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Drum Care 101 - Drum Building and Repair
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Drum Care 101
Drum Care 101
Guide for cleaning and maintaining your drums & cymbals
Published by Drum Set Connect
06-15-2006
Post Drum Care 101

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own. If you have a system that works for you, then good for you!! This is just what has worked in my experience.

The Big One
DUCT TAPE IS NOT FOR DRUMS!!! As a general rule, your drums are supposed to resonate. Itís what makes a drum . . . well . . . a drum! If you donít like it, you might as well play on trash cans.

That being said there are three points Iíd like to hit: Tuning, Cleaning, and Playing

Tuning
Tuning is really the single most important skill a drummer can have. Seriously, even if you canít play a single groove, if you can tune, you have a job. There are people who will pay you VERY well if you can tune well. I wonít go into this one too much (mainly because there already a great site on drum tuning) so for a more in depth study on tuning check out the Drum Tuning Bible ). I, personally use a tuning system very much like this. If you donít know how to tune, read this 3 times, put it down and meditate on it, then read it again twice for good measure.

Cleaning
If you donít have a wrapped finish and have never taken the hardware off and waxed/polished your drums, YOU ARE WRONG. If you canít sit for half an hour and polish your cymbals, or you canít take five minutes out of your day to take a feather duster and take the 3 months worth of dust off your set, please turn in your stick and go play the flute. Drummers have a reputation for being very, VERY proud of the drums. Take a little pride in your craft and give your equipment a little loving care. Seriously, is it that hard to dust your drums off once every week or two?? Most drum wraps clean up very easy with soap and water or a non-abrasive window cleaner. In those 2 hours youíre watching the game on TV, give them a good cleaning. For cleaning chrome, I use a simple wheel polish every 6 months or so, and dust everything off before I put everything in their cases. A little extra time goes along way.

Playing
Technique is an issue a lot of new guys get into trouble with. They go out and get the huge Morgan Rose sticks and pound there drums like cavemen. They take pride in broken heads and broken sticks. This is cool accept for one thing: You are Not Morgan Rose and you actually have to pay for your stuff!! In 15 years of playing I have learned one very important thing; it sucks to buy stuff you donít need. I hate having to spend money I was saving to buy a new toy with to replace heads, sticks and other assorted things. But no one tells the young guys this. Hell, no one told me!! I learned it the hard way. No one told me when I started that you had to keep your cymbals loose between the felts so you donít crack them. No one said to loosen your grip so that you donít hurt yourself (Oh and as general rule, Pain is typically a bad thing). Spend some time working on your technique. Watch some of the older drummers and ask some questions. It will help you down the road.

One of my favorite teachers is Dom Famularo. Why?? Because he is a technique guru. Everything about his playing and his teaching is based on proper technique. Even his studio, the ďWisdom woodshedĒ, is designed so that the use of proper technique is not stressed, but preached like ďFire and BrimstoneĒ. Check out the Vic Firth education site and study on it a little. Doing a few rudiments or Stoneís Stick Control with proper technique will not only reduce your chances of injury but will great reduce the needless expenses of your drumming past. If you work on technique, your body and your equipment will thank you.

If you donít have a wrapped finish and have never taken the hardware off and waxed/polished your drums, YOU ARE WRONG. If you canít sit for half an hour and polish your cymbals, or you canít take five minutes out of your day to take a feather duster and take the 3 months worth of dust off your set, please turn in your stick and go play the flute. Drummers have a reputation for being very, VERY proud of the drums. Take a little pride in your craft and give your equipment a little loving care. Seriously, is it that hard to dust your drums off once every week or two?? Most drum wraps clean up very easy with soap and water or a non-abrasive window cleaner. In those 2 hours youíre watching the game on TV, give them a good cleaning. For cleaning chrome, I use a simple wheel polish every 6 months or so, and dust everything off before I put everything in their cases. A little extra time goes along way.


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  #1  
By Drummer1919 on 06-25-2006, 01:39 AM
This is good and I understand that you said that this is your view, but as far as duct tape, it can be vary usefull in recording drums. You have probably recorded and know that it is vary different from playing live and most of the people that record dont like it when a drum resonates a lot, but as far as tape on cymbals I think thats a bad idea no matter what.
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  #2  
By myner on 09-01-2006, 12:42 PM
yup. no tape on cymbals...
i find it real dumb if people actually tape their cymbals. like what the hell for?
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  #3  
By malletjazz on 09-01-2006, 01:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by myner
yup. no tape on cymbals...
i find it real dumb if people actually tape their cymbals. like what the hell for?
To remove some unwanted overtones, or to remove a little bit of "wash" from the sound.

A little goes a long, long way, tho. I've done it in the past, altho none of my current crop of cymbals require any tape. I might use a small square of duct tape on the bottom of a ride cymbal, but not long strips of tape.

I would definitely agree that tape should not be used as a substitute for good tuning skills, but sometimes, instruments sound better - and serve the music better - with a little bit of damping.
Last edited by malletjazz; 09-01-2006 at 01:22 PM..
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  #4  
By myner on 09-01-2006, 01:23 PM
to remove the wash eh. I can see it for rides, but not for crashes.
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  #5  
By full metal on 09-01-2006, 05:27 PM
yea but you can get a lot of wash from some of your bigger crashes like 18-20". I know my 18" z custom has a lot of wash to it. when we played live they had to put the mics kinda far away from that one because it was so loud and would continue to ring for a very long time.
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  #6  
By AvengedDrummer on 09-01-2006, 05:49 PM
Some of the die hard cymbalholics use tape to tweak the cymbals sound right to their liking. I dont, cause I like my cymbal sound just fine the way it is. But when I do experiment with tape, I use the tape that doesnt leave any sticky stuff, and I usually tape it on the bottom.
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  #7  
By guss on 07-02-2007, 07:01 PM
OK so i use a little Duct Tape
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  #8  
By drummergyrl1390 on 03-10-2008, 12:50 AM
Re: Drum Care 101

ehh it's a quick and easy fix... there is nothing wrong with it... however one should take the time to properly tune their drums... if you dont have the time... like say your asked to play on someones drumset and you dont have time tape is a good substitute
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  #9  
By fastfoot on 01-27-2009, 08:20 PM
Re: Drum Care 101

Duct tape [to use or not to use] that is the question!! Not for me. But every drummer has
his or her own way. But if I were to use tape it would be elecrtical tape you could keep it on
for weeks and it pulls right off
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