The physical world of drumming and the drum kit is packed full of accessories, gadgets and little must-haves that make the experience of playing not only more fun but will sharpen up your playing and make you sound great too.
This year has seen the usual tidal wave of potential impulse purchases around the drum world so here's our selection of what's new for 2021.
Groovetech DK Multi drum multi-tool
Don't leave home (and gig) without one. Groovetech’s new DK Multi is a drum multi-tool aimed at making sure you’re never without the most common tools you need to tweak your drums and hardware on-the-fly.
Incorporating a drum key and three common-sized hex wrenches (2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm), the drum key part of the DK Multi is forged rather than cast, while the rest of the ‘skeleton’ is made from chromed vanadium steel, covered in a darkness-shirking polypropylene jacket to enhance grip comfort.
What’s more, Groovetech has managed to fit this into a footprint “about the same” as a normal drum key: a move that it reckons will make this. “your new favourite key”.
The Groovetech DK Multi is available now, with a suggested retail price of $12.95 (around £10).
Meinl 2021 accessories
Meinl have got something for everyone in 2021 including the Byzance drum key, drum rugs, cymbal rivets, expanded Drum Honey dampening dots and more.
Their Byzance key is plated with an antique bronze finish, featuring the Byzance logo on one side and the Meinl logo on the other. There’s also a hole for attaching a keyring to ensure it’s always close to hand (and that you don’t lose it!).
On the rug front Meinl have four new additions in two finishes and sizes. There’s the Oriental: Meinl’s take on the classic and almost obligatory studio rug, plus additions to Meinl’s more subtle ‘black’ rugs.
All feature a non-slip rubber backing to avoid the dreaded bass drum-creep, and each rug comes with its own strap and bag for easy packing and transportation.
Sizes for both finishes are available in large (2m x 2m/6.5ft x 6.5ft) or small (160cm x140cm/5.25ft x4.6ft) sizes.
Finally Meinl’s Drum Honey dampeners are extremely popular, and now they’re available in a multi-pack with a selection of different sizes. The amber-coloured dots are washable, and come in a pack of 12 (6x 0,6”, 4x 1” and 2x 1.4”).
D’Addario Evans ‘Barney Beats’ RealFeel practice pad and ProMark sticks
The Barney Beats pad is a single-sided, red version of the familiar octagonal RealFeel practice pad meanwhile the sticks are a pair of 5As finished in white with red details and natural tips.
Evans tells us, “Evans Drumheads is thrilled to announce the launch of a Barney Beats Limited Edition RealFeel Practice Pad. Drum Practice Pad sales have significantly increased on eCommerce this year, as quarantine has forced drummers to stay home and practice quietly.
“This special edition practice pad comes in red and features the iconic Evans Drumheads Barney Beats logo, not printed on any other product. The gummed rubber is slightly thicker than our standard pads providing a unique sound and feel that is more responsive and makes practicing more fun.”
The Evans Barney Beats RealFeel Practice Pad will be available shortly, priced at $34.99.
Ahead Classic 2B sticks
If you’re a heavy metal drummer who finds you’re constantly breaking drumsticks, you may need to explore alternative materials…
Ahead is known for making extremely durable drumsticks, built around an anodised aerospace-grade aluminium core, and finished with durable polyurethane covers and ‘unbreakable’ nylon tips. Inside each stick you’ll find a vibration reduction system to help absorb the shock of heavier playing.
Ahead’s 2B model feels substantial in the hands and is perfectly balanced to promote powerful playing, whilst being light enough to pull off faster beats. Ahead claims their sticks last up to 10 times longer than wooden drumsticks, which takes the sting out of the higher price tag.
Yours for $42.11/£31.99/€37.48
DW 9000 bass drum pedal
DW’s flagship 9000 hardware line gives us the 9000 series pedal – which sees it steal some thunder from the faithful 5000. A floating rotor, repositioned spring and near endless adjustment of the drive cam between Accelerator and Turbo settings means that you can really dial in the 9000’s feel.
And if that weren't enough, DW offer a Pedal Customising Kit with footboard weights and stacker heels with which to adjust the response of the 9000s even further. A nine-position Elevator Heel Plate arrangement is arrived at through the use of three different-sized heel sections that can be used in conjunction with one another – the higher the stack, the greater the control.
Get one for $339/£329/€359
Paiste Signature Power, Heavy and Mellow
The Swiss cymbal giant is bringing back a number of popular models, as well as a new addition to its Signature line-up for 2021.
First up are the Signature Power models. The Power Hi-Hat is available in 14” and 15” sizes. These are joined by 19” and 20” Signature Power Crashes, as well as 20” and 22” Power Rides, which Paiste says will “pierce the loudest guitar walls with a solid, bright ping and strong bell sound”
There’s also the Signature Heavy Hi-Hats: available as a 14” pair offering a “clear, full sound with a rich low-end.”
It’s not all loud reissues, though. Paiste has created the Signature 22” Mellow Ride, a larger version of the current 20” Mellow ride - known for its sweet stick sound and rich, soft wash. This is the first time Paiste has offered the sound in a 22” format.
Meinl Classics Custom Heavy Dark cymbals
Meinl has revealed its new addition to the Classics Custom range: Classics Custom Heavy Dark. The new line - aimed at those playing heavier styles such as rock and metal - comprises six new models, promising aggressive, loud cymbals to make sure you cut through.
Manufactured using Meinl’s computerised process, all Classics Custom Heavy Dark are made from its B10 bronze alloy, and includes 14” Heavy Dark Hi-Hats, 16” and 18” Heavy Dark Crashes, 18” Heavy Dark China, 18” Heavy Dark Big Bell Ride and 20” Heavy Dark Ride - both with oversized bells for clear, strong attack.
The Heavy Dark Hi-Hats feature a medium-heavy top and heavy bottom with the distinctive Classics Custom Dark finish for a powerful sound closed or open. The Heavy Dark Crashes open up to deliver an energetic drive at loud dynamics, making it a sure bet for high octane styles like rock and metal. And the Dark Heavy China roars to life with a trashy tone and bold attack.
Finally, with precision definition, an oversized bell the Heavy Dark rides blare with an authoritative cut that can take charge of just about any playing situation. Its medium-heavy weight gives you extra lift to really let your ride playing shine for rock or metal styles.