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

Deafmoon

Member
22 or 24 are all I've ever owned. I THINK I could live with a 20, but anything smaller is just too cute! I've played on a Tama bop kit with a 16" BD. Sounded fine, but I felt as if I was at the "fun house" of some amusement part, where mirrors distort everything. May massive 160 pound frame looked like I was playing a 3rd grader's drums. I was pretty impressed with a 20" Stage Custom I played too. I don't know, I just like 22s for size/proportion.
Some drum companies make 18" depths on 16" or 18" drums to compensate for the higher tone of the smaller drum. But if you want a low tone, you have to start at a 20". I don't care what you do to a 10" tom it will not sound like a 14" or a 16" BD sounding like a 24".
 

wraub

Well-known member
I have a 22' on my "good" kit and a 20" on my "other" kit, but I want a 20 for the good kit, too.
The ergonomics, the fit, and the playing comfort are just greater for me with a 20".
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Some drum companies make 18" depths on 16" or 18" drums to compensate for the higher tone of the smaller drum. But if you want a low tone, you have to start at a 20". I don't care what you do to a 10" tom it will not sound like a 14" or a 16" BD sounding like a 24".
Increasing the depth on smaller BDs just increases the boomy, bottom end not the "thump". If I had to go with a small BD I would prefer a 14 or 16" depth to keep some attack even if it means less bass, because that low-midrange bass is not the kind of bass I'm looking for in a BD. That's actually the freq range I'm usually cutting back in just about anything I do with music. Somewhere between 60 and 120hz I believe.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
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:
Well then .... in your applications ...... do what you gotta do.

If I'm competing with Marshall's and SVT's ..... well yeah ...... it's the 22 or 26, for sure. But not all my playing is against a wall of sound. In fact, mostly, it's not, anymore. Sometimes I'm working with acoustic instruments (no amps). Sometimes with modular synths. Sometimes with another drummer ..... and I'm more of the "percussionist". So a 16, 18, or 20 does just fine.

I've got 9 bass drums ..... because I have 8 kits.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Well then .... in your applications ...... do what you gotta do.

If I'm competing with Marshall's and SVT's ..... well yeah ...... it's the 22 or 26, for sure. But not all my playing is against a wall of sound. In fact, mostly, it's not, anymore. Sometimes I'm working with acoustic instruments (no amps). Sometimes with modular synths. Sometimes with another drummer ..... and I'm more of the "percussionist". So a 16, 18, or 20 does just fine.

I've got 9 bass drums ..... because I have 8 kits.
It's just a discussion. There's no right or wrong here. 8 kits wow. I had 4 at one time and that seemed like a lot! I'm down to just two now and they both have 22" bass drums but they're different shell types. Part of the reason I've settled on 22s is that I play with either 2 or 3 rack toms and a 24 sets them a bit too high for me at my advanced age. 22s seem to be my sound sweet spot and I guess I don't mind dragging a 22 around. The kit I had with a 20" kick was an all around lousy kit so that may have prejudiced me a bit. I'd like to try a Renown 20" and see what they're like.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
Drums aren't always mic'd. In the acoustic realm, inches matter. That was Bermuda I don't know how to post a quote quite yet I apologize. In my opinion that is absolutely spot on. I don't have the knowledge or experience most of you guys here do but I'm trying to learn. I watched a video drum lesson from Randy Cooke on rock drumming. Not jazz, hip hop or latin but Rock drumming only. He spoke about the drums and said 22 inch bass drum is the minimum size no smaller. Regarding toms pretty much the same bigger 12 13 14 16 18 whatever configuration you choose and tuned low. You don't have to have all 5 toms he just mentioned sizes. Regarding crash cymbals he mentions medium to thin no smaller than 18 inches. His set was 18 19 20 inch crashes. Anyway it was a Drumeo video it's on you tube if anyone is interested. Good advice Bermuda. Thank you!!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
It's just a discussion.
Yes. It is. I'm not calling you out, at all, for what you like. Sorry if you felt that way. Not my intent.

