Drum Tip: Mark Hardware Angles and Height On Your Cymbal and Hardware Stands

In Drum Tips, Drummer resources, Drums, General Updates by Philip8 Comments

Drum Tip: Set Your Drums Up Consistently

A couple of days ago Ed Francis shared a tip about spiking your drum set hardware layout with tape to make sure that you set your drums up exactly the same every time, which leads to a more efficient set up and comfort when playing. His post reminded me of another important aspect of setting your drums up: consistency when setting the height and angles of your cymbal stands and hardware stands.

Memory Locks on Drum Hardware

One of the main ways to consistently set your drum hardware up the same for every show is by using memory locks. Memory locks are basically small metal pipe clamps that you attach to your hardware stands to mark and stop at a certain height/angle that you like to have your stands at. These memory locks are moved up and down the stand by tightening or loosening the lock with a drum key.

The Sharpie Method

Memory locks are great, but I have a very small SKB hardware case that doesn’t have enough room for me to completely disassemble a cymbal stand, which is basically what I would have to do if I used memory locks on my stands since you wouldn’t want to move the memory lock every time you put it back in the case. In order to fix this problem I just started marking my heights and angles with a fine tipped Sharpie! This completely eliminates the need for memory locks, and allows me to collapse my hardware inside itself enough to fit everything in my hardware case.

This small SKB case fits my kick pedal, 3 boom cymbal stands, hi-hat stand, snare stand and 2 tom L-rod brackets.

Mark the base of your cymbal stand with a sharpie when you have it set up exactly to your specifications. (I used a fine tip sharpie to keep it looking clean, but you can use any sharpie.)

Mark the angle of your cymbal boom arm by making a straight line across the angle adjustment piece. Line the marks up for your perfect angle!

Use the same method for marking any angle you might deal with when adjusting your cymbal stand.

Do you have a drum tip? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!


  1. Hello Ihave not seen a sample of any kind of your books that teach so much,, 1st I dont talk buisness via Email send me a phone number , I have a few questions for you , If you and  your how to books are as good as you say , then you should not have a problem  what so ever answering a couple questions, I have been looking at drum building for a while now,, and , finally I will have the time to work all day and night, I am a drummer , I have played on and off for almoost 25 years, I know there are many books out there , I live in Las Vegas , and I have a friend who is a professional drum builder he has made many for some well known drummers  he built me 3 custum snare drums, they are not cheap because he is the best, guitar center ggave me his name,I met him and we have become good friends, I would like to ttalk to you on the for just a few minutes,and then I can tella basic Idea and approach to building your drums compared to other builders ,, I have not seen to many books out there,, I am sorry there are so many bullshit drum building pratices out there  i loike to know a bit about your book before I buy it ,, I am not concerned about getting my money back if I dont like the book,,I usally dont return books for a refund of 20 to 30 bucks If its bad I make sure I let everyone I know about the book I bought , I am getting to the process of buying my own shells , i most liley buy from Keller and a couple other places in mind, I also have a friend  i grew up with he is a master craaftsman, and I am putting a lot of info all about wooden tuned and un tuned percussion ,,  so if you want to answer a couple questions pleas send me your phone number ,, If you wish not to talk about what your book goes in great detail about , I will undersstand, I will just stick with pro builders of all types of drums and percussion , there is alot of help out there ,,just have to look in the right places,,,,,,  THanks for your time  Bill   Rambo

  2. Marking the hardware is an excellent idea. I had a little twist to your method if there are multiple drummers using the same kit:

    Have every drummer use a different coloured sharpie. When one guy finishes playing, he can easily adjust the stands for the next drummer based on the different coloured sharpie markings.

    Thanks for the idea! This will work great in churches where they have multiple drummers playing from week to week. 

  3. Jon, Great tip! It would make a lot of sense to use this technique at a church with a house kit! Those early morning band calls would be much more productive if it only took 1 minute to set the drums up the way you like them!

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