In defence of multiple toms.

Dracovyrn

Senior Member
What?
Should we keep com pairing melodic instruments to percussion?
Actually, some of the first stringed instruments only had 2, 3, and later. 4 strings. It wasn't until the 1700's that the modern day guitar had six strings.

Now lets compare to non-melodic instruments. The modern day marching multi-tenor was not brought up until the 1960's. the originals consisted of only one tom on each individual, until a highschool mounted two on the harness and marched as such. with that same attitude, no one would have ever moved on to create the modern day quints or sextets. There is always room for progression! Now, Rhythmically, I think a person should practice on one drum. creativity goes far with rhythm, I will agree, but not with shape. If I had only three keys on the marimba to play, sure, I could probably make one of the greatest rhythmic solos of all time! But sadly, with only three keys, there's not going to be much shape. :/

So! With this discussion, I have come to a conclusion. A person should study rythms with as little as one drum.

But!

Should also study with many drums to create great shape! So honestly, If you have great skill in rhythm, extra drums do nothing to change the rhythm, it just gives extra sound.

So who's to say that any one person is less skilled or creative if they can play the same rythms on a 6 piece or higher that a person can on a four piece, and use extra drums in the process?

So maybe you have one thing right: A smaller set builds true ryhtmic practice with the bare minimum, but having more creates shape. Therefore, those who have great rhythm probably use smaller sets, and those who make great shapes, probably use bigger ones.

Lets come to a conclusion by working thoughts together! Not by attacking. :D
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
A six string guitar with 22 frets has 132 sound choices. Are you saying that because a guitar is a different instrument its qualifications as a creative tool differ than that of the drums? Or is it because guitar players are "real" musicians so therefore they are allowed more choices?
A 2 piece drumset with zero toms has thousands of sound choices. This is exactly what I'm getting at.

The piano IS a percussion instrument.
Right.

Try explaining Ansel to Picasso, who not only used paint in his art, but other media such as glitter. Does that make him less creative?
This has nothing to do with the discussion. As well, you apparently don't know picasso very well. He spent large amounts of time with just black and white, or charcoal. Claiming that color weakens, Pablo Picasso purged it from his work in order to highlight the formal structure and autonomy of form inherent in his art.

"His (Pablo Picasso) repeated minimal palette correlates to his obsessive interest in line and form, drawing, and monochromatic and tonal values, while developing a complex language of pictorial and sculptural signs. The recurrent motif of black, white, and gray is evident in his Blue and Rose periods, pioneering investigations into Cubism, neoclassical figurative paintings, and retorts to Surrealism."

In other words, a big fan of doing more with less.

Ansel is a photographer, BTW, my example was of painting. Apples and Oranges in your thinking. Don't agree, see your comment about guitars above.
You're just grasping here. My point is that regardless of the medium, limitations spur creativity, and some of our worlds most creative people understand this quite clearly.

Yes, limits can push creativity in some, or create frustration in others that can't achieve their creative goals without a complete tool set.
Frustration is part of the learning process. Instead of just using more tools, some prefer to let that frustration spur them into being more creative with the tools they have.

Try writing a book using only four words.
You're just being obtuse now. And anyway, writers have used word limitations quite frequently to help them be creative or as a creative challenge.

"Green Eggs and Ham is one of Seuss's "Beginner Books", written in a very simple vocabulary for beginning readers. The vocabulary of the text consists of just fifty different words, of which 49 are monosyllabic. A rumour has it that Bennett Cerf, Dr. Seuss's publisher, wagered $50 that Seuss could not write a book using only fifty words. The bet came after Seuss completed The Cat in the Hat, in which he used 236. Despite Seuss's success, it is unclear whether Cerf ever paid the bet."

How is having a drum kit with more than 4 pieces "the path of least resistance"? Its not. On the contrary, the 4 piece IS the path of least resistance. No matter how bad ass your chops may be, you still only have 4 sounds. Buy claiming to have to "force" yourself to be creative, you are actually tossing creativity out the window and have now entered into the world of thought, and calculated movements are not creative.
This statement right here shows how little you understand about getting more from less. Having 2 toms does not in any way mean you have only 2 sounds to express yourself with. This is the entire point being made.
 

Dracovyrn

Senior Member
This statement right here shows how little you understand about getting more from less. Having 2 toms does not in any way mean you have only 2 sounds to express yourself with. This is the entire point being made.
Doctor, I think you have a valid point, but I think your reasons for it are wrong. If there are thousands of sounds to be had from a small set, doesn't that leave countless millions to be had on a bigger one?

