How crowded are you set up areas?

Jasta 11

Active member
A recent pic on here of a virgin bass drum with a tom on a stand got me thinking about the footprint our kits take up. Being practical vs playing a kit only set up the way you want to just lacks versatility. We don't all play a 20 x 40 foot stage on top of a riser so floor space is tough to come by. When i get to a gig, I'm usually pointed to a small space they want the band to set up in. We do get the rare opportunity of playing on a stage but most places don't have one. This is one example of how much space venues leave for a band. This spot, while not typical represents my bands "stage" area at a majority of venues. We setup and play, making it work but Iv'e cut back on stands to tighten up my own space for this reason here. Anyone else have to jam in a corner at gigs? This is between sets, the guitar players don't get to jump around much either.20190904_222201.jpg
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Before I start ....I think I've got the same snare drum as you.
Yes, as a pub gig drummer small spaces are an unavoidable bane of my life. What makes it worse are the two types of extra gear on "stage" that guitarists tend to set up without thinking. There's the unavoidable gear like guitar cabs. Often someone will plonk one down before I've finished finalizing my set up making hi hat or ride placement difficult. It's a pain because even though the guitar cab's placement is important to the player, there are still plenty of other options, it isn't 100% necessary that it has to go JUST there. Worse still is the avoidable gear, spare guitars on a stand. Keep it away from my kit, in fact for the number of times I've seen a guitarist need his spare in an emergency just keep it in its case.
There's also the musical equivalent of Parkinson's Law, the gear will expand to fill the space available to it. Whether we're playing on a postage stamp, a tiny stage area, a small stage area, or even an actual stage, the drum kit will still always be hemmed in by amplifiers and gear. Thinking on it, people like to set their gear up sideways as opposed to front to back, so as the stage width increases, the stuff they had in front of their cabs moves sideways.....and boxes me in.
I'm only glad the bass player in my bands has now gone backline free and he plugs directly into the Front Of House PA
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
If I have smaller gigs like that, I'll do a cajon kick, 10" tom (if needed) and a popcorn snare. 13" hats & a 16" crash/ride. That's the limit of equipment if space is at a premium.
 

Jasta 11

Active member
Before I start ....I think I've got the same snare drum as you.
Yes, as a pub gig drummer small spaces are an unavoidable bane of my life. What makes it worse are the two types of extra gear on "stage" that guitarists tend to set up without thinking. There's the unavoidable gear like guitar cabs. Often someone will plonk one down before I've finished finalizing my set up making hi hat or ride placement difficult. It's a pain because even though the guitar cab's placement is important to the player, there are still plenty of other options, it isn't 100% necessary that it has to go JUST there. Worse still is the avoidable gear, spare guitars on a stand. Keep it away from my kit, in fact for the number of times I've seen a guitarist need his spare in an emergency just keep it in its case.
There's also the musical equivalent of Parkinson's Law, the gear will expand to fill the space available to it. Whether we're playing on a postage stamp, a tiny stage area, a small stage area, or even an actual stage, the drum kit will still always be hemmed in by amplifiers and gear. Thinking on it, people like to set their gear up sideways as opposed to front to back, so as the stage width increases, the stuff they had in front of their cabs moves sideways.....and boxes me in.
I'm only glad the bass player in my bands has now gone backline free and he plugs directly into the Front Of House PA
I always seem rushed to put my drum mat down to claim my space and even then, they put a PA head or an amp on the corner. I always use the mat and they always encroach. Its all good though. for the gig pictured, i have to squeeze out by tipping the hi hat stand in a little. There is a full size popcorn machine next to me, if you look, our singer puts his guitar amp under the stupid popcorn machine by the back wheels. This snare is a Mapex Black Panther, Maple with a Rosewood veneer.
 

Jasta 11

Active member
If I have smaller gigs like that, I'll do a cajon kick, 10" tom (if needed) and a popcorn snare. 13" hats & a 16" crash/ride. That's the limit of equipment if space is at a premium.
Sounds like my small venue kit! 10 Pearl M-80 snare. It sounds like your not afraid to be versatile, thats the way to keep playing.
 

