by Alex DiBlasi
Being a serious drummer involves a serious investment. Beyond the actual drum kit, there are quite a few accessories, percussion instruments, and pieces of hardware that no drummer should do without.
1.) Mallets – it doesn’t matter if the tip is coated with felt or yarn, both work just fine, but a good pair of mallets can help add a touch of finesse to one’s playing.
2.) Brushes – there are several different varieties of brushes, made from plastic or wire. Both produce slightly different results, but they are both substantially quieter and more delicate than playing with sticks. Brushes are a must for jazz drummers.
3.) Cases – for drummers who are constantly going from place to place, it is an absolute necessity to have cases for both the drums and the cymbals. This will prevent them from getting damaged in transit.
4.) Cymbal felt – it may seem unnecessary, but a couple of layers of good felt can make the difference between cymbals sounding good versus sounding terrific. The felt allows the cymbals to resonate.
5.) Drum key – tuning the drums is essential, especially as the seasons change and the drum-heads expand or contract.
6.) Cymbal polish – being (mostly) made of brass, cymbals can get tarnished as they are exposed to the elements or even to environments that are considerably humid. Cymbal polish keeps the brass as “fresh” as possible, giving it the cleanest, punchiest sound possible.
7.) Tambourine, maracas, claves, bongos, and a cowbell – all of these percussion instruments serve different purposes and suit different musical styles.
8.) Drum mufflers – whether they are used to keep the volume down at a venue or in your apartment, a good set of rubber drum mufflers can dramatically reduce the noise level. There are even mufflers available for cymbals.
9.) An extra pair of sticks – this needs little explanation, but sticks can slip out of one’s hand and/or break. It happens, so it’s always good to have an extra pair of sticks.
10.) Carpet – laying down a good carpet will keep the bass drum and other hardware from damaging hardwood or tile floors.