How OCD are you about your set up?

SirSwingsAlot

Well-known member
I'd say I'm extremely fastidious about my setup. Head logos, badges, cymbal angles, stand heights -- they all must fulfill my precise demands. I tolerate no mutiny from equipment. In a world as haphazard and perilous as ours, my drum kit is the only domain where I can expect both pervasive safety and prompt obedience. It's a haven of harmony I can find nowhere else.

I think I'll sit on my throne for a while to collect myself.
that is oddly touching.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I am OCD about all elements of my playing, from kit set up, to how my stands go in my trap case, to packing the truck...

I was REEEAAALLL bad about it until I started doing small club and punk house tours in the 90's where many times I was playing on a shared kit, which more often than not, was completely falling apart. After 2-3 years of that, I eased up....a bit.

I now get to gigs as early as possible to do all of my tweaking and moving, and resetting, and moving, and retuning, and resetting, and scooching this thing that way etc...part of that is also easing my nervousness. I also have a weird OCD thing where I have to be the first to a gig/practice, and the last to leave. I am this way with my rehearsals at school too. First in, last out. Lights on. Lights out.
 

Dirtysticks

Senior Member
I have different setups at the church, the studio, at home and on my gigs. Some higher, some with more drums, some fewer, different sizes... no, I’m not that particular lol. I usually just down and play, except my seat, snare and hats are a little high compared to some other drummers.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I think you can tell a lot about a drummer by the way his/her set up looks. 😳
I'm intrigued? What exactly can you tell about a drummer?
I see drummers at times in front of awful looking kits in sometimes random states of disarray (shudder - even logos not aligned!) and their playing is clean, precise, tight and fantastic....the opposite of their kit appearance.
 

Dirtysticks

Senior Member
I'm intrigued? What exactly can you tell about a drummer?
I see drummers at times in front of awful looking kits in sometimes random states of disarray (shudder - even logos not aligned!) and their playing is clean, precise, tight and fantastic....the opposite of their kit appearance.
This... Daru Jones comes to mind lol
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J-W

Well-known member
I am OCPD (the actual term you guys are wrongly referring to as "OCD"), so yes, my personal kit is neat and tidy with everything is in it's place, but it doesn't cause me great mental anguish (the result of OCD) if something is not.

As for setup, I can adapt to other kits fairly quickly unless something is waaaay off to where it's just unnatural or uncomfortable to reach it.
 

Aboulger116

Active member
I'm generally a messy person, but with the kit everything has to be military level attention to detail. Bugs me to no end if my snare isn't level, top/bottom heads don't line up perfectly, crashes aren't straight and level, and if my ride isn't exactly where I want it. Before my girlfriend's dad plays, he'll stare at his kit nonstop until he notices his snare is 1/32" too far to to the left. I am the same way.
 

J-W

Well-known member
Just in case you want to watch
To each their own, but I just don't get it? (not that my opinion matters)
I don't see any sort of advantage, ergonomic or otherwise, to this. The snare is understandable, especially with traditional grip, but the toms?...No. In fact, you see him actually have to lean forward to reach them........not that you see a lot of tom work in his playing. The muffling is another issue altogether.
Nothing jumps out at me about his playing as being anything special. Quite the contrary, actually (see the tom fill at 2:12). And most of his beats just sound awkward to my ears. None of which I would consider "groove".
So is the setup an "anything to be unique" thing?

Dirtysticks gave Daru as an example to what opentune said, but I'm not hearing "clean, precise, tight and fantastic" in his playing. Am I missing something here?
 
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cbphoto

Gold Member
To each their own, but I just don't get it? (not that my opinion matters)
I don't see any sort of advantage, ergonomic or otherwise, to this. The snare is understandable, especially with traditional grip, but the toms?...No. In fact, you see him actually have to lean forward to reach them........not that you see a lot of tom work in his playing. The muffling is another issue altogether.
Nothing jumps out at me about his playing as being anything special. Quite the contrary, actually (see the tom fill at 2:12). And most of his beats just sound awkward to my ears. None of which I wouldn't consider "groove".
So is the setup an "anything to be unique" thing?

