Why Can't Bass Drum Spurs Be (a lot) Smaller?

Neal Pert

Well-known Member
Here's something I don't get. On a lot of vintage kits, the spurs are just these tiny things that telescope out from the bass drum. Or, in the case of Ludwig, you had the little gull wings that used floor tom brackets. Nice. And, for most purposes, the small spurs worked just fine.

There are a million products out there now to stop bass drum creep, which suggests to me that, for a lot of people, the modern spurs aren't functioning any better than the vintage ones were. So, maybe, drum companies, offer smaller bass drum spurs? It's one of the only things A&F does that makes sense even though I suspect theirs are pretty vulnerable. And of course there are a few other companies doing this, too. George Way's spurs are kinda ugly but they do the work and they are compact.

The whole massive bass drum spur thing doesn't make sense to me. They're heavy, usually not very attractive, add almost no functionality, etc. Screen Shot 2022-08-27 at 12.05.27 PM.png

This is the most exaggerated version of the problem I can find.

So, look, I know there are a ton of aftermarket solutions for this. I get that. But, like, why can't companies just also shrink the size of their stock spurs?
 

jda

Silver Member
i'm calling "peak spur 1st

gretsch BKsII 047.jpgGretsch..BK2.jpg
Gretsch..BK2.jpg

they are my most favorite ones I've ever owned
sorry, next
(GB5975GullWing actual factory part number)
 
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Stroman

Platinum Member
I can only speak from my own experience here. The little spurs on my first drum kit (a Rogers back in the early 70s) did not hold the bass drum in place, especially when I started playing heavier rock. In fact, none of the hardware was as solid, and I remember carrying hose clamps and a screwdriver for those times when screws and wing nuts would strip out.

My current kits, a 2010 Ludwig Classic Maple and a 2012ish Tama Silverstar have bigger spurs that angle forward. I never have trouble with them moving anymore.

So, I like the newer spurs and would never go back.
 

jda

Silver Member
97 Tama Rockstar I had on a 16X20 I liked also.
Just a Stick that went into a Block

TamaBlack 004.jpg

gone but not forgotten
 

Jasta 11

Well-known Member
the only thing the spurs are for is to balance the drum for stabalization. They are very poor at controlling bass drum creep and always have been. If you keep your pedal frome sliding, the bass drum wont creep. I have a Ludwig Jazzette bass drum with thos small straight style spurs that slide out, and I have the bigger ludwig retractable spurs on my 24 inch. THey both do the job of keeping the drum stable.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
the only thing the spurs are for is to balance the drum for stabalization. They are very poor at controlling bass drum creep and always have been. If you keep your pedal frome sliding, the bass drum wont creep. I have a Ludwig Jazzette bass drum with thos small straight style spurs that slide out, and I have the bigger ludwig retractable spurs on my 24 inch. THey both do the job of keeping the drum stable.
IDK, if the spurs are angled forward I've found they do a good job of preventing creep. But then, I extend the spikes and use a rug, so they should.

A lot of modern pedals have spikes and plates with rubber or Velcro, but the older pedals I used had no such things.
 

jda

Silver Member
and when you convert a 16" floor to bass two Lp 338 cowbell holders upside down attached to front hoop.

DSC01560.jpgDSC01556.jpgGretschSmallGretsch004.jpg

literally can stand on that bd and those CB holders will hold ya
how ya like my funny picture? ha ha,
Big Jay Willis, Donna Davis (rip), sister Lisa, me.
Greensburg Country Club better /younger days
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Old bass drum spurs sucked. Gull wing, curved slide-in/out, straight slide-in/out. I won't go near any of those types anymore because I've had all three of those designs fail on me at some point. The biggest issue is they're usually "fine" until something unexpectedly loosens up, and the wing screw mounts on those old spurs are notorious for unexpectedly loosening up.

I think most of the products out there designed to prevent creep aren't really for people that have modern spurs, but to help those folks that for whatever reason are still using those old spurs.

I've yet to have a problem with the typical Pearl-style flip forward spurs, and a drum with anything else is a deal breaker for me.

As for the kit in the first post, I agree it looks stupid, but that isn't the spurs fault. That's what happens whenever you try to lift a foot tom off of the floor to try to make the beater hit on center.
 

Stickandbrush

Active Member
As for the kit in the first post, I agree it looks stupid, but that isn't the spurs fault. That's what happens whenever you try to lift a foot tom off of the floor to try to make the beater hit on center.
or use the Gilbrater gull wing spurs like I do on my 16 drums with a riser they function perfectly and let the beater hit center and don’t look ridiculous..
or use the old gretsch spurs like on my round badge that also work with a riser.. the silly giant spurs are just stupid
 
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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I think the opposite. I think vintage bass drum spurs are lacking.

As Steve Smith has said, jazz is built from the cymbal down, while rock is from the bass drum up.

