Tuesday 21 August 2012

Lost Property

The drum kits usually used in modern music tend to have five drums and a few cymbals. You sit behind the bass drum and play it with a beater operated by your right foot. The snare drum is between your knees, and your left foot opens and closes a pair of mechanically operated cymbals. A rack on top of the bass drum holds two tom-toms and a larger tom-tom is placed on the floor to your right. Cymbals hang from stands with increasing proliferation wherever there is room, bells, woodblocks and other effects are attached to the drums and stands like mirrors to a mod's Lambretta.

When a drummer is short of money/time/energy/room-in-the-car/space-on-stage then the number of cymbals is the first thing to be reduced, the first drum to be sacrificed is the second rack tom-tom. In fact a good number of indie drummers usually play with one rack tom and put their ride cymbal in the space left above the bass drum.

My band recently took on a new drummer, and I have been lending him parts of my drum kit to rehearse with. Last week I got home from the practice room and I didn't have all of the drums. I rang the drummer hoping that he had carried one up to his flat by accident. He hadn't. I then had him walk down to the street to see if we'd left it in the gutter when he got his gear out of the car. We Hadn't. I then drove back to the musicians' cooperative where we'd rehearsed. It wasn't their either.

I was furious that I'd lost a drum, but at least it was the second rack tom, and as such was pretty optional. As I drove back from the practice room for a second time, without my drum, I was considering how unlikely it was that I'd lost the only drum that we could easily live without. Somewhere on the journey I remembered that the drummer had said, several weeks previously, that he only needed one rack tom, and that I'd put the other one away safely in my loft.

Richard "forgetful" B

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