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  #1  
Old 11-17-2017, 09:13 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default first rack tom position

Hi folks,

Does anyone have any magic tricks for positioning the first rack tom in a comfortable position? When it is mounted off the bass drum.

Somedays I find myself leaning forward to get to it. This shouldnt be the case right?.

I guess on a bass drum mounted rack tom there are a few variables I can play with; height, forward/backward/sideways rotation, and angle.

Any tips or ideas for setting it up comfortably?
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:33 AM
Captain Bash Captain Bash is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

I agree, something is a little off with your set up. You really shouldn’t have to lean forward every time you move to the first tom. You should be able to reach the centre of each drum and cymbal on a typical 4 or 5 piece kit with very little leaning and no twisting as this will cause physical problems long term. Also leaning can throw your timing off.

Everyone’s proportions are different, it might be seat height or the position of the tom mount. Can you post pics ?

Good luck I am sure others on DW will have great advice but we need to see the situation to get to the root issue.

Cheers Captain Bash
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:45 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Hi Captain Bash,

Many thanks for taking the time to reply.

I dont actually have any pics of how I set up the drums. I am going to rehearse on Wednesday so I will take a few piccys then. Also; I just realised thats a great way for me to remember how to set it up everytime!

I generally have the throne far enough back so that there is an obtuse angle between my calf and my thigh and high enough so that there is an obtuse angle between my spine and my thigh. Like a lightenning bolt shape between calf-thigh-spine, if that makes sense?

I sit with my sit-bine in the centre pf the throne and my heels are hanging off the back of the heelplates (I play a lot of heel down and I find leaving an inch of my foot hanging off the back of the pedal greatly improves my heel down BD technique).

hope that info helps
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:48 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Also; what you said about 'leaning can throw your timing off' ; that totalky makes sense now!

I was tracking drums a few days ago and I found myself leaning into that rack tom; a few takes my tom fills were slightly out of time and they hadnt been in rehearsal (rehearsal was on a different kit where toms were positioned differenly).

Thanking for making me realise this! All the more reason for me to get it sorted :-)
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2017, 07:07 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Really need pictures to tell, but it sounds like you're sitting too low or too far back if you have trouble reaching toms.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2017, 07:46 PM
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SYMBOLIC DEATH SYMBOLIC DEATH is online now
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Default Re: first rack tom position

+1000 on needing pics to see what's going on. Would mounting your toms on stands be an option?
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2017, 07:47 PM
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Tommy_D Tommy_D is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Sometimes it depends where the tom mount is located on the bass drum. For example, if a mount on a 16" deep bass drum is located 6 inches off the reso side edge, it may feel comfortable. If a manufacturer builds an 18" deep bass drum and uses that same 6" offset, the toms are now 2" further away from you leading to problems with the positioning of the toms.

Some manufacturers have work arounds for this, like Tama, DW, Mapex, Taye, etc, who offer sliding tom mounts to adjust the tom location on the bass drum.

So it may not be you, it could just be the drum.
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2017, 08:03 PM
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mrfingers mrfingers is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

A tom mounted on a snare stand always led to back problems for me and 2 ibuprofens the next day. Never had that problem when toms were mounted on the kick.
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:59 PM
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Stefan Brodsky Stefan Brodsky is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

A few years ago, a friend and fellow drummer suggested I pull the 1st rack tom back about halfway along its mounting rod, which I've done ever since. Allowed it (7.5' x 10") to be played relatively even with the larger 9" x 12" to it's right. Makes perfect sense. These mounts, IMHO, are among the best in the business. I use a 20" x 16" kick.
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2017, 11:37 PM
dboomer dboomer is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

The way I position mine ( one up) is so that the tom hangs over the edge of the bass drum (batter side) by about an inch to an inch and a half and is just to the right side of the 10 o’clock leg on the kick.
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  #11  
Old 11-19-2017, 12:41 AM
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TripleStroke TripleStroke is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan Brodsky View Post
A few years ago, a friend and fellow drummer suggested I pull the 1st rack tom back about halfway along its mounting rod, which I've done ever since. Allowed it (7.5' x 10") to be played relatively even with the larger 9" x 12" to it's right. Makes perfect sense. These mounts, IMHO, are among the best in the business. I use a 20" x 16" kick.
This is basically the best and the fastest way
I use a DW mount off of two cymbal stands on either side with a virgin kick so it's a bit different but the concept is the same. The two centers of the T1 and T2 should usually not be exactly at the same horizon. T1 is usually always smaller in diameter, therefore you should try to bring it forward a bit.

