Minimalist - Not interested in new gear?

martianmambo

Senior Member
Anyone else here a minimalist that prefers to use old gear as long as possible before replacing it or buying something extra? Reading Modern Drummer, one gets the impression that drummers are all rich and super materialistic. But even in my life outside of drumming, I have very few possessions, and I'm currently looking to throw out or donate even more of them.

When it comes to drums, I think a combination of my minimalism and frugality is the deciding factor in my gear. My current set up is a Pearl Rhythm Traveler kit with the original heads and hihats, plus a Tama (?) piccolo snare from 13+ years ago, a Sabian El Sabador 16" crash that I also use as a ride, and a DW 5000 double pedal that must be 20+ years old. My old set up before I moved to a different country was an 18" Tama floor tom converted into a bass drum, random stands and hardware, old K custom dark 13" hihats, the same El Sabador crash, and a no-brand ride I picked up for $20 at a yardsale. These set ups get the job done and have more character to me.

Anyone else feel similarly?
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I would not say I’m a minimalist. I would say I’ve gone through years and years (20+) of purchasing nothing more than sticks, heads and one or two method books. Happy to say I’m back at that point.

After that 20+ years of almost nothing, I did open up the purchasing where I turned over almost all of my gear over the course of about 5 years. My setup is now is different than before. The largest search was in cymbals. Went through tons of them over that time. Sold many off and settled on what I have.

I consider myself back to a point of total contentment. At my age it’s a good thing. If it happens again in 20+ years from now, I won’t have enough resources in time left or money to want - or be able - to do anything about it.
 

Traditional Grip

Senior Member
I envy you! I follow way more into the Gear Acquisition Syndrome category. Although, I'm a minimalist in other aspects of life.

Shopping for and trying out new gear gives me a rush, however, it's a distraction from practicing. New gear never makes me sound or play better, just is something different to play with. Every time I buy a kit I say it's going to be my last one, and then I find something wrong with it!

I am currently very happy with my cymbals and have been trying to be content with my drums, as they do the job.

Minimalism is the way to be, as "Stuff" is a distraction, hassle and causes stress!
 

Black Label

Senior Member
Minimalism is the way to be, as "Stuff" is a distraction, hassle and causes stress![/QUOTE]

I absolutely agree that stuff is a distraction - often I find myself in the middle of practicing, say, paradiddles around the kit and wondering how another crash or ride would sound, stopping what I'm doing to replace for no need or reason at all. I'm a gear hoarder. And I'm ADHD. And I'm compulsive. It's a bad combination. I need help.
 

Traditional Grip

Senior Member
Minimalism is the way to be, as "Stuff" is a distraction, hassle and causes stress!
I absolutely agree that stuff is a distraction - often I find myself in the middle of practicing, say, paradiddles around the kit and wondering how another crash or ride would sound, stopping what I'm doing to replace for no need or reason at all. I'm a gear hoarder. And I'm ADHD. And I'm compulsive. It's a bad combination. I need help.[/QUOTE]

We're in the same boat brother. I'm ADHD as well.

One thing I did was finally get exactly what I wanted, that way it would be easier to stick with. Not just something "cool" or that was a "good deal." I'm trying to schedule practice time and have banned myself from browsing the web for gear I don't need. If I do need something. I limit the time I can spend trying to find it.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
I definitely lean towards minimalism, but it doesn't always work out. I had planned on keeping one 4-piece kit and that's it. However, minimalism in other areas of my life changed that, ironically. I live in a small house, and there's basically no space to keep a full-sized kit set up, plus I gave up my car some years back. So I had to get a smaller kit that I could squeeze into a small space in the house for practice, and easily transport in a cab for gigs (possibly even on a bike trailer). I built a little kit based on the Pearl Rhythm Traveler and it gets the most use now. My primary kit sits in bags in a closet most of the time. I'm keeping it for recording opportunities or bigger shows.
 

aaronmcd

Member
I'm a beginner living in a city apartment so I'm stuck on an electronic kit and therefore can't have GAS with drums. All I have is a few sticks, a few books, and a standard Roland e kit. I could do with positional sensing and a better hi hat and ride, but in reality I should work on playing musically for a few years before worrying that I can't play a ride bell at home.

Also I'm kinda OCD but also super lazy. So if there are say, 10 things I would like to have, I am too lazy to research online, I don't want less than the best deal, so I may buy 1 of those 10 things sometime in the coming year or two.

My primary hobby is road bicycle racing. It seems the majority of "us" have old bikes, rain bikes, training bikes, racing bikes, maybe a gravel bike or a track bike or a 'cross bike. Multiple sets of wheels, fancy helmets, fancy kits. A lot of this (fancy kits, fancy wheels) actually do improve speed. But I'm just so ridiculously lazy when it comes to buying "stuff".

Still, although I almost never buy stuff, it's even rarer that I get rid of stuff. I see a bit of value in everything, and therefore don't want to put anything in the landfill. But again, I'm too lazy to go through old stuff and drive it to Goodwill. Or to post used bike parts online.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I'm the type to slightly anthropomorphize my gear.

