Cocktail Kits. Why??

single-ply

Senior Member
Someone explain to me why anyone would want to own and play a cocktail kit.

You have to stand (basically balance on one leg) for the gig, you have no control of your hi hat, you play one of those BS 12" snares, and the load-in is still at least 70% of a small cafe kit.

I've never understood the allure. It seems IMHO, to be a bad idea that won't die.
 

OldReliable

Senior Member
I’m with you, I don’t like em either! I’d much rather play something like an Odery Cafekit instead of one of those cocktail kits.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I was with ya until you dissed 12" snares. I've been using 12" snares for a few years now behind all my kits (none"cocktail" kits). I like the extra 2" of maneuverability they give me. And mine sound great. Right now I use a Tama and a Pork Pie. They ain't BS.



Someone explain to me why anyone would want to own and play a cocktail kit.

You have to stand (basically balance on one leg) for the gig, you have no control of your hi hat, you play one of those BS 12" snares, and the load-in is still at least 70% of a small cafe kit.

I've never understood the allure. It seems IMHO, to be a bad idea that won't die.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Cocktail kits evolved at a time when restaurants had live music, but not much space for the band. An 'upright' kit was the solution, and they were catalog items for every drum company through the mid-'60s.

With the resurgence of bop kits, cocktail kits made a curious return. I doubt it was for space reasons, perhaps it's just a retro thing?

Bermuda
 

single-ply

Senior Member
I was with ya until you dissed 12" snares. I've been using 12" snares for a few years now behind all my kits (none"cocktail" kits). I like the extra 2" of maneuverability they give me. And mine sound great. Right now I use a Tama and a Pork Pie. They ain't BS.
Sorry Rattlin' Bones! I could have better chosen my words. Different strokes...

I'm not a fan of them, but I shouldn't lump everyone with my biases.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
So you can stand up and sing, sway from side to side, and even play a few drum beats as well. And you can move onto the stage in one go - so you can do guest spots on the dance floor or in the foyer or busking outdoors.

I don't need to do any of these (except singing) so I don't need one. There must be a market somewhere.
 

MustangMick

Senior Member
Because they're fun to play in quieter situations.
I'll be using this for Folk / Acoustic gigs either standing up (fixed x-hat) or sitting on a high stool (cable hihat)

Will be using a 14"x6.5" Steambent Maple snare that matches but i do have options of other snares.

Cheers
Mick
 

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MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
I think its about this.

Saving on space (it has a smaller footprint then any mini kit out there with stands still) so I could see why it comes back, especially now when live music is still on a verge, music spots closing everywhere and space is limited maybe now more then ever.

Also standing on the same height as your fellow musicians/audience is a plus (it is why I like playing percussion so much too, you are more in the vibe with the rest)

With the right heads and tuning, it it doesn't compromise on sound either.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I think when space is an issue and whenever the music calls for it.

The only time I would use one is if I was playing rockabilly on small stages. I also think they would work if your band members sit on stools a lot and if you are one of the singers.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I agree. There's not much of a difference in size between a small kit and a cocktail kit. I'd rather save floor space with less stands/cymbals - rather than play a cocktail kit that is a giant tone compromise.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Them cocktail kits ain't got no kick drum. My blues and jazz gigging groups would never let me play a kit without a kick - they depend on the kick. I'm not sure what kinda music I could play with a cocktail kit.
 

MustangMick

Senior Member
Them cocktail kits ain't got no kick drum. My blues and jazz gigging groups would never let me play a kit without a kick - they depend on the kick. I'm not sure what kinda music I could play with a cocktail kit.
The Bass drum pedal strikes upwards on the bottom head- In my case an Aquarian SK1 - Plenty loud enough for acoustic guitar gigs.

You can mic them easily from below and with 1 overhead.

Mick
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
1 - Space, Because the kick is the bottom of the floor tom, a 4-piece is condensed into 3 drums. They also commonly mount cymbals and percussion onto the bass/floor tom instead of stands

2 - Image, It's different, kinda' cool

3 - Standing up sometimes suits the show in question. Otherwise there are sit-down cocktail kits too
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I'd vote for space, or just to be different / retro.
Vocals are usually better when standing as well.

Playing metal it would be pretty hard for double bass but a standing blast beat might be fun lol.

As I get older I bring less and less cymbals / toms to gigs with me as I HATE hauling gear and want the least trips possible. Even my punk band I have gone to one up and one down and use a little bop kit for the dive bars we end up playing. It is incredible how much an 18 bass drum weighs vs a 20 or 22.

also even at the same foot print, think of where the throne is, and where you sit, sometimes in a corner my back is against the wall. standing you are closer to the kit so it would take up less overall room. I feel like you wouldn't slide forward on this either.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I've never tried one but I'd love to. Looks like fun. I could see the utility in acoustic music where there's very little space as has been mentioned. Like it or not, a kit with a normal bass drum takes up a lot more forward space.

If I found one cheap I'd probably get it for the novelty.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've never tried one but I'd love to. Looks like fun. I could see the utility in acoustic music where there's very little space as has been mentioned. Like it or not, a kit with a normal bass drum takes up a lot more forward space.

If I found one cheap I'd probably get it for the novelty.
Well, believe it or not, manufacturers used to make a standard 12x18 bass drum, or even a 12x20. When you have a shallower bass drum, that does save more space than if your bass drum was 18” deep. But cocktail kits are when you need a drummer in a space that’s 3-foot square. I used to play a lone Octapad with a DW EP-1 trigger pedal in spaces that small back in the 80s.
 
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