Our favorite stomp boxes at a glance
Since Ed Sheeran broke through that thick, pop-heavy mainstream barrier seven years ago, he has been gigging with only two pieces of equipment: His guitar, and his looping station.
Sheeran still uses it to this day for percussive use amongst other looping uses.
It was his heavy use of, and reliance of, this equipment that set a precedent for the next seven years of artistic performance, and inspired thousands of solo artists around the globe to create their own “one-man-band” sound using percussion and acoustic kick drum stomp boxes.
What exactly is a stompbox?
It’s a simple percussion instrument consisting of a small wooden box placed under the foot, which is tapped or stamped on rhythmically to produce a sound similar to that of a bass drum.
If you’re wanting that classic bass drum sound without the addition of a full set or a drummer, a percussion stomp box is your simple solution.
Who uses stomp boxes?
Stomp boxes are perfect for artists who want to produce a fuller band sound on their own. It’s a brilliant addition to any solo artist, and so easy to use.
They are usually used as a foot drum for guitar players. All that’s required is for you to stomp your foot to the rhythm of the song, and boom (pun intended), you have percussion in your set!
Are percussion stomp boxes expensive?
They range anywhere from $35 up to $200+. It all depends on how much you’re willing to spend. The higher the price, the better quality the stomp box. There are definitely some affordable stomp boxes out there which we’ll cover below!
What exactly are the best 6 stomp boxes on the market right now?
So, without further adieu…
First up on our list is a hand-crafted oak stompbox from Kopf Percussion, aptly named the ToeKicker. I love the design of this one, as well as the sound, which is why we have chosen it first on our list.
- Constructed from oak wood
- Measures 13″x6″x1″
- Has a passive electronic pickup
- Big bass tone
- Steel-reinforced rubber feet to prevent slipping
Take a listen to it in action below.
The ToeKicker allows you to tap your foot while playing guitar and get a nice full and round “kick drum” sound to enhance any acoustic performance.
It’s quite amazing how large of a sound you get when using this little unit. The hand-crafted build quality cannot be rivaled.
The ToeKicker isn’t just for acoustic guitarists. If you’re a percussionist, consider the possibilities of using this box alongside your cajon or other auxiliary percussion.
Kopf Percussion offers a lifetime warranty. If anything should happen to go wrong with it, you can send it back and they will repair or replace it for free.
For more information on the ToeKicker, you can learn more here.
2. The SX SBX II Stomp Box
- Produces a sound similar to that of a bass drum when plugged into an amp and stepped on with foot.
- Allows user to create a simple rhythmic self-accompaniment.
- New version features an active circuit.
- For the best possible sound, use through a bass amp, and add on EQ with the treble turned all the way down.
Our Verdict: If you’re looking for simplicity, which is hard to find in the world of music technology, then this is the one for you.
The instructions are as simple as you can get: Plug your stomp box into an amp or PA system, and get playing.
How about sound-wise? With this piece of equipment, SX have created a well designed, solid, ergonomic, bass drum stomp box. It produces a strong signal, and a surprisingly nice low-end thump – even without any equalization. Perfect for simplicity!
3. Log Jam Logarhythm Stomp Box
- Produces a nice, round bass kick drum sound without the need for a drum machine
- Hand made from sustainable high-quality tone woods in the UK
- Features a non-slip gauze base
- No batteries needed
Our Verdict: Like the the SX SBX II Stomp Box, the Log Jam Logarhythm Stompbox excels in the art of simplicity.
The instructions are exactly the same: Plug your stomp box into an amp or PA system, and get playing. Is there anything different about this stomp box to warrant why higher in price? The jury is still out on this.
Like the SX model, it generates a solid, well-rounded bass kick sound. If anything, the fact that it’s built from sapele, an African relative of mahogany, and finished with linseed oil, bumps this stomp box above the SX. But that much higher in price? We’re not so sure.
4. Meinl Percussion BASSBOX Stomp Box
|Meinl Percussion BASSBOX Acoustic Cajon Stomp Box with L-Shaped Beater, Black (VIDEO)||10 Reviews||View Price|
- A large acoustic stomp box that creates a deep bass sound when played with the foot.
