My 'Less Drums' Enlightenment

Mr. Dyck

Member
I currently play on a 6 pc. Pearl kit from the early 70's(22",12,13,14,16,14x5 - 2 toms up, 2 floor). I have my rack toms on a seperate stand so I can have them off the kick and over to my left. This allows me to pull my ride in tighter and gives me the same feeling as playing a 4 pc. but with more options.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I currently play on a 6 pc. Pearl kit from the early 70's(22",12,13,14,16,14x5 - 2 toms up, 2 floor).
The Steve Gadd sizes... hey, those of you with drumdials/tension watches- forgive me if there's a thread on this already- I've always wondered if, with the tension on a set of toms' batter & reso heads all the same (not top & bottoms same, but all the tops same, & then bottoms same, as each other), what drum size intervals would give the ideal pitch separation. 1 in. like above, 2 in. like the current "fusion" sets, 3 in. like I've seen some play? 10/13/16...?

I have my rack toms on a seperate stand so I can have them off the kick and over to my left. This allows me to pull my ride in tighter and gives me the same feeling as playing a 4 pc. but with more options.
I got a rack for exactly that reason. Well, that and removing tripods from the floor. Once I realized that, when sitting and not twisting my torso at all, the bass drum was in fact NOT the center of my setup, and further, my entire kit was off to my right save the snare in the center, & hh & 1 crash slightly left. So I moved my rack toms so that my 1st is directly in front of my snare, & then the 2nd and my ride & 2nd crash could all come over with it. Such a simple little change improved my playing a LOT. The combination of this and the fact that, even when leading right hand on the hats, my right arm/stick doesn't cross over my left (This is hard to explain; see the beginning of REM's "The One I Love" video, that's where I got the idea), I could suddenly reach my entire kit with my left hand while not removing my right hand from playing the hats. I became much more ambidextrous simply by allowing my left hand to play a lot more during rehearsals/performances. I guess I could've posted this in the "my 'a-ha' moment" thread...)
 

Elvis

Silver Member
I currently play on a 6 pc. Pearl kit from the early 70's(22",12,13,14,16,14x5 - 2 toms up, 2 floor). I have my rack toms on a seperate stand so I can have them off the kick and over to my left. This allows me to pull my ride in tighter and gives me the same feeling as playing a 4 pc. but with more options.
Right on, dude! A lot of guys today would "poo-poo" on the 12/13/14 part of your tom combo ("not enough separation!"), but it always worked for me. Seems it does for you, too.
I also tried to move my toms onto a stand, but that never worked for me.
Pushed the hi-hat out too far and I could never find a comfy spot to place the 12.
I used to sit the ride low and hunkered between the 13 and the 14 (or 16), but that doesn't always fit the area you find yourself playing in, so I found just as comfy a spot by sticking it up higher and having it overlap the outer and upper 1/3 of the 13. About 2"-3" outside of, and about 2" above the middle of the head.
That allowed me to place the toms back on the BD and made playing the kit more comfortable...plus it decreased the size of the kit's "foot print", so it could more easily fit into more confined spaces.
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Timmdrum,

I thought "Gadd sizes" were 6/8/10/12/13/14/15/16, all mounted on stands, sometimes an optional 18FT, and a 22BD?
I've seen pics of him with that long row of rack toms with, and without, floor toms.
I'm not sure if this answers your question, but I tend to tension ALL of the heads on my toms to the same number of turns and let their sheer size differences differentiate the sound coming from them.
Always worked for me, and I played 12/13/16 setup for many years on various kits.
Now I play 10x8 and 14x14, tensioned the same way, and it works too.



Elvis
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Timmdrum,

I thought "Gadd sizes" were 6/8/10/12/13/14/15/16, all mounted on stands, sometimes an optional 18FT, and a 22BD?
I've seen pics of him with that long row of rack toms with, and without, floor toms.
I'm not sure if this answers your question, but I tend to tension ALL of the heads on my toms to the same number of turns and let their sheer size differences differentiate the sound coming from them.
Always worked for me, and I played 12/13/16 setup for many years on various kits.
Now I play 10x8 and 14x14, tensioned the same way, and it works too.

Elvis
Uhh, I dunno about back when, but his current setup is 2 up 2 down, 12/13/14/16, 14 snare, 22 or 20 bass. I was only referring to the tom sizes anyway, and according to his website and all recent photos I've seen of his kit, his rack toms are mounted on the BD.