And just a little guess based on your description, but unless you are a super super long legged guy, you could benefit from sitting a bit closer than you are comfortable with. When you strike your tom with your right arm (assuming right handed kit), your obtused forearm/upperarm angle should not exceed more than 100-110 degrees and wrist action should determine the strike strength. If you find your arm extended more than 130-140 degrees then you are sitting way too far. I am assuming this is the case for you because you have to lean forward to get a comfortable strike
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Old 11-19-2017, 04:43 AM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

The way you position your drums is a very personal thing. Everybody's body is different. However, you should be able to play fairly well on almost any set up.

I play out allot at open mic jams. Every time I sit on someone else's set up I have to move the floor tom out and away from me. It's always too close. And because I play traditional grip, the rack tom needs to be flatter than most other drummers set it up. But I don't move the rack tom, I just make the best out of it.


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  #13  
Old 11-20-2017, 12:01 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Thanks for the responses everyone. I am going to rehearse Wednesday so I will get some pictures then for you to look at.

Thanks for the tip Stefan about pulling the first rack tom out of the mount more; I will try this when I rehearse.

Hollywood Jim; interesting that you note about what you need to change from others playing positions; may I ask why you don't move that rack tom that you mention needs flattening?

Cheers

Andy
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  #14  
Old 11-21-2017, 03:36 AM
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Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan Brodsky View Post
A few years ago, a friend and fellow drummer suggested I pull the 1st rack tom back about halfway along its mounting rod, which I've done ever since. Allowed it (7.5' x 10") to be played relatively even with the larger 9" x 12" to it's right. Makes perfect sense. These mounts, IMHO, are among the best in the business. I use a 20" x 16" kick.
Speaking YAMAHA TH945B, the reality is- Where you position the tom on the arm affects sustain, or... it can be used to affect sustain.

10 long and 12 short is where I usually find equal sustain between the two said drums (just like in the second pic). If the 10 is too far back it will choke, and so too if the 12 is too far out on the arm, it will choke. Its a weight balance point on the mount as a whole, that's what yields sustain with these mounts.

Not even sure if YAMAHA is aware, but its true, try it. Your positioning results may vary, but when balance is reached with positioning on the hex arms, both toms will sing the same.





To the OP, you need to find a pro drummer with your style, sits the same height (thereabouts), same grip (American, French, German, combo). Snare fwd or back (same as elbows fwd or back).

So, if you're tall(er) play with wrists, sit medium high, look a Thomas Lang, he splits the toms as an example. Might want to look into a slide track mount modification if toms are on your BD.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:54 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Right, picture time! First off; apologies for the volume of pics; second; apologies for the skinny chicken legs! It was a scorcher today and didn't want to die in a sweaty band practice space!

I am really happy with how the kit was set up at the end; The rack tom is in a perfect position for me now and I even managed to get the ride in a better place (though those bass-drum ride mounts Buddy and Gene used make it much easier to get the ride over the BD)

I had a revelation today in that my torso is very long and my legs are very short. I am 6 foot overall but my top-half/bottom-half half mismatch means I often need things higher than others set them. I also realised I was sitting too low on the throne today and I am much more comfortable now. I didn't play the kit much at all in the two hours I had but I believe it is time well spent.

Anyway, the pics;
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:07 AM
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  #16  
Old 11-22-2017, 09:18 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

I didn't know how to comment alongside the pics, so here goes;

1. This is how I set my double pedals at home on the practice pad; 14 inches between each pedal, just enough for a snare drum. Plus I can get my hats nice and close. I used to play with the snare pulled really close to me so this wasn't possible then.

2. My revelation; Sitting with a slight downward angle on the thighs. I used to think that I did this but to be honest I never checked in a mirror or took a picture. Until today. Now I have raised my seat and my body is much happier.

3. Snare drum height/pitch. A nice, maybe 10-15 degree pitch towards me, good for playing rimshots. The middle of the snare is about as high as my belly button.

As you can see, the bottom of the snare is near the top of the bass drum. The snare stand was maxed out and I had to put the legs in a bit to get it where it was comfortable. Anyone else find that snare stands are too small?? 4 shows distance to bass drum

4. Roughly 8 inches between snare/hats. I used to play solely open-handed and had them much much lower. I now play mixed crossed and open and 8 seems a good compromise.

5. Floor tom same height as snare and back a bit. Nice and comfy if I just swivel my torso.

6. THE RACK TOM! Finally I got him where I need him. Basically as close as poss to the snare horizontally, quite a pitch on it and about 6-7 inches above the snare. I realise this is quite high comparatively to other drums but it seems to fit my body well.

7. Oh, just to show the snare is close to the BD.

8. Final arial view. Added crash and ride. Crash is nice and close as I like to choke it a lot. Also a bit more to the left than usual as I play it mostly open (left) handed. Ride is as far into the BD as I could get it. Any tips on getting it more in the middle:? In hindsight it is a bit too close to me; might get in the way when moving between rack and floor.

