Flattening toms?

Zurgman

Junior Member
How do you feel about flattening your toms? Like do you put them on snare stands, or keep them at extreme upward angles? What's your preference?
 

Silverfox

Member
I like to give my rack tom just enough height so that I can do cross-unders with my left hand, and rim shots if need be. I usually have it in a snare stand, angled toward me.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
Wow level with snare. I can see why you'd have them flat. My toms are mounted on a kick so they are anled 10 degrees or so towards me. If I try them flat - it's rim shot city!

Davo
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
Wow level with snare. I can see why you'd have them flat. My toms are mounted on a kick so they are anled 10 degrees or so towards me. If I try them flat - it's rim shot city!

Davo
This is the same for me. Im tall so I could never sit high enough to play a mounted tom on my 24 inch bass drum. My snare is slightly angled as well. I do keep my floor toms flat though.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
I use a tom stand, I like the tom over the bass drum a bit and snare stands really cant do that as well. I have found that toms mounted to the bass drum sit too high for me so I bought a kit with a virgin bass drum so I can mount the toms how I like them.

I have flattened by toms out quite a bit over the years. When I first started I had the Lars, Nikko tom angles. Now I have about a 10 degree angle as well. I have also gone to a 1 up 2 down setup which lends itself to a flatter mounted tom setup.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
My rack tom(s) have gotten progressively more level over the last ten years, to the point where it's now completely parallell to the ground. I'm not sure why it happened, but I'm guessing it has something to do with moving (unconciously) from a somewhat french to a more german-like grip. This move has caused the stick to be much more comfortable hitting a drum that's mounted reasonably (or completely) flat.

I alternate between a tom stand and snare stand. Right now I'm using a tom stand, and I'm liking it, but I'll probably move back to a snare stand again within a year. And then back again. Basically, I keep both stands around and use whichever one I feel like.

My snare and floor toms are about level with my thighs, and my rack tom is probably about 10-20 cm higher (4-8 inches).
 

EarthRocker

Senior Member
My snare drum and floor tom sit really low, and then my rack tom is pretty high up. It's mounted on a snare stand, but it's far from level. I keep it angled slightly toward me, and just a stroke more shallow to the right. I'm an odd ball who likes a bit of distance when moving to different parts of my kit. The reason for this is all the wasted movements I play with. If my stuff was lower and close to me, I'd be hitting everything as I move around.

Often when I'm playing a moderate tempo 4/4 groove with no ghost notes, I'll strike the snare drum and immediately recoil and swing the stick away from the drum, up and around the hi hats, and then back to the drum in time to play the next lick. And if I'm about to play a fill coming to the end of a bar, my elbow will close, and I'll hold the stick next to my head until time to use that hand. I just do all sorts of things like that, maybe subconciously for showmanship. I also jump off my seat when I'm doing a hard cymbal crash.
 

Matt_C

Junior Member
I put them at angles that feel comfortable - nothing more, nothing less. I don't subscribe to setting up drums based just on looks; if it's not comfortable, then it's not for me.
 

TColumbia37

Silver Member
I put them at angles that feel comfortable - nothing more, nothing less. I don't subscribe to setting up drums based just on looks; if it's not comfortable, then it's not for me.
+1

I keep everything tilted ever so slightly towards me. It's my cymbals that are always flat.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I have a 20 inch kick now so i can get my toms lower and flatter. use mounts off my cymbal stand.

Id never go full flat to avoid rim shots.. but flatter helps me play faster, and if i can have them lower and closer to the height of my snare its easier for very fast rolls/fills.

id almost like to go to an 18 eventually because with 3 rack toms they are right over the kick so i end up tilting them towards me enough so im not hitting the rims.

I do sometimes sit a bit low though
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
I put them at angles that feel comfortable - nothing more, nothing less. I don't subscribe to setting up drums based just on looks; if it's not comfortable, then it's not for me.
Good for you. Also: Noone here has said anything about setting up for looks.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Flat toms and cymbals seem to be drum fashion,the same as putting a tom on a snare stand ,and sticking it way out there.

There some players who did that in the 60's.Ginger Baker still sets up his toms flat,and Dino Danelli at one time put his mounted tom on a snare stand,but not flat.His cymbals were also at one time,flat.He did change that after realizing that he was cracking way too many,and now,all of his cymbals are angled

As far as snare stand mounted toms,Slingerland in fact in their 64 catalog ,sold a model called "The Jet" ,which came with a 14x18 virgin bass drum,that had stick saver 18" rims,instead of wooden hoops.The set also came with a snare stand for the 8x12 virgin tom.This didn't catch on at all,and those drum sets are indeed rare and collectable

This aspect of drum fashion will pass,just as deep bass drums are beginning to disapear,in favor of shallower ,punchier 14 and 12" deep bass drums.The actual Idea for deep bass drums came from Louis Bellson,who had a Gretsch set with two 20x20 bass drums......in 1947.

My drums,including my floor toms, are set up slightly angled to me.as well as all of my cymbals.They are much easier for me to play that way.

As far as flat and low set ups,,they will slowly disapear,and what was old,will again become new.

Steve B
 

Acidline303

Senior Member
I don't think flat toms are as much a fashion in themselves as they are a practical result of the tendencies for both "virgin" bass drums and for toms to be shallower than 20 years ago. It also seems like most people have caught on to the concept of back pain so they arent sitting as low.

Add those three things to a new set bought by someone used to playing power toms and I think most people would look at them and say "those don't need to be angled like Mickey Mouse ears anymore"
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I put them at angles that feel comfortable - nothing more, nothing less. I don't subscribe to setting up drums based just on looks; if it's not comfortable, then it's not for me.
This is me exactly also.

