For our Steeldrivers show tonight we wanted to strip our instrumentation down a bit and do more of an acoustic set, so I set out to make the perfect suitcase bass drum. I also needed a bigger washboard (who doesn't?!) which I scored on Etsy. Eventually I will sand it down and paint it red but for now I think it looks pretty rad all old-timey!
First I needed to know how to get started. I found an awesome Instructables tutorial online by this drummer who has spent years perfecting this. It was complete with pictures and YouTube videos! If you are interested in doing this yourself then definitely check it out: http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Suitcase-Drum-Set/
Now I needed to find the perfect suitcase. I can't believe I found one on my first stop! I love Flower Child on High Street! It's a vintage shop on High Street that has different levels and tons of rooms of vintage clothes, furniture, jewelry and just about any other novelty you can imagine! I swear everytime I go I find an undiscovered tiny room tucked away filled with some peculiar but extraordinary treasure I never knew I needed. After explaining what I was looking for, the clerk pointed me toward the downstairs where they kept most of the vintage suitcases. After examining the shelf, I didn't see the perfect suitcase so I combed some other rooms and there it was. I knew that baby blue suitcase was mine as soon as I laid eyes on it.
After finding the perfect suitcase I needed several other materials to get started. The tutorial recommended a Super Pinky Ball as the beater so I ordered one from Amazon for 3 bucks. I then needed various screws and some rubber from Goodale Hardware. The hardest part was finding the right sized metal piece to attach to the bottom of the suitcase (this is what the bass petal will clamp on to). My sweet and helpful hubby ran around Grandview with me scouring for the perfect piece. Turns out we had one in our own basement!
Since the hubs was out of town I needed a friend proficient with a drill to put the metal piece on the bottom of the suitcase. I recruited my friends Melissa and Jeremy (of the Hocking River String Band - check them out, they are fantastic!) to help me. By that I mean Melissa and I would drink a bottle of wine while we watched Jeremy go to town on a baby blue suitcase!
We also recruited our four-legged friends Jack and Cooper!
Every girl needs accessories! I made a trip to our friends at Music Go Round and Columbus Pro Percussion to gather a small cowbell and random parts to mount that and a small splash cymbal.
Chris at Columbus Pro Percussion was great and dug through some boxes of old parts he had to find me the perfect pieces. He drilled some new mounts on the side of the suitcase and voila...the suitcase was done! Now I just needed a rug, which we found in Molly's living room.
I gave the suitcase a spin at Melissa and Jeremy's one night. It sounded great! It will need a little tweaking here and there but I was so happy with the result! I can't wait for it to make it's debut at the Steeldrivers show tonight!