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  #1  
Old 08-25-2013, 06:48 AM
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Default Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

I usually practice in rehearsal studios that got a kit or on my V-drum kit at home.
I don't wanna buy a acoustic drum kit just to store away to take out to gig once every 3 months so here are a few questions...:

1. Is it normal that the venue you gonna gig at already has a drum-kit? Can I rely on it?
2. Can I use a great v-drum kit TD9KX2 as a backup if my band get a gig that doesn't have a drum kit or will people get pissed of? What could go wrong?
3. How do you do it? Anyone here without a acoustic drum-kit that frequently gig?

Thanx for all the great answers on my previous noob questions by the way! =)

/drummer without experience
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2013, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Unfortunately, since you never know what kind of situation you will be going into, you need your own stuff. And a way to transport it. Having a V-Drum kit is cool, but if you're talking about using that "just in case", I hope you have your own PA big and powerful enough to do the job - you shouldn't expect venues to be able to plug you in and give you monitors so you can hear yourself, let alone have the rest of the band hear you. That's asking too much.

Unless I'm doing a gig where I'm told gear will be there for me to play, I bring what I have (basically a big four-piece). If it's a strange request a few days out, I might go to the venue beforehand to see it if its local so I don't walk into any surprises. The whole thing is about being competent, and professional, so you can do a good job. I even carry my own music stand and a vocal mic if I have to sing. Never assume there will be stuff for you, that's not professional.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Never assume there will be stuff for you, that's not professional.
This plus 1 bajillion. Imagine if your plumber operated like that. "Do you have a pipe clamp and a inch-and-a-quarter wrench?"

I would also point out that you would have a very, very tough time convincing anyone to let you into a playing situation on a regular basis without your own gear.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

I wouldn't entertain the thought of putting myself out on the circuit without a drum kit. How do you audition in the first place? If a band is looking for an e-kit, then fine. But if not, you're not gonna get a foot in the door in the first place.

As a general rule, musicians without their own transport have a hard time being taken seriously. How much worse do you think a potential band/employer is gonna think of a guy who doesn't even own the very instrument he's meant to be playing?

If you're serious about gigging, arm yourself with the essential tools in order to do it. Not doing so will see your potential gigs going to those who have bothered to prepare.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:23 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Besides what has already been said, the idea of playing a kit that isn't mine fills me with horror. I've only done it twice and I hated it - nothing sounded the way I expected it to. I truly can't imagine why anybody would prefer to do it, but you're probably much less OCD than me anyway!
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

You can do it with an E-kit, I think. But you really need your own monitors and amplification. If you want to rely on house kits, you need to be early to every gig so you can fix what inevitable issues there are with them. I'd purchase a drum amp and some gear for a self-monitoring setup and use the e-kit primarily instead of backup, but hey- I play acoustic drums for a reason.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Plenty of venues have a house kit or someone from anothe band willing to kit share with you but the recurring theme I'm seeing is BYO cymbals, snare and pedals.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

NO








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  #9  
Old 08-25-2013, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

No one will take you seriously if you don't have a kit.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

It's possible to a certain degree but not if the gigs are coming at you regularly. I bring my pedals,snare and cymbals to gigs at the moment. There has been 3 recent gigs I've done where a kit has been provided.

As much as I would like my own acoustic set, I don't drive so there's no point in me having one.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Can i be a fireman without a hose???
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Can i be a fireman without a hose???
Brilliant!! Wish I'd thought of it.

Although I'm sure some fires have their own hoses don't they? :-)
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Here in the States, the availability of "house kits" depends largely on the city.

In Manhattan (New York City) for example, where parking is prohibitive and transporting drums is a pain, many clubs have kits available.

In Nashville, there are a dozen clubs in a short stretch of Broadway where live bands play every day and night, and those places have house kits (a lot of Mapex for some reason.) But elsewhere in the city, not so much.

In Los Angeles, I can name only a couple of venues where there's a house kit available, or mandatory (Molly Malone's.)

Bringing an e-kit is not going to work for most gigs. If it's a venue that is suited for it or requires it, they probably have one there (casino lounges for example.)

Every drummer I know - full time or not - has their own gear that they can bring to a gig, rehearsal, or studio.

Bermuda
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Yeah..I'm kind of with Mr.Mayor here.You must have your own instrument.It's a tool just like a hammer is to a carpenter.

