Bigger Kits

mikyok

Platinum Member
I'd use 2 floors and play a 5 piece that's it. I don't need anything more than a 5 piece, I'm happy being a minimalist.

I'd dust my splash and china off too, just for the hell of it!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
That's the way I look at it. I play an 8 piece kit live, and it has never bothered me to move it for shows or recording. Yes it's more work, but that's part of the job for the type of music I enjoy playing. It also keeps you in shape.
I'm kinda like this in a way. If the band or client wants to see at least two rack toms on the bass drum, I can do that. The music determines much of what I bring. In my DEVO band, I have to have at least three toms. Most casuals I can get away with two. When I played with a metal band, I carried four toms and a double pedal, and even had a second bass drum ready should I need to go with that particular look. Having all that stuff doesn't distract me from my real job which is to provide good time for the band and the dancers, but I really like making do with just four drums alot of the time, because there's so much stuff you can say with just that. I mean, look at what Toots Theilemans and Stevie Wonder can say with a simple harmonica - just magic. Although I will admit, I can spot an amateur a mile away just by groove and note choices, so I highly recommend learning how to play really good on less first. Putting in the time playing for the band is much better spent than putting in the money to get more gear just because you can.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
I like my cymbal lineup (3 crash, splash, ride, hats), but it would be cool to play with two floors/two rack toms. So just one more drum
 
If I had a roadie/drum tech? I would have all the drums. All of them.
"Hello, Gretsch? I would like to order two USA Custom kits, please. One in satin natural, one in sun amber gloss. Gimme one of each size drum you make for each kit, please and thank you."
"Hello, Zildjian, Paiste, Sabian and Meinl? I'll take one of everything you make. Thanks so much!"
(I guess this also presupposes that I've won the lottery, which I never actually play.)
 

roncadillac

Member
I've read a few comments about using what the music/situation calls for regardless of how much it sucks having to move it, I respect and relate to that. What I don't get are the comments about "what the band tells me to use" or "what look I'm hired for" for example... I've been playing in live original bands for 20 years and the day I would let any of those jokers tell me what gear to use is the day they decide to actually start paying me.

I just quit a band after 3.5 years because I was accused of not being "passionate" anymore even though I let the singer lie and steal money the entire time and not pay me a dime. A few times he tried to tell me what I "should" use... I said, "I don't write your melodies or lyrics so eat a D"
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I definitely agree that you should bring what the music calls for, and that alone, should fit the "look" of the band. I am pretty fortunate that I have never played in a band where the look of the and was the number one priority. The bands I play in definitely fit the usual definition of what a band like that will look like, but it is just b/c it is the world all of the members live in, not because of a wardrobe person making the calls..
 

Warrenwood

Active member
For me it depends on what I'm playing. If it's classic rock (Kansas, Boston, Eagles, etc.) I prefer 2 up 1 down. But if the set is going to include Phil Collins or Genesis? Yep... all of the DW kit comes out to play... 3 up 2 down and "In The Air Tonight" gets the audience screaming!
 

petrez

Senior Member
... but it is just b/c it is the world all of the members live in, not because of a wardrobe person making the calls..
Same here, it is just what I and my rock/metal friends are used to when playing that style. And I have never been told by anybody that I have to use that type of kit, it just kinda says itself, in how I like to play the drums in that music and how I like to look onstage. Small kits work to keep the groove, but don't offer much more to me. (Try playing Annihilator - Alison Hell, which is one of our covers right now on a 4 piece for example. Sure, I can make it work somehow but it wouldn't be close to as fun or rewarding to me, it would just feel restrictive). Of course just keeping the groove is the main focus to a lot of other styles. But I like to have a big sound pallate with different toms you can incorporate different fills to, as well as more cymbal sounds. Small kits just feels restrictive in a bad way to me. But then again, metal music is supposed to be "over the top" both sonically and visually, so I guess you can say it all depends on the situation. Just a bit weird to me to see a "pro" metal drummer with a small 4 piece kit, I can barely name one to be honest... But yeah, I realise that I (and a few others here) are in the minority when it comes to genre, so I will slowly step out of this thread, which I guess is mainly for the drummers that play out with small instead of big kits 🙂
 

roncadillac

Member
Same here, it is just what I and my rock/metal friends are used to when playing that style. And I have never been told by anybody that I have to use that type of kit, it just kinda says itself, in how I like to play the drums in that music and how I like to look onstage. Small kits work to keep the groove, but don't offer much more to me. (Try playing Annihilator - Alison Hell, which is one of our covers right now on a 4 piece for example. Sure, I can make it work somehow but it wouldn't be close to as fun or rewarding to me, it would just feel restrictive). Of course just keeping the groove is the main focus to a lot of other styles. But I like to have a big sound pallate with different toms you can incorporate different fills to, as well as more cymbal sounds. Small kits just feels restrictive in a bad way to me. But then again, metal music is supposed to be "over the top" both sonically and visually, so I guess you can say it all depends on the situation. Just a bit weird to me to see a "pro" metal drummer with a small 4 piece kit, I can barely name one to be honest... But yeah, I realise that I (and a few others here) are in the minority when it comes to genre, so I will slowly step out of this thread, which I guess is mainly for the drummers that play out with small instead of big kits 🙂
Chris Pennie ran a 3pc (kick, snare, floor tom) during a lengthy part of his early tenure with Dillinger Escape Plan before ultimately bringing the rack tom back for his last few years with them before signing off.

He also has been known to use a 6 piece as well, proving the point of "serving the music" but simultaneously proving the point that one absolutely can shred some complex prog metal on a small kit.
 