I had standard sizes too, and never could get my 13 to sit in an even interval between the 12 & 16 with an equally pleasing tone & resonance, for obvious reasons. I know not everyone needs their toms to be tuned to even intervals, but i always preferred it, hence the move to fusion sizes.
 

KyleM

Junior Member
A few people now have mentioned that they've gone back to a 4 piece and much prefer having their ride where the second rack tom used be. I used play a 7 piece (3 rack, 2 floor) but got rid of the rightmost rack tom and replaced it with the ride, and it feels GREAT! I now have a 12" mounted on the bass drum and a 10" on a cymbal stand, so I have a decent amount of drums but also have the ride in a more comfortable position.
Also, I think it's a good idea to mix up the configuration every so often, if you play a big kit, get used to playing a stripped down version, mess with the heights, etc. One benefit of this is that you may find something which works better for you, but also when gigging kit share is often called for, and if you're using someone else's kit, more often than not the amount of drums, positions and sizes will be different. Playing with different setups will help you to cope better on kits you aren't used to, rather than choking in the middle of a gig.
Which SUCKS.
 

king fail

Senior Member
I've been rollin' on a snare bass hats setup for the past 2 months and MAN. I feel like i've improved so much, so fast. I love it!
i suggest everyone who hasn't done this strips down. seriously, it's so fun.
 

Elvis

Silver Member
Uhh, I dunno about back when, but his current setup is 2 up 2 down, 12/13/14/16, 14 snare, 22 or 20 bass. I was only referring to the tom sizes anyway, and according to his website and all recent photos I've seen of his kit, his rack toms are mounted on the BD.

I had standard sizes too, and never could get my 13 to sit in an even interval between the 12 & 16 with an equally pleasing tone & resonance, for obvious reasons. I know not everyone needs their toms to be tuned to even intervals, but i always preferred it, hence the move to fusion sizes.
Hmmm, guess I'm old.
Gadd used the setup I described to great success for many years.
So much so, that he's actually accredited with inventing the "mounted floor tom" concept, which actually used large toms in place of actual "floor toms".
Seems he's stripping down a little, too, these days.

As for tuning, it sounds like you were trying to make the 13" tom sound like a 14, which never completely flies.
With me, I think once I realized that I was using a 13" tom with a 12, that made it all the easier to tune it.
Every tom has its range. If you're trying to tune outside that range, its never gonna work.
Glad you found a solution to your problem, though.
Rock on.



Elvis
 
Mine is a 3 piece.
Kick, snare, one tom Tom and Floor tom.
I am trying to be like Keith Moon with these limitations, thats my aim.

I love to watch people play with 10, 000 tom toms but I wonder who tunes them??????
 

drumguyfromWI

Senior Member
I played on a neil peart sized drum kit once.

to be honest, I felt lost and distracted behind all those drums and cymbals, because I'm so used to playing a small kit haha it was like "uh... what should I play?"
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
I think looking at some massive kit is impressive, but I ask myself, how much does any given artists play for his music?

Also, I don't like kits that are too big to play ergonomically. It's not the drum confusion thing with me. If the music calls for it, I'll use them. I would not dream of playing Sgt Pepper on a Peart kit. The music would sound wrong to alter it or make it busier with tom fills.

I don't like having to stretch or hurt myself in some awkward posture just to reach drums. I find if I am doing that, time to downsize. I really don't like awkward ride cymbal or hihat placement either. I know from experiance that if you get off center of balance or have to stretch excessively, you are hindering your potential.

I have settled on what I'd call a medium kit for those reasons. The smallest kits didn't have the all the voices I wanted, the biggest kits were cumbersome, and duplicated functions with redundant drums.
 

junglelord

Senior Member
Neil Peart says on his first DVD,

KISS
Keep it simple stupid

which tends to lead to

LOVE
Leave Out Virturally Everything.

In the end Less is and always will be less.

Since our craft is MUSIC,
Make-Up Something Interesting and Complementary

Then in the hands of a Master the the Simple is very Profound.
Ie Phil Rudd and 4/4

Make Music and improve the Craft.
Cheers.
 

Spence

Senior Member
I cut my 7 down to a 5 piece about 18 months ago (got two snares so it's a normal 4 piece setup plus and extra snare to the left of the hihats).

It's so nice to mix it up every now and then. Love the smaller setup, it does make you try things you wouldn't necessarily do with a larger setup in my opinion. Just changes your mindset ever so slightly. Works from small to big too.

My friend stripped his kit down years ago and has played a 4 piece since. Then recently he let me set up his drums anyway I liked so I got out all his extra toms. He is now back to a 6 and loving it.
 
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