9./10/11 Final behind/front/side views. Look at that ride stand boom! Need a longer one :-)


So, I am super happy with the set up, so thank you for getting me to take pics; it has forced me to analyse the drum setup and now I have things (after 6 years!) where my body needs them to be.

The question is now; how to replicate this quickly when I turn up to the band practice space next week? and every week after? And on random stages using house kits? The mind boggles!

Oh, and I have an audition next week for a band. Super excited!

Cheers

Andy
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:55 AM
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SYMBOLIC DEATH SYMBOLIC DEATH is online now
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Default Re: first rack tom position

I'm guessing that is a kit at your practice space and not your kit? You may have mentioned that at the top of the thread, but I didn't read it all again, so I apologize.
What about mounting the ride from the tom mount, where the second tom would go?
What about putting the ride on the left side, seeing that you already play open handed?
I'm not trying to open a can of worms, just suggesting options.
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  #18  
Old 11-22-2017, 10:41 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Hi,

Cheers for the worms, no problem. We have a worm farm in the garage :-)

Yes it is a kit in a practice space. I don't own a kit and never have in 6 years of playing. I hope that will change one day, when we move to a better house. With improvements in mesh heads and electronics that day might be getting closer for me though :-). Kinda depends on how my current music projects progress.

Ride on the left; I tried this for around two years after seeing Bobby Jarzombek. Its is great for those double hand on bell things we talked about in the other thread.

At the moment though I want a drum setup that I will encounter everywhere and can quickly adjust from another persons playing position (e.g. on a gig). I will definitely be using others equipment so I don't want to do a big change like that. And sometimes when space if limited on the left this requires shifting the whole kit to the right, to accomodate the boom stand. Maybe one day when I have my own drum tech :-).

As for mounting the ride on the second tom space; excellent idea I had not thought of! how would I go about doing that? I guess I need a specific piece of hardware?
I guess the other thing is that those Bass drum tom mounts can vary from brand to brand; will it work for most?

Oh and my most important question; how do I replicate my setup every time I get to a studio/gig/rehearsal and it's a 'borrowed' kit? Any tips?

Cheers!

Andy
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:38 PM
Ghostin one Ghostin one is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Show up early and make any adjustments as needed. You'll know where everything needs to be.

Personally, I would have a very hard time with that tom as high as it is. Maybe not the height so much as the difference in height between the tom and snare.

Last edited by Ghostin one; 11-22-2017 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:01 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Cheers Ghostin one,

Yes, I will try and get there a bit ahead of time from now on :-)

Yes, I thought the rack tom might garner a bit of attention. I used to have it much lower and I believe that was what made me start the thread as it wasn't comfortable there. Thus the 'leaning' in to the kit.

As I mentioned before I kind of 'realised' yesterday that my body shape is weird and needs to dictate where things are. For example, I know that when I sit down on a busy coach or bus, my head will be a few inches higher than everyone elses who are seated (as long as I am not slouching that is).

I am only 6 foot but I have tall friends (6'3'', 6'4'') who when we sit at a table I am their height and above. Bodies are weird things! I guess we should appreciate stochastic variation though as the world would be pretty boring without it. Drum kits however, would be easy to set-up :-).
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:10 PM
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ineedaclutch ineedaclutch is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

It appears that you are sitting too far away, and the double pedals seem to be too close together. This is just my opinion for the way it's comfortable for me. I too carry my 6'2" height in my torso. Think Michael Phelps, but like two of him.
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:49 AM
Farm Carnage Farm Carnage is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

Everybody is unique, but I'd find that tom mighty close to the snare. I think it's even closer than the one on my e-kit.
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  #23  
Old 11-26-2017, 05:17 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: first rack tom position

2 tips to make life easier what I do for my playing. I like my toms pretty flat.. so I would raise the snare a bit, raise the throne up a bit and it makes for going from snare to tom easier without hitting rims.

If your tom keeps hitting your bass drum it will get more scratched, sometimes they don't sound great when they are too close as the sound resonating from the bottom is getting deflected by the bass drum.

I am assuming that is a 22 inch kick? I have switched to a 20 and it made my tom placement much easier... the deeper the tom the more you have to fight with this as well.... Those photos the placement looks not too bad..

I'd widen those double pedals a touch, sit a bit closer (not a ton). It looks like yaour trying to line the hats up with the edge of the snare.... If your feet are comfortable don't worry if your hats are a few inches in either direction. Don't base your pedal placement on your hats.

If anything it looks like a reach to that crash cymbal, I'd move it in a bit closer to the tom.

At the end of the day there is no right or wrong in drumming. As long as you are comfortable, and it feels good, your doing the right thing. I have seen some great drummers with some wild setups.
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