Is it possible for my drums to be holding me back?

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
Hello, all. Ive come to the realization(or delusion) that my well loved set of Sonor Phonics could be holding me back. I sat behind a set of Pearl Joey Jordison signatures the other night and played my full set on them at a band practice, and realized that I am capable of doing so many more things-better fills, quicker hands and feet, better timing. Even my band members noticed it as well. Could it be that my Sonor kit is hindering my ability? Ive been contemplating all weekend what I should do, and as much as I would like to keep the Sonors, and with a really heavy heart, I think I may need to sell them to fund the purchase of a new kit. Has anyone felt this way about one of their kits? Or am I just caught in the realm of wanting something new? Please help before I make a HUGE regettable decision. Thanks.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I would go and play the Pearl kit again if possible before deciding.
It is possible that you simply had a real good session. I don't think that the Sonor's are holding you back.
If you really want a new kit and you can afford it then by all means you should buy one.
I myself like to own numerous kits because every kit is different and playing them gives me variety and it makes me happy.
Follow your heart.
 

resohead

Silver Member
I've played on other people's kit and felt that I was a better drummer. I'm not sure why other than thing like position and tuning of the drums, ie more sustain, different heads, etc.

When I bought pro drums once in my life, I think they gave me a confidence boost but they didn't make me a better drummer. Years later, I have a lowly set of Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage but I've learned a lot more about heads tuning etc. I've put more time into them.

So, not sure that I have an answer to your question but maybe experiment as much as possible before spending money. And if you do decide on the other kit, take a lot of time before buying. You have drums, there's no rush.
 

Netz Ausg

Silver Member
I've had this before but I don't think it's that the kit can hold you back. I think that the condition of heads, type of cymbals and positioning of drums can, though.

I've also found (even with the same kit, not even on different ones) that when tuned well and played in a decent sounding room you can get in to your playing more as you're really feeling the sound - this can lead you either think what you're playing is better or to be bolder and mroe confident in your patterns/fills.

My advice is experiment with your current kit, try new/different heads, move stuff about a bit. I'm always surprised at how good I am on a 1 up 1 down set whenever I do try it.
 

whatsam

Member
The only reason I can imagine for a change in your playing is the setup i.e. number of drums and how they are placed. If it was the same size kit as your own then maybe try mimicking the set-up, And if it was a bigger kit then maybe a change is what you need.
 

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
Thanks for the responses everyone. So far, the kit is set up the same as mine- 3 up, 1 down. The only change being theres one extra bass drum on the Pearl kit. Ive been experiementing with set up over the past few months, trying a 2 up 2 down which I hated, a simple 1 up 1 down 4 piece, which I liked, except for the fact that I have some tom fills where only 2 toms just dont cut it. I just did a complete head replacement, and even experimented with swapping out the Super 2's for the coated ambs, and leaving the old coated ambs on the reso side. Nothing made it better. The Sonors I have just feel like Im working so hard to play them, having to manipulate every note, as opposed to the Pearls, which actually gave me response.
I dont know whether its the smaller tom sizes on the Pearl (10x8, 12x9, 13x10, 14x14, 22x18) opposed to the large sizes of the Sonors (13x9, 14x10, 15x12, 16x14, 24x14) which is making the comparison so much different. The heads are basically the same(G2 batter, clear ambs reso Pearl vs Super 2 batter and coated ambs Sonor). I dont believe its the room, due to the fact that we share a room...both kits are sitting in opposite diagonal corners, facing the center of the room.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The Joey Jordison sig. kit is simply a Pearl Export kit. Not the kit he plays. Simply a 7 piece kit. Twin kicks, 3 racks, 2 floors.​
Faster feet? Perhaps. Single pedals (probably a different brand than your pedal) might equal faster feet. Interesting fills? More drums. You could simple add to your Sonor kit, and get the same results.​
Except .... the want for new gear. And so often we make excuses. Better drums will make me a better drummer. Sorry!!!! I don't buy that. I own 7 acoustic kits. Simply because I want to. I make no excuses. They in no way make me a better player. Except perhaps that I like variety, and maybe I'm a little more inspired to play more, when I mix it up. And more time behind the kit is always a good thing.​
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I dont know whether its the smaller tom sizes on the Pearl (10x8, 12x9, 13x10, 14x14, 22x18) opposed to the large sizes of the Sonors (13x9, 14x10, 15x12, 16x14, 24x14)
There's a possible answer. You liked the smaller dimensions of the Pearl.
I own different kits in different dimensions because I play differently on various size drums.
Larger drums do have a different response than smaller ones.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I experienced something like this a few years ago when I sat behind another drummer's DW kit. It was like night and day compared with my old Tama Swingstars. The drums were unquestionably better, but I realized a lot of it was related to hardware. The better pedals and more stable stands gave me a much more solid feeling and I found it made it physically easier to play the drums.

I don't know what differences there were between the hardware on the kit you played and the stuff you own, but that may give you a clue as to why the big improvement.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
There's a possible answer. You liked the smaller dimensions of the Pearl.
I own different kits in different dimensions because I play differently on various size drums.
Larger drums do have a different response than smaller ones.
I think Bob's appraisal has significant merit here, along with 8Mile's hardware observation.
 

