Beginner: 2 up 1 down or 1 up 1 down?

Chief2112

Junior Member
Just wondering if there is a consensus on this much debated setup, but specifically when it comes to a beginner?

I just started playing a little less than a month ago and my new kit has the 2 up rack tom setup. However, I just got a decent ride cymbal and it drives me crazy that I can't set it up a little lower and more to the left for a more comfortable position.

Is there any advantage or disadvantage of doing away with my right rack tom when I'm just starting to learn to play? How limited are you musically without it or how limited are you in learning songs to play?
 

Pkaneps

Senior Member
I think it's mainly just preference.

I had 10 and 12" rack toms and a 14" floor, and then I added a 16" and played it as a 6-piece for awhile, then I got rid of the 10" and made it a 1 up 2 down and I love it, but I know a few drummers who hate it. It took me a few minutes to get used to it, but now that I have, I love it.

Plus, I think it looks cool.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The best thing to do is try it both ways or a myriad of ways. Take down the small rack tom and put the larger one on the left side. I did about a month ago just to experiment and like it. I have a rack,Pearl, with 8, 10, 12 toms on it normally that I dismantled to simplify things for a while. I'm sure I will go back to a six piece because I hat to see my drums sitting around collecting dust when I could be banging on them.
 
To be honest, esp at this point, i don't think it's going to matter so much -- you'll probably find yourself working mainly the triangle of the kick, snare and cymbal (hats or ride depending on the piece).
and later, it won't matter so much :D
really! you can play on just that triangle all night long

oh, i think you'll want to try both at different points (at some point, I think you'll probably want to mount both toms to see how fills patterns, etc work across a 5 piece -- but that's "try out" and "at some point" )
it's one of the things about drums, they vary in configuration and your configuration will change over time.

BUT I think it was a good question to ask!!!
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
Depending on the sizes of the rack toms, what stays and what goes is kind of a preference thing. Personally, I'd try to keep all of the toms up, even though my ride would have to sit around my floor tom. If you feel like it would be more comfortable for you to have the ride sitting near the bass drum, then by all means get rid of the middle tom.

But, of course, that means you'll be out of a middle tom. Which means no more four-drum single-stroke rolls for you.

I suppose this is also relative to what kind of music you play. four-piece set-ups are good for music that has less tom work.

Go with the 1 up 1 down set-up and see how you like it.
 

spantney

Senior Member
To be honest its all personal preference. When I first started playing drums I used to take 1 rack tom off my kit depending on if I felt like playing a 4 piece or a 5 piece. I still swap between 4, 5, 6 and 7 piece kits to this day :)

I take it your toms are mounted on your bass drum? If so you could always leave one on there and then have a second one suspended from a cymbal stand to the left of that. That means both of your rack toms will sit I suppose to the left side of your kit. That will leave you a bit of room to bring your ride closer and lower down over your ride. Also means you will still have 3 toms to play about with :)

Heres a picture of what I'm talking about. This picture isnt mine, was the only decent one I could find on google image to try and show you!



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Cheers,

Ant
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
You could probably also achieve what Spatney suggested by just getting one of those two sided clamps (dogbone?), and taking your existing rack tom mount off the BD and attaching it to an existing cymbal stand with the clamp (make sure to anlge to cymbal stand legs to provide the most support possible).

I've been meaning to try this myself for awhile now... maybe I should head to GC sometime this weekend...
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I'm a big fan of a beginner starting out with 1 up and 1 down.
As a matter of fact, I recently went back to this set up after playing 2 up and one down and every other possible combination all the way up to 10 piece for 40 years.

There is nothing like the good old 4 piece set up.
I now add extra drums on the left side of my hats when I feel like it.
 

campbellsoup

Junior Member
Just wondering if there is a consensus on this much debated setup, but specifically when it comes to a beginner?

I just started playing a little less than a month ago and my new kit has the 2 up rack tom setup. However, I just got a decent ride cymbal and it drives me crazy that I can't set it up a little lower and more to the left for a more comfortable position.

Is there any advantage or disadvantage of doing away with my right rack tom when I'm just starting to learn to play? How limited are you musically without it or how limited are you in learning songs to play?
Hey I consider my self a newbie ( not enough practice family/neghbors hates the drumms) my self even tho I been playin around on my dads set when I was 16, Im now 25 have my own little ludwig set and I do one up and one down and moved my 13 tom where my 12 sat so I could move my 20 inch ride over with some tilt. I like the feel of the ride kinda centered my self. also going to be moving in to a 10x14 shed need smaller set up and this will do. play around with the toms and cymbals.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
After nearly 20 years playing with two toms centered over the kick, I moved everything to the left so I could fly my ride over the right side of the bass drum - essentially a four-piece plus. I love it, the ride motions are far more natural and it's easier to play and get a good sound from the ride. I also have immediate access to the larger rack tom sound with both hands. I tried going back to the two-on-the-bass setup and couldn't deal with it, had to change it back.

Having said that, every drummer - and drumset - is different and there are no rules. What feels great to me might not work at all for someone else. I say get your basics down first, then experiment.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I'm a pretty new drummer myself and my kit is a 1up 1 down. I really like this set up for learning because there's not too much stuff to get distracted on. I can do just fine behind a big kit but someone that's used to playing on some 12 piece monolith would be lost behind my kit.

As mentioned earlier I really stick to that "triangle" of HH, Kick and Snare but this results in my getting a really solid understanding of groove and tempo. The fancy fills and "tom-ery" can come later.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Well, I agree that there aren't really any rules, so you can do whatever you want. But I do sort of abide by the rule that you should also be getting your hands together and working on that single snare drum every once in a while.

Everything you do on the set will flow easier if your hands are good.
 
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