The sound engineer informed me of a problem: too much ringing coming from my snare drum. I quickly reached into my mallet case and pulled out a container of MoonGel. After applying a couple of the dampening pads, the annoying frequencies were subdued. When challenges arise, it is important to have the tools to solve the problem. A close companion at worship band rehearsals, orchestra jobs, and recording sessions, my mallet case contains a variety of items that can assist in tweaking my tone, making repairs, charting a song, and adjusting my set-up.

A stick bag might suffice for a drum set job, but I prefer a hard case with plenty of room to carry my assortment of paraphernalia for percussion gigs. The mallet caddy that I have been lugging around for a couple of decades measures 18” x 11.25” x 7.75.” A transparent plastic zipper storage bag contains many of the smaller items such as triangle beaters and pencils.

My timpani sticks, electronic tuner, and bass drum mallet only enter my case when necessary. However, there are many items that “live” in my mallet caddy. By revealing several of these residents, perhaps you will be inspired to allow a few new inhabitants into your case.

Sticks

  • Concert snare drum sticks
  • Drum set sticks
  • Timbale sticks
  • Combination Sticks
    (Bead on one end with hard felt head on the other end)

Mallets and Other Implements

  • Yarn-covered marimba mallets (for suspended cymbal)
  • Xylophone/Glockenspiel mallets
  • Chinese bell tree mallet
  • Brushes
  • Bundled Rods
  • Guiro scraper
  • Triangle beaters
  • Cowbell striker
  • Cajon brushes

Clips, Fasteners, and Mounting Devices

  • Cymbal stacker
  • LP Percussion Claw
  • Knurled mounting posts
  • Triangle clips
  • Paper clips
  • Rubber bands

Writing Supplies

  • Staff paper
  • Blank paper
  • Sticky notes
  • Pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pen

Tools for Repair and Tone Adjustment

  • Standard drum key
  • Timpani tuning key
  • Pocketknife
  • Conga/Timbale/Bongo tuning wrench
  • Djembe tuning key
  • Screwdriver
  • Lighter (for tightening natural skin head of tambourine)
  • Bar chimes replacement ties (also for triangle suspension)
  • Moleskin padding sheet
  • MoonGel dampening pads
  • Cymbal sleeves
  • Felt washers
  • Cloth mute for snare drum
  • Tape

Miscellaneous

  • File folders (for organizing sheet music etc.)
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Nexcare Absolute Waterproof First Aid Tape (skin protection for hand drumming
  • Nine-volt battery
  • In-ear monitors (earphones)
  • Small practice pad
  • Egg shaker

“We need a whistle.” The last time I heard that request was at a recording session. A quick search of my mallet case ensued, whereupon I located my wooden samba whistle–to the amusement of the producer. After perfunctory mouthpiece disinfection, we recorded my superb whistle performance. I’m glad the whistle was living in my mallet case, waiting for its moment!

Is there a helpful item that lives in your mallet case that I did not mention? Send me a DM at www.instagram.com/MarkSheltonPerc

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