1930s/40s Big band Kits (or alternatives)

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Hey everyone,

I run a 16-piece big band playing mostly late 1930s swing - Benny Goodman (Gene Krupa!), Ellington, Basie, Chick Webb, you get the idea. My drummer at present plays with a kind of be-bop kit and it just doesn't sound right. In particular the bass drum just doesn't cut it. Our budget is limited, and most of the Slingerlands etc from the right period are very pricey. Do you have suggestions for alternatives/reproductions/etc?

Thanks,

J
 
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Looking into the possibility of converting a 26" marching bass drum to a kick - anyone done it?
 
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Great! Do I need to spend a lot on a marching bass drum? Some new are as cheap as £150. What material is best? Thanks!
 

dtk

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I would think any 26 that's tuneable would be good if tuned and muffled right...good heads could help but would add to your expense.
 

studrum

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And calf heads. Used ones will do, and they are more easily had in the more common sizes, I'd guess: 28", maybe 26".
Uh, whoops, I hadn't realized that you were across the pond. At 26", Remo Fibryskin 3's should be easy to get, if you can't find olde calf heads around.
 
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After more research now considering 24" bass drums too, which might be more sensible! Any suggestions? I'm finding very little used in the UK
 

D. B. Cooper

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I would want a 24". I don't think you should buy a new marching drum, that's for sure. Maybe buy a used one and spruce it up, but after that's all said and done 24"-28" bass drum heads and be $40-$60 a piece. Add to that the cost of clamp-on spurs (~$50) and the scope of the overall investment becomes more clear.

So, to clarify, you're thinking about buying a bass drum to go with the toms from another set?
 

drumtimejohn

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Consider moving to a 22/12 or 13/16 or similar over your bop set. As noted in the video, a 22” open bass can handle it. Those are pretty standard sizes to come across which should help with the expense at the onset and maintenance cost like heads and such. Plus moving or storing anything larger might be an unnecessary inconvenience. I’m playing an open 20/12/14 or 16 indoors with a similar size band however would go 22/12/16 for an outdoor gig.
 
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vintagedrummersweden

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If you check Ebay you'll find tons of used Premier drums that would fit your purpose, both for size and sound.
And they're very cheap!
 
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Thanks all. I had been looking at at 26" and 24" bass drums, but they are much less common than 22". How much does the depth change the sound of the bass drum?
 

toddbishop

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Probably wise to consult with your drummer about this! If I showed up for rehearsal one day and somebody said WELL HERE'S YOUR NEW BASS DRUM and it was a 26" marching drum or any kind of 26, I would... well, I don't know what I would do, but it would probably be hilarious to somebody.

UK should be teeming with inexpensive used Premier 12/13/16/22 sets. Those are normal big band sizes, and much less likely to provoke an embarrassing spectacle from someone used to playing bop drums.
 

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