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  #1  
Old 04-24-2013, 09:33 PM
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Default Do you keep adjusting your kit?

Another newbie question...

I was passing the door of my favourite drum shop on Monday and managed to come out with a second ride (Sabian HH raw bell 21 inch), a huge cowbell and a tambourine - along with various bits of hardware. Thank goodness I don't live nearer or I'd be permanently broke!

I then put the new - huge - ride into the kit and had to move all the other stuff around. Since then I've spent loads of time moving stuff around to make it more comfortable/reachable etc.

So... do most drummers get their setup 'just so' and leave it like that for years, or do you tend to fiddle with positioning and heights, and move stuff around, all the time? Are you 'never happy' with the layout, or pretty much just leave it be?

Just wondering.... :)
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I keep moving stuff around a bit all the time. If I get a new cymbal then I make appropriate room for it but in a way that everything still feels comfortable.

Comfortable is the key word - I like to reach everything with natural motions so as long as I can do that I'm happy. If I break up the kit and put it back up it'll most likely end up slightly different than it was. As long as I feel good behind the kit I don't really care how everything is
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:56 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I find that changing things periodically helps my creativity

change is good
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Amodeo View Post
I find that changing things periodically helps my creativity

change is good
I wondered about this - sometimes a change of position forces you out of old habits...
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I'm always fiddling around with my setup. I seem to adjust my throne height every day more or less! I feel your ride cymbal pain, mine is a 22" and it does make placement a bit more difficult, especially keeping the bell within reach. How people manage with 24" rides I have no idea.
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  #6  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I do, but w/a 4 piece kit and 3 cymbals there's only so far I can go. So I try to add a tom or cymbal every so often or change it up distance and height wise.
I do change my cymbals around but the positions are usually the same
Eventually, within a few days, everything always comes back to the same spot and the same set up...
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

My setup went through a lot of changes during my first 10 years of playing (starting with a 5 pc to monster kit eventually scaling back to a 5 pc), but has been pretty stable for the last 20 or so. I swap out cymbals and snares but the positions of things don't change much, if at all.

If I'm feeling crazy and experimental, I might swap positions of my ride and second crash so my ride sits over my kick, but that never lasts for more than a couple weeks.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I think every drummer, upon starting out, moves things around and tries different set ups.

Then over time, a basic set up gets established that perhaps doesn't change as often.
But even these base set ups evolve over time.

And in addition, things might get added, deleted, or moved depending on the type of gig or band.

For some reason, if I'm playing with some blues guys, I tend to want my right side crash in a different spot then when I'm playing rock.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

i have two kits set up mostof the time, one is my studio\rehersal kit and that one stays pretty much put. My other kit the gig one i mess with alot, trying different arrangments and such... i find that locking yourself onto one setup can become a bit boaring at times.
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2013, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

First of all that's a nice ride you got there... should be getting myself one when i can get the cash.

On topic: My setup is currently pretty permanent, that said i used to try various ideas until i found a good setup. My current setup is like a 3 style hybrid, 2 bass drums, 2 mounted toms in front of the snare (think triangle) and my ride over the bass drum. my view is: If something works well for you, keep it if it doesn't there's no harm in trying new places for drums/cymbals
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  #11  
Old 04-24-2013, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomPlaysDrums View Post
First of all that's a nice ride you got there... should be getting myself one when i can get the cash.

On topic: My setup is currently pretty permanent, that said i used to try various ideas until i found a good setup. My current setup is like a 3 style hybrid, 2 bass drums, 2 mounted toms in front of the snare (think triangle) and my ride over the bass drum. my view is: If something works well for you, keep it if it doesn't there's no harm in trying new places for drums/cymbals
Sounds good - any photos?
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  #12  
Old 04-24-2013, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I own multiple kits, (5) and I set them all up pretty much the same.
I set the thrones at the same height. The floor toms for each kit are at the same height.
Mounted toms are set at the same height. Hi-hat same, Snare same.
Cymbals go in the same places on each kit and are at the same height on each kit.
I actually measure these things and I use memory locks to insure that things stay the same.
It makes it easy for me to play whatever kit that I am playing.
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  #13  
Old 04-25-2013, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I do not change it much anymore, but I used to. Peace and goodwill.
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  #14  
Old 04-25-2013, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

As long as the snare and hats are at about the same height, and the throne is sturdy, I'll find my way around. I'm very used to playing on other people's kits, and my own kit has to flex from time to time to fit different demands and needs. I do tend to set up at home the same way for long periods of time, but that changes too. I changed from a two-up, two-down, ride at 2:00 setup to a three-up, two-down with ride at 3:00 recently just to try something new. I may or may not go back -- I sure liked the ride where it was, but I like having the three toms up front, too. First world problems, right?
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  #15  
Old 04-25-2013, 12:35 AM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

from most gigs I use 1 up 1 down, kick, snare, ride, crash, hat,

occasionally at home I'll throw 2 up

I'm gigging and recording with a band right now called the Binary Sea where I only use kick, floor, snare , ride , hat ...with the ride where the rack tom would usually be

as I said in my earlier post ....change is good

Last edited by Anthony Amodeo; 04-25-2013 at 01:25 AM.
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  #16  
Old 04-25-2013, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

Changing things around is the best way of getting a new kit without spending any money.
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  #17  
Old 04-25-2013, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I moved things around in my first five years quite a bit. The ride cymbal moved a lot. It went from being at a 45 degree, just the right tom spot on the kick drum to down with only slight tilt, just above the floor tom.I have all of my stand placements marked with tape on my drum carpet for quick setup. This way I can set up almost "blind" and be ready for a sound check with very little fiddling.

