3up 3down questions

GCRoberts

Well-known member
My "planned" DW performance home setup is 7"x8", 8"x10", 9"x12" rack toms, 12"x14", 14"x16", 16"x18" floor toms, 6.5"x14" snare, 18"x22" bass. I've downloaded the music to "In The Air Tonight", and the drum key shows 6 toms used for the arrangement. Yes, I know you can play it on fewer toms with minor changes and still make it sound great. I also want the flexibility to play other songs that would benefit from all 6 toms. This is a home kit, so I'm not concerned about lugging too much equipment to gigs. Can anyone point me to examples of people using a similar setup? Should I put the lowest floor tom on my left hand side? Or do I have all three floor toms to my right? Should I go with a 24" bass if my lowest tom is a 18"? Looking for suggestions. Thanks in advance.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I would place one of three floor toms to my left, simply because, speaking only for myself, I can't imagine having three in a row on one side of the kit, which could make for rather awkward access. I would also go with a 22" bass instead of a 24". A 24" has always seemed overkill to me, regardless of the accompanying tom dimensions. An 18"x22" will give you a wealth of thump and projection. I've never found arguments for a 24" to be very convincing.

I should also reveal that I've never owned a kit as large as the one you're proposing. I've been a one-up/one-down guy for a very long time now. Thus, my suggestions are more theoretical than experiential.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I play a kit that is ultimately a 13/16/24 4-piece, but add a 14" FT to the left of my snare. The single greatest benefit is that you can rip all of Larry Mullen Junior's early riffs.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I had a set up kinda like what you're talking about but a little bigger with 4 on top and 2 snare drums.. Took up a lot of "real estate" that's for sure. Had the 3 floor toms to the right in a triangle which caused a bit of a reach. Then moved the largest (16x18) over to the left. I've since gotten rid of the monster and downsized to 3 on top and one floor. You really don't need all those drums. Mostly for show and instead of playing to the song, you start thinking about what "you haven't used yet". It's overkill, believe me.

Three Floor Toms.jpg
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Dennis Chambers sometimes plays 3-up/3-down.
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As for the 3-down aspect, I've seen drummers arrange their floor toms in a triangle shape instead of in a row.
Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 9.24.13 PM.png

BTW, I'm not really a fan of 3 FTs, but it's your kit.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Gergo Borlai uses 3 floor toms on his right side. He makes it look way too easy. It's totally not, lol. He's not using 3 racks in this video, but I have seen him use an 8" occasionally.

I think 3 floor toms on the right is crazy. You gotta twist yourself around to even reach it. Definitely put 1 of the 3 floor toms to your left. It's more ergonomic, and more importantly, it gives your left hand more to do.

 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I think a 4 up 2 down is more playable, 3 floor toms means that the last one is almost behind you, then you don’t use it much, you can’t reach it fast enough, especially with your left hand. It’s Ok for playing specific parts, where you rotate your body to the right - but you’ll see that on the average concert, you’ll barely use it. I would go 8 10 12 13 Floors : 16 18 to get a nice sound panel and still easy access.
I would add a smaller bass drum to the order just to be able to build 2 kits.
 
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iCe

Senior Member
I would place the 14x12 on to the left side to spice things up. For that fill i think you don't really need it on the right side, because with that fill you still have enough time to move over from left to the right side for the ending of the fill.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
When I think 3 floor toms, I always think Tony Williams.

I had a 24x14 Ludwig with 14x14, 16x16, 18x16 floors, for a while. I was using a center pedal (Sleishman) that moved the bass drum to my left, and thereby I was able to move all the floors more forward. Easy reach, for me. I also set up two right, 1 left.

I also played around with a center hi-hat position (DW 9550), that opens up a whole different world of drum positioning.

As far as a 22 or a 24, if I could only have one, it would be a 24. But I gigged with a 22x16, 14x10, 16x16, 18x16 kit for decades, so a 22 will still work with an 18 floor. Heck, Elvin Jones had 16 and 18 floors with his 18" bass drum, in his Tama and Yamaha years. So, rules ...... you make your own rules.
 

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NouveauCliche

Senior Member
My "planned" DW performance home setup is 7"x8", 8"x10", 9"x12" rack toms, 12"x14", 14"x16", 16"x18" floor toms, 6.5"x14" snare, 18"x22" bass. I've downloaded the music to "In The Air Tonight", and the drum key shows 6 toms used for the arrangement. Yes, I know you can play it on fewer toms with minor changes and still make it sound great. I also want the flexibility to play other songs that would benefit from all 6 toms. This is a home kit, so I'm not concerned about lugging too much equipment to gigs. Can anyone point me to examples of people using a similar setup? Should I put the lowest floor tom on my left hand side? Or do I have all three floor toms to my right? Should I go with a 24" bass if my lowest tom is a 18"? Looking for suggestions. Thanks in advance.

That's a wild kit man - huge!

I would do it on my left - but that's because I wouldn't ever have that set up hahah.

Floor toms are easy enough to move around that you'll just need to play with it and see what you dig. I always associate the three floor toms with TW too and lately Gergo...Do that and some sky high cymbals and you'll have a wicked looking kit.

Plus if you do three floor toms on your right - you can have room for a bevy of aux snares on your left.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
If you're basing your drumset purchase on In The Air Tonight why not go with 4-up 2-down like Phil Collins actually used?

It would save you the hassle of figuring out where to put that third floor tom for one thing....
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
I would use the triangle for the 3 floor toms. For the life of me, I don't know how Dennis Chambers gets back to that 3rd FT when he sets them up inline like that. :unsure:
 

Ransan

Senior Member
Steve Machine Gun Smith is making an offset 16” work really well in the floor tom row for this configuration you inquire.
Check out his quarantine drumming: masterful chops.
 

GCRoberts

Well-known member
If you're basing your drumset purchase on In The Air Tonight why not go with 4-up 2-down like Phil Collins actually used?

It would save you the hassle of figuring out where to put that third floor tom for one thing....
Well I can't say that I'm setting it up just for that one song, but I did think of doing exactly what you're suggesting. However, I'm fighting my inner mathematician. I really like the idea of 8", 10", 12", 14", 16", 18"....everything spaced out by a 2" increment. If I'm not mistaken, Phil uses a 13" as his lowest rack tom, which would drive me nuts!!! And a 14" rack tom seems way too big. I am using a DW Rack if that matters. Not sure that would support 4 toms...even if I used a 13" as my largest.
 

GCRoberts

Well-known member
Just ordered a DW Performance Series 5-piece shell pack (cherry stain lacquer). I already owned the matching snare (6.5"x14"). I ordered a 7"x8" rack tom, but that won't be available until July. If I decide to get the 16"x18" floor tom later this year, which I probably will, then I'll have the whole kit that I discussed.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Just ordered a DW Performance Series 5-piece shell pack (cherry stain lacquer). I already owned the matching snare (6.5"x14"). I ordered a 7"x8" rack tom, but that won't be available until July. If I decide to get the 16"x18" floor tom later this year, which I probably will, then I'll have the whole kit that I discussed.

Happy drumming, GC.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Just ordered a DW Performance Series 5-piece shell pack (cherry stain lacquer). I already owned the matching snare (6.5"x14"). I ordered a 7"x8" rack tom, but that won't be available until July. If I decide to get the 16"x18" floor tom later this year, which I probably will, then I'll have the whole kit that I discussed.

We'll need pics!! Congrats!
 
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