Not to have all your own tools ...IS unprofessional,unless you just rent(hire) them all the time,and that gets expensive

.Relying on others to furnish them,is the same as a fireman asking you for a hose,to put out the fire,in your own home.

No hose.......no home.

Buy yourself a kit.It dosen't have to be the best or biggest,but it has to be yours.

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Old 08-25-2013, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

The only way I can see this happening is if you already were an established musician before not having a kit, maybe you could get by for a while using house kits/loaned kits from a friend. But someone just starting out? That's an uphill battle for sure.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
NO


......................
You know, KIS, you really have to get over this washy washy attitude of yours.

As for the OP, I agree with the others...gotta have your own kit to be taken seriously. I rehearse on someone else's kit just for the convenience of not having to move mine but even then I bring my own cymbals, stands and throne.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Never assume there will be stuff for you, that's not professional.

I think Bo hit it on the head with this in fairness. Can I ask why you are so against getting a kit? You can buy one for $30 if you don't care for quality and just practicality.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Thanx for all the great advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StaggerLee View Post
I think Bo hit it on the head with this in fairness. Can I ask why you are so against getting a kit? You can buy one for $30 if you don't care for quality and just practicality.
Well there is a few reasons:
1. I would hardly ever use it.. except maybe once every 3-6 months IF the venue doesn't have a drum kit... I practice at my v-drum kit at home and I rehearse with others at rehearsal studios and only bring cymbals... I already got a great bass-pedal & throne so don't need much more if there is a kit already at the venue except a snare maybe..
2. I haven't found many second hand kit's that I would want to take to a gig that cost less than 400£ my plan was to spend that money on quality cymbals instead and maybe a snare...
(Already got a throne and bass-pedal)
3. Storage... I don't know where I would store it and how small you can fold a drum kit (no experience). I can't have it unfolded ready to play at home anyways that for sure...

I think I'll just need to wait a little bit until I get more gigs lined up and know that I will use it... right now I'm just starting to play with others and they hinted that we will gig in 2-3 months...
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

I am currently in essex, and have seen on gumtree and ebay drumkits for under £55, quite a lot in fact. You can just take reso heads off and fold them up like russian dolls so get a cheap crappy kit where you dont mind doing this. Minimal area, minimal cost. Cymbals you can slide under your bed, of which it is worth spending a bit of money on.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzlez View Post
Thanx for all the great advice!



Well there is a few reasons:
1. I would hardly ever use it.. except maybe once every 3-6 months IF the venue doesn't have a drum kit... I practice at my v-drum kit at home and I rehearse with others at rehearsal studios and only bring cymbals... I already got a great bass-pedal & throne so don't need much more if there is a kit already at the venue except a snare maybe..
2. I haven't found many second hand kit's that I would want to take to a gig that cost less than 400£ my plan was to spend that money on quality cymbals instead and maybe a snare...
(Already got a throne and bass-pedal)
3. Storage... I don't know where I would store it and how small you can fold a drum kit (no experience). I can't have it unfolded ready to play at home anyways that for sure...

I think I'll just need to wait a little bit until I get more gigs lined up and know that I will use it... right now I'm just starting to play with others and they hinted that we will gig in 2-3 months...
Not to question your logic, but if owning a kit is just not in the cards due to space and/or money, and you don't really have transportation, maybe this whole music thing isn't for you? I mean, you can practice and rehearse with your mates until you guys are perfect, and that's cool, sometimes people are just happy doing that. You don't need to gig. Of course, it sounds crazy because I wouldn't want to work that hard if I wasn't going to put it out there for all to see, but I've met people who just do music for therapeutic reasons - maybe that's where you're at?
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  #21  
Old 08-25-2013, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Depends how serious you are as a drummer. You could wing it but most house kits are gash and don't have cymbals. But if you want to be a serious drummer with your own sound then get a kit and rehearse with it. Or at least buy a snare, kick pedal and cymbals as a mid way point. Or become a bass player. ;)
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzlez View Post
3. Storage... I don't know where I would store it and how small you can fold a drum kit (no experience). I can't have it unfolded ready to play at home anyways that for sure...

I think I'll just need to wait a little bit until I get more gigs lined up and know that I will use it... right now I'm just starting to play with others and they hinted that we will gig in 2-3 months...
There are people who can hardly move in their home because they have so much gear. Lack of storage space = lack of dedication :)

Is your band strongly influenced by electronic music? If so, then I imagine e-drums would work great as long as you can arrange for amplification at band practice and gigs. In most other cases not having your own stuff will obviously create logistical headaches if there's no house kit or shared kit.

