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  #1  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:06 AM
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Default Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Looking at my Zep kit in all its aweseomness today, I thought I'd go back to what I was doing before I had it. I stripped it down, removed the 18" floor tom. Took away the two crashes. Put my 17" phat hats back up and kept the 24" ride.

An improvement was made and I enjoyed it alot more. Physically removing the 18" tom made a big difference - now I didn't feel compelled to keep using it whenever I took a fill. In fact, now it felt OK if I did a fill without using the remaining two toms.

I wonder if I'm just allergic to bigger kits in general because my mind opens up so much more when there are less pieces to use.

Don't get me wrong, I like having the option of going completely big when needed, but being able to make music with this small amount of gear is greatly satisfying - but I love it with the 26" bass drum.

I know alot of you here are on the quest for incorporating more, but don't really take that much out on a gig. I'm just playing what I would actually use on a gig in practice. Or has anyone here gradually taken pieces away? I remember my double bass adventure didn't last long either - it felt more comfortable when I took down three toms and left two.

Maybe practicality is bad for me. Maybe I'd get hired more if I just gave the client what they wanted to see regardless if I played it or not. I haven't done that yet ;)
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:48 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

I tend to use whats required for the gig. For example, I was doing a Woodstock show a couple of years ago, and with all the Santana, Who etc material it was easier to use my 6pc and rack with lots of cymbals and some electronics. Fast forward to NYE recently when I did a soul/r&b gig and I just went in with 4pc with hats, crash and a ride.

Personally, I enjoy the smaller kit. I think it feels a little more "intimate", if that makes sense.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:54 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Do what you're comfortable with. It's great to experiment. Try different things .... but only you decide what is really the perfect set up. Your "default". Nothing wrong with playing a 4 piece.
Heck. My default set up is still my 13 and 16 on my right ..... my 18 on my left. No rack tom in the "traditional" position. My style suits this set up, and this set up suits my style.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

I usually put the larger FT on my L like Harry (think I did it after seeing your kit set up that way so many times) as it offers an option to go either way and play a low FT in between hits on 2 handed 16th notes (which is fun as hell). It also makes me feel less like the way you describe feeling- like there are 2 there and they must be used for some reason.

You have said yourself that the gear doesnt matter. I wonder if you are just in a stage where you prefer one set up? I say wait a couple months...
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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I usually put the larger FT on my L like Harry (think I did it after seeing your kit set up that way so many times) as it offers an option to go either way and play a low FT in between hits on 2 handed 16th notes (which is fun as hell). It also makes me feel less like the way you describe feeling- like there are 2 there and they must be used for some reason.

You have said yourself that the gear doesnt matter. I wonder if you are just in a stage where you prefer one set up? I say wait a couple months...
I suppose. I've always played a regular 4-piece. Even when I had a 2-up, 1-down kit, I eventually made it a 1-up/1-down kit. That phrase "There's so much you can do with just four drums" was so burned into me when I was young, especially seeing Buddy Rich live using his second floor tom as a drink holder. And then latching on to guys like Steve Jordan, David Garibaldi, and Charlie and Ringo at an impressionable age - I literally didn't understand the hoopla of the 'big kit' when I got those Slingerland and Ludwig catalogs in the mid-70s (although I probably did my fair share of lusting after the huge Octa-Plus kits - thinking more drums would make me a better player). I guess it was good growing up poor - I really learned how to play the bare minimum and make it work. It's just ironic that nowadays I can get whatever I want, but can't really fall in love with anything more than four-friggin' drums ;)

But I'll keep playing with that 18. It is really nice having this secondary big bottom end on the kit too. The 18 kinda' paid for itself on the first concerts this past weekend when I had to do several timpani type rolls and I went to the 18 everytime!

I wonder if it would be too weird seeing the big kit like that, but there's no cymbals?
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

One up, 2-down has never worked for me. I find that I get too caught up in going to the second floor tom, which seems like an unnatural position for me, away from the hats, rack tom, 1st floor, ride, and crash. It seems too "disconnected" and not comfortable, if that makes sense. 2-up, 1-down has never worked for me either, because it screws up the position where I prefer to put my ride cymbal.Double bass messes up the position of the hats and snare for me.

Right now I'm using a 1-up, one down four piece with three cymbals, but don't feel limited at all. The ergonomics seem so comfortable and perfect to me, and I have no need for more. I tried even stripping down to a three piece with no rack tom, but after two weeks, that felt way too limiting for me. I've used everything from just bass-snare-hats to a six piece double bass set with three rack toms. A traditional, single bass four piece seems to work best for me and the one I use the most.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

It's funny what having those extra drums there does to your mind (and your playing), even if you don't use them.

