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Thread: Busking with drum kit

  1. #1

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    Default Busking with drum kit

    Hi all,

    So the weather is getting nice and I thought a fun way to just play and play and play would be to busk. I'm not that interested in making money, would like to get a few likes for my band, but mostly just so i can practice and not be at home all day.

    I know where i can play, the cops here are pretty chill if i'm not being to obnoxious or playing where i shouldn't be, so legally im sure im ok.

    Last night I had a go on what I should bring. I decided a BD is a bit too big, so my thinking is snare, HH and have a boom arm from the HH for my 16" light but dark sounding crash. I'd use brushes and rods.

    So my questions are:

    How does this set up seem to you guys? I can put the top of my throne in the snare bag, metal hardware into my hardware bag, and cymbals into cymbals, so still will have a lot of stuff.

    Any tips on stuff to play? I tried it last night, it sounded ok, I figure I can put together about 10-15min of different things before i start repeating myself. I'm lowish intermediate, and play in a blues-rock band, so brushes and rods aren't usually in my line up, even if they are often used in what i listen to.

    Any other ideas/tips?

    Thanks!
    Yamaha DTX 500 module
    Anatolian Kappadokia 14" Rock High Hats
    Sabian El Sabor 20" Ride
    Zildjian A 18" Crash Ride
    Istanbul Agop 16" Trash Hit
    1950's Zildjian 14" Splash/light crash
    Istanbul 8" Splash (pre 1997)
    Mapex Black Panther Steel Piccolo
    1965 Premier 3 piece 10, 16, 22


  2. #2

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    Default Re: Busking with drum kit

    I would try a splash cymbal instead of a 16" crash - I'd be a little wary of stability problems mounting a boom and crash to a lightweight HH stand.

    Something like a used Zildjian ZXT or Paiste PST5 should work ok for busking. 12" splashes sound pretty 'crashy' to me - and they are half the weight of a 16" crash.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Busking with drum kit

    Bring a wood block or cowbell because they are small, easy to carry and add another sound.

    Some drummers use a hard suitcase for a bass drum.

    Learn a few more beats for a longer show.

    Try playing along with music from a CD and boom box, observe how the audience likes it.

    Experiment and stick with what works.

    Put out a tip jar because if you don't people will stuff money into your cases.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Busking with drum kit

    Buy a cajon and learn to play it. I've done some busking but never anything with a full sized kit, I can't see moving around that much equipment in public so a cajon just made sense.
    Wear hearing protection.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Busking with drum kit

    thanks for the tips, im not really trying to invest money into this, although the cowbell does sound like a good idea since i don't have one...

    RE the cymbals, I also tried my 16" trash, 14" 1950s splash/crash, 12" china and 8" splash and the 16" crash seemed best, it's quite light and I'm pretty sure i've got a boom arm long enough to attach it properly.

    RE the cajon, im going to be honest, i'm not the biggest fan, and I'll leave it at that.

    bassdrum suitcase sounds very promising, would save on equipment bags as well!
    Yamaha DTX 500 module
    Anatolian Kappadokia 14" Rock High Hats
    Sabian El Sabor 20" Ride
    Zildjian A 18" Crash Ride
    Istanbul Agop 16" Trash Hit
    1950's Zildjian 14" Splash/light crash
    Istanbul 8" Splash (pre 1997)
    Mapex Black Panther Steel Piccolo
    1965 Premier 3 piece 10, 16, 22


  6. #6

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    Default Re: Busking with drum kit

    You need one of Wonder1's custom kits! If I were building a kit for this, I'd use an old 16" floor tom on its side as a bass. I'd add some brackets to it so you could mount a small snare and cymbal off of it. I'm thinking a 14" or 16" Wuhan thin crash. Maybe even split the shell in half and put latches on it, so you could pack everything inside it to carry.

    Another idea would be a plastic 5gal bucket. I believe I've seen conversion kits that allow you to snap a drum head on top where the lid goes.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Busking with drum kit

    I've actually already PM'd wonder1 about building me something...no response yet.

    Going to go the suitcase BD route, a friend said he could build it and it should make life easier.

    So does anyone have any tips of where to find interesting things to play?

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Busking with drum kit

    yeah I'd have some form of kit for sure. Suitcase is always fun.

    Any of you guys ever heard of Porch Board Bass?
    12pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (23pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 4pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 50 Snare drums and growing!

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Busking with drum kit

    you're better off playing something that sounds like music, that people can relate to

    plastic pails, car rims and yes, suitcases, mostly sound like chaotic circus noise

    i've yet to hear a 16" bass drum that sounds decent, but up here everyone stuffs them with camping tents

    playing non-stop for 4 hours will definitely grow your chops, even moreso if you focus on your kit playing... with a kit
    Last edited by davezedlee; 05-05-2015 at 01:33 PM.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Busking with drum kit

    of course, playing at home or in a practice room would be better for my development, but i would like to go outside a bit, promote my band, and practice playing in front of people more...

    Spaz, just googled it, interesting, but 300USD buys me other, more important drum stuff, it does look cool tho!

    still waiting for some suggestions for music to listen to...the birdman soundtrack is pretty good, but way beyond my level

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