Distance from snare to body

zambizzi

Platinum Member
So, I'm nit-picking and fine-tuning my technique, setup, etc. over the past couple of years. My setup changes in little bits, here and there, as my technique evolves. One dilemma I haven't gotten past yet is snare distance. I play a 4pc. kit so I've got a 14" snare w/ a 12" tom to the north.

My snare sits about 6" from the edge of my throne. For many folks, that's far too close. I only do this because any further out, and I feel like I have to reach/lean to hit the center of the 12" tom.

I'm exactly 6" tall and have long legs...but not particularly long arms. I'm built kinda weird.

It's comfortable most of the time but there are occasions where I feel the snare is too close - one example is right-handed rim shots. Left hand is fine and I don't smack my leg...there's enough clearance there.

I look at the big wigs like Jojo, Stanton, etc. and the common pattern is; the snare is much further away. Am I just delaying the inevitable?

As a general survey, how far is the edge of your throne to the edge of your snare? Pics are appreciated, too. ;) I'll post a pic later of my setup.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I keep my snare close to my throne. The elongated front of my motorcycle seat almost touches my snare drum. I slant my snare away from me to allow for easy rim shots.
This allows me to reach my small tom and cymbals while sitting straight. My elbows are right at my side while playing my snare. I wear my snare batter head out in the middle, so it works for me. I have a back rest on my throne and I lean on it all of the time while I am playing. I am 5' 11" tall and I have a short torso and long legs.
Whatever works for you is best.
I relax while I play in this configuration. No stress on my back! I am totally comfortable and I play better because of it.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I keep my snare close to my throne. The elongated front of my motorcycle seat almost touches my snare drum. I slant my snare away from me to allow for easy rim shots.
This allows me to reach my small tom and cymbals while sitting straight. My elbows are right at my side while playing my snare. I wear my snare batter head out in the middle, so it works for me. I have a back rest on my throne and I lean on it all of the time while I am playing. I am 5' 11" tall and I have a short torso and long legs.
Whatever works for you is best.
I relax while I play in this configuration. No stress on my back! I am totally comfortable and I play better because of it.
Thanks bob...it'd be nice to see a pic of this setup. I'm guessing that your throne fills about the same space as there is between mine and my snare. Either that, or having it this close works out due to your leaning back against the backrest? I've thought about getting a throne w/ a backrest for a while, just to help with long hours of playing.
 

RollingStone000

Silver Member
I'm about 5" 10" long legs and arms but a short torso (damn genetics). I've got my round throne about 8-9" away from the snare. I'd say the snare hovers over the bass drum pretty close, there's about a 1 1/2-2" of distance between the bottom hoop and the batter hoop of the Bass (20 x 16"). I've also got one rack tom on a snare stand so I can adjust it to exactly where I want it; I'd say it's about 1" away from the snare and slightly off center to the right. I also like my snare batter to be about 1" or so higher than my thighs.

It's a never ending thing man, you get one piece of equipment and you might have start rearranging everything.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/album.php?albumid=357&pictureid=2951
 

jwildman

Senior Member
I am six foot also and I have the seat fairly close, like my legs are right up against the snare. However I really don't play rim shots on my snare when I'm playing regurlarly so I'm not really sure what a good set up is for rim shots.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I am 5'8" and have average arms and like to sit with my arms hanging naturally so that I am hitting the middle of the snare. I measured and the snare is 8 inches from the front of my throne.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Here is the pic. The throne is black so I hope that you can see the position. If it was round I guess that it would be 4" away from the snare. I will never play without a motorcycle throne and I will never play without a backrest. It's the only way to fly! You can see the wear marks on the one month old snare batter. One wear mark on the right, and one on the left. My left hand stays slightly back to allow me to ride on my hats. I play trad mostly.
 

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Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
My set up pretty much matches yours Zambizzi (no pics for you unfortunately). I'm the same height as you, run the same tom configuration (altho sometimes add a 14" floor) and my snare sits somewhere between 6 to 8 inches from my throne. Snare drum sits nicely between my knees. I prefer the feeling of sitting 'over' my drums and hitting down on them as opposed to 'reaching' out for them.

Recently jumped on the double kick bandwagon tho, so I'm still at the tweaking stage with my hats and slave pedal. There's ALWAYS something!!!
 
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con struct

Platinum Member
Well after reading this I just had to make my own measurement. My snare drum is exactly ten inches from the stool. But I have long legs and I play with matched grip.
 

Fiery

Silver Member
My snare is preferably an inch away from the kick drum. My right knee is between 4 and 5 o'clock and my left knee is between 7 and 8 o'clock in relation to the snare (not touching it, of course). I play matched grip in American position so the sticks are almost a direct extension of my forearms, with my upper arms vertical and my elbows at around 90-95 degrees. I'm 6 feet tall, both arms and legs relatively long.
You might notice I wrote "preferably" - very often the snare creeps toward me so it ends around three inches from the kick or more and my elbows move backward somewhat.

I believe the snare and the pedals should be in the most comfortable positions - that's what you're playing most of the time. Everything else should be placed after the core is set. I mean, you probably hit the 12" once every ten times you hit the snare or so. Also, placing the tom higher and somewhat more angled you can get it to hang above the snare and be closer to you.
 
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BattleArmor

Silver Member
Mines about 6 or 7. I just try to sit naturally, and let the stick fall to the center of where the snare should be, and adjust accordingly. That way, if I want to hit different areas of the snare, its not much strain to do so.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Mines about 6 or 7. I just try to sit naturally, and let the stick fall to the center of where the snare should be, and adjust accordingly. That way, if I want to hit different areas of the snare, its not much strain to do so.
Bingo. I never measure it in units of length, merely against the proportions/movements of my body. I dictate all my set up choices with this as the primary consideration. Compromises need to be made to account for equipment flexibility and movement, but my starting point is always my own body.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Bingo. I never measure it in units of length, merely against the proportions/movements of my body. I dictate all my set up choices with this as the primary consideration. Compromises need to be made to account for equipment flexibility and movement, but my starting point is always my own body.
Oh sure, so is mine. I wasn't trying to get a precise measurement to follow, but rather just an idea of how big the gap is for other folks. Some of the big-time guys I watch have their snares so far out, it's a wonder they can reach anything beyond it. Yet they do, with ease. I feel like my snare is too close, yet my tom and left-side crash would be too far away from me to be comfortable, were it any farther out.

Here are a few pics. After I took these I moved the snare out a bit more. I don't like the extra reach but I'll adjust. I feel less "boxed in" with even just a little bit more room. I tend to go through this a few times a year though...eventually I'll want to move it in closer. I must have disproportionately short arms or something. A freak!
 

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jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Seating position has always been an issue of experimentation for me, but i'm convinced that some distance allows for better posture and position in which to play the drums with power and precision. The front edge of my stool is probably close to a foot away from the edge of the snare; although i have long limbs i've found this distance ensures my elbows are held slightly in front of the torso which gives the arms a good starting position to move round the kit. Also, this keeps my kick drum foot a good distance in front of me. Being 'bunched up' is as inhibiting for the feet as it is the arm.
 
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