For the most part, I have gone to a smaller kit because it is easier to haul around and fit on small stages. In fact, I only own a 4-piece currently. But when I had a bigger kit, I noticed that using different numbers of drums changed the feel of my playing, at least subjectively. Must be a psychological thing.

I actually DO like two down, but many local stages preclude it, so I just saved my $ when I bought my Ludwigs and went with one FT. I can play everything I need.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:47 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post

I wonder if it would be too weird seeing the big kit like that, but there's no cymbals?


I don't think this looks weird, and it's more than a 4 piece, so a 4 piece with 2, or just a ride and hats would seem fine to me.

Yes, a Steve Jordan influence (also Cindy Blackman).

Some years ago, I had it in my head that "one day" I wouldn't be afraid to leave everything else off I had been using, and go with 2 cymbals. Finally did it in '09 & I love it.
I use 3 cymbals usually, but I kinda don't want to use 3, it's just that the 22" 2002 sounds so dang good, I don't want to leave it out :-)!

I finally got over feeling like I had to use at least one ft (snare tom, ft...) in a fill last year.
Now I'll do something, and it might just be the 18, or snare and the 12, or whatever. I don't know how I got that old idea out of my head, other than just doing something different, and not thinking about it.

Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

A kit I had a few years ago had two floor toms and I ended up taking one away, always preferred just having the one.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:20 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Originally Posted by scooter540 View Post
A kit I had a few years ago had two floor toms and I ended up taking one away, always preferred just having the one.
Up until now I've only had one. Having two makes the kit look really big (especially since they're 16" and 18"), and it does look really cool.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

The 2nd FT is there if, and when you need it.

In addition, its placement, and what is near it makes a huge difference. Mine is always in a position where hitting it is not a huge move. And if a fill or stunt finishes in that area, there are crashes nearby, as well as the 2nd HH and Ride.

My personal style requires that pitch. I use to have 3 FT''s
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Originally Posted by SirRimshot View Post
The 2nd FT is there if, and when you need it.

In addition, its placement, and what is near it makes a huge difference. Mine is always in a position where hitting it is not a huge move. And if a fill or stunt finishes in that area, there are crashes nearby, as well as the 2nd HH and Ride.

My personal style requires that pitch. I use to have 3 FT''s
I saw Tony Williams play his three floor toms once and I was impressed. Danny Seraphine is also playing three floors these days. But those guys have alot more to say than I do and they actually need them ;)
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

You can always use that 18" as a place to put your iPad.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:10 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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You can always use that 18" as a place to put your iPad.
There's an idea. That's like the modern version of Buddy having drinks on his.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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There's an idea. That's like the modern version of Buddy having drinks on his.
Exactly. That's all I'd be using it for myself. I don't even think I can reach a second floor tom without pulling a muscle.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Never heard of "2-down" but I am highly allergic to ".05-back".
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Never heard of "2-down" but I am highly allergic to ".05-back".
You know, having two floor toms ;)
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

I find that second floor tom too hard to reach, too.

I should probably try it again one of these days. I've actually never set my current drums up that way. Part of the reason is I put different heads on my the drums I use for jazz, so my floor toms wouldn't match unless I replaced some of the heads.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Here's what the kit looks like now. I swear, having just this amount of stuff speaks to me. Not sure why.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Gotcha, Bo. I get confused with anything more than hats, snare and bass - oh heck, who am I kidding? I get confused enough no matter what!

Add extra instruments to the kit and their siren call creates an internal pressure in me - each bar and song that I don't play the extra toms (or splashes or cowbells) makes the urge a little more desperate lol
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

I like little kits. They make it easier for me to be creative, they weigh less, they look better (IMHO), and they can be made to sound better more easily. When you have fewer things to mic, you can mic more carefully, and mix more easily. To me, it's superior in pretty much every way! I have learned that I like having a bass drum, snare, two toms, hats, ride, crash, splash (or another crash), and a china/stack.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

I grew up playing 2-up/2-down but I have been doing the 1-up/2-down thing for a couple of years.. Some days are more comfortable than others. Most of my kits have had 16/18 floor toms.For some reason, that 18 seems harder to reach these days. Getting old sucks.:)
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

There was "another" guy .... who did that 4 piece thing, for a while.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I wonder if I'm just allergic to bigger kits in general because my mind opens up so much more when there are less pieces to use.
It's not the amount of drums necessarily, I think it's more of a long term familiarity thing. When you're playing a kit that's outside of your default set up, you tend to be in "transpose" mode, & that's a distraction. Taking the patterns you would normally use, & either compacting or expanding them. This is why players who are very used to a small kit often struggle with the "necessity" of the extra pieces, because even though those pieces are there, they still play the kit as if they weren't there. Same in the reverse, players used to those extra choices, especially when playing a familiar piece, will be distracted by the process of compacting their playing.

