Lately I've been hitting the Subways with my homemade mini kit. Busking in NYC is something I've always seen others do, but never did it myself until recently. I'm still learning the ropes, but so far it has been a fun experience.
I decided to go with only an acoustic drum setup since not having amplification increases the amount of places you can play legally.
This is the rig that I came up with. At first I was considering making a small kick drum, but size and difficulties of stabilization made me change my mind and go with a standing bass drum that I actually hit with my stick. I used an old Ludwig Rocker 13" tom and removed the bottom head, then attached a tiny 8" concert tom with three long wing bolts. I used dry erasers and gaff tape to pad between the toms.
On the top of the 8" tom I cut some plastic zip ties and taped them to the side of the head to create a snare-like sound. This worked surprisingly well and the snare has quite a pop when cranked up tight and hit with a rimshot.
The bass drum was muffled with duck tape and gaff tape, and it has quite a surdo quality. What you see in the middle are two stainless steel chinese cookware lids sandwiched together to make a hi-hat like instrument, to the right of that are agogo bells, then on the left a cowbell and one of my Brazilian tamborims
last but not least is a wooden spoon and a small shaker taped to some old running shoes. I wedge the jam block under the leg of the snare stand I'm using to support the set and use the two foot noise makers to keep a steady time while I play my patterns over top.
Most of the beats I've been experimenting with are Samba based, since this setup sorta lends itself to that style, but also have been working in some more experimental patterns as well. Overall this setup is making me think way outside the box as how to play the drums, since my right foot is no longer the kick, but I have to think about how to make a bass sound using my hands.
The people have been very responsive and have had many photos taken, video and people talk to me. I still want to make it a little more unique somehow though in the near future.