How To Ship a Drum Kit

Drummers are the heartbeat of the band – they keep time when the rest of the band loses the musical plot and drive home killer endings. In short, drummers rock.

What doesn’t rock is tearing down a drum kit after a gig and prepping it for shipment. Despite the torture drums endure during a show, they can be very fragile when taken apart, and care must be exercised to avoid damage.

To start, take measurements of the crate or box in which you intend to ship the drums. It is important to note that the boxed size will be larger than the actual drum kit, so be mindful of this fact when taking measurements. A mistake here can result in beginning the project from the start.

Unlike guitars –which simply require unplugging audio cords then placing the stringed instrument in a case, drums require systematic breakdown, beginning with the skins. The skins (which the drummer strikes to create rhythmic sounds) should be carefully and systematically unscrewed from the drum base, or hoop, in opposite corners so as not to warp them.

The following step must be done properly or risk severe damage to the kit’s hardware. Remove the skins, rims and heads (,) ( (eliminate the parenthesis) which secure the skins to the surface, then carefully nest each different-sized drum into the other. The tom-tom, snare and bass should each fit snugly inside one another, with the assistance of thin Styrofoam packing sheets.

A typical drum kit before packaging averages 22”x14”; 13”x19” and 16”x16”, so a packaging box of 24”x24”x24” should suffice.

Getting Ready to Ship:

Place all smaller drums inside larger-sized drumheads to conserve space. The smaller heads do not need to be removed.

Gather all tension rods and miscellaneous items into a carriage bag that won’t be lost. There’s nothing words (worse) than trying to find a drumhead tensioner five minutes before show time.

Next, cover the outside of each drum cover with a thick layer of bubble wrap, taping it securely. Once the miscellaneous items of the kits are gathered, tape its bag shut and fasten it to the inside of the drum kit.

The Shipping Box:

Fill the box the drum is intended travel in (the drum will be traveling in) about hallway with packing peanuts. The kit will settle during shipping, Place (place) the larger drum (22” first, then the 16” next, followed by the 13” base inside that.

If space allows, put the bag of hardware on top of the 13” drum face, also cushioned by bubble wrap. Double seal the box with industrial packing tape and your job is done!

If you’re next gig is miles away, the next order of business is locating the right carrier. Packages such as yours can sit for days waiting for a connecting truck, exposed to elements and warehouse hazards. An alternative is listing your drum kit with an alternative online shipper, like CitienShipper (CitizenShipper). Our vested and insured drivers will pick up your package, keep it in a dry environment, and even give real-time progress along the way so you can be sure your instrument arrives in time for your next gig.


Click here to list a drum kit for online shipment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.