Opinions wanted on substituting a 12" for a 10" tom

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yesterday I tuned my 12" tom to the note my 10" is tuned to. The 12" was a bigger tone that I very much preferred.

I've decided to get a different gig set, one with either 2 - 12" toms on the bass drum or a 12 and 13.

Bam just like that, my 10" tom love affair just ran it's course. Things change.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I've decided to get a different gig set, one with either 2 - 12" toms on the bass drum or a 12 and 13.

Bam just like that, my 10" tom love affair just ran it's course. Things change.
Well after all you do play a lot of blues and rock. Right?
I think the tom size and tuning choice comes down to what kind of music your playing. If you played Latin songs you would love your 10" tom.

I have been using a 12 and 13 for many years. Hey if you would have only asked me, I could have told you what you needed..... LOL


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GeoB

Gold Member
I like a 10 tuned a 4th above the 16 FT. Which is low.

I'm guessing on this but I assume that a 12 is supposed to be tuned a 4th above the 16 and a 10 is then tuned a 4th above that.

But for a short period back in the 80's I have only used one rack tom and that has just about always been a 10.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Well after all you do play a lot of blues and rock. Right?
I think the tom size and tuning choice comes down to what kind of music your playing. If you played Latin songs you would love your 10" tom.

I have been using a 12 and 13 for many years. Hey if you would have only asked me, I could have told you what you needed..... LOL
Actually Jim, the music has no bearing from my POV. It doesn't matter if I'm playing latin or blues...whatever...when I want to hear that higher note, to me, it just plain sounds better coming from a 12 than a 10.

It's bigger, a little louder and definitely longer lasting. More character. Plus I am imprinted with a high 12" tom thanks mainly to Motown records and to a lesser extent, the jazz cats. I always loved the sound of a high tom in there.

Bam, just like that, change.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I like a 10 tuned a 4th above the 16 FT. Which is low.
I'm guessing on this but I assume that a 12 is supposed to be tuned a 4th above the 16 and a 10 is then tuned a 4th above that.
I think there is another big factor in all of this.
The toms on my 1963 Slingerland kit have a small tuning range. They sound great when tuned to specific notes. They sing out.
But they sound kind of dead if I try and tune them outside their limited range.
The toms on my Yamaha Live Custom set have a very wide tuning range.

My point here is, choosing between a 10" or a 12" tom has a lot to do with the specific kind of drums you are playing. (I think Andy already said something similar to this).


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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Actually Jim, the music has no bearing from my POV. It doesn't matter if I'm playing latin or blues...when I want to hear that higher note, it just plain sounds better coming from a 12 than a 10. It's bigger, a little louder and definitely longer lasting.

Bam, just like that.
OK I get it. Yeah for Latin you can tune up the 12".


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dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I've never been much of a fan of just a 10 as my single rack tom - it doesn't project as well as I'd like it to at the pitch I want it to be.

I gig with a 13/16/22 70s Ludwig SS kit and it's a nice satisfying fifth between the 13 and 16. I tune higher than most people I know, but I've heard my kit from the house and it projects exactly the kind of sound I want the crowd to hear.

I used to gig with a 10/14/22 DW kit and it always felt like my rack tom was tuned too low and my floor tom was too high in pitch. And those sizes tend to end up in seventh or octave intervals, which just aren't as fun to play together. The drum store I work at recently got a Pork Pie three-piece: 8x10, 11x14, and 20x24. Don't even get me started.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Yesterday I tuned my 12" tom to the note my 10" is tuned to. The 12" was a bigger tone that I very much preferred.

I've decided to get a different gig set, one with either 2 - 12" toms on the bass drum or a 12 and 13.

Bam just like that, my 10" tom love affair just ran it's course. Things change.


10" toms are in the C range, and 12" toms are in the G range. These are notes of course, and with such you have an interval of a 4th, which is pleasing on the kit. C3 for the 10" would be medium high.



Two 12" toms mounted will not be pleasing. I have them same finished 9x12 and 8x12 NEW CLASSIC toms, together they aren't happening as you cannot achieve a pleasing fundamental interval, the head tension and resulting tamber will be too far apart to be playable with any satisfaction.

If you randomly tune your toms to where they sound good individually, but then together they don't, that's the interval. Same for all the toms, it's the intervals between the drums that stand out to the players ears determined by the fundamental you've tuned to, not the head note(s) that ring out after the fundamental.

A 12 and 13 for example won't easily achieve a 4th interval, they would have to be specially designed (dimensionally/depth), a 2nd or 3rd is what you can reasonably expect to get with 12-13 still maintaining a pleasing tamber and head feel without taking the smaller drum past medium, to medium hi tension. At really high tensions your head note intervals are in danger of easily becoming unpleasing, as the head note(s) (at hi tension) will begin to dominate the fundamental note(s) to the players ears.
 

FreDrummer

Silver Member
I'm kinda' a die-hard 12-13-16 guy and have come up with a tuning I really like:

12" tuned to C# 138.6H this might be a little higher than many 12" toms
13" tuned to A 110.0H a pretty good sweet spot for 13's
16" tuned to E 82.4H

This is (top to bottom) a fourth, then a fifth (it's a portion of the "Call To The Post" relationship). The nice thing is, any combination of toms struck together is pleasing to the ear. The notes make up an A chord -- A-C#-E. I then like to tune my bass drum to 1E (41.2H, an octave below the floor tom).

But, really, when I read your first post, my initial reaction was, "For God's sake, you own two Guru kits...these drums were meant to be played! GIG THEM!!!!
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
I love my 10" tom, but I view it as an add on to my basic kit. I generally gig with 10/12/16 but I set up as an augmented 4 piece with both racks on a stand to the left of the bass drum. The 10 is an add on so my basic kit is the 12/16 and the 12 is usually the first tom I go to, unless the song merits the different voice. I have plenty of choice as I have every tom from 8" to 18", but me and 13" toms have never really got on!
 
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