What’s in your Bag?

I’m finally back after an extended break due to a lot of personal things going on in my life. Which involved a lot of changes.

I am planning to get back to making drum covers as well as continuing to come up with new drumming ideas and writing more articles like this one which will include some reviews on new purchases I have made.

Please if anyone has any questions on anything I use or has any questions about drumming be it beginner or advanced please don’t be afraid to ask. If I don’t know the answer I will go away and learn it for you. Also with the same breath if you have any ideas for my future covers/ articles or my word press site please let me know.

Ok so this is a quick article to get me back into the swing of things, it has been a long time since I put pen to paper so to speak. To expand on the title if you haven’t guessed already is to let you know what I think every drummer should have with them for every gig, practice or audition they attend

 The Bag

Ok so its basic function is to hold your sticks. But it also says so much more about you character and your professionalism. Now this doesn’t matter to much when you’re messing around with your friends in a local studio or garage. But if for instance: if you’re turning up to a professional audition you wouldn’t want to be arriving with a torn, ripped, beat up bag. You want and need to look the part, so a nice well looked after plain bag is the best choice.

It should be able to comfortably carry all the things I’m going to mention throughout this article as well as been well compartmentised (think I made that word up). So to keep everything readily available and easy to access.

I have 3 bags in my collection. One for Travel, One for professional gigs and one that I use to hold my sticks close to my kit at home. And these are pictured below.


When called to attend a session you don’t always have the good fortune of knowing the style of music you will be required to play on that day. So a good rounded selection is a must. For me these include:

A set of lighter softer sticks like a 7A (all my stick choices I have in both Nylon and Wood tip)
A set of medium sticks like a 5A (these are my preferred sticks)
A Set of 5B’s for a bit of weight.
A set of wire brushes
A set of plastic brushes
A set of hot rods (personal choice)
A set of soft mallets
A set of hard mallets

This is generally what I store I’m my stick bag as well as a couple of spare pairs and throw away sticks (chip sticks that you don’t mind breaking all the time)

My stick preference is Vic Firth sticks. I did use Zildjian for a long time but found I was breaking their sticks at an alarming rate. They would last maybe 2 hours; I expect more for £8.00 a set. I find the Vic Firth last a good 2-3 weeks of intense play.

Ear Protection.

These in my opinion are as important as the bad that hold them. Make sure you get yourself a good set of ear defenders. I prefer the smaller in ear protection, I take these everywhere with me. You have a limited amount of hearing tolerance for your whole life. Its best to think of it like an energy bar on a fighting game. Once it’s been worked all the way down its gone. And gone for good. You never know the situations you are walking into or how load those guitar amps are going to be.

Pen, Marker and Pad

I like to be able to make notes on the music I have been asked to play. I highlight difficult parts, Time changes, Volume changes, and any fillings to give me time to read ahead to plan the upcoming changes/ fillings.

It’s also nice to be able to make notes and looks a lot more professional than having to ask for a pen, Also you never know when you might see a good idea and wish to write it down for latter

 Drum Key

Never leave home without it, nothing worse than turning up to play on a kit that’s been left in a room for 6 months with not even a basic tune on it. If you forget this your band mates or employer might not have one and you might not get paid as a result. No one likes a poor sounding kit.

I also carry a torque key so that I can swiftly get a basic tune on a kit.

Moon gel

Now I’m an advocate of you can tune a drum to get the sound you require. If you can’t then you need more practice! (I have information on tuning your entire kit on a different article so feel free to take a look) But saying that there are instances when moon gel does come in handy to reduce ring on a snare for instance that you don’t have an hour to tune. To remove overertones and wash on a ride cymbal or to tone down an overly explosive cowbell. So I always carry some in the bag

Drum Kit Bits and spares

These include things like spare cymbal protectors, Felts and nuts and bolts that may potentially be missing from the kit causing a rattle. You never know how bad that kit is going be you have to record or audition from.

And that’s everything I carry along with me every time I play. If there is anything that I have missed of I’d love to hear it. Or if you have any little quirks you like to carry with you.

Thank you for reading and please look out for my future covers. I have a few nice new shiny toys to record with now. So I’m hoping for some improvements in the sound quality of my covers.

About ajbennettdrums

I have been playing drums for over 20 years now and currently have over 9 years of teaching experience. I am comfortable playing all styles and am a proficient sight reader of music. I started playing drums at the tender age of 7 and I vividly remember exactly what it was that got me into drumming. One Sunday afternoon I was watching a documentary on classic 80’s bands, equipped with huge Drum Kits taking up most of the stage. I then proceeded to empty out a tonne of boxes in my room, cut holes in them and sticky-tape bits together to create my first drum kit (using pencils as sticks). At that point, my dad thought it would be a good idea to send me off for Drum Lessons and from that moment on I have never looked back.

Posted on June 1, 2014, in Drumming Bits and Bobs., Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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