How to position your kit...


Senior Member
Hi !

I was wondering if there is a better way to place your setup so
it's easier to play or for better speed... When I use only 4 pieces kit,
there is no problem for the ride because it is where the mid tom is placed
but with the 5 pieces, I found it tough on the arm to reach the middle or
the bell of the AA ride... Any input is welcome...




Senior Member
Not much you can do there.

Just practice your kit like that for a while and you will get accustomed to it eventually.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
That looks great to me bud. Nice and compact and I like the over lapping cymbals primarily because that's how I do mine.


Platinum Member
Looks almost perfect to me. However, if you want to get that ride closer...

Try and rotate your bass drum about 10 degrees clockwise and adjust your toms as far left as possible to fit your ride in closer. I don't know if it will work, but hey it's worth a shot.


Senior Member
When playing 5 piece you can always put your toms on a stand together just off center to your left. Then you will still have the same area to put your ride as when you are set up 4 piece. You will have to move your hi-hat further out for this to work, but you will have a better ride cymbal position. Look at the attached picture to see what I mean.



Silver Member
Wow, I like a tight setup but that floor tom looks a little too close for comfort. I would elbow myself in the gut I think, but if its comfy for you, then all the better. My humble suggestion is to place the ride where the right crash is and find a place for the crash thats suitable for you. I m guessing that you prefer your ride at a low height though. So maybe try what basscass said and move the toms to a stand left of the bass drum. Keep experimenting till you find what works. As we all know, drummers are great at compromising... ;-P

BTW.... are you endorsing Sabian or Vic Firth? The logos seem to be all clearly posing for the camera...coincidence?...... (jst kddn) ;-P

Random User Name

I would put both of the rack toms on a stand to the left, or ditch one of them and go 4 pc.


Gold Member
Not much you can do there.

Just practice your kit like that for a while and you will get accustomed to it eventually.
Yep, this is what I do when I have to play a compact kit. I'll set it up and play on it for a few days before the show.

By the way, I like the consistent stick marks on those heads, you can tell you are no spring chicken behind the set. nice.

Tom Sawyer

Senior Member
My humble suggestion is to place the ride where the right crash is and find a place for the crash thats suitable for you.
But there isn't a right crash, is there? It's an AA ride, the problem cymbal in this thread.

Great setup anyway, looks gorgeous. I wouldn't change anything.


Platinum Member
I see your problem - there's a tom stuck where your ride belongs. Yank that sucker out on the upper-right and you're money. ;)


Silver Member
But there isn't a right crash, is there? It's an AA ride, the problem cymbal in this thread..
Oh crap....... You re right Tom Sawyer(if that IS your real name) lol Just kiddin man. My mistake, I overlooked that part and I guess I was assuming the biggest cymbal was the ride. And when I read the part about the bell.... to me it looks a bit hard to hit as it appears to be slightly under the AA ride. Look at the picture as if it were a map- how about moving the big HH a little bit south/east and then moving the AA in the same direction as much as you could before blocking the bell of the HH. ??? Worth a try, I guess. I n my own experience, I bought a double tom stand to solve this exact same problem and it was the perfect solution. And never let any "spring chickens" play your set, LMAO!! Good on Nodiggie : )


I think the placement of drums is a personal thing. Might look odd and uncomfortable to somebody else but if it works for you then great. For me personally, I like to play in an as perfect arch (D) setup from left to right I can get. I do this because I am not a tall person and it ensures I can reach for anything when I want to.
So if it were my set up I would do it this way (but as I say it's a preference).

1. I would push back the right hand tom to sit beside the smaller tom and then angel them both so the heads are facing and looking me in the face (forward).

2. I would lower the floor tom so again the head (middle) was facing me slightly so you have the two back legs at normal height with the third middle leg shorter.

3. Now I would tuck the snare above the bass drum but under the right hand tom (which should be facing angeled as mentioned above. You must make sure the bottom rim of the tom is not hitting the snare and likewise the bottom of the snare is not hitting the bass drum. Your measurements here must be precise for snare height I always put a longish beer towel on the top of the bass drum just incase the tom loosens and drops down. (learnt that from a drummer mate of mine, does happen and can happen).

4, The high hat can go to the left hand side of the snare and slightly closer to your left hand side.

5. Now fill in the spaces along the side both left and right with the cymbals. Again I would slightly angel them toward me for easy reach.

As I say the above is just an example of how I would feel comfortable if it were my set up. There are really no hard and fast rules to this. There are also no rules that say the smaller of the two toms have to be positioned on the left. If you prefer swap them over, although in the picture you show more cymbals to the left hand side of the kit so I would leave the smaller tom where it is.

Finally appearance to me is also a factor in how comfortable it makes for playing a kit. I have a tendency to adjust my heads on my toms to also be in unison and angled toward me. So my Remo heads would also be like so. Remo Remo
\ /

so whichever way the toms line up sitting on the bass, the heads will also line up to the way I wish to see them staring back at me. This wont improve the sound any but it does make me feel good to sit at a well presented kit. (just my opinion).
This all changes of course when I am sitting on another drummers kit because, again, it is set up to his/her preference. :)
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Senior Member
Hey !

Thanks everyone for your suggestion...
I'm gonna try a double tom stand to shift
everything to the left... I wasn't sure that
it was possible but looks like I got all the
hardware to try it...

I realy like the med AA ride for about everything
I play but I also love my new HH RBDR but it
does not fit everywhere... With the double tom
holder, it's gonna be like playing a 4 kit but with
the bonus of 1 tom...

Thanks again !!


Ian Ballard

Silver Member
Do some air drumming. Figure out the most efficient paths for your sticks to go, where you work the least to get there, and try to set your drums up in accordance.


Platinum Member
Finding the setup that works best for you is just up to you. Experiment. Try positioning parts of the kit in ways you wouldn't normally think of or try setting up. The good thing is, most of the time you don't have to do anything really crazy to get a setup that works for you. I don't like moving my toms to the left to be off-center from the kick because I don't like moving my hi-hats farther away, but that's just my preference. Remember that sometimes if you have a lot of things on your kit, you might not be able to put everything *exactly* where you want it just because of the sizes of the different parts of your kit. At that point, you just need to get used to that layout of drums and cymbals. The way I see it-- although you may not agree, and that's fine-- is that you have arms, don't be afraid to reach a little bit for your drums or cymbals. I actually usually prefer for cymbals to be more left/right displaced from the bass drum then closer to me but at the same time moved farther back from the bass drum. I just feel most comfortable when my cymbals are in that way.

Nice drums by the way. Your camera really flatters them and the cymbals look great too.

Random User Name

Billy Ward's dvd "Big Time" has a really great part about setting your kit up. I highly recommend it.


i put my ride to almost opposite to my hats
for example,
t t
hh s ft r
the ride is a little bit further back though
i find it really easy to reach my ride

the only reason i have it like that is because i dont have enough room to put it in any other way, hell, half of it is is a cupboard.

Joe P

Senior Member
Try putting your AA higher and tilted. You could also go for the Steve Smith approach and put the aux. ride on the hi-hat side.

Take an hour or two, take all the cymbals and cymbal stands off your kit. Position the hi-hat and the main ride. Then, experiment with the positioning of the auxiliary ride. Don't start with preconceived notions of where it "has" to go. Just try putting it ANYWHERE. Maybe use a boom stand and position it directly above the main ride? Maybe even put it to the right of the main ride (that's right, further away from the drums)? Experiment and find what you like best. Once you've figured out how you want your rides and h-hat to be positioned, then put out your crashes and any splashes, chinas, etc.