What's your opinion on 20" Kick Drums?

mrmartye

Junior Member
I know that they work great for Jazz, but how versatile are they?

Can a guy in a loud Rock n' Roll band cut through with one?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I love all size kick drums.
I currently own kits with 16, 18, 20, and 22 inch bass drums.
The 16x20 is a fav of mine for versatility. Nice punch with a bit of boom.
Great rebound for speed.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Very versatile. I have used mine for rock, jazz, theater, worship music, coffeehouse gigs and outdoors festivals. It's small enough to be quick, large enough to bring the thump. And as a bonus, it lets you keep the toms low.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Being loud enough for a rock band largely depends on how loud the rock band is. If they're always cranked to '10' it won't matter what size the bass drum is, you'll need to mic' up. But the 20 is a very versatile size and sounds good in all kinds of situations. Like was said - it gives you a good thump, which you lose when you get smaller. So for me, the 20 is that good size for everything!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
20 is a nice size. Nice firm punch. I prefer it in a bass drum and if you need volume you can mic it.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I love my 20x14! However I only play Jazz... ;)
Well, both Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr used the smaller 20" bass drum in the beginning of their careers with their bands. David Garibaldi said he used the 20" bass drum for all those early recordings with Tower of Power. And Danny Seraphine of Chicago was either using a 20 or an 18 bass drum for their groundbreaking music too. I think you're ok if you decided to play something other than jazz with what you have ;)
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
like others have said 20's are a great size and sound really good. Saw a band called Pillar live a few years ago, they are a harder rock Christian band and he was running a 20" that sounded incredible!
 
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audiotech

Guest
I own two 20" bass drums, the one I've had since about 1965. They are versatile, sound very nice and easy to transport, I wouldn't want anything smaller though. After saying all this, my preference is still a 22" because of the low frequency output I can get from them and still have ample playable tension on the heads when tuned to where I want them.

Dennis
 

lsits

Gold Member
I have a 20 x 14 bass drum on my Gretsch kit. I gigged with it for many years. I play either classic rock or classic surf. I use an Aquarian Regulator with the hole or a Remo PS3 with the full head depending on if I want a punchier or boomier sound. Since it's been relegated to my practice set I've actually been playing it more than my Stage Customs with the 22 x 17 bass drum. It's got a great sound, that can be used for many genres other than jazz.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
2 of my kits have 20"

I use them for jazz, rock , metal everything......never a problem

remember a carpenter never blames his tools
 

slowrocker

Silver Member
20 inches?? That's too small!

Just kidding, you should be able to make it work, but remember, bigger is better.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I can't get enough response from the head sometimes but I use one for gigs and volume wise it's fine. It's nice to be able to lower the toms a bit too.

I have 2 22x16's and a 20x18, and I think the 20 has a better note or tone, whereas the 22's have better attack. The last 2 sound guys said they were really impressed with my little 20.
 

B-squared

Silver Member
They work well in prisons. I just saw Johnny Cash at San Quentin on TV again last night. The drummer had a Rogers kit with a 20.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Gotta echo most of what's been said. My current fave kick is a Keystone 16x20, tuned for punch and tone. It cuts above a low bass, so it's easily heard in the mix. But it also has a nice thump and punch, so it sounds like a 22 or even a tightish 24". Not sure if it's the shell (oak & maple) or the size, or the heads (clear EMAD, Ludwig reso, no port no padding.) but it just sounds great. I have a Legacy kick that's 14x20 and it also has a great punch and cuts through the mix.

Recorded, they have a surprising amoujnt of low end, and playing wise, to me they feel better than a larger drum. Also, they fit in the Smart car easier than a 16x26"!

Bermuda
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Gotta echo most of what's been said. My current fave kick is a Keystone 16x20, tuned for punch and tone. It cuts above a low bass, so it's easily heard in the mix. But it also has a nice thump and punch, so it sounds like a 22 or even a tightish 24". Not sure if it's the shell (oak & maple) or the size, or the heads (clear EMAD, Ludwig reso, no port no padding.) but it just sounds great. I have a Legacy kick that's 14x20 and it also has a great punch and cuts through the mix.

Recorded, they have a surprising amoujnt of low end, and playing wise, to me they feel better than a larger drum. Also, they fit in the Smart car easier than a 16x26"!

Bermuda
Which EMAD ring do you use? IME the large one tends to raise the pitch of the drum a bit. So for a 20" I would think either the small ring or no ring at all. The last 20" I had loved the SKII.
 
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