Drums are one of the coolest, oldest, and most versatile instruments. Some of the oldest known drums are thousands of years old. In fact, archaeologists have even found a drum that dates back over 30,000 years. The elephant skin instrument was preserved through sheer luck. It was buried during Antarctica's ice age and found by complete chance millennia later.
Fortunately, you don’t have to bury your drums during ice shelves to keep them safe and preserved. If you need to store your beloved beat-makers safely, consider placing them in a storage unit. When you do put them away, make sure you follow the steps below. If you take all of these precautions, they won’t break down, wear out, or lose their musical magic:
Store them somewhere climate-controlled.
This isn’t so much about how you store the drums, as where you store them. At a (very) basic level, most modern drums are made of three things: wood, metal, and plastic. Each of these things are sensitive to moisture and humidity in different ways.
A drum's wooden shell can warp and lose sound if you store it somewhere too humid. That same humidity can cause rusting and aesthetic damage to lugs and other drum hardware. Avoid damage like this by storing your drums in temperature and humidity-controlled places. Basically, if you want to preserve your drums, you need to keep them somewhere cool and dry.
Now that we’ve made that important point, let’s talk about how to actually store your drums.
First: disassemble the kit.
Drum kits are bulky beasts. The best way to store them is to completely disassemble them first. This will allow you to package each piece according to its individual needs. It will also make the set easier to store as a whole. Keep all hardware and other small bits in labeled plastic bags.
Next, Remove the legs and wrap each one in bubble wrap. Remove the heads from the drums. You'll be able to place smaller drums inside of larger ones for storage. Take the cymbals off of their stands. Fold up the remaining stands. Wrap and label everything individually using bubble wrap or secured cotton cloth.
Next: pack the drums up.
We recommend putting your kit inside a large plastic or cardboard box. This will help keep it clean and safe, especially if you’re putting it into long term storage. Start with the bass drum and continue placing smaller drums inside one another until you're done. Your last drum will likely be a 13-inch tom. You can leave the head on this one if you want, since others won't be going inside of it. However, we always recommend removing all drum heads and storing them together for posterity's sake.
When you’re packing up your drums, there are a few “best practice” tips you should implement:
Best Practices for Storing Drums
- Fill negative space around the drums after placing each new one inside the last. You can use packing paper, bubble wrap, or anything you know won't degrade or damage the drums. You’re trying to give the drums as little room to slide around as possible.
- Store all cymbals in padded cases. If you’re reading this blog, you probably already have some. Don’t be loosey-goosey with cymbal storage. They’re not cheap, so it’s worth investing in keeping them protected. Same goes for cymbal stands and pedals.
- Drum heads can be stacked just the same as the drum bodies. Make sure to be gentle as you do this, however. Drum heads are very fragile.
Voila! Once you’ve disassembled and packed the kit, all you have to do is transport it to a storage unit.
Storage Direct offers a wide variety of storage unit size options. Our units are perfect for the traveling musician who needs a place to store their gear during the off-season. Play on, drummers!