How to Shorten Your Drum Setup Time

Difficulty Level: Average
Time Required: 2 Hours

You Will Need:

Here's how:

  1. First, make sure you're happy with your current setup. Adjust your drums so everything feels comfortable and within reach. Check out professional drummer setups for ideas.
  2. Study your gear carefully. Decide what you will have to take apart or fold up to transport to a gig. The less you must reassemble, the faster your setup.
  3. At your preset height, use a felt tip marker to mark a ring around each adjustable stand that will have to be broken down; Including cymbals, snare, etc.
  4. If you use holders that attach to your bass drum rim (for cowbells, etc...), place a strip of tape along the top of the bass rim on one side of the holder and fold it underneath the rim.
  5. Add a second strip of tape to the bass drum rim on the opposite side of the holder. When you set up, you can now position the holder easily between the 2 strips of tape.
  6. Mark your tom holders the same way, using either felt tip marker or tape. Any adjustable gear that will be broken down should have an instant setup mark on it.
  7. The most time consuming part of drum setup is the positioning of the drums and stands in relation to one another. To help with this, we'll borrow a technique called spiking.
  8. Spiking is used in the theater and refers to the markings on the stage where scenery will go. You can use it to mark where your drums and stands go.
  9. While some pros carry their own pre-spiked plywood drum platform around with them, most of us don't have that luxury. To do it on the cheap, use indoor-outdoor carpet.
  10. Buy a piece of indoor-outdoor carpet big enough for your entire drum set, including the throne. Set your gear up exactly where you want it.
  11. Mark the position of all stands, bass drum spurs, and drum throne with the marker and/or tape on the indoor/outdoor carpet.
  12. Your carpet serves a dual purpose: It not only helps you make faster setups, but prevents your bass and sock cymbal from sliding away from you as you play.

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