Playing without a kick


Platinum Member
Can't imagine ever "forgetting" the biggest drum I have to'd be pretty damned obvious to me if the thing was missing. But for arguments sake, let's say it got stolen by gypsies on the way in the door. In that case I'd do as much on my floor tom as I possibly could in order to somewhat replicate a beat.....and I'd obviously call on my bass player to crank it up and try to help me cover this glaring oversight.

I've done gigs with no bass drum before, but they were more specialty or acoustic type situations where I was standing and just playing a snare and splash cymbal with brushes etc and the kick really wasn't required anyway.


Platinum Member
... I'd do as much on my floor tom as I possibly could in order to somewhat replicate a beat.....and I'd obviously call on my bass player to crank it up and try to help me cover this glaring oversight.

Logan Kroger of The Dodos has a unique take on the kickless drum kit but he also needs to play a lot of low toms for some bottom end.

The tune starts slowly so you can skip to 2:30 - at 3:27 he plays some lovely rhythms - and with all those tomes you don't miss the bass drum or bass guitar.


Platinum Member
Personally I find the most offensive person over at the bar, place them where the bass drum would be and physically kick them until all I get is low-end. Then it's time to play.


Silver Member
Sometimes I play without a kick for local restaurant, health food store type trio jazz venues.
It depends on IF you need the sound or not for the gig.


"Uncle Larry"
I was asked to do a low volume jazz gig recently...without a drumkit. Like with a cajon or something. I passed. If I can't play a bass drum, I'm not interested. Like I have no interest in being a percussionist. My foot is at the core of my musical center. I'm lost without it.


Platinum Member

It is possible if you can compensate for the 'role' of a bass drum by assigning that sound 'somewhere else' which is made by your hands. Trilok Gurtu does that very well. But like Larry said, for me too if there no feet involved its not a drum set, and it is the combination of the 4 limbs that makes a drumset unique. Hand drumming for me is a 'different art' altogether.


Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
That would be like forgetting your snare drum. Forget it. Not gonna happen. I've forgotten sticks, my throne, my tom post, cymbals, the foot pedal, and yes, even the snare drum once. But I've never forgotten the Bass Drum.


Gold Member
I would find some kind of wooden box/barrel and stick a mic inside it, and stomp my foot on it. Of course it may mean sitting on a higher stool but that's hardly a big deal compared to forgetting a kick drum.

Or I'd keep a stomp box in my gig bag, like this guy(skip to 4:30ish)

Or i would punch a hole in my floor tom reso head, stick a mic in there, lay a towel across the tom and play that.


Gold Member
Not strictly the same but I played a 40 minute spot many years back without a had broken within minutes of the start of the set...rather than let my pals down I literally played by kicking the bass drum. Bass guitarist after the gig commented on how my bass drum wasn't quite as busy as normal....and I got big pats on the back when I explained to my mates why that was.

I imagine this isn't the rarest thing to happen....

Ever since, a spare drum pedal has always been a priority when gigging.

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
...what to do if you forget your kick?
LOL :)) ... you can't forget your bass drum, you may forget something when going to a gig, but the bass drum???'re kidding, right?

... I guess it's possible to rearrange some patterns using the floor toms as a BD and playing the hi-hat with the foot, providing you didn't forget the floor toms too :))


Platinum Member
I played on a float in a parade, and there wasn't enough room for a bass drum. It was a very odd sensation playing without it. My leg hurt after a while, because I would still be pressing down with my right foot, and there was no pedal to give me feedback.

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
I broke my (crappy, third choice) bass pedal 2 weeks ago during practice. I just carried on without, and it was only a few bars to the end of the tune anyway


Pioneer Member
I've played enough gigs to have forgotten just about every piece of equipment at some point. That said, certain things are essential. I think a bass drum is one of them (for most drum set gigs). I'd ask to have the start time pushed back while you go get it, have someone bring it to you, or call around the area until you find a drummer who will lend you one. I've had to do one of those three things with bass pedals, cymbals, throne, hi-hat clutch, and just about every other piece of hardware you can imagine. I can't fault you for forgetting anything. The bass drum is huge, but I've gotten in my car without looking and assumed I had everything from the previous night, only to realize that I was in a different car altogether!


Silver Member
There are a lot of these gigs popping up around here, especially amongst the singer-songwriter types. I think you'll land more gigs if you get a percussion set together.
what do do if you forget your kick?....................go home and get it and pray your bandmates don't "forget" to call you for the next gig