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
Well, the hardware issue isnt really an issue. Im running a set of Axis X double pedals, versus single Pearl Eliminators. Hes running an ICON rack setup, but with the same configuration as me. Im running a DR-80 rack, with 2 crashes out front, hats to my left, ride to my right, with a china in between the right crash and the ride.
But he has also mounted his toms to the rack, as where my toms wont mount to the rack due to the mounts for my toms wont fit into the clamps on my rack.My Sonors just have tom arms that insert inside the toms, then get clamped by the tom stands. I can see where the mounting hardware would hinder response. It probably doesnt help that the Sonor shells are almost 3/4 of an inch thick, either.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
the large sizes of the Sonors (13x9, 14x10, 15x12, 16x14, 24x14) which is making the comparison so much different.
The bass drum hoops on a stock Sonor Phonic are heavy metal mothers, literally! They do influence the sound and feel of a bass drum head, much like die-cast versus triple flanged hoops on a snare drum or tom. A lighter wood or plastic hoop will feel a bit more "forgiving", although I'd expect the biggest difference to come from the size and positioning (24s as opposed to 22s). All else being equal, it will take more effort to get sound out of larger drums, and you'll certainly notice when playing faster material.

And yes, the mounts on the Phonic toms are not the greatest, in terms of sustain. Newer tom mounts that attach to the rim (or the shell with minimal contact) are more effective. Phonic shells are thick, but not so thick as to hinder sustain, IMO.

I don't think there's anything that special about the Pearl kit you played, other than it being 30 years newer in design than the Phonics, and different in size. Go play some other newer kits!
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
The spectrum of kits that I own and regularly play is pretty full.
Here are the dimensions of three of them that cover the spectrum.

I play a jazz kit with these sizes,
14x18, 8x12, 14x14

A standard kit with these sizes,
14x22, 9x13, 16x16

A fusion kit with these sizes,
16x20, 7x10, 7x12, 12x14, 12x16

Each one of these kits is a slightly different animal.
I treat and play each one of them differently.
I tune and select heads for each kit individually.
Every kit that I own has a personality of its own.
Hardware does play a roll too.
I use different hardware for each kit that I feel fits the kits personality.
I change my drumming style slightly for each kit.
 

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
In no way am I settling for the Pearl kit...I know that there are many many other choices out there, and Im not just going to jump on a Pearl export. Its only that so far, thats the only one Ive played, so its my basis of comparison. And yea, considering that my bass drum weighs in at a whopping 42 lbs, its becoming quite the pain in the a$$(or back...however you want to take it) to transport.
I have my eyes on either a Yammie Stage Custom with a 10x9, 12x10 and 14x12 mounted toms and a 22x18 bass, or a DDrum Dominion Maple with a 12x8, 13x7 and a 14x12 floor with a 22x20 bass. Im kind of shying away from the DDrum, party because of the reviews that Ive read on here about the quality of the products in general, and the high praise that Yamaha's always get, especially their hardware.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Two weekends ago I spent an entire afternoon playing two different house kits.

At first, there was a bit of adjustment (particularity the bass drum on one kit was pretty mushy). There were some things that I still goofed on all day (like reaching for a china cymbal that wasn't there). But as the afternoon went on, I got really, really comfortable behind these completely different set ups.

I walked away just feeling like everything I thought about my drum set is different now. I wanted to just change out everything. I want different angles, different heads, different cymbals, etc.

But after another day or so of thinking about it, I realized it was just the thrill of playing something different. The drums had fresh heads and were tuned up nicely. The rooms were designed for optimal sound. I think I was more caught up in the moment than the actual drums.

The only thing that perhaps still holds true is my kits have power toms, and the house kits were slightly shallower. But given one house kit is the same brand as I kit I own, and the other house kit is the same material (maple) as I already own, I know the brand/model/shell material was not a factor.
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
i teach on a lot of different kits and one simple pearl export at a school seems to draw magnificent solos and great bassdrum work out of me - more so than my own kit. so i took my bass pedal into the school and put it next to the el cheapo school's pedal and adjusted my settings to duplicate the cheap pedal. since then its been great.
j
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Hello, all. Ive come to the realization(or delusion) that my well loved set of Sonor Phonics could be holding me back. I sat behind a set of Pearl Joey Jordison signatures the other night and played my full set on them at a band practice, and realized that I am capable of doing so many more things-better fills, quicker hands and feet, better timing. Even my band members noticed it as well. Could it be that my Sonor kit is hindering my ability? Ive been contemplating all weekend what I should do, and as much as I would like to keep the Sonors, and with a really heavy heart, I think I may need to sell them to fund the purchase of a new kit. Has anyone felt this way about one of their kits? Or am I just caught in the realm of wanting something new? Please help before I make a HUGE regettable decision. Thanks.
I too, think you should follow your heart and if you want one and can afford it, then go for it. However, I've never felt the instrument hinders my playing in any way. It's ALWAYS the other way around. The drums are there for you to play, they don't play you. A good drummer, like a good anything, will be able to do what he has to do on anything.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think playing a different kit, set up by someone else instantly takes away the limits of our own preconceptions. It isn't really the different drums that help you play better, but letting go of the habits (set up, tuning, head selection etc.) that could be holding you back.
 

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
Maybe Im coming off as the bad carpenter who measured once, cut twice but its still too short, then turns around and blames his tape measure. Im not that guy at all. I owe my life to these drums, as they are my first kit, and practically the kit I learned on. I just feel like the decent carpenter who is fighting like hell to cut a straight line with the bent saw blade, and can still makes it work. Does that make any sense?
 
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