This putting your low rack tom to the left of your high rack tom business (reversed for lefties)

Pimento

Senior Member
i think its a "Move things around to inspire drum rolls that arent just running across the toms" kind of deal.
 

DrummerBoy95

Senior Member
i think its a "Move things around to inspire drum rolls that arent just running across the toms" kind of deal.
I agree, I tried it because I was curious and it prevented me from doing drum rolls that run across toms, as Pimento puts it pretty precisely. Try it, it's sort of strange at first but I think you can develop a few cool patterns and drum rolls that you couldn't of played having the drum set up the "traditional" way. ;)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I recently added a second floor tom to my kit for the first time.
I have been playing since the early 70's and I somehow have never had two floors before.
I first placed the tom next to my other floor tom.
I really enjoy having the second floor tom but I find it to be a slight stretch to reach it.
I can reach it OK but I don't want to have to twist my lower back that much.
I am going to experiment with placing the tom on my left next week and I will see how it works out for me.
I have been thinking about it and this thread reminded me to try it.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
I recently added a second floor tom to my kit for the first time.
I have been playing since the early 70's and I somehow have never had two floors before.
I first placed the tom next to my other floor tom.
I really enjoy having the second floor tom but I find it to be a slight stretch to reach it.
I can reach it OK but I don't want to have to twist my lower back that much.
I am going to experiment with placing the tom on my left next week and I will see how it works out for me.
I have seen lots of drummers do this. it does feel natural since by moving it you are moving your hands in something close to a complete circle to hit all the toms in a row.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
It makes sense topgun because when you finish a fill on your left side floor tom you are in position to jump back on the hats and snare.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
It makes sense topgun because when you finish a fill on your left side floor tom you are in position to jump back on the hats and snare.

You do realize that you restated what I said in different words, right?

Just checking.

Your statement is especially true for open handed players.
 

Jim Mattingly

Senior Member
I was hoping I had a good picture of one of my many set-up options I use but I am at work and the best one is on my other laptop. Anyway, although this picture does not show it I also have a 14"x14" floor tom I will also use in my set up on the left side, depending on the venue and music being played. As you will also see from this picture I place my hats at 12 o'clock and my #1 tom to the left of my hats. I have been using my second floor tom on my left side for about the past 5-6 years, along with my hats at 12 and tom at 10. I can honestly say this has given me a ton of versatility in playing and I absolutely love it. It obviously takes some time and alot of practicing to get used to it but it really has worked out well for me. I am sure it will not work for everyone but I have definitely found success doing it this way. The hats at 12 work tremendously for me also. For me it is the perfect FUSION set up when playing off time signatures adding an extra left hand sound other than the hats or doubling up on the snare, personal preference.
 

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bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I tried it this evening when I got home from work.
I first moved my 16 inch floor tom to the left of my snare. I played for about a half an hour and I decided that I would try the 14 inch floor on the left of the snare. I liked that much better. The 14 felt much more comfortable on the left than the 16.
I played with the 16 on the right and the 14 on the left for about an hour.
I then switched back to having both floor toms on the right.
I think that I will keep them that way and go back to the way that things used to be.

I can't see any merit in having the large rack tom on the left of the hats.
I set both of my rack toms on a stand to the left of my bass.
 

Jim Mattingly

Senior Member
Once again at work so this photo is showing an aux snare where I would normally place the 14 x 14 floor tom. As stated I change my set up frequently depending on what style(s) of music will be played and the venue setting. I actually like changing my set up to suit how I feel that night or for playing different music...Hope this gives you a more accurate interpretation.
 

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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I tried that once. I set up like Bernard Purdie and it really felt to me like a four-piece kit with an extra added tom to my left (I'm left handed). It gave me that extra higher tom note that I only play 5% of the time, but put the 12" tom in a good relation with my 16" floor tom, like a 4-piece. It makes sense. I may do it more often. Putting the ride cymbal on my right side over my hi-hat sorta makes sense too.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Drummers have been do this forever.

Papa Jo Jones is often credited as the first guy to really do it

I think you (and a couple of other people) misunderstood the initial question. This isn't about putting a tom to the left of the hihat, but reversing the two main rack toms (so that the lower tom is to the left of the higher tom).

I can't answer for everyone, but Kenny Aronoff says that his setup came about when he was asked to add another tom to his setup. He preferred to play with a single rack tom, but the guy he was working for (John Fogerty, IIRC) wanted him to add another one (presumably for looks). Kenny didn't want to mess with the setup he was comfortable with, so he added it to the left of his usual tom. Turned out that he liked it, so he kept it there.

I think the usual reason for doing it is that people want the lower tom in the most accessible spot, but they still want to have a higher tom available when needed.
 
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Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I think you (and a couple of other people) misunderstood the initial question. This isn't about putting a tom to the left of the hihat, but reversing the two main rack toms (so that the lower tom is to the left of the higher tom).
I misread it too, but you're right as far as I can tell (can't do YouTube ATM).

With my RT I have the 12" tom tuned low in front of the snare and a cranked 8" to the right of that.

It's Bill Bruford's fault! Many moons ago I read an interview in MD where he talked about changing the order of the toms to help avoid cliched runs down them. Mostly I play as though I only have the 12" tom but occasionally the high voice is nice to add a bit of colour.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I think Billy Cobham was one of the first drummers to mix the order of his toms to avoid playing the cliché licks everyone's talking about. I think it's a cool idea. I've switched configurations around to force myself to play differently and it's worked, but I've never gone as far as to place a lower-pitched tom to the left of a higher-pitched one. Of course, I'm playing a four-piece now, so that kind of kills it anyway.
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
i think its a "Move things around to inspire drum rolls that arent just running across the toms" kind of deal.
That's what I've been told by drummers who use it, I can see doing it as a temporary use for someone who's stick in a imagination hole, but as a permanent set up, I think it's impractical.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
The Kenny Aronoff thing was actually because of John Mellencamp (then John (Johnny) Cougar) wanting him to ONLY have a 4 piece kit. He wanted that specific look on stage back then.

After a while, Kenny added the 10" tom, but put it lower to "keep the 4 piece look" & so John Cougar wouldn't notice.

That's what I read in MD years ago. I remembered it because JC always seemed really hard to work for.
I think he added a second floor tom directly behind the first one after a while also.

David Robinson from the Cars had a deep 14, and then a 10x14 over his bass drum because it fit better. He had that on a couple kits.

I use 3 floor toms. I got the idea after seeing video of Papa Joe years ago. Tried it, liked it a lot, and have hauled the extra drum ever since haha!
It's not impractical for my situations.

I had 2 on each side for a while also, but I started to go to my left too much, and then started to think, "well I gotta use the other drums" while I was playing, which takes your mind off the music. I went back to 3 and just use them however feels natural.
I have specific parts in songs that are easier to do with a drum on that side as well. I can do the parts without the extra drum, but it's nicer, and sounds cooler with it.

My 2nd ft (to my right) is not directly behind the first one, and I don't have to turn my body to hit it. I don't use a bunch of cymbals, so it works out for space and all that.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
The Kenny Aronoff thing was actually because of John Mellencamp (then John (Johnny) Cougar) wanting him to ONLY have a 4 piece kit. He wanted that specific look on stage back then.

After a while, Kenny added the 10" tom, but put it lower to "keep the 4 piece look" & so John Cougar wouldn't notice
Ah, I remembered it wrong then; I had it the other way around :)
 
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