Suitcase Kick Drum: One-Man-Band Rig!


Low Budget Interesting Foot Drums!


After a couple of years hauling around a 22" kick drum, and a heavy duty hi-hat with a tambourine and looper and PA, Guitar, etc, etc.  It was getting to be a bit much .  At the same time, Im not a drummer, so having real drums in front of me at a show brings a certain expectation.  I thought it would be better to have something to accompany my guitar and vocals without the size, weight, and footprint of real drums. 



So to make my set-up and tear-down as simple as possible and less trips to and from the truck to load in all the gear, I have summoned my inner DIY and put together this suitcase rhythm section.  The best part about this idea is its a self containing carrying case.  


I wanted to make this original and low budget.  First thing, find a suitable suitcase online for cheap.  Done, found a solid old Sampsonite for $30 bucks.  Next step was to make this case into not only a drum, but a case to carry my other drums and to mount my looper and music stand on.  To prevent it from tipping over, I put some old tom legs on the side, and a solid mount for the kick pedal to attach to.  I also put a small custom made mic stand inside the case to mic up at shows and drilled a small hole in the side of the case to put a mic cable inside.



Second part, I started to try and create a slapping or clapping or snare-like sound.  I purchased a single drum brush and a snare wire.  I attached the snare wire to the back of an old license plate and built a little stand to mount the plate on.  After mounting a mic on the back of the stand and rigging a little piece of angle iron on the front to attach a kick pedal and I was almost there.  The brush needed to be modified to give it some weight so I pinched and soldered on some old fishing weights I had laying around.  After the photo was taken, I added a few screws on the back to mount a tambourine vertically.  It sounds great, and has a ready mounted mic!  I was happy with the sound and functionality.



Lastly, I just need to have a little splash to help accentuate some of the shots in the songs I play as a one-man-band.  Previously I was using a full sized hi-hat with a tambo mounted on top, I could get it to splash and get the tambourine rattle too.  I built a similar base as the Plate Snare, and mounted a pedal to it.  The last tom leg mount I put on the side and used an old drum arm to put the splash on the end.  Below is a photo of the whole deal set up at one of my shows.

Above, you will notice my looper mounted on the right, and my music stand.  Also you might like to check out Doc Kazoo since he made me that beautiful custom hand made kazoo.

Below is a little video when I was finished the foot drums about 80%.  The cymbal wasn't properly mounted yet.  Hope you enjoy, you can follow me on twitter and instagram for updates of this cool rig in action.