I know I feel this. It doesn't mean I "can't" play something on a smaller/bigger set up, it just means I have something else to think about, & that may detract from how intuitive my playing is. It's a bigger deal going from a larger to a smaller kit, especially if your used to a lot of melodic work. Going from a small to a large kit is somewhat easier, as you just revert to playing the pieces you're used to, & ignoring the "extra" pieces.

I experienced this feeling this very week. I took the little 4 piece bop kit to rehearsal. Of course, the band wanted to practice the most melodic parts of the set. I could play the songs, no issue there, but there were moments when I had to rethink, & that's an additional distraction.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:58 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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For some reason, that 18 seems harder to reach these days. Getting old sucks.:)
I wonder how true this would be for me too. Even with my 18 angled out and away, rather than in a straight line behind the 16, I find the stretch to the 18 something I'm not accustomed to, and it feels like I'm stretching muscles I don't use.

Let's face it: I'm in my mid-forties and I'm five feet tall. Playing a Bonham-sized kit should be the furthest thing from my mind at this stage of the game! The body definitely isn't getting any younger and there are definitely things I no longer do just out of fear of internal injury ;)
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Oh man, I shouldn't read this thread. I'm all set to set up my Zep kit and I'm *looking forward* to having that second tom.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Oh man, I shouldn't read this thread. I'm all set to set up my Zep kit and I'm *looking forward* to having that second tom.
No - you do what you do! I'm probably going to continue using the second floor tom, I just feel much more comfortable with one floor, but that could change.

As Andy said, my mind is not making the jump to more drums because I've never had more drums. If I grew up always having x-amount of toms and a double pedal, I'd probably never dream of stripping down the kit to what I think is essential. My perception may change as I get used to having the added floor tom.

Heck, right now I'm getting used to having the bass drum being the biggest thing in my gear :)
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I wonder how true this would be for me too. Even with my 18 angled out and away, rather than in a straight line behind the 16, I find the stretch to the 18 something I'm not accustomed to, and it feels like I'm stretching muscles I don't use.

Let's face it: I'm in my mid-forties and I'm five feet tall. Playing a Bonham-sized kit should be the furthest thing from my mind at this stage of the game! The body definitely isn't getting any younger and there are definitely things I no longer do just out of fear of internal injury ;)
Few thoughts:

1. I have set up my floor with the 18 closer to the kick and then the 16 and it makes sense to me. Imagine playing 4 16th notes as a fill- snare, rack, 16FT, 18 FT and if you lead right handed (which, I imagine you lead L handed but this will work the same in reverse if you get it haha) then the third hit is on the 16 which is farthest back but you use your R hand so the twisting is eliminated. The fourth hit is on the 18 with the L hand.

THis simple fill explains how the 18 on the hi hat side set-up is so easy to play also.

2. Putting that 18 on the other side makes it all look smaller IMO.

3. I bet if we asked Karl Krafton which tom he would do without first it would not be his hi hat side tom. Karl?

Moving that FT does preclude the 16th note roll down all 3 toms but in all your videos I have never heard you do such a fill....
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
The body definitely isn't getting any younger and there are definitely things I no longer do just out of fear of internal injury ;)
That's it, now I'm never setting up that 2-down version of my set! I can see the headline now:

"Detroit Drummer Ruptures Spleen Reaching For Second Floor Tom"
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolate View Post
Few thoughts:

1. I have set up my floor with the 18 closer to the kick and then the 16 and it makes sense to me. Imagine playing 4 16th notes as a fill- snare, rack, 16FT, 18 FT and if you lead right handed (which, I imagine you lead L handed but this will work the same in reverse if you get it haha) then the third hit is on the 16 which is farthest back but you use your R hand so the twisting is eliminated. The fourth hit is on the 18 with the L hand.

THis simple fill explains how the 18 on the hi hat side set-up is so easy to play also.

2. Putting that 18 on the other side makes it all look smaller IMO.

3. I bet if we asked Karl Krafton which tom he would do without first it would not be his hi hat side tom. Karl?

Moving that FT does preclude the 16th note roll down all 3 toms but in all your videos I have never heard you do such a fill....
Interesting observation. Perhaps I'll try that. Or, keep the two floors where they are and add a 20" floor tom by my hi-hat ;)
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

I've been toying with the idea of going down to a 4 piece set up, but I love the 10" to 12" things I can do on my kit.

Heck, sometimes I forget that the 16" is sitting down there below my left elbow.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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I've been toying with the idea of going down to a 4 piece set up, but I love the 10" to 12" things I can do on my kit.

Heck, sometimes I forget that the 16" is sitting down there below my left elbow.
I used to be like that too. Then I noticed my arm is reaching out farther for the ride cymbal and my mind saying "you know, you're playing that ride cymbal like 90% more than that second rack tom - wtf?"

