Sharing Gear at Gigs with Other Drummers

tfgretsch

Junior Member
Not sure about other countries, but in my experience (mostly UK and a little bit in US) kit share is or at least was up until lockdown the norm at venues less than 200-300 capacity. The reason being backstage space at the venue/club is often limited and set-up time has to be kept to a minimum; also small venues often only have one set of drum mics. Sometimes, a little more leeway for self organised gigs or outdoor festivals; but even then it’s often pre-agreed, one backline kit for all bands (either a hire kit or a kit supplied by headline).

Taking a stance that no one can use your kit or that you need your own elaborate 8 tom 3 kick kit is really not an option. No one will book you if the drummer starts acting up, your guitarist probably has this behaviour covered anyway. The best option, if lower down the billing is to bring key components and switch them out. The problem is elevated when drummers use racks, racks are very hard on other drummers in that the heights are hard to adjust without some major re-engineering.

The saying treat other drummers kits as you would like yours to be treated holds true. Although some drummers are fussy /particular and others don’t care one jot.
IN a perfect world you are right, put people are not taught that saying anymore over here SAD !,
 

petrez

Senior Member
Depends on the situation. If the other drummers are going to use my kit, they must bring their own cymbals, pedals and snare. I can be forgivin in certain occations, like last year when we had a band we were touring with around Europe earlier, they travelled from the Netherlands up here to Norway to visit and play with us. So I gladly lent out my whole kit to the drummer as I kinda got to know him and how he plays, so he didn't have to bring more than sticks and essentials with him on the plane.

For almost every other instance, with local bands, bring your own cymbals, snare and pedals. Preferably do not alter too much with my drumkit, tom angles/cymbal arms etc. I only have a rack at the moment, it is a big hassle if someone decides to completely re-arrange stuff. I got pretty p*** off last time that happened, they should at least check in with me first, if they decide to start messing with everything just before they are on to play. At least I give every band info on the kit which will be used and what they need to bring some weeks before the show, so it should not come off as a surprise when the day comes. I am a bit picky about what kit I will play live though, I don't want to use something that is in too bad shape, which a lot of house kits usually are. I am too old now to just let that pass by (as I would in my early years of drumming), so I will gladly bring my own kit and let others use it if that is the only other option.

As a sidenote though, I remember my first gig with my main band 13 years ago, our gitarist had organized everything and told us that this was a sponsored event, so it should be with a full backline, drums with cymbals and everything, so I didn't have to bring anything... Well, there was a kit allright (barely, I would say), no cymbals in sight. This was a 2 hour drive from where we live, so driving back was not an option. It is not a nice position to have to beg for someone to lend you their cymbals, at least in a metal band setting when you are pretty sure everyone beats those cymbals like there is no tomorrow.... Anyhow, one guy let me use his. This was the most low end cymbals I have ever used in my life, still better than no cymbals though. And with hi-hat cymbals as crashes, you know that evening is going to be great. So yeah, I bring my cymbals, snare and pedals every time after that gig. And I didn't trust our guitarist much either, luckily he was out of the band a year later... :p
 
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Jasta 11

Well-known member
Not many of us are doing much performing right now, so I guess it makes sense to muse about the days when we were. Over my many years of gigging, other drummers have asked on occasion to use my gear at shows, mostly for purposes of convenience (they're playing either before or after my band). It hasn't occurred often, but I'd estimate it's taken place three or four times. It's not something I've ever been excited about. Technique has a lot to do with the lifespan of equipment, and if I know little about your drumming, I can't gage the impact you might have on my setup. Still, I've always been amiable and accommodating on the subject, though I've upheld the following imperatives uniformly:

I. Bring your own hardware (i.e., bass pedal, hi-hat stand, cymbal stands, and throne).

II. Bring your own cymbals.

III. Don't alter my tunings.

In essence, you can use my shell pack, but that's as far as it goes.

Have you ever granted other players access to your gear? If so, what are your expectations?
I wouldn't call that sharing. thats more of an inconvenience. If some one took everything but the bass and toms away i would tell them to take it all away and i'll bring my whole kit. Im not sure you understand what sharing means.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I wouldn't call that sharing. thats more of an inconvenience. If some one took everything but the bass and toms away i would tell them to take it all away and i'll bring my whole kit. Im not sure you understand what sharing means.
I think I have a firm grasp on the definition of sharing. It can occur in portions. By granting a drummer access to my shell pack, I'm sharing a portion of my setup with him. Should I instead offer him use of my whole kit, my truck, and my house? Every arrangement has limits. My equipment isn't a buffet at which every hack who calls himself a drummer can feast, and there's no shortage of hacks in circulation.
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
I think I have a firm grasp on the definition of sharing. It can occur in portions. By granting a drummer access to my shell pack, I'm sharing a portion of my setup with him. Should I instead offer him use of my whole kit, my truck, and my house? Every arrangement has limits. My equipment isn't a buffet at which every hack who calls himself a drummer can feast, and there's no shortage of hacks in circulation.
I back lined a lot, they get my 3ply vinatge Ludwigs, LM400 snare and Paiste 2002's dw 5000 pedal etc.. All this stuff is meant to be hit, learn to share dude! If you are not willing to let others play all of your stuff, move your crap out of the way.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I back lined a lot, they get my 3ply vinatge Ludwigs, LM400 snare and Paiste 2002's. All this stuff is meant to be hit, learn to share dude!
You might direct that statement to those who have expressed an unwillingness to share at all in this thread. It's a personal choice, to be done in the manner you see fit. I've never gigged on another drummer's gear -- house kits, sure, but never an individual's equipment. It's not something I'd want to do.

"All this stuff is meant to be hit, learn to share dude!"

Meant to be hit, yes. Meant to be bludgeoned, not so much.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I’ve been fortunate and have communicated with other drummers before a gig about sharing gear. After about 10 years of sharing stages and kits, the general consensus amongst the guys I shared with was:
  • Bring your own cymbals
  • Bring your own snare
  • Bring your own tuning key
  • Bring your own sticks
  • Bass pedal optional
  • Hi hat stand optional
  • Throne optional

Several dozen gigs I’ve played at, there have been guys who wanna sit behind my kit and check it out. After all, it is a Tama Starclassic. 😎 They usually have a beer buzz going and are genuinely curious, and I let them tinker while I enjoy an after-gig beer. At first I was leery cuz I didn’t know the guy(s), but nothing bad has ever happened and it really helped spread goodwill about me, the band, Paiste and Tama.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I like hearing my drums while others play.
I always offer to bring the set and I always bring the good drums, not the practice set. More often than not, one of the other drummers insists on bringing their own drums to share.
The others should bring their cymbals and throne.
They can adjust anything they want, but no tuning other peoples' drums allowed.
Bring your own sticks.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
When we would provide shared backline, we simply wouldn't bring the good stuff, and would instead bring a Pearl Export, cheap Zildjians (Pre-ZBT Scimitars I believe), and a sack of random old sticks that were past their prime.

Drummers were welcome to bring nothing, or a bunch of kit.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've done it on both ends. I've played other kits, and I've let people play mine.

What needs to be switched out: sticks, cymbals, kick drum pedal, snare. Drum throne is optional.

If I get into this situation again where my kit becomes the back-line, then I'll probably switch out to some almost-dead tom heads if I don't know the other drummer.
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
North West England is where all my gigging experience is from. The norm is that the venue, promoter or the big band provide shell pack, stool (not a throne) and stands.
As a fat man I like to take my own throne, and as a terrible drummer, I like to take a couple of stands and lots of felts; they are usually missing or in a sorry state.
I'm happy for anyone to use any of my gear, but ask that they don't mess with the tuning and make sure I get all my bits back at the end of the night, with the exception of my cymbals. I play loud but I don't hit phenomenally hard and use Meinl Extra Dry Thin cymbals which would be a shame for someone else to have to replace.

But I have to thank drummers who've let me lend their whole kits and cymbals (their offer not my request), especially a couple of poor lads who really put the floor in floor tom, and when i was sitting down my snare was about 6" higher. They've always been good and let me adjust the height, and I always help them put it back during change over.

I am however, planning on getting a high end kit for a home studio, that will see more fingers broken than finger marks. :D
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
North West England is where all my gigging experience is from. The norm is that the venue, promoter or the big band provide shell pack, stool (not a throne) and stands.
As a fat man I like to take my own throne, and as a terrible drummer, I like to take a couple of stands and lots of felts; they are usually missing or in a sorry state.
I'm happy for anyone to use any of my gear, but ask that they don't mess with the tuning and make sure I get all my bits back at the end of the night, with the exception of my cymbals. I play loud but I don't hit phenomenally hard and use Meinl Extra Dry Thin cymbals which would be a shame for someone else to have to replace.

