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  #1  
Old 07-21-2005, 09:59 PM
nick1216
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Default The Big Kits vs. Small Kits Debate

What is the deal with humongus kits sometimes. I'm no hater of the MONSTER kit but, sometimes comeon guys are you guys trying to make up for something or what. Take Bill Stewart compared to Terry Bozzio. Yeah different styles but, come on. Someone I just want to hear your take on it.

By the way speak up I'm losing my hearing as we speak.
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2005, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

I think doing the "Big Kit" syndrome on Bozzio is really quite unfair. Personally, i don't regard him as a drummer when he plays his solo stuff. He's a percussionist. If he was playing with a band, he wouldn't use that kit - see Black Light Syndrome, some very tasty playing. His massive kit playing is extraodinary, and i wouldn't insult him for anything. He'd probably come orund my house and cut off my head with a custom made 15 and a half inch china. Plus i'm going to see him on the 9th of August, so there. lol.
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2005, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Whoa, sick gig Lawrence. You're going to love that.. come back with new ideas and further outclass me.. *sighs* ah well.

As for our friend Terry; well, I personally don't like his style of drumming. That's not to say he isn't a superb drummer and I completely understand his importance and skill. He is very original and creative: just not my cup of tea.

The large kit is necessary for what he plays, and (contrary to popular belief) he does actually use all of it. A great guy too apparently.
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2005, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

i personnaly am not a fan of big kits. i use a four piece"
TAMA STARCLASSICS
12 inch rack
16 inch floor
22 bass
14 by 6.5 snare (pork pie big black)
ZILDJIAN
20 inch acustom crash
18 inch a custom projection crash
21 inch A sweet ride
plus my old sabian xs hats (they sound perfect i coudl have swornb they were mislabled) no other xs sounds like mine.
and i might get a china

i feel liek if u have a small kit u will learn more. if u ahve a small kti then you wil ahve les to work with forcing you to get creative. i only have what i need and no more. like the only few things i would maby add to my kit would be a 10 inch snare to my left a cowbell and a china. i dont relly need mroe than one crash but i amn thinking of replacign my 18 inch wiht another 20.
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  #5  
Old 07-21-2005, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

I personally choose to have a big kit to compensate ;) I'll admit it
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  #6  
Old 07-22-2005, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

In terms of big kits.........

There's a fine line between awe and rediculous!

Alex Van Halens drum set in the 1984 "Jump" video is absolute AWE! Its a true creative classic.

I have yet too see any other drumset that is big, fancy, and practical like Alex's in 1984.

Dap.
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  #7  
Old 07-22-2005, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

When I get around to it, I will have a big ass kit. To be honest, I want to have fun behind the kit....I will maintain a small jazz kit as well though, and try and give that as much attention so I don't end up "reliant". When you do something great on a tiny setup it feels really good!
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  #8  
Old 07-22-2005, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

I have an average size drumkit. LOL.
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2005, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

I think big kits are cool, but yeah I also feel a lot of drummers try and make themselves look better by having a bigger kit. Drummers that can have awsome solos with three toms such as Steve Gadd I seem to respect a bit more. Terry Bozzio is also one of my favorite drummers, but I always question myself whether or not he needs so many drums.
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2005, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

take mike portnoy for example. he uses his whole drum kit. He obviously could still do really well on a small kit. but having a biger kit opens doors for more possibilities.
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2005, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

ok let's start with...

OFFTOPIC!!!

speaking about your statement... I think - no :D

*edit
Ok, maybe not offtopic...I just read that title of this thread :))
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  #12  
Old 07-22-2005, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Big kit = big possibilities. More options, more musicality. You can play small on a big kit, but you can't play big on a small kit.


Cheers.
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2005, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

I have had just two sets so far. The cheap 4 piece set I learned on and the 11 piece Tama Imperial Star Extras I bought in the 80's and still play today. Yes they still look and sound good after all these years. Anyway, like Dogbreath said, a big set gives you more options and possibilites. Yea I can play just as well and be as creative on a small set but I like big sets better. I still use two base drums although I see most of you just use one and go with a double pedal. Don't mean to ramble but I really don't think it matters what size set you play. You are either good or your not and how many drums you have, or don't have, isn't going to make a difference.
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  #14  
Old 07-22-2005, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fur drummer
I have had just two sets so far. The cheap 4 piece set I learned on and the 11 piece Tama Imperial Star Extras I bought in the 80's and still play today. Yes they still look and sound good after all these years.
Hell yeah. Monster sets unite! I love two bass drums, 3 of my kits have them. Gotta have some patience tuning those things
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  #15  
Old 07-22-2005, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBreath
Big kit = big possibilities. More options, more musicality. You can play small on a big kit, but you can't play big on a small kit.

