Does size matter?

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
Lately I've been playing my newer Yamaha Stage Custom 10/12/14/20 set up with smaller cymbals to outfit the set up. I really enjoy being able to play the kit, not having it be super loud and I can actually hear all the voices from the assortment of cymbals I have.

I used to play an old 70's Ludwig 14/18/24, and it just seems that people were more impressed by that kit. I used a 24" ride and two 20" rides as crashes. Even though I do play with quality cymbals and the like, it was just a ton of noise and big loud crashy sounds.

Even still, I have some of my old metal friends asking me to play that set as it was a great set to play, but I feel I can still play just as well, and more coherently, with my new kit.

Are they just disillusioned by the size and how big and boomy it was? (It was a huge pain in the ass to set up and break down and also transport.)

Does size actually matter?
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I don't like big kits, playing them or transporting them. I don't think they are as musical as they are thuddy. Cymbals, same deal, not fussed on the big hats, big crash, big ride thing... I even bought a 16" crash the other day, never thought I'd do that again.

I'm in the "smaller is better" camp too.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I think size matters up to a certain point. For example, it's been my experience that a 18" kick is just not going to have the punch of a 22". With that said, I think the set you have now is very versatile. The 20" kick should be fine. The toms you have should cut through all of those amps really well given the right heads and tuning. They may not have the same "stage presence" that your bigger kit did, but who cares as long as it sounds good!
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
I play a 24/13/16 with a 23" Sweet Ride, 21" Bash Ride and 15" Sweet Hats and while I really like my setup and it's great for the style of music I'm playing now it's not a universal setup, if I was to start playing country or poppier type stuff my cymbals (mainly the 23" Sweet Ride) probably wouldn't blend well.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I use a 10 12 14 20 setup for everything from Funk to heavy rock and I love it. Smaller drums seem to have more punch and cut through better. If I rim shot the toms I can get a latin sound. Its just a personal thing but I find big toms flabby to play and step on the bass players frequencies more than the smaller sizes. I also play a 12" and a 14" crash and an 18* ride. Love them.As a side issue the smaller drums are easier to transport and store and the smaller cymbals are lighter to carry and more musical to my ears.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
I use a 10 12 14 20 setup for everything from Funk to heavy rock and I love it. Smaller drums seem to have more punch and cut through better. If I rim shot the toms I can get a latin sound. Its just a personal thing but I find big toms flabby to play and step on the bass players frequencies more than the smaller sizes. I also play a 12" and a 14" crash and an 18* ride. Love them.As a side issue the smaller drums are easier to transport and store and the smaller cymbals are lighter to carry and more musical to my ears.
my thoughts exactly. I think they all just want big and loud to muffle how terrible they play. Just kidding, kind of.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Depends on the tuning, too.

If you think of a drum's sweet spot as more of a range, then smaller drums are typically tuned to the lower end of it, and bigger drums to the higher end. That way they occupy a similar tonal range but a smaller drum will have more pitch bend and be fatter and wetter, whereas a larger drum will bend less and feel harder and more percussive under the stick. At that point it's just timbre preference.

But if big drums are used more for fashion and tuned low in the same way as smaller drums, they end up sounding thuddy and dead since that low end gets swallowed up in the mix. Hardly much point in that, IMO.

I prefer bigger sizes cranked up myself.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I think drums are the one musical instrument that seem to be influenced by the venue. Maybe "influenced" is not the correct term, but you know what I mean.
Your large kit would be good for a large venue, like 300 or more people in the audience. Your smaller kit would be better for a small night club, like 100 people or less.


.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
No, size matters. Pop music is also visual and your little fusiony girlie man kit does not say "hairy rock n roll" like your bigger, manly kit. It's not all about what people hear. You'd be disappointed if Katy Perry didn't show off her cleavage, so she gives it to her fans, it doesn't matter if she doesn't sound good.

Personally, I like bigger sizes because I don't want to work that hard to kick the band.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
No, size matters. Pop music is also visual and your little fusiony girlie man kit does not say "hairy rock n roll" like your bigger, manly kit. It's not all about what people hear. You'd be disappointed if Katy Perry didn't show off her cleavage, so she gives it to her fans, it doesn't matter if she doesn't sound good.

Personally, I like bigger sizes because I don't want to work that hard to kick the band.
With bigger drums you have to work harder to "Excite" the air in them, thus its more effort. Why am I not surprised its a Californian American that thinks bigger must be better. Apologies Bo, just a joke.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
With bigger drums you have to work harder to "Excite" the air in them, thus its more effort. Why am I not surprised its a Californian American that thinks bigger must be better. Apologies Bo, just a joke.
Especially one who's only 5-feet tall? Hahaha!

Actually, that effort to excite is negligible. Don't make it sound like a person doesn't need to make his heart beat a little harder ;)
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
If people were impressed with your 14/18/24 sized kit,
then if you get one twice as big, people will be twice as impressed.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
I like big, but not too big.

I don't like crashes 16 or smaller. 17 is really pushing it. 18 and 19 is a good size for me. 22 or 24 inch rides. But I don't like 20+ crashes.

Drums same thing. I like 22 and 24 bass drums, I think 26 is a bit too much though. Toms, I like 'em at least 12, and my floors 16 at least.
 

chris J

Senior Member
I want that drum set!

Seriously, one of my favourite rock drummers used to play a set with 12, 13 and 14X14 toms, 14 X 5 snare, 22 X 14" BD.
Cymbals were 22, 20, 16 and 14 with 14" hi hats.
A Small set, but he made it sound huge.

Ringo did some great work with a 12 & 14 tom, 20" BD and that Jazz fest snare.
He only used two cymbals, what else did he need?
 

hippy chip

Silver Member
Tuning matters much more than size---too many drummers are obsessed with how the drums sound from the throne---the audience doesn't give a crap about sizes as long as there is a good beat to the music---a 22x14" bass, a 12" tom, and a 16" floor is all you need---14" hats, 16" crash, 20" ride and you are good to go---if you can't take care of business with that you need more lessons! I have been playing guitar for 35+ years, and the drummer has never been the problem!
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
It all depends upon the music. An 18" K china might sound good in a funk band but would be inaudible in a metal band.

Liken it to a guitar player; you'll never see a Jackson at a folk/rock gig just as you won't see an ES335 with Godsmack.
 
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