Caring for Your Drums

Like any instrument, proper care and maintenance is crucial to your drum and cymbal longevity. If you're lax about taking care of your gear, you will not get the most out of it. In fact, likely, it will break down, fall apart, strip, or malfunction in unforeseen ways.

The first step in taking care of your equipment is to be mindful of storage. Water is the enemy to any instrument. Often, drummers keep their kits in basements or damp cellars. Needless to say, these rooms are not conducive to the health of instruments. Therefore, be sure to choose a dry area to store your gear. Also, always avoid very hot zones in your home, like in front of a radiator, or extreme cold areas, like an unheated garage in the wintertime.

In order to protect your hardware from stripping, don't overtighten your stands. You also should not overtighten the wing nuts on top of your cymbal stands. If you do, you will not only choke your cymbals, you will also run the risk of cracking them. After you crash a cymbal, it must have room to vibrate, rise, and fall.

Second, always carry your gear (particularly drums) in cases when traveling. The myth persists that since you hit drums they are somehow impervious. However, it's easy to nick or ding up drum shells when carrying them without some sort of protective covering. Hard shell cases are the best, and they should be used if you're doing extensive travel, especially on airplanes. If you are flying and are checking your drums, you should consider Anvil Cases. These are the sturdiest cases on the market. On the downside, all hard shell cases add bulk and extra weight. For this reason, soft “gig bags” are okay for local travel as long as you're still careful transferring them from one location to the next.

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