The dreaded drumshare.


Junior Member
Just showing up expecting to play on somebody else's kit is bad planning. Usually if I'm sharing I know it. But I'm ok with people asking.

But sharing in general is fine - that's maybe half the shows I've played. If the set is miked, and it's all local bands, you tend to share. If there's a touring band headlining, maybe all the openers share and you only have to tear down one set. If the sets aren't going to be miked, or it's a huge show with a bunch of touring bands, you don't share (swapping out sets without a soundperson is easy enough). You usually know the deal beforehand.

I kind of prefer sharing in small clubs - there's a club here that doesn't, and the stage room is packed with three band's worth of gear, two pool tables, and a hundred college kids holding PBRs. Anybody who's played JC Dobb's in Philly during the "brick pillar" era will know what a pain it was trying to get everybody's gear in a tiny corner next to the stage without blocking the emergency exit or the stairs. Sharing comes in handy. Fewer vans trying to find parking!

I'm actually a lot more annoyed, when everybody brings a kit, and the band breaks down the kit onstage afterwards, goes and gets a beer with half the kit still onstage, whatever. Get the f off the stage, man.


Staff member
With prior communication & agreement, not a big issue. Just turning up without your instrument & hoping you can use someone else's, is just plain ignorant.

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
The last spell of gigging I did in pubs/clubs [in NW London mostly] it drove me mad that in a lot of venues I wasn't allowed to bring my own kit other than snare/cymbals/pedal owing to issues of space as well as change over times etc. This meant having to use bass drums, toms, and hardware that were worse than useless in the majority of cases. Typically because the venues supplied the kits and headliners (if not us) couldn't be bothered to bring a better kit.

It got so bad that I had to resort to taking as much of my own gear as was acceptable - typically snare, hats, ride, crash, pedal, throne, hat stand, snare stand, 2 boom stands. I gave up expecting useable toms and just hoped that at least an audible bass drum would be provided. I think I went the best part of a year with a 2 piece set-up.

Then of course the truth of the matter finally dawned on me: gigs that demand people play crap kits or book bands that have no gear or no respect for other people's simply ain't worth playing. Correct me if I'm wrong but the vast majority of gigs that we're talking about when we swap these horror stories are located in shitty little venues where they try to cram 6 bands on to one bill in 3 hours and the bands are lucky to get the price of a couple of beers for their trouble.

I may not gig as much as I used to but when I do if I can't use my gear and I don't get paid then they can kiss my arse.


Senior Member
Perhaps for some people a legally binding contract might work... It would go something like this...

"Can I use your kit man?" "Sure if you're prepared to sign this"...

I agree to replace any equipment loaned to me and damaged in the course of my playing whatsoever, or however caused by me or any other party, with new for old to the same specification and model. And to do this in a timely manner. I have inspected the kit with the owner, and apart from any current damage or defects we agreed on during inspection, will make right any items found to have any new damage or defects after I have finished using it. blah... blah... blah...

List of equipment....

Full Name....
Full Venue Address.....
Full Home Address (provide proof please)....
Witnessed by....​

"Forget it man"
"Your loss buddy"

Just an idea. :)


Junior Member
I had to use someone else's kit twice. Once was at a benefit at a college. I brought my drums there, and lugged them up two flights of stairs. They insisted that I use the drums that were already there. I warned them that I hit 'em hard. And I didn't disappoint.
The other time was just a few months ago. It went better, since I had another gig right after, and didn't want to set up/take down twice in one night.


Platinum Member
I actually got to play a gig at a coffee shop last year where they had a nice vintage Starclassic- but their bass drum had a hole in the head from the beater rod! No fun but I did bring my own snare, hats, & ride so it was alright.

If anybody asks and hasn't talked to me before the gig, I'm going to give them that contract idea. They ain't wreckin' my heads!! And cymbals are out of the question.


Junior Member
A few people have advised me to use a "lesser" kit. I have 2 arguements against that, firstly if it OUR gig why should we have to pander to a support band that we did not ask for? Also if I have saved up over many years for my "nice" kit then why should I have to cheapen what I use on stage?
I am not being an arse here, and I know I'm only in a tribute band, but I have to have a Charlie Watts set up otherwise it dosen't look right, and you can guarantee someone will point it out!



Gold Member
Touchy subject, like dating your buddy's sister.

It's not right for other drummers to show up with nothing and expect to play your kit, especially if nothing has been prearranged.

Your gear is YOUR gear, you bought and paid for. Don't ever feel bad for declining to let someone you do not know play your kit.

Recently I backlined my kit for a fundraiser as a favor to a friend of mine who was putting it on. I was there the whole time working as a stagehand and everytime a new band came on, I was up on stage and told the new drummer who I was and asked if I could help. I backlined the drums and stands and pedals. It was all prearranged that drummers would bring their own cymbals.

There were no problems but I hovered around like a dad of a newborn baby girl seeing a stranger holding their child. But that feeling of certain doom certainly was there the entire time. I think it helped a lot just being there and the other drummers knowing the owner of the kit was 5 feet away.

I also had an advantageous spot backstage in that I could watch the other drummers play and pick up on useful techniques and such.


Senior Member
I've been lucky in that when I've sat in at jams or had to use another's kit, I've always been pleasantly surprised at the nice drums I was getting to play. As good or better than mine in most cases.

As for having to let someone use my kit or use it as the house kit, I did that once. None of the other drummers had any issues and vise versa, it was a local radio station showcase. And every drummer shook my hand and thanked me and discussed what they would be playing etc, if they had to change anything. One drummer, Jason, a friend now, set up lefty and then back to righty for the next band. Too cool. But everything was discussed beforehand and the organizer forwarded my email to everyone about what extra gear to bring.

I would never let any drummer I haven't met before just use my drums at the last minute, even if the promoter says so. Why should I be forced to? That is unprofessional, first that the other drummer didn't bring his, or wasn't allowed to use them, and secondly, that I'd just let them use mine without question. That is a situation that needs to be discussed beforehand. I don't mind too much if I can get contact from the other drummer to know what type of music they play and how hard he or she hits. But a blind sit in? The answer is no.