- Includes a special L-shaped beater that hits the Bassbox flush on the top playing surface.
- Pedal is not included, but the Bassbox is equipped with a secure attachment that allows players to easily mount any common bass drum pedal to the instrument.
- Playable from a standing or sitting position and may be used by any musician or vocalist.
Our Verdict: This is a brilliant addition to a drum kit let alone a solo artist. What a fantastic piece of equipment!
It’s the perfect percussion stomp box for ambient music, as well as hip-hop. It produces a warm, round sound which is exactly what you want from a bass kick in those types of genres.
However, it’s worth adding a small amount of bass to your mixer just to bring the sound out that little bit more. The only downside to this product is that the pedal is in fact not included in the price and has to be ordered separately.
If you can afford that, then we would highly recommend you make an investment into what is a brilliant percussion stomp box.
We’re 3 reviews down, and naturally you may be asking yourself this: Are all stompboxes electric?
Luckily, no! There are plenty of acoustic stomp boxes available out there. Acoustic stomp boxes are perfect for small intimate gigs in small reverberated spaces. Check out these two acoustic products below.
5. Baby Grand Acoustic Stomp Box
- Fits inside most acoustic guitar cases.
- Massive sound – deep thumping bass without EQ.
- Powerful high gain stomp box – identical pickup system to Dropkick.
- Solid oak impact bar – translates timber tone to your speakers.
Our Verdict: Physically very pleasing on the eye! This piece of acoustic foot percussion has plenty of boom, gain and punch.
The pick up system is designed to give a huge bottom end without EQ and without a preamp. Connect to a PA or bass amplifier via standard unbalanced guitar lead and you are sorted.
There are no batteries to worry about either, thank goodness. Definitely worth the money.
6. Wazinator Dropkick KSB883
|Acoustic Stompbox - Foot Drum - Wazinator Dropkick KSB883. Fully Professional foot percussion...||8 Reviews||View Price|
- Passive analog electronics – no need to worry about batteries.
- Extreme bass – no need to add EQ to get a great tone. BOOM.
- Solid Tasmanian oak impact bar – nothing beats timber tone.
- High gain output – easy playing with curved heal – unique world first aluminum die cast design.
Our Verdict: A really superb instrument to play. It’s full of punch, power and convenience. This acoustic stomp pedal is pretty close to not needing any EQ adjustment at all.
As an artist, you’ll save a bunch of time on EQing with this pedal! Just plug it into your amp or PA system and you are literally ready to go. This is one of the best acoustic stomp boxes on the market.
Acoustic stomp box alternatives
Not within your budget? Here are two brilliant cheaper alternative foot percussion options…
1. The Foot Jingle Shaker
|Meinl Percussion CFT5-BK Cajon Foot Tambourine with Steel Jingles, Black||138 Reviews||View Price|
This brilliant little instrument is easy-to-use, very affordable, and immensely effective. It’s essentially made up of a mini tambourine and a strap.
How does it work? Simply slip the strap around the front of your foot, with the tambourine facing upwards, and tap away!
2. The Schlagwerk Krix Rhythm Step
Yet another awesome alternative. This instrument is very similar to the jingle shaker above, but works in a different way.
It’s made up of two miniature crash cymbals attached to a foot long plastic black plank. This plank fits perfectly up between your shoelaces, with the cymbals hanging out the front of your foot.
All that’s required is for you to get a-tapping your foot.
Here’s a brief demonstration of how it works!
So there we have it: 5 percussion and acoustic stomp boxes to spice up your performance, + 2 additional foot percussion options for those with a smaller budget.
We hope you can use this review to help you pick which stomp box is best for you!
Have you bought one of these? Let us know about your experience in the comments below. Percussion stomp boxes and foot percussion go very nicely with cajons.
Hey there fellow drummer, thanks for reading the post. I’ve got a private Facebook group called Drum Junkies. It’s made up of people just like you and me who are sharing pictures of their drum kits, talking about industry trends, and sharing tips about drumming. I’d love for you to join! Here’s a link to the group; we’ll see you on the inside.