How much spare gear do you bring to a gig?

Jml

Senior Member
So up to now, I’ve had a few one-off gigs and done some open mics with my band (we’ve been together about a year). Starting next month, we are going to have regular gigs at a few different places, “touring” northern New Jersey.

So, in the past, I’ve brought an extra snare and extra bass drum pedal, just in case I need it. Now that we’re going out more often, I’m wondering - should I bring an extra hi hat stand? An extra tom? Extra cymbals? Extra snare stand? Not sure what is necessary and what isn’t. What spare gear do guys who gig regularly bring? Maybe I’m overthinking it, and an extra hi hat stand seems excessive, but what if it breaks down during a gig? There’s no replacement (keep in mind we’re the only band playing at these gigs, so I can’t borrow another band’s gear). Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Better safe than sorry, but I don't bring things I've never known to break.

I always bting two snares, but that's as much about not knowng the room. One wood one metal.

Other than that it's tools and parts that fit in the pockets of my stick bag and pedal case.

If I bring a spare head, it's most likely a bass drum batter.
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
Aside from an overstuffed stick bag with 3 keys, I keep in my car a 14 inch head ( crappy used one) for my snare just in case, also an extra pedal, just a standard old Pearl, and then i have a survival pack with cymbal washers, snare strings to hold snare wires, a patch to temporarily fix a hole in a head and whatever else that comes with it. I always figure you need a snare, bass drum and a cymbal so as long as i can fix all 3 in the event of a break down i'm good to play any gig.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
On local gigs, I bring extra brand new sticks and a pedal (which stay somewhat inconveniently in the car,) and luckily have never had to source them. I know I should bring a snare or at least a spare batter, but I don't, and I've been lucky so far in the last 45 years. However I always tell others it's a good idea.

On tour, I have spare almost everything except the shells themselves. Lugs, rods, claws, throwoffs, nuts, T-screws, clutch, pedal, snare, cymbals, SPD-SX, rack mounts, tom mounts, tubes, etc... and of course batter and reso heads.

Bermuda
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
When I tour for weeks on end I tend to take an extra Snare, A replacement Batter Head & a spare Bass Drum head. That's it. Bog-all else :)
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
When using someone else's/house kit, I bring ALL the breakables. Snare, bass pedal, cymbals, sticks/brushes.

I also bring some stuff I've learned over the years comes in very handy. First up is I now bring along a couple of my own cymbal stands. I've found several occasions where the drummer back lining the kit uses a complicated clamped all to hell with extensions and what not. Rather than modify any of those settings on his stand, I just bring in mine so I can position as I like and he doesn't have anything changed on his complex stand setup.

Next I bring little things that go easily missing or are commonly missing on house kits. Felts, moongels, stand flanges, DRUM KEY.

Other than that I tend not to worry too much. Only broke one snare head, and was able to borrow other drummers snare for the gig so I don't bother with two snares or extra skins.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I’ve never brought a spare of anything as I’ve luckily never had any gear fail on me in 22 years.

Always used to check/prep my pedals, snare and accessory bag inside my cymbal case before a gig, which probably helped.

I must be extremely lucky though.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I always bring a spare snare, and I store in the car spare old hardware - pedal, HH stand, old heads.
No spare cymbals or toms.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
My gigs are all so low-volume that I don’t worry about breaking heads or sticks. I do make sure I carry a couple of drum keys everywhere, though. One on my car keys and one or two more that stay in the car. I use calf heads on most of my snares and kicks, and drum keys are a must.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
A spare BD pedal and bass drum and snare head. No HH stand. Another snare if you want. Sticks, keys, cymbal toppers, felts, straps, that's all small stuff I like having. Business cards, pens, flashlights, tools...
 

gish

Senior Member
- I keep an old snare head in my truck just in case
- I have an old Pearl brass piccolo I keep on the floor behind me to finish the set if needed
- multi tool in the stick bag
- keys and extra felts in the stick bag
- I have a double pedal but use it as a single; that way I have a spare beater and spring if needed
- I also keep a roll of gross grain ribbon in my stick bag; snare cord/strap failure is an issue I’ve encountered a few times over the years
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
A small ice cream tub containing bits and pieces I've accumulated over the years, felts, rods, drum keys a hi hat clutch that I've never needed.
A spare bass drum pedal that nestles alongside my main pedal in a double pedal bag.
A snare drum.
A bass drum batter head.
Sticks in my stick bag.

A trick I learned on this forum is that I keep an old stick bag in the wheel well of my car that contains 2 pairs of sticks, a drum key and ear plugs. Very much an emergency emergency supply that I've never had to call on but I consider a great tip and a supply that effectively takes up no space and takes no effort.

Think of the things that can go wrong and ask yourself if it would be the end of the world. If you had a hi hat problem couldn't you make do on the Ride cymbal and vice versa. Cymbal or it's stand problem, couldn't you use another. Tom tom problem, ditto.
Thinking back over my gigging "career" I've snapped sticks, had a brand new snare batter head split on me once and had the string on my snares snap once. I got through all of these events so while I advocate packing spares it doesn't necessarily mean you need to panic if you forget.
 

decadeA

Active member
once I was at a gig, but there was a drum kit already at the place, which meant I didn’t need to bring a kit. I brought my old Mapex pedal and a spare 14” head. The bass drum pedal was an iron cobra 900, pretty good and the drum kit was a custom drum kit. The bass drum pedal spring broke halfway through the gig and I had to use my old Mapex pedal, which was pretty crap. now I just bring bass drum pedal springs, so that if this happens again, I don’t need to suffer the mapex. Also on the same gig, the HH pull rod unscrewed so I had to take apart the HH stand and screw on the pull rod between two songs.
 
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beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Depends on what you need. If the gig is in town not that much. Also, if I play with friends bands, there is often enough gear there one of my buddies would loan me something if it was critical. I had to lend a few stands not too long ago to a friend having issues. Extra sticks is always important. I honestly think most gigs, you could GET BY with kick snare and hats if everything was gone. So an extra snare if you broke a head would be a good thing to have.

For myself, I hate hauling gear. I bring some extra sticks, and what is required. I am usually fine. If I was touring, extra snare, pedals, felts, sticks, and other stuff would help.
 

Frank

Gold Member
This thread inspired me to create this thread:

List your equipment failures
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Extra sticks are maybe the most important thing to bring on gigs, but it's also smart to keep a few pair in the car at all times. You never know when you might need some sticks even if you're not on a gig!

Bermuda
 

Frank

Gold Member
Fresh and plentiful sticks are a must.

I have been known to stow sticks in my wife's pocketbook when going to places where I thought there *might* be a possibility I would be asked to play. :)
 

Frank

Gold Member
Along with the spares planning, one thing I Know is wise that I Don't do enough - is simply examining the kit and hardware and ensure everything is tightened down. I have had multiple hi hat stand implosions in my playing life - because I was checking the stand. Once a screw or something rolls away into the black hole, it's all over. I have also had nuts from inside a shell come out and start bouncing around the shell. Completely avoidable. :)
 

decadeA

Active member
i
Fresh and plentiful sticks are a must.

I have been known to stow sticks in my wife's pocketbook when going to places where I thought there *might* be a possibility I would be asked to play. :)
I bring two extra pairs of carbon fiber sticks in case my vic firth american classic sticks break. I don’t like the feel of them and they mark the drumheads grey, but I know they won’t break if my wood sticks break.
 
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