Illustration by Virginia Easthope

by Miro Justad

Us drummers have a wonderful job; not only do we get to smash on our instrument we also generally fall into the classic stereotype that we have the most fun (we do don’t we?). But the technical aspects of being responsible for numerous amounts of hardware and gear requires a certain amount of responsibility that the rest of the band relies upon (especially on tour)… so do NOT lose anything. Especially your DRUM KEY.

Drum keys are the universal tool used to tighten and adjust all parts of your kit. For being the most crucial piece of gear we carry (some could argue) they are comically TINY and are extremely easy to lose. Have you ever had that uncomfortable realization on stage that you have misplaced your key? Here is how NOT to experience this very specific type of emotional stress:

From one drummer to another I have created ten methods to NOT lose your key… stress no more:

 The Classic Key Chain Method: place a drum key on your everyday key ring. That way, it always comes along with you. Of course that also means that you need to not lose your regular keys…

2. The Mass Quantity Method: Every time you find yourself at a drum shop purchase a couple keys, that way even if you misplace them constantly there are so many lying around your house and purse that somehow there is always one nearby (sort of like hairbands?).

3. The Fashion Accessory Method: String your key onto a cool piece of fabric of leather thread and turn it into a necklace (just don’t hit yourself in the face by rocking out too hard with it on!).

4. The Car Method: Always have a back up key in your glove compartment which is deemed ONLY for emergencies (this trick in particular has saved me countless times).

5. The Practical Stick Bag Method: It is very convenient to always have a key or two in the small pouch of your stick bag with your moon gels and tape. This bag travels everywhere with you so you can always count on it!

6. The Annoying Bandmate Method: Stick a key in each of your bandmate’s instrument cases so that if you forget it someone will always have one on them whether they want it or not.

7. The Kick Pedal Method: Most kick pedals have a fabulous metal piece that is meant to keep a drum key secure. Always keep one at your feet.

8. The “Can I Borrow Your Drum Key” Method: This one sucks (although luckily chances are someone in the room has one). It is always nice to be in control of your drum set up from the moment you arrive to a studio session or venue, so do not rely on this method!

9. The Hardcore Method: Carry one in your bra or somewhere else unseen by the public…

10. The Creative Builder Method: Physically build a little home for your key somewhere on your kick drum or under your drum stool. There are not rules saying you cannot build storage space onto your kit!


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