Suitcase drum set with o without a drumhead?

rbrtvzqz

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I’ve been thinking about making a suitcase drum set, obviously for carrying around with ease. Although I’m not really sure whether to add a drumhead on the batter side or to leave it as it is. Has anyone tried both versions? What are the pros and cons of both of them?
 

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JazzDrumGuy

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Never tried with a head but I built my own and use the side of the case as the batter....it is awesome! I have a 10" tom, 10" snare, 14" FT, and everything fits in the case except the pedal and fold up stool...
20190615_110149.jpg
 

rculberson

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Installing a partial shell, rim and head will make the suitcase feel more like a real drum. Will also increase volume. I played a suitcase rig made by our own Mr. B (Kirk) for over a year and a half, until I finally convinced all my regular venues that I could play a regular set quietly enough for their patrons.

Mr. B’s design was superior to any I’d seen, which is why I contacted him. My Junkpile #7 suitcase drum made me several thousand dollars in the time it was in active duty. Although not in gig rotation at the moment, I do use it often for impromptu rehearsals and jams...


65997633-5B08-4525-B376-226B411D1152.jpeg
 

rbrtvzqz

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Never tried with a head but I built my own and use the side of the case as the batter....it is awesome! I have a 10" tom, 10" snare, 14" FT, and everything fits in the case except the pedal and fold up stool...View attachment 404408
Installing a partial shell, rim and head will make the suitcase feel more like a real drum. Will also increase volume. I played a suitcase rig made by our own Mr. B (Kirk) for over a year and a half, until I finally convinced all my regular venues that I could play a regular set quietly enough for their patrons.

Mr. B’s design was superior to any I’d seen, which is why I contacted him. My Junkpile #7 suitcase drum made me several thousand dollars in the time it was in active duty. Although not in gig rotation at the moment, I do use it often for impromptu rehearsals and jams...


View attachment 404415
Those are very nice looking sets you guys got there! What size are your suitcases?
 

rculberson

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Can’t remember exact dimensions and the suitcase isn’t around at the moment to measure, but I think I remember it was 20” tall X 24” wide. Not sure how deep it is.
 

rbrtvzqz

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What kind of material should the suitcase be made out of? Any tips on the type of beater I should use?
 

JazzDrumGuy

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My Samsonite suitcase is my only "26 inch" bass......26" wide, maybe 20" high, and 8" deep. It is a hard shell case made of either plastic or fiberglass. When it is closed, it should be pretty stiff. Mine is not ported. I have jerry-rigged a "patch" with some padding and duct tape where the beater hits.

I picked it up at a Goodwill store for $14. It has a handle and wheels which comes in very very handily! They also had a smaller "bop" bass ($11) but I am glad I went bigger because part of the design was to actually nest all drums/gear inside. Unfortunately, the pedal and stool don't fit inside the larger case...

As for beater, I use an older PDP pedal attached to a door hinge I screwed into the bottom and which has a magnet glued to it. When moving it, I flip the latch up and it sticks to the mounted part. When I want to play, I flip it down and the pedal attaches. I do get bass drum creep so I run a piece of duct tape across the pedal board and it works (I also tape down the HH stand). The beater is an older Pearl, if I recall, similar to the Quad beater but only has felt and plastic - I use the felt side. I even made some "brushes" using duct tape and a bunch of zip ties.....it matches the essence of the kit.

The splash arm mounts in a gap created when the pull handle is parallel to the floor. I added a Tama mount in the right corner to old the ride. The left corner has a hole into which I slide the tom mount. The "FT" is an old 6.5" snare to which I added FT mounts/legs. The tom is a 10" First Act. The splash is also a 10" F.A. brand. The ride is a Sabian 16" AA crash with a cracked bell. The snare is a 10" Pearl Popcorn snare and by far the nicest piece. The hats are an old pair of 13" junk hats. The HH stand and snare stand are both also F.A. branded and pretty flimsy.

If you want further info/pics, I can take them next Sat. when I pull it out for rehearsal. It is a funky kit and if miked, would pass as a "real" kit. The goal was to use junky old parts I had laying around and the whole thing cost maybe $100.
It is really fun to play and I get a lot of positive looks/comments, especially when you see me walk in with a suitcase (????) that turns into a drum set (!!!!)......
 


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