I had deep bass drums since 1990. That's WAY before they became popular.
I've also used a hi hat side floor tom for over 20 years too. I copped it from seeing Papa Joe in a video with one way back when. Now it's become popular to do in the last couple years.

My ft's are flat, but angled outward, so I don't have to turn much, if at all to get to the 2nd ft.
Similar to Steve Smith, but maybe not as "outward" as he uses them.
My snare is angled away from me a little, and my tom is almost flat. The snare height usually ends up at about half the shell depth of the tom.
Even though I mainly use a 26, the tom is still basically in front of my snare.

This all just fits my stroke, and placements are where my hands land naturally.

I like the sound of the deeper bass drums. Not that I don't like the "traditional" sound, but I like an 18" or 20" depth shell too.
Coincidentally, I'm going to 18" instead of 20" deep on my giging bass drums right now. TBH, it's just easier lug around being a little shorter, and not having to adjust the strap lengths on the case for different bass drums is nice.

Nothing to do with the sound being better on one or the other. I like them both in sound. I already had 1, 18" deep bass drum, so I had another one cut down (to 18") that had the Mach (long) lugs.
I dig the sound my 14" & 16" deep bass drum too. I like the look of both long and short bass drums.

Everything old becomes new again is right, but, I'll be using my same set up when everyone thinks that a traditional 5 piece, 2 up, one down is the way to go.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I don't think flat toms are as much a fashion in themselves as they are a practical result of the tendencies for both "virgin" bass drums and for toms to be shallower than 20 years ago. It also seems like most people have caught on to the concept of back pain so they arent sitting as low.

Add those three things to a new set bought by someone used to playing power toms and I think most people would look at them and say "those don't need to be angled like Mickey Mouse ears anymore"
Standard sized toms were also available 20 years ago,as well as since the 40's,up to and including today.Power toms were drum fashion,with power tom sizes STILL available from drum makers as well as from shell manufacturers.

The consept of the virgin bass drum is also nothing new,as toms were mounted on bass drums using clamps ,since the mid 30's.Now we're just using clamps to mount them to racks and cymbal stands.

The consept of virgin bass drums being better sonicly is again,more drum re- fashion than actually decernable.I'd love to hear a blind comparison test of a virgin drum and one that has mounts attached.

It is in truth , more style than actual substance.

As far as flat toms,just as one example,Emmanule Cappalette has superb posture while playing,and nothing is flat about her set up at all.The same can be said for Simon Phillips.Just watch him play .He uses 24" bass drums and deep toms,and has excellent posture.He also dosen't seem to have to struggle to play his kit at all considering he's only around 5'6".

Posture is all about there you sit,in relation to your set up,and keeping your back stright and not reaching for everything.The whole powertom angleing thing was more about looks and using 14x13 and 15x14 and even larger toms with 24-26 ' bass drums.

I had a 12/13 power toms set up and a 22" bass drum.No Mickey Mouse ear angles were necessary.

No matter what set up you use,if you sit too high or too low,and don't have everything is easy reach......you'll have problems that smaller bass drums and flat toms can't cure.

I disagree and I still contend flat tom set ups are drum fashion,and will go the way of Chinese toms.

I'll also go a step further and say the vast majority of drummers play their kits set up since the way the've been set up since the 40's,and setting up with flat toms is greatly limited to younger players only.

If you like flat toms,then hey,what ever blows your hair back,but better for posture and more ergonomic? Horsey turd.Bangs and the foward comb are as big as they were in the 60's too..:)


Steve B
 
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TColumbia37

Silver Member
Travis Barker plays with flat toms so its not exactly just this generation.
I mean, this younger generation is his demographic.. I don't necessarily think that the flat toms and such are completely about the looks, but I do believe that a large part of it is, and I'll be the first to admit that I always consider the looks of my setup, and as long as it doesn't hinder my playing, I'll go for the setup that looks 'cooler', because these days, looks are very important. Travis Barker is pretty much who made flat toms the 'cool thing', and I think we can all agree that he doesn't do it for playability.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Travis Barker plays with flat toms so its not exactly just this generation.
I believe I said"greatly limited to younger players only",if you would re-read my post.I certainly wasn't disecting generations .

I also said "greatly" which dosen't mean all the time,and is not all inclusive.

Travis Barker is still in his 30's.He was born in 75.He is still a young man by ANY standard,and also needs to maintain a visual youthfull appearence in both his physical appearence ,and that of his gear to remain viable as an artist and an endorcer.If you think 30's is old,then you must be 13.

Do you believe that an artist like him dosen't do anything to maintain a fan base?

It's the same reason actors/musicians die their hair,get plastic surgery and drive cool cars

Sometimes it's just being shallow,other times,it's business smart to remain fashonable.

What would you or others say,if Vinny Colaiuta suddenly turned up a month from now,all tattet /pierced up,playing a lime green acrylic 4 piece kit,that lit up,with the toms/cymbals all flat,playing in a metal core band(which he has the chops to do)?


Would you say that MAYBE,he's attempting to cultivate a younger fan base?Why change gear and start setting up in a way that appeals to a different fan base.

How about Steve Gadd.Would you expect him to use that rig?How about Travis Barker of Joey Jordinson,using Gadds Yammies,like Gadd sets them up?

Kind of out of their league....no?

Saying it's a fashion or an age thing is not a bad thing.....it just is. Every genation/age group has something they mostly find fashionable.Own it.

Steve B.
 
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