Cheers.
I call you on that one. There's plenty of guys getting huge numbers of sounds out of tiny kits, but I don't honestly hear many big kit monsters using the full breadth and depth of sounds available in even their snare drums.

I used to be a pretty big kit kind of a guy - 6pc drum kit, two rides, three crashes, two chinas, hats, three splashes, double pedal etc. But I've recently dropped back to a kind of amalgam of two small sets:

Set 1 - 4pc drum kit (12-16-22 with 13x5 snare) with a K-Custom Dark Ride, a 16" "Old K" turkish-made Zildjian, a 16" China Boy Low and hi-hats, drums all tuned to a wide open kind of sound.

Set 2 - A percussion set including bongos, 2x Yamaha electronic pads + brain (plus a sampler via MIDI), a wood block, an 8" splash and a 10" Istanbul mini-china on top of a 10" K splash.

Depending on song sections I tend to pretty much pick between which section of the larger kit I'm playing and then treat that as an individual instrument. Each of those kits has enough possibility that you could play it for years without running out of new amazing stuff to do with it in terms of new tones, combinations and approaches. I used to just consider my snare drum to be a thing that made a "snare drum sound", now it's an instrument that has a wide range of possibilities. So is everything else on the kit. If I took an expansionist approach - I need a new sound, let's add more gear - I'd end up taking up the whole stage without developing in any particular way as a musician.

For my money, the best small kit guys (Joey Baron and his ilk) win hands down on taste, musicality and creativity over the likes of Mike Portnoy. Terry Bozzio gets to be an exception in my book though, since he's actually bothering to tune that stuff into a chromatic scale and you therefore *need* that much gear to make that approach worth bothering with at all.
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  #16  
Old 07-22-2005, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by LDGuy
If he was playing with a band, he wouldn't use that kit .
Bozzio actually uses that kit with Fantomas. My buddy Gabe from the Locust saw him perform with them a few months ago, said it was pretty incredible to see live.
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  #17  
Old 07-22-2005, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

I'm a little lady ... I play a relatively simple, small-size kit. I'd consider a larger kit, but only if I felt I could actually use the additional bits. It has nothing to do with compensation. (Altho some might say "simple kit - difficult woman"!) 8-)
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  #18  
Old 07-22-2005, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by nick1216
What is the deal with humongus kits sometimes. I'm no hater of the MONSTER kit but, sometimes comeon guys are you guys trying to make up for something or what.
My kit is just one single snare drum. Unless I've just been swimming in the North Sea; then I play the ol' Ludwig Octa Plus.
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  #19  
Old 07-22-2005, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBreath
Big kit = big possibilities. More options, more musicality. You can play small on a big kit, but you can't play big on a small kit.


Cheers.

I couldn't have said it better. ;)
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  #20  
Old 07-23-2005, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
I call you on that one. There's plenty of guys getting huge numbers of sounds out of tiny kits, but I don't honestly hear many big kit monsters using the full breadth and depth of sounds available in even their snare drums.
There's nothing to call me on, it's a simple fact. But let me reword it to clarify your misunderstanding:

You can play a small kit with many drums, but you can't play a big kit with few drums.

Better? And as far as some "big kit" drummers not using everything that they have available to them, all that means is that those particular drummers don't need big kits. Cool. Not everyone who buys a Corvette drives at 150 mph. But if you buy a little 4-cylinder Honda, you won't be winning any drag races. I like having options. If I want to play jazz with only my snare, bass, ride, and hi-hats, I can. My options are not limited, but a "small kit" player's options are.
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  #21  
Old 07-23-2005, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

Like I said I play a big kit and use all of it, especially when I solo. I like the options a big kit gives me. Look at it this way, I play a basic 5 piece kit with some extra drums added.
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  #22  
Old 07-23-2005, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBreath
There's nothing to call me on, it's a simple fact. But let me reword it to clarify your misunderstanding:

You can play a small kit with many drums, but you can't play a big kit with few drums.

