DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 10-30-2014, 05:16 PM
Zoney Zoney is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 6
Default Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

... I'm figuring you'd have to take on a different style. I'm tired of the rack mount Tama and the 50 gazillion pieces of hardware.

Anyone else go the less is more route?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-30-2014, 05:27 PM
KamaK KamaK is online now
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: East Coast
Posts: 5,821
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

Here's my take on it.


Your kit... The one in your house that you practice on and learn on... That kit can have as many pieces as you want. The point isn't to have a 25 piece ensemble of awesomeness, it's so that you can pull whatever pieces you need from it for a gig. Got a latin gig? Grab the 8/10/14/K. Got a jazz gig? Grab the 10/14/K. Got a rock gig? Grab the 10/12/16/K or 12/14/16/K.

It's like owning 5 snares... You don't carry all of them to a gig, you bring the one or two that make sense.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-30-2014, 05:33 PM
drumdevil9's Avatar
drumdevil9 drumdevil9 is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Montreal area
Posts: 1,727
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

Oh yeah. I've been playing a 4-piece (with 3 or 4 cymbals) almost exclusively for about 20 years. It's been enough for my musical needs and is less to carry around which is important to me. I have become very comfortable on it over the years. The first hurdle is getting accustomed to the gap between the rack and floor tom. If you like doing long fills across many toms that requires some adjustment too. But it can open up some interesting possibilities to just have the two toms. Using different patterns, incorporating the bass drum more, etc.

I mount my rack tom as far right as is reasonable to make it so the gap is not ridiculous. I'm not a fan of the low flat tom on a snare stand approach but some people like that.

Experiment with it and see how it feels. It ain't permanent so you could always go back if you don't like it!

EDIT: And oh, of course there's the ride in the sweet spot.
__________________
DrumDevil9

Last edited by drumdevil9; 10-30-2014 at 05:40 PM. Reason: ride in the sweet spot, two bits.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-30-2014, 05:55 PM
GruntersDad's Avatar
GruntersDad GruntersDad is online now
Administrator - Mayor
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gulf Coast Seminole, Florida
Posts: 22,366
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I have had my Renown set up 4, 5, 6, 7 pieces. In any event you will have to spend time to get it where you want it. Relax and have fun.
__________________
Johnny. Pictured left to right, Bermuda, Weird Al, Grunt.

Last edited by GruntersDad; 11-05-2014 at 03:06 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-30-2014, 06:00 PM
Brian Brian is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 1,392
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

Much of what I do lately is kick/snare/hats, sometimes the ride. Making use of what you have with melodic voicing, nuance and subtly is much more challenging and rewarding than simply adding more instruments.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-30-2014, 06:02 PM
rtliquid rtliquid is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 232
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

Less is less, and more is more. If you're in a cover band, you need what you need to do the song(s) justice. Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight" on a 4-pc would just be downright lame. On the other hand, if you're doing Beatles/Stones covers or originals, you can work with a 4-pc.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-04-2014, 04:11 PM
Pachikara-Tharakan's Avatar
Pachikara-Tharakan Pachikara-Tharakan is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Germany
Posts: 560
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

If you are playing "smells like Teen spirit" or The day that never comes" (... purely instrumental, featuring numerous solos and chord progressions)....just a two piece is enough ---awesome work by Dave Grohl and Lars Ulrich.
__________________
:)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-04-2014, 04:30 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 21,242
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pachikara-Tharakan View Post
If you are playing "smells like Teen spirit" or The day that never comes" (... purely instrumental, featuring numerous solos and chord progressions)....just a two piece is enough ---awesome work by Dave Grohl and Lars Ulrich.
Is that Keith Moon as a child in your avi? The brown eyes make me think yea.
__________________
Levis/Hanes/Timberlands/Custom made socks
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-04-2014, 04:49 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 21,242
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

Lots of drums impresses me not. When I see a lot of drums, well it peaks my interest to see exactly how this person will handle the music. Look at it this way, you only play toms with your hands, and you only have 2 hands, so you have a tom for each hand. You're covered. The way most drummers tune, meaning low and flappy, a 12 sounds like a 14 which sounds like a 16 anyway. A run down an 8/10/12/14/16 all tuned low and flappy...is a waste of drums IMO. Low and flappy sounds the same to me no matter what size drum. I'd rather hear a drumset with 2 toms with real separation between them than 5 toms with no separation. The low and flappy sound is so done to death. I think it's safe to say that I'm completely sick of that tone. Give me a drummer who tunes each drum so it sounds unique. With a 4 piece, you can tune them so you have a bigger sounding kit by having a good bit of separation between toms. 2 toms, a high and a low...to me....sounds bigger than a kit with 5 toms all tuned JAW. There's no high or medium, it's all low and boring and same old same old, like every other drummer out there. Myself I like 2 racks because of the hole 1 rack makes. I can get a huge sounding fill with only 3 toms, it's deceptive. Now cymbals are another story. I'll take more cymbals over toms anyday.
__________________
Levis/Hanes/Timberlands/Custom made socks
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-04-2014, 04:58 PM
shemp's Avatar
shemp shemp is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 872
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

