The drums may be the tools of your musical trade, but like any instrument, they have their own tools in turn. Whenever you replace your drum heads or touch up the tension, it's time to break out your drum keys and tuning tools. These come in plenty of varieties, giving you lots to choose from to find the tools that are perfect for your needs. One of the most essential parts of a drummer's toolkit is a drum key. This can be as simple as Gibraltar's standard drum key or as fully-featured as the torque keys from Evans and RhythmTech, which allow you to set the maximum tension so that every lug will be consistent. A drum key is something that you never want to be caught without, so it can be worth investing in a pack to keep spares stashed everywhere you frequently take your drums, or in a wearable or keychain drum key that you can always have at your side.
Another great piece of gear to bring to every gig is a tuner. Some, like the DrumDial and Tama TW100, measure the tension of the drum head itself, so once you've tuned the drum once you can measure the tension and then rapidly re-tune the drum anytime by matching that measurement. For a more high-tech tuner, check out the Tune-bot. This electric drum tuner can tell you the pitch of each individual lug, displayed as a frequency measurement or musical note.
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