Timps in the Basement with Cheap String Guages

It’s time to dig out the timps and pound a bit! My new(ish) rig features Ludwig Dresdens in the middle, a 24″ Goodman chain up top (with a custom counterhoop) and the pièce de résistance: my custom designed Precision Classic 32″ chain drum. The parts were salvaged from an old O’Donnell chain drum with an aluminum bowl. (That bowl is currently full of dirt and makes an excellent planter in the garden.) The new bowl was made by the D. Picking Company to my specs. The shape is based on an old Leedy bowl that I used to have. You’ll have to take my word for it but it sounds fantastic–I just played a gig with it and looked forward to every low note!

Also, the big drum rests on a home made stand with casters; I wanted drums that I could move myself and this setup delivers on that.

The gauges on the Ludwigs cost me ones of dollars. They consist of eight ounce lead weights attached to nylon string which is tied to the pedals and looped over two lugs on the front of the drum (see pic below). Moleskin around the weights keeps them from banging the struts. Masking tape goes on the counterhoop and the note locations are delineated with a Sharpie. Another little piece of tape goes on the string (also with a mark on it) that slides over the masking tape. They work great and are a heck of a lot cheaper than fancy third party gauges.

Visual aids:

Ted's Timpani
Ted's Timpani
The big bopper.
The big bopper.
Cheapy guages.
Gauges, we don't need no stinkin' gauges! Except when we do...

1 thought on “Timps in the Basement with Cheap String Guages

  1. Great set-up Ted. I used string guages for many years and they never failed me.

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