On drum sizes....

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Hey everybody.

I just got done posting up pictures of the new kit and then something hit me. I'll most likely keep this new kit for a long time.

Bear with me for a moment. This isn't some kind of 'drum love' thing. In the past, I've always rotated in and out of kits (sometimes on a whim) and in this case, I got these just one month after I got a set of Sonors back in July.

But after setting up my new kit and getting it gig ready, I noticed that I'm finally playing a kit that physically fits me !

I'm smaller than normal (5' 00" - 5' 1" on a good day) and for years, in fact it feels normal now, I've always sat at the edge of my throne so my legs can dangle down far enough to reach the pedals comfortably. In fact, I tend to sit in regular chairs like this now too. I could never get into little 18" bass drums to bring the toms down to a comfortable level because I require a certain amount of "oommpphh" from my kick.

I'm blessing the market for asking for, and getting these short-stack toms. DW calls them FAST, Tama calls them Hyper-drive...whatever you want to call them, the idea makes so much more sense. Shorten the toms - you only play those occasionally! It's that bass drum you're playing all the time!

Of course, I also went down one size from a 22" to a 20", but it's 18" deep. It certainly sounds more focused with the right amount of oommpphh, but it's not too far off from that old 14x22 Vistalite bass drum I was using last year. With toms that are 6.5" and 7" deep, respectfully, the whole kit has dropped a good 5 inches for me. Today as I actually played the kit in all it's glory, I began to notice that things are easier to reach, which is good when you're dealing with die cast hoops on all the drums. So I even lowered my throne a bit. I found I was playing longer and with less fatigue, and because of this, the ideas flowed a little easier and it was just a joy to play! I was having the time of my life and all I did was get drums that fit!

I know all you average-sized people out there don't have a problem with drum kits the way they are, and as I was assimilating into playing what exists, I may have been impeding my playing by forcing my body to deal with things that were too tall, or too far away. Today has been a good day!

Like I said, I think this kit will stay with me for a while.
 
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Travis22

Senior Member
Glad to hear about your purchase, Bo. I don't have quite the same height issues (I'm 6'1) but after playing deep Ludwigs for a long time then switching to my Pearl kit that, like yours, has shallower toms it was so much easier to play. Plus you don't get all those ugly straches and marks on your kick drum from trying to place your rack toms as low as they can be without making contact...or is that just me?

So what made you buy this particular kit? Were you looking for something easier on you to play?
 

utdrummer

Senior Member
Bo---Good for you finding your ideal setup on your kit. Comfort and muscle memory on kits is world class important and more drummers are coming to realize that. With the advent of racks and more shallow depth toms, we are now able to place drum gear in just about any position we need to accommodate our requirements. That was the reason I moved my 18" bass to the left of my kit and bought a lefty double pedal. I play like that with my large (24") Slingerland bass too. Anyways, yeah man, it's all about ease of movement and position. Good to hear you're "comfortable" now. Things will really start flowing for you now.

OTOH..."Bare with me for a moment." I'll pass, but thanks for the offer. Ha!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Glad to hear about your purchase, Bo. I don't have quite the same height issues (I'm 6'1) but after playing deep Ludwigs for a long time then switching to my Pearl kit that, like yours, has shallower toms it was so much easier to play. Plus you don't get all those ugly straches and marks on your kick drum from trying to place your rack toms as low as they can be without making contact...or is that just me?

So what made you buy this particular kit? Were you looking for something easier on you to play?
Well, I wasn't so much disappointed with the kit I had just bought in July (A Sonor Force 3007), but I was here on the forum and people were debating on the validity of the Chinese-made kits. And many of their concerns were exactly what I was dealing with, even though the kit sounded great. Had I not been here, I'd probably be fine with the Sonors.

Then I read here about Tama moving their operation to China, and how that concerned everyone. I bought my first Tama kit (A Stewart Copeland kit) back in 1984 and I loved those until I gashed that pretty cherry wood stained bass drum on a gig. So in a bit of reminiscing, I started looking at the new Tama offerings on the 'net and thought, "Wow, they've made so many improvements". I hadn't followed Tama in over 20 years.

This led me to looking around at eBay, and just like my mom going to the store and bringing home stuff because it was "on sale" - I admit I did the same thing. Someone had these drums, in these cool sizes and it was an absolute steal. After I researched how much they'd be if I bought them new (about $4400 before any discounts from a store) and how long I'd have to wait (over 6 months because it's a special order color too, not only special order sizes), I happily pulled the trigger!

In this case, it's nice to have the extra money floating around, because I wouldn't have been able to buy these at all if I didn't. And it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance!
 

Travis22

Senior Member
Sweet deal, man. Yeah, it's always nice when you have a little cash stashed away and you come across a good deal like that. I'm glad you are so pumped about it, then again why wouldn't you be? Sounds almost like that kit was made just for you. Anyway, enjoy, and if you could post some pictures on this thread I'd appreciate it. I couldn't seem to find the ones you mentioned you put up.
 