IMHO every drummer should properly focus on the 1 up 1 down configuration. I'm really a beginner and it is all I allow myself to play 80% of the time. It forces one to examine and create a larger vocabulary of RHYTHMIC possibilities rather than skew and UNECESSARY tonal possibilities. And that is very important.

I really like what the dude from The Knack did on "Let Me Out" as an example of a very energetic and completely well done drum track with a 4 piece. Steve Gorman also, to my way of thinking, has authored some real kick ass tracks with a 1up 1down.

The end result is supposed to be to create great songs...not to show what an artisan a drummer is...simple is many times better for the song...unless your, well, The Professor or maybe Michael Giles or Keith Moon.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-04-2014, 05:47 PM
alparrott's Avatar
alparrott alparrott is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 6,626
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I have played the huge multi-piece sets for a long time -- most of my drumming career, in fact. Finally a combination of things led me to play a 4-piece: acquiring a new-to-me 4-piece set of Ludwigs, a complaining lower back, and a gravitation towards the type of bands and music that don't require a lot of pieces.

I still love occasionally dragging out the big Yamaha kit and plunking my way through some Porcupine Tree songs on the iPod, but it stays set up for shorter and shorter periods before I put the Ludwigs back up and groove to some Zeppelin or blues or other classic rock.

Even at church, I've pulled a tom off their 5-piece kit to make a 4-piece that feels similar to my Ludwigs.

On my large kit, I'm a little more fusiony and busy. When I get on the 4-piece, it's all about groove.
__________________
Al Parrott
"Jus suum cuique"
-------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-04-2014, 07:10 PM
BFrench501 BFrench501 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 219
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I must be the only one here who plays a big kit not to be flashy but to literally have different tonal capabilities.

I have auditioned to be in a band which does covers from loads of different genres. How on earth can you get a real booming kick sound to replicate the digital drums in Black Eyed Peas/Lady Gage type stuff to the lighter bass drum sound you hear in early music by Jackie Wilson etc etc? Or if you use 2 very small crashes how do you get bigger sounds out of them?

You can play with dynamics but you cant make a 15" crash sound like an 18 upwards!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-04-2014, 07:19 PM
Odd-Arne Oseberg's Avatar
Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sykkylven, Møre og Romsdal, Norway
Posts: 3,891
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I never bring more than I need for a certain situation.

My six-piece Vinnie copy is like a personal instrument to me, but very few musical situations in my life need a kit like that. I bring plenty of small hand percussion, though.
__________________
So, kick drum...or...bass drum? I'll tell you what. If it's 18" or less, it's a FOOT TOM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-04-2014, 08:41 PM
RickP's Avatar
RickP RickP is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,480
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

All of my kits but one is a four piece and the one five piece I have usually just goes out as a four piece. Buddy Rich was asked at one time why he used such a small kit and his reply was "Because I haven't mastered this kit". I get this completely. I like being forced to be creative when using a 4 piece and trying to do justice to some song where the original drummer used tons of drums.

I also like to have my ride cymbal in close and the easier load in and put of a four piece. My Whitney Nesting Penguin 16 is a gigging drummers dream, great sounding extremely light weight and logistically sound with it's Quickstand mounting system.

I am very comfortable with a 4 piece kit nowadays, in fact there is a 5 piece kit at one of the places I rehears and I generally just remove the second tom for rehearsals and pull the ride cymbal in closer.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-04-2014, 09:23 PM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 452
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I've done the 4-piece kit before, but I've never been totally comfortable on it. I've been playing a 5-piece for so long, that 2 toms on the bass drum and one tom on the floor is what's most comfortable. Even if I don't use all 3 toms in every fill, which I don't.

A more comfortable 4-piece for me would be snare/bass and two rack toms (but no floor). That would make fills easier for me. The drummer I saw last weekend did this, and had his ride cymbal where the floor tom would usually go.

