Size does matter

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Kit-wise at least. Here's the deal. My fiance and I have decorated the entire house for Xmas. Ok, Xmas is over. Got it. She took down most of the ornaments and other stuff and left me the fake 7' tree to take down. Well, I haven't exactly gotten it taken down yet. Before Xmas I had a vintage Pearl 4 piece set up and was really getting in to playing a standard kit again. I'm on eBay one day and wouldn't you know it, there was a vintage 10 x 10 Tama tom for my vintage rockstar kit. Same custom color, same lugs, etc. I bought it for my fiance to give to me for Xmas as her gift to me. The thing comes after Xmas and I just have to set up my Tama to play with my 10 x 10 drum. I add a silver Tama rockstar 13 x 11 drum and soon I have a 6 piece kit in the living room. Plus 5 cymbals. My 4 piece is back in the closet.

Now I have the urge to take down the monster kit in my living room and put up my standard 4 piece again because I "miss it". I miss the simplicity of a 4 piece kit. And the sheer joy of having to invent more on a 4 piece kit.

Apart from all the Xmas stuff still up and the 7 foot tree to deal with, how many drummers on this forum continually fight the internal battle of 4 piece kits vs larger ones?
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
I think many here have. I remember many times taking my 8pc Swingstar down and just leaving hats,snare and kick for weeks on end. Then I would add a single tom at a time over many weeks. It is a good thing to do and does wonders for creativity.
 

ivonne

Junior Member
Oh my i have the pacific x7 but i always end up using it as a five piece and for gigs i always leave the two extra toms behind.
 

braincramp

Gold Member
I have a 7pcs kit with 15 cymbals plus all the other goodies chimes,bells,tamborine ect. for gigging and at band practice. while my everyday practice home kit is simple 4 pc with 2 cymbals and hats...after every gig of putting up/ tearing down the giant set I threaten myself to go smaller for gigging...but my ego has convinced me I need every bell and whistle on the set for a gig by managing to hit everything on set at least once during our set list..though it also might have something to do with hearing "wow what an awesome drumset " from someone new every gig...nah..that would be shallow wouldn't it?..I really need it all for a gig : )
 

Kenny Allyn

Senior Member
I have a 7pcs kit with 15 cymbals plus all the other goodies chimes,bells,tamborine ect. for gigging and at band practice. while my everyday practice home kit is simple 4 pc with 2 cymbals and hats...after every gig of putting up/ tearing down the giant set I threaten myself to go smaller for gigging...but my ego has convinced me I need every bell and whistle on the set for a gig by managing to hit everything on set at least once during our set list..though it also might have something to do with hearing "wow what an awesome drumset " from someone new every gig...nah..that would be shallow wouldn't it?..I really need it all for a gig : )
One of the coolist things I ever saw drum wise was at the GC drum-off competition ( I was a judge), most of the players did try to hit everything that would make noise during their performance ..
then Pee Wee Jackson ( the MyCymbal guy) came up and moved away all the drums but a kick and snare hats and two cymbals ... and proceed to smoke every other player there to win the competition!

 

JT1

Silver Member
Well after 4 years I think it was of playing I went and upgraded my 5 piece CB to an 8 piece. So I had 4 rack toms a floor tom and 2 bass drums.

After another 4 years I primarily play 4 and 5 piece sets. I prefer the compact set ups now for a number of reasons.

A- Mobility, everything is so much easier to reach.
B- Transport, everything is so much easier to pack up and move around.
C- Cymbal placement, small kits are much easier to position as large kits can get in the way. Cymbals are the main thing within this.

I don't know, it's fun when you've been playing only a little while and want as many drums as possible but when you progress you realise you want as little hassle with drums as possible and downsizing is a result of that well for me at least.
 

Brundlefly

Senior Member
Or... you actually work on gaining some measure of self control and dynamically choose when and when not to use all of whatever it is you choose to have. In terms of battles I want to be fighting, this is the only one worth my time: what works well for what I'm doing right now? That is where size matters most to me.

Artificially reducing kit size for the sole purpose of forcing some measure of control where I can't be relied upon to do it for myself feels to me like smoking light cigarettes as a means to control a nicotine addiction. Perhaps you are smoking less, but your are still smoking.

That said, there is an ideal kit size for everyone out there and it varies from person to person. It can take some time and iteration to find it. Some confuse this progression with concepts like musical maturity or creativity. But it's really just healthy iteration that should be embraced rather than maligned. It doesn't have to be a struggle.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I go back and forth between a small kit and a mid-sized kit (most people play on mid-sized kits of 5 to 8 pieces). You really don't need two kits to go back and forth, just one large(r) kit. Subtract, add and re-arrange pieces as you like. Inside every mid-sized kit is a smaller kit, and inside every monster kit is at least a few other kids.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
My kit is (after YEARS of doing this and that haha!) a 6 piece.
One up, two down and a hat side ft.
I LOVE the hat side floor tom.
I could do without it, but I don't want to.
I'd rather loose the rack tom than that drum on the side.
I'll have to use a backline kit at some shows. Those are always 4 piece kits, and I have fun on those.

