Bass drum tom mounts are in the wrong position


Silver Member
So I didn't want to derail the Sonor Safari thread, but I couldn't agree with bobdadruma more. To link back to his picture of his Pearl set:

Yeah, my Exports look like that right now. On stands, nowhere near the mounts on the drum. Worse, actually, because I think my toms are deeper, so they're angled more steeply.

So it looks like DW, Tama, and Taye have sliding mounts for their toms as a feature for some of their models. But not very common, it seems. Anyone have use any of these tom mounts and have a favorite?

And does anyone remotely intelligently place their tom mounts?

And you can get into a stands-vs-rack discussion here, but after juggling stands around my Export for both rack toms, I can see how a compact single-section rack would be nice.


Platinum Member
I don't believe in virgin bass drums for "sound's sake", but as I tend to put my ride at the 2 o'clock position, I dislike mounting toms on the bass drum. Whatever toms I'm using (one or two) tend to go on a stand to the left of the kick.

The bass drum as mounting tool was adopted early on in the evolution of the drumset because early stands simply couldn't hold anything heavier than a thin crash cymbal. With modern hardware, the idea of mounting toms on the kick is kind of an evolutionary holdover, but from the economical viewpoint, it makes sense for beginning or lower-budget drummers to be able to mount two rack toms without buying a $100 stand or a rack or two $30 multiclamps.

If the provided hardware on the bass drum doesn't meet a drummer's needs, it's my personal opinion that the drum manufacturer should provide purchase options so that someone who wants to offset their rack toms to the left, for example, doesn't have to pay an exorbitant extra amount. But then again, perhaps that's why you might choose to buy from a manufacturer whose tom mount slides back and forth in the first place.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I recently installed a Tama double tom mount into my Bubinga Elite bass drum (everyone thought I was nuts), and after just measuring where Tama normally mounts them (approximately 6.5" from the front of the shell on an 18" deep bass drum), I put mine there and it works out great. In fact, I noticed that my larger 12" tom, is now in a more comfortable position a little farther away. I didn't notice when I had it on a stand that I had the drum too close to me.

If you sit a little farther away from the bass drum because maybe your leg is long, then sure, I can see you wanting the drum extending towards you, but since I'm shorter than normal, I prefer to sit on top of my kit, so having the tom just be about even with the edge of the bass drum hoop on the batter side suits me fine.

However, I think tom placement has been getting a bit too much attention lately. When I started out, the whole thing was getting the snare and hi-hat into a comfortable position for you to play, since that's what you'll be playing about 90% of the time. Once those pieces are ultimately where you need them, then the toms would go around that, and even then the toms still take a back seat to the ride cymbal, because if you're not playing the hat, you'll most likely be on the ride.

Having the Safari tom where it is doesn't bother me as much as Bob. Sure, I'd like it a little more to the right for me, but I like the fact that with it more towards the middle of the kit, I can get the right side crash in that much closer, a real plus if you use that cymbal to ride on as well. So because the toms aren't necessary for me to play the music, they just need to be in a comfortable ballpark area.


Gold Member
I agree that you are unlikely to notice any tonal differences with virgin and tom mounted kicks but I dislike drum tom mounts intensely. I can never get the toms where I want them and they always seem too high for me.

Having separate tom mounts just gives you more flexibility. However, well done Bo for going your own way. Vive la difference!



Staff member
I agree that you are unlikely to notice any tonal differences with virgin and tom mounted kicks. Davo
On many constructions, yes, but on thinner shelled drums, I can certainly tell the difference. Either way, that's a well discussed & polarizing subject. What I always suffer from with bass drum mounted toms, is the toms are too close to me. I'm 6'1" and have longer arms than most of my height. It just never works for me. I suppose I could get away with it if I positioned the tom mount on the very front edge of the bass drum, but that's likely to cause all sorts of issues. The mean position chosen by kit manufacturers is impossible for me to be comfortable with. I used a rack back in the early 80's for that very reason.


Silver Member
If you sit a little farther away from the bass drum because maybe your leg is long, then sure, I can see you wanting the drum extending towards you
Yeah, I'm 6'3", and feel like I have more height in my legs than my arms, plus I tend to play back a little further on the kick pedal. Having the toms in cymbal stands is nice, but makes adjusting the rest of the setup more clumsy; I have a tom and two crashes on one stand, and a tom, crash, and ride in the other.


Senior Member
I'm with Bo on this as I'm short as well. The tom mount on my Export kit(16" deep) is approx 6" from the front edge of the drum. My Masters 18" bass drum is in it's case so I don't know what it measures.

But the toms being pretty much even with the back hoop on the bass drum works out fine for my short legs. Plus I like having everything in as close as possible as it makes it easier for this old guy to move around the drums and cymbals.

On another note, I remember sitting in with a band back in the 90s who's drummer was like almost 7' tall. Talk about stretching to hit cymbals and the mounted tom! Plus the snare, a 10" deep Ludwig, was right at my chest!!