Dirtysticks gave Daru as an example to what opentune said, but I'm not hearing "clean, precise, tight and fantastic" in his playing. Am I missing something here?
I attended the Daru Jones clinic at Sweetwater last year. He had a similar setup and played off the beat (aka, drunken beat). I asked him why he set up the drums that way. “All for show. Nothing to do with performance. It’s fun, too!” He’s a very cool guy, talked with my son & I for an hour while we snacked on tacos in the lunch area.
 

J-W

Well-known member
I attended the Daru Jones clinic at Sweetwater last year. He had a similar setup and played off the beat (aka, drunken beat). I asked him why he set up the drums that way. “All for show. Nothing to do with performance. It’s fun, too!” He’s a very cool guy, talked with my son & I for an hour while we snacked on tacos in the lunch area.
Ahh!! See, that's what I love about these forums.....you learn something new every day.
I had no idea that he was a clinician, and to be honest, I'm quite surprised. I also didn't know that "drunken beat" was even a thing. Heck, I used to do that all the time back in the day (actually drunk AND off the beat). :) Glad I didn't know there was a term for it otherwise I would have justified it.
I don't mean any of those things as disparaging, just new to me. Good to hear that he took the time to hang with you and your son. Also, good to see that some drummers still have a bit of "show" in them. Too often I see the entertainment of watching a drummer taken out of the equation due to emphasis on technique. Speed metal drummers who only move at the wrist come to mind.
Anyway, thanks for clearing that up. I appreciate it and my apologies for derailing this thread.
Now, back to your (our) OCPD......
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
He also has to reach around or over the hats to get to the small tom. All for show, and here we are talking about him. Guess it worked.
 

J-W

Well-known member
He also has to reach around or over the hats to get to the small tom. All for show, and here we are talking about him. Guess it worked.
Absolutely it worked! (y)
And I WAS missing something. Individualism. Shame on me for overlooking that. Of all people too.....

It's interesting the mindset regarding this because I belong to another drum forum where it seems that it's all about function over form, no matter what. More than 2 toms, more than one crash cymbal, a second bass drum are all unnecessary because it doesn't improve your drumming or technique. It's a bit ironic because that same group idolizes Ringo and Charlie Watts. I'm not saying those two aren't good drummers, but they certainly aren't exciting to watch perform (or listen to, IMO) by any means.

Now I don't feel so bad having a ridiculously big, flashy kit that many would say was completely unnecessary and strictly for show (they're not wrong). Or as one person puts it: "a shrine".

Kudos to Daru for thumbing his nose at those closed-minded individuals. I'm still not a fan of his playing, but I sure like his style. (y) :cool:
 
I think you can tell a lot about a drummer by the way his/her set up looks. I’m OCD in a lot of areas about my kit. I have to have the logos on the heads lined up with the grommet hole/badge and have them facing directly away from me, 12:00 position on the toms when I look at them. I used a small level to make sure the Ludwig logo on the front of the kick drum was completely straight and the bottom line of the logo is parallel to the floor. I have to have my crash cymbals in the front the same height and perfectly level, and all my cymbals level, with the exception of my 24” ride being slightly tilted toward me. I like my two floor toms to be flat too, but there is a slight tilt to my 18”. It looks flat from the audience though. I just like things to look sharp, neat and precise. Don’t know why. No decals, bumper stickers, weird angles......I need help 😳
If you think about it for a minute, the idea of effectively playing an instrument that is made up of many pieces, making it sound melodic, and making it fit with other band members/instruments is a major feat. It takes years to master the craft - just to be smooth and creative in ways that aren't viewed as disruptive to the song. This takes precision, determination, perseverance, and energy. After all of this, yes - one might be inclined to be a little bit anal and OCD regarding one's kit, be it the setup, the sparkle, the lighting, the heads, the cymbals, the hardware, the symmetry... Yes, OCD is a good start. Solidarity, my friend!
 
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