After years of playing gigs, I have come up with a list of things you should always have with you (in addition of course from your drum-kit). Here goes…
1) drum keys.
always keep a drum key on your keyring, in your stick bag, in your hardware case, in the car, etc. You can never have too many drum keys.
2) spare sticks
Obvious perhaps, but you’d be surprised how many drummers at gigs have asked me if they can “borrow some sticks” as they’ve either forgotten or broken theirs.
Small rubber-like dampening pads that sit on top of your drum head. Easily cut down the ring from that tom, or control that rather lively brass snare. This isn’t a substitute for tuning your drums properly, rather, it’s a quick and easy method to cut down on excessive ring. Particularly useful in the studio.
4) spare snare drum
We can survive if a tom head breaks, but the snare is the most important drum in the drum-kit. If you do not have a spare snare drum, at least have a spare batter head
5) spare bass drum pedal
Or at least a spare bass pedal spring and/or beater.
6) spare hi-hat clutch/cymbal stand felts/wingnuts/cymbal savers
These bits and pieces are notorious for going missing before and after gigs, especially when packing down on dark stages.
7) Gaffer tape
Also known as gaffa tape, duct tape, duck tape, etc. Gaffer tape can mend what is broken, at least on a temporary basis, including threaded bolts on cymbal stands, and split bass drum heads.
9) pen and paper
Useful for writing setlists, last minute song-notes, gig dates, etc.
Most of these can easily be kept in your stick bag or hardware bag. Keep spare heads in the case with the drum they are for.
And finally, a little food for thought…