Better? And as far as some "big kit" drummers not using everything that they have available to them, all that means is that those particular drummers don't need big kits. Cool. Not everyone who buys a Corvette drives at 150 mph. But if you buy a little 4-cylinder Honda, you won't be winning any drag races. I like having options. If I want to play jazz with only my snare, bass, ride, and hi-hats, I can. My options are not limited, but a "small kit" player's options are.
Your analogy is flawed. It's not a comparison of power, it's a comparison of size remember :) More drums != more power. Big kits are great for music where you need to land a lot of stuff in one go (big Danny Carey toms fills etc), but for music where groove and nuance is more important then it's often easier not to have the distraction of a bunch of extra gear sitting around when your focus should really be on tone, time and and touch.

And my comment was more that big kit drummers tend to have, on average, about as many sounds as they have drums, while smaller kit drummers tend to have a lot more sounds per drum. For a start the more stuff you have the harder it gets to find new angles and approaches to hit them from, there's other stuff in the way.

Also, you may be able to play just four drums if you like... but don't tell me you can get between those four as well as somebody who *only* has four, the more stuff you have the further apart you have to put it - that's just reality. Long reaches between surfaces add major technical challenges when it comes to getting your touch and tone really precise.

Last edited by DogBreath; 01-11-2006 at 10:23 PM.
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  #23  
Old 07-23-2005, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon Dapper
In terms of big kits.........

There's a fine line between awe and rediculous!

Alex Van Halens drum set in the 1984 "Jump" video is absolute AWE! Its a true creative classic.

I have yet too see any other drumset that is big, fancy, and practical like Alex's in 1984.

Dap.
Haha, his drum kit must be like, 5 sets combined, I think he had like 3 bass drums? My god, It's huge but as you said is very practical. Altho, you never really see him using all that stuff. And plus, they're not even playing in that music video...They're always changing clothes. Also, not to mention, he's definately one of my fav drummers
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  #24  
Old 07-23-2005, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
...for music where groove and nuance is more important then it's often easier not to have the distraction of a bunch of extra gear sitting around ...
So ... you get distracted when there are too many drums around? I guess I just don't have that problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
Also, you may be able to play just four drums if you like... but don't tell me you can get between those four as well as somebody who *only* has four, the more stuff you have the further apart you have to put it - that's just reality. Long reaches between surfaces add major technical challenges when it comes to getting your touch and tone really precise.
Well, actually, I can get betwen my four drums just fine. My layout is very comfortable for me and the drums are logically placed. It's basically a four piece set surrounded by more pieces. There are no long reaches no matter what I'm playing. And that's just reality.

As I said, you can play a small set with a big kit, but you can't play a big set with a small kit. Unless you are easily distracted, in which case you should try to keep things as simple as possible.

=-)
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Old 07-23-2005, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBreath
So ... you get distracted when there are too many drums around? I guess I just don't have that problem.
You don't? So when a drum book says "break this up around multiple sound sources" you actually bother to find five or six different sounds out of each different surface and practice breaking up phrases around ALL of them? Or do you just hit different toms instead?
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  #26  
Old 07-23-2005, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
So when a drum book says "break this up around multiple sound sources" you actually bother to find five or six different sounds out of each different surface and practice breaking up phrases around ALL of them? Or do you just hit different toms instead?
I don't really understand the question, but then I've never read that in a book. I guess I would interpret the instruction based on the context of the lesson and try whatever I thought it was suggesting. Somehow I don't think I answered your question, though.
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  #27  
Old 07-23-2005, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBreath
I don't really understand the question, but then I've never read that in a book. I guess I would interpret the instruction based on the context of the lesson and try whatever I thought it was suggesting. Somehow I don't think I answered your question, though.
Just picking one off the top of my head, but I think there's an instruction like that in Horatio Hernandez's book... I'll go get it.

"... Don't be afraid to break up the rhythms around the drumset once you feel comfortable with the exercises".

How would you go about that? Would you break up the exercises between different drums, or try to draw multiple tones out of single drums inside a repetitive exercise?

My point is that having a big kit tends to encourage somewhat more simplistic thinking about how many sounds you can get out of one drum. So as a big kit player I used to try to break things up between maybe fifteen or sixteen surfaces and would just use a very basic sound from each surface. So if I decided to use my 12" tom I would hit it right in the centre of the head, and so forth. There was a nice wide range of tones available, so I felt happy with my gear choice.