Masheanhed

Senior Member
I was probably asleep but...where did you post the pics? I have a set with shallower toms. Would love to see your set up!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I just got done posting up pictures of the new kit and then something hit me.
And a beautiful kit it is.

But after setting up my new kit and getting it gig ready, I noticed that I'm finally playing a kit that physically fits me !
Amazing, how a sudden moment of "clairity" comes along, and it all starts to make sense.

Of course, I also went down one size from a 22" to a 20", but it's 18" deep. It certainly sounds more focused with the right amount of oommpphh, but it's not too far off from that old 14x22 Vistalite bass drum I was using last year. With toms that are 6.5" and 7" deep, respectfully, the whole kit has dropped a good 5 inches for me. I was having the time of my life and all I did was get drums that fit!
People forget ... or don't go back into the "early drum kit history scene" ... and your basic kit, was 20, 12, 14 ... or 22, 13, 16. With traditional sizes being 20x14, 22x14, 12x8, 13x9, 14x14, and 16x16.​
Sure, you can always find an exception, here and there, but probably 90% of all drums sold, during the 50's, 60's and early 70's, were those sizes. Because "those" sizes fit "most" people. And cats who started playing larger drums, like 14x10 rack toms and 26x14 kicks, well, for the most part, had started out on smaller sized kits, were "semi-seasoned" vets, and were willing to "compromise" a little comfort for a bigger sound.​
I know all you average-sized people out there don't have a problem with drum kits the way they are, and as I was assimilating into playing what exists, I may have been impeding my playing by forcing my body to deal with things that were too tall, or too far away. Today has been a good day!
A good day, indeed. And many more to come!!!​
 
Thats a really nice lookin kit! I like the black. I also plan on purchasing a slightly smaller kit soon. I will be getting a 20 in kick with 10 and 12in rack toms. Hopefully it will be more comfortable than my larger power setup with extra deep 12 and 13in toms. Those deep toms always had to be racked up a bit too high for comfort.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
As a smaller guy myself, I've almost exclusively played 20" bass drums throughout my career; not only does it get the toms a bit lower and easier to manage for me, but it's less wood to carry. Originally I thought, "man, this will be unusual at rock gigs", but now a lot of people are looking at 20" kicks and shallower toms, and I'm no longer quite as unique as I once was...

I haven't decided whether to stay with smaller drums for my next kit, but I suspect I will. I have been playing a 22" lately though, and admiring its sound...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
As a smaller guy myself, I've almost exclusively played 20" bass drums throughout my career; not only does it get the toms a bit lower and easier to manage for me, but it's less wood to carry. Originally I thought, "man, this will be unusual at rock gigs", but now a lot of people are looking at 20" kicks and shallower toms, and I'm no longer quite as unique as I once was...

I haven't decided whether to stay with smaller drums for my next kit, but I suspect I will. I have been playing a 22" lately though, and admiring its sound...
I used to follow Danny Gottlieb when he played with Metheny, and I remember he always played a 20". Then when he left the group, he started to experiment with bigger bass drums and loved it. I think he plays 24s now.

But it's weird how, as a kid, you're influenced by what's around you. I remember looking at Ludwig catalogs and seeing a double-bass kit with two 24s. Then seeing the Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous album with Brian Downey on two 24s....I felt a little cheated that the set my parents bought me (at age 10, after playing a hand-me-down for the 6 years previous) a kit with a 22".

Then I grew up!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I used to follow Danny Gottlieb when he played with Metheny, and I remember he always played a 20". Then when he left the group, he started to experiment with bigger bass drums and loved it. I think he plays 24s now.

But it's weird how, as a kid, you're influenced by what's around you. I remember looking at Ludwig catalogs and seeing a double-bass kit with two 24s. Then seeing the Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous album with Brian Downey on two 24s....I felt a little cheated that the set my parents bought me (at age 10, after playing a hand-me-down for the 6 years previous) a kit with a 22".

Then I grew up!
Well, yeah. I mean, my role models all played larger drums - Neil Peart played 24"s for years, and of course there's Bonzo. Then I had a chance to play a set with large sizes - a Ludwig Super Classic with 13/14/18/24 - and I felt like a 10 year old playing on an adult kit.

I had a great, thumpy, cool-sounding 20" as a kid, which sounded so much better to me than other people's 22"s (in fact, I tried to tune my 22" like my 20" and couldn't ever manage to get it even sounding close). So when it came time to buy my next kit, I stuck with a 20". Never regretted it.

On my next set, I'm going to go at least to FAST-depth toms, if not all the way to traditionals. It makes it so much easier to "get on top" of the drums as you play, and then gravity does a lot of the work.
 
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