I played 22's for probably the first 36 years of my drumming. My first "change" was a 28x14 (Yamaha). Then a series for 26's (Ludwig and Gretsch). Somewhere in there, I added a 20x14 (Yamaha). Real punchy little devil. Had a 24 (Ludwig 3 ply) for a while. Didn't use it much after I scored a Ludwig 3 ply 26x14. So it was sold (to a Texas collector of Ludwig natural maple/thermogloss drums) and I bought a whole 'nother set with the cash.

Of my three 22's .... one's a Ludwig 3 ply (for when I'm not driving my 26). 26, 14, 16, 18 standard configuration. It can also be used with my 3 ply Ludwig Club Date kit (20, 12, 14).

Then I have my RVM kit. 22, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16.

And last is my vintage Tama Royalstar 22, 12, 13, 16.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I've played 18 through 28 inch bass drums. I actually like them all for various reasons, and each one has limitations, too.

I'm not really dogmatic about any of this stuff any more. 22 is a good, all-round size, so I can't argue with anyone who uses one.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
In pragmatic terms, 22” is the “desert island” size. It works for everything. And the market even sorta dictates that since you can go to any store and they’ll have some bass drum head in 22” size. So at least in an emergency you can get a bass drum head if you were in a strange town 😉.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I like a 22 inch bass drum also but I get good sounds from my 18 inch bass drum. It is important to keep the 18 inch bass drum elevated for more resonance. I do that by putting a paperback book under the drum.
Do you have to raise the pedal too?
Any particular title?
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
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.
Or you could get an amp that goes up to 11?
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I'd like to try a Renown 20" and see what they're like.
I setup a Renown 20x16 today and I was able to get a great thump from it. It will go deeper than where I have it (40 Hz) but I think you have to tune smaller bass drums a bit higher to get a useable tone from them.

That said, it still makes a nice thump.
 
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Darth Vater

Senior Member
Yes. It is. I'm not calling you out, at all, for what you like. Sorry if you felt that way. Not my intent.

I played 22's for probably the first 36 years of my drumming. My first "change" was a 28x14 (Yamaha). Then a series for 26's (Ludwig and Gretsch). Somewhere in there, I added a 20x14 (Yamaha). Real punchy little devil. Had a 24 (Ludwig 3 ply) for a while. Didn't use it much after I scored a Ludwig 3 ply 26x14. So it was sold (to a Texas collector of Ludwig natural maple/thermogloss drums) and I bought a whole 'nother set with the cash.

Of my three 22's .... one's a Ludwig 3 ply (for when I'm not driving my 26). 26, 14, 16, 18 standard configuration. It can also be used with my 3 ply Ludwig Club Date kit (20, 12, 14).

Then I have my RVM kit. 22, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16.

And last is my vintage Tama Royalstar 22, 12, 13, 16.
No offense taken. You've played some BIG kicks! From '72 to 2011 I played 24" bass drums. It was the same Ludwig Thermogloss Walnut stain kit. I had a double bass setup. Both 24x14. I only used one at time after about '76 or so. It was only after that kit fell apart in 2011 that I started trying different kits. Once I played a 22" Gretsch renown kit I realized I could get by with a 22". I liked that I could get a more comfortable setup with a 22" and two rack toms. I can't imagine playing a 28" !! LOL, I would think the beater would disappear into the head! :oops:
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I had a double bass setup. Both 24x14.
'72 .... so you had a 3 ply Luddie also. My favorite Ludwig shell. Mine probably was part of a double bass set as well. the 24 was a virgin, and so was the 14x14 (it had not been drilled for legs). I think they were both dated '71.
I can't imagine playing a 28" !! LOL, I would think the beater would disappear into the head! :oops:
It was a monster, for sure.
 

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Darth Vater

Senior Member
'72 .... so you had a 3 ply Luddie also. My favorite Ludwig shell. Mine probably was part of a double bass set as well. the 24 was a virgin, and so was the 14x14 (it had not been drilled for legs). I think they were both dated '71.

It was a monster, for sure.
Here's a couple shots of both single and double bass days. I'm thinking this is '77 maybe? Sizes were 14x10, 15x12 rack toms, 16x16, 16x18 FTs and twin 24x14's.
 

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RobertM

Platinum Member
I’m of opposite opinion: I prefer 16”, 18”, and 20” bass drums. Anything bigger than 20” I do not like—makes tom placement a nightmare.
 
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