Have you come around to other drum sizes?


When I started playing set, my hero was John Bonham and I thought that any bass drum size below 24" was heresy. My first kit was a Pearl Roadshow with an 18, 14, 13, 10 set-up, but not long after I bought a 28" bass drum (it looked ridiculous with the kit!). Soon came a Ludwig Element Birch in 22, 16, 14, 12 with summer job money and I've been playing that ever since.

For the longest time, I've been thinking about trading in the Ludwigs for a Gretsch Rock or something along with lines, but I've been rethinking that lately. After spending months experimenting with tuning I've warmed up to the 22 bass drum size very nicely. It packs a solid punch and boom when tuned well (coated PS3 over Ludwig Heavy Coated batter w/ felt strip for the win!) and the toms have pretty great intervals when tuned right. This summer I'll be re-heading the kit with coated ambassadors all around (excluding the kick) and I'm looking forward to the sound.

Sometime in the future, I'd love to invest in a vintage-build Gretsch Broadkaster in the same configuration as my Ludwigs. Nick D'Virgilio actually tests out a Broadkaster in these sizes in a rockin' Sweetwater video and they sound like heaven to me. One day.....

The only thing I don't think I'll ever come around to are deep kicks/toms such as a 20x22 bass drum or the such, but hey, I never know!


Platinum Member
Have I come around to other drum sizes?

Yes! I'm now a big fan of traveling with a 20" kick in a gig back as opposed to a 22" in a hard case. A 20" still gets the job done!

In addition, I played a 13" snare for years, but I now enjoy my 14" Pearl Masters at church. It's a great drum, and perfect for church.


"Uncle Larry"
I'm losing my taste for the 10" tom. It's just to small to project well unmiced. I'm going to 12 and 13 racks after I get an Andy delivery. The 22 I settled on a long time ago. A 24 as much as I dig the tone...it puts my racks up too high and I need a tom tree.


Senior Member
Yup, I've gone down from 24/16/13 to 22/16/12.

I've tried 14" floor toms but I just don't get on with them.
I think I'd stuggle to go down smaller than that though.
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Silver Member
My current kit is the Odery CafeKit. 14" Bass, 12" floor tom, 10" rack tom and a 12" snare. I also added a 8" rack tom.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I've dabbled with sizes that are out of the norm for me, but with only a few exceptions, the traditional sizes fit all of my needs. My kicks range from 18-26" in diameter, but all are 14 or 16" deep (2:1 ratio in favor of the 14".) I had an 18x22" kick... got rid of it after one gig.

Toms are typically 12, 13, 14, 16 and 18", and with few exceptions, are traditional depths (8x12, 9x13 etc.) I have 10" & smaller toms, but rarely use them.

My snares are almost always 14", and 6.5 or 8" deep. I have a handful of 12, 13, 15 and 16" diameter snares, but it's a severe minority compared to the 14". I don't recall the last time I used a different diameter.

There are a few reasons as to why I gravitate to a somewhat narrow range of sizes. First, I started drumming at a time when a 12" tom was the smallest tom in anyone's catalog. 10" toms were a special order, or a concert tom. Bass drums were 14, sometimes 12" deep, and were still called bass drums! Second, pretty much every genre I play is geared to those traditional sizes. I don't think I've ever thought that I needed a smaller or larger sized drum for a gig.



Gold Member
I've tried the below

20", 10, 12" & 14" . I had this setup for about 12 years and never wanted to change until I started to want more volume for the gigs I was playing.

Went over to the extreme of a 24", 13", 16" & 18" which served me well for a time but after a few years of this it became apparent that it was a bit too un-versatile and limiting (in terms of both live and studio work) so I sold that kit.

Now on a 22" or 24" BD then a choice of 12", 13",14" & 16" toms which gives me the best of both worlds and a nice selection of voices to choose from under any setting.

Never thought I'd get away from a 10" tom for my first choice and although I still love the sound I can't see myself going back to that on a main kit as the bands I play with currently needs a little more than that size gives me.

Still love a 20" BD too but I'm happy with the 22" and 24" as my go-to bass drums on my main kit. Still have the 20", 10", 12" and 14" stored away as and when I need them (along with a 20", 12 and 16" kit) but that doesn't happpen often.


Silver Member
in the 70's-80's: (2)24x14 kicks, 14x10,15x12,16x16,18x16 Ludwig Walnut thermogloss with arguably the worst hardware known to man.

Today: 22x18, 10x7,12x8,14x12,16x14 Mapex Blk Panther Blk Widow. Love the smaller sizes. Gibraltar hardware.


