In defence of multiple toms.

FoolInTheRain

Senior Member
I used a 4-piece kit for the first 10 years of my drumming, but I've since switched to a 2 up, 1 down setup and I can't imagine going back to a simple 1 up, 1 down. I think I've found a pretty good happy medium with what I have now, especially with fusion sized toms over a 20" bass. I just love having the 10" and 12" toms right next to each other because it's given me so many more options for fills.

Not knocking the 4-piece guys at all. If you can get it done with 4, great.
 

madidus

Senior Member
I'm working OS with lots of travel involved, so have not been able to follow DW much for the last few years, but I caught this thread. I like Andy's approach to answer the question he'd asked of himself (and the video footage of course made me feel more inadequate about my skills, especially now that all I have is a practice pad during my travels).
In the subsequent discussion that evolved, it might be worth looking at the following pictures and link, which support the hypothesis that you can play pretty much any type of music with a small or a large kit, it's whatever works best for the drummer playing the kit. Of course, if you're playing in a true-to-the-original covers band, that may be more difficult on a very different kit.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84806
 

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last man to bat

Senior Member
I love the sound of toms! I will happily strike a tom until the sound dies then move to next one and repeat across my three toms just for the shear pleasure the sound gives me. Every time I gig I imagine the audience looking at me in wonder of how beautifiul my toms sound... two toms would never satisfy my ear Andy, I'd take on more if I could be bothered to set them up.
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
Shout it out brother!!!! Bar chimes are cool again (or at least, that's what I keep telling myself)


I was starting to like you until you got to this point ;) You need to try a Guru :)
I don't think there are any Guru drums in the wilds of Canada are there? I'd love to see them!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
In the context of the way it's presented across the majority of arguments I read on the internet, it's a load of crap, Chunk.

Is Jojo any more creative than Bozzio....or are they just completely different? Something to be celebrated in spite of how many friggen' toms they choose to play, rather than defined by it alone?

Less IS more........unless more is required (or even dare I say, even desired).

Anyone trying to sell me an absolute one way or another, is full of it.....pure and simple. I've seen too many players blowing my mind on small and large kits alike to ever believe otherwise. Despite what I read on drum forums.
Well said Pocket, well said.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
I get ya.

You know what it is? If had a couple of guys with a box truck to transport my stuff around everywhere and set it up and tear it down, I'd be rolling like Billy Cobham in the 70s. It really is how you use the stuff though, or if you choose not to use it, that's cool too. I'm over it. I use what I use.

Next week I could be using bigger, or smaller. It's all good ;)
So do those 2 guys and the trailer come as a package deal with a bigger kit? if so, I've been duped, because I didn't get mine with my kit!

Damn!
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
Confessions...
I like multi tom kits. I find 4 pc kits boring.
I like to clean my cymbals. I love clean shiny cymbals.
I like using Remo Pinstipe heads sometimes.
I always wanted a set of bar chimes. I have no idea what I'd use them for.
I can't hear the difference in higher end kits from intermediate level.
I really only need one snare drum. I own 3, but always go back to numero uno.
I really enjoy playing my electronic drum kit as much as my acoustic kit. Sometimes more.

Ah that feels good to say! I don't think I need to go to Drummers Anonymous anymore.
My best drummer buddy is the exact opposite from me on all these subjects.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Lunar Satellite Brian;1158829 Generally I'm sick of this discussion said:
I get ya.

You know what it is? If had a couple of guys with a box truck to transport my stuff around everywhere and set it up and tear it down, I'd be rolling like Billy Cobham in the 70s. It really is how you use the stuff though, or if you choose not to use it, that's cool too. I'm over it. I use what I use.

Next week I could be using bigger, or smaller. It's all good ;)
 

Dracovyrn

Senior Member
Next you'll be telling me that a 4 string bass player is better than an 8 string bass player.Horse hockey.

Steve B
I'm actually also a bass player. I use a six string. I can tell you that what you say is a is on the edge of the target. Yes, a player can do more, and better players can use more strings. But in the end, It's the bassist who's truly what's important. It's his style, what he plays, and how he does it. He has to have good fingers and hands, especially when he gets to slapping. I don't believe it's the tools, it's how you use it.
 

rmandelbaum

Platinum Member
I feel one of the most beautiful things about drums is that it is the most personal instrument there is. What do I mean by this?

Think about it, guitar, a few options as far as string number and maybe set up but at the end of the day they are all basically the same, bass, guitar, sax, on and on.

Now drums, you can choose amount of drums, cymbals, percussion toys, the list again goes on and on, and... You have the freedom to place anything , anywhere, and if you change your mind, cool!

I have never understood this small is better, or bigger is better, or no tom angles, or whatever.

I play a 4 piece for most of my blues gigs, a 5 or 6 for my original rock band. When I was young playing metal I drug out an 11 piece double bass kit.

I have gigged with a snare, a pair of bongos and brushes.

Who cares? Go play and have fun!

