Working Drummer Needs Help

johnchighizola

Junior Member
Hello all. This is my first time posting but i really need help with this one. I have been a working drummer for 25 years. I play mostly with cover bands playing everything from Frank Sinatra to ACDC at corporate parties and weddings but I have recently signed on board with the Casino and night club circuit. I am a drummer and a lead singer so my current set up is simple. Tama silverstar Tamo ash. 22" kick. 12" tom. 16" floor. 14" hats. 17" and 18" crashes. 20" ride. I set up as low as possible and sit kind of high up. I have recently started using a roland spd-sx for samples and loops and also a floor based vocal pedal for effects and harmonies. As you can imagine all of this takes up a lot of space on these extremely small stages. I am considering downsizing to a smaller kit like an 18" kick. 10" tom. 12" or 14" floor. 13" snare. 13" hats. 16" crashes. 18" ride. I want this kit to be my one and only kit that goes out on the road but I am afraid that when some of the bands that I perform with see this "tiny" drumkit that i will be replaced by someone else even though i know for a fact that these compact kits blow away some of the bigger kits. Any suggestions?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The difference in space needed for a 22" kick & 16" fl tom, and an 18" kick & 14" fl tom, is only 4 inches. Is that really a make or break figure for setting up? I'd stick with the 22/16, which should fit almost anywhere. If space is that tight, lose the floor tom, and maybe put the Roland in its place. In fact, make one of the pads a floor tom for those times where you absolutely need it!

But going to a significantly smaller kick in particular really narrows where it sounds best, where the 22" covers a lot more musical territory.

And... you save money by not buying a bunch of new drums!!

Bermuda
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
... I am afraid that when some of the bands that I perform with see this "tiny" drumkit that i will be replaced by someone else even though i know for a fact that these compact kits blow away some of the bigger kits. Any suggestions?
Yes, my suggestion is to completely lose this fear. Unless the band you're in is more about image than sound, it's how you play and not your gear that will get you, or keep you, in the gig. Change or don't change, Bermuda has a really valid point, but I have never once heard of anyone being so hung up on a drummer's kick drum size that the drummer got fired over it. You know why? Because to the rest of the band, they're just drums. They go boom and bap. They might as well be magic framistats for all they know.

You'll no more get fired for changing gear than your bass player would if he went from a 4x12 to a 2x15, or if your guitarist used a Hughes & Kettner instead of a Marshall. Just play, man!
 

Formless Method

Senior Member
I would keep the 22 or only go down to a 20 no smaller. It will look different and it will sound different. I had a yamamha al foster hip gig set that I tried to replace mymain kit with. That bass drum just does not have the umph that a 20 or 22 will give you.

You could try a different setup with your stands. My ride is off of my bass so no ride stand, my tom and crash are on one stand so no tom stand and my crash to the right is off of one of my floor tom legs, I fit all of this and my big @$$ on a tiny stage. The other musicians can get in a lot closer because there is hardly any stand legs shooting out.

hope this helps
 
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Drumolator

Platinum Member
Bermuda is right. It is the depth of the bass drum that take up stage space, not the height. Good luck. Peace and goodwill.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
I always wondered about the term "working drummer". It seems so ambiguous. Does it mean the person earns their living playing drums, or just that they play lots of gigs? What's the difference between a working drummer and a professional drummer?
 

johnchighizola

Junior Member
The way I look at it is a "Working drummer" Means you play drums to pay the bills. Thanks a lot for all of The advice. I believe I will stay with the kit that I am using now.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I always wondered about the term "working drummer". It seems so ambiguous... What's the difference between a working drummer and a professional drummer?
In terms of passion for gear and wanting to do what's best for the gig at hand... there is no difference,

Bermuda
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I always wondered about the term "working drummer". It seems so ambiguous. Does it mean the person earns their living playing drums, or just that they play lots of gigs? What's the difference between a working drummer and a professional drummer?
When I was gigging I always referred to myself as a "working drummer." I used it in the sense that whilst playing wasn't my primary source of income, I never considered myself just a "hobbyist" or 'weekend warrior" either. I took as many gigs as I could get my hands on and treated each one of them as professionally as I would if i was relying on it as my only source of income.
 
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