Ditching a lot of the gear has made me more appreciative of the massive range of sounds I already have in only a very small sub-set of the kit, because when I need a new sound I actually have to work to find it instead of just reaching for another tom, cymbal or snare. So I've taken to adjusting my rimshots to different striking positions to get different tones, hitting my toms in the edge, the centre, rimshots, mashing the stick into the head, muting the head with the other stick, etc etc. My feeling is that it's quite hard to find the time to explore this kind of stuff comprehensively on a big kit as the more you do it the more the possibilities expand exponentially for each exercise.

That was why I disagreed that you can't "Play big" on a small kit. Joey Baron does, he gets a huge range of sounds out of a 4pc with two cymbals. While I'd argue that in terms of technique Mike Portnoy plays very "small" on his big kit - each piece of gear is just used to get a single sound most of the time.
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  #28  
Old 07-24-2005, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

Like the great Elvin Jones said, "Less is more"
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  #29  
Old 07-24-2005, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

finnhiggins, it sounds like you're arguing with something that I never said. If you personally get confused by too many drums, or if a large kit causes you to see each drum as only having one basic sound, then by all means you should stay away from big kits. Meanwhile, I'll be having a blast playing in a more musical way than is possible on a small kit.
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Old 07-24-2005, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBreath
finnhiggins, it sounds like you're arguing with something that I never said. If you personally get confused by too many drums, or if a large kit causes you to see each drum as only having one basic sound, then by all means you should stay away from big kits. Meanwhile, I'll be having a blast playing in a more musical way than is possible on a small kit.
OK, my argument was with this statement "Big kit = big possibilities. More options, more musicality. You can play small on a big kit, but you can't play big on a small kit.". Since you're making a positive statement that a big kit = more options and musicality you're also stating the converse - that a small kit has less options and less musicality.

In theory, that's true. In the same way that a jazz trio has less options and musicality than a full orchestra - quite simply, the orchestra does have more raw sounds available. But the difference there is that an orchestra actually has more people to play those sounds and dedicate time to practicing control over them. If you took the three guys from your jazz trio and told them to learn to play every instrument in an orchestra they quite simply won't have the time to make it worthwhile, even though they technically could perform at least a subset of the music an orchestra could play by running around and picking different instruments up.

I think your problem here stems from the fact that you consider a drum kit a single musical instrument. It's not. It's an amalgam of a number of different musical instruments, all of which can be studied individually as well as combined. Therefore it is natural and indeed obvious that the more instruments you decide to study, the less time you have in each day to study the nuances and details of each instrument. If you go far enough you dilute yourself so far that it's unlikely you'll develop any musicality at all on any of the instruments.

Take how a typical professional drummer plays toms - a very flexible instrument - and compare it to how a good Brazillian percussionist can play a tamborine. Drummer - "Whack", moves to next sound surface. Percussionist - a whole musical part with tone, texture and multiple overlaid sounds. The limitations of just playing just a tamborine does not result in less options or less musicality, it results in more focus on the single instrument providing those qualities in approximately the same quantity by means of control rather than variation.

So since you, as a human being, are limited in the amount of time you can devote to your kit then it follows quite simply and logically that you are distracted by the amount of gear you have. If you have only one drum and that was all you practiced you'd be much better at playing that one drum than somebody who spends the same amount practicing on a 15pc kit with 25 cymbals would be on any given one of their sound surfaces. You'd actually be able to play musical accompaniment on one drum. You would learn to play open and muted strokes. To gain different tones of accent, different styles of ghosting, to control note length. If you expand that up to even a 4pc drum kit then finding the time to do all of that becomes exponentially harder, because you have to bring in elements of co-ordination and movement around the centre line of your body. That doesn't mean that playing one drum makes you more musical or gives you more options, but the converse isn't true either.

It is an obvious truth in music that the more instruments you play, the less time you have to dedicate to learning to play one in particular. If you think that's my problem alone then I'd have to question how much you've considered the subject. A bigger kit doesn't equal more options and more musicality. More practice, study, thought and talent does. The size of your kit is entirely up to you, but if you don't practice then you won't get those options or that musicality regardless of what you play. So when you play musically on your big kit you are not playing more musically than is possible on a small one. You're just playing more musically than it is possible for you to play on a small one.