My .02 ;-)
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
I have 5 toms, most of the time I only use two of those toms in a fill, because I'm not stupid and think that I have to play all of my toms when I do a fill. The reason I use 5 toms is to broaden my pallet of tones to chose from when I play, if you use 1-2 toms that's fine, if you use 3-10 toms that's fine, it's how you use them.

Generally I'm sick of this discussion, if a 4-piece set makes you a better drummer then explain why a large majority of professional drummers use 6 piece and over sets.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
In the context of the way it's presented across the majority of arguments I read on the internet, it's a load of crap, Chunk.

Is Jojo any more creative than Bozzio....or are they just completely different? Something to be celebrated in spite of how many friggen' toms they choose to play, rather than defined by it alone?

Less IS more........unless more is required (or even dare I say, even desired).

Anyone trying to sell me an absolute one way or another, is full of it.....pure and simple. I've seen too many players blowing my mind on small and large kits alike to ever believe otherwise. Despite what I read on drum forums.
+1..I have to agree 100%.If your set up reflects your playing style and you're not just mounting toms because it looks cool,that have at it,

If you're going to distance yourself from the multiple tom guys because you actually think that playing a smaller kits somehow makes you "better" then it's may be time for a dose of reality.

Virgil Donati,Steve Smith,Bozzio,Mike Portnoy,Mike Mangini,Simon Phillips,Louis Bellson(who INVENTED double bass),Billy Cobham,Tony Williams,Thomas Lang,Cozy Powell,Kieth Moon,....do I need to go on?

The "I can do more with less" attitude is short sighted and egocentric at best.

If you like smaller kits,then best of luck,but it dosen't make you "better" than anyone else bucko.

Come back down to earth,and just accept that other players just feel comfortable with "more" than less.

Next you'll be telling me that a 4 string bass player is better than an 8 string bass player.Horse hockey.

Steve B
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I get the 'it makes you play more creatively' idea for less toms but...............
In the context of the way it's presented across the majority of arguments I read on the internet, it's a load of crap, Chunk.

Is Jojo any more creative than Bozzio....or are they just completely different? Something to be celebrated in spite of how many friggen' toms they choose to play, rather than defined by it alone?

Less IS more........unless more is required (or even dare I say, even desired).

Anyone trying to sell me an absolute one way or another, is full of it.....pure and simple. I've seen too many players blowing my mind on small and large kits alike to ever believe otherwise. Despite what I read on drum forums.
 

randomrod

Junior Member
I'm with you on the getting older thing :(

I never go beyond a 6 piece either. My 8, 10, 12, 14, 20 is very compact too, yet affords me a very flexible range. I used a 4 piece for practice last night, & even when hanging everything off two stands (including the 14), it's stage footprint is larger than my rack based 6 piece.

As for tuning, I get your point there too. More toms = more work. That said, I'm so used to tuning for multiple situations/rooms/demo's, etc, it's not a difficulty for me.
Hey, I'm now in a band I actually look forward to rehearsing with - and that hasn't happened in ten years!!
I don't know what it is, but sometimes I can't even wait to get the 4 piece fully set up before I start playing, then only to add the rest of the kit bit-by-bit inbetween numbers.
I just about manage to get kick, snare, hat up and running!
Does anybody else here experience this?
 
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Chunky

Silver Member
Seems daft just how many people feel the need to justify how many or how few toms they have.
I get the 'it makes you play more creatively' idea for less toms but, if you have to do things to force yourself to play creatively then maybe it's more a discipline problem, not the toms fault?

Use what works for your sound. I use 3 toms but I'd love an 8" to add to my kit. If people don't like it they can kiss it, basically. It doesn't affect them or me so what's the big deal?
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
My main gigging kit is also a 6 piece and I have two snares. Normally though I just haul 4 pieces and my flat/flush base stands to save weight. Honestly because I am smaller person I prefer to have two rack toms and one floor vs one up and two down.

When I was back in Germany with the cover band it was nice have the extra voices. Even in my current band I think throwing the 10" rack tom in the mix would be great. I think again it all depends on the situation.

Had a recent gig where I was backed into a tiny corner. So I used my 10" rack and hung my 12" rack tom as a make shift floor tom. Tuned the 12" low, made the climb behind my kit and played a great show.

Seems like everyone is missing the point. Just play what you like and what fits the music you are playing. If it makes you happy then who should be the judge of wrong or right with your drum setup.

So for your entertainment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKTLU7Agh74
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Andy should have known this would turn into a slug-fest. ;-)

The only thing I can add is - Toto's Child's Anthem?!?

Sheesh - you gotta have "a big pair" to record yourself wearing Porcaro's shoes, and apparently Andy's are very large AND hairy.

Well done, sir. For that, I'll excuse the slug-fest.
No - really - not my intention. Of course, there's always a possibility ;)

As for "Jeff's shoes", I wouldn't dare (not worthy, etc)

try this on one up one down
Good example. Great playing, especially in the first three minutes (I commented on this in the your playing thread). That said, he's grossly exceeded the manufacturer's recommended wash load ;) ;) ;)
 
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