Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Putting the "hard" into hardware

What is it about drum hardware that makes it so unpleasant to carry?

Being the only member of the band with wheels, I spend a lot of my time humping chromed lumps from my car to the venue to the car and back into my attic, which is the only place in my crowded house where I can keep them.

Calculating exactly how many flanged, threaded and knurled items of ironmongery you can carry in one hand while climbing up and down a ladder makes you highly aware of this primordial fact: however sensible your grip seems to be when you pick one of these things up, before you are halfway to wherever you are carrying it it will be pinching a finger or pressing painfully on some knobbly protrusion you didn't even know you had till then. It sounds trivial, I know, but it's really weird how universal this is. It's not the weight—it's the almost sentient ability to seek out your most vulnerable pressure points.

Serious drummers know this, of course, and keep all their hardware in coffin-like cases. But without a van to put it in (I have to thread individual stands among the seats at the back of my car), or indeed anyone to help me carry stuff most of the time, this is but a distant dream.

In the meantime, why don't manufacturers built these things with handles?

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