Please remember it gets hot in the Drum Shield. The benefits of a drum shield have been laid out time and again. There’s no way to get around how important a piece of the band the drum cage can be. But remember inside that drum cage the drummer can get pretty darn hot. And just to not be too cruel. If you are going to put a fan on stage and point it at the drummer put the fan inside the drum shield.
Put The Fan Inside The Drum Shield
There are some interesting ways of handling this. If you remember the More Winning Drum Shield in the comments you know Chad Whiteley pointed out they have built in fans. (Imagine how nasty the condensation would get from drummer sweat in there. Wait no don’t, it’d be better if you didn’t think of it.)
WTF? Climate Control?
Then last week @_JoshClark posted on twitter:
bought a new fan for the drum cage at #SolidRock. #DrummerStatus #BestFansEver
And later replied to @DrummerInGlass that it was:
@DrummersInGlass oh my gosh. Best investment ever!
Everyone who’s been around a drummer knows that they can rarely tell how bad they smell. So let’s all do out part to help control the odor. It’s one of those “for the greater good” type things. You can get as complicated or simple as you want. Remember even a while condensation helps obscure the drummer and his (or her) antics from the audience, it can also obscure the site of the real musicians from the drummer so he could easily get lost if it builds up too much. And he’s likely the type to draw in appropriate things with his finger on the window.
Drum Shields serve so much greater purpose than simply controlling drum volume. We’ve already seen them multitasking as a Set List Organizer. Here’s a great example of how a drum shield can actually help keep the drummer from getting distracted. The hardworking labcoats over at Acoustical Solutions have conjured this fantastic idea:
Drum Shield Horse Blinders
Notice how they use opaque sections to keep the drummer focused on the lead singer.
These opaque panels of course serve a double purpose. First off, and most important in all cases, the audience attention isn’t pulled away from the lead singer. It’s a well known fact that the lead singers ego needs all the attention an audience can give. Secondly this drum shield keeps the drummer from being distracted by the audience (or even unimportant band members). To truly get the best of this it would be advisable to get a few more opaque panels closing in just a little bit tighter. But not too tight because you wouldn’t want to limit where the lead singer can be and still give signals. Here’s a good example of how much light you need to let into a drum shield:
Acoustical Solutions were probably just trying to be kind in their advertising. But luckily we can see the potential. And giving credit where it is due notice both full enclosure and a roof so there’s not wandering off during set breaks. Put a bottle of water in the pen with him just out of charity.
If you’ve got a good example of a drum shield others can learn from be sure and submit it today. Those who are forced to put up with a drummer need all encouragement they can get for limiting their impact.
A Drum Shield does a good job of hiding a drummer. The problem is sometimes it can keep the drummer from seeing what the musicians are doing. Everyone knows there’s precious little worse than a drummer left to his own devices. So it’s important that periodically you get out some solvents and clean the drum shield to be sure the drummer can see the band leader.
Clean Your Drum Shield
Don’t go crazy cleaning the Drum Shield it’s near a drummer so it won’t stay clean for long.
This is the very wise crew of www.beachsidecc.org ensuring their drummer has no excuse for missing his cues. Windex or generic window cleaner and some rags will work great for most cases. If you’ve got something boutique like the Whitley Solutions stuff you should find a special elixir to guard the magical properties. Oh and if it’s one of those fully enclosed ones let your drummer out before spraying all that ammonia.
It’s not always sufficient to limit Drum Volume. Sometimes for the greater good more full disclosure needs to be made on the drum shield.
Drum Shield Safety
You can get tons of Caution Tape cheap from Amazon or other retailers: Drum Shield Caution Tape at Amazon
Be safe out there.