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  #1  
Old 08-11-2018, 11:15 AM
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Default One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

So, I have been wondering about something for a while now.

I have 5 drum sets, and I love rotating between them. However, I recently focused on exclusively playing my vintage Ludwig kit, which is the drum set I have owned longer than any other, for an extended period of time (several months). I "know" this kit better than any of my other kits. I know which heads work, the tuning I prefer, how to get certain sounds of it, etc.. During these few months, I found myself really enjoying the familiarity of this kit, much more so than I thought I would. So, it got me to thinking.

Is it more advantageous, as a drummer, to have one dedicated drum set or several drum sets?

(Let's assume you don't need more than one for gigging purposes.)

Pros of 1 drum set:

If you have only one kit for an extended period of time, you get to learn the intricacies and nuances of that kit. You learn which tunings work, which heads, etc...

You are only buying heads/gear for one set of drums, so you save money and you get to be more in touch with what sounds good with that kit.

Cons of 1 drum set:

Sometimes it can be inspiring and motivating to play different sounding drums.

Only playing one drum set does not prepare you for needing to be adaptable to a variety of backline drum sets.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

I agree :).

Some more advantages of having two kits:

I've had days with multiple events, say more than one gig, or a rehearsal and a gig etc., and I had to bring a kit to all of them. So I was very glad I have two sets!!

Given your two kits are different, you have more options (different shells material, sizes etc).
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

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Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias View Post
I agree :).

Some more advantages of having two kits:

I've had days with multiple events, say more than one gig, or a rehearsal and a gig etc., and I had to bring a kit to all of them. So I was very glad I have two sets!!

Given your two kits are different, you have more options (different shells material, sizes etc).
Fair points for having two drum sets.

Is there a point at which adding more drum sets has a negative impact? I know my vintage kit like the back of my hand, however, I canít say the same about any of my other drum sets.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

I have 2 kits. I bought the second due to space limitations. The bigger kit just sits in it's cases stacked in the corner of my room. It has been there since October 2015 and will be until either one of 3 things happen: my house gets bigger, my kid moves out, or I sell it. I don't gig anymore, I only play for my own enjoyment, so I don't need a second kit.

So this is a con of owning multiple kits, one no longer gets used.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

My main three kits:

Large, modern kit for modern rock/cover band gigs.

1960's 4 piece kit with band logo on the bass for the 50's Rock n' Roll band.

Bop kit with 18" bass for jazz or quiet acoustic gigs.


The modern kit could do all of these gigs, but I'd have to change heads and tuning all the time. I've also had two gigs on the same night and needed two different kits, so the three kits works well for me.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

I see your point, but I think it has to do more with time behind the kit than having one or two or even twenty.

My first GMS Iíve been playing since Ď93. Though I donít use it as much as I once did, I know it like the back of my hand and itís always my go-to when recording. Overtime, Iíve felt the same way with my GMS SE acrylic kit as Iíve done tour after tour with them.

I now have 5 kits once again. Mostly for convience sake of leaving gear at spaces I rehearse at and having one packed and ready to go for live playing, but there is the option of different sounds based on materials. I have a titanium kit as an example. The problem is I really donít know those kits as well because I have not put in the time playing them like I should.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:36 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Pros. of 1.

-cheaper
-get to know the kit (tuning, setup, positioning)
-saves space
-confidence

pros of many
-different setups
-don't get too familiar
-different tunings
-learning more
-different styles


I play in a few bands and used to use one kit. I don't tune the same for both bands. One I prefer a smaller kit as well and less toms. This was my motivation as the venues are very different with different stages. Your not going to use a 10 piece kit in a jazz club, nor a cocktail kit in a death metal band.

I use different heads ( clear, coated, single /dual ply) and it is a great way to learn. plus if I ever just jump on someones kit it doesn't feel so foreign. I know guys that suck as soon as they get out of their jamspot. I gear share with other drums at gigs often and its no biggy.

I see guys who rock 5 piece kits gear share and just look terrified when they have a 4 piece kit with one less tom and can't play their fills. You learn so much more playing a smaller kit that can be applied to a big kit after.


The motivation I get changes too. I sit down on my little kit, with dry cymbals and I instantly go to funky beats and grooves. I sit down on my big kit with piercing cymbals and punchy toms I start playing blastbeats and metal.


