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Old 02-20-2015, 05:04 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Different kit formats.

I was just thinking........ last week we had two rehearsals and a gig. As the rehearsals were in different studios I used four completely different kits in the week.

I always use my own seat, snare, BD pedal and cymbals but the kits are very different.

For the gig I used my kit, 20" BD, 2 up one down, 10, 12, 14.

Studio one is a bop kit, 16" BD one up one down, 10, 13.

Studio two has a two up one down, but the BD is 24" and the toms are long shell 12, 13, 16. This means the toms are about 6" higher than I normaly use. I am only 5' 5" tall by the way so I love a small kit.

My practice at home kit is a Yamaha DTX, a cheap one, so you cant get the pads the same distance apart as my giging kit, but I would be lost without it.

I realised that pretty soon after starting to play on the strange, to me at least, setups, I make a mental adjustment and dont seem to have any problems playing what I want.

I would have thought that the years playing my gig and practice kits would have ingrained muscle memory to such a degree I would be looking for drums where they dont exist when playing an alien setup, but aparently not.

Anyone else find problems adjusting to odd setups or do we all make this subliminal adjustment.

Also, anyone have a record for the number of different setups played in a short space of time. Drum shop employees are disbarred from this, by the way.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:14 PM
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drummer-russ drummer-russ is offline
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Default Re: Different kit formats.

When I was younger i fussed over the placement of everything on my kit. Now I just don't think about it much. I use our bass players low end Tama for rehearsal that is quite different from my own at home that I also gig with. Different sizes and config. No biggie. But, at rehearsal I sometimes go to a cymbal that isn't there!

I will be playing a benefit gig in a month and using another kit. Since it is a public gig I will be bringing my own throne, dbl bass pedal and maybe my two most important crashes, just in case.
Playing live in front of appreciative audience is the 2nd best thing in the world!
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:17 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Different kit formats.

Yea, it's something that I lost over time. Starting out, everything had to be just so. At this point, I can play some pretty weird setups without much thought. As we get better, we gain better control over both music and the sticks. I think this control translates to not letting adversities get the best of us.
"Overthinking is at the very core of our mission here." -Uncle Larry
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:18 PM
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Jhostetler Jhostetler is offline
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Location: Topeka, Indiana
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Default Re: Different kit formats.

I'm still very new to this forum but I figure I can throw in my two cents. I am currently still a Junior in College. I'm the drummer for the University Jazz band and have been since Freshman year. I also do a lot of work in the schools studio playing for projects and I do a lot of community work. I play on several different kits throughout the week. I think I have to go with the opinion that all drummers have the ability to play any kit. Granted, there are limits I think. Myself being a jazz drummer playing a small kit, I would be lost sitting at Terry Bozzio's monster, and vice versa.
"Nobody is anybody until they make themselves somebody"-Louis L'Amour
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:22 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Different kit formats.

I think there are certainly benefits to practicing on the same setup that you're going to play at the gig, but I agree with the previous posters: drummers should be adaptable to a degree. Having said that, we shouldn't be forced to be adaptable. If the set we're having to play is set up screwy, I would hope I am extended the opportunity to adjust items on the kit within reason to arrive at some acceptable level of comfort.
Al Parrott
"Jus suum cuique"
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:04 PM
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IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Different kit formats.

I've played kits at open jams on which the toms were adjusted such that they were virtually unplayable, to me. I just ignore them and get creative with the snare, hat, and BD in those cases. Otherwise, I'm pretty adaptable.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:44 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Different kit formats.

Nice to hear all your experiences. Ayone got a record fo the number of different kit setups played in one week?
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:42 PM
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FiveString FiveString is offline
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Default Re: Different kit formats.

I rarely know what kind of kit I'll be playing on a given night unless I'm backlining.

I feel like I can get by on almost anything. My two biggest dependencies are my relationship to snare, and my pedal's relationship to kick. If the snare height is off by a lot (caused by a crappy snare stand/throne or some such) it takes me a few hits to find my rimshot, and even then I'll miss sometimes. With the pedal I've noticed that if the angle of the bass drum is too extreme (tilted far forward and down toward the audience) certain pedal patterns are hard to execute (like fast repeated doubles on a single pedal). I adjust my technique (and expectations) and make due with what I've got.

I think what bugs me the most about playing other kits is that they are often tuned very poorly, or not at all. when confronted with a badly tuned kit, I try to keep my fills as simple and clear as possible as not to get bogged down in muddy, papery sounding toms.

There's nothing like playing my own setup though. When I feel at home on the kit, I'm a better drummer. I'm trying to sort out my bass drum technique so I can sit down at any kick with any pedal and execute the phrases I'm able to on my own gear, but I admit to being currently dependent on my pedal and a certain range of kick angles for certain quick patterns.

Anyone else out there struggle with kick angles? I was chatting with another drummer backstage a few months ago about the house kit we were stuck with, and he also said that kick angle was huge for him. I thought I was the only one!!

Occasionally I'll play a gig and the backlined kit will be a peach. I've not yet kissed another drummer, but when I get to play nice, well-tuned kits I'm tempted! Played an awesome franken-kit last year that sounded soo good and had a great layout. It was a pleasure to play.
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