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Thread: Schleping gear... I really hate it

  1. #1

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    Default Schleping gear... I really hate it

    Full disclosure:


    I have physical limitations, I spend about 40% of my time with a cane in my right hand thanks to a motorcycle accident in 1991. I also have endurance issues due to a couple of strokes that I had in 2008.

    I play out a good bit, this year I did about 100 gigs if you combine drums, hand percussion and bass gigs all together. I'm retired from my day job, music is all that I do now.

    But...

    More and more I hate dealing with carrying "stuff".

    I play smaller drumsets, limit myself to smaller hand percussion setups and down sized my bass rig. I replaced all of my large, heavy PA gear with light weight modern equipment. I use carts and cases with wheels. I built a music rehearsal studio in my home that allows me to not have to cart my crap to rehearsals elsewhere. I have a second full kit set up at another place where a band I'm in practices so I don't have to carry stuff there.

    When I have larger shows that require more equipment, I hire a roadie. This is not economically feasible for every show that I play.

    I've done everything that I can to make this as simple as I can.

    I recently came to the realization that when I someday quit gigging it will not be because I can't play anymore, I will be because I can't move my crap.

    It sucks.
    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing."

    "I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

    "Snare drums happen."

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I'm sorry to hear about the physical limitations but I have the same mental outlook.

    I HATE MOVING BAND GEAR.

    Especially after 40 years of non-stop gigging and in winters in the Midwest when I become the venues main snow removal source just so I can get my gear in the establishment. I've also asked for (salt) assistance to remove ice on sidewalks so we don't break bones trying to get into the place.

    Not to mention if I'm not the first one there I end up having to maneuver around everyone else's gear that just gets strewn in front of or on the stage with no regard to access to the back half or corner where I'm instructed to set up my toys.

    I think it's the main reasons I haven't made much of an attempt to join another band, for the past 3 years.

    Sadly, I'm not missing it a bit.

    [vent]-[/vent]

    I know this doesn't make you feel any better and I can't imagine what your daily struggles are like but you do make me think about motorcycle riding.
    Last edited by Bish; 12-14-2014 at 09:32 AM.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    drummer5359, sorry to hear about your physical limitations but I also share your outlook.

    At this point in my life, drumming is definitely a labor of love. I am at the age where gigging is beginning to take its toll on me. The transportation challenges for practicing and gigging, getting to the gig early in order to get set up before the others arrive to make it easy on myself, lugging the gear around, getting back in the wee hours of the morning and having to lug my stuff back into the house, etc. What used to be easy is now getting harder, not just physically but mentally as well.

    These are the main reasons that I downsized my kit to the least amount necessary and optimized my hardware configuration for weight and setup. I can probably still go lighter and am considering single braced stands for hi hat and snare but at some point I'll bottom out in the weight department and will be forced to strengthen my body to keep up with the load in/out challenges.

    I am not yet ready to quit playing but I do feel that I will be forced to quit playing one day because I will not be able to deal with the physical challenges of getting to/from the gig. Until that day comes, I will continue to work through my challenges and find solutions that will allow me to continue playing for as long as I can.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer5359 View Post
    Full disclosure:


    I have physical limitations, I spend about 40% of my time with a cane in my right hand thanks to a motorcycle accident in 1991. I also have endurance issues due to a couple of strokes that I had in 2008.

    I play out a good bit, this year I did about 100 gigs if you combine drums, hand percussion and bass gigs all together. I'm retired from my day job, music is all that I do now.

    But...

    More and more I hate dealing with carrying "stuff".

    I play smaller drumsets, limit myself to smaller hand percussion setups and down sized my bass rig. I replaced all of my large, heavy PA gear with light weight modern equipment. I use carts and cases with wheels. I built a music rehearsal studio in my home that allows me to not have to cart my crap to rehearsals elsewhere. I have a second full kit set up at another place where a band I'm in practices so I don't have to carry stuff there.

    When I have larger shows that require more equipment, I hire a roadie. This is not economically feasible for every show that I play.

    I've done everything that I can to make this as simple as I can.

    I recently came to the realization that when I someday quit gigging it will not be because I can't play anymore, I will be because I can't move my crap.

    It sucks.
    I'm with you 100% The physical labor of gigging is almost equalizing the joy of playing. The music game is definitely for the young. (Unless you play the sax or flute or something)

    all the best...

