why do alot of drummers only use 2 toms?

Riot

Junior Member
Why do alot of drummers remove the 2nd rack tom (as in, one flood tom and 2 rack tom set up) when they go to play a kit?
i allways 3 toms, simply because it adds some depth to fills. also incase something happens to the tom (ie - fall off. ive seen it happen on stage) theres a back up.

so... the question is, whats the good things about using only 2 toms?
 

Nick G.

Senior Member
Why do alot of drummers remove the 2nd rack tom (as in, one flood tom and 2 rack tom set up) when they go to play a kit?
i allways 3 toms, simply because it adds some depth to fills. also incase something happens to the tom (ie - fall off. ive seen it happen on stage) theres a back up.

so... the question is, whats the good things about using only 2 toms?
lets you put the ride in the most comfy position imo

ive got 4 toms
2 to the left of the bass dru, 2 down, it means i can put the ride in the same place as with just one tom


also, a lot of people just dont use that tom, i know i rarely did when it was over there!

about the tom thing falling off, i feel thats a real, extreme case of something happening if your hardware is up to it and you've tightened enough, it shouldnt happen

+ without that tom people can see more of you!!
 

latzanimal

Silver Member
Why do alot of drummers remove the 2nd rack tom (as in, one flood tom and 2 rack tom set up) when they go to play a kit?
i allways 3 toms, simply because it adds some depth to fills. also incase something happens to the tom (ie - fall off. ive seen it happen on stage) theres a back up.

so... the question is, whats the good things about using only 2 toms?
The question is why do you always play 3 toms?
 

Riot

Junior Member
just standard set up im used too

well, my band used to cover songs like Black Night and Purple Haze (Deep Purple and Hendrix) so the fills were more dynamic with more then one tom.

the thing about toms falling of was....

i went to watch a band play and the drummer set up with 2 rack toms and floor tom.
another drummer came along who was fronting for the other band changed the set up and removed the 2nd tom. he was doing a heck of alot more rolls and fill and what not, to the point where the 1st tom fell off. the point being, if he had more toms, wouldnt his fills be more dynamic and thus wouldnt be putting so much pressure on just 2 tom?
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Because they don't need three toms. That's the pure and simple answer. In addition, if they haul their own kit, many people prefer to have as little gear as possible to save themselves the hassle of hauling and setting up a lot of gear.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The "rail consolette" holds 1 rack tom. It was the standard before 1960. 1 rack (on the left of the bass drum, usually), an L-arm mounted on the right of the bass drum to mount the ride cymbal.​
Around 1960, the center flange was introduced (Ludwig). It allowed 2 rack toms to be mounted on the kick drum. Still, a lot of drummers prefer to use only 1 rack. Mostly, this makes for closer (and/or lower) ride cymbal placement.​
Right now, I play a 5 piece kit, with no toms above my kick drum.​
 

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bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have a question, Have you tried setting up and playing with two toms for say, a week or so?

You may be surprised at what you learn!
Don't forget to place your ride cymbal where the third tom would go.

I look at it this way. When a drummer is playing around the kit, He plays in a circle.
The minimum amount of drums needed to make this playing circle is three.
Snare, Rack tom, and Floor Tom. You have your playing circle.
 
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Pollyanna

Platinum Member
As Naige said, a lot of drummers don't need the extra tom. If you don't need it then the advantages of removing the second rack tom are:

1) less lugging

2) puts any cymbals on the right hand side (for a right-handed drummer) in easier reach

3) by bringing stands on the right hand side closer it reduces the footprint of the kit (easier to fit in small, tight venues).

4) having fewer pieces means you can focus more on those few pieces, and some drummers enjoy that.
 
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Kenny Allyn

Senior Member
Set-up/tear-down ...

And tight stages in an urban setting, around here small 4 piece kits rule the club scene.
Getting in and out of venues especially in the tight downtown tourist areas is a real chore.
Here is the house kit at the Blues Hall on Beale st ... note it has one of the tom
mounts used as a cymbal mount to save precious stage space.

 
In my particularly case, for free space and movement around the kit, better crash/ride cymbal placement (right handed). I like to do a lot bass drum triplets with cross-over, so is easy for me.
At the beginning, originally had a 5-pc.kit, I removed the 12"x10" rack tom and replaced it by the 13"x11" one up, now is a 4-pc.kit. It fits perfect for my playing style.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
Because I'm over 35 and my back and hip ache...
If you're aching now, I pity you when you get to my age, lol. I'm 57 and still play four toms, sometimes three, sometimes five. It all depends on the band and venue.

Dennis
 

Eric

Senior Member
I recently went from 3 toms to 2. The primary reason is the two jazz clubs I play most have house kits with one rack, so I'm trying to get used to that by doing it with my own kit as well. The secondary reason is the ride cymbal placement is much more comfortable. Also, I like putting a cowbell where the second tom was. I do miss the melodic capability of the extra tom, and it feels like a long distance between those two toms, but I'm getting used to it because, well, I have to.
 

brady

Platinum Member
I use only 2 toms for a few reasons...

1) One less drum head to buy.

2) One less drum to tune.

3) One less drum to load/unload.

4) One less drum to mount.

5) Allows me to put an x-hat in roughly the position that the third tom would go. (My ride is basically in the same position it would be with a 3 piece.

6) My kit came with 12/13/16 and I didn't like how close together the 12 and 13 sounded.

7) It also makes you think more about your fills. It's easier for them to be a little choppier or syncopated, which I like. I've never been a fan of the big descending roll down the toms. It can sound cool sometimes but it's been done to death.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
If you're aching now, I pity you when you get to my age, lol. I'm 57 and still play four toms, sometimes three, sometimes five. It all depends on the band and venue.

Dennis
I pity my poor back, too. I was being a little tongue-in-cheek about how I choose my configuration. In great measure, the gig determines my choices. The type of music I'm playing, the size of the venue (in particular the stage), the accessibility of the venue (Stairs? Ugh...) and similar considerations determine which kit I bring. If I don't need toms, I don't bring them.
 

mrbling

Silver Member
i only use one rack tom and have done for the majority of my playing 'career' if you can call it that. better ride place. i cant stand ride out to the side.

but as an alternative i have 2 floor toms, although i dont use the 16" as much as i could. i could live with a 1 up 1 down this just looks cooler and has an extra tom if i feel like using it.
 

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tomk

Senior Member
Simple answer is space, portability, and need. If you gig regularily, the less to carry the better. I can get by with using less equipment, I just have to be more creative. And well, the bigger the band is (as in the number of people), the smaller the stages seem to get. Less is more.

I can see where this question comes from however. This is just from personal experience.
 
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