Am I the only one who thinks bass drums should be at least 22"?

petrez

Senior Member
22" is the perfect choice for me at least. 20" can sound pretty good (but in my opinion looks way too small, which is something at least I myself care a bit about as well...), 24" is not practical for a guy of my size (average), when I want more rack toms than one. 22" is just about perfect, IMO.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Anything smaller than a 22" just seems too small. After all it's a BASS drum isn't it?
Microphones do not perceive inches.

Imagine a bass-guitar player saying "Anything smaller than a 34" scale length seems too small", or a key player saying "anything less than 88 keys seems too small"
 

Benthedrummer

Junior Member
20" bass drums have their charms.

I wouldn't use one as my primary drum if I only had one kit, but as part of a second bop/practice kit, they are wonderful.

Lighter, easier for transporting and with a bit of tweaking they can deliver a nice little punch that can be exciting.

I can't get mine to have that open boomy rumble like my 22" bass drum, but it certainly is a little Trojan in itself.

It's a little cutie.

Her name is Ella and I kinda have a crush on her.

My 22" bass drum is Amy, she's jealous of her.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I agree. 22” is a good size for everything because it sounds like a bass drum in every context. I’ve found even with a 20”, it doesn’t feel deep or low enough without electronic enhancements (like being mic’d up). If you go bigger you just get more, but when you go smaller, you lose it.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Microphones do not perceive inches.

Imagine a bass-guitar player saying "Anything smaller than a 34" scale length seems too small", or a key player saying "anything less than 88 keys seems too small"
You need to do the comparison with acoustic instruments. Electric basses are not the same. But if you look at acoustic double basses, the size gets too big if you want to get much lower frequencies. An electric bass is automatically enhanced due to the electronics.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Like most musical instruments, it's all a matter of preference. I had used 22" kicks for my early years, and after 15 years behind the kit, I got a kit with a 26" kick. I toured and recorded and gigged with those drums, but soon settled back into the 22". Over time, I acquired more kits of various sizes, and currently have 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26" kicks in my arsenal.

But I've come to appreciate my 20" and 24" kicks, and use them most of all. Each excels in its range, and both can get into 22" range if I need something in-between. I have twenty 22" kicks - just over half are 14" deep - but I don't use them that often.

Bermuda
This made me think of a question for you. When you go into the studio with Al, are you bringing a TON of gear with you to recreate the various original sounds of the songs you're recording? Of course this is referring to Al's "updated classics" vs. his original songs.

I know you own a ton of gear, and I'm guessing it's for this very reason. But how much of it goes into the studio when the time comes?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
This made me think of a question for you. When you go into the studio with Al, are you bringing a TON of gear with you to recreate the various original sounds of the songs you're recording?
I often use different gear for different songs, and I make those choices prior to going into the studio. That is, I don't experiment in the studio - I already know what drums and cymbals I'll be using for each song, and that's what I bring. That usually involves multiple cymbals and snares, and one set of toms in the sizes needed (and a different set of heads) plus concert toms if needed. On the occasions that I needed two kicks, they would be a 20 & 24", or 22 & 26", and I would let the tuning take one or the other into the in-between range if needed. That usually meant tuning the larger drum a little higher to approximate a smaller size, rather than tuning the smaller kick down.

When you see pictures of guys in the studio with a road case with a dozen snares, there are a few explanations. 1) The drummer has cartage, and full cases are sent to the studio because that's the way their drums happen to be stored. 2) The drummer is going to cut an album's worth of songs, and may need an assortment of sounds. 3) The drummer is cutting just one song, but for some reason doesn't know what it is, and is going to take up the client's studio time experimenting with sounds.

Regarding that last scenario, it's hard to imagine that a drummer didn't get a demo or have a rehearsal, and therefore has no idea what they'll be recording. Ever since I started working in studios (doing demos) in 1975, I knew what song(s) we'd be doing, and what the sounds would be. Always. That was either because I had heard the artist's demo, or had rehearsed with them, or the artist had told me they want it to sound like a particular song, or I recorded the demo (in the case of almost all of Al's original songs,) so I knew what sound or vibe was needed. I never failed to bring the right gear for the song, and it was rare that I brought something that didn't end up being used.

Bermuda
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Excellent discussion boys. I'm definitely in the 22-24 camp but that's not to put down people that use the smaller drums. After reading a lot of these posts the one realization I've come to is that I don't think Bermuda has ever walked past a music store in his life. :oops: (y)
I remember walking maybe two miles with him to get to a music store in San Francisco. Next time I’m calling a cab!
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
I remember walking maybe two miles with him to get to a music store in San Francisco. Next time I’m calling a cab!
I don't doubt that for a minute! Where does he keep all his stuff? Jeesh, doesn't he have like 30 kits, 100 snares and an infinite # of cymbals???
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
One thing I will say these videos don't show what any drum sounds like in real life. It depends on heads, tuning, ETC... I think everyone would agree on that not to mention how YOU play them and WHERE you are playing them. Music is very dynamic.
 

RickP

Gold Member
I use 20” and 24” bass drums . Took a long while but I realized I don’t like 18” or 22” bass drums . For Jazz and Big Band gigs a 20” bass drum is far more versatile than an 18” IMHO .
For Rock gigs - I love a 24 x 14” bass drum . I only got into 24” bass drums a few years ago and it might be my favourite bass drum size even over my former Favourite 20 x 14”. The 24” feels great to play and moves a lot of air and I love the big boomy bottom end of a 24” .
 

JB111

Member
After years of 22", got my first 20" in 2004. Never went back. Supremely versatile for the stuff I'm into playing.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
...... just seems too small.
Too small "for what", exactly? I guess if you only have 1 bass drum (or drum kit) in your life ..... a 22 makes sense. Actually ..... a 20 or a 22. They're certainly the most common sizes. Have been, for some 60-70 years.

I've got a 16, two 18's, two 20's, three 22's, and a 26. 'cause, why not?
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Too small "for what", exactly? I guess if you only have 1 bass drum (or drum kit) in your life ..... a 22 makes sense. Actually ..... a 20 or a 22. They're certainly the most common sizes. Have been, for some 60-70 years.

I've got a 16, two 18's, two 20's, three 22's, and a 26. 'cause, why not?
I just don't feel the bottom with anything smaller than 22. I've had 19 kits over the years. All except one had either a 22 or 24 kick. The lone 20 that I owned just didn't cut the mustard. No Oooomf, I couldn't wait to get rid of it. You sure have a lot of bass drums! :oops:
 

Deafmoon

Member
I've owned & played 18", 20", 22" & 24" bass drums. When I used to play the Tri-State circuit (NY/NJ/CT) with the Hard Rock band Teaser back in the 70's/80's, I used 14" X 24" size. They were loud and visually just looked great on stage. In smaller venues and for weddings/bar mitzvahs/political parties/etc...I used 18", 20" or 22" bass drums over the years. I always use a Gibraltar lift on the 18" or 20" and raise the BD spurs to get the bass about 1-1/2" to 2" off the ground completely. It just resonates better. I use Remo Powerstroke 3 w/ Black Dot on the batters and a smooth white Powerstroke 3 on the frontimagesLuigi.jpg. I play a Pearl Redline Pedal and the Vic Firth Wood stick with Felt Ball beater. I can get power, volume, speed and dynamics with the 20". The sound is fast and round. The other thing is depth. I am using a 16 x 20, but I am convinced that a 14" depth is quicker. However, if and when I go back to a 14" depth, I'm going back to a 22" or 24" size.
 
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