Drumsticks, drum key and cymbal about to be wrapped as gifts for a drummer

Here are some items that are on many drummers’ wish lists.

Purchasing gifts for a friend or relative can be a challenging task.  The difficulty increases when shopping for a drummer.  Here are a few ideas for the drummer in your life.

Drumsticks

Drumsticks are a great gift idea for a drummer.  If you know the drummer’s favorite brand and stick size, the task is much easier.  If that information is unknown, a stick such as the 5AN from Vic Firth is a great all-purpose stick. 

Drum Brushes and Similar Implements

The term may be misleading: drum brushes are not meant for cleaning drums.  They are wire brushes that are meant for striking the drumhead, resulting in a soft sound.  The brushes may also be slid across the surface of the head, creating a white-noise effect.  Brushes are traditionally used in jazz music, but they can be utilized in any number of styles.

There are other implements available which create a slightly louder sound than brushes. They are in between the volume of sticks and brushes.  These implements go by various names, such as Rutes and Hot Rods.  They typically consist of bundled wooden dowels with a rubber handle.  They can be played in a similar fashion as sticks, making them useful for softer practice or acoustic performances.

Mallets can be used for playing cymbal rolls.  They also create a unique sound on the drums.  Vic Firth offers the Becken Cymbal Mallet which produces great sounding cymbal rolls.  Another product from Vic Firth, the 5A Dual Tone Stick/Mallet combines a 5A drumstick tip one end with a softer mallet head on the other end. 

Snare Drum Head

While drums come in different diameters, 14” is the most common snare drum size.  The snare is the most frequently used drum in the set.  These factors make a snare drum head a great gift idea.  A good choice for a snare head is the Evans Genera Dry model.  It has vent holes and a thin layer of plastic on the underside, which eliminate overtones.  This results in a studio-like sound. 

Drum key

Drum keys are used for tuning drums and changing drumheads.  They are also utilized for adjusting the settings on bass drum pedals.  Drum and cymbal stands have memory locks, which allow the stand to be set to the same position upon reassembly.  Conveniently, a drum key is also needed for the memory locks.  Just like regular keys, drum keys can be misplaced.  That alone is a great reason to have extra drum keys on hand. For more information on drum keys, check out the article on this site, What Exactly Does a Drum Key Do?

Drum keys on a table next to a pair of drumsticks

Stick bag

A stick bag is useful for transporting sticks and other implements to performances and rehearsals.  Most stick bags have hooks that allow the bag to be hung on the floor tom rim.  This allows for easy access to drumsticks when performing.  Drummers definitely want to have extra sticks nearby in case a stick breaks or slips out of his or her hand.  Most stick bags have pockets for holding drum keys and other small objects.

Drumstick Holder

As previously mentioned, a stick bag hung over the floor tom will allow easy access if a stick slips out of the drummer’s right hand.  Many drummers also want to have access to sticks on their left-hand side.  A drumstick holder mounted to the hi-hat stand is the perfect answer.

Putty Pad

This simple object has amazed countless number of drummers!  It is similar to silly putty, but thicker.  This allows it to be rolled out with a stick and used as a practice pad.  Drummers are always amazed at the amount of rebound this pad produces. 

Earplugs

Hearing protection is essential!  Drummers should always have earplugs or decibel-reducing ear muffs when practicing or performing.  The ear muffs are often offered with speakers, making the similar to regular headphones.  Unlike typical headphones, these have the decibel-reducing properties of ear muffs.

If the drummer does not want to wear protective ear muffs, earplugs are another form of protection.  Most are universal fit, so sizing is not required.  Earplugs are usually made from either foam or rubber.  The foam variety should be disposed of after use, since they can hold dirt.  Rubber earplugs can be reused and cleaned with a mild soap and water. 

Drummer’s Multi-Tool

There are certain tools that every drummer should have.  Unfortunately, it is not convenient to carry a bulky tool box in addition to drums cases, cymbal bags, etc.  Companies such as Pearl offer compact multi-tools which contain screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, and a drum key. 

Motivational Drum Books

While drummers tend to purchase their own method books (with musical notation), there are a number of books which offer motivation and helpful hints.  Books of this type make great gift ideas.  The Drummer’s Lifeline by Peter Erskine and Dave Black offers tips and tricks for drummers of all ages and levels.  Other books in this area include The Drum Perspective (also by Peter Erskine) and The Big Gig by Zoro.

Drumming Magazine Subscriptions

While there certainly is a wealth of information online, it is refreshing to actually hold a magazine and thumb through the pages.  Modern Drummer is the most widely read drum magazine in the world.  It features interviews with up-and-coming drummers as well as drumming legends.  Product reviews and instructional columns are included in each issue. Digital and print subscriptions are available.

Cowbells and Other Auxiliary Percussion Instruments

Drummers don’t just play drums.  There are a number of percussion instruments that can be added to the setup.  Cowbells, woodblocks, Jam Blocks, and tambourines are commonly found on the drumset.  For these instruments (and other drumset additions), see the Adding Variety to Your Drumset Sounds article on this site. 

Drummer’s Music Stand

Drummers have a lot of stands on the floor (cymbal stands, hi-hat stand, snare drum stand, etc.).  With all those stands it is often difficult to find a convenient spot for a sheet music stand.  The Manhasset Drummer’s Stand is designed to fit on the hi-hat stand.  It can, however, be mounted on just about any cymbal or drum stand.

Drummer’s Survival Kit

Drumsets have small parts that are often lost when transporting the instrument from place to place.  Some of these parts include metal cymbal washers, felt washers for suspended cymbals and hi-hats, drum keys, cymbal sleeves, snare cord, wing nuts, bass drum impact pads and tension rods.  Gibraltar makes a Drummer’s Tech Kit that incudes these small, yet important, parts.

Tune Bot Drum Tuning Device

The Tune-Bot allows drummers to consistently tune their drums.  The pitch can be fine tuned at each lug.  The pitches are given as both musical notes (a through g) and megahertz readings.  Many professional drummers use the Tune Bot and share their settings, so drummers can have their sound closely resemble that of their favorite drummers.

Electric drum tuning device
Tune-Bot Drum Tuning Device

Rock N Roller Multi Cart

This is the perfect gift for the drummer who transports his or her own drums to rehearsals and performances.  The cart can fit a number of drums (or drum bags).  It easily rolls on just about any floor surface.  What used to take multiple trips can now take just one!

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