Jim's Drumming Notes:
A Course in Drumming
1. A wrench, if needed, or a pulling aid for diamonds.
2. A seat: A non-rotating (you may fall off) standard kitchen chair size with the seat 17 to 19 inches from the floor with a back, if possible.
You cannot expect there to be chairs where you go to drum. If there are some, they probably will not be the most comfortable and practical to play on. Besides, you have no "right" to a chair unless you brought it. You may find yourself standing around waiting for someone else to give up a seat. Folding and stacking chairs are usually 16 inches high or less.
(Wal-Mart offers folding stools of the right height. Very handy. Luis)
3. A drum belt. This is often just a piece of rope with a bit of coat hanger wire for a hook. It helps to keept the drum in place and relieves the legs from gripping the drum all the time. Be classy, make one out of colorful or exotic material and use a brass snap swivel hook.
4. Tape. It compresses the fingers so that the impact with the drumhead is transmitted evenly throughout the mass of the fingers. It also prevents the fingers from drying out and the skin from cracking. If your fingers start bothering you, wrap up with paper "masking" tape. For extended playing, use athlete's tape.
5. Drink. Drumming can use up a lot of water. Bring lots of liquid. Try stuff like Gatorade, watered down orange juice, sugar water, iced coffee, etc. Beer is nice at parties and you burn it up fast. Sweet rum is traditional but forbidden in some parks.
(Alcoholic beverages increase the rate of dehydration. I think plain water is the best bet. Luis)
6. Towel. A few paper towels to clean up any bird presents or spills on the drum head and to wipe hands or a sweaty brow.
7. Pencil and paper. An automatic pencil and graph paper come in handy to jot down rhythm ideas.
8. Plastic sheet. To cover your drum in case of intermittent rain.
(I would add: a drumstick to play cascara and rhythms that require it. An extra lug if you're playing for money. I also carry a small tape recorder. It's a great way to hear what the group really sounds like. Luis)