All that being said, I really like the way a 4 piece kit LOOKS. And, being able to put a ride cymbal where the second rack tom would go.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-04-2014, 09:54 PM
gf2564
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I started/learned on an old four piece over fifty years ago and stayed there for probably fifteen years. I went to a five piece for another 15-20 years and much preferred it over the four. I thought it would be cool/fun to go bigger so I bought a used eight piece. It was fun for a while but got tired of hauling them around and having to worry about stage space (and micing them was a pain too!). I settled on a six piece and have been playing that for the last 10 years. I really like this set up (two up, two down) and it handles any musical application that I need. Not going to touch the "gives me options vs. forces me to be creative" argument.....to each his/her own is my motto!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-05-2014, 12:12 AM
Drumolator Drumolator is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: central Louisiana
Posts: 2,796
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I have been playing a four-piece kit for most of the last thirty years. I mostly use hats, ride, and two crashes too. At church I also have a splash and China. It works for what I play. Peace and goodwill.
__________________
Mark Wellman
Mapex Saturn (bass drum, toms, snare), MPX(snare); Sabian; Evans; La Backbeat
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-05-2014, 12:15 AM
Liebe zeit's Avatar
Liebe zeit Liebe zeit is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 714
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

3-piece here. Bonham kit with the high tom left out for my Stax-style soul band. Most of the fills are on the snare, with some rolling down to the floor tom.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-05-2014, 12:25 AM
Midnite Zephyr's Avatar
Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Surf City, USA
Posts: 6,155
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I'm really torn. I play a 5-piece for my warehouse band, but I play a 4-piece when I gig with the classic rock band. I might like playing a 4-piece a little more, but I like having the extra tom with the fusion type music that we play at the warehouse.
__________________
Drumming for fun.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-05-2014, 10:50 AM
sdedge's Avatar
sdedge sdedge is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 174
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

Well i play a 4 piece kit and 4 cymbals and never needed more .
I only chance the tom size ,if necessary from a 12 to 13 .
And i use gibraltar stealt rack to reduce hardware and wait the gained space you will have on the floor with out conflicting stands and bulky tripods.
But i never liked a drum rack ,but this one is a low profile and i like it a lot.
__________________
Gretsch Broadcaster 22x 14 12x8 16x16
Brady jarrah block snare
Dunnett snare 2N & SS
Paiste 602
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-05-2014, 11:52 AM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20,836
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

For some reason I can't explain, I've never got on with a 5 piece set (two up, one down), so it's either 4 piece or 6 piece for me. I never need more than 6 - that gives me a 2 octave range. 4 piece gives me enough voices for all but the melodic & signature fill stuff. Other than fills, & the very occasional stray into some "latinesque" groove stuff, the 4 piece does the job.

Use what you need - need what you use :)
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-05-2014, 12:04 PM
mikel mikel is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Midlands. England.
Posts: 2,266
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I did an exercise a few years back and reduced my kit to a 3 piece first. I spent a long time getting everything I could out of that, and a crash ride, It was very liberating in a way. Using volume, and stick placement on the heads to achieve as many sounds as you can. I added a second tom and a crash cymbal to that setup and have never felt the need for more. You can do any gig with a 4 piece kit, Its the drummer not the drums.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-05-2014, 02:28 PM
jornthedrummer jornthedrummer is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 910
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

All my kits are 6 piece and I got my pratice kit set up with a stupid amount of cymbals.

Gigging is 4 piece. I play better on that and like to have my ride over the kick and thereby finding place for a big 22" crash over the floor tom.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-05-2014, 02:58 PM
WhoIsTony?'s Avatar
WhoIsTony? WhoIsTony? is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: the city that never sleeps
Posts: 34
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

I'll never understand why people are concerned with how many drums may or may not be in front of them

you should be able to move the band and an audience with...

... in a jazz situation a pizza box and a set of brushes

... in a rock situation bass drum snare and hat

think of anything beyond that a luxury and feel your creativity flourish

if you feel you NEED more than that you may want to rethink your whole situation.... you may just have an extremely selfish approach to the music
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-05-2014, 04:40 PM
gf2564
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
I'll never understand why people are concerned with how many drums may or may not be in front of them

you should be able to move the band and an audience with...

... in a jazz situation a pizza box and a set of brushes

... in a rock situation bass drum snare and hat

think of anything beyond that a luxury and feel your creativity flourish

if you feel you NEED more than that you may want to rethink your whole situation.... you may just have an extremely selfish approach to the music
How often do you have to change the cardboard on the pizza box? :)
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 11-05-2014, 04:59 PM
Hollywood Jim's Avatar
Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 3,925
Default Re: Learning to play well on a 4 piece kit ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
you should be able to move the band and an audience with...
... in a jazz situation a pizza box and a set of brushes
... in a rock situation bass drum snare and hat

think of anything beyond that a luxury and feel your creativity flourish
if you feel you NEED more than that you may want to rethink your whole situation.... you may just have an extremely selfish approach to the music
You are correct Tony.

Watch this: http://youtu.be/_viuM_sEOOU

.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com