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I think that moving gear might be one of the biggest reasons folks tend to reduce the amount of gigging they do as they get older.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I'm also limited to lifting 25lb max for the rest of my life due to a snowboarding accident.

    I also hate hauling gear. And my band knows my limitations and carry the bigger drums and cases. But I'm still doing most the hauling which plays a toll on my arm. So I feel your pain and Im right there with you.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    If you search on Aircraft Aluminum Drum Hardware you will find there is a way to save many pounds of lifting
    DW Collectors
    Vintage Superstars
    Roland TD-20
    Misc. Snares
    My Web Site

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I'm with the rest of you guys. Humping gear is a big part of why I'm not in a band any longer. I HATE moving gear. I'm also 33 years old. I got sick of moving gear in my early 20s.

  9. #9

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    I bought a compact digital drum kit for quiet practice. It only weighs about 10 pounds. I took it to a few jam sessions, set it on a chair, plugged it into their PA. It works well and is very portable.

  10. #10

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    I hate moving my set. When we did a show with Red Sun Rising their drummer at the time (Adam Mercer) used cane assistance. He's a great drummer, hard hitter with a cool set up.
    RED DIRT MOUNTAIN
    UFiP TAMAHA Zildjian
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    AQUARIAN

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I don't use a cane at shows if I can help it, but there is always one nearby for times when I can't help it.

    The guys in bands that I play with are all helpful at shows, they are aware of my limitations. When you get home at 2:30 in the morning (or later) alone with a wagon full of gear it sucks.
    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing."

    "I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

    "Snare drums happen."

  12. #12

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    I stopped trying to play out because the amount of fun i was having was outweighed by having to deal with hauling my crap around. You aren't alone.
    "The chances of being attacked and killed by a terrorist are less than the chances of being attacked and killed by your own heart"
    Carrying the message to Garcia. Today and everyday.
    Temple Beth Snare Buzz-Head Rabbi

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I believe Gibraltar makes lighter stands. I know will still have to move it but is there anyway you can unload your drums the next day and give your body some rest? good luck to you as we will all be in your shoes in some way some day.
    Conrad

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I had my share of gigs where I had to provide the PA and drum three long one hour sets and then tear everything down and drive home. Today, I help load/unload the guitar players PA system and I leave mine at home but I go out of my way to help him load/unload the speaker cabinets due to his physical disabilities (new hip replacement pending). I've found that playing a 5pc kit on cymbal stands is just as much work using a drum rack so I boiled it down to, (3x) crash (1x) ride, hats, snare, and seven stands including throne and snare stand. That's still a lot to schlep around. I told myself that I was still "all in" until I'm unable to physically move or lift anything heavy..




  15. #15

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I have lightweight DW 6000 series flat based stands, and they really help.

    When the weather is mild I have been known to leave gear in the vehicle overnight. In the middle of winter I hate leaving gear in the car.

    I sold my 87 pound (each) main speakers and the heavy racks of amplifiers. I have small powered QSC mains that weigh 27 pounds each for acoustic gigs. For louder shows I have larger powered QSC mains that weigh 43 pounds each, which are not too bad. My Presonus Studiolive digital mixer weighs just 23 pounds. I've done a lot to make it easier.
    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing."

    "I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

    "Snare drums happen."

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I've never talked to any musician that liked hauling the equipment. We downsized a lot of our PA system...which helps. I switched to the 4pc kit as well. The thin shells are a bonus in terms of weight.

    We've been doing more "unplugged" acoustic gigs, and I gotta say, I REALLY LIKE not having a drum kit to haul. I just play my beer crate Cajon, Spoons, and a foot Tambourine. I can carry everything in one duffle bag and set-up time is only as long as it takes me to find an empty bar stool and order a beer. We take up less space, we're closer to the crowd and each other, and we have waaaay more fun throughout the night. When the gigs over, just pack up the guitars and collect the money! Although....the upright bass is a bit of a challenge. We'll still do a regular gig, but we now search out venues where acoustic will go over well.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    Two keys for me:

    1) everybody helps with everything.

    2) all gig gear including drums stay packed in a trailer so pre- and post-gig amounts to hooking up the hitch.

