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If you are a drummer, you know that awful feeling when your bass drum starts creeping forward at a live gig. It could be for many reasons: you aren’t using a drum rug, your bass drum spurs aren’t setup properly, your kick pedal isn’t attached and seated well to the kick drum, and/or many other reasons.
This can be equally scary at a live performance, as you may lose the ability to play your bass drum all together.
This happened to me many, many times. I remember a specific gig in Chicago, IL where I was constantly pulling my bass drum back to the pedal two or even three times per song, for a 45 minute long set.
It definitely makes for a terrible performance and a ton of anxiety on stage. Today we will determine what the best bass drum anchor system is.
Whether you decide to pay for a pre-made product or want to put your DIY cap on, this problem can be easily solved.
KickBlock is a relatively new product that I hadn’t heard of. The owner of the company, Will Butera, dropped me a message and sent me one.
The KickBlock works like a brick wall in front of your bass drum. It’s a big red block of shock-absorbing foam that stops your kick drum from sliding forward.
On the underside of the product are UltraGrip hooks (like Velcro) that latch into your carpet. Take a quick look at the demonstration video below.
Design and build-quality
When I opened up the package from Will, I was immediately impressed. The Kick Block feels like an awesome product; it doesn’t feel cheap at all with it being very affordable.
The all-red color looks awesome and, compared to other competing products available, KickBlock offers a simple solution without being overly cumbersome or looking strange.
Does KickBlock work with all rugs?
Not all, but most rugs will work just fine. Unfortunately, Kick Block doesn’t work very well with oriental rugs, due to the fact that they don’t have closed loop threads. However, most drummers I see today use just a standard black rug, which is what Kick Block is designed for.
KBrakes offer a simple solution for your bass drum moving forward. Simply screw off the rubber bumpers that are on your existing bass drum spurs.
Attach KBrakes to your bass drum and set your drum down on your bass drum rug as you normally would.
A modification to your existing spurs
KBrakes offer 512 Stopping Points that dig into the rug and lock your bass drum in place and stop your kick drum from moving.
When moving your drum kit, the KBrakes can rotate 180 degrees; you won’t have to worry about them not fitting in your SKB case properly.
These are designed to fit 99% of kick drums on the market. They are also compatible with KBrakes Grips if you already own them.
3) Gibralter Bass Drum Anchor
Gibralter is a well-known hardware company that offers a solution to moving bass drum syndrome.
The idea with this product is that it attaches to the front counter hoop of the bass drum, mirroring where your kick drum pedal fits on to the other side. Your bass drum still could potentially move with this product. Depending on how you set it up, you could also ruin your front counter hoop.
4) Kick Drum Stopper [DIY]
If you’re like me and want to get a little crafty with creating your own solution, this method by far will be the best option for keeping your bass drum in place.
You will need to have a few tools, buy a few parts from your local hardware store, and have a few hours of time to create this solution.
- Drum rug
- Metal floor flange (1)
- Nuts and Bolts
- Reciprocating saw
- Scratch awl
- Gaffer’s tape
- A foot or so of any 1/8″ rubber
This should be a given. What drummer doesn’t have a rug? If you don’t, something basic will work just fine. Head over to Walmart on your way home after getting all these other parts needed for the project.
The rug is going to be the foundation of our DIY Kick Stopper. If you don’t know what drum rug to buy, you can read my article on my favorite drum rugs here.
Metal floor flange
You will need one metal floor flange per rug you decide to make (unless, of course, you have multiple bass drums; in which case, one of these per bass drum).
We will be chopping this piece of metal in half. This piece of hardware will serve as our anchor on the rug. Also, you should check the size of your bass drum rubber stoppers to make sure they will fit inside half of the flange.
Nuts, bolts, and washers
We will be using traditional nuts and bolts to secure the flange pieces to the drum rug. This set here is just a generic set of nuts and bolts, but you can find these at any hardware store by you.
Be sure to purchase lock washers along with the hardware, as you will want to keep the flanges tight for as long as possible.
Remember, if you are touring, you need to keep things secure and together. Your gear will be bouncing around in a trailer, so having lock washers is a must for this DIY solution.
You will need to borrow or purchase a reciprocating saw (like Milwaukee Tool’s Sawzall) in order to cut the 1 1/2″ floor flange in two pieces.
These saws are fairly common, so I could see a neighbor owning one if you don’t already. In order to chop the flange in two, you will also need a vise clamp to hold the piece while you cut it.
Generic pliers and scratch awl
Finally on the list, we have two common tools: a set of pliers and a scratch awl.
Both can be found at any hardware store and you most likely have one of these in your house somewhere.
We will use these tools to fasten the nuts, bolts, and washers to the rug, as well as puncture the rug prior to assembly.
Chop your floor flange in two using your Sawzall.
Begin by clamping the floor flange in your vise grip and make a cut using your reciprocating saw in the center of the flange. Continue this cut on the other side and you will end up with two indentical pieces of floor flange. These will serve as our bass drum spur anchors.
Decide where you want your bass drum to sit and make marks.
Place your bass drum on your rug and make markers where you want your bass drum to sit. You will need to line up the cut flanges on the rug as well.
Using a sharp tool or drill, cut holes into the rug where you want it to sit. Be sure to be accurate and careful, as you won’t want to make multiple drill holes in your rug.
Attach the floor flanges to your rug where you made holes. Use the nuts, bolts, and locking washers to ensure the floor flanges will stay in place on the rug. Be sure to tighten them well!
You now have the best DIY bass drum anchor ever!
One final note! If you plan on setting this rug down on hard-wood flooring or any other delicate floor material, you may want to add a layer of rubber underneath your bass drum anchors.
The bottom of the rug will be sharp. Also, you may want to file down the bolts to make them less sharp. If you accidentally kneel down on one of these, you’re going to have a bad day!
Thanks for reading! If this guide helped you at all, please feel free to share it around the web! Be sure to leave a comment below of your favorite solutions for keeping your bass drum in place on your rug!
For some more cool innovations of late, be sure to check out our roundup of drum accessories!