Platinum Member
Yes. I started with a 12/13/16/22 kit. I got a 10/12/14/16/22, and liked the smaller tom sizes. Got a 12/14/20 and liked the smaller bass drum size. I got a 12/14/18, and love it, BUT the rock band needed more oomph, so I got a 14/18/24. I now have several kits of various sizes, and I've come around to all of them.

+1 on not liking deep bass drums and toms.


Senior Member
I'm also not a fan of deep bass drums. It always bugged me that it seems like the vast majority of stock kits have 22x18" bass drums these days. Just out of curiosity I decided to go through Memphis Drum Shop's inventory (since it lets you filter by bass drum size) and tally everything up:

16x14 1
18x14 8
20x12 1
20x14 18
20x16 1
22x08 1
22x14 28
22x15 1
22x16 5
22x17 1
22x18 28
24x14 15

I'm not sure that Memphis Drum shop is representative though, since I think they carry a lot more of the boutique brands and less of the mainstream stuff compared to say Musicians Friend or Sweetwater.


Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I've pretty much come full circle for traditional sizes. No desire to go below a 12" rack tom these days.

Even though I have a 14" floor tom I much prefer 15" toms to the 14"

I've gone up in drum sizes preferring a 24/13/16 as my go to kit. Love the tone.

Never thought I play anything but 14" snares but have added two 7" X 13", a 5.5" X 12" and a 4" X 15".


Senior Member
I've had the same drum sizes ever since I got my last floor tom:

22x18 (2)





16x16 (2)

I'd like I add in a 13x9 to make it a 9 piece but then again, more drums for me to carry around.


"Uncle Larry"
Yes. I started with a 12/13/16/22 kit. I got a 10/12/14/16/22, and liked the smaller tom sizes. Got a 12/14/20 and liked the smaller bass drum size. I got a 12/14/18, and love it, BUT the rock band needed more oomph, so I got a 14/18/24. I now have several kits of various sizes, and I've come around to all of them.

+1 on not liking deep bass drums and toms.
Do you consider 16" deep?

I'm done with any bass drum over 16" deep too.

I hope they become like bell bottoms lol


Gold Member
When I got my Yamaha Stage Custom kit five years ago I wasn't sure about the 10-12-16-22 intervals. I now consider these sizes the best for a five piece kit. My justification is that I feel that the audio spectrum is not linear, but logarithmic. No scientific data to back this theory up, just a hunch. Hey, it works for me. Am I wrong?


Senior Member
I have traditionally played a 24,13,16...but lately have found myself gravitating to smaller kick drums. Mostly using a 22 these days but I love the feel and sound of my 20 too.


On a Yamaha Stage Custom I used to have 22", 10", 12", 16"
On my Sonor Prolite I have 20", 10", 12", 14"

On my old kits, they always used to be 22", 8,10,12,14 or 10,12,14,16

There aren't many kits where a 14" floor tom will suffice, but a Sonor prolite will. A Yamaha stage custom, pearl masters, dw collectors etc, a 14" floor tom will not.

Due to very thin shells, my Sonors are lower in pitch to all other brands, ergo, smaller toms will do the job of larger toms


Platinum Member
Bass drums range from 18" to 24" but I really want a 26x14 Ludwig. All depends on the venue I'm playing.

Tom wise I don't have anything smaller than a 12", never had the need to go smaller. Other than that I have floor toms ranging from 14" to 18". Not had any problems with the 14" floors. I usually use 2 floor 14/16 or 16/18. It's a narrow range for toms but works for me.

Matt Bo Eder

I tried "fusion" size toms (10/12/14) and that didn't last. I tried power tom depths, and that didn't last either. Any bass drum deeper than 16" soon went away too.

I do have a Roger Taylor-style kit with a 16x26 bass drum that I really like for the novelty, but it isn't the first kit I grab for when going out to gig.

So I suppose, no, I haven't come around to other sizes, but at least I gave them a try. I guess I'll always be a traditional 12/13/16/22 player. Maybe this has something to do with just being forced to live with these sizes as a child, and by the time I had my own money to start experimenting, nothing else felt right?


Gold Member
I have 3 kits, all are the same sizes as I want to keep my "sound" homogeneous. 8x7 -10x8 - 12x9 - 14x14 - 16x16 - 22x18. All are tuned similarly and use the same heads (Evans).



Gold Member
I have kits with 16";18" and 20" bass drums , tom sizes are pretty consistent usually 12 and 14". The 16" bass drum kit has 10" and 13" toms.

My typical set up is a 20/12/14 and that is the size I usually base my drum buying decisions on. I just ordered another kit by a local builder and ordered..... you guessed it 20/12/14. :)