How to Make Suitcase Kick Drums

By Daniel Pearson ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Hard shell suitcase
  • Pillow
  • Hammer
  • 1-inch nails
  • Cinder block
  • 3 wood blocks
  • Bass drum pedal
Older suitcases are said to project the best suitcase kick drum sound.

Building a kick drum out of a suitcase may sound strange, but when played the homemade drum sounds solid. Suitcase kick drums are typically used by musicians who perform in small spaces and by one-man bands. One advantage to using a suitcase kick drum is that all the parts, including the bass drum pedal, fit right inside the suitcase. They are easy to build, so you can begin using a suitcase kick drum in minutes, as long as you already have a bass drum pedal.

Making the Kick Drum Stand

Lay two wood blocks flat on the ground parallel to each other about 6 inches apart.

Position the third wood block on its side between the other two to make an "H" shape.

Nail the wood blocks together by driving the nails through the back of the flat blocks and into the middle block.

Making a Suitcase Kick Drum

Open your suitcase, stuff a pillow inside and close the suitcase.

Place the suitcase across the wood blocks on the floor and up against the middle block.

Squeeze the cinder block into place on the opposite side of the suitcase, pushing it up against the middle block. This keeps the suitcase from moving while the drum is played.

Position your kick drum pedal between the two flat blocks so that it faces the suitcase. Your suitcase kick drum is now ready to play.


Affix a tambourine to the top of the suitcase and it will shake with each beat.

Try older suitcase brands for a better kick drum sound.

About the Author

Daniel Pearson is a freelance writer with more than 17 years of experience. He most recently received an award from the Oregon Society of Professional Journalists for Best Business Writing in 2009, his ninth award from the organization. He holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism and communication and a Master of Business Administration in marketing.