Quotations

“When I am ... completely myself, entirely alone... or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.”  -- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” -- Gustave Flaubert

“I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”  -- Haruki Murakami

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”  -- Pablo Picasso

“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.”  -- Charles Dickens

“Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject.”  -- Thomas Mann

"Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows
Like harmony in music; there is a dark
Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles
Discordant elements, makes them cling together
In one society..."  
-- William Wordsworth (1770–1850), British poet

Drummer's Survival Kit

      Drummers, do you have a Drummer's Survival Kit? Every drummer should have a stick bag of course. In stick bags we carry things like drumsticks, soft and hard mallets, brushes, blastix, drum keys, and other assorted odds and ends.

It's those odds and ends and just how important those little things can be to performing well on the gig I want to focus on here. Little things like string. If you have a snare drum it's quite likely the small parts that keep your snare drum together could break or become un-fastened when you least expect it. How many of us have had those snare attachments fall apart right before the curtain goes up?

With a little string you can tie that snare drum up strong enough to get you through the night and on to the next date. 
     

Wire can also be a life saver. On more than one occasion I've had that most important but often neglected piece of drum hardware refuse to cooperate and do its job when it was most needed.

The thing about Drum Pedals that we seem to take for granted is that they work all night long, they get kicked and get kicked hard, for hour after hour, every night if you're a club drummer. Eventually that pedal is going to complain about all the abuse it's getting and just refuse to work.

That's where a little bit of wire can come in handy. It should by strong wire. Strong enough to withstand several hours of hard kicking. Newer pedals are most often better that the older designs, but most of them still rely on at least one spring somewhere in their design. The only things that can be used to fix a broken spring are a good pair of pliers and a piece of thin wire. You'll need to wrap this wire several times around what's left of your spring and the place where it's supposed to be connected. Sure, "why not just carry extra springs?" you ask. There is a very good reason why carrying extra springs is only part of the answer. Extra springs are fine if it's your pedal and you have the right kind of spring. But if you are a traveling musician, you're likely to be in situations where you aren't using your own set and carrying around your own pedal all the time can be inconvenient at best.

Sometime you might be playing out in the middle of nowhere, with no music store for hundreds of miles. The music just doesn't sound the same with no bass drum.

If you can fix it, you'll make your fellow musicians so much happier, and you'll enjoy your own playing just that much more if you know you are ready for anything.

Take a good long careful look at what you need to keep in your stick bag. It can pay dividends when you least expect it. Your drumming can take you anywhere you want to go. Work hard, be supportive of your fellow musicians, have fun, and above all -- Keep The Beat.