On Drum Rugs

So, I am packing up for a gig tomorrow in Dickinson. I will be playing for Jessie Veeder and Frog Holler String Band at ‘Blues and Brews’. I have packed away all my stuff in to cases and I am down to my drum rug. I thought I might take this moment to talk a little about drum rugs as I think they are very important and often overlooked.

First, you really should have a drum rug. There are lots of reason why – here’s a few:

  • Very often you will not be performing on a carpeted floor.
  • You can use it to claim the space you need to set up – especially when space is a premium.
  • Even at home, playing on a rug saves the nice carpet underneath from strain from the bass drum spikes, etc.
  • All the wood chips from your drumsticks go on your rug and not in the nice carpet.
  • If you need to move the kit a foot or two then you can drag the rug and save some effort.

When it comes to getting a drum rug, you can get specially made rugs from the music store. The ones I have seen are pretty flimsy  – no better than a thick piece of cloth – and expensive. I have always just gone to my local hardware store and got a $20 rug, or off-cut of carpet. Even if it is a cheap rug, it is still better than the one you get at the music store, and remember all the wood chips and spikes in your bass drum? Remember all the drinks that get spilled on stage, and how about the state of that floor in that dive bar you play in once a month? Yeah! The cheapo rug from the hardware store is just fine.

Lastly, here are a few other random tips I have learned from bitter experience:

  • ALWAYS make sure the drum stool fits on the rug. Having your stool slip away from the rest of the kit is at least off-putting, and can be painful – as I found out once when I fell off the back of a stage mid song.
  • I have two sizes of tug. One is a 4 feet by 6 feet for small kits and small stages. The other is 5 by 7.
  • If you like your setup to be exactly the same each time you set it up – especially if’s complicated, then consider taping out where each foot goes. That plus memory locks should get you pretty close each time.

drum-carpet

The picture above shows what I have marked out on my rug. You will notice the snare stand and stool are not there. I decided against it because they are always moving around, mostly because I have never come to a firm decision where the best place for them is. You will also notice that they are not centered on the rug. I noticed that too and might fix that one day.

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