I’ve developed a product called the Stomperine. I’ve teamed up with a UK drum company called Baskey, and I’m pleased to say you can view and potentially buy one online by clicking on the link on the right.
The idea for the Stomperine came about through necessity; I’m often required to replicate recordings with several layers of rhythm going on, and I was constantly encountering songs where the addition of a tambourine would really help lift the chorus, and I wanted to be able to do this effectively whilst playing drums or percussion, so I came up with a method that enables you to play the tambourine with your feet as easily and as accurately as you would with your hands.
I place it to the left of the hi-hat pedal, a little further away from me so that the ball of my foot comfortably rests on the tambourine. The basic idea is that I can either play single accents, or I can play 16th notes.
As drummers, we often naturally play 8th notes on the hi-hat anyway, so with this I get two accents from the one movement as it strikes with my down-stroke and my up-stroke. Easy!
The Stomperine’s been a permanent part of my setup for years now – it feels totally natural. I tend to just have it mic’d with a 57 or a 91 on the floor, with plenty of reverb, and it cuts through every time. I often have people after gigs ask me if I was playing with backing tracks because of it.
I’ve even played big gigs where it wasn’t directly mic’d and it still manages to cut through somehow – the Rhythm Tech DST tambourines that I recommend for the Stomperine are surprisingly loud; they can be heard over a drum kit! I’ve seriously road-tested them too and they just refuse to break.
I usually just place this directly on the carpet. It has rubber grips and spikes, or it can lock into Baskey rug attachments, so it’s not going anywhere.
It’s not just for drummers and percussionists either – anyone can play it to add to their sound. I use it all the time in One eskimO with a cajon when we’re just running into radio sessions around a couple of mics, so it’s really useful for those kinds of applications, and then I use it on big, full-on rock gigs too – obviously I’m biased, but it’s genuinely one of the most useful tools I have.