Returnee set up help please


Platinum Member
...a Yamaha Stage Custom, 5 piece kit, two up one down, but I can’t get into this setup...
Another thing that might be fighting you, Yamaha places the tom flange towards the front of the bass drum. I prefer the tom(s) further back. With my Yamaha RC's, I took the rack tom off it's tom mount and I run it on a snare stand (a la Charlie Watts),​
Some cats I know flip the Yamaha kicks around (180 degrees), and remove/re-mount the spurs. That places the flange at the rear of the kick, rather than forward.​
As far as heads, I like the Remo Powerstroke 3 head, a lot, for a batter head. Recently, I've started playing around with Evans heads, and I just put a Evans Genera on my Yamaha 14" floor tom. The head has an attached richie ring, similar to the Powerstroke 3. If you have a 14" floor, you're in luck, .... if you have a 16" floor ... Evans doesn't make this head that big.​


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Platinum Member
I agree with dairyairman, Let that floor tom sing!
I use coated Ambassadors over clear Ambassadors on my floor toms.
I sometimes use coated Emperors on top.
I tune the heads just above medium tension and I let the floor tom ring out.
A floor tom is supposed to be a timpani for your kit.
It's not supposed to be dead.
It should ring more that the rack toms.


Platinum Member
floor toms do tend to ring quite a bit because of their size. those ambassador heads are pretty ringy compared to some other heads. they're still great heads though, and don't really need to be muffled, especially when you're playing live with a band. i have evans clear g2s on my toms and i think they have just the right amount of ring for my taste. my drums came with remo pinstripes on all the toms. i played with them at a gig and when i listened to the recording i made i found out they sounded way too much like cardboard. if they're miced up they can sound good though. i would say if you like that muffled sound try replacing your tom heads with pre-mufflled heads like evans ec2s, remo pinstripes, or something similar. or you could try using muffling rings like aquarian studio rings or remo o rings. those will really cut down the ringing and sustain a lot and are very cheap.


Silver Member
Many thanks to everyone who has replied with tips and encouragement, it really is very much appreciated.

I am still getting to grips with the kit, working on setup, and things are slowly starting to fall into place.

I do have one question, and I am sure this has been covered many times before, tom tom tuning.

The drummer I bought the kit off really knew their stuff, so the kit is nicely tuned, but the floor tom has a ring that sustains longer than the rack toms. I am sure that the size of the drum is a factor in this, but wonder if I can reduce the sustain, so it dampens down a little quicker. The drum is a 16 inch floor tom, double head, Yamaha branded Remo heads (from the little research I have done, I think its a ambassador type top and bottom). It has a muffling strip (for want of a better description like the slghtly expanded plastic warp padding you get with hi fi gear) stretched across the top head, as do my other toms. Do I need to pull this tighter, try adjusting the tuning of the heads, top and bottom, or try a clip on muffler?

As always, thanks for taking the time to read.


Platinum Member
I found that when I came back to drumming after a 15 year lay off I didn't want to play a big kit anymore.
I went back to a four piece for a while and now I am back to a five piece with two up on the left side of my bass and one floor tom.
This allows me to set my ride cymbal right where I want it. Nice and close to me on the right side of my bass drum.
I also get a perfect triangle with my snare and my two mounted toms.

I also find that I like smaller dimension drums now.
I have a kit with an 18 inch bass drum and a kit with a 20 inch bass.
The toms are smaller on these kits too.
I love these smaller drums!

I still play my larger dimension vintage Gretsch kit with the big toms and the 22 inch bass.
I only play that kit as a 4 piece.


Silver Member
720, thanks for your words of encouragement, think you're right that I need to start slow and build up. Best regards

720hours World Record

Senior Member

I am returning to the drumming scene after a good 25 years off,....
I am having a tough time getting back in to the groove ...I have been struggling with:

Getting the kit set up, .....
Cymbal heights, angles: .....
Hi hat: once again, .....any thoughts?
.....All constructive comments and help gratefully appreciated.

Glad you came back to the set.

Start with just the seat, snare, BD and HH. Play just those until you know that it feels right, do this even if it takes a long time to feel good and comfortable. Question every location and setting, over and over, until it is easy and relaxed for you to play.

THEN when that is done >> add a single item at a time - make that fall into its perfect place for you with your reach.

THEN go to the next, etc.

Look at some of the Pro videos on the Drummers world site - do you see how stable their torso is - that should be the goal of every drummer.

You might be out of sorts now, but you are on the right track.