Currnetly I have 5
-My main Pearl MCX kit for my metal band with a tight kick, triggers, lots of toms.
-A little Sonor kit for my punk band / screwing around playing funky stuff on or swapping on my dry cymbals and practicing jazz
- My Roland Ekit for when I can't be loud and practice
-An old 1960's kit that holds sentimental value to me
-a Pearl export I am restoring for fun (video soon)


I am getting rid of the export or sonors depending on what ones I decide to keep for a bit shortly as I only have room for 3, but I am always buying, selling, swapping and learning.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

The advantages for myself of having multiple sets comes down to convenience. One set at home, one set cased up ready to gig, and a set for leaving it at a rehearsal space (if needed).

It's all about me setting up as little as possible.

I'm down to 3 kits I use, and I have 1 other kit that I haven't been using lately.

So big fan of several kits.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

I make a living playing and recording everything from jazz to hardcore

if I had one drum set I'd be screwed
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Model and make of kit I'd argue is more about the drummer's taste. I thiknn variation is probably the least important hing

Multiple stuff is practical for all the reasons mentioned.

Now, I only have one kit and it's not really what I want. The USA Customs I'd like, if I had a full shell bank of those I think I'd be pretty well set. You can do anything with that and make several small kits as well. A few Broadkasters would be nice, but that's what they would be, nice to have, not a need, really.

Each person's situations varies so much.

I'd actualy still want to have something like my Catalina Maple for certain gigs when I'm not sure how well my gear would end up being treated.

It's not such a big issue for me as the few gigs I do are generally on house kits with me bringing just what extras I need. Same thing if it's around where I work. I'll probably borrow a kit from the school.

Some guys that tour constantly or play with the same band 2-3 gigs every weekend have two identical kits, but one lives in the band bus/van.

If you play a lot of very different styles it can be simpler. Not head changes, tuning changes or compromises for being to "lazy" to deal with that.

Having a rock kit and a jazz kit makes perfect sense if you need that and it makes life easier. So does doubling up on stuff if it safes transportation and setup time. Might even be the most economical option, depending on where you live taking the bus, catching a lift using your scooter instead of your car etc...

For me, the cajon kit and every variation between that and a typical 4-5 piece is very interesting. It adds up in cost, but the main point is that every piece is pretty small and light and there's really at no time any one big investment. Though I have he 6-piece in my practice room and enjoy practicing my fusion stuff, that's not really the musical world I live in. That's not what my surroundings generally need from a drummer. Subtleties in sound and timbre are the main things there and that's generally provivded by a large suitcase filled with jingly jangly stuff.

I think I could easily liv with just one model of drums. I'd like all different sizes, though. If I was in a pop band that played regularly every weekend and it was not just a small simple kit situation, I'd probably get a kit for that one situation, like many of my friends do and keep it in the band van. That way they can just pick me up and all I have to bring is what anyone travelling for 1-3 days staying in hotels needs. It's one big step closer to almost the ease of having a roadie. Have it all in a couple of big flightcases on wheels, which is certainly not an option using my own car and the level of ease is incomparable.

My own future is probably more like teaching all day and bringing small bop kit on the bus or in a taxi, though.

If it's for rehearsal and convenience the cheap stuff can do the job and then the money and hassle saved gets paid for pretty quickly.

If room is an issue, renting a storage space might be worth it. Get some shelves in there an it's amazing what you can fit into even the smallest sized ones.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

I had 5 acoustic sets and about a dozen or so mismatched single drums at one point.
A couple sets of e-multipads as well as a ton of single pads, brains, and kick triggers.

As I don't play gigs, I decided that was a bit ridiculous. I'm down to two sets now, but still have a lot of snares that I'm not using.
I'd be fine with one set, but the two I have now each have a lot of qualities that I like.

Funny thing is that way back in pre-history, when I was gigging a lot, I had one set of drums, a set of hi hats, one crash and one ride, and never felt that I was lacking anything.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:07 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

There is nothing wrong with 1 kit.. If I had just one it would be something middle of the road, maybe a 5 piece, but have enough stands that I could use it as a 4 as well.. Probably a 20 or a 22 kick, not a 18 or 24, and make sure I can play anything on it..

