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Does Size Matter? | Compact Drum Kits


Put quite simply in this case the answer is YES, size does matter and here is why...


What size kit do you take to functions and weddings?

Join the discussion HERE


Compact Drum Kit

Why? If there is one thing I have learnt from gigging week in week out all over the UK and internationally it is that lugging a huge drum kit around is no fun at all. Fun to play. Not fun to carry!

I like playing bigger sized drums as much as the next guy and can appreciate that they are the best for touring & theatre work and would be my first choice. But when it comes to weekly function gigs I would chose a smaller sized compact drum kit every time!

If you can use a compact drum kit without compromising functionality and quality then why not do it ?

Why you should buy another drum kit...

You don't have to sell all the gear you have and get a brand new drum kit. You can use all the same hardware (stands, pedals, stool...) and get a second shell pack.

It's that simple! There are some great companies that offer affordable options on compact drum kits and the quality and durability of these kits is amazing. Treat the compact drum kit as your work horse that you use for the day to day drum work and standard functions / weddings, that way you won't be too precious over it. You can then have your original kit cased up and ready to go for the studio, big shows, video shoots and lots more. That one is your pride and Joy, your 'best' kit.

I bet your thinking I have a drum kit, cymbals and stands, pedals, a stool and drumsticks...

But what is a shell pack ?

A shell pack is just the drums sold themselves with no additions.

You can buy drums in a few different formats from:

- Full kit inc all hardware (stands, stool, pedals...)

- Shell pack (just the drums)

- Individual drums sold separately (generally snares or tom tom add ons)

What's different about Compact Drum Kits

Compact dum kits or cocktail drum kits have smaller shell (drum) sizes therefore have a higher pitch and tone and are commonly used in Jazz, Hip Hop, d&b (drum & bass). You will also see drummers use a small bass drum as an add on to their standard set up of sizes. Small drums and big cymbals is a favoured choice amongst the drum community especially in the jazz scene and this great article sheds more light on jazz drumming.

What sizes do they come in ?

Standard Drum Kit Sizes - 22" Kick

- 14" Snare - 12" Rack Tom 1

- 13" Rack Tom 2 - 16" Floor Tom Fusion Drum Kit Sizes

- 20" Kick

- 14" Snare - 10" Rack Tom 1 - 12" Rack Tom 2

- 14" Floor Tom Compact Drum Kit (Cocktail Drum Kit)

- 16" Kick - 14" Snare - 10" Rack Tom

- 13" Floor Tom Find out more about these drum kit - Read More

Protect your drums

The key to having a compact drum kit that you will be using frequently is to protect it properly with the right cases. If you gig every week and sometimes multiple times in a week I would advise you look at getting hardcases for your drums. Soft cases will serve their purpose but will never last as long as hardcases and give you piece of mind that your drums are secure and protected against drops and mishandling. If your like me most drummers are very protective over their equipment so it's likely you will be doing all the handling, but on the off chance a band member offers to help (good luck with that...) its good to know the drums are safe either way!

Nice and tidy!

Another great thing about hardcases is they stack on top of each other without affecting the drums in any way. You can tidy them away in the corner and take up very little floor space. Also, they will pack into the car much easier and as long as your good at Tetris you will have them packed in and out of the car in no time.

Great Companies Here are a few companies that make compact drum kits (cocktail kits) in order of current price for smallest sizes (April 2017) ..

- Pearl - £339.00

- Tama - £421.00

- Ludwig - £450.00

- Sonor - £461.00 - Gretsch - £506.00

- British Drum Co. (Coming Soon)

Compact is the way forward for the busy working drummer! Voice your thoughts let's talk in the comments below!

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