24 vs 22 Kick

22x16" is the perfect size for me. Has enough low-end punch for rock but is also has enough articulation for smaller gigs. I wouldn't want to do a jazz combo on a 22" but it still works well enough imo. I have very limited experience on 24" bass drums but I think they would be unwieldy and impractical for a lot of gigs. 22" wins hands down in the versatility department.


"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
My favorite diameter is a 24, for sound. It's not as practical for me as far as tom height on a tom tree goes. But the sound...oh my.

A 22 to my body is practical with a tom tree as far as rack tom height goes. I'm truly madly in love with the sound of my walnut 22 x 16, modded to have a tom tree, bass drum. I'm really extremely satisfied with that drum. It renders a most satisfying, dripping wet, partially subsonic, solid punch in the gut.

It's the drum that will wear CM's PS3 autographed head that he's sending me. Free of charge. What a guy.

My walnut Guru bass drum mentioned above, as some of you may remember, got pretty badly damaged in shipping, (Spring 2016) but Andy, after throwing up, crying and later recovering, hooked me up with a guy near me that did an expert repair. EXPERT. I can't even see it. It's like the damage never happened. And it sounds like bass drum heaven to me.

But a 24 x 14 will always be my favorite size sonically. I've only played 24's that both happened to be 76 Ludwigs, 2 different sets, two different decades of me playing them, same year drums. Both nirvana. A 26 is just too much bass drum for me.


Platinum Member
I think it has just as much (if not more) to do with shell construction or individual mojo as it does size. I have two 24x16" basses, one an 80s Pearl Masters and another an 80s Ludwig Rocker. They both have serious "oomph" from their size but the thicker shelled/sharper edged Pearl has a very clear and direct sound, while the Ludwig with the thinner (mixed wood) shell and rounder edges has a slightly wilder, fuzzier tone. They both sound great, though distinctly different from each other. But my 22x14" Ludwig Rocker bass drum is simply the most beautiful, round, thick sounding bass drum I've ever played. I've owned/played a ton of 22" bass drums over my time as a drummer, and simply nothing sounds like this drum. I don't know WHAT makes this drum sound the way it does, but it literally makes me smile every time I play it.

For me, and my specific drums, if I wanted/needed power and clarity (and a little extra visual "rock n' roll") I'd pick the Pearl drum no question...but if I wanted/needed tone and punch it's the 22" all day long. I'm glad to have three bass drums that give me very different sounds and feels because it's nice to have options, but it also makes it clear to me after living with these three bass drums that there's a lot more going on in a drum sound beyond heads and tuning.


24 or 22 ? I have both and enjoy both sounds. I’ve been switching back and forth and seem to like the sound of my 22 for the moment. Does anyone else go back and forth when it comes to your kick? I’ll go through spells where I like the sound and feeling of my 24 and I’ll play it for a while and switch over to my 22. I wouldn’t go smaller though not a fan of 20s.
Why not both? I have an 18, 20, a few 22s and a 26. I use the 18 if I’m playing small clubs, or if I’m playing straight-ahead or hip hop. The 20 is a very versatile kick. I use it for weddings and top 40s gigs. 22 is also pretty versatile, just a lot to lug around. I haven’t had a 24 in several years, just because it was so big and hard to carry around, and is kind of a 1 trick pony in my opinion. Great for playing loud rock if that’s your thing. The other thing with the 24 is tom positioning. That was always a struggle. I keep the 26 in my studio unported with no muffling. Sounds great on recordings where I want that big Bonham sound, or some Americana type stuff. If I had to pick one kick to use for the rest of my life, it would be a toss up between 20 and 22. Just my 2 cents!


Platinum Member
I think the 24 is one of the most recorded bass drum sounds. Why?

John JR Robinson exclusively uses one on everything he does. And did so from an early start in his session career.

Another recording great Paul Leim, uses this size mostly.


Senior Member
I’ve said often, if I EVER had a want for a maple kit, I would NOT get a kick above 20.
It just seems right for the punch to boom formula regarding the wood property.

If it were strictly my view, 22 for everything else though, I do have a 24x14 vistalite kick that’s just really boomy.


Active Member
24" Great sound but hard to move
22" Nice balance between sound and portability
20" A dream to move but a little thin in the sound category


Technical Supervisor
Staff member
I’m waiting for the 25” to be made.