I don't think you have the right to make blanket statements like that. Which is why I said I was "Calling" you on that point.
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  #31  
Old 07-24-2005, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

*shrug*

So stick to a small kit.

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Old 07-24-2005, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBreath
*shrug*

So stick to a small kit.

=-)
Thanks, I will :) You stick to your big one too, I'm a big fan of good big kit playing. I just didn't like the implication that it was inherantly better and more than taking the detailed approach and learning to play more things on each surface.

After all, I can't be entirely on the small kit side of the fence, can I? My kit is effectively two small ones, plus some electronics. Therefore I'm obviously making the same compromise in terms of time, I just couldn't restrain my "more gear!" impulses any further :)
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  #33  
Old 07-25-2005, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

I think it's pretty simple...If you have a 4 peice setup with a few cymbals you are not going to have the same possibilities as someone with a 8 peice setup with alot of cymbals woodblocks, octobans, etc...
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  #34  
Old 07-25-2005, 03:06 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

I think it's just a trend. In the eighty's the gigantic kits were in with big toms (for e.g. van halen), now small fusion kits are in. You even see Lars Ulrich lpaying with a smaller drum.

Ok, it's not only a metter of trends, but, their is a lot of truth in it. :-)
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Old 08-03-2005, 04:29 PM
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Default Is Your Drumset Practical?

Over the last couple of months I've seen a few bands live and the drummers had these monster kits. Upon actually watching them, they barely used half of the stuff they had on stage? On here I've seen some absolute beautiful drumsets with a wide range of accessories and some that just had an awful lot of stuff to play. When I first started I had the three different cowbells set-up, the wooden blocks, timbales, roto toms, electronic drum pads etc... Then I realized I maybe used them on 5 of the songs, out of the 36 songs we did those nights. So I started scaling back my stuff to what was necessary.

So my question is do you really use all of the stuff you have if your gigging or just playing alone in your basement? I know the pros mostly do. I was more wondering if the average drummer does? I know as drummers we have it great because we can add so much stuff to our kits, that guitarist can't...lol but it can become overwhelming and it stunk always being the last one to leave, besides our sound guy to pack up all the stuff I carried.

I hadn't really see a question like this on the forum so, I'm just trying to stimulate some more discussion.
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Old 08-03-2005, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Is Your Drumset Practical?

Someone once told me that it doesn't matter how big your kit is but it's how well you play it that counts. He said a good drummer doesn't need a lot of drums or gadgets to sound good. The person who told me this was none other than Levon Helm (one of my idols).
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Old 08-03-2005, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Is Your Drumset Practical?

It is true that the drumsets with 20 cymbals, 30 toms etc... are ridiculous! It is mostly for the show, for the visual aspect of it.
My drumset is the basic drumset. A bass drum, a snare drum, two toms and a floor tom. Added to that is 1 ride cymbal and 1 crash one. I sometimes add a thick crash ride that I love. The enormous drum sets are fun but the drummers rarely use all of the cymbals and toms. When you watch Buddy Rich or allt eh important drummers, rarely do they have 1000000000000000000000 cybals and toms!!!
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Old 08-03-2005, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Is Your Drumset Practical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AurelienPK
It is true that the drumsets with 20 cymbals, 30 toms etc... are ridiculous! It is mostly for the show, for the visual aspect of it.
My drumset is the basic drumset. A bass drum, a snare drum, two toms and a floor tom. Added to that is 1 ride cymbal and 1 crash one. I sometimes add a thick crash ride that I love. The enormous drum sets are fun but the drummers rarely use all of the cymbals and toms. When you watch Buddy Rich or allt eh important drummers, rarely do they have 1000000000000000000000 cybals and toms!!!

Yes I would listen to Buddy on his 4 or 5 piece kit anyday over Bozzio and his 35 piece kit...LOL
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Old 08-03-2005, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Is Your Drumset Practical?

That's for sure!!

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Old 08-03-2005, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Is Your Drumset Practical?

I only take what I feel I need to pull off whatever style of music the gig is.

In general, though, I'd rather have lots of cymbals than lots of drums. For a simple rock gig I might only bring a 4-piece kit, but it'll have ride, hats, 3 crashes and a china.
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