Does Tom Angle inform the level of mediocrity of a drummer prior to ever seeing the drummer play?


Senior Member
If you walk in to a club or show and see the drum kit angular configuration....prior to the start of the show or ever seeing or hearing the drummer....are you able to predict the level of mediocrity of the performance to follow?

Is there a corresponding algorithm that predicts level of mediocrity that is porportional to tom angle and tom spread?


Senior Member
I don't think Nicko adds any weight to the counter argument. I'd suggest that, by today's standards, he is about average.


Gold Member
i dont really care about the angle. i wound never judge a drummer by the angle of his toms. if someone wants to play them upside down and knows what they are doing, go ahead!


Senior Member
Years ago...and I'm referencing the video of Max Roach....I think it was more common for drums to be set up like that and probably had/has some validity from a playing approach. It was also more common *years* ago to drive an Edsel or have a land line as your only means of communication.

I'm no drum historian, but I do not think too many world famous or famous drummers configure there kit today as was done in the Roach video. The Max Roach video does not apply to this question because we all know that today drum equipment, endorsements and advancements have changed the look of the drum kit, the ergonomics and the setup-ability. .

If any one of us here walked into a club and saw a kit like what max roach is playing in that video, I suspect the thought would occur..."hmmm that is odd; I wonder about this drummer"


Gold Member
At the risk of being serious.. I was at GC today and this guy (dad of a young drummer) brings in a snare and two toms and asks the clerk if he can change heads, clean-up ect. While they were in a pile behind the counter (Ludwig Accents) I noticed the tom on top was dented so badly.. I couldn't help myself and showed the dad how the toms were set on all the sets in the store and asked if his sons were like that or extremely angled.. We ended up talking for about 20 minutes he, had a ton of questions made the trip for snare heads enjoyable.


Silver Member
I think it CAN actually be a tell tale sign of a bad drummer or in-experienced drummer.

That's not to say all drummers who do this are bad but, it's very common for beginners to do this.
If it's a cheap kit, textreme angles and bad cymbals you can have a good idea of what to expect. Or get the surprise of your life!

Also, I think alot of 'mediocre' drummers now set their toms up flat-table top style as it seems to be the in thing. I found that also doesn't guarantee a great drummer.

Do what works for you and not just blindly follow trends. Either for of extreme angle, tilted or flat always seems like a bad idea to me mechanically so I aim for a happy medium so my wrists get full and equal movement either way.