I still have the first guitar I got when I was a kid, think of it as a "her" and would have a hard time giving it up or selling... And I don't even play much guitar. My drums and cymbals are similar... I like my own personal cymbal set so much, which is made up of old 60's-70's-80's zils.

The drums I'm a bit less weird about since I don't have a "perfect" set yet and I'll likely buy another kit at some point to be my "final"... But in theory once I have that I will keep it till it breaks.
 

rummy

Senior Member
I am when it comes to drums. I have a 4 piece set and, hats, a ride and two cymbals.
When it comes to guitars and amps, it's a different story.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I'd pretty much have anthing I'd ever want if not for some unfortunate exeriences. This means lack of funds, but I've known for a long time what I wanted. Basically full pack of USA Custom and Broadkaster.

I bought a lot of snares for a while, but that was intentional. I knew what options I wanted and I pretty much have that.

I'd like som nicer recording gear, but I'll wait with that until I have a room to justify it.

As for my setup right now, it is a 4-piece, ride and 1 crash quite intentionally for practice. Apart from doing the "jazz-thing" there is a sort of long term plan to slowly adding stuff over time.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Anyone else here a minimalist..?

Yes..!

Personally i couldnt care less about the newest drums, etc.. I also couldnt care less about discussing drumgear or if someone has a 100 dollar set or a 10.000 dollar set or 1 cymbal or 100 cymbals or if someone is able to tune a set perfect or any of such things..

The only thing i care about is how someone plays..I prefer way more to look a few hours to an awesome drummer on a very crappy set instead of looking even 1 minute to a bad drummer on a very expensive well-tuned set (simply because that drummer will not be able to make that set sound nice anyway..)..

An awesome drummer on a crappy set will always sound better than a bad drummer on a very expensive set..
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Been a minimalist setup player for years I got told young if you can't do it on a 4/5 piece you won't do it at all.

There's something really satisfying about getting the most out of a basic setup.

My problems is having a unit to store gear so over the years I have acquired 5 kits, 6 snares and loads of cymbals which have come from upgrading over the years and not breaking any. I'm lucky I only play with hats/ride/x2 crash otherwise it could get very messy :)

It's just heads and sticks that are the constant purchases. I'm lucky with sticks as Pellwood sort me out with 16 pairs at a time for £70. Custom sticks to order. Hopefully they get my surname right next time I order!

I have the same rant factor with Modern Drummer/Rhythm etc. The gear reviews are annoying at best, most of it is reinventions of the wheel at an extortionate cost.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I bought a Tama Swingstar five-piece in 1985 with money I saved from my summer job as a caddy. I think I replaced a throne and added a cymbal a few years later. Those were my only gear purchases until I had some gear stolen and bought new everything in 2010 and 2011. So, yeah, I guess I was pretty much like you. But I've kind of made up for lost time the past seven or eight years.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Anyone else here a minimalist that prefers to use old gear as long as possible before replacing it or buying something extra?
I'm all about "the right tools for the job" and "buy once, cry once."

I buy what I need to make playing drums and hauling PA gear as painless as possible. As I have gotten older older, my back has started plotting against me, so the less I carry, the better.

I have multiple drum sets and each one serves a specific purpose.

I have a Pork Pie USA set a church that never gets moved.

I have a set of old Tama Rockstars in my basement that never gets moved. I'm thinking about upgrading because it sounds pretty darn terrible in all honesty now that I'm more used to better drums.

I have a set of Ludwig Centennials that's my "beater" kit (although it's a super-nice beater kit in my book!). This has a 20" kick in bags and is easy to carry. This kit is for my outdoor shows where we are probably uncovered or there may be a chance of rain. Also, there's one festival we play where I have to show up about 6:45am and drop my stuff off and leave it there until the afternoon. Where I set up, tear it down, and then leave it there until I can pick it up later. It's a great kit for things like this.

I have a Pork Pie USA in hard cases that I take to better, indoor gigs. The Ludwig kit and the travel PP kit share hardware and cymbals. In addition, my practice kit in addition to my kits at home all share cymbals.

If I simply played in my basement and didn't ever play anywhere else, I'd have one drum set. My desire to acquire comes out of convenience more than a "gotta have the latest, greatest whatever" feeling.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Guilty here of being a pack rat. We're not hoarders but we definitely need to get rid of "stuff". I have 1 drum set set up to practice on, and 2 more in playing condition stored in a closet with 2 more kits I need to either re-wrap or just get rid of. It's nuts.

If I buy anything new it is drum sticks and heads. I recently purchased the Remo Silent Stroke drum heads so I could get away from rubber drum mutes. I see used or new drum sets I really like and have the money to get but then common sense wins over and I don't buy because I don't need another drum kit.

And then I go over to a friend's house and see 20 guitars hanging on a wall....
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
I have a fair amount of stuff ( 3 kits, 6 snares ) but I'm selling one kit and one or two snares. My set up is pretty straight forward in that I only use 1 ride, 2 crashes and hats. Kit set up is 2 up one down for the most part. I can go two floors with the Black Panther kit.
 
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