I stand with my point that it is Easier to study rythms with one drum. Just like, I was always a tenor player, but after a season on snare, my rythmic abilities seemed to be greatly honed, and could be applied to the multi-tenor setup. But that does not mean that I should stay just playing snare, for I like the multi tenors and the types of shapes that chould be created! Do you see what I mean? Less drums, better rythms. More drums, better shape. :)

And to be quite frank, I never liked Dr. Suess' books or any of his works really. As a child, I actually preferred silverstein. As a child, my favorite book was "The Giving Tree." I read that book just yesterday and it made me cry. :p
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
A 2 piece drumset with zero toms has thousands of sound choices. This is exactly what I'm getting at.
Dynamically I completely agree with you, and even to some extent that a drum can be manipulated somewhat so its tonal qualities are varied to a certain degree. But what I'm getting at is that no matter what you do, a 12" tom doesn't sound like an 8" one. And if that's what is needed, why not have it?

This has nothing to do with the discussion. As well, you apparently don't know picasso very well. He spent large amounts of time with just black and white, or charcoal. Claiming that color weakens, Pablo Picasso purged it from his work in order to highlight the formal structure and autonomy of form inherent in his art.
So does that mean his earlier work is any less creative?

You're just grasping here.
Negative sir, as you specifically stated: "What? No, we're talking about totally different instruments."

You're just being obtuse now.
That's ad hominem, and attacking me has no argumentative qualities, nor does it support your argument.

And anyway, writers have used word limitations quite frequently to help them be creative or as a creative challenge.
And some have had to make up their own words to get exactly what they were looking for, like Shakespeare for example.

This statement right here shows how little you understand about getting more from less. Having 2 toms does not in any way mean you have only 2 sounds to express yourself with. This is the entire point being made.
Until you walk a mile in my shoes, you have no idea what I do and do not understand. In all of your posts you continue to use phrasings like "some guys" and "a lot of people". Yet you present your argument like this is what everyone should be doing. This threads discussion is obviously inductive, but yet you continue to try and make it deductive. And what is worse, you present your argument as if you yourself are the expert on all that is creative.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
In fact, I don't consider a 6 pc kit large.
Indeed, most drummers play on mid-sized kits of 5 to 8 pieces. I play a six-piece and I love it. I've converted to a four-piece before, and I may do it again, but I know I just love the arrangement of at least four toms. Two toms just isn't enough for me; it would be like someone playing a two-octave keyboard. I've played on monster kits before and I'd love to play one but they are just too much effort to break down, move and set up.
 

Smoke

Silver Member
Andy should have known this would turn into a slug-fest. ;-)

The only thing I can add is - Toto's Child's Anthem?!?

Sheesh - you gotta have "a big pair" to record yourself wearing Porcaro's shoes, and apparently Andy's are very large AND hairy.

Well done, sir. For that, I'll excuse the slug-fest.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Andy should have known this would turn into a slug-fest. ;-)

The only thing I can add is - Toto's Child's Anthem?!?

Sheesh - you gotta have "a big pair" to record yourself wearing Porcaro's shoes, and apparently Andy's are very large AND hairy.

Well done, sir. For that, I'll excuse the slug-fest.
No - really - not my intention. Of course, there's always a possibility ;)

As for "Jeff's shoes", I wouldn't dare (not worthy, etc)

try this on one up one down
Good example. Great playing, especially in the first three minutes (I commented on this in the your playing thread). That said, he's grossly exceeded the manufacturer's recommended wash load ;) ;) ;)
 

AirborneSFC

Gold Member
My main gigging kit is also a 6 piece and I have two snares. Normally though I just haul 4 pieces and my flat/flush base stands to save weight. Honestly because I am smaller person I prefer to have two rack toms and one floor vs one up and two down.

When I was back in Germany with the cover band it was nice have the extra voices. Even in my current band I think throwing the 10" rack tom in the mix would be great. I think again it all depends on the situation.

Had a recent gig where I was backed into a tiny corner. So I used my 10" rack and hung my 12" rack tom as a make shift floor tom. Tuned the 12" low, made the climb behind my kit and played a great show.

Seems like everyone is missing the point. Just play what you like and what fits the music you are playing. If it makes you happy then who should be the judge of wrong or right with your drum setup.

