Tips for faster setup/teardown times

TNA

Senior Member
I wanted to see if you all had some tips or advice on getting your kit set up faster when playing a gig. Obviously downsizing your kit would be the best way to reduce time, but that isn't an option for me. I'm looking along the lines of things like if you have used those snap on cymbal nuts, or maybe a good cart recommendation, or using add on cymbal arms instead of a whole another cymbals stand, or maybe a better method to set stuff up or transport it.

Currently my kit consists of snare, kick, 2 toms mounted on a cymbal stand, and a floor tom. I have hi hat, 2 crashes, ride, crash ride, and china. I do use my entire kit, the only thing I could consider taking off would be the china. It usually takes me about 20-25 min to set up my kit, which isn't bad but I feel it could be quicker.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You wanna go quicker than that? that's sounds about right for the amount of gear you have. Are you talking about casing up your gear as well?
 

TNA

Senior Member
You wanna go quicker than that? that's sounds about right for the amount of gear you have. Are you talking about casing up your gear as well?
Ya I do have them in cases as well. I know that's not a bad speed at all, but it's those little things like screwing on cymbals that seem to take a lot of time. It just seems like it takes forever when after your set the rest of the band is off talking with friends in the crowd and I'm left having to pack up my gear for the next 20 min.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
- Get a trolley so that there is only one trip in and out of your car.
- Get a rug with the position of drums and stands market
- Use memory locks where ever possible
- Get Pearl wingloc quick release or Gibraltar swing nuts for your cymbals
- leave the hihat clutch on.
- Think about the logical sequence of doing things. Minimize movement, waiting time, moving things twice, etc.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Ya I do have them in cases as well. I know that's not a bad speed at all, but it's those little things like screwing on cymbals that seem to take a lot of time. It just seems like it takes forever when after your set the rest of the band is off talking with friends in the crowd and I'm left having to pack up my gear for the next 20 min.
Ah. I get it. That's just the name of the game sometimes. It's the nature of the instrument you deal with, the other musicians (save for the keyboardist) will always be done before you. Unless you have minions.

I got minions and it definitely helps. If you can get pretty female minions, then people will be flocking to you anyway ;)
 
W

wy yung

Guest
I hired a roadie. Easiest tear down and set up ever.

Before that I simply used less gear. If I have to do it myseld I use a four piece kit with hats and either two rides or a ride and crash.

Sorry I have no wisdom beyond that.

Hiring a roadie is a great choice if one can afford it.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
My biggest timesaver is using straight stands that I don't pull apart. Pull them out of the bag, extend them to the desired height and they're ready to go. In general, I try to avoid pulling apart my stands more than I absolutely have to. Not even my hihat stand gets pulled apart when I pack it in my bag.

Other than that, memory locks on floor tom legs is a big timesaver, and a tape-marked drum rug shows where everything goes.

I can have my kit from bags to stage in ten minutes if needed (rack tom, two floor toms, five cymbal stands, hihat, snare)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Ditching your cases will save a ton of ag. I ditched mine 2 years ago. No matter how you slice it, drummers have the most work to do. Streamline as best you can but accept this fact that drummers take the longest to set up. 20 to 25 is typical. It goes with the territory.

My drums also live in my van. Saves unloading and loading my van, plus I never forget anything, it's always in my van. They are exotic veneered lacquered drums, the kind of finish that people would think I'm crazy for not casing them. It's just not worth all the ag for a ding here or a scratch there. They've gotten a few minor dings and scratches. I sharpie them. I don't care.

I continue to be amazed at how well my DW's hold their tuning despite living in a van in 90+ degree weather as well as freezing weather. They stay where I tune them, despite the temp variations.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Use fewer stands with more attachments. Most everything on my 6-piece, 10-cymbal kit fits on three stands not counting the snare and hi-hat. It's very quick to set up and tear down, and also packs much more easily.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
drummers take the longest to set up. 20 to 25 is typical. It goes with the territory.
I'm set up in 5 to 8 minutes tops......sometimes less.......and thats with Racket Bags

granted I use a much smaller kit....and just 2 straight stands with zero wing nuts
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
My fastest up-n-downs are when I'm unloading close-ish to the stage. On those gigs, which are most of them, I take off the cymbals in order right to left, and use no nuts on the cymbals at all. Then the cymbal felts in same order go onto the hat rod and held on with the clutch. Leaving everything else on the stands ready to play, I stand up the whole kit in the minivan, and toss in the rug. Odd bits like bass pedal, monitor mixer, stick bag go in a cart like this:


It's more trips, but worth it if you're close. At the gig, the rug and cart are brought in first, and everything drops onto tape marks on the rug. When I get home, set up in the practice room in the back of my garage is a snap.

