Rhythm Top Ten Tips: Essential Gear

Ok, so we've covered rehearsing, but what are we rehearsing for: A gig, a session, a jam night? Whatever the reason there are a few essential bits of kit you should keep with you to ensure sure you are prepared for anything. Read on for our essentials check list

1. At least two turning keys, preferably more, secreted about your person and in stick bags, cymbal bags, gig bags etc. You could need it at any point to tune up, adjust your pedal, a memory lock on a stand...

2. A roll of Gaffer´s Tape - it truly has a thousand uses, many of them to do with music.

3. Spare heads - at least a snare batter and bass batter. Keep a spare head in each drum case.

4. If you can afford to have a spare, take an extra snare drum - on a stand and ready for action.

5. Head-damping materials - a tub of Moongel or a selection of ‘O´ rings will work. Cut the latter into quarter circles. If all else fails, head back to point number 1 on this list.

6. A small craft/tool box or the like containing: screwdrivers (flat and Phillips), pliers, tweezers, scissors, Allen keys, hammer etc.

7. Plus, a Swiss Army Knife, or if you want to be flash, the Roadie´s friend - a Leatherman.

8. Cymbal felts and plastic sleeves, washers and wing nuts. Snare tie-cords or tapes. Bass drum spring and hi-hat clutch.

9. Many companies sell pre-packaged spares kits and some or all of the above. They´re convenient and not usually too expensive.

10. Carpet. Essential. Buy a proprietary one or just get a cheap two-metre off-cut from your local carpet store. You will then be able to set up on almost any surface

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage the buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear and the best prices. I'm a guitarist and a drummer and I've worked in the music gear industry for 18 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with many of the world's biggest musical instrument brands including the likes of Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal.