Drum modifications

Today I made some time to make modifications to my drumset.  I have been thinking about getting a new cymbal for a while (maybe Zildjian K Custom Hybrid ride???), but before making that investment I thought I would find a way to use all three of my cymbals.

  1. Re-drill the tom bracket on the mounted floor tom.  This way the batter head of the two toms is on the same plane.  I wonder why other 4-piece kits keep the floor tom on the floor..?
  2. Sew a stick bag and mount to the floor tom.  I needed a place to put sticks when I’m switching between hot rods and drum sticks.  I bought canvas, needles and waxed thread for this and I’m happy how it came out.
  3. Try out a cymbal tree.  This is pretty Frankenstein, but maybe I’ll like it!


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Struggle’s new demo!

Hey guys!

My band just recorded our first demo!  Check it out!!!

Here’s a link:

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#Superbloom in Richmond

You know that #superbloom is a real thing when you can’t even cross the street without seeing California poppies blooming.

Here is what I saw today in Richmond:


Look at those poppies go!

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Evolution of drums

I would like to take a moment to capture the phases I went through to reach the four-piece kit I’m playing today.  I began with the “minimum viable drumkit” and then slowly added components.  As someone who has to bring the kit to a public park in order to practice, keeping the weight and part count low is a priority.

The evolution of drums (it’s OK to laugh):

Proceeding clockwise from top-left:

  1. The original “minimum viable drumkit” or MVD.  This kit can play brass on the beat with kick and snare.  What else do you need, really?  It also has the advantage of being a “one-trip drumkit” – which is to say you can carry it wherever in one trip.  To build this kit I had to drill a tom mount into the snare drum – that’s what’s fun about drums, right?
  2. Adding hi-hat to MVD.  With hi-hat entering the mix, the kit has a lot of new sounds… but you’ll notice there is still no snare stand.  I dare you – try playing a sixteenth note beat on the hats with your snare on a tom mount!  Another challenge: try carrying the MVD with a hi-hat stand strapped to your back!  Yeah.. this configuration didn’t last long.
  3. The first 4-piece.  This kit uses a cymbal stand and a tom holder built into the bass drum to provide maximum drums for minimum hardware.  Thank you Drum Factory Direct for selling me the components I needed to build this frankenstein.  I’d like to highlight the addition of a snare stand, which is absolutely worth its weight.
  4. The best 4-piece without spending money.  This kit trades up for a pro snare and full crash I had sitting in the closet.  The result is a “two-trip drumkit” that sets up wherever.
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Supercharged pedicure

Electric pedicure tools are cool, but they are grossly unable to run on the 4 AA batteries they are designed to use.  After the first 10 minutes a new set of batteries is required.

Luckily, these guys run on DC power!  With a little fancy contact rigging and a DC power supply, I’ve got a custom tools with stable, configurable power.  Thanks, Electronics!


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Living with drums

Living with drums in San Jose can be difficult.  I don’t have enough space at home, and I have to pack the drums in the car to go practice.

Here are some photos reflecting the skills I’ve developed for fitting the most drums in the least space.


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Smartphone mount for drums

Ever since I started using the liveBPM app on my phone, I’ve wanted a way to mount my smartphone to my drumkit.

Here’s a screenshot from the app!  It does a terrific job (*in 4/4) of tracking the beats-per-minute of whatever sound or music is happening around you.  This screenshot is from an EDM concert.  Note the strict 125 bpm…..


Anyways, I started off with a plywood design, but it failed.  Then I switched to medium density fiberboard (MDF) and shaped the parts with hacksaw and dremel.  Once I got the hardware to fit together I sealed the parts with 5 coats of quick-drying polyurethane and it works great!

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