Vintage spurs are often small because jazz players tend to either feather the bass drum or only use it for accents. While rock drummers tend to hit the bass drum consistently hard. Vintage spurs simply aren't designed for modern rock playing, hence why they've gotten bigger over time.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Fibes had some spring loaded back in the day.
Worked for me.
1661625947542.png
 

jaymandude

Active Member
the only thing the spurs are for is to balance the drum for stabalization. They are very poor at controlling bass drum creep and always have been. If you keep your pedal frome sliding, the bass drum wont creep. I have a Ludwig Jazzette bass drum with thos small straight style spurs that slide out, and I have the bigger ludwig retractable spurs on my 24 inch. THey both do the job of keeping the drum stable.
I completely disagree with this. Even tho I have vintage kits ( we’ll get to awful gull wing spurs in a minute ), the modern Pearl and Gibraltar variants I see and use every week on the road as backline keep the bass drum from creeping FOR ME. Your results may vary. My personal favorite are the old Yamaha Spurs from the 80s through the 90s. They beefed them up in the 2000s, I have a set of the redesigns on my creamsicle club customs which I would imagine weigh as much is the entire drum set if you were to remove them and weigh them separately. They’re great but GD, it’s not necessary for them to be that ridiculously big and heavy duty.

I have a complete disdain and allergic reaction to any gull wing spur which Doesn’t have a memory lock to remember the height and the angle so you can get that same thing every time. That, to me, like some of the gullwing spurs I see on newer drums ( I had a pork pie kit like this) is one of the absolute stupidest things I have ever seen in my life and 40 years of drumming. They may be lighter, and they may do the job, but to kneel on a fucking beer soaked stage for five minutes five nights a week trying to get to angle right is just silly. Plus they don’t keep the drum from moving.

Of course thjs is all my opinion. And you can disagree :) It won’t change my mind, but I won’t argue you’re wrong.
 

Stickandbrush

Active Member
I think the opposite. I think vintage bass drum spurs are lacking.

As Steve Smith has said, jazz is built from the cymbal down, while rock is from the bass drum up.

Vintage spurs are often small because jazz players tend to either feather the bass drum or only use it for accents. While rock drummers tend to hit the bass drum consistently hard. Vintage spurs simply aren't designed for modern rock playing, hence why they've gotten bigger over time.
Yeah those crappy old spurs just don’t hold up to heavy playing
 

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Stickandbrush

Active Member
I completely disagree with this. Even tho I have vintage kits ( we’ll get to awful gull wing spurs in a minute ), the modern Pearl and Gibraltar variants I see and use every week on the road as backline keep the bass drum from creeping FOR ME. Your results may vary. My personal favorite are the old Yamaha Spurs from the 80s through the 90s. They beefed them up in the 2000s, I have a set of the redesigns on my creamsicle club customs which I would imagine weigh as much is the entire drum set if you were to remove them and weigh them separately. They’re great but GD, it’s not necessary for them to be that ridiculously big and heavy duty.

I have a complete disdain and allergic reaction to any gull wing spur which Doesn’t have a memory lock to remember the height and the angle so you can get that same thing every time. That, to me, like some of the gullwing spurs I see on newer drums ( I had a pork pie kit like this) is one of the absolute stupidest things I have ever seen in my life and 40 years of drumming. They may be lighter, and they may do the job, but to kneel on a fucking beer soaked stage for five minutes five nights a week trying to get to angle right is just silly. Plus they don’t keep the drum from moving.

Of course thjs is all my opinion. And you can disagree :) It won’t change my mind, but I won’t argue you’re wrong.
They may be lighter, and they may do the job, but to kneel on a fucking beer soaked stage for five minutes five nights a week trying to get to angle right is just silly. Plus they don’t keep the drum from moving.

or use memorylocks and take 30 seconds to install them
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Here's something I don't get. On a lot of vintage kits, the spurs are just these tiny things that telescope out from the bass drum. Or, in the case of Ludwig, you had the little gull wings that used floor tom brackets. Nice. And, for most purposes, the small spurs worked just fine.
As those gull wing spurs were originally issued ..... I gotta say, they sucked;) The big problem is the wing screw that pushes into the spur, to tighten it. Poor design. One Ludwig changed to an internal eye bolt ..... things got better. But by then, those spurs had been replaced.

I think mostly, hardware being "overbuilt" is just the drum companies covering their asses. Seems too many drummer dudes just love to crank tight stuff with "the force of Thor";)
My personal favorite are the old Yamaha Spurs from the 80s through the 90s.
Mine too !!!
yamaha spurs.jpg
 

jaymandude

Active Member
They may be lighter, and they may do the job, but to kneel on a fucking beer soaked stage for five minutes five nights a week trying to get to angle right is just silly. Plus they don’t keep the drum from moving.

or use memorylocks and take 30 seconds to install them
I tried to find some for the pork pies and couldn’t find the right size. Do Sonor’s have memory locks? How bout the placement of them on new Ludwig club date kits ? They don’t even get the hoop off the ground. Over 3 grand for a limited edition Legacy Club Date and that’s what you get. Nice :)
 
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