Transporting a drum kit can be quite clumsy and frustrating if you do not have the correct cases to store and move the various parts and hardware. Every time you transport a drum kit you run the risk of damaging the finish, cracking heads, scratching cymbals or losing much-needed pieces. The best way to transport a drum kit is with specially fitted and padded drum, cymbal and pedal cases. This will protect your drums and make moving them a much easier and efficient process.
Loosen and remove the wing nut securing your cymbal to its stand. Use a glove or towel to handle the cymbal and place it in your cymbal bag. Some cymbal bags have fabric dividers to protect the cymbals from rubbing against one another. If yours does not, you may want to lay a towel or cloth between each cymbal.
Replace the wing nut to your cymbal stand and repeat Step 1 with all other cymbals including your hi-hats.
Collapse all cymbal stands by loosening the wing nut at the point where the legs come together at the shaft. Bring the legs inward and lay each cymbal stand in your hardware case or use a large duffel bag. Don't lose any of the nuts to your hardware.
Remove your rack toms from the bass drum. This will sometimes require a drum key to loosen the bolt holding them in place. Loosen the wing nuts on the arms that hold the toms in position and move them in close to the shell of the drum. Place them in their appropriate cases.
Collapse the feet of your bass drum and tighten them straight against the sides of the drum. Shorten the telescopic legs if necessary, and place the bass drum in its case.
Turn off the snare on your snare drum to remove tension from the snare bead. Place the snare in its appropriate case.
Place all of your sticks, mallets, brushes, drum keys and any other accessories you may need in your stick bag.
If your bass pedal came with a case, place it in the case for transport. If your bass pedal does not have a case, a shoebox can usually work just fine.
Place all components in your vehicle for transport. Make sure that nothing will roll or tip over. Avoid stacking. Most drum cases have a flat panel on the side so they can rest on their side without rolling.
Always double-check to make sure you have everything. Nothing is more frustrating then having to go back to your house or practice space because you forgot your top hi-hat, or looking like a fool by asking another band for one.