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  #1  
Old 07-15-2017, 10:58 AM
cornman21 cornman21 is offline
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Default 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

I've been searching around for a new drum set, and i can't decide between a four piece or five piece. I would prefer a four piece kit with a 12" rack tom, but i wonder if i should have the other tom in case. I play a lot of jazz, so maybe the jazz style wouldn't need a second tom...
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:51 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

Everything can be done on a 4-piece which is why I usually play a 6-piece. lol

It's personal choice, but for some of us it pays to be flexible. It's also fun to vary things.

12 and 14 is very common.

10 and 14 is also common. Florian does that and I've seen Vinnie do it often.

but

Morello and lots of older cats did 13 and 16. It's having quite a comeback around here. In honesty, 1 up the 1 or 2 down is the most common. Probably more about ride placement than anything else which can also be solved in other ways.


Sizes aren't always about sound either, but logistics.


Personally, I'd like to have the choice of 10 or 12 and sometimes both. That's me though. You might end up not using that second rack tom at all.

From another personal perspective I'd also rather get the exact brand and model I want and add on to it rather than getting something inferior with more drums.
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Last edited by Odd-Arne Oseberg; 07-15-2017 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

If undecided, you might be better off getting a 5 piece. Better to have an extra drum sitting around than wishing you had the extra drum. Even if you just use a 4 piece most of the time, having the extra tom will give you the option of switching out the 12 for a 10 or 13 for different situations/rooms/etc.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

I have seen more than one thread where people are looking for an additional tom in a certain type, finish, year, etc. If you have a choice to buy a 3rd tom for your set, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg I would get it and save it for a rainy day. If you change your mind on set up, you will have options. Loosen the head, keep the dust off and it will be there if needed.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

If you are not sure, spring for the other tom, and you'll be set for all situations.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

If you want the third tom tom go ahead and get it. I've never felt it necessary-- even when I owned a 5-piece set, I almost never bothered taking the third tom (a 10") to a gig, for any type of music.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornman21 View Post
I've been searching around for a new drum set, and i can't decide between a four piece or five piece. I would prefer a four piece kit with a 12" rack tom, but i wonder if i should have the other tom in case. I play a lot of jazz, so maybe the jazz style wouldn't need a second tom...
Just the thought of you questioning an added tom, should determine your purchase.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

Waiting to get extra drums is of course dependent on make and model. US Customs that I'm saving up for will never go out of production. They re not alone.

I eventually want every option, 8/10/12/13/14/16/18 toms and 18/20/22/24 bass drums, though knowing full well that my main rig will always be 10/12/14/16+22 and sometimes 10 or 12/14/20 4-piece.
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So, kick drum...or...bass drum? I'll tell you what. If it's 18" or less, it's a FOOT TOM.
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2017, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

if your mind is telling you that you would 'prefer a four piece with 12 tom' then that tells me to get a 4 piece. my 10 tom sits on a shelf and goes nowhere.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

I have two kits - a Yamaha Stage Custom shell bank with even sizes between 8" and 16" and a 20" kick, and a Ludwig 13/16/22 four-piece. But even with all the options, I never tend to go any larger than 12/14/16 on the one kit any more. Just too much junk to haul. Having said that, having the option to go larger if ever needed is nice, and when bought together both is cheaper and ensures all your toms will match.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

Hi Cornman21 and welcome to DW. I have two five piece kits and play mostly blues, blues\rock and some jazz. Most of the time I use the four piece set up of 10\14\20 but sometimes I'll add my 12 for a change. If you get a five piece as others have said, you change up the tom or bring it all as a five piece.

Good luck and let us know what happens.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

I would buy the 5 as others have mentioned (more options down the road)... I intentionally moved down to a 4 piece to force myself to get a little more creative with drumming/fills however, so even if you buy the 5 piece, consider not bringing them all at once.
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2017, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
If you want the third tom tom go ahead and get it. I've never felt it necessary-- even when I owned a 5-piece set, I almost never bothered taking the third tom (a 10") to a gig, for any type of music.
I have come to be not very fond of 10s myself. My kit is a 4 piece, and it originally had a 10 and 14. Took the 10 off and bought a 12 separately. Ahhh, much better.
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  #14  
Old 07-16-2017, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

The only way I'd go with a 5 piece is if it was 1 up 2 down or if the toms were 12/13/16 or larger, I'd never use a 10" tom for anything other than a dust collector in the corner of my practice space.
If you're going to get an extra tom see if you can swap the 10" out for a smaller floor tom maybe? I did that with my first kit and swapped the 10" tom for an 18" floor tom and I still regret not going with a 14" floor tom, if I had I probably wouldn't have sold the kit!
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

You could take the approach like a pianist. He may only be playing a few keys at a time, but it comes with 88. What you decide to do with the 5-piece is up to you. Although my story is that I've always had more drums than I needed, then when I really get down to business, I show up at a gig with only four drums.
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  #16  
Old 07-16-2017, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