Once you have 2 you can get more specific, a bigger kit, and a smaller kit or whatever... Odd was right about being lazy, with 1 kit I was just using the same tuning and setup for both bands which wasn't always appropriate, but I didn't want the hassle of changing all the time.


A small gigging kit is always a treat too when you gotta lug it around, but a big one is so fun to play.


brand and look make no difference, I just mean sonically and physically different kits.


Same with snares,... 1 kit with a few snares can save a guy. but I noticed recently my wood, brass, steel, and aluminum snares all sound the same. It's not the snares, its me. I have a "sound" in my head I tend to tune to that I like.... So now I tune my snares very different for the genera or music I play...
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

I've been a "multiple kits" guy for yeeeaaars, for three reasons. One, so I can cover pretty much any gig that comes my way. Two, for when I have multiple gigs in a short time, and need to have two kits set up in different locations at the same time. And three, because I'm always changing my setup... Different sizes/configurations/etc.

Recently though, I decided to sell all my kits and just build one giant shell bank, which will satisfy all of those needs. 8x8, 10x8, 12x8, 13x10 toms, 14x14, 16x16, 18x16 floor toms (still trying to find the elusive 15"), and 20x16, 22x16, 24x16 bass drums. Mapex Orion (the 20 and 22 are Saturn). Now, no matter what the gig (or my whim) calls for, I can build a kit for it. I do still have a variety of snares though.

I can definitely see the reasons for having multiple kits. But I feel like this will work perfectly for what I need.
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

As long as you are heels over head in love with a certain drum make, a shell bank is a beautiful thing. Big fan.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

So for the people advocating for more than one drum set, do you think you have each of your kits "dialed in" or do you not care about that?
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Like Anthony said, he'd be screwed if he only had one kit to cover the variety of work he does, so in a Craftsman tool sense, you need more than one kit. That's just a given when you start working a lot. After a certain point, it's not really about "knowing" your one kit better, or liking it more than others, they're all just tools. If you're a good player, you will play good on anything, just like acoustic piano players play good on every piano they get on simply because they can't carry around their own piano.

For all the kits I've owned, I've never done the shell bank idea. And now I'm going to try that since I've gotten this latest Pearl kit. I have two bass drums, four rack toms, a couple of floor toms, and three snares. I never considered the idea of having the same drum set color all the time, but just in different configurations depending on what's being called for, so I'm gonna try it now.

I'm sure my usual configuration will be a 4-piece, but with the amount of same drums in the bank, I can have a kit at home, and one to travel, and/or leave at a venue. And they'll all be dialed in for whatever they need to be dialed in for - so fine tuning won't take place until I get to the gig, but they'll all start out as sounding generally good.

But I came to this attitude after years of working and realizing what I needed to be effective. If you're not gigging all the time, and only occasionally leave the house for a once-a-week gig, I wouldn't recommend going out and buying another kit yet. Only expand your inventory when absolutely necessary.
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Like Anthony said, he'd be screwed if he only had one kit to cover the variety of work he does, so in a Craftsman tool sense, you need more than one kit. That's just a given when you start working a lot. After a certain point, it's not really about "knowing" your one kit better, or liking it more than others, they're all just tools. If you're a good player, you will play good on anything, just like acoustic piano players play good on every piano they get on simply because they can't carry around their own piano.

For all the kits I've owned, I've never done the shell bank idea. And now I'm going to try that since I've gotten this latest Pearl kit. I have two bass drums, four rack toms, a couple of floor toms, and three snares. I never considered the idea of having the same drum set color all the time, but just in different configurations depending on what's being called for, so I'm gonna try it now.

I'm sure my usual configuration will be a 4-piece, but with the amount of same drums in the bank, I can have a kit at home, and one to travel, and/or leave at a venue. And they'll all be dialed in for whatever they need to be dialed in for - so fine tuning won't take place until I get to the gig, but they'll all start out as sounding generally good.