If carts are a must because of parking, elevators, etc, I love this one for snare, three toms and all the odd bits from the cart:

 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
no nuts on the cymbals at all. Then the cymbal felts in same order go onto the hat rod and held on with the clutch.[/IMG]
I do the same thing

no nuts....felts and sleeves on the hat rod under the clutch

I see absolutely no purpose what so ever for wing nuts or top felts on cymbal stands ........they are nothing more than something that adds to set up and breakdown time and serve zero functional purpose

I have absolutely no use for them
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
I see absolutely no purpose what so ever for wing nuts or top felts on cymbal stands ........they are nothing more than something that adds to set up and breakdown time and serve zero functional purpose

I have absolutely no use for them
They can stop a cymbal when it moves too much. Eg. when you ride on a crash, and the
movement of the cymbal just works against the interval you're hitting it.

Or, you hit a cymbal and then another one beneath it, and they move against each other
so that they actually meet. Sorry, can't describe it in a better way right now.

Sometimes I use top felts and wing nuts, sometimes I don't. I mostly do when it comes
to splashes though. They can actually fly away without, according to my experience :).
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
They can stop a cymbal when it moves too much. Eg. when you ride on a crash, and the
movement of the cymbal just works against the interval you're hitting it.

Or, you hit a cymbal and then another one beneath it, and they move against each other
so that they actually meet. Sorry, can't describe it in a better way right now.

Sometimes I use top felts and wing nuts, sometimes I don't. I mostly do when it comes
to splashes though. They can actually fly away without, according to my experience :).

I understand what they can do
I just dont find them necessary what so ever

everything you mentioned should be able to be controlled by the player and in no way should be relied on by wing nuts and cymbal felts

a splash cymbal would be the exception here simply because their light weight could cause them to launch off the stand
but I dont use a splash so this would not pertain to me

other than a splash cymbal I see absolutely zero functionality in top felts and wing nuts ....I feel that 99% of players use them because that is what we have always known ...and the fact that that come with the stand

I find no use for them and quite frankly consider them a nuisance
 

gaz farrimond

Senior Member
I use a Pro Racked 48" hardware bag, so my snare stand, hihat and 2 cymbal stands go straight in without collapsing or removing the tom post, I just fold in the legs and snare arms. The boom stands are collapsed, but I have marked where I set them up with permanent lumocolour. The pipe has an upside down T, whereas the lower part of the stand has a T the right way up, it's set when the T's line up.

My mat is marked with tape, and numbered so I know which stand goes where.

Setting up and tearing down the four piece kit with 4 cymbals, is about 10-15 minutes dependant on how far the stage is from the door.

For the big kit, (4 toms, 2 floor, bass, 2 snares, multipad, and 11 cymbals) it has to be a rack and enough memory clamps to sink a battleship. I've got that set up in 25 minutes, and torn down in not much less, again using cases. Everything is numbered as to which holder it goes into. I use the 48" case for the rack, snare and hihat stands. The rest goes into another, smaller, Pro Racket bag without folding down the boom arms.
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
- Get a trolley so that there is only one trip in and out of your car.
- Get a rug with the position of drums and stands market
- Use memory locks where ever possible
- Get Pearl wingloc quick release or Gibraltar swing nuts for your cymbals
- leave the hihat clutch on.
- Think about the logical sequence of doing things. Minimize movement, waiting time, moving things twice, etc.
I think this is the most informative post so far. I like all of these. Any suggestions to use less gear don't really help you much, because you have your kit the way you like it. Why change that?

Ditching the cases would save time, but I like to have my kit protected. I'm willing to waste that extra few minutes. Hiring a roadie is obviously the best thing, but that's just money out of my pocket, as I rarely get paid for playing.

I would add two of my own suggestions:
Get a quick-disconnect clutch like Gibraltar and Vater make.
Use a golf bag for your stands. Fold up the legs but leave them assembled at full length. (oh wait, I see gas just suggested that.... well what do they say about great minds?)
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
...I feel that 99% of players use them because that is what we have always known ...and the fact that that come with the stand

I find no use for them and quite frankly consider them a nuisance
That may be true. In my case I don't put on top felts and wing nuts unless I need one
for above reasons. Haven't you ever had problems with rocking cymbals?

Just today I was playing my 20" Extra Dry crash, and I wanted it to hit say every 2 sec. or so.
From the second time on everytime I was hitting it, it was rocking back towards the cymbal just
the same moment. So a) I had problems getting a consistent sound and b) it doesn't do the
cymbal any good.

When I set up rides I never use nuts either.
 
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