I almost made a move on a 5pc this week because it was a good deal, but discovered the 2nd FT was almost half the price of the whole set, so I passed. Not exactly a 4 or 5pc question for me, it's more 5 or 6. I, like some can definitely show up and play a 4 pc, but like the option to play a bigger set at home or decide between two FT sizes. As others have said, get the set that keeps you from kicking yourself later. Add ones are either unavailable or pricey.
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2017, 03:20 AM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank View Post
I have come to be not very fond of 10s myself. My kit is a 4 piece, and it originally had a 10 and 14. Took the 10 off and bought a 12 separately. Ahhh, much better.
The 10s are a little bit toy-like-- which is part of why they're so fun to play. They're just not real musically functional for me. It's easy to play them too much, and I don't want to hear that bongo sound popping out in the mix for no reason. That being said, if I find one to match my Sonor or Gretsch set, I'm buying it. I'll be happier if I find a 13 first, though.
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  #18  
Old 07-16-2017, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

5 piece for me 12, 13, 16, 22---can't stand 10" toms!
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  #19  
Old 07-16-2017, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

90% of my gigs are four piece.
But the cover band is playing more 70's songs lately, and I've taken the extra tom to a few gigs. It really suits the songs and feels much better for songs that have classic fills around the toms. (eg Hotel California, Go your own way, Its so easy).
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  #20  
Old 07-17-2017, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

When I bought my USA Pork Pie Customs, I looked for a 6-piece even though I played a 4-piece - specifically with the following tom sizes: 10, 12, 14, 16.

Why? So that I would PLENTY of options:
  • I could play a 4-piece with a 10 and 14.
  • I could play a 4-piece with a 12 and 16.
  • I could play a 4-piece with a 12 and 14 (never did this, but it's an option).
  • I could play a two up, one down.
  • I could play a one up/two down (this is my current set up although I have my 14" floor tom off to the right of my hi-hats. My 10" rack tom has been in the top of my closet for years).

Also, I'll NEVER have to worry about finding a matching tom because this is more than I'll ever need.

If you can't afford this option, that's cool. I just thought I'd throw another option out there.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

Ah the age old question "more or less" . Sometimes more is less and less is more-hopefully adding to your confusion. I started with less, added more, then went to less-so more or less went from more to less. I recently bought a three piece shell pack two toms and kick-didn't take long for the more bug to bite so I bought another tom-that generally I find is in the way more than I need so now listless for less again-and it sits in the corner.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
When I bought my USA Pork Pie Customs, I looked for a 6-piece even though I played a 4-piece - specifically with the following tom sizes: 10, 12, 14, 16.

Why? So that I would PLENTY of options:
  • I could play a 4-piece with a 10 and 14.
  • I could play a 4-piece with a 12 and 16.
  • I could play a 4-piece with a 12 and 14 (never did this, but it's an option).
  • I could play a two up, one down.
  • I could play a one up/two down (this is my current set up although I have my 14" floor tom off to the right of my hi-hats. My 10" rack tom has been in the top of my closet for years).

Also, I'll NEVER have to worry about finding a matching tom because this is more than I'll ever need.

If you can't afford this option, that's cool. I just thought I'd throw another option out there.
My version of this would be 12 13 racks and 14 16 floors with a 20x14 kick. That way i could get both of the traditional 4 piece configurations and the traditional 2 up 1 down config along with the modern 1 up 2 down. traditional 1 up 2 down being 13 16 18 i believe.
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  #23  
Old 07-18-2017, 07:07 AM
cornman21 cornman21 is offline
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

After some consideration, i decided to buy a 4piece with a 12" rack tom. The set i bought is a OCDP Venice Ltd. Series. I tried to get a 5 piece with a 10" tom just in case, but since OCDP doesn't sell their custom drums anymore i had limited options. I'm not very fond of 10"s anyway. Your probably thinking i can buy one seperatley but they are all unavaible. I looked into some pdp sets which i thought were the next best thing but they cost a lot more, and i was trying to keep this a budget set. Feel free to call me a dumbass for this bad decision and express your opinion freely. To be honest I think I will be fine, I hope i don't regret this. Regarding the set, it is made of cherry wood which is a new wood for me. I hope it sounds good with some new heads. Anyways I can't wait to post a review on my set and don't let this reply stop you from saying what the best and most efficient sizes are, it would be nice to hear more.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

For me, 50% of the answer to 4 vs 5 piece was... "Where is my Ride gonna sit?"

Once the ride was in place, it was readily apparent that I wasn't going to play 2U in the normal 2-above-the-BD manner.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

I have a 7 piece Pearl Masters kit and I have never used my 16 inch floor tom at a gig, I use the 14.

I was playing 3 up for a while, It is a ton of fun at home, I am not hauling that around... So I switched to a 5, and when I play with my other band it's a 4.

I agree about ride placement. I LOVE where it sits with 1 up and one down. I use it for most playing including my skate punk band like that, less to tune, less to carry, less to mic, less to set up. For my metal band I add the tom in because I do alot of tom heavy beats and grooves that require it. I have gotten away doing a bit more on just the floor tom though.


It wouldn't hurt to buy the 5 piece and just leave the one off the kit. I have noticed my fills started to get much better on the 4 piece. You can't do silly 16th note rolls around the kit as easy with the ride cymbal there and it forces you to get creative. I think once you master the 4 piece your playing on the 5 piece will be better.
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  #26  
Old 07-19-2017, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: 4 Piece vs 5 Piece?

Depending which band I am playing with I will use a 4 or a 5 piece (6 piece with 3 up for recording) Will switch from 2 up, 1 down to 1 up, 1 down or 1 up, 2 down.
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