I had an interesting gig recently where I was surround by a ton of drummers. Between talking about gigs, money and women, we started this long discussion about what's in our stick bag. It was an interesting conversation and I thought it might be fun to discuss the topic here.
The items found in a drummer's stick bag can really say a lot about that individual. For this post, I am going to skip the inside of the stick bag proper and move to the pockets. It's what a drummer keeps in those side pockets that really demonstrates their personality. I realize that different type of stick bags, musical situations and other factors determine what you might find in someone's stick bag. I have an unusual stick bag that was custom made for me. It looks like a a regular stick bag but has a huge pocket on the front. The following is what I found inside that pocket this morning.
I sweat a lot when I play so having a towel nearby is an awesome thing. This towel is a very important piece of equipment because when needed, it can also double as an external bass drum muffle, stick tray padding and in those rare instances, can be used to clean beer and blood off of your tubs. I especially like having a towel when I play outside. There's always that weird part of an outside gig where the sun starts to go down and the air fills with humidity. I will lay the towel across my snare on a break so that the batter head does not collect dew. It's super hard playing brushes on a head that is slightly damp. Remember your towel should be a dark color and that you must wash it after every gig.
This is a Sonor drum key. I keep a drum key on my key chain so I don't need to keep one in my stick bag. However, this key is special because it has a slotted end. I have to use this key to tune my vintage Premiers which have slotted tension rods.
You never know when you might need one of these to help fill that sizzle void. I can't stand playing with it on a cymbal but it has got me out of a jam on occasion.
I like these little shakers. I use them a lot and since they are so cheap, I suggest everyone to buy a couple. That Bossa Nova gig can get pretty boring without them.
Bass Drum Beater:
I usually carry a spare bass drum beater. I don't carry one because I'm afraid I'll need a replacement but I carry and extra in case I need a different bass drum sound. The one below replicates a wool beater for softer situations.
This bag if full of cymbal parts. You never know when you might need and extra cymbal sleeve.
This rabbit lives in my stick bag and sits on my bass drum when I play with my country-punk band Rape Whistle. I don't know where he came from or how he got in my stick bag but he's a magical mascot for that band.
You've got to have ear plugs. I can't tell you how many jazz trio gigs have turned into hard hitting metal gigs in the blink of an eye. Protect your ears!
So, that's what I found in my stick bag this morning. Tomorrow it may be a whole new collection of things. Shoot me a comment below and let me hear about the unusual things you keep in your stick bag.