So for your entertainment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKTLU7Agh74
 

Chunky

Silver Member
Seems daft just how many people feel the need to justify how many or how few toms they have.
I get the 'it makes you play more creatively' idea for less toms but, if you have to do things to force yourself to play creatively then maybe it's more a discipline problem, not the toms fault?

Use what works for your sound. I use 3 toms but I'd love an 8" to add to my kit. If people don't like it they can kiss it, basically. It doesn't affect them or me so what's the big deal?
 

randomrod

Junior Member
I'm with you on the getting older thing :(

I never go beyond a 6 piece either. My 8, 10, 12, 14, 20 is very compact too, yet affords me a very flexible range. I used a 4 piece for practice last night, & even when hanging everything off two stands (including the 14), it's stage footprint is larger than my rack based 6 piece.

As for tuning, I get your point there too. More toms = more work. That said, I'm so used to tuning for multiple situations/rooms/demo's, etc, it's not a difficulty for me.
Hey, I'm now in a band I actually look forward to rehearsing with - and that hasn't happened in ten years!!
I don't know what it is, but sometimes I can't even wait to get the 4 piece fully set up before I start playing, then only to add the rest of the kit bit-by-bit inbetween numbers.
I just about manage to get kick, snare, hat up and running!
Does anybody else here experience this?
 
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Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I get the 'it makes you play more creatively' idea for less toms but...............
In the context of the way it's presented across the majority of arguments I read on the internet, it's a load of crap, Chunk.

Is Jojo any more creative than Bozzio....or are they just completely different? Something to be celebrated in spite of how many friggen' toms they choose to play, rather than defined by it alone?

Less IS more........unless more is required (or even dare I say, even desired).

Anyone trying to sell me an absolute one way or another, is full of it.....pure and simple. I've seen too many players blowing my mind on small and large kits alike to ever believe otherwise. Despite what I read on drum forums.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
In the context of the way it's presented across the majority of arguments I read on the internet, it's a load of crap, Chunk.

Is Jojo any more creative than Bozzio....or are they just completely different? Something to be celebrated in spite of how many friggen' toms they choose to play, rather than defined by it alone?

Less IS more........unless more is required (or even dare I say, even desired).

Anyone trying to sell me an absolute one way or another, is full of it.....pure and simple. I've seen too many players blowing my mind on small and large kits alike to ever believe otherwise. Despite what I read on drum forums.
+1..I have to agree 100%.If your set up reflects your playing style and you're not just mounting toms because it looks cool,that have at it,

If you're going to distance yourself from the multiple tom guys because you actually think that playing a smaller kits somehow makes you "better" then it's may be time for a dose of reality.

Virgil Donati,Steve Smith,Bozzio,Mike Portnoy,Mike Mangini,Simon Phillips,Louis Bellson(who INVENTED double bass),Billy Cobham,Tony Williams,Thomas Lang,Cozy Powell,Kieth Moon,....do I need to go on?

The "I can do more with less" attitude is short sighted and egocentric at best.

If you like smaller kits,then best of luck,but it dosen't make you "better" than anyone else bucko.

Come back down to earth,and just accept that other players just feel comfortable with "more" than less.

Next you'll be telling me that a 4 string bass player is better than an 8 string bass player.Horse hockey.

Steve B
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
I have 5 toms, most of the time I only use two of those toms in a fill, because I'm not stupid and think that I have to play all of my toms when I do a fill. The reason I use 5 toms is to broaden my pallet of tones to chose from when I play, if you use 1-2 toms that's fine, if you use 3-10 toms that's fine, it's how you use them.

Generally I'm sick of this discussion, if a 4-piece set makes you a better drummer then explain why a large majority of professional drummers use 6 piece and over sets.
 

rmandelbaum

Platinum Member
I feel one of the most beautiful things about drums is that it is the most personal instrument there is. What do I mean by this?

Think about it, guitar, a few options as far as string number and maybe set up but at the end of the day they are all basically the same, bass, guitar, sax, on and on.

Now drums, you can choose amount of drums, cymbals, percussion toys, the list again goes on and on, and... You have the freedom to place anything , anywhere, and if you change your mind, cool!

I have never understood this small is better, or bigger is better, or no tom angles, or whatever.

I play a 4 piece for most of my blues gigs, a 5 or 6 for my original rock band. When I was young playing metal I drug out an 11 piece double bass kit.

I have gigged with a snare, a pair of bongos and brushes.

Who cares? Go play and have fun!

My .02 ;-)
 
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