I'm considering four toms.

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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Over the years I've owned lots of drums. I've never ventured to more than two rack toms and a floor tom, and more often than not, I'll gig with just two, one rack tom and one floor tom. (I'm not counting the time I tried two bass drums and five toms - that was just an indulgence I didn't plan on ever taking out of the house!). I'm always playing on small stages or I'm transporting them myself and can get everything into the venue with one trip on my Rock n Roller cart!

As some of you have seen, I just acquired a new 4-piece kit and I love it. And the thought occurred to me when I took it out for it's first live spin that it would be cool to have the exact same drum sizes cased up in my garage ready to go whenever I had to play somewhere. So I've been looking into other kits to satisfy that requirement.

But then I thought about having something completely different, thinking it may be good to have two very different kinds of kits depending on what kind of playing I needed to be doing. My requirements, just due to my physical size, would be that if I went with two rack toms on the bass drum, then it would have to be a 20" bass drum so it was comfortable (my current 4-piece is a 16x22 bass drum with a 9x13 rack tom and 16x16 floor tom). One rack tom on a 22" is comfortable. To be comfortable with two rack toms, then a 20" is the biggest I would go.

So I'm thinking a 20 bass drum with 7x10, 8x12, 14x14, and 14x16 toms. Then I figure I can be available for bands that really wanted a Steve Gadd or Vinnie clone. This would be considered the "fusion" set in a solid color (as opposed to the vintage wrap I have on my 4-piece).

I still think its a gamble because who's to say I won't just set-up two toms for it because I didn't need the other two? Most cover bands I play in don't need four toms. They just want good solid time.

But the chance to experiment and see if I can really enjoy two racks and two floors is a strong pull. I know if I just played drum solos all day, at least I'd have a multitude of sonic voices to choose from. And I know I teased Andy about just playing four drums, and he tried it and liked it. I could be doing the opposite. I'll try more drums (like he uses on a regular basis) to see if I like it enough to carry around the extra two drums. If I didn't like it, I could always use it as a smaller 4-piece (12/14/20) I suppose.

What do you think? Just get a second 4-piece kit to live in cases waiting to go out? Or get a two-up and two-down set and be all "fusion-y"? Tony Williams did a very cool multi-tom solo before launching into the tune Sister Cheryl and that would be something very cool to be able to do (he used two rack toms, and three floor toms!) although I wouldn't be anywhere near his proficiency, but just having the extra voices might be fun.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
My requirements, just due to my physical size, would be that if I went with two rack toms on the bass drum, then it would have to be a 20" bass drum so it was comfortable.
FYI, Tony Williams wasn't very tall, and he played a 24" bass drum.

Simon Phillips isn't tall either, and he plays 24" bass drums.

I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with a 20" bass drum, but don't go with that size due to your height unless you're under 5 feet tall.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Dude.

Stop.

Just stop.

Go buy a freaking shell bank and be done with it, already.
You're right. I had answered my own question while in conversation with another member here in private.

If I did a completely different sized kit, then I have to stock different sized spare heads too, and that wasn't the idea. Having a complete hardware set cased up and ready to go is already a big advantage. Casing up the existing drums is not killing me. Hell, I have enough cymbals to have a set of those cased and ready to go too.

Here's what I think I will do though. I will add toms to my existing kit. I'm really happy with these drums (I keep geeking out about the shell concept to anyone who will listen and they sound great with coated emperors). And I'll be able to configure it however I need to, but it will always be "that kit". I'm going to add a 12x8 and a 15x14 to it. I debated going with a 18x16 floor tom, but those are too big, and I've never met a 14" floor tom that I liked. So 15" it is! And I'll have the traditional 12 and 13 rack toms should I want to go that route, since I think 10" rack toms are anemic.

So I can do four toms, or do two toms, or do a "one-up, two down" set, or just use two floor toms....and it'll be the kit that should be out in public when I do go out. Maybe I'll get a 14x14 floor tom too and mimic Tony Williams with THREE floor toms.....that might be pretty wacky.....

You are right, Mr. Parrot!
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
FYI, Tony Williams wasn't very tall, and he played a 24" bass drum.

Simon Phillips isn't tall either, and he plays 24" bass drums.

I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with a 20" bass drum, but don't go with that size due to your height unless you're under 5 feet tall.
Somedays I feel like I'm under 5-feet-tall. On a good day I'm 5' 1".
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
This brought a rye smile to my face this morning. When I think back to the countless times you've berated me for having more than 1 mounted tom, & accepting no rationale explanation from me, this is gold :)

Get the full range of sizes in the same finish - a shell "pool" if you will, & be done with it. Oh, & actually keep them. I know keeping drums long term is a weird concept to you, but having a shell pool will mean you don't have to flip drums every time your gigging bias shifts.
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
Flexibility is good.

