Which kit to use for my upcoming jazz gig?

TK-421

Senior Member
I have a (admittedly, very minor) dilemma coming up. I have a one-off jazz gig coming up on Sunday, and I'm debating what gear to use. I have a jazz kit, a Yamaha Stage Custom Birch bop kit (12/14/18) that would be perfect for this... except I've converted it to an "apartment" kit with mesh heads. So to use it, I'd have to swap out the mesh heads for real heads, tune them up, etc. But I also hate the thought of moving them, because the space I have for them is very tight, and it's difficult to get them positioned just right in there.

Option 2 involves my two Renown kits. I have one in cases in my closet at home, so it's ready for gigs... except the bass drum is 18x22. Not an ideal size for a small 3-piece jazz gig. HOWEVER, I have another Renown kit (in almost the same finish) permanently setup at my studio, and that one has a 16x20" kick. So I could grab that kick and use it with the toms from my other Renown to create a 12/14/20 kit. It won't be too big of a hassle to grab this, and I think overall it would be easier than using my Yamaha kit, so I'm somewhat gravitating toward this.

However there's a 3rd option. Perusing Craigslist, I found a 14x18 Catalina bass drum locally for a reasonable price. I've been in contact with the seller, and I'm considering buying this. It's a wrapped finish in a color that doesn't match my kit, so I'd have to rewrap it at some point (my kit is piano black, so a black wrap will work just fine). This will give me a fun project to work on, plus it will eliminate this dilemma from ever happening again. But if this gig ends up truly being a one-off (at this point I have no idea if it will become a recurring thing), then it will likely sit untouched by me for months or even years before it's needed again. But I do like the thought of always having the correct equipment for the gig ready to go, even if it's rarely used. And like I said, the price is reasonable; it won't break the bank.

I keep going back and forth between my various options, and I can't really seem to make up my mind. So I've decided I'll go with whatever the majority decides. So if you were in my shoes, what would you do?

1st world problems, I know...
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Just use the one you have in the closet ready to go. 22" bass drums don't look that big when finally in the venue, and no one will really notice. Unless you want to use this as an excuse to buy another kit - which will totally negate any profit you would've made on the job. Make the money, you'll feel better ;)
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Just use the one you have in the closet ready to go. 22" bass drums don't look that big when finally in the venue, and no one will really notice. Unless you want to use this as an excuse to buy another kit - which will totally negate any profit you would've made on the job. Make the money, you'll feel better ;)
I don't love the idea of using an 18x22 for a small jazz trio. Not only is it too big & boomy for that, it also screams "not a real jazz drummer." Would people in the audience notice? Most likely not. But I'm willing to bet the band leader will. It'll be my first time playing with him, so if I want a call-back, I should at least look the part (at the very least). So as far as I'm concerned, my 18x22 isn't an option.

That said, I'll record your vote as preferring my gig-ready kit with the 20" studio bass drum.

I'm also not looking to buy another kit, just an appropriate jazz-sized bass drum to augment my gigging kit. And yes, I am looking for an excuse :)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Take the 20" with your Gretsch toms. It'll have that warmer tone and the kick will be a little tighter and higher pitched... since you're not into the 22" anyways. My 2 cents.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
The 20 with your toms sounds like the best bet.

The gear hog in me jumped at 'get the 18'.

But you wouldn't be familiar with it,
wouldn't have a lot of time to try different heads and tunings if it needs it,
might not have time to decide if you want to use a riser or not,
and it wouldn't match your other drums.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
The 20 with your toms sounds like the best bet.

The gear hog in me jumped at 'get the 18'.

But you wouldn't be familiar with it,
wouldn't have a lot of time to try different heads and tunings if it needs it,
might not have time to decide if you want to use a riser or not,
and it wouldn't match your other drums.
The gear hog in me is screaming to just buy that 18" and be done with it. :)

But the sensible side of me keeps pushing back to just use what I already own.

If this becomes an ongoing thing, then yes, I will definitely buy the 18. Though I'll kick myself if it sells before then (at least until another one comes along).

If I did decide to buy it before this gig, I already have my ideal head for it: a coated PS3 that used to be on my Yamaha. The front head is a coated Gretsch w/out a port, which is exactly what I'd want. So I'm confident I'd be able to get it to sound good before Sunday. But you're right, it won't match my toms. I don't think that'd bother me too much for this one gig though, and I'd definitely rewrap it in the very near future.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
You stated that your Yamaha would be perfect for the gig. I would change out the mesh heads and use that if I thought that was the best kit for the gig.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I suppose I could get with the "looking the part" but I guess I'm too used to the idea that if they want to look the part, then they're paying for that and supplying drums of the right look. Does this band leader realize Joe Morello used a 13/16/22 kit with Dave Brubeck? Sometimes he used a 24" too. Joe hated those tiny drums - they don't qualify ;)
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
If it was me, I'd get the Catalina 18"... and rewrap it before the gig. It definitely looks the part with it's "correct" Bop dimensions and 8 lugs / side...

