A change did me good

Having several versions of "My kit" for different projects and now having several kits that I'll switch between - I absolutely know the feeling of how fun it can be to switch things up.

I love adding a tom or taking one away - or the last three gigs I had ZERO toms and only a couple rides...or a couple rides and a splash, etc.

Switching things up can be super fun!

I change my set up, to a dramatic extent, all the time. I don't think I've used the same set up for more then a couple months straight in 10+ years now.
I tend to switch around as well - for a Jam Night I used to run it could be anything from Bass, Snare, hats and a ride to a five piece. Some venues have...expectations though. A few years back I was playing in one of my town's hippest venues supporting a band with a HUGE fanbase. I was supplying the kit as backline - a 7 piece Signia. The conversation with the house engineer went thusly:

FOH: Hey how are you? So how many toms do you use?
Me: Five.
FOH: So...how many toms do you use?
Me: Five.
Me: How many would you LIKE me to use?
FOH: Well, how many do you ha...
FOH: Oh, really? I thought you were joking....
I switched to a one-up, one-down configuration in the late '90s and wouldn't dream of making a change at this point. It's so ergonomic and easy to transport. It also adapts well to limited venue space, and it's a breeze for engineers to mic. Plus, it allows me to place my ride cymbal in the perfect spot (perfect for me, that is).

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This is a beautiful kit !
I set up whatever I need to get the job done. If I can use a 4 piece without compromising musical choices, then that's what I run with. I've even gone out with only bass drum, snare, & hats.

In my regular band, I tried forcing myself to use a 4 piece instead of my usual 6 piece set up, but it didn't work out. Of course, I could still cover the parts, but interestingly, it was my bandmates who called me out on the change. They noticed, & didn't like it. That's the first & last time I'll go against my gut on appropriate setup choice.
I like going back and forth between a big kit with lots of toms and cymbals to something more modest. I use it as an opportunity to also change out or optimize which hardware pieces I'm using too. Changing around your kit or set up or heads or tuning can help you discover (or rediscover) more things about your playing or help you realize you need to move pieces around to be more comfortable.

I just went from 5 up 2 down with a 22" bass drum to 2 up 2 down, 24" bass drum. I also went from 2-ply coated heads to clear Silver Dots, so everything got retuned too. Between the new tuning, new tone, and the more compact set up it feels like a brand new kit.

That's one way to help stave off GAS. For a while anyway... ;)

I am glad that I get to play in 3 different bands that allow me to use my big set up, my 4 piece set up, and my 2 piece set up...

but when I am just playing for fun, it is on the big kit...
I am still getting used to having an additional floor tom. I played 2 up 1 down for 10 years or so and then 1 up 1 down for another 10 years. That was more so just due to setup, breakdown, and one less drum to buy heads for. I have played around with my setup a lot since purchasing my Session's last year and at the moment 2 up 2 down is what I am jamming if it's just me jamming at the house or practicing. But I am able to play different configurations with the different bands I play with which is the perfect scenario. For me, anyway. I find that taking the extra toms away from time to time makes me feel less obligated to use them when they are there. Which is kind of counterintuitive I guess but it works out that way. Somewhere down the road I may buy another set of Sessions in a 24-13-16 configuration as a dedicated 3 piece kit for my trio. I really like a 13 rack and 24 kick. And I REALLY love that antique crimson burst finish. But that's really unnecessary and a lot of money so it will be much later down the road if ever.

Current setup:
My primary kit is a 2-up, 2-down six piece with a single kick, but with a DW 5000 double pedal. Recently I took out my 4-piece 1-up, 1 down with an 18“ kick to start jamming with. I found myself wanting to play double bass drum on that little kit, but didn’t want to add a double pedal to it. So I started working on some fancy floor tom and bass drum work to compensate for having only one kick. I’m getting much, much better at this and I’m surprised at how much fun it is. I’m getting to the point to where I can play some heavy metal patterns on that little Bebop kit! It’s comical to watch.
I've never really practiced on a 4 pce yet every festival I play the backline is a 12 16 22 affair. I should probably follow your lead lol.

I have a weird fascination with 18" kicks lately, I have an acrylic one but I'd like to see if I can get a wooden one that sounds big enough.
I've never really practiced on a 4 pce yet every festival I play the backline is a 12 16 22 affair. I should probably follow your lead lol.

I have a weird fascination with 18" kicks lately, I have an acrylic one but I'd like to see if I can get a wooden one that sounds big enough.
The little 18” on my Ford kit is truly remarkable; it has some serious sock. That might have something to do with Ford drums using 10 ply shells – they’re really sturdy and heavy. They are no doubt the best sounding drums I’ve ever owned.
I have shrunk my kit recently as well. I now play a 6 piece:
22 kick, 14 snare, 10 & 12 tom, 14 floor tom (right side), 16 heavily muffled floor tom (left side), 2 crashes (18 & 20), 2 rides (20 & 24) and some high hats.
I have a hard time going smaller unless I can really rely on the project to maintain its lane of frequency occupation...freeing me from on the fly adjustment so i don't muddy where the center of the song is at.
I have been a four-piece kit drummer for a long time. A few times I have set up with two up and one down, but it has not lasted long. I do not ever play anything that cannot be played with one up and one down. I usually use hats, ride, and two crashes, but I would like to use less and sometimes have. Peace and goodwill.
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Yeah, 10/12/16 just seems to work. I tried a 13 in there for a minute, it was fine but always felt "extra" if that makes any sense.
I actually used 10/12 up and offset, 13/16 down with a 22"BD for quite a while and liked it, but recent events dictated I take the set down, and when I put it back up I simplified.
It's now 10" tom mounted on 20" BD, with the 16" low tom, and snare drum. Crash, ride, hats. Maybe looks a bit odd because the 10" is a deep tom but it bothers me not.
Bonus-my 12" tom is the same depth, so can just change them out as desired.

I like it quite a lot. :) :)
My wife just asked me why I haven't added more toms to this set like all the others and I told her, frankly, I miss having all those toms and the different tones, etc, but I'm just so darned comfortable sitting behind my 1U/2D set with everything being exactly where it feels right, I just can't see messing it all up, to add more again. Not likely for me to lose the 2nd FT until I can no longer bend enough to reach it. It's not in my way, it doesn't make me feel cramped or boxed in and I love the 14 and 16 FTs equally, so no point in taking another one away at this point.

I still play a lot of prog rock too, so the three toms give me enough spread and variation to cover the songs well. Same with church if/when I play again. Pretty much need two FTs for that music.

And....how did this thread suddenly come alive again?
When I started in the 60's, almost everyone played a four piece set. That's what I started on and am comfortable with, although the second floor tom is now added whenever I have a gig with enough room. So now, I like one-up, two-down. Three of my sets are like that. It's the classic Gene Krupa/Buddy Rich setup. My configuration is almost exactly like Buddy's all around. I experimented a bit with other setups, but always came back to the Gene/Buddy thing.

Years ago, drum sets got larger and four piece kits went out of style. But, everything in the drum world cycles around again, and now, four pieces is in fashion, and thankfully so. I recall back in the 70's/80's, you couldn't buy a four piece set. You had to buy five and take one tom away, a waste of money.
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I started playing in the 60’s on a four piece kit , gravitated to kits as large as 8 piece kits in the 70’s and 80’s . Kits started going back to 5 piece in the 90’s and in the 2000’s I went back to a four piece for about 98% of my gigs .
I have two four piece kits ( Gretsch USA Custom and Tama Walnut/Birch) and a 6 piece Ludwig Classic Maple that I atypically use as a four piece kit . The four piece just feels like home to me .