But I have to thank drummers who've let me lend their whole kits and cymbals (their offer not my request), especially a couple of poor lads who really put the floor in floor tom, and when i was sitting down my snare was about 6" higher. They've always been good and let me adjust the height, and I always help them put it back during change over.

I am however, planning on getting a high end kit for a home studio, that will see more fingers broken than finger marks. :D
Great response. Congrats on maintaining a lighthearted perspective.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I'm in the straight up no camp unless I know you and know you can play properly.

Venues who book multiple bands for a show should have a backline beater kit (bring your cymbals/snare/sticks/pedal/stands) as standard and it would stop so many arguments. I got out of the original scene young, too many shedbuilders and this unwritten rule that if you headline you provide the kit.........erm no thanks!

I always say the decision is entirely with the owner of the gear and you respect that, don't like it well that's tough shit!

As a working drummer my kit is my office and the tools of my trade that I pay good money to keep in tip top condition and in turn it looks after me and nobody else.

I back lined a lot, they get my 3ply vinatge Ludwigs, LM400 snare and Paiste 2002's dw 5000 pedal etc.. All this stuff is meant to be hit, learn to share dude! If you are not willing to let others play all of your stuff, move your crap out of the way.
Glad you have that mantra, drums are meant to be hit, but hit correctly. Good luck getting anyone to pay for anything that gets damaged.

I've had guys I've never met before or since come at me with this attitude before, like I owe them something or they're some kind of big deal (a big deal that doesn't have a drumkit, cymbals, hardware or even sticks!). I flip it on them, not once have they let me loose on their car or with their girlfriend (that's someones stuff they should be willing to share right?!?)................I call that hypocricy ;)
 
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Prawny

Senior Member
I’ll let others use my kick and toms, generally in my experience that’s the most your expected to share, I quite like it because it always get compliments on its sound and it only cost £130.

when I’m using someone else’s kit I always take snare hardware inc pedals and cymbals, I wouldn’t expect any one to lend cymbals out, although I have once to a really great young drummer with terrible gear, I let him use all of my stuff in a battle of the bands type festival we were both in.

It hacks me off when people mess with your stands without asking, you just have to make do, the last gig I did was with a used to be famous band called Inme, their drummers rack Tom was far too low for me, but I just played round it, it’s a club gig, not a recording session.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
. . .drums are meant to be hit, but hit correctly. Good luck getting anyone to pay for anything that gets damaged.
My stance as well, mikyok. If you let some hack take a crowbar to your gear, especially your cymbals, chances are high that he'll retreat from accountability and you'll be left to resolve the wreckage. Why take the risk when the payoff is zero?
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I remember my friend, he's a drummer. He let somebody play his drums at a gig. The guest broke a drumstick on the first song, and it wasn't a punk rock metal gig.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I have 4 simple rules:

1. If I don't know you. You are not touching any of my stuff
2. If I know you. You supply the Snare and Cymbals.
3. If you break it, you fix it, replace it, or cash. Period.
4. No one plays the Ayotte but me. PERIOD

P.S. I can get my kit on stage, and ready to play, in less that 5 mins. It comes off in less than 2.
this is pretty much me as well (is this a C-bus thing. ;) )

and minus the Ayotte kit :(

I used to be super anal about only playing my kit, and super whiny about having to use others, but then I did a few "punk van tours", and quickly lowered my defenses after the kits I encountered in those days...I love punk. The Great Equalizer. The Great Reality Check
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Every time I chose not to take my own gear by fear of scratching or ding it ; I deeply regretted it ! Why ? Because each time I was obliged to play the shared kit which was awful !
Beaten up Sonor with as much tape as you can stick on a drumhead, beaten up stencil kit with a broken bass drum head, correct kit but with hyperdrive toms and smallish bass drum stuffed like a stuffed animal, with almost no sound,... And so forth. Each time I had been asked, I played it safe, saying that I prefered not bringing my own kit, just snare and cymbals... Each time I ended up regretting it.
Only once I took my kit and shared it, the other drummer was reeeaaaally happy :D !
 
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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Basically same rules as OP but I don't really mind if someone wants to mess with tuning a little, or change the height of a stand or something. Tuning is kind of personal preference in my opinion, and I typically don't care that much unless it actually sounds bad, in which case I'll fix it.

Just bring all the things that are likely to break.
 
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