Memory clamps are nice for things that are heavy and might droop, but terrible if you wish to telescope your stands for transit. After you have had your stands in the same place and height for some time and worked out the kinks, you can always make little marks with model paint or nail polish on the stand for quick height remembrance.

I think my cymbal positions changed in the last year more than normal, mainly because my cymbals changed. I found myself at times reaching for things with my eyes closed that weren't there. I found out that my NEED for certain cymbals in a certain place ended up being different that what I thought.
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  #18  
Old 04-25-2013, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

You keep fixing it until you get it right.
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  #19  
Old 04-25-2013, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I really don't change-up my kits very much. Each one has a slightly different footprint, but all in all they remain the same. This significantly helps with set-up and tear down times knowing where things belong and how much space is needed, thank God for memory locks. Consistency is the key when you have to work fast and also create the desired results.Four of my kits are seven piece kits with three up and two down, one is two up and one down and the other is one up and two down. BTW, it's very seldom that I gig all seven drums, but usually pick and choose depending on the venue.

Dennis
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  #20  
Old 04-25-2013, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I use to be like MikeM in the early years, moving and updating my original five piece kit to monster kits and back, so yes, during these years I was regularly changing things around.

Then I settled for quite a few years until I started to have back and limbs joint problems, time do take it's toll in the long run.

So about 3 years ago I had to look seriously at the ergonomic of my kit, and I've search and read a lot about it, the key was to eliminate all kind of tension while playing the kit, so armed with my findings I did found a way of setting up the kit in a way that I can play for more than 2 hours without feeling any pain.

Now, slightly off topic here, but not that long ago, I read an interview of Derek Roddy were he talks about setting up his kit, he use a blind fold system to ensure that everything is put where it's the most natural place for playing. You close your eyes and you reach and hit the elements of your kit, you do this for a little while, not just for 5 minutes, over a few days for example. I found this method to be working and very efficient.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

One of my sets never gets adjusted. I may swap a cymbal out for another but not move anything.

My other set is sometimes "adjusted" due to a student so the need to readjust things is only after a lesson. Other than that, I just don't have the need.
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  #22  
Old 04-25-2013, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post

Now, slightly off topic here, but not that long ago, I read an interview of Derek Roddy were he talks about setting up his kit, he use a blind fold system to ensure that everything is put where it's the most natural place for playing. You close your eyes and you reach and hit the elements of your kit, you do this for a little while, not just for 5 minutes, over a few days for example. I found this method to be working and very efficient.
Dave Weckl spoke for about two hours on this exact subject while I was studying with him

he called it the blind ergonomics test

you allow your body to set the drums where it wants them and not your eyes
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  #23  
Old 04-25-2013, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I am always. Love a tom to the L side of my hats but it looks so out of place so I take it away now and then. Just set my kick up way off to the right and played it with the slave pedal on my double pedal. SO wierd but gets my 13" tom down now that the 26" kick is out of the way. Put it back today...

Yes I am always changing.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I keep things the same for the most part. Recently I've lowered everything and made the setup flatter. This helped ergonomically for me and allowed the kit to be easily played by anybody who came by to visit. Sometimes people will play my kit when I'm away and I can tell if anything is amiss. I need things just so. The same every time. Boring. Haha. But I can play all night for hours.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I've been always trying to lower my kit, because im tall and sometimes have trouble with my elbows hitting upperlegs and limiting my arm movement. Sitting low has always limited my basspedal speed but now after 5 years my knees are finally sitting higher then my upperlegs making some space for my elbows.
This is related to my high tom aswell. I was always changing the angle on it relative to the way I was sitting into the kit. I like the flat high tom but if your torse is to far away you need to lean into it to reach it and thats just terrible on your back.
Now with my lowered position im able to really sit into the kit and have my snare between my legs making it easy to reach the flat high tom.
So yes my setup is always adjusting with a very set goal in mind and I know this goes against letting your body decide the position, but if I do that with my length im adjusting every kit I sit behind for 15min.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I have been playing over 30 years, in the beginning i tried a lot of variations but after a while it settled in.

I play anywhere between a 4 piece to a 6 piece, regardless i set up the same way. I can play any of them with my eyes closed, this to me is important. I can focus on being in the moment and playing and not be actively thinking about where things are.
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  #27  
Old 04-25-2013, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I've been playing drums most of my life, professionally since age 15 (I'm 58). It always seemed like my set up morphed based on what gear I currently felt like using and the requirements of the music. Well, much to my surprise I was shown a pic of my kit taken from above in 1973, same basic set up I used last night! 1 up 2 down, ride, 2 crashes, hats, all looking exactly like I set them up now!! The drums themselves were different (chrome-o-wood Slingerland Buddy Rich) but I guess things havn't really changed that much for me. I do use different sizes, makes, and a wide selection of snares and Zildjians, but I was really surprised to see my basic configuration hasn't really changed that much.
(I did rock a 3 up 2 down plus Simmons back in the 80's along with a few different colors of hair.......)
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

The only change I make is the tom angles. After 30 years, I'm still not sure how I like them. Sometimes, i have them almost flat, other times, I'll angle them steep towrads me. I fell into a " I want my set to look cool from the audience" mindset, big mistake, I know. I am still trying to find a spot for my roto-toms. I bought them a year ago, and am unsure where to put them on my Pearl Icon rack. I have no real estate left...
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

It seems I'm constantly "tweaking" my kit.....................especially the smaller stuff...........cowbells, blocks, etc
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  #30  
Old 04-25-2013, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

I make small adjustements from time to time. I'm always messing with snare strainer tension.
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  #31  
Old 04-25-2013, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Do you keep adjusting your kit?

Once my kit's set up the way I like it, I never wanna move it. If I need to change a head or move something, I'll mark where it goes and make as few adjustments as possible. That's just me. But seriously, don't move my kit...
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