What should I do? Using own vs. church kit


Junior Member
I have a question for my fellow drummers. My church has a sound percussion drum set. My cousin plays drums as well but im the main drummer but due to my new job i havent really been able to attend church but i made it to service sunday that just passed and the set was way out of tune the hardware wasnt setup right etc. On the other hand i have my own personal Gretsch drumset. So if you were in my shoes where you dont get to play as much as you did before would you setup your gretsch kit at the church so that when you do get a chance to play at church or rehearsals you play on a great quality kit. So do you think i should setup my kit even though no one will really keep it up


Platinum Member
Re: What should i do

Doesn't sound like anyone gives a toss about maintaining the church kit. What do you reckon is gonna happen to yours if you leave it there?

Me, I'd keep my kit where I know it's gonna be properly looked after and just tune and adjust the church kit for the rare occasions that I played the thing.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Re: What should i do

You can't do what all gigging drummers do and bring your set with you when you come to play and then take it home when you're done? That's what I would do. For me, it's all about putting my best foot forward whenever I go out to play, and if the provided kit is not so great, you can either make do and make it sound great, or bring your own stuff and not use the other kit.

I have nice drums. I want them out in the public eye with me playing them in front of people ;)


Platinum Member
Do not leave your own kit at that church. For whatever reason people can't get it through their skulls that drums are not furniture or toys when set up at churches, and they mistreat them and/or let the kids pound on them with anything.

At one church I attended about 10 years ago, the worship department owned a Tama kit. Nothing great, but still nice enough once tuned and cleaned up. Except they left it set up in the youth area for a while and forgot about it. Some wit started beating on it with a plunger handle (!) and broke every head.

Same church, an older gentleman brought a Pearl set with a beautiful, pristine ocean blue grain finish and left it there for others to use. I remember him as a real class act and a great touch on the ride. One weekend they needed the stage clear for a wedding. They literally threw his drums in the back room and then stacked a bunch of the black Manhasset music stands up against them. When he saw his drums next they were gouged and scratched, every shell. He tearfully took his drums home and never came back.

Spend a bit of time and money on the church set if you care to. I have often done my best to rehabilitate church sets that have gone without TLC for a while. But if it's a lost cause, bring yours. Just don't leave them.

The Old Hyde

Re: What should i do

I have nice drums. I want them out in the public eye with me playing them in front of people ;)
Bo, best quote ever. I feel the same way. For the OP just spend a few minutes and adjust the kit thats there. I.have never seen drums played in church but im sure it doesnt require a DW collectors kit to impress the masses.


Junior Member
Thanks i appreciate all the feedback. What i will do is buy some fresh heads and give it a tuneup and when i do get to play i will just have to give it another tuneup


Platinum Member
I would just use the Sound Percussion kit and just assume it'll be out of tune and be prepared to retune it. Bringing your own kit would be nice but this is a house of worship and I'd err on the side of being humble and play whatever is there.


Gold Member
Alternatively bring your snare and cymbals.

I don't use the toms that much in worship so that should be sufficient.



Platinum Member
I gave my church my Mapex Saturn kit and a fine set of Sabians (Paragon hats, AAX ride, and AA crashes). That way if someone else plays them, it is not my problem or concern. Many may not understand my reasoning here, but I have had complete peace about it since I did it. Peace and goodwill.


Platinum Member
I'm the primary drummer at my church and I always bring my own pedal and sticks at a minimum. I have brought my own snare a few times as well as the occasional extra cymbal. (The kit has only hats, a ride, and 1 crash.)

I believe that is probably enough to get you through a worship service. There's really not much of a need to bring your entire kit...maybe just the essentials.

Either way, you certainly don't want to leave your kit at church. As al said, people tend to treat the drum kit like furniture and not like a musical instrument.

Angus Macinnes

Senior Member
Just remember if you elect to use your set it requires getting there early and staying late to take it down. I think I would use the church set and do a bit of rehab on them since they will never get the respect they deserve.


Platinum Member
I don;t go to church but a band I was in had rehearsed there every Thurs using the church setup. 1st practice I showed up to some really bad Maxwin drums, dampened to sh*t, just awful sounding stuff. I too had a decent Grestch kit at home but was not about to leave it there.

In the end I bought some cheap used drums for $100, but with new heads and tuning they were a huge step up from the Maxwins. I left them there for others to use. here's the kicker, other church players used those and treated them like crap, taped allover them, dinged heads, split heads etc.

Don't leave your nice Gretsch kit there, it will be abused and/or not cared for. Bring it with you every practice, or get a cheapo 2nd kit and tune it up.


