How to Pack Drum Set for Moving

Full article 11 min read
Pack a Drum Set

The drum set is a popular percussion instrument used in a wide range of genres, from rock and pop to jazz and classical. Consisting of a bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat, and several cymbals, the drum set provides a versatile platform for rhythmic expression. A drum set is the heart of any musician that plays it.

If you are planning on moving, one of the most important items that you need to consider is how to pack your drum set. This can be tricky since drums are large, heavy, and fragile instruments that require specialized care and handling. Luckily, there are some simple tips and tricks that you can use to make sure that your drums arrive at your new home safely and sound great. Here are ten steps to help you pack your drum set for moving.

What to Know When Packing Drums for Moving?

Drums are an essential part of many musical performances, but they can also be difficult to move. There are a few things to keep in mind for anyone planning to pack drums for a move.

Drums may look imposing and even sturdy, but the reality is that they are fragile. When packing drums for moving, it’s important to take special care to ensure they are properly protected. Drums should be packed upright, with padding placed around the circumference to prevent scratches and dents. It’s also important to avoid stacking other items on top of the drums, as this could cause them to topple over and sustain damage.

Another most important technique is to use a nesting packing technique, which involves nesting empty drums inside one another as tightly as possible. This saves space and prevents your drums from shifting during transit, minimizing the risk of damage or breakage.


Packing Supplies you will Require to Pack your Drums for Moving

When packing your drums for a move, it is important to have the right supplies. These include:

Large cardboard box

A large cardboard box will be essential for moving heavier items. You’ll need a box that’s 4 inches wider on all sides than the diameter of the biggest drum in your ensemble. You’ll need a 26″ cube box made of sturdy corrugated cardboard if you’re moving a 22″ bass drum.

Kraft paper

Kraft paper can be used to wrap smaller, more delicate drums and protect them from damage. The heavy brown paper that you can get from office supply stores, home improvement shops, or on the internet is also known as “merchandise wrap” and has a much thicker texture than the thin white paper.

Scrap cardboard

Scrap pieces of cardboard can also come in handy for lining the inside of the box or providing padding between packed drums.

Bubble wrap, Packing Tape

To keep everything secure during transport, you will also need plenty of packing tape and bubble wrap or other cushioning materials if needed. 

See Also: What is the best packing material for moving?

Marker or label gun

A marker or label gun can help ensure that all of your packed drums are easy to identify and locate when you arrive at your new home.

Utility knife

Utility knives are essential for cutting through the tape and opening boxes quickly and easily.

With these simple but essential packing supplies in hand, you can rest assured that your drums will arrive safely at their destination.


10 Packing Steps for Packing a Drum Set

Step 1. Take off the drum legs and tom holders

To remove the drum legs and tom holders from your drum kit:

  1. Begin by loosening the set screws on the bottom of each leg.
  2. Carefully remove each leg from its tom holder, avoiding dropping them or damaging the tom holders.
  3. Repeat this process for all of the drum legs on your kit and for each of the tom holders.

Step 2. Wrap the bass drum

  • Remove the two bass drum hoops by unscrewing the drum claws and tension rods. Then carefully remove the bass drum headcovers.
  • Wrap the drum claws and tension rod in separate Kraft paper and tape them together. Then place the drum claws and tension rods within a Ziploc bag for safekeeping.
  • During the collection, these metal parts should never come into direct touch with each other.
  • When you’re wrapping something, it’s always a good idea to wrap the packaging completely and securely with bubble wrap before taping it into place. Wrap the bubble wrap tightly around both bass drum hoops before adhering them with tiny pieces of tape. Slide the two hoops back onto the bass drum shell.
  • Keep the drum heads in a box before wrapping them in bubble wrap. You can use a flat cardboard box.
  • Finally, wrap the bass drum in bubble wrap. Go twice around the drum’s sides with the padding material for additional protection.

Step 3. Protect the toms: rack tom and floor tom

  • Wrap each tom in bubble wrap, making sure to go two times around the drum’s diameter. You may also want to place a layer of cardboard between the bottom and top heads for extra protection.
  • For each tom, unscrew the tension rods and remove the drum head. Be careful not to drop or damage the tension rods, as they can be difficult to replace.
  • Once the drum heads are removed, wrap the entire tom in bubble wrap and securely tape it into place. Place the drums inside a box for safe transport.

Step 4. Prepare the box

  • Put a large bubble wrap sheet on the bottom of the box and place one of the toms on top. If you are packaging a rack tom, be sure to leave enough room for it to lie flat.
  • Cut a piece of cardboard large enough to wrap around the box and place it on each interior side, including the bottom. This step will improve the container’s stability and durability, making it more resistant to external harm during transit.

See Also: Where to Get Moving Boxes for Free


Step 5. Pack the bass drum into the box

  • Lay the shell of the bass drum on top of the box bottom, with open areas facing downward.
  • One layer of scrap paper should be used to line the inside shell of the bass drum. The goal is to protect the inner shell from the floor tom that will follow it into the box.

Step 6. Place the floor tom inside the bass drum

  • Set the floor tom into place atop the bass drum. Make sure to align it as closely as possible with the bass drum’s shell and make any necessary adjustments before securing it in place with a layer of packing paper.

Step 7. Place the rack tom into the floor tom

  • Take off the top head of the floor tom.
  • Place the wrapped rack floor tom in the floor tom.
  • Secure the tension rods that you wrapped in paper and inserted in a Ziploc bag on top of one another.
  • To ensure that the rack tom and the tension rods on it don’t shift during transportation, fill the hole inside the floor tom with packing paper.
  • Position the floor tom head and tighten it with your fingertips.

Step 8. Done packing the cardboard box

  • Fill all the gaps with packing paper inside the large moving box. To cover your drums, keep adding padding paper.
  • Make sure the floor tom legs are on top and not in touch with any of the drums.
  • On top, place the pre-boxed bass drum heads.

Step 9. Loose the box height

  • To increase the overall safety of the box contents, reduce the height of the cardboard box.
  • Cut all the interior sides of the box using a utility knife in horizontal lines.  
  • Using the marked lines as a guide, insert the utility knife (the blade should be facing up) into each box corner and cut upward with an upward motion.
  • To eliminate the extra space, fold the box walls over packed drums.


Step 10. Close and tape the box

  • Tightly close the box using packing tape.
  • Use heavy-duty adhesive tape to wrap around its perimeter to reinforce the box further and prevent it from opening during transport.
  • Label the box with “Fragile” stickers and your contact information.


Moving can be stressful, but by taking the proper precautions, you can ensure that your belongings arrive at your new home safe and sound. When packing up your drum set, use a sturdy cardboard box and plenty of padding material to protect your drums from damage. With careful planning, you can rest assured that your drums will make it to your new home in one piece. Thanks for Reading!


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you travel with a drum set?

Place the drum in its hard case, which should be wrapped in softcover or blanket first. Wrap other items, such as sticks and stands, in bubble wrap and put them all inside a duffel bag or carry-on bag together.

What can I use for drum wrap?

Alternative Drum Wrap may be made with virtually any type of material used for furniture upholstery, vehicle upholstery, PA speakers, handbags, tablecloths, etc.


Can you hire professional movers to move your drum?

Yes, you can hire professional movers to move your drums for you. Be sure to choose a company experienced in moving delicate musical instruments.

What is the cost of moving a drum?

It depends on the type of move. If you are moving a long distance, it could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to ship your drums. If you are moving locally, it might only cost a few hundred dollars to hire movers.

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.