Doing Whatever It Takes

Drum kit in a suitcase - Roland SPD-20 + kick trigger pedal

Drum kit in a suitcase – Roland SPD-20 + kick trigger pedal

Sometimes when touring, or on sessions, or… well… for anything that life throws at you… you have to do whatever it takes to get the job done. On a recent tour to Havana, Cuba we were not really sure what equipment would be available. Paul Wilbur said to bring some percussion items… whatever I could get in a suitcase. So I took some shakers, a tambourine, and my Roland SPD-20 with a DW kick trigger pedal. Good thing… there was no drum kit found when we arrived. I was really prepared to just play shakers, tap the tambourine with my foot, and play a box or guitar-case with brushes if I had to… We we’re not really sure we would have a PA or even power… BUT, we did have a small PA, so we were able to get everything hooked up.

It’s not always this extreme… Sometimes it’s just a kit that’s not on the rider, but still a great set of drums. There are times when it is even a bad kit, that hasn’t been maintained, but even that is work-able… I usually carry drumheads and spare parts with me. But Cuba was a new adventure for sure. Good thing we thought of coming prepared for anything. And so it is with these kinds of tours… and as I’ve said, with all that life can dish out. You just have to be as ready for anything as you can… and then still try to think creatively when you’re in a tough spot. A little bit of boy scout, a little bit of MacGyver, and lots of favor from the Lord, and you can do anything. Be grateful when everything is working well & going your way, but always be thinking of how to keep life & the gig on track when circumstances are pushing against you. “You can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens you.” – Philippians 4:13 –  Blessings on your next adventure. Peace, Carl

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About Carl

Carl has been a professional drummer & percussionist for over 30 years. He has played on over 80 Integrity Music projects; Maranatha Praise Band recordings 7 thru 10, & numerous other Christian, Pop, Country, Jazz, & Commercial projects.


  1. Ha ha! You are one seriously adaptable dude! Blessings brother; thank you for sharing.

  2. Nice work Carl. I usually am a very fussy person when it comes to my set up. I guess you’ve inspired me to go “Commando” when needed. Or at least whenever the Lord demands a bit of readjustments!
    Thanks Carl:)

    • Thanks so much… Yea, I feel your pain. 🙂 We all like to play our best gear, in the best circumstances… BUT when it doesn’t work out like that it helps to just be a “can do” kind of person. Keep up the good work… “People hear your soul, not the just the instrument you play.” Peace, Carl

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