Rack It Up: How To Build A Gong Rack

I get a lot of questions about my Gong racks (I received 3 different E-mails in the past few weeks), so I decided to tell you all about them. I have all sorts of Gong stands & racks I've collected over the years, but what I use mostly are the racks I've put together with Gibraltar parts. Back in 2001-2002, as my set up was expanding, I needed something that was:

  1. Easy to set up, tear down, and carry.
  2. Flexible so I could change it to fit my needs.
  3. Expandable so I could build on it as my set up grew.

I have 3 different Paiste stands, but they can't be adapted for different set ups. Back then, I had been using a Gibraltar rack for my drum set for 5 or 6 years, and I loved it. I could change my drum set up as needed and change the rack with it. It matched the 3 criteria up above. So it was natural to look at using Gibraltar stuff for my Gongs.

Now Gibraltar has a Gong stand, but only 1 type. It's well designed and you can build on/adapt it. But I started out with extra drum rack parts I had, and then purchased 2 percussion workstation racks on close out. These were perfect for the legs/sides and only needed me to add the right crossbars to hold the Gongs.

Gibraltar Percussion Workstation


A bonus was having the percussion tables that I would could use for small Gongs & percussion. Later, I picked up a 3rd one of these. So I only needed to get some 36" and 24" tubes to hold the Gongs. This all worked out great and has allowed me to build whatever I need. I now have 7 different racks for Gongs that I can mix up to create larger set ups. Another nice thing about the Gibraltar stuff is that it's fairly light weight compared to other stands. I have a 34" Paiste steel square stand, but I only use that in my studio, because it's a beast to carry. That square steel tubing is very heavy.

Gibraltar stuff is also easy to find, both at music stores and on Ebay. I've picked up various used drum racks for the parts I want, and then resold the parts I didn't need. All the tubing is 1.5", so it's also compatible with other manufacturer's racks, like TAMA, DW/Pacific, and even the lighter weight Roland or Yamaha electronic drum rack aluminum tubing. One important thing to me it to always use metal clamps & fittings. The plastic ones don't always hold, or last. I just feel much more secure with metal clamps. That said, all of this is extremely sturdy. I've never had anything break or fall over. If these racks will stand up to a heavy metal drummer pounding away, they'll easily take a few Gongs, even the real big ones.

Here is a photo of my main Gong Rack with a parts list. The only thing I've left off are the hooks for the Gongs. I use a standard Gibraltar memory lock with an 's' hook. You can check out how I make them here



I have 2 exact racks like this. One is for my Gong Meditation Sessions, and I keep that packed and ready in a case. The other I keep set up in my studio and use for solo concerts, with some added extension racks to hold a wide array of Gongs & Bells. I also have a rack for the bell plates, a rack for the Kulintang, and a double percussion table for small Gongs, Singing Bowls, and percussion. I also have a hybrid Gibraltar/Paiste percussion rack where I've added Gibraltar legs to the Paiste stand for more height and stability. 

Here's a photo of my full concert set up:



The 6 racks are from L-R: 

  1. Double percussion table
  2. Sound Plates (hard to see at this angle)
  3. 3-large Gong racks connected together.
  4. Paiste percussion rack with added legs.


To show you how easy it all goes together, I've made a video of me setting up the complete rack & Gongs at a recent gig. Even with the adjustments I make for the different Gongs I used, I'm still set up in under 15 minutes. The whole set up packs into 5 cases:


  1. 1 stand case that also holds the mallets. 
  2. 3 Gong cases. 
  3. 1 case for the Singing Bowls & Bells.





I hope this answers your questions. As always, YMMV. Please do let me know if you have anymore questions.

~ MB

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