'Minimal' kit

double bass man

Junior Member
I have been playing double bass / guitar / banjo for many years to a good level--played with some very good bands. Of recent times I have taken to the drums. I just want to play on a 'minimal' kit. That is Snare / Hi-Hat and Ride Cymbal only. Two questions I would to like to ask you experienced guys out there:

a) Is it possible to play a good Bossa Nova / Samba rhythm with my above mentioned kit?

b) The Snare drum: I see players who play the snare tilted at all different angles--flat / slanting forwards / slanting backwards / slanting sideways---is the answer:
'What suits you?' or to do with the style of music you play?

Look forward to your answers.


I would definitely add a bass drum to the kit you described.

a). With just a kick/snare/hats/ride setup, you could certainly play Bossa Nova and samba. Additionally, you could play jazz, funk, hip-hop, classic rock...

b). The snare tilt ultimately comes down to preference. Having a sideways tilt can be more natural for traditional grip players (why you might see that tilt in jazz a lot), while matched grip players might prefer a flatter snare. Also, tilting the snare away from you can give you better access to the front rim which makes rimshots easier if they come up frequently. Just some examples. Ultimately, it’s whatever feels natural.


Senior Member
Yeah, if you're looking to have people get up and dance to your music, as opposed to just sitting and listening, you're going to need a bass drum. The bass drum is the foundation of nearly all funk, hip-hop and classic rock. It's what gets people moving.

double bass man

Junior Member
Many thanks for your replies--excellent advice for me. My interests are mainly on the 'jazzy side of life'--sitting & listening.

At my time of life to old to be carrying any extra kit!

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I've considered getting one of those 20x8 Farmer Footdrums bass drums for along while.

Initially, I wanted to get a whole kit at once, but as I've been thinking about it now it makes sense to start with just the bass drum. I have toms, a panderio and all sorts of other stuff to add if I want to.

I also have cajon and all sorts of shaky & jingly things.

In general I don't think a minimal kit is about one setup. Not for me anyway. It's to have an arsenal of sorts and then bring just exactly what you need.

Some sort of "bass drum" is usually worth it. Substitutions work, but make sure it's the right sound for you and the occasion.

Stomp boxes have been just cases with a cheap dynamic mic inside for a long time before someone started capitalizing on it. Some sound good, some don't. You can do a lot with EQ to clean it up, but it won't make things more natural or dynamic. If tou want real drum sound and feel, that's what you should use. One of those 12" frame bass drums can be a happy medium.


Senior Member
If tou want real drum sound and feel, that's what you should use. One of those 12" frame bass drums can be a happy medium.
Indeed. I have a LP Stanton Moore Pandeiro (12") that I used as a bass drum for my micro kit. Recently I got a Meinl 13" Timbale that I like even better - it´s heavier, but it´s louder, goes lower and is not as wobbly as the pandeiro.

For latin stuff you really should have some kind of bass drum - much more fun this way.


Bass player new to drumming here, but I played for a long time in a band with a bossa-nova heavy set list and a great drummer from the old school. (as in used to cut Doo-Wop records back in the day) Brush work can do a lot to create the bossa sound, so there's that, but Bossa Nova is a slowed down Samba, which has that big Ga Doooom Ga Do. Ga Doooom Ga Do -- that deep open accent on the bass drum on beat two -- the Low Surdo drum.

That low note groove is hard to replicate without a bass drum. Maybe a washy open hi-hat on beat 2 could create that groove, or you could rely on a bass player acting as your bass drum.