Stripping down my kit to bass, snare and hats.


I played a gig last night at a local venue and didn't feel like setting the whole thing up day so I just set up the essentials to play around a little. Then I thought about keeping my kit like this for a while to build up my chops on solid grooves rather than fills and fancy stuff. Have you guys ever done anything like this? How did you like it? and did it help gain skill in any way?


Platinum Member
Very common, and highly recommended. I honestly feel more creative the less kit parts I use. I only feel hindered without a decent ride, hats, kick, and snare. If I've got that stuff, I'm good. Anything else is just flair.


Senior Member
if i was playing playing top 40 BS or old school country music maybe i'd try it .. or if I was so lazy I didn't feel like doing anything. it doesn't make you more creative or get chops up in any way .. thinking creatively and practicing chops do.

big vs small kit debate again ... yay


Senior Member
You throw in just one crash, ride and a floor Tom and you'd be supposed at what you can pull off for any gig.


Senior Member
I think it does help creativity but more by helping you appreciate the amount of sounds available within just one drum or hats...which you can then appreciate on the others when you put them back into the mix.


Senior Member
learning to play guitar with only 3 strings can help your creativity and get you to learn all the different sounds you can get out of each string and really appreciate the extra 3 when you put them back on ......

playing a marimba with half the bars missing ....etc

playing a trumpet with one valve missing ...etc

terry bozzio is pretty damn creative and look at his set.


Platinum Member
I think it's a cool idea. Not really related but I also dig the extra snares replacing toms a la Chris Dave or Eric Harland.


Senior Member
I did about 100 gigs with just Kick, snare hats, and a couple of cymbals. It helped a lot, and Coming back to a set with toms after this period, the improvement was really noticeable.

Reducing the set lets you spend more time exploring the variety of sounds available from each instrument, and of course increases your focus on groove.

Have fun! :)


Platinum Member
Yeah, I've done it both practising and at gigs. I prefer having a tom or two but, as Johnny said, it forces you to get more sounds from what you have. It's fun and instructive but not my staple fare.

Hey Shadow - I don't see the issue. It doesn't have to be either/or. There are a million ways of enjoying with drums - from expansive to minimalist - and this is just one of them. I tend towards the minimalist side because I'm really keen on clarity, and when everything goes past quickly I don't get that.

But I don't dis people who go for explosiveness and wildness. Each to their own.


Junior Member
Hello, it is a good thing and will most certainly contribute to your growth, compacting and then expanding can only open up your world , maybe try your set up reversed, please excuse me but have you ever seen a drummer, piano player play with there hands behind there back (not facing) it can seem one's imagination. All the very best with it...There is in no doubt whatsoever that you will be the better for it, in the long run.....