'Minimal' kit

double bass man

Junior Member
Hi
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.
 

Uncle_MC

Member
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.
 

beatdat

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.
 

Soulfinger

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.
 

Keyholio

Active member
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.
 

roncadillac

Member
My primary gigging kit is usually just a snare and bass drum with ride or hi hats and sometimes both. Occasionally I throw a floor tom in but that's usually only if I'm recording or filling in with a band where I want to replicate the music more accurately. Hell, I played in a thrash punk band with just a snare and brushes.

You tell your drums what to do, not the other way around. I'm always an advocate of doing more with less. Look into Greg Saunier or Leon Parker for examples.
 

wraub

Well-known member
My small kit is a Pearl Short Fuse 10x4.5 snare, a lighter hi-hat stand with 13" hats, and a 13" rack tom on a homemade riser for a "bass" drum (this works surprisingly well, especially for smaller volume play, and could definitely be miced for the thump in the PA). Lately I've also added an 18" crash/ride, but could likely go smaller.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Hi
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 think if you really want to samba/bossa nova minimally you would get a pandeiro, brushes on the snare would work also. You could add a shaker, gives a nice flourish, maybe a floor tom.
 

adamosmianski

Senior Member
You can absolutely play a GREAT samba/bossa with just a snare and hi-hat. You don't even need the ride. Some options:

*Brushes (the obvious choice)

*Brush in your right hand, stick in your left w/ a cross stick. This is a classic sound. I realize he has a bass drum, but a good example:

*Turn the snares off and play with your fingers or a mallet to mimic a tamborim sound, like so:

*Just play the hi-hat closed with sticks. Sonny Carr did an ENTIRE ALBUM this way with João Gilberto:

Take a shaker with you too.

If you're going to be playing a lot of sambas and bossas it might be worth investing in a hide pandeiro and starting to learn that, though that's a pretty big undertaking.

Hope that helps. Let us know how it goes.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
A Bossa Nova/Samba beat can be played quite effectively with nothing but a snare and a bass drum, especially if you make use of your snare rim.

The angle of your snare is largely a matter of comfort. My snare is flat, but I play matched grip. Some traditional grip players like to angle their snares, as well as their toms, in the fashion of a colonial marching drummer. Whatever works for you is the best method. You won't know until you explore.
 
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