But I came to this attitude after years of working and realizing what I needed to be effective. If you're not gigging all the time, and only occasionally leave the house for a once-a-week gig, I wouldn't recommend going out and buying another kit yet. Only expand your inventory when absolutely necessary.
I feel like if you have a good quality kit, with nothing too crazy going on (square toms, rototoms instead of regular toms, 30" deep kicks, etc.), You can cover just about anything with a little tuning.
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutaway79 View Post
I feel like if you have a good quality kit, with nothing too crazy going on (square toms, rototoms instead of regular toms, 30" deep kicks, etc.), You can cover just about anything with a little tuning.
I was thinking one kit that has a 22, 20, 16, 12 and then an all purpose snare like a Ludwig 400 or 402 could cover almost all of your bases.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutaway79 View Post
I feel like if you have a good quality kit, with nothing too crazy going on (square toms, rototoms instead of regular toms, 30" deep kicks, etc.), You can cover just about anything with a little tuning.
And youíre right. Itíll work for 95% of players out there who do one gig at a time. When you start working more, you find you need something to practice on while one kit is on its way out to a venue or already there. Thatís mainly where I was coming from, not necessarily from knowing your one kit can cover it.
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunkaway View Post
So for the people advocating for more than one drum set, do you think you have each of your kits "dialed in" or do you not care about that?

I use the same general tom/bass tuning on all my kits. I like a certain sound from my toms. I always go for basically one tuning that makes me happy. I like my 3 toms to resolve. I tune the high tom to a root note, the middle tom a 4th below the root, and the floor tom is an octave below the root note. If I use 4 toms the 2nd floor is an octave below the 2nd tom.

The snare tuning depends on the gig, but the toms are tuned the same no matter which set I'm playing. When I find something I like, I stick to it, pun intended. I'm unadventurous like that.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
And youíre right. Itíll work for 95% of players out there who do one gig at a time. When you start working more, you find you need something to practice on while one kit is on its way out to a venue or already there. Thatís mainly where I was coming from, not necessarily from knowing your one kit can cover it.
Trust me, I work a lot. Had to do 5 gigs in 3 days a few times. I was talking about having one giant shell bank (all the same) vs. multiple different kits. The shell bank I've got could easily be split into three 4 or 5-piece kits if needed... 8, 10, 14, 20... 12, 16, 22... 13, 18, 24. I have no way to practice on an acoustic kit at home (got the electrics for that), so that's three perfectly workable gigging kits. So far, I've never had to have three kits all set up at once yet. But I'm always up for a challenge.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutaway79 View Post
Trust me, I work a lot. Had to do 5 gigs in 3 days a few times. I was talking about having one giant shell bank (all the same) vs. multiple different kits. The shell bank I've got could easily be split into three 4 or 5-piece kits if needed... 8, 10, 14, 20... 12, 16, 22... 13, 18, 24. I have no way to practice on an acoustic kit at home (got the electrics for that), so that's three perfectly workable gigging kits. So far, I've never had to have three kits all set up at once yet. But I'm always up for a challenge.
One year in my younger days I got hired to play for a bunch of kids groups at a choir festival on a college campus where several different theaters around campus were going to be used. Fortunately none of the groups performed at the same time but I was going to be in at least three of the venues at varying times during the day. I made arrangements and had three kits - one in each theater so all I had to do was run from one stage to the next. It took some coordination with the stage folks to keep an eye on my stuff, but the money was worth it.

The only problem with handling stuff like this is the fact that I got to do it five more times!
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

I'm in both camps, I have 5 kits which are all gigable. I also have an old Ludwig with 2 different size bass drums and different tom configs.

I rotated 3 kits for years along with the costs of heads etc, still love playing the high end drums from personal enjoyment.

Nowadays for gigging I will use the smallest kit I have purely for convenience and use drum mics if extra volume is needed. It's less hassle than rotating lots of kits. I keep the other kits for recording and special occasions.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

I hate setting up and tearing down all of the time. If I had to set up and tear down every time I practiced, played at church, or gigged, I'd probably quit playing.







No I wouldn't. :)
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

A lot of people have said what I would have in terms of convenience, availability, etc. I think for me personally it offers some motivation and spice when I play the different kits....keeps it interesting for sure.

I have three as well I rotate between: Ludwig Classic Maples for anything, PDP bop kit for the small/volume-conscious venues, and a Roland V-drums kit paired to a Pearl Mimic Pro module for whenever strikes my fancy or if a place asks for it.

I also rotate between two hardware packs when needed: DW Ultralight and Tama Roadpro's (two extremes I know lol). Only common piece is my DW5000 pedal.

