Cutting down the size og your kit?

supermac

Senior Member
Playing tonight on a tiny stage.

Normally I use a biggish kit: bass/snare/hi-hat/3 rack toms/floor tom/three crashes/china/ride/splash/sometimes a Sabian chopper/cowbell.

Tonight I',m considering using a very basic four-piece kit.

Does anybody do this and how do they find doing it?

I suppose it'll be an interesting challenge - and it'll take less time to set up and tear down
 

jim_gregory

Senior Member
I think it's about the footprint size. I use a bass with 2 rack toms, floor tom, snare, hat's and 2 cymbal stands. One less tom won't make a difference in footprint size so I use both mine. 2 up 1 down with 4 pies on two stands. The only thing I could really do is lose one cymbal stand and that won't make much difference.
 

DerKrobsen

Junior Member
Go for it!.
You'll save yourself time and effort in setting up but the best thing is seeing how creative you can be with just two toms.
Some of the best drummers have used this set up to great effect. It will change your view of drumming.
 

Moldy

Silver Member
Not to derail, but I have a related question: What's the "average" size of a stage allotted to a drummer, in your experiences?

Personally, my kit fits in a 7' x 5' area and wouldn't get much smaller if I ditched the two excess floor toms... maybe 6' x 5' when minimized.
 

Big Foot

Silver Member
I usually play a 4 pc kit w/ 2,3 or 4 cymbals. It takes about a 4'X6' of space.
But, I'd recommend at least one practice w/ the band playing that small set. You might find yourself swinging at stuff that's not there.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Experimenting with setup size is a great thing for creativity.
I'd be careful though not to experiment too much directly at a gig! Make sure you either have the same basic setup you're accustomed to, but some gadgets left out, or you have the possibility to get used to the small setup at a rehearsal or at least in your practice space.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
My kits have become increasingly smaller over the years (with a few expansions and contractions along the way). The fewer toms I have the more I stick to the basic timekeeping elements of the kit. I now play some full songs without ever feeling the need to play a tom, something I never did in the past. It depends on the song, of course.

Wy Yung told me that he played a gig with just hats, snare and kick drum and the guys in the band didn't notice anything missing, but he's a beast of a player. I saw Paul Hester from Crowded House (now sadly deceased) play a full stadium gig on an abbreviated kit with no toms and there was never a sense that something was lacking. He was a fine player.

Add a mounted and a floor tom to a basic kit for colour and there's an awful lot a good drummer can do.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Too many toms confuse me. I don't play many melodic tom fills so I don't need a lot of toms. I found that all I really need is a high pitched tom, a medium pitched tom, and a low pitched tom. That's plenty for me to handle. I used to run 2 floors, but realized that it was too much for the limited capacity of this brain, so I ditched my 14x14. I'll likely never go back to more toms, there's more than enough possibilities w/ 3 toms to keep me busy for the rest of my life.
Plus it's less to carry, less to keep track of, tune, rehead, clean...Super large kits are too distracting to me, too many choices, and it obscures the view of the drummer too much. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing in my book.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Going to 4 pc has helped my playing immensely. Confinement boosts creativity imho. I might not necessarily pull it out at a gig first time though, a little practice first would help.

I've been tempted to build up a one-stand 3 pc set, with a tom holder, snare basket, and two cymbal stands poking out of a bass drum for small stage weddings and such. I'd get out of the gig before the guitar players lol.
 

sqadan

Senior Member
I am strictly a 4 piece player and have been for the past 16 years... I find I have become a much better and more restrained player by removing all of the distracting mounted toms and whatnot.

I also ditch all my extra cymbals a few years ago and now pretty much stick to 2 crashes, ride, hats and the occasional cowbell or wood block.

Less stuff to haul, less time to set up and breakdown, and much more playing for the song vs trying to use all the bits and pieces of my set.
 

supermac

Senior Member
In the event, I ditched the small 8-inch tom - and cymbal-wise just used a ride and two crashes.

I did miss the splash and china, but they're not essential - and nor is the 8-inch tom, of course.

I was aware of myself thinking differently as I played the songs. Which is a good thing...

I suppose personally I just prefer the extra sound colours - but clearly some of the greatest drummers of all time have used tiny kits.

It's something I'll definitely return to.
 

drummer boy 33

Junior Member
ok so i currently have a 5 pice kit.snare,bass mounted tom bass mounted tom and floor tom, i was wondering if i should ditch the second mounted tom?
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I think it's about the footprint size. I use a bass with 2 rack toms, floor tom, snare, hat's and 2 cymbal stands. One less tom won't make a difference in footprint size so I use both mine. 2 up 1 down with 4 pies on two stands. The only thing I could really do is lose one cymbal stand and that won't make much difference.
This. It's not a matter of how much gear, but how much room that gear takes up.

Still, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

I was in an original band playing showcases to record labels. Every last note of every last song was planned out and rehearsed. Every fill the same way every gig. Everything was mapped out on my 5 pc kit.

The we had an important gig, and I had no choice but to use the house kit, with one rack tom.
Which was odd, because now I had to change the fills on the fly from their very pre-determined place. There was no time to panic, no time to rework things out, no time to wonder how I'd pull it off. I just did it, and it was a great show.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I'm seeing a lot more pros just playing one rack, one floor tom, snare and kick. Cymbal choices seem to vary enormously, but you could just live with hats, one ride and one crash. Plus the ride goes just to the right of the rack tom and you have a very compact kit.

Believe me, no-one in the audience will notice you have only one crash.

Davo
 
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