    This two items make it relatively easy for us.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    I thought that I'd update my DrumChat friends as to some of the changes that I've made in the past year.

    I still hate schleping gear, I might even hate it more than I did a year ago. Last weekend I had a gig about sixty miles away, near the Ohio border. The nephew who I hire to roadie for me lives fifteen miles in the opposite direction, he doesn't drive. Thanks to snow on the roads, by the time we unloaded at my house, I took him to his house and returned home I walked in the door at 5:34 AM. Ouch.

    I bought an old Honda van last summer just for hauling gear. I've decided that I'm going to try to keep it loaded with everything but my drums in our garage to make life easier.



    We'll see how this works out.
    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
    We grow old because we stop playing."

    "I wish that my playing reminded people of Steve Gadd. But they seem to confuse me with his little known cousin... E."

    "Snare drums happen."

  19. #19

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    I am very impressed with you guys that still work hard with limitations.
    I completely understand why you would want to change your set-up and your approach to gigging.

    Even though I don't like being the laborer either, I refuse to compromise what gear I want to use as long as I have the physical means to carry it around...............lucky so far.

    To all my fellow DC drummers, I say as long as you can find a way, keep playing...............and keep gigging.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  20. #20

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer5359 View Post
    When you get home at 2:30 in the morning (or later) alone with a wagon full of gear it sucks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    To all my fellow DC drummers, I say as long as you can find a way, keep playing...............and keep gigging.
    The pain and the joy, right there.

    (I have best managed by keeping it efficient, finding good bands where I don't provide the non-drum gear (not always easy), and making sure all help after the show, including stopping by my house to help unload (also not easy)).
    "I consider every drummer that ever played before me an influence, in every way." (Buddy Rich)

    "How do you keep 90 people together with one stick? I've got two sticks and i can't keep 5 people together." (Ian Paice)

  21. #21

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    It's almost at the point of discouraging now.

    I am a minimalist. Quite literally ONE of everything. No duplicating of drums or cymbals. This seems to be the smallest I can make it....

    1 kick, 1 snare, 1 tom, 1 floor = 4 bags/cases

    1 ride, 1 crash, 1 pair hats = 1 bag

    riser, sticks, pedal misc... = 1 bag

    ______

    total : 6 bags/cases

    Then hat stand, snare stand, ride stand, and combo tom, cymbal stand = 4 stands
    Not to mention the stool, which may fit into the misc bag.

    Grand total = 10 items that must be loaded and unloaded twice each time playing out.

    And I'm a MINIMALIST I can't begin to imagine what's it like for the monster set guys!

    Please help!

    Tired in the Bahamas LOL

    all the best...
    Last edited by kay-gee; 03-07-2016 at 07:09 AM.

  22. #22

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    I make it difficult for myself lol but once I'm all set up and hitting all 9 pieces of drums on my kit I forget all about the burdens of unload... that is until the show is over and then I have all the burdens of loading back up haha.
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 7pc PDP Concept Maple Classic | 5pc Sonor International | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone | 4pc Sonor Martini | 65 Snare drums and growing!

  23. #23

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    I take only the bare minimum. It's not that I can't physically haul, set up, break down and haul again a bigger kit. I just don't want to. I take what I need based on what I'm going to be playing. If that's what you do, then it's cool. What I find amusing is going to see a band, seeing a guy set up this monster kit then actually hit 1/5 of what is set up. Guess it's for show. Seems like wasted energy to me.
    Last edited by inthpktplayer; 03-07-2016 at 07:27 AM.

  24. #24

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    What I find amusing is going to see a band, seeing a guy set up this monster kit then actually hit 1/5 of what is set up. Guess it's for show. Seems like wasted energy to me.
    Amen, brother.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  25. #25

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    Default Re: Schleping gear... I really hate it

    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    I take only the bare minimum. It's not that I can't physically haul, set up, break down and haul again a bigger kit. I just don't want to. I take what I need based on what I'm going to be playing. If that's what you do, then it's cool. What I find amusing is going to see a band, seeing a guy set up this monster kit then actually hit 1/5 of what is set up. Guess it's for show. Seems like wasted energy to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Amen, brother.
    +2..................reminds me of the 80's when I'd lug around a huge double bass set, only to play 1/2 of what I brought................but it looked cool!

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