I think if I ultimately chose ONE drum manufacturer to stick with, I'd sell off my off-brand acoustic kits and go with the shell bank idea. I know folks like Thomas Lang do something like that.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

for almost 25 years I used my 5 piece Pearl Export kit for everything. And there was a lot of moving and setting it up and tearing it down for practicing at home and gigging and rehearsing.

A few years ago, I realised that I could afford to upgrade my kit, not that I really needed to, but we are in a golden age for drum kits, and a terrific kit is available for pretty much the exact same price as I paid for my exports in the late 80's. So I upgraded my kit. I sold my Exports to a band member that we rehearse at, so I didn't have to move my kit around any more, except for gigs. Then I picked up an electronic kit, so I could lean new materials at home, day or night, and never disturb the rest of the house, let alone the neighbourhood.

Currently I have 4 "kits". My 6 piece rock kit for my main band, we play a lot of 70's and 80's stuff, so the extra toms let me play things more like the record. I have a 4 piece kit I use for fill in bands, mostly country, but also for hosting jam nights, and playing more modern 90's+ rock stuff. I have my big e-kit at home for rehearsing and learning new materials, and I also use it for any jams we have at my house. I also use it for recording demos. Finally, I have a Yamaha DTX Multi 12 that I can use with foot pedals to be an entire kit for little coffee house and tiny pubs that would normally push me into having to play a cajon, I get to make full kit sounds, and it's let me do lots of gigs that would normally be the realm of just a couple acoustic guitars. I bought it in the spring and it's already paid for itself.

I am totally satisfied with my gear, I can cover any musical style and stage and volume requirements I encounter with what I have. I only own 3 acoustic snare drums, and one set of cymbals, but I can pick and choose what I feel is appropriate for the task at hand.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

For the people saying they need more than one drum set because of how often they are gigging, I can absolutely see that, and I think it makes sense.

Do you think you "know" one of your drum sets better than the others? Does that make a difference to you and your playing?

I played a ton a few years back, and I basically played 3 or 4 drum sets regularly. I got used to playing on just about any set of drums, however, I had one set that just always "felt" better to me. It didn't sound significantly better to me, but I just always felt more comfortable with that kit. From this, I felt like I always played better with this set of drums. And as someone pointed out, that may very well have been because of time spent on that kit.

It got me to wondering if I would have played better, sounded better, etc... if I had used that kit exclusively.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:40 AM
Vibes Vibes is offline
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

I have several different sets in varying sizes and makes, modern, vintage. I choose which set I use according to what type music I am playing, ease of load in, and stage area for the drums. If I am not familiar with a venue I will google it and see if they have any pics of bands on stage to get a idea of what I will be dealing with. I have three sets I use for Jazz, the ones I use for classic rock, my Dance, R&B sets. The one set I use when I am not sure what I am walking into that can cover anything are my 1980 six ply Silver Sparkle Ludwig's. I have all size toms for this set but rarely use a lot of them. My standard set is a four piece 14"x22" 8"x12" 14"x14" floor tom. And a Supraphonic or Matching Rocker wood snare. This set up can always get the job done. I bag them and have a little vintage H&B rolling trap case I use with all my sets. Everything will fit on my dolly for a one trip in and out.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:18 AM
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T_Weaves T_Weaves is offline
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

When I gigged heavy (70's/80's) I only had one kit. It was a big Ludwig Walnut Thermogloss double bass kit with 2 up 2 dn. We had roadies though so it was a show up and play deal. Now as an older cat I have three kits ( see sig ) that are different sizes, use different heads, and sound quite different. My main motivation to having more than one is that there are just so many beautiful kits out there ! I want more than one of them.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:56 AM
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oldskoolsoul oldskoolsoul is offline
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Default Re: One Drum Set Vs Several Drum Sets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutaway79 View Post
..I feel like if you have a good quality kit, with nothing too crazy going on (square toms, rototoms instead of regular toms, 30" deep kicks, etc.), You can cover just about anything with a little tuning..

I agree with this..

Drumheads and tuning are of way more influence on the sound than the actual drumset..Maybe from a collectors view is nice to have a lot of drumsets, but for a carreer as a working drummer is not needed at all..

And besides that, music-styles that maybe would need a specific drumset are not bringing any serious income anyway, at least for 99% of the drummers that play those styles..
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