Hence why I don't do it anymore. But I hear you - in a fill-centric way - having the toms up like that is important.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Here's what the kit looks like now. I swear, having just this amount of stuff speaks to me. Not sure why.
I know EXACTLY what you mean.
When I use this (or with the crash/ride by the hats. it's like, ooohhh yeaahhh.... I don't miss any of the other stuff.
With the ride in just the right spot, it's like no other cymbals are needed, or cared about for me. With the GB, or different 2002 cymbals I have, they work great as a ride and a crash, so I'm all set.

Item #3 from Toolate:
You're right, the hat side ft is not the one I'd ditch. It would be the 18.
Reason being, having 1 up, one each side is a 4 piece in each direction! I'd probably use 2 16's because I really like the sound of them. One is a 13x16 (L), the other a 14x16 (R). They do sound pretty close with the 18 in there, but if I didn't use the 18, I can get them to sound a lot different in tone.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

A few years back I paid way to much for an 18" floor tom to finish out my discontinued Premier Signia set.

And yeah, I don't really like reaching back there for it when I had it set up. I never used it, except on one esoteric recording where it was just tom rolls across the whole kit with mallets. Otherwise, I'd just assume to have the money I spent on the 18" floor tom back.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Interesting observation. Perhaps I'll try that. Or, keep the two floors where they are and add a 20" floor tom by my hi-hat ;)
Frankly I think the whole drumming world would think its weird (maybe even a guitarist would notice) but it makes sense to me. I am 6'3" and that 18 is far for me so I can imagine where it is for you. Try it- switch the 16 and 18 or try one on the L.

I am going down to re-arrange my gear right now.
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  #36  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:41 AM
Elliot Elliot is offline
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
It's not the amount of drums necessarily, I think it's more of a long term familiarity thing. When you're playing a kit that's outside of your default set up, you tend to be in "transpose" mode, & that's a distraction.
`

I always go into modes where I don't use the same set-up for two gigs back back to back, just always changing due to venue size/ set list/ however I'm feeling that day. Getting accustomed to changes like that really helps me find my voice when I do use my full-size kit. It was uncomfortable for a while, but now I love how it can open up my playing with imposed restrictions.

Bo, I bet after a couple more times with your 18" you'll know exactly how to use it!
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:11 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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`

I always go into modes where I don't use the same set-up for two gigs back back to back, just always changing due to venue size/ set list/ however I'm feeling that day. Getting accustomed to changes like that really helps me find my voice when I do use my full-size kit. It was uncomfortable for a while, but now I love how it can open up my playing with imposed restrictions.

Bo, I bet after a couple more times with your 18" you'll know exactly how to use it!
Well, my reality is that if I go to sit in somewhere, being left-handed, every kit I play on will be different. I honestly don't have an issue with playing other set-ups and I just adapt to whatever is in front of me at the time.

So, today I put the 18 back next to the 16 and just forced myself to either not play it if I didn't have to, or forced my body to get in a good position to use it. And after an hour of trying things, I can make it work. Maybe having the huge bass drum alters how I think - I don't really need anything else ;) But if I were playing a small jazz kit, I might feel the need to add stuff. Who knows?
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:19 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Do you have a crash back by the 18 where you can finish off a fill? I have had a two down kit a couple of times although with 14 and 16 so they weren't so far around the corner as you're dealing with. But I realize that if you've been in the habit of hitting something just to your right and then right up, or across the top for one or another crash, you may find yourself thinking more than you want to be while trying to twist around to use the low FT and then having to get back to normal to find a crash. When I had two down set ups, I used the extra foot print to add another crash which usually got used whenever a fill went all the way around.

I would think the transposition thing would be more of an issue with folks going from conventional 5 piece kits to a one up/two down setup. Since things they were used to doing in front of them were now split between the rack and floor.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:35 AM
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CV.drums@me.com CV.drums@me.com is offline
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

Feel free to snort derisively, but I'm kind of a fan of the "0-down" :)

My kit has 12" and 14" rack toms and an 18" floor tom ... but one time I had to play on a stage so small I couldn't fit the FT and more than one of the RTs ... I've found I can get away with just using the 14" where the 12" would be, my ride where the 14" should be and nothing in the floor tom spot.

Dorky? :)
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Am I allergic to "2-down"?

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Feel free to snort derisively, but I'm kind of a fan of the "0-down" :)

My kit has 12" and 14" rack toms and an 18" floor tom ... but one time I had to play on a stage so small I couldn't fit the FT and more than one of the RTs ... I've found I can get away with just using the 14" where the 12" would be, my ride where the 14" should be and nothing in the floor tom spot.

Dorky? :)
That's not dorky at all. If you made it work, that's the cool thing!

It just amazes me when people set aside room for a band, how they assume the performer doesn't need that much room.
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