Lately, I’ve been doing “unplugged worship” on fifth Sundays. I like doing special things on a fifth Sunday because they’re common enough to be a nice change and rare enough to not get annoying.

We’ve done three of these unplugged sets so far. They’ve all been great experiences, but last Sunday was probably the best, simply because of THE PERC KIT.

In the past we’ve tried a full “aux” percussion kit (congas, djembe, cajon, bongos, etc.) as well as minimalistic drum kit (kit, snare, hat, with brushes.) Both sets were successful in their own way, but we wanted to find a middle ground – something that was a bit more straight ahead than percussion yet not as brash as a drum kit.

Here’s what it looked like.

We used a good condenser mic on the top of the djembe and a drum mic on the floor tom (the “tom mic”.) The brushes gave just enough pop on the tom to give a “kick” sound, but it didn’t ring like it does when played with sticks. Brushed on the djembe (sitting on floor to eliminate low end) provided a nice snare pop. For choruses and bigger sections, we used a top-hat tambourine on a hi-hat stand so the drummer could add some lift to the bigger parts. There was also a crash cymbal for one specific song cue.

Here’s a back-of-room video (not great quality, but good enough to see what’s up.)

This was a success on all counts – fit the vibe of the service, provided a fresh groove for familiar songs, and the volume was great. Maybe you’ve got an acoustic set planned or need something portable for some leading in the community – give this a try. It’s great!


One comment

  1. johnnydrummer

    My usual djembe and shakers thing is my go-to for a small deal, but last time I made a “cocktail” style kit out of a stand with my little 10 inch snare, 10 inch hats and a cymbal, plus my 20 inch kick tuned wide open, played standing. It was great.

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