Lesson learned! Set up on a level surface

drummer-russ

Gold Member
So this past Sunday we played at a co-op farm for their open house.Blistering hot but well attended and a good crowd and a chance to use my new drums. The tent was already in place and I did not have much of an option in terms of choosing where I set up. I found the most flat space I could. Set up and added my throne near the end and realized I was leaning a lot to my right. I went and found a wedge shaped rock to put under one of the throne legs and that helped enough, or so I thought. Had to do the same for my HH stand.

It was a bummer since I had spent time getting my new set aligned how I thought it would work. But once there I could not follow the plan because everything was somewhat out of place due to the uneven ground.

Gig went pretty well, 4 hours with 3 breaks between sets (it was 94 degrees F!

Yesterday and today I now realize just how much I was compensating for the tilt. My left glut is really sore apparently from clenching to maintain balance!

I need an easy to carry self leveling drum platform!

Can't see the tilt so much but you can see the uneven ground for sure!
 

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Bigdumbdrums

Senior Member
I had a similar gig last weekend - a wedding, under a tent, The stage was 4 8x4' 1/2" plywood on grass. When the singer took a step, by kick pitched about 10 degrees and tom 1 went with it :)
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Ya we had a gig the previous week with a squishy plywood floor. Our next gig is on a tile floor and I can't wait!
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I played last New Year's eve in a tent on a field by small country town. Patchy grass, uneven ground, kit sloped towards me, stool sloped to one side. Dug a small hole under my rug to level the stool. Played from 8pm until 2am, six brackets, 90 - 100 songs. Felt uncomfortable, completely exhausted, but the locals loved it. They've booked us again for next year!
 
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Chollyred

Senior Member
Played on back of a small flat-bed lumber truck once. The bed had been beat to pieces. There was nothing level anywhere. I had to sit way too close to the edge. Due to the uneven bed, I almost fell off, which would've been a 4 foot drop backwards. A couple of the cymbal stands were leaning precariously. Somehow we managed to get through it. Like others have said, it's exhausting trying to compensate when your drums are all swaying at different angles.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Morrisman, I did not think of digging to make it level though I did not have time. I will keep that in mind next time because my butt muscle is still sore!
 

rtliquid

Senior Member
I don't do that many outdoor gigs anymore, but having at least 2 4x8 sheets of plywood (for me) was mandatory, or we didn't play. The other guys also required SOME type of hard flat surface. Setting up on the ground/grass is dangerous for you and your equipment.

I did have one gig several years ago (outdoor party on a farm) where we played on an old flatbed haywagon. It was slightly tilted, and my lower back was killing me the whole next day.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
You can get four 4'x4' panels and create an 8'x8' riser for yourself. They ain't cheap but if you know someone with a sound/staging outfit maybe you can rent/borrow/barter for the use.

Here's me playing a farmer's market last year and using the riser. As you can see, the street where they wanted me to set up is quite angled. I was like "Ain't gonna happen!" and went to my friend who has such accouterments.

I've done that gig before, twice and learned my lesson. My chiropractor sure loved me because I had to go see him for a few visits!

 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Had I not experienced the pain after this gig I would have thought your suggestions BillyRay and rtliquid were to much to ask for or expect. They did ask us to play the open house next year and wondered what could be done to improve it. I'll keep this in mind. Also the idea of having some sort of platform riser that I could bring to certain gigs makes some sense. But the transport is quite a challenge.
 
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