Kit configuration for music styles

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
Just wondering what type of music you play and if you change your kit setup based on that music?

I recently changed to one rack tom up and one floor tom or a basic 4 piece setup for mainly rock and punk. I used to play two up and one down but found I didn't use the other tom that much and preferred my cymbals closer and lower for faster playing.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Yes, I use three set ups.
I have a 4 piece Jazz kit with an 18 inch bass drum with 12 and 14 toms and Jazz sounding cymbals.
I have a 4 piece kit with a 22 inch bass drum and 13 and 16 toms for Rock, Country, Blues.
I have a 6 piece kit with a 20 inch bass drum and 2 up and 2 down shallow toms, 10, 12, 14, 16, that I use for fusion,
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
I use a 4pc for everything I play, I would like to get some darker cymbals for my jazz playing and some splashes and stacks for effects.
 

choki

Senior Member
I switch between a 4 or 5 piece depending on the gig/size of stage. I'll also switch between an 18 and 22 inch bass drum depending on the gig. For really changing the sound of the kit for different styles of music, I'll usually switch up my cymbal/snare selection. To me, that makes more of a change than the number of drums.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I use a 4pc for everything I play, I would like to get some darker cymbals for my jazz playing and some splashes and stacks for effects.
Yea, I really only play different cymbals for different music, too. One of my kits has the extra high tom, but it's literally never been hit with a stick by me.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
My basic configuration rarely changes, it's typically 4 or 5 pieces (either 1 or 2 rack toms.)

But my sizes (and snare shell material and cymbals) definitely change based on the style and/or venue size, which is why I keep an arsenal of gear handy. In one case, a particular bandleader must have a specific snare of mine (6.5" pre-serial Supra.) For live gigs, the kit must have a 20" kick, and in the studio, it's my '59 transition badge Ludwigs (which he begrudingly accepts its 22" kick.)

Bermuda
 

?uesto

Silver Member
I usually prefer a 1-up, 1-down configuration or a 1-up, 2-down configuration. Sizes vary for different styles.

Examples:

Jazz
18BD, 10RT or 12RT, 14FT

Funk
20BD, 10RT or 12RT, 14FT, 16FT

Rock or Blues
22 or 24BD, 12RT, 14FT, 16FT
 

burn-4

Senior Member
I usually prefer a 1-up, 1-down configuration or a 1-up, 2-down configuration. Sizes vary for different styles.

Examples:

Jazz
18BD, 10RT or 12RT, 14FT

Funk
20BD, 10RT or 12RT, 14FT, 16FT

Rock or Blues
22 or 24BD, 12RT, 14FT, 16FT
3 different bass drums? that's just pure greed :p

I say my set up depends more on where I'm playing- if playing the same venue every night for a few weeks then I'll use my 10, 12, 14, 16, 22 and whatever snare/ cymbals I feel like
If I'm touring then a 10, 14 and maybe use my 16 as a kick in extreme cases of lazyness just to save set up time/ carrying lots of gear

I think a 10, 12, 14 20 and 22 covers pretty much any gig you will ever play- in fact probably even take away one of the bass drums and you could probably alter the tuning to match pretty much 95% of all gigs
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Well, I own 7 different acoustic kits ... but honestly ... that's just because I love drums. I really can't think of any music style, where a 4 piece kit wouldn't work. My favorite sizes would be 22, 13, 16 .... and a snare.​
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
In one case, a particular bandleader must have a specific snare of mine (6.5" pre-serial Supra.) For live gigs, the kit must have a 20" kick, and in the studio, it's my '59 transition badge Ludwigs (which he begrudingly accepts its 22" kick.)
That's interesting Bermuda. Whilst I've had guys say things like....I prefer this cymbal sound to that, or geez I really like that black snare etc. I can't recall any who have cared enough one way or the other to request I use a specific item.....it's happened in the studio with the benefit of playback, but never live. I'm guessing it purely comes down to what his ear likes to hear as to why he must have a COB supra etc, is it as simple as that or is there more to it? If you were cagey and replaced the COB with your BB is it something he'd notice?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
That's interesting Bermuda. Whilst I've had guys say things like....I prefer this cymbal sound to that, or geez I really like that black snare etc. I can't recall any who have cared enough one way or the other to request I use a specific item.....it's happened in the studio with the benefit of playback, but never live. I'm guessing it purely comes down to what his ear likes to hear as to why he must have a COB supra etc, is it as simple as that or is there more to it? If you were cagey and replaced the COB with your BB is it something he'd notice?
It's not that he has to have a COB, it's that he really likes one particular snare of mine. It's the sound that sings to him I guess, where there are certainly other snares that I think would fit the bill. However, it is one of my top 3 or 4 snares, so he has good taste.

