Why I don't want help taking down, even carrying my drums.

alparrott

Platinum Member
Back in my stupid younger prog days I used to play a huge drumset and mount it on a rack - just the thing for quick changeouts at the club 🤨 After one show, a friend offered to help me break down the kit and I told him to "disassemble the rack", meaning just pull the rack tubes apart. When I looked around he'd actually broken down everything to its smallest components - unscrewed all bolts and wingnuts, all clamps in pieces, washers and little bitty parts all over the floor in this dimly lit club full of drunks at 1 AM. This precipitated the end of both my practice of using a rack and my practice of asking people for help.

(Having said that, my current bandmates and I are all very versed in how to load each others' vehicles the way we prefer.)
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Except for my very early teenage years we had friends and later roadies deal with our gear. I played Ludwig drums back then and they held up well. Never gave it much thought. Everyone who handled our gear did so with care. I considered my drums to be tools that I used to make money, and music of course. Nothing more. If something broke it got replaced. I always had parts. spare snare, and heads with me on the road.
 
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MustangMick

Senior Member
I setup and take down my own drums.
If anyone offers to help they can keep guard of the cases on stage while I'm packing the van.
(Everything is packed in a particular order as a sanity check)

I'll buy them a beer if the bar is still open
Mick
 

Skeet6

Member
In my busiest gig period (95-2002) I painted my cases with numbers 1-8. It was easy to count all the pieces even in dark NYC clubs once the gear was packed and piled.

It was also numbered in the order it was packed into my vehicle at the time.
Much easier when folks would "help" pack/carry out.
Mike B
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I don't like people helping either. Like you know, the order is important ; only a drummer know the Tetris it is to stuff a full kit in a car! - Especially a medium European car.
I just ask for a little help to put the bass drum in the case : it's foam and the folded spurs protrude a lot, so it's much easier with hands that keep the soft case open wide. I often ask for help to carry the hardware softcase too, it's heavy as hell !

Generally I really take my time to break my kit apart after a gig. People want to give a hand but I decline everytime.
 
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Woolwich

Silver Member
A repetition of what's gone before, it's quicker and more efficient to pack it away myself than to direct well meaning people to do it. The last time someone "helped" me must have been about 5 years ago. Coincidentally it was my first gig with a new to me Premier Projector kit, he carried the floor tom by the case handle but as he walked through the door he carried it in his trailing arm, the door was closing and the floor tom got jammed between the door and the frame almost jerking him off his feet. I was livid but fortunately no harm was done.
I know that a kit and cymbals looks like lots more than a guitar and amp and pedals and cables, but in reality breaking down a guitar rig is a bit more labour intensive than one would think. However it's not so labour intensive to explain away how I've always been more likely to end up carrying guitar gear out to a car at the end of the night than to find guitarists helping me out with my stuff.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
The only time my drums ever got scratched up in near 40 years of playing has been when someone "helped" me. The only time I've ever had a wing nut stripped out, has been when someone "helped" me. The only time I've ever had a cymbal dropped, is when someone "helped" me. In all cases, I asked that they leave things be and didn't listen. I've been far more "firm" about it since.

The last time I gigged out, it was an outdoor venue. I had my drums broken down and in cases with lighting speed and my wife heard me be very firm with an approaching "helper" and got all over me for being a big "jerk" about it. Not even she understands the reasoning and said people were only trying to "help". Kinda the whole point about being firm, no? I'm not having any part of "helpers".
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Oh man I'm real anal the same way even in practice where fellow band members want to help-I say no. I've lost to much stuff because other people put it somewhere or grabbed something wrong and didn't notice something fall off. Now in orchestra I would help other members setting up chairs and what not-but leave my kit alone.
 

cornelius

Silver Member
I always handle my own gear. I learned that from Mark Shulman (Gtr player, not the drummer). We used to be neighbors in the same apartment building, and I'd always see him putting an amp or two into a cab. I asked him if he wanted a hand with an amplifier he'd always politely say no. When playing small clubs, I used to laugh when I'd see other drummer's girlfriends carrying in gear to the venue. I vowed to never let a girlfriend be my roadie...
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
I just ask for a little help to put the bass drum in the case : it's foam and the folded spurs protrude a lot, so it's much easier with hands that keep the soft case open wide.
Try this: don't put the drum into the case, set the kick on the ground and slip the case over it like a condom. Depending on how you orient your batter and reso heads in the case, you may have to flip the drum.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Try this: don't put the drum into the case, set the kick on the ground and slip the case over it like a condom. Depending on how you orient your batter and reso heads in the case, you may have to flip the drum.
I was going to suggest the same. A one-armed drummer saw me dropping a floor tom into a bag and asked me why I didn't slip the bag over the drum. I was so used to SKB hard cases that the thought never crossed my mind. I felt like an eeeediot for not trying that before.

The moral of the story is, when a one-armed fella gives you advice on how to make your life easier, pay attention.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Try this: don't put the drum into the case, set the kick on the ground and slip the case over it like a condom. Depending on how you orient your batter and reso heads in the case, you may have to flip the drum.
Good ideas are sometimes very simple and this should have been obvious ! I‘ll try this way next time. Thanks
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
To piggyback on the case thing, while uncasing the kit for setup, if you use soft bags, nest the largest tom bag into the empty bass drum bag...with the tom still in the case. The stiffness and weight of the drum makes the slide in easier lol. The bass drum bag is easy, the time savings (only seconds really) comes with the close sized toms. After the stiff slide in, then take the tom out of the bag and repeat with the next smaller sized bagged tom

And it only took me about 14 years to figure that out.

Pretty proud of that.
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
I hate when people help carry stuff to my car, its always in the wrong order of packing the car. When they help load in same thing they plop the bass drum down before the rug etc. I never ask or want help. once in while, my guitar player will grab my cymbal bag or pedal bag and leave it on a sidewalk without me knowing. Last weekend at gig, we had to wait for the staff to move a table, i loaded all my gear into the hotel lobby. When they were ready for us i knew the band would help because their stuff was already piled out there. Long story short, my bass player dropped my LM400 snare on the concrete patio. Luckily i have been using a Ludwig student backpack style case ( i dont know why) and it was padded enough that nothing happened,
 
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