4-piece drum kit.....what sizes?

dirtyclinic

Member
I have a 6 piece drum kit. The floor toms are 14 and 16 inch. The rack toms are 10 and 12 inch. The rack toms mount to the stands and not the bass drum. I have only ever used it as a 6-piece but I want to make the overall size of the kit smaller. (including using less cymbals) Should I use the 10 and 14? The 12 and 16? The 12 and 14? Your answers might be "see what sounds good to you" but I am hoping some of you have tried these combinations and have an opinion of what you like. Thanks!!!!!!!

 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It's not just me, it's the situation. I'm generally back to my full 6-piece these days, but for almost 3 years prior I used 10 and 14. I'll probably way things more once I have a full bank, but essentialy I guess it's just me having the toms where they'd usually be on a bigger kit. It's the same setup, I just removed some stuff.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Obviously it depends. 10 and 14 make sense, as do 12 and 16. But 12 and 14 are good too, as well as 10 and 16. There, I just made you 4 different kits...

FWIW I play 10 and 13. But I have 10, 12, 13, 16, 18 at my disposal. I like 10, 13, 16. But if limited to 2, I like 10, 13. Go with 10, 14.
 

RickP

Gold Member
20/12/14 is my go to configuration . It can cover all my gigs easily . It is incredibly versatile too . I like 10” toms but only in combination with another larger Tom . A 10” tom by itself is just not versatile enough IMHO.

22/13/16 is a great choice as well . Heck Joe Morello used these sizes with Dave Brubeck and Ringo used these sizes with the Beatles.
 
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dirtyclinic

Member
Thanks for the responses. My bass drum is 22" and the snare is 14". I am leaning towards the 10 and 14 inch, 2 crashes, hi-hat and ride. I have chinas and splashes but I am not going to use all of that stuff for a while. I am starting up lessons next week and I want to make things nice and simple.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Charlie Watts uses 12/16/22. Its worked for him. I like to use 13/16/22 because that’s how they sold those in the catalogs through the 70s. 10/14 seems too small to me. In fact, I sold my 10/14 toms on my six-piece and replaced those with a 13 rack Tom. So I’m doing 12/13/16/22.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
12, 16, 22 Make sense to me. But so do 10, 14. A friend plays 5 nights a week and plays both of these depending on the venue. When I had my kit in a three peice configuration I did 12 , 14. If you have the floor space you could do, 12, 14 16 as well.
 
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Frank

Gold Member
Everyone's mileage varies. In a 4 piece situation, personally, I will Only do 12 and 14. I think that is the most versatile combination for a 4 piece.

I will never, ever, ever get - 10s in a 4 piece.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I have 10 12 14 and 22. I use 12 14 and 22 with that kit and like it quiet well. On my other kit I only have 12 and 14. As others have said, I love the 10 but 12 and 14 are more versatile. It just seems like there is too much difference between 10 and 14. I assume I would feel the same about 12 and 16. I do have a 16 with an 80s kit but I don't get it out much. I always used that kit as a five-piece.
 

Frank

Gold Member
Exactly. You can always make a 12 do what you need your smallest tom to do, yet, you can't ask the same of your 10. Fact. Jack. 10s make sense in 5+ pieces. In a 4 piece, 10s really don't make any sense. I wish the drum manufacturers would get this.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Convert your 16" floor tom to a bass drum, and your 12" to a floor tom. If you're gonna' go small, go real small.

My sizes are 10/12/14/20, but you can't get there from what you've got.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
I have/had this setup with a kit.
I purchased a 20" kick and made a 20/10/14 and a 22/12/16 for different purposes.
I love this set up personally.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
Interesting responses - my collective take away is that 10"s border on the novelty pitch/tone and therefore not generally favoured unless there is a 12" to go with it. The floor tom is more a matter of taste/music genre/venue size. I would attest that some 16" floor toms are pure thunder and would be sidelined in favour of a 14" for a jazz/cafe gig.

Having had to fit into some ridiculously small spaces, having a 20" kick (or even 18") and 12" and 14" toms have proved to be life-savers.

My optimum is 20"/14"/12" - I'm a small geezer and play with a light touch!

Peace
Davo
 

Frank

Gold Member
Interesting responses - my collective take away is that 10"s border on the novelty pitch/tone and therefore not generally favoured unless there is a 12" to go with it. The floor tom is more a matter of taste/music genre/venue size. I would attest that some 16" floor toms are pure thunder and would be sidelined in favour of a 14" for a jazz/cafe gig.

Having had to fit into some ridiculously small spaces, having a 20" kick (or even 18") and 12" and 14" toms have proved to be life-savers.

My optimum is 20"/14"/12" - I'm a small geezer and play with a light touch!

Peace
Davo
Same here.
 
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