You want to be able to just pack up your stuff and go rather than borrowing or hiring.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

I'd say get a cheap kit. If you replace the drum heads and tune it right on beginner kit you can get a good enough sound out of the drums.
If you have cymbals already then you are almost there.

I see you are from London (I assume in the UK). From my gigging experience, a lot of venues in and around London have their own house kits. With these gigs, however, you would have to bring your own breakables (cymbals, snare, pedal & sticks). However, there are a few rarer times where you would be required to bring your own kit so having your own drum kit would be important and a necessity.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Learn to play the harmonica?
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Not to question your logic, but if owning a kit is just not in the cards due to space and/or money, and you don't really have transportation, maybe this whole music thing isn't for you?
I hate to disagree with you, Bo, but really and truly No. Whatever we want and need to do, reality and logistics play a part.

Replace "owning a kit" with "owning a dog". The fact that you live on the 27th floor doesn't ipso facto mean that owning a dog isn't for you.

Optimism is vastly over-rated, in my opinion, but the word "yet" changes many things.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
In Nashville, there are a dozen clubs in a short stretch of Broadway where live bands play every day and night, and those places have house kits (a lot of Mapex for some reason.) But elsewhere in the city, not so much.
Mapex US headquarters is in Nashville. So that's probably the main reason.

Although Pearl's US headquarters is also in Nashville.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

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Learn to play the harmonica?
A quality suggestion.

I feel pangs of jealousy when watching a harp player carry in his bag of harps. Ditto singers and horn players. I should just be glad for them but I am not that wise :)

That's the drummer's curse. It comes with the package unless you can afford a crew - setting up, lugging and storage. It at least enforces extra exercise along with negotiation skills when it comes to storage.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

okey some people need too chill out! =)
This was concerning if a beginner drummer can get away gigging with only breakables for a while not if I never gonna buy a acoustic drum kit in my life....
I just don't know "how it's done" out there yet and wanted some input which I got and are really grateful for!

What I taken from your advice is that it depends on the town and you never know where you gonna end up and because of that even though I live in London which apparently have drum kits on most venues excluding breakables, it's better to be safe than sorry and have a full kit at home even if it's not the best.

cheers!
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

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Originally Posted by dazzlez View Post
okey some people need too chill out! =)
This was concerning if a beginner drummer can get away gigging with only breakables for a while not if I never gonna buy a acoustic drum kit in my life....
I just don't know "how it's done" out there yet and wanted some input which I got and are really grateful for!

What I taken from your advice is that it depends on the town and you never know where you gonna end up and because of that even though I live in London which apparently have drum kits on most venues excluding breakables, it's better to be safe than sorry and have a full kit at home even if it's not the best.

cheers!
Don't take it too seriously (or rather, take the parts that need to be taken seriously seriously, and let the rest roll off your back), most of them are just trying to help... I say most, because some of the members on this forum are just little meanies at heart... ;)

I've been gigging around this part of the world for the past couple of years now (I know, doesn't really help much), mostly just in the pub/bar scene, and all the places i've played have their own kits... Ranging from Pearl, Dixon, Mapex, Chinese knock-offs, etc etc... Most all were crap, and I've learned that you should always bring your own gear... At the bare minimum, snare, cymbals, pedal, and sticks...

I think the bottom line is that you should look towards the future and see where you want to go with this band. Maybe it's in the cards to purchase a kit and maybe it's not. Sit down, weigh the pros and cons, and decide for yourself where you want to go...
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

e-kits don't cut it for jazz usually.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

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Ranging from Pearl, Dixon, Mapex, Chinese knock-offs, etc etc... Most all were crap, and I've learned that you should always bring your own gear
That's the takeaway I've got too. Some just need good tuning, which there might not be time for before a gig. Others are just garbage. Usually the cymbals are crap, and the hardware is bested by gumdrops and toothpicks. Anyways, at least OP seems to have got some good advice. Good luck!
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

In my neck of the woods (southern California) I've only had a kit provided three or four times. It's always been a multi-band/festival type of gig. I've been to a few open jams where the kit was provided. For the festival type of gigs, the kit provided was a good quality kit, DW and Gretsch Renown. They had good cymbals too. For the open jams it's usually a beater kit with cheap cymbals.