Silver Member
I play in my church regularly. I'm the primary drummer although there is a Hispanic congregation that comes in after the morning services and uses the kit. I'm a pro drummer and the other drummer is not although he can play sufficiently.

We have an older Yamaha Stage Custom at our church. The church pays for heads and equipment breakage but I actually do the maintenance myself. I just replaced the bass drum spurs a couple of months ago. When there are brand new fresh heads on this set and they are tuned up, it sounds very good the snare being the only thing that gets replaced when I come in. There are quality Sabian cymbals on the set. They've never been broken or screwed up by abuse.

I have also tried to communicate (politely) to the other drummer when it looks like 'best practices' aren't being employed. There are still times when things can be amiss but in general it works out.

I should also say that the youth group never uses these drums.

My basic advice falls along the lines of what's been said already. Use what is in the church already, augmenting it with your snare, cymbals and maybe a pedal - then bring your equipment home with you. Otherwise bring your kit in for the service and bring it home that day. I've done both.

If you aren't the only one who touches your drums, then you are setting yourself up for heartbreak or frustration.



Gold Member
I rotate in my church's p an w band. NEVER would I EVER use my personal kit and leave it there. The one they have, someone donated a used, but nice Pearl 5 piece. Cleaned up and tuned properly, it's sounds great.

Now about education of the general church public. People have an opinion "they're just drums, what's the big deal", then go on and store them improperly, stack stuff against them, toss them around, let their 3 year old bang around on them with sticky and dirty hands, teenagers use them in the youth department and abuse them, someone takes the kit apart and doesn't get all the drums back in the same room, someone uses the drum throne in another room and never puts it back, and so on and so forth.

Keep your kit at your home and use the church's kit. I do, however, use my own cymbals.


Silver Member
I was thinking about this also. I may start playing in a small church that has a (sound percussion?) set. I decided if I play there I will do what I can with that one and maybe bring mine for special services. I am also planning on bringing my extra pedal and when I get new cymbals bringing the old ones. I don't think many people will be messing with the set though. I will make sure of it if I have to.


Junior Member
I played at a church for 7 years as the primary/sole drummer. I worked with the church to purchase a Premier APK 5 piece. It is a smart fusion kit and considered it a blessing to play worship. I became the self-appointed steward for it; maintenance, cleaning, tuning etc. Heck the first two years we had it, I had to break it down twice a week for rehearsal and church service. Once in the building we built for it, many folks thought it was cool to play on when I was not around. That stopped as the worship leader and I politely stated the importance of this kit to the entire church body. The fooling around stopped. I no longer play at that church, but know the kit is being well cared for by another, self-appointed steward.

Like others said, if the current kit is poorly treated, most likely anything you leave will be too, sadly. It looks like you shaped up the kit a bit and I agree, always bring your stuff to use on the days you play.



Senior Member
I'd say, not just in church but anywhere you leave a set up kit, it will A: Be played on by everyone, especially kids! or B: Be broken down badly and mistreated by someone who doesn't know what they are doing. Only leave it if you can tear it down, re-case all the drums, and lock them up away from anyone who might abuse them. Don't ever leave them sitting out, you will get a nice surprise.
I always bring the essentials when sitting in on any kit that's not mine.


"Uncle Larry"
This is a perfect opportunity to score the cheapest kit good sounding kit you can, (not hard at all, I scored a nice PDP set for $125.00 USD) get it sounding pro, and leave it there. Who cares if the shells get scratched would be my attitude. Get a wrapped kit. The only thing is the denting of the heads. I'd bring my own cymbals and snare, and leave a cheap-o snare and cymbals there. If I'm playing drums, I want them to be the way I like them. To me the extra work is worth it. I hate house kits, won't use them if I can bring my own set in.

Also, by the time I adjust and try and get a good tone from a house set, I could have had my set up there, with a better tone and better ergonomics, and a happier drummer. House sets are not that much of a time saver IMO when you have to adjust everything and deal with overstuffed bass drums, dreadful sounding toms and non adjustable snare stands and cheap-o thrones. It's really faster to cart all that stuff off and replace it with your already set up and adjusted kit IMO.

I put a lot of time effort and thought into drumming. When it comes time to do it, I want my own stuff thank you very much. My fills don't work on deadened drums, the tone of the drum is integral to my playing choices.


My church has an old Pacific set with ancient pinstripes that have huge dents in them. My church isvery careful with the drums but no one knows how to keep them in shape. The snare is the worst so I normally just bring my own snare. I think whether to bring or leave your kit depends on the people.


Senior Administrator
Thanks i appreciate all the feedback. What i will do is buy some fresh heads and give it a tuneup and when i do get to play i will just have to give it another tuneup
amen. you are then tithing with purpose. giving your time and expertise and a bit of cash to God is a very good thing.