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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I swear, about 95% of the places I play, it's always tight. Even when I play outside, I play on a lot of flatbed trailers or porches or whatever, so room is always an issue. My solution was to buy a Ludwig Classic Maple with a 14" floor tom and a 20" x 14" kick. It's amazing the difference these sizes make. Sometimes I even leave the rack tom in the car, and I do just fine.

As much as a Pork Pie fan as I am, I'm really, really starting to love Ludwig Classic Maple drums. My 14" floor tom thinks it's a 16", and my 20" x 14" is so close to perfect it's crazy.




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Trip McNealy

Gold Member
I agree PPG, I have a Classic Maple kit in same sizes, with a 12x8 tom, and they sound like thunder. Amazing and versatile sound.

On topic, PPG's picture there is also how I setup my kit for tight spaces. I also use a DW Frequent Flyer kit with DW Ultralight hardware which works equally as well.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Can play anything from huge stages to little corner setups. The little Saturn V Tour 20/12/14 does it in style. Sounds more like a 22/13/16.

I went really small last year with a Pearl Midtown which I'd still recommend for anyone experimenting with small kits. They hold their value too used which I was amazed at.
 

Craig J

Senior Member
if you're playing a space that small just don't use any toms. and use the kick where you would normally hit a tom
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I went really small last year with a Pearl Midtown which I'd still recommend for anyone experimenting with small kits. They hold their value too used which I was amazed at.
I'll second this. I have been playing one for almost 4 years now and that little kit is a blast to play. The full sized kit hasn't even been uncased since getting the Midtown.
 

Polska

Member
It bothers me that there are so many clubs and restaurants that want live music, but aren't set up to accommodate live music. We play one place where we have to wait till the long table is done eating so we can move the table ourselves, and then set up.

Recently I considered getting a bop kit but felt my 22 x 14 kick and 14 floor tom didn't take up that much more of a footprint than the spread of a bop kit. As someone said here, it's the stands that I needed to consolidate so I started with single braced and using more clamps.
 

Jasta 11

Active member
I swear, about 95% of the places I play, it's always tight. Even when I play outside, I play on a lot of flatbed trailers or porches or whatever, so room is always an issue. My solution was to buy a Ludwig Classic Maple with a 14" floor tom and a 20" x 14" kick. It's amazing the difference these sizes make. Sometimes I even leave the rack tom in the car, and I do just fine.

As much as a Pork Pie fan as I am, I'm really, really starting to love Ludwig Classic Maple drums. My 14" floor tom thinks it's a 16", and my 20" x 14" is so close to perfect it's crazy.




View attachment 87405
i had been using the bass snare or bass snare floor tom for a while, i love the floor tom only setup after doing it. What got my attention was the Tama mini jam kits, just bass and snare. I was going to get one then my wife stepped in with the " you have 25 drums, you are not buying any more" speech, so i made the kit in the original post, shallow bass drum and toms so it takes up no room and i get to play a 4 piece which i love. Nice kit man, and im a fan of the rail consolette!!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I'll second this. I have been playing one for almost 4 years now and that little kit is a blast to play. The full sized kit hasn't even been uncased since getting the Midtown.
Same here.

There was an offer I couldn't refuse on the Saturn. I still use the Midtown tom bag to get the 12/14 toms in. My load in is the same as the midtown.

The tama single braced hardware pack was a big winner for me too, all goes in one carry case.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
There was one drummer clinic video drumeo or something had a really Top notch first call drummer and he was laughing it off saying, no matter how big you get, no matter how fancy the production or how big the stage, it is always a tight squeeze to get behind his kit.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I like to set up on the side to be ready and have a 10 minute changeover. As long as the band before us gets off quick (I always help the drummer before and after me) it's never an issue. I have played a few gigs where there is literally NO room to setup proper prior. I like to have cymbals on stands set up, snare in basket, throne, all the heights of everything done right. In situations like the above my kit is never perfect. I just use it as is and will adjust something quick between songs. I usualy have it good after a few tunes.

The trick is to practice on different setups, move stuff around, and get used to not having everything PERFECT all the time. Then you can play on anything. Years of gear sharing has helped with this a ton. I could have 1,2,3 toms on a kit. It makes no difference to me. Sure I'd prefer it to be my ideal setup, but I don't get stressed out if things are not right.

Same with if I get to a gig and the load in / setup suck. Just take it in stride.
 
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