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
3 different bass drums? that's just pure greed :p
Yeah, and a little short-sighted. That's why I have 27 kicks in 4 different diameters and various shell compositions! :)

Bermuda
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
Wow when I had 3 sets at once I thought that was a lot! Of course if you are a professional and make a living at drumming I can see it only as more tools in your belt.

I agree 100% on the snare and cymbals. My older Zildjians with a nice coat of patina on them had a great sound for jazz. That being said my A customs suite rock and punk rock well. Still I think I am going to switch to a brass or steel snare drum as I feel my maple shelled snare is just not cutting it for me.

Oddly enough last night after a 3 hour set someone asked if I could play a solo; claiming he would give me $20. Slightly doubtful i gave in my opinion a less then great performance after being exhausted from a long set but walked away $20 ahead.
 

?uesto

Silver Member
3 different bass drums? that's just pure greed :p

I say my set up depends more on where I'm playing- if playing the same venue every night for a few weeks then I'll use my 10, 12, 14, 16, 22 and whatever snare/ cymbals I feel like
If I'm touring then a 10, 14 and maybe use my 16 as a kick in extreme cases of lazyness just to save set up time/ carrying lots of gear

I think a 10, 12, 14 20 and 22 covers pretty much any gig you will ever play- in fact probably even take away one of the bass drums and you could probably alter the tuning to match pretty much 95% of all gigs
Well in an ideal situation, maybe. There's plenty of guys who play with every different sized bass drum on the planet. Steve Jordan has played 16x16's and 24x16s.

Realistically for me, I'd only need a kit with a 16x20 and 14x24 or 16x24, and I have the 16FT for a jazz kit. I think the "interval of four inch kit" rule (that I made up) works for me and the music I play.

I know a lot of people just need an 18x22, but I play some way mellow or slow or tight stuff, and some big, loud, and open rock stuff, and everything in between. I'd like the dynamic range of someone like Matt Chamberlain. He uses a very small tight sounding 18" or 20" on some of the female singer/songwriter things he plays on, 20's and 22's on the mid-range rock stuff, and 24's and 26's on the bigger rock or more open, experimental stuff, (I think he played a 13x26 on Tori Amo's tour.

It's all about options while saving money. ;-)
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I play blues and blues-rock. I own two four-piece kits. One is 22/13/14/snare, and the other is 18/12/14/snare. I use the bigger kit for louder gigs and the smaller kit for softer gigs. On the bigger kit, a friend gave me the two toms. They are not the sizes I would have picked, but they are six-ply maple shells and sound great. The 13x11 sounds good tuned up to rack tom range, and the 14x12 sounds more like a 16" than a 14" tom. That's how I roll. Peace, goodwill, and blues.
 
G

gf2564

Guest
I landed on two up, two down about five or six years ago and found this suits me for everything I play. I started decades ago on a four piece and played that for the first twenty years. I then added another mounted tom and played the five piece configuration for another twenty. I thought I needed more so I bought a used classic Ludwig 7 piece and used that for a few years when I was playing pretty regular (for me). I got tired of lugging those big drums around so that's when I went back with the five piece and added an 18" second floor tom. I bought a new 10, 12, 14, and 16 tom kit with a 22' kick and 14" snare a few months ago. I love the ease in setting them up......technology has advanced some in the last fifty years since I first started!
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I change my kit up a lot. I always start with a 4pc
Kick, Snare, two Toms

Typically these sizes:
22" 14" 12" 16"

From that point, depending on the music I may add a 10" Tom, a side snare, even electronic pads.

My cymbals change more than my drums though, I use a variety of cymbals based on the room, the length of a gig or rehearsal, a style of music, anything really... I try to adapt to every situation.


I have a gig later this month with an Industrial band and I have, what I think anyway, is a really sweet kit configuration for it...
18x22 Kick with Trigger
15x16 Floor Tom
6.5x14 Cast Steel Snare
5x10 Birch Snare
2x 8" Electronic Pads

14" Hi Hats
2x 20" Crashes
18" China
18" China w/14" Trashformer stacked on top
 

AndyMC

Senior Member
I usually use the 10 12 14 16 22 snare setup for practice and loud gigs (most of mine atm) but for smaller gigs/ venues I'll do a 3 or 4 piece. I've always been a fan of having more drums than you need but not necessarily using them all the time. Though depending how you setup a 6 piece is just a 4 piece with a little more range. I've found that position actually matters a lot more than the drum. If you setup your flow for jazz you can move around between everything more easily vs rock with its line of toms for big fills, or funk which is kind of in between, your position almost encourages you to play a certain way. You'll also see this if you play someone else's kit, you will play much more similarly to them than otherwise.
 
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