I would have agreed with the Yamaha-voters except it's 15" deep and only has 6 lugs/side... To me these are trickier to get to sound "just right" and look entry-level.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I suppose I could get with the "looking the part" but I guess I'm too used to the idea that if they want to look the part, then they're paying for that and supplying drums of the right look. Does this band leader realize Joe Morello used a 13/16/22 kit with Dave Brubeck? Sometimes he used a 24" too. Joe hated those tiny drums - they don't qualify ;)
I think you're reading more than I intended into my previous comment. The band leader is not demanding a specific "look"; I'm just a firm believer in having the right tools for the specific job. If it were a big band gig, I'd likely be okay with my 22, though a 14x22 would be much better than my 18x22. But for a small, low volume trio gig, it won't look or sound right.

I've never met the leader; I got the gig through the bassist, who I used to be in a band with. And I realize that some jazz drummers over the years have preferred larger drums. But I don't. Not for jazz, anyway. And who knows, maybe the leader could give a sh*t about the size of my kick. But that doesn't change the fact that I feel a 22 is wrong for this.

If I didn't have any options, then I'd just use it and get over it. But I have 3 options (Gretsch kit with 20" studio kick, Yamaha "apartment" kit, or buying the 18" kick). So I'm definitely going with one of those three.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
If it was me, I'd get the Catalina 18"... and rewrap it before the gig. It definitely looks the part with it's "correct" Bop dimensions and 8 lugs / side...

I would have agreed with the Yamaha-voters except it's 15" deep and only has 6 lugs/side... To me these are trickier to get to sound "just right" and look entry-level.
Agreed about the 6 lugs per side thing. The Yamahas actually sound surprisingly good for the price, but that 6-lug/side bass drum always bothered me (though the 15" depth doesn't really). But with a Fiberskyn head and felt strip, it looks a bit better — kind of distracts from the 6-lug look. Regardless, if I bought the 18, there's no way I'd have time to rewrap it before Sunday. That one is champagne sparkle, so my piano black toms would look "interesting" with it. But that'd only be for one gig.

Anyway, here's how my Yamaha looked when I was still using it as a jazz kit, before it became my "apartment" kit.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

CompactDrums

Silver Member
The black colour makes it look smaller... You certainly can't tell it's got an extra inch of depth... I still can't get past the 6 lugs though... :)

I guess Champagne sparkle would work with the black toms in a pinch. My reason for wanting to wrap it before the gig is to maximize the chance of getting called back.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
So here's the vote tally as of now:

  • 3 votes for using my Renowns with the 20" kick
  • 1 vote for using my Renowns with the 22" kick (I'll have to add this vote to the 20" group since that's not an option for me)
  • 2 votes for using the Yamahas
  • 1 vote for buying the 18"
Any more thoughts?
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
....
Any more thoughts?

How much is the Catalina bass drum?

I'm thinking that if it's a really good deal, which it could be, I might change my mind, considering your added input in post #6.

Non matching - throw a black towel over it - LOL
 

TK-421

Senior Member
How much is the Catalina bass drum?

I'm thinking that if it's a really good deal, which it could be, I might change my mind, considering your added input in post #6.

Non matching - throw a black towel over it - LOL
$225, and it's about 30 minutes away from me. I called the wrap guy I've used before, and he quoted me $100 for piano black wrap. I used that wrap for my 14" floor tom on my gig-ready kit, and it looks spot on with the lacquered finish of the other drums. The wrap is from Jammin Sam, so it's something I'd apply myself.

BTW I've never pulled wrap off a drum before, but I watched a video and it doesn't look overly difficult.

Here's the 18" in question, if that helps.
 

Attachments

M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I think you're reading more than I intended into my previous comment. The band leader is not demanding a specific "look"; I'm just a firm believer in having the right tools for the specific job. If it were a big band gig, I'd likely be okay with my 22, though a 14x22 would be much better than my 18x22. But for a small, low volume trio gig, it won't look or sound right.

I've never met the leader; I got the gig through the bassist, who I used to be in a band with. And I realize that some jazz drummers over the years have preferred larger drums. But I don't. Not for jazz, anyway. And who knows, maybe the leader could give a sh*t about the size of my kick. But that doesn't change the fact that I feel a 22 is wrong for this.

If I didn't have any options, then I'd just use it and get over it. But I have 3 options (Gretsch kit with 20" studio kick, Yamaha "apartment" kit, or buying the 18" kick). So I'm definitely going with one of those three.
Ok. But Dave Brubeck was a small jazz quartet, you know ;)

I think if you wear a 1950s style suit that would make you look more jazzy than the kit would.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Dude, you bought all these so-called jazz sizes for what? To feel better about playing jazz. Might as well use the jazz sized bass drum. Otherwise, what's the use?
 
Top