Platinum Member
i hope you have a great time getting back into drumming. i know i did (and still am after 8 years). it really didn't take me very long, maybe a month, to get back to a point where i didn't feel like a complete doofus on the drums. mind you, during my 20 year layoff i still had a pair of drumsticks lying around the house that i would pick up and mess around with from time to time so i wasn't completely out of it when i started up again. what has taken a long time is improving beyond my ability level at the time i quit. i'm much older now so i don't learn as quickly as i did when i was a teenager. even so, by taking lessons and practicing like a mad fool i've managed to improve a pretty fair amount compared to the old days. and by hanging around this and other forums i'm much, much more knowledgeable about drums and drumming than i used to be!

good luck to you, and don't hesitate to post some more questions!


Silver Member
Harry, dairyairman,

Thanks for your replies and welcome, I am really looking forward to getting back into playing which makes my current slow start so much more frustrating, my brain is telling me, "it's just about hitting things duh!" but getting all the other elements in place to do this is not yet falling into place. In your experience, how long did it take to get back to a comfortable (i.e you feel you're playing OK, not missing more than you hit) state. I admit practice time has been limited, a job and three kids under 5 does take up time, (and I know I am not alone here, and do not wish to seem ungrateful) but I feel that my current regime of playing along to two or three songs is probably not enough seat time in one go.

Once again, thanks for taking time out of your days top reply, all advice gladly accepted.



Platinum Member
First off, welcome to Drummerworld. And welcome back, to drumming.​
No rules on set-up. If you like 1 rack, 1 floor, run with that. You can try the "off set", easy enough. Yank that whole tom mount tri-head thang outta the kick, and slide it into a cymbal bottom, 7/8" is the down tube pipe size, if my recollection is correct.​
Chech out this "weird config" thread .... ... you may find what you want to do, what you don't want to do, or a mixture of both.​


Platinum Member
i also got back into drumming after a 20 year layoff, but that was about 8 years ago now so i'm fully back up to speed and then some.

about the toms, why not just try the one up, one down setup? that's super easy to set up and doesn't require any additional hardware. i have a similar kit to yours and i do that sometimes. you can buy the offset stand later and try that too whenever you feel like it.

cymbal angles are a very personal choice, like you say. i have my cymbals set up just like you describe. i try to have them high enough to avoid interfering with the rack toms, but not so high i have to reach extra high to hit them. i have them angled towards me just a little so i can hit them on edge easily, and so the crowd can see me. my ride cymbal is just above the floor tom and angled only a few degrees toward me. it overlaps the floor tom head a bit, but not too much because i hate hitting it by accident. i'd rather reach a couple inches further for it. it's too big and heavy to crash anyway so i like it as low as i can put it.

my hats are about 6-8 inches above my snare drum. that gives me a decent amount of swinging room but doesn't put them so high it's hard to play them with the stick tips. you can kind of see in my avatar picture where i like my hats and the crash to my left.

i don't quite understand the problem you're having with stomping the hats. are you talking about splashing them? maybe the spring is too loose? i'm not sure.


Silver Member

I am returning to the drumming scene after a good 25 years off, I once played in a band, now this is purely for fun, but not much fun at present.

I am having a tough time getting back in to the groove (sorry about the pun), I thought this would be much like riding a bike, but so far it feels like I have been doing more falling off than riding!

In no real order, here are some issues I have been struggling with:

Getting the kit set up, I have a lovely kit, a Yamaha Stage Custom, 5 piece kit, two up one down, but I can’t get into this setup, I used to play one up one down, a with a couple of concert toms offset to the left of the mounted tom. Now I really struggle to get on with the two up one down, I wonder should I remove one mounted tom, and revert to the one up one down, or get some more hardware and fly both toms offset? I noticed member “are Fish” did a really nice job with his (sorry if I am making assumptions about gender) kit setting up an offset, or should walk before I run and go back to one up, one down?

Cymbal heights, angles: I realize that this is a very personal thing, I have two crash and a ride, crashes front left and right, ride over the floor tom. Is there a good rule of thumb for the angles, I used to have the ride fairly flat, and am not sure how best to site the crashes anglewise, is 45 degrees too steep, should I aim to be able to get the whole stick lying “flat” along the cymbal from my seated position?

Hi hat: once again, a very personal setup. I am having a problem getting the height set right, and also, I seem to remember being able to stamp my heel down to get a slight lift in the hats to slightly open them to accentuate the beat, this hi hat stand does not have footplate that allows me to do this, any thoughts?
Lots of questions, some may seem strange coming from one who claims to have drummed before, however, previously I had no frame of reference, no means of knowing what was ‘right’, when setting up, no w, older, and maybe not wiser, I wonder if I am over thinking this…

All constructive comments and help gratefully appreciated.