Do it.

It's also a good idea to make your hardware as flexible as possible - eg., when I used to use stands, I had the "core" kit which was a 4-piece kit with 2 crashes, hats and ride, but without changing anything, I could just add bits and pieces to get the full 7-piece setup with about 15 cymbals.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
This brought a rye smile to my face this morning. When I think back to the countless times you've berated me for having more than 1 mounted tom, & accepting no rationale explanation from me, this is gold :)

Get the full range of sizes in the same finish - a shell "pool" if you will, & be done with it. Oh, & actually keep them. I know keeping drums long term is a weird concept to you, but having a shell pool will mean you don't have to flip drums every time your gigging bias shifts.
Yeah - a friend of mine out here has just about every size of a particular color and brand and he just mixes and matches what he needs, and he's been with that kit for over ten years now. I will make this attempt and once I have all the necessary sizes I think I'll ever need, I may never move from them. If I added a 14x20 bass drum to it, then I have two sizes of 4-piece kits to choose from too, when I'm feeling old skool jazzy. It's just nice to know that whatever I decided to add to these existing drums, I know I'll get the additions in two weeks ;)
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Dont know why this needed to be posted... try 4 toms.. if you like them use them.. if not don't.. easy..
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I basically did what you're doing by adding new drums to an existing set. I bought a 12/13/16/22 set and then later added a 14" FT and 18" BD. The additions came about a year after I bought the first set.

I never set all the drums up at the same time. I use them as two distinct, four-piece sets; 12/14/18 and 13/16/22. The small set gets Ambassadors and the rest get Emperors. But they're all in the same WMP finish, so if I ever want to play a larger set, all the drums will match.

I did it for the same reason you're doing it; I loved the sound of my drums so much that I knew I wanted another set for different situations. The 13/16/22 is my workhorse for outdoor summer concerts and the louder, backbeat-oriented music. The 12/14/18 will be at a jazz jam tomorrow night and it will also be on stage at a local Irish pub for some bar band music where lower volumes and tight space needs rule the day.

Choices are good. Enjoy the drums.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
I love having the option to use the sound I get from my 8" tom and my 10" tom. I use those toms to simulate the congas in Feelin alright and the 8" for the timps in Low Rider.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
What I find astounding is that you don't have a dedicated gig kit complete with gig hardware and gig cymbals cased up and ready to go at all times. To me that is a necessity for a working drummer.

Since you like the References so much, a Reference shell bank is a capital idea.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Somedays I feel like I'm under 5-feet-tall. On a good day I'm 5' 1".
As I've read, by the end of the day, we're all (on average) about 3 inches shorter than when we wake up. Our spine and bodies contract on their own weight as the cartridge and soft tissues compress.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
This brought a rye smile to my face this morning. When I think back to the countless times you've berated me for having more than 1 mounted tom, & accepting no rationale explanation from me, this is gold :)

Get the full range of sizes in the same finish - a shell "pool" if you will, & be done with it. Oh, & actually keep them. I know keeping drums long term is a weird concept to you, but having a shell pool will mean you don't have to flip drums every time your gigging bias shifts.
You know he likes flipping drums more than playing them, right? Don't take his excuses away with rational thought! How rude!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
So I can do four toms, or do two toms, or do a "one-up, two down" set, or just use two floor toms....and it'll be the kit that should be out in public when I do go out. Maybe I'll get a 14x14 floor tom too and mimic Tony Williams with THREE floor toms.....that might be pretty wacky.....
I love three floor toms, myself. I really like the 3 ply Luddie shells, so going with that .... I have 12x8, 13x9, 14x14, 16x16, 18x16, 24x14, 26x14 .... all in 3 ply. Lots of combo's to choose from. So .... go buy more drums, Bo.​
 

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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
What I find astounding is that you don't have a dedicated gig kit complete with gig hardware and gig cymbals cased up and ready to go at all times. To me that is a necessity for a working drummer.

Since you like the References so much, a Reference shell bank is a capital idea.
The bank is the way I'm going. I have 13/16/22 now with a matching 6.5 snare. I'm going to add 10 and 12 rack toms and a 14x14 floor tom. So I can do four toms with the 10/12/14/16. And when I go out to do basic grooving, I use the 13/16 combination. Or I could do the popular 12/14/16 (one up two down).

But this leaves the 13" alone because I took the mount off of it and use it on a snare stand when I go for the 4-piece. The 10 and 12 can be mounted on the arms.

But you know how you get a great kit and you just want to play that kit all the time? Like Steve Howe and his Gibson L-76 guitar? That's how I am. It's really playing them and getting to know them by playing them all the time. And this working theory really cleans up my house.
 
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