Cocktail Drums

Rick

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I keep coming back to this idea, as I tend to play in limited space situations. But when I think about it, I'm not sure how much space it really saves. (And isn't the main idea of a cocktail kit to save space?) My drum footprint with my smaller set (Tama Superstar Classics... 14" snare, 10" & 12" mounted toms, 14" FT, and a 20X16 BD) is about 4'7" deep by 4'10" wide if I only use two cymbals (one left and one right). With the cymbals positioned comfortably and me sitting a comfortable playing distance from the drums, it would still be 4'7" deep regardless of the size of the drums (because of the cymbals hanging out there). Same thing with width... if the drums are smaller, the ride cymbal still defines the limit of the right side of the footprint and the hi hat (13" hats) still defines the left side... so no change.

So here's my thinking. While it might LOOK like it's taking up less space, it's really not. And I'd rather play better sounding drums. Now in terms of weight and setup... yeah, a cocktail kit would definitely make that easier. Anyway, just my thoughts on it and why I keep not being able to pull the trigger on a cocktail kit.
 

dtk

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I played a WFL one for a bit as well as a Remo/conga version...

I disagree with Rick...I think you'd save some space...
The downside IMO is most versions have you playing standing up...it gets old over time....and a bit painful.
I also think depending on the gig and size of the toms..you might not have the best sonic options...The WFL I had would have been great for a brushes gig...the snare under the head didn't make for the best rock snare sound..
 

Rick

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I played a WFL one for a bit as well as a Remo/conga version...

I disagree with Rick...I think you'd save some space...
The downside IMO is most versions have you playing standing up...it gets old over time....and a bit painful.
I also think depending on the gig and size of the toms..you might not have the best sonic options...The WFL I had would have been great for a brushes gig...the snare under the head didn't make for the best rock snare sound..
Actually, you're probably right. I was thinking more of the "club" size kits (standard kit configuration but with smaller drums), not the true "cocktail kits." Sorry for the confusion.
 

Frank Godiva

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It’s not just a space thing, it’s an ergonomic thing at least for me. I played a few shows years ago on a cocktail and had a some new aches and pains.

Standing on my left foot all night so I could use the bass drum pedal on the right really made my hamstring sore. Just not used to standing and playing. I’ll stick to sitting on my keister.
 

Sonar Dave

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I pieced this cocktail kit together for last minute jams in tight spaces. I play it sitting down, so no strain from standing. I can carry the whole thing without taking it apart and fit it in my Subaru. Gets the job done and provides som creative challenges.
View attachment 504281
I like this little kit. My Grandfather had one from the 40's or50's very similar to yours. Sure wish I could have gotten ahold of it.
 

CAMDRUMS

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I like this little kit. My Grandfather had one from the 40's or50's very similar to yours. Sure wish I could have gotten ahold of it.
Mine is a just budget floor tom, a popcorn snare, and a coupe cymbal arms. Ludwig Atlas mounts are your friend when it comes to cobbling one of these together!
 

multijd

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Interesting website about cocktail drums. Podcast from the “Drumhistory Podcast” is worth the listen.
 

Spoonman

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I had the yamaha club jordan cocktail kit. Great kit, compact and easy to travel with, decent for backyard, intimate, small gigs. but, as many mentioned above, standing all night is a drag, especially when your left leg and hip take all the burden. But for me, the biggest issue was trying to balance a good floor tom tone and a kick tone. since they use the same drum, it was a challenge, and at the end of the day, i was just not happy with it.
Now, if I have a small gig, I will pack my 20/14/10 configuration and call it done.
 

Rockin' Billy

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Always liked that Club Jordan but never got one. If needed now, I use a kick w/snare standing up. I found a picture of my old WFL Cocktail kit. What fun I had with that. On one tour I built a kit with snare basket mounted in the rack tom mount and hung a 12” tom off cymbal arm and added a stationary hi-hat mount. Another fun combo.
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