To answer the OP's question: Yes you can be a gigging drummer without a kit. Maybe you won't need one for nine out of ten gigs you play. On that tenth gig you need to be able to get hold of one. Either rent or borrow one.

I think that people take better care of stuff that they own. Think about it. If you were to use a kit that wasn't yours that needed new heads, would you cough up the money for new ones? I don't think so. You would probably just play the kit as it was and let the next guy worry (or not worry) about it. For me it's more enjoyable knowing that I had the heads configured and tuned to my liking and knowing that things wouldn't start falling apart when I was playing.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

I will say no, but I'll also wax poetic on using "house" kits or other peoples stuff.

When I was in my last band, a couple of times we did gigs that involved several bands. So one guy says he'll bring his stuff, and everyone can use that set. I show up, and it's a Tama Rockstar (90's) with the original heads, more duct tape than you can imagine, a terrible rack, everything on the kit in the wrong place, and cheap junk no name cymbals. That kind of thing bothers the heck out of me when I have nice equipment, I keep it nice, and that gives me the sound I want and need to sound good for the public. I have the same story for the other gig we did, for any jam night set I've ever come across etc.

You can't depend on someone else's kits to have or do what you need except for your own.

The worst part though? A couple of the guys I've played with act like I'm crazy/picky because I have a problem with the beater kits at these venues. Hand them a burned out Squier with a myriad of issues instead of that Gibson they have and we'll see how they feel, right?
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post

That's the drummer's curse. It comes with the package unless you can afford a crew - setting up, lugging and storage. It at least enforces extra exercise along with negotiation skills when it comes to storage.
& it gets so much worse when you're also hauling PA & lighting :(
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

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& it gets so much worse when you're also hauling PA & lighting :(
You are a lucky man, getting all that exercise and negotiation practice!
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  #36  
Old 08-26-2013, 02:29 PM
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makinao makinao is offline
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

In my country, there are many gigging drummers who don't have their own kits either due to bouts with poverty or lack of living space. I have a friend who had to skimp and save until he was able to start getting cymbals, snare, and a pedal when he hit his 30s. He jumped on every chance to practice in rehearsal studios and sound checks. And he put up with countless terrible backline and club kits, but played his ass off anyway. He still doesn't have a complete kit because it won't fit in his apartment. But he is a fantastic drummer.
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  #37  
Old 08-27-2013, 07:03 PM
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RockNGrohl RockNGrohl is offline
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

If you plan on gigging out, i'm with everyone else and think you should "invest" in a good inexpensive kit. Not a cheapie beginner kit, or trashed used kit, but you can go mid level with any brand and still get a great set. Pearl Forum or Export, for example. If you gig and decide to do more and more of it, the kit will get much use. Drums can be stacked or nested with the heads off and packed in a corner. Plus your acoustic gig kit will always be ready to go on a moment's notice. And any decent kit will sound great when tuned properly. Yes, good cymbals are expensive, but will not improve a crappy kit with worn out heads.
Save up for the kit and cymbals, no back line kit (if available) will ever sound as great as a kit that is yours.
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  #38  
Old 08-27-2013, 08:20 PM
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Anduin Anduin is offline
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsits View Post
...rent...
Yeah, what he said.

If you really only think that youíll gig every 3 or 4 months, then just rent a kit when you need it. It should be fairly cheap.

As far as storage space, you can stack all the drums, so the footprint (floor space) the whole kit takes up is only the size of the biggest drum (so like probably around 22 inches plus a little bit if itís in a case). Cymbals take almost no room to store. Hardware can go under a bed or a couch or whatever.

I sometimes use a floor tom for a side table instead of putting it away.
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  #39  
Old 08-27-2013, 09:00 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

I tried...

E Kits are not widly accepted enough to truly replace a miced acoustic set with in the vast majority of venues.
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  #40  
Old 08-28-2013, 07:22 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Default Re: Can you be a gigging drummer without a drum kit?

There's another possibility. In the indie originals, pay to play, 1 set each band, "showcase" world, the early bands often have to use backline out of pure logistics. Said backline often being one of the middle bands kit shoved out at the front of the stage. When there are headliners, they have their own kit set up properly, and nobody touches it.

So, if you're willing to deal with what you get, and this arena is full of big dreams and little reward. Then it may be indeed be possible to get into a low rotation without having a backline of your own.

For just about any other kind of gig that I can think of, you need to handle your own $h#t.
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