EricT43

Senior Member
I feel like I'm maturing as a musician because I will say "depends on the music." I have a 3U/2D kit and it's fun to play, but over time I'm going more and more towards a 4pc. That being said, I just bought a new kit, and got 10/12/14/16. I won't use all the toms all the time, but I still want options. A 12 is often not high enough, a 14 is often not low enough, and sometimes a 16 is too low. I do feel like I can always use more cymbals.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Same here, it is just what I and my rock/metal friends are used to when playing that style. And I have never been told by anybody that I have to use that type of kit, it just kinda says itself, in how I like to play the drums in that music and how I like to look onstage. Small kits work to keep the groove, but don't offer much more to me. (Try playing Annihilator - Alison Hell, which is one of our covers right now on a 4 piece for example. Sure, I can make it work somehow but it wouldn't be close to as fun or rewarding to me, it would just feel restrictive). Of course just keeping the groove is the main focus to a lot of other styles. But I like to have a big sound pallate with different toms you can incorporate different fills to, as well as more cymbal sounds. Small kits just feels restrictive in a bad way to me. But then again, metal music is supposed to be "over the top" both sonically and visually, so I guess you can say it all depends on the situation. Just a bit weird to me to see a "pro" metal drummer with a small 4 piece kit, I can barely name one to be honest... But yeah, I realise that I (and a few others here) are in the minority when it comes to genre, so I will slowly step out of this thread, which I guess is mainly for the drummers that play out with small instead of big kits 🙂
I totally hear ya...and hell yeah on the Annihilator cover!! Love those guys.

I remember that the drummer for Killswitch Engaged played a 4 piece, and I know that Scott from Unleash The Archers plays a 4 piece.

I think there are more of us out there than you think who are into bigger kits, and not to the detriment of the music, so I wouldn't worry about "hiding"...fly the flag proud!!
 

Super Phil

Senior Member
I would totally rock the Neil Peart style kit if someone else was hauling it around and setting it up for me.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I'm enjoying 2 up 1 down, and 1 up 2 down, more than I did 3 up 2 down. So I would not add more toms, but I would rather add a second bass than play double pedal.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
What's right for the gig gets hauled and setup - just like any other necessary element of the band delivery. If someone else was hauling & setting up / breaking down, not one element of my kit would change.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've read a few comments about using what the music/situation calls for regardless of how much it sucks having to move it, I respect and relate to that. What I don't get are the comments about "what the band tells me to use" or "what look I'm hired for" for example... I've been playing in live original bands for 20 years and the day I would let any of those jokers tell me what gear to use is the day they decide to actually start paying me.

I just quit a band after 3.5 years because I was accused of not being "passionate" anymore even though I let the singer lie and steal money the entire time and not pay me a dime. A few times he tried to tell me what I "should" use... I said, "I don't write your melodies or lyrics so eat a D"
What's not to get? I actually get paid to do this. So it's a simple client relationship to me. I'm there to make people happy since it's their dime. If I was doing it out of the goodness of my heart and compassion for the human condition, then sure I'll play what I want, gear-wise. The fact that I'd be doing it for free would also mean I don't have a garage full of different stuff to use anyway, so they get what they get.
 

roncadillac

Member
What's not to get? I actually get paid to do this. So it's a simple client relationship to me. I'm there to make people happy since it's their dime. If I was doing it out of the goodness of my heart and compassion for the human condition, then sure I'll play what I want, gear-wise. The fact that I'd be doing it for free would also mean I don't have a garage full of different stuff to use anyway, so they get what they get.
Poor phrasing on my part. I totally get how it works and would have no problem bringing specific gear if I was 'hired' to play (my most recent gig I used a set up that is out of the norm for me simply because I was filling in for a friend and his band asked me to use additional pieces to serve their songs, No problem obliging). My comment was more saying that in the 20 years I've been playing I've rarely ever had a legitimate paying situation come up. I can't even count on all my fingers and toes combined the number of gigs where I was told I was getting paid and didn't, in the last year alone, and saying that I would happily tell off someone like that (and did, hence why I quit) for telling me what to play. I just have a bad track record of starting/joining bands with people who lie and steal... Story for another time. If I was a famed local 'ringer' who was getting legitimate pay offers then I would have no problem lugging an extra piece or two if asked.

I may be wrong, but wasn't it you who in a recent thread commented on bringing the drums you wanted regardless of the fact that the band was giving you looks? Maybe it was grunt... I don't remember. And I'm not making that comment as an argument or anything like that (you've made some of my favorite posts around this whole forum).

I guess I've just been... Fortunate? Unfortunate? To constantly be manipulated and lied to by different band mates over the years to the point that I sometimes literally bring just bass, snare, and ride just to be a RICHARD :)
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Anything more than a 5 piece is overwhelming to me. It’s also uncomfortable. Even with my long arms, I don’t like reaching for things. I need everything more or less right in front of me.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I'm happy playing live a classic 5 piece kit (22 12 13 16 or 22 10 12 14 depending the situation) but I would definately like to go back to my first love : 3 up 1 down ; I don't care that much for a second floor that I would barely use. But 10 12 13 on top would allow a greater variety of fills, not necessarily long 80's like fills. When I use the 3 on top, I tune the 10" rather high and the 13" pretty low ; it's great to play.
The other thing would be cymbalwise : I generally take either a third crash or the big china, never both. - I would then take both plus some percussions, like cowbell and tambourine on top of the hihat rod.
 
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