Anne Carr is an English teacher, writer, and drummer who enjoys reading, writing, and music. She is passionate about drumming and writing.
Caring for Your Drums
Why is it important to care for your drums? Well, as musicians, our instruments get a lot of wear and tear, especially drums. If these things aren't taken care of in a timely manner, it is likely to affect the quality of the drums, the sound, and many other factors. The time and effort you take into caring for your drums will indicate how good the tone and sound of your drums are. Comparatively, a kit that has been worn down with virtually no care put into it is likely to sound out of tune, whereas an older kit that has actually been taken care of will naturally sound better and retain a vintage but beautiful sound. Here are a few tips to get you started on taking care of your kit.
1. Change Out Heads When Necessary
It is always a wise idea to check your drum heads and make sure that they are properly installed. After lots of use, your drum heads will have marks on them, not to mention, after much use, drum heads will warp as they are played. Once your drum heads have gone through a lot of use, it is best to change them out and get new heads. Heads affect the overall tone and tuning of the drums, and they are one of the most important and essential pieces to your kit to always be checking up on. If you don't know how to tune your drums yourself yet, but see that your heads need to be replaced, take your drums to your local music store and have a professional do it for you. Tuning drums is an art, and lots of times, as beginner drummers, we are just not familiar with how to do this right. See if you can learn how to do it yourself by watching some experienced drummers do it for you first.
2. Replace Your Sticks
One of the other factors that goes into sound quality, believe it or not, is the type of sticks you use, and how often you change them out. If you are using older sticks that have seen a lot of wear and tear, they might not be as effective. They may be holding you back from reaching your full potential. Know when it is time to throw those old sticks away and invest in a new pair. Go to your local music store and test out different sticks to see which you best prefer.
3. Cymbal Shine
Believe it or not, taking care of your cymbals is also an essential and important part of caring for your kit. Over time, you will get some scuff marks on the cymbals, and it is important to keep them clean. Keeping cymbals clean will ensure that you have that sharp, clear sound you are looking for every time you play. The cool thing about it is that it costs virtually nothing to clean your cymbals. While they might sell special things online to clean them, all you really need is, believe it or not, ketchup! Using ketchup on your cymbals will help them easily retain their shine once. This is due to the vinegar base in the cymbals, which helps to bring the shine. So, just grab a clean rag, a little bit of ketchup, and carefully rub it on your cymbals.
4. Loose Hardware
After using your kit for a while, you are bound to find that some of the hardware might become loose or fall out with continuous play. Keep track of where things are, where they go, and when something breaks or falls. If it is something you feel like you don't know how to fix, don't try figuring it out for yourself; go to a professional at a music store and have them take a look. They can help you identify what the issue is and make sure that you are fixing it properly.
Taking care of your drums is almost like taking care of a car; you need to make sure all of the parts are in working order before you continue to drive it. If you leave it all without being properly fixed, you are bound to do more serious damage to it than if you took the proper steps to fix any issues. If there is anything you are not sure about with your kit, take it to a professional. Especially if you are a beginner drummer, it is important to get second opinions and to hear from experienced drummers on how they have taken care of their kits over the years. This will help you gain more experience, and hopefully one day, be able to solve many of the hardware issues yourself.