but I have a gig kit for my main band, a gig kit for my pick-up gigs and another for rehearsal, and one more for the house so I can practice. There's NO WAY I'd want to set up and break down my kit that much, so I eventually bough other stuff for the different things I do drumming wise.
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__________________
Most respect the badge, but all fear the drum.
 

Disco Stu

Senior Member
Yeah, it's a drag. I minimize the effort by having a gigging kit and a playing kit, as others have said. Also, I use smaller kits (4 or 3-piece) and smaller drum sizes. I go with the lightest weight stands possible while still maintaining stability. A hardware bag with wheels helps a lot too.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Yeah, it's a pain. In school we had to haul all of our own stuff and load in the cars or on the buses.

Now that I'm gigging again, I have to do it all. Like others have said, if you can, get two kits. One for gigging/rehearsals and the other for practice.

While buying drums and stands and trying to upgrade and put together a decent set to see what kind of set I really wanted to buy, I accidently got enought drums to put together 2 complete 4 piece sets, all the same color. I bought some new stands and cleaned up and polished my old ones I had from my school days. Now I have two decent kits - one to gig with and one to practice with. I keep one at our rehearsal / venue and one to practice. All I do is haul my cymbals around in a cymbal bag.
 

LeeLovesSabian

Silver Member
This is the one element of playing I like the least. I'm sure it's been a topic here before. But to play a gig, and having only one set, breakdown-pack everything up, load it, haul it in, set it up, break it down.... The worst part of playing for me.
Does anyone else feel this way?
Yeah, I hate breaking it down.
And guitar/bass players just have to take their amps and guitars, we have to take everything...
 

oops

Silver Member
The only time I really don't enjoy it is when my band is in a rush and everyone's waiting on me.

I've driven our guitarist to every gig for the last 7 months, (probably around 60-70 gigs) and he'll do one trip from the car, set up all his stuff and then sit down and have a coffee while I'm still doing my second trip from the car. Luckily I travel light, so it's two trips max. also takes me about 7 minutes to have my kit ready to go.

He used to get me to park in the loading bay, but I've since decided it's not worth it. I'll do my two trips in, then have to go and repark my car while he lounges around. I'd much rather make him walk.

Also: we order food close to the end of our last set, then when we pack up it's ready to eat. Trumpet puts his trumpet away, folds his music stand, double bass puts his bass in its case, guitar put his guitar away and unplugs his amp. Then they all sit down and tuck into pizza while I'm still taking my cymbals off their stands. This infuriates me: if you're not going to help me out you can have the decency to wait before you start eating.

When I have time to breathe I enjoy setting up and breaking down.
 

stevo

Senior Member
Well, some general info; I have been playing for over 30 years. I have done the one night stands, playing two to three different gigs a weekend and the practices. So, I'm not new to this. And to be honest, anymore, the band I'm in doesn't play out all that much. Yup, I know this sounds like I'm whining. And I usually can't wait to play live. So I guess I'm not Hatin' on it too much. But it is the one (and only) downside for me.
As to some of your other comments: Most of the time I get set up before the guitarists, keyboardist, and I sit back and hit my practice pad until they are ready for a sound check.
Did not mean to sound whiney, unapreciative of having these opportunites, just stating that for my vast love of playing the drums, it is the one part I enjoy the least.
 

Vipercussionist

Silver Member
Well, some general info; I have been playing for over 30 years. I have done the one night stands, playing two to three different gigs a weekend and the practices. So, I'm not new to this. And to be honest, anymore, the band I'm in doesn't play out all that much. Yup, I know this sounds like I'm whining. And I usually can't wait to play live. So I guess I'm not Hatin' on it too much. But it is the one (and only) downside for me.
As to some of your other comments: Most of the time I get set up before the guitarists, keyboardist, and I sit back and hit my practice pad until they are ready for a sound check.
Did not mean to sound whiney, unapreciative of having these opportunites, just stating that for my vast love of playing the drums, it is the one part I enjoy the least.
I don't really see you as whiny and unappreciative, but this IS the instrument we've chosen, so whatever downfalls are attached to it we will have to suffer them.

Of course it's up to you to weigh the options that exist today that would allow you to downsize and make life easier for you. I prefer to use BIG drums, and of course with that comes the backaches of LIFTING it all!! C'est la vie, there's nothing but a choice to be done about it and that was my choice.

You simply must figure ways to make the cartage portion as painless as possible and if that means more than one kit, well, unfortunately you'll have to figure out a way. It was expensive, but I managed it and I found it was worth the investment in the FOUR kits I use to make it so I'm not always setting up and breaking down equipment.
1 kit for the main band - stays with the bands equipment van.
1 kit for the pickup gigs - packed and ready to go.
1 kit for rehearsal - RIMS Headset - always set up where we rehearse.
1 kit for personal home use - always set up at home.

Yeah, that's quite an investment, but if you think about it, the only kits that have to be "good kits" are the gig kits, the rest could be junk as long as it works.

You'll figure a way that will work for you even if it takes time. Just keep going for it!!
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__________________
Most respect the badge, but all fear the drum.
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
setting up is meditative for me. the only time i don't like it is if it has to be a rush job or in the dark.

breakdown is always a pain because after a gig i want to chill and chat, shower and sleep. the last thing i want to be doing is winding cables.
j
 
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