All drummers are not just drummers alone but also a mechanic as drums are the most mechanical of instruments. No other musician has to use as many different mechanical devices as drummers do. Even the most basic performance on a drum set can cause stress on the instruments, and in time, this stress can cause the mechanical parts to fail. Often, this will happen at a time that will create the most chaos. We want to help you avoid this chaos, so here are some of the different ways that drummers can take care of their set to keep it in the best condition possible because, as they say, “Take care of your drum set, and it’ll take care of you”. Another popular option is to purchase a stylish Rockskins wood drum wrap.
Cover Up Your Kit
Every drum sets’ enemy is grime, so it is utmost essential to cover up your drum kit, especially if you decide to leave it in a venue with poor air quality. Since the ban on indoor smoking, cigarette smoke is mostly a thing of the past in restaurants and bars; however, there is still the problem of grease in the air. Exposure to oil may develop into a thin coating of grime. The grime can ruin the finish on your set rather quickly. There’s no quicker solution than covering your drums by draping painter’s lightweight drop cloth or a bedsheet. It will be more than sufficient for the task when they aren’t in use. Regularly dusting your set will also help in keeping your sets in top shape.
Avoid Scratching the Finish When Wiping Down Your Drum Set
Another way of maintaining the quality of your drum set is by always wiping your kit down when you are done playing it for the night. You can start the task by wiping your set down with a soft clean cloth and a bit of Windex. By doing so, it helps remove any film or grease that may build up on your sets or hardware. A deep clean is also required from time to time. The act requires the dismantling of the entire set to the rims and lugs, so it enables you to polish the drums and clean the individual small parts.
When it comes to the surface of your drums, utmost care must be taken to ensure that you don’t scratch the surface. You will be cleaning a plastic surface if your drums have a wrapped finish. On the other hand, lacquered finishes will have you merely polishing the lacquer. Rarely will you work on a natural wood surface?
Clean the Tension Rods and Lube the Bearing Edges
These jobs are most comfortable to do when you have your entire set broken down. You should clean the tension rods and inspect the bearing edges (the part of the rim that is in contact with the head) for wear once the heads are off their shells. A thorough wiping down will remove any dust or particles from your threads and lugs of the tension rods. Putting a light coat of beeswax will keep your bearing edges in good shape. However, if some damages are present, then you should consider calling the nearest drum smith. After cleaning, add a drop or two of 3-in-1 oil. This will keep the rods moving freely when you are tightening the lugs.
Replace Your Heads as Needed, Even the Bottom Ones!
After a detailed cleaning, make it a habit to inspect all your drum heads before you put the set back together. You will need to replace your old drum heads with new ones when the batter head (the one you strike) starts to develop pits, or the coating has worn away, and when the drum doesn’t tune evenly, or the resonance isn’t what it once was, you probably want to replace the resonant head (the one you don’t strike).
Don’t Forget the Cymbals
Contrary to common opinion, cymbals are the last part of your set to take care of because they’re the most manageable parts to clean. Just apply for a cleaner. Add a little water to wet the cymbal and gently rub a soft cloth over the cymbal you are cleaning. However, if you’re the type to keep the logo on your cymbals, you might not want to use reliable cleaners like Nevr Dull or Bar Keeper’s Friend. Once done, your cymbals will sparkle like new, especially under the lights of a club.
Taking care of a drum set may be a bit labor-intensive, but having the drum set of your dreams in top shape is worth all the effort when it can ensure a smooth performance.