Tama Club Jam Flyer Review – Ultimate Portable Travel Drum Kit?

Author: Brett Clur | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

The Tama Club Jam Flyer is arguably the smallest drum kit around that isn’t considered to be a toy. Having such a small drum kit at your fingertips can lead to some very interesting playing opportunities and ideas.

Is this kit powerful enough to be used in a full band context? Is it worth getting to use as a travel drum kit? Let’s find out!

Tama Club Jam Flyer - Overview

You’re not going to find many other drum sets that have 14” bass drums. While that may seem ridiculously small, the Tama Club Jam Flyer has a unique voice because of it.

Tama has taken it up a level in the compact kit game, somehow providing a miniature kit that produces larger-than-life sounds.

Here you have an incredibly affordable kit that is more than capable of handling most gigs in pubs, clubs, and restaurants. You can fit the entire thing into one bag and carry it over your shoulder.

While that’s the selling point of most compact kits, I’ve found that none are as light or portable as this one is.

It has a few drawbacks such as not coming with essential hardware and the kick drum not being powerful enough for certain settings. Other than that, it’s definitely a drum kit worth considering.

PROS

  • Very affordable
  • Light and easy to transport
  • Surprisingly caters to double pedals
  • Great for jazz and hip-hop

CONS

  • Snare stand needs to be bought separately
  • Bass drum is too small for certain settings

Shells and Hardware

The poplar/mersawa shells are incredibly light, yet surprisingly sturdy. They’re held together by firm hardware that isn’t too heavy either. This combination gives you a kit that you could carry in one hand if you wanted to.

The thing that I was most surprised by was the bass drum riser. It’s highly durable and can even house a double pedal. Even though the drums are light, they can take a beating without the drums moving too much.

Playing double pedal patterns on the bass drum felt surprisingly comfortable.

The small drums take a bit of time to get used to in terms of accuracy. While most portable snare drums are 13” or 14”, this kit has a small 10” snare. I grew to love it over time as I felt that it would improve my accuracy when moving back to bigger snares.

Sound

The sound is mostly what you’d expect from such a small drum set. It sits on the medium to higher ranges and works best for Latin, jazz, or hip-hop settings. If you tune the drums very high, they start to sound a bit toy-like.

So, I found the best tensions for the toms and kick drum to be the looser ones. They still sound high-pitched, but they fit more naturally into musical settings.

The snare drum is the weakest aspect of the kit. That’s usually the case with most compact drum sets. Swapping it out with something better may add a bit of depth to the sound.

However, I found the snare to be very punchy and effective when tuned high. So, it will work fine if you decide to stick with it.

Add-Ons

Unfortunately, the kit only comes as a shell pack. I didn’t find this to be a problem except for the fact that no snare stand was included. While you may have spare snare stands lying around, not all of them will be able to fit the small 10” snare.

You’ll need to find a small enough stand or somehow mount the snare onto a hi-hat or cymbal stand.

Tama also sells a cymbal arm that attaches to the bass drum, which I wish they included with this kit. It would make sense as it eliminates the need for a ride cymbal stand.

Recommended Use

The kit sounds larger than you think it would. However, it’s not powerful enough for big stages. I’d only recommend using the Club Jam Flyer in smaller venues where you’re limited for space. This could be in clubs, pubs, or restaurants.

The biggest reason for this is that the bass drum is too small to produce a deep enough impact. It will sound decent when run through a microphone, but no one will feel the impact like they would with a larger bass drum.


Wrap Up

Don’t expect the Club Jam Flyer to be your next main kit. It’s intended to be a travel kit, and it lacks the depth to work in any situation other than that. However, it really thrives in small environments.

If you get the Club Jam bags to put the kit in, you’ll arguably have the easiest drum setup process you’ve ever had.

I found this kit to have plenty of character. The fact that it could still be used with a double pedal was my favorite thing about it.

About Brett Clur

Brett has been drumming for almost two decades. He also helps his students get better at drumming. He can be found on Instagram (@brettclurdrums), where you can regularly catch glimpses of his drumming.

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