5 piece tom configuration

Goreliscious

Senior Member
Anyone else find that you write beats and fills differently depending on whether you're using a 2 up 1 down kit or a 1 up 2 down kit?

I recently changed from using a 1 up 2 down kit to a 2 up 1 down kit and suddenly started putting more rolls in and less tom rhythms in. With 1 up 2 down I always wanted to make use of the deepness of 2 floor toms so I'd be doing lots of tom build ups and beefy tom rhythms. Now I've only got the 1 floor tom and the gap between my hi and mid tom has vastly reduced, rolls seem more natural and obvious.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Sure, anything that changes what you're used to can affect what you attempt. I use a 1 up 2 down most of the time, but occasionally, I'll run it with 2 up 2 down and when I do, I use the second floor much less. I think it's good for the old brain to mix it up occasionally. Probably if you play 2 up 1 down for long enough, you'll find that going back to your old set up will feel fresh again.
 

The Gedge

Member
I found that using a 1 up 1 down instead of 2 up 1 down means I do a lot more of my fills on the snare or cymbals. I don't know about 1 up 2 down though.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Most definitely. I've switched between those two setups a few times, and it really changes a lot of factors in my playing.

With two rack toms and one rack tom, I tend to (like you) do more tom rolls, often more complex than just straight 16th notes (or whatever), such as hertas, throwing in triplets, etc.

With one rack tom and two floor toms, my fills will contain a lot more work between hands and feet, either the classic two on the feet and two or four on the hands, or flamming two toms and throwing a kick between each flam. Other things that happen is that I tend to keep my left hand on the snare more and move my right hand between the rack and first floor tom. I also tend to keep my fils a lot more "in the groove" when I'm playing this setup.

So yeah, changing something so basic about my setup will definitely influence my playing in just about every way. Although I often prefer the comfort of the 2-up, 1-down setup, I tend to like my approach better with the 1-up, 2-down, especially for the sort of straight ahead rock that I play with my bands. It's this dilemma that has caused me to go between the two setups a few times, and that's also why I'll make sure that any kit I buy has two rack toms and two floor toms, so that I can keep switching whenever I feel like I've gotten a bit stuck in my ways.

On a related note: For some reason (or perhaps for the very reasons I've listed here), having two rack toms and two floor toms just completely throws me off, and I can't seem to do anything right. Whenever I get on a house kit with four toms I always remove either a floor tom or rack tom (if I can, and the owner allows me to). I remember being a kid and wondering why so many famous drummers played with only two or three toms, wondering why they wouldn't have as many toms as they possibly could. The logical way to think about it to think that anything you can do on a 4-piece, you can do on a 10-piece, but I've definitely found that the mind just doesn't work that way.
 

Goreliscious

Senior Member
I found that using a 1 up 1 down instead of 2 up 1 down means I do a lot more of my fills on the snare or cymbals. I don't know about 1 up 2 down though.
I tried 1 up 1 down a little while back because I got fedup of always taking a floor tom with me to gigs incase the house kit was a 4 piece, but everything I'd already written was written for a 5 piece so it didn't sound right to me.

Naigewron I can sympathize, in the days of playing 1 up 2 down I jammed on a 2 up 1 down kit one rehearsal before a gig - it threw me off so much that I used to take a floor tom with me to gigs even when I knew there was a 5 piece house kit on offer...I just didn't want to risk it being the "wrong" configuartion.
 
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