How I Built A Suitcase Bass Drum with Farmer Foot Drum Cymbals

Ok, so I got this idea from this site here

I am doing some Christmas performances here this year, all by myself. Why? Because it is too hard to get everyone together this time of year to rehearse. So, I came up with the following suitcase drum set that I can play my guitar with, with the help of the highly talented Pete Farmer of farmerfootdrums.

Wanna make one?

Here's how I did it.

1st, find a suitcase at your local Goodwill Store. This will run you 3-5 bucks tops.

Here's what you need for my setup

Kick Pedal

(3) 2X4X8
(3) 2X4X10
(2) 2x4x4
(1) plywood 1x24x24
(5) 3 inch hinges
(1) 6ft oak quarter round
a box of wood screws

Here's my suitcase with the template for what's to come inside of it.

Draw a template on paper, and hope you can make the wooden one look the same... so it will fit INSIDE of your suitcase. All of my measurement are based on a suitcase that is 8x16x25

purchase, or find a cheap bass drum pedal

lay out the lumber you need, before you screw anything into place, or or cut anything... for me, I was able to do all of this with an 8ft 2x4, and a plywood sheet 24x24.

center stack = 2x4x8
outside stacks 2x4x10

measure twice, cut once

the stacks will keep the bass drum pedal from sliding, and hold the suitcase in place when you are finished

now, screw 2 of the 2x4x8 pieces in place. (dead center)
1st into the plywood, then into the board

use your bass drum pedal to help you place the outer stacks

screw 2 of the boards for the outer stacks 2x4x10 into place

install the 3 inch hinge for the 3rd 2x4x8 board on your center stack.
when open, the board should sit flush to the back edge of the center stack

using the width of your suitcase as a guide, place the outer hinges, making sure they open in the opposite direction.

add a small 2x4x4 as a bumper to keep your farmer foot drums in place. I am using the foot shaker, and the foot tambourine.

add quarter round to the outer edge to make the entire thing look snazzy, and to keep the foot drums from sliding off the outside edge.

again, my suitcase is only 16 inches, so I have to cut off the edge of my 1x24x24 plywood board, so that it will fit into the case

Now, add two 3 inch hinges to the board you just cut off, so that it can fold back inside of the case

Here is the finished product in action... notice the string to hang the bass kick drum pedal from the side of the suitcase.

the farmer foot drums fit nicely in the blank space. This also keep them from banging around inside.

The bass drum has a great sound, and the farmer foot drums have a great mesh with the 12 string guitar I am playing at the same time.

Looking forward to playing this publicly for Christmas performances. Most notably, one at the Red Dutch Barn on Christmas Eve. The simplicity of that place is what inspired me to make something to fit the venue. The service will be a Christmas Song Sing-A-Long. I am working very hard to be ready for this, so would you please make plans to join us?

Red Dutch Barn
W Gap Creek Rd
off of N Hwy 101 in Greer SC 29651
Dec 24th at 6pm and 8pm


  1. Would love to! Your creativity, musicianship and resourcefulness combined will be a big hit.



  2. Anonymous2:50 PM

    I just mounted half a door hinge to the bottom of my case and the kick mounts right to it. I'm using a plastic file case. Also put a pickup in it. If you put a tambourine inside your case, you also get that ringing going on. If you lean the tambourine against the wall of the case getting kicked, you can get 8th notes as it bounces out and back.
    I love your invention, but I just don't want to carry that much wood around. Also I can use my case to carry my gear.

  3. Sir, where did you get the luggage? What's the brand? It looks phenomenal.

  4. Hi, I have more of a question than comment (although your foot drum looks really cool) - I was wondering if you had any contact information for the Red Dutch Barn, given that you've played there before. I'd really appreciate any leads that you could give me. Thanks! Melinda