Tip #1: Have one of your volunteer drummers regularly maintain it.
Tip #2: Have one of your volunteer drummers regularly maintain it.
Tip #3: Have one of your volunteer drummers regularly maintain it.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet out of the hundreds, maybe thousands of churches I visited during my days of touring, I’d say at least 75% of the kits were in need of attention. Cymbals would be cracked, hardware would be missing, and drum heads were usually desperately in need of not only tuning, but replacing. Drum sets are not a “set it and forget it” type of thing. You wouldn’t let your guitar strings rust out and break because you haven’t changed them in over 4 years. Similarly, hardware wears out, drum heads need to be changed, and kits need some TLC. So why do they so often get overlooked? Because most of us worship leaders aren’t drummers, and we don’t really know what to do with a drum set.
One of the best lessons we can learn as leaders is the art of delegation. If you aren’t the best person to do the job, find someone who is!
When I first came to Grace Church as the Senior Director of Worship, I noticed that the drum set in the main auditorium was falling apart. Not only that, but since our church has 4 auditoriums, each room had a kit that hadn’t been touched in quite some time. Within the first month, I replaced 5 cracked cymbals and 2 cracked hi-hats! I quickly realized that I couldn’t keep up with all this, nor did I need to. We’ve got ridiculously talented drummers who are passionate about our kit sounding the best it can be. My guess is that you’ve got 1 or 2 of these people in your midst as well; you just need to ask!
I’ve put together a formal “job description” that we give to our lead drum techs. I’m including it for you (Senior Drum Tech (Central) Job Description). Feel free to alter it as you see fit!
Basically, every 2 months I have a “drum tech” come in, check all the hardware, replace heads if need be, tune everything up a bit, and turn in a status report to me. We keep a stock of drum heads backstage (be sure to find out how big your drums are before buying a bunch of heads) so the techs are fully supplied with everything they need to do their job. If something is broken, they’ll report it so I can either get it repaired or replace it.
Try it out. You’ll empower your leaders, offload some work that you really don’t have to do, and your kit will sound a whole lot better, which of course, makes your musicians happy too!