CYMBALS is what I've pared down. I like using just hats and 2 cymbals--both of which I crash and ride.
I crash and ride all my cymbals anyway, so it's more of a "hand placement" thing than anything else. Sure, there's some sound differences, but it's not anything that would affect the music at all to have less or more cymbals.
It's "better" in one of my bands to use 2 crashes rather than one, but I just found myself at a show thinking, I don't need all this stuff.

I still love my gong though.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Yes, but I'm not so sure how much it just age and how much is circumstance.

As I was getting into drums, and before I really knew much about them, I come across so many pictures of guys with big kits.
Steve Smith with Journey and his 9 pc set up.
Keith Moon and Kenny Jones of The Who, both with massive set ups.
Gil Moore with Triumph, and of course,
Neil Peart, as I was already a huge Rush fan long before I took up the drums.

So I got into drums with this concept that big kits was preferable for most of the bands I listened to.

Although I started with a 5pc.

Eventually, I did buy a big double bass kit and had it all on a rack. I loved it! I and I played it a lot.

But when the reality of giging came along.

For cover bands and pick up gigs, a 4pc was all that was practical.

Once I started gig a lot with my original band, I noticed not every stage really had the room for the big kit. And I didn't want to change my approach to the songs depending on how many drums I could fit on the stage that night. So I scaled back to a 5 pc and never touched my 2nd kick or other tom for almost 10 years.

When I built my own studio, I could set up the large kit again, and I even added two more toms, and it was fun for a while.
But then I joined another band, and a large kit wasn't needed.

A while back, I set up my large kit, and was working on some songs that seemed to lend themselves to a large kit (prog-metal). But the recording weren't coming along, and I was getting frustrated with my drumming.

Then I had to go back to the small kit for a video shoot, and wow, suddenly, I felt so much more at ease!

At this point, the large kit is stacked in the corner, and I'm just using a 5 pc. And I'm noticing sometimes I don't even hit one of the toms, effectively playing a 4pc.

But I'm not so sure how much is age, maturity, or that I'm just so used to a smaller kit, that the large set up feels too awkward now.

Which is sad that I have this massive beautiful kit just sitting there. But I'm too attached to it to sell it.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
I think I'm going to go back to a 4 piece and start there again and gradually add on. That is whenever I get the XMAS tree taken down and all the ornament boxes and other stuff put back up in the attic. Most of the guys I know who gig regularly play either a 4 or 5 piece with a few cymbals. Thanks everybody for the advice.
 

Zeus Mutation

Senior Member
I've been playing a 20 piece electronic kit, 2 kits put together, because I thought I wanted a BIG set... I did at first. Now that I have reduced it to 3 toms, snare, kick, and a few cymbals I feel my playing is much improved.

Big Kits are awesome looking and having a plethora of things to bang on is fun... for me though I'm at a stage where my ability to make a small kit sound huge is the next challenge...
Once I bought my acoustic set and had the ability to create some character I noticed I didn't need a lot of drums. Unfortunately some of my most favorite drummers use big kits with lots of goodies so covering their songs becomes a bit more difficult.

I'm just going to guess here when I say that part of the joy of drumming is the eternal arranging & rearranging of your drum kit.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
One of the coolist things I ever saw drum wise was at the GC drum-off competition ( I was a judge), most of the players did try to hit everything that would make noise during their performance ..
then Pee Wee Jackson ( the MyCymbal guy) came up and moved away all the drums but a kick and snare hats and two cymbals ... and proceed to smoke every other player there to win the competition!
That is excellent!! Pee Wee FTW! He's been my favorite youtube drummer for a long time now. I can watch him play cymbals all day long - he's got such a great sense of cool and relaxation. That made my day!

Oh, and yeah, I have enough drums for a double-kick 2 up 2 down setup. I never use both kicks, but on rare occasions, I'll break out the cheater-beater. By default, I play a 1 up 2 dn 5 piece, but sometimes I like all 4 toms, and sometimes just 4 piece. More than swearing allegiance to any one configuration, I like switching things around. Small kits, big kits... they're all fun and force you to think differently as you're playing. It's like taking a different route home on your commute everyday - it keeps the dendrites happening!
 

K.Howden

Senior Member
Brundlefly,

That is hands-down one of the best pieces of wisdom I've ever read on these boards, it's absolutley made my day!

Thank you :)

Kev
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
A common tale told here ... young and excited, buys a big kit and lovin' it. Then the gigs come along and all that lugging, setting up and tearing down is hard work ...
 

daredrummer

Gold Member
One of the coolist things I ever saw drum wise was at the GC drum-off competition ( I was a judge), most of the players did try to hit everything that would make noise during their performance ..
then Pee Wee Jackson ( the MyCymbal guy) came up and moved away all the drums but a kick and snare hats and two cymbals ... and proceed to smoke every other player there to win the competition!

Haha I love his playing on those demo videos!


About a week ago, I got a 13" tom head (to compare with old one). I have a standard 5 piece btw.
Anyway I took down the 13" tom to switch the heads. Then for some reason I stopped and just went and started playing...

1 week later, my tom is still in the floor, and I'm rockin a 4 piece! Don't know when I'm gonna put it back...
 
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