Neil Peart rack tom set up

ChipJohns

Senior Member
I think what makes Neils Rack System so cool is the platform. Without that its just another rack system. Just a big one.

Way before Rack Toms I worked with a band in Baltimore, MD (Face Dancer) where the drummer had a platform something like Neils. It was great. Very easy to set up his drums.

I tried the idea myself. It worked very good, but the big thing got old very,very quick. I dismantled it in short time.
 

Brundlefly

Senior Member
What do you guys think of that sort of arrangement with rack toms
I assume you're asking about the latest layout of his toms with, the higher toms gradually rising up over the hi-hat and not his actual hardware or how it looks. I tried this with my kit for about a year. I found that it has both good and bad points.

The good:
  1. Your ride is in what is probably the most comfortable spot possible.
  2. Not having toms rack toms suspended to the right of the snare promotes an more open and neutral position for your body when moving between snare, rack and floor. You rarely have the case where your left arm is reaching far to the right while also being raised up in the air, blocking off the left side of your kit from your right arm. It just feels open and smooth. This is probably why you see a lot of guys lauding 1up/2down setups, or 2up/2down setups where the rack toms are hanging left of the bass.

The bad:
  1. While there may be worse positions for those toms that are over the hi-hats, they are probably so bizarre that you wouldn't think to try them. Seriously, toms in this spot are very hard to get to from any position other than an adjacent tom or the hats. Works for big chromatic fills, but pretty punishing for just about anything else.
  2. It makes for more of an "all over the place" feel when playing around the kit. You have toms at the snare level, rack level, hats level and cymbals levels. I find that reducing the number of vertical levels specific things are located makes it easier for my brain to remember where they are. I get more benefit from muscle memory that way.
  3. Most of your toms end up being pushed to the left side of your kit. I found that I tend to them ignore them more because they are less accessible to both hands. I think you can actually see this effect present in Neil's own playing (I'm saying this as a 25-year fan, mind you).
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
One other thing specific to Neil's setup is the sort of staggered heights he has his toms set up at. It actually plays and feels more comfortable than it looks.
 

wolfgang

Senior Member
The way his kit is set up, you could argue that it is a 4 piece at its core.
A really, really big 4 piece...
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
Back when I was going through my Neil Peart phase, I tried my toms like that and it makes perfect sense, the way he described it. It's Freddie Gruber's principle of circles, and the toms make a big downward sweeping alignment. Having a tom where his ride is now would create a big lump in the circle, interrupting the flow.

That being said, I no longer use that setup and prefer the 2-up, 2-down arrangement, with my rack toms over my kick drum. I've just gotten used to that over the years.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I've been a huge Neil Peart fan for most of the last 30 years. That said, I don't like his current set up.

For starters, why does it matter that his ride cymbal is in such a comfortable position? It's not like he's suddenly rediscovered it. He doesn't play it any differently now than he ever did - that manhole cover of a ride cymbal wouldn't let him anyway. Now there's a huge gaping hole between his 13" and 15". How ergonomic is that?

And the whole thing about not having his left hand crossing over to his right side... his right hand is crossing over to his left all the time. I don't get why it's important to break up that symmetry. If anything, now he's pushed his toms out to the sides and farther away.

IMO, his double kick kit made way more sense to me. He essentially had two go-to toms: the 12" (which was cranked up pretty tight) and the 13". I think I liked his Tama Superstars the best, followed by the Ludwigs (I liked that he ditched the concert toms).
 
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Naigewron

Platinum Member
An excellent player, but I have a couple of issues with his current kit.

- His toms are tuned way too tight for my ears, especially the higher toms. They just do not fit his playing at all

- The lack of tripods mean that his "stands" wobble like crazy, and since there are so many of them, they will invariably wobble in completely different directions in relation to eachother. This makes watching him play tom rolls quite a nauseating experience

However, this all obviously works for him. He's an extremely experienced and skilled drummer, and I can't imagine him choosing looks before functionality when it comes to setting up his kit. My views are obviously based on personal preference, and without having spent a single second actually playing the kit.
 
M

michael drums

Guest
This is the reason Drum forums like CSM are fantastic... @ CSM you DO NOT get douchebag responses like this..... MFB please grow up and act like an adult
I couldn't agree more, McBrain.

You would think a long time vet of this forum would have the decency to not even post a reply like this.

Just don't post anything if you don't like the thread.

Then again, it's not like this is new for him.(MFB)

Though, I wouldn't advertise another drum forum either.
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
I couldn't agree more, McBrain.

You would think a long time vet of this forum would have the decency to not even post a reply like this.

Just don't post anything if you don't like the thread.

Then again, it's not like this is new for him.(MFB)

Though, I wouldn't advertise another drum forum either.
You really don't read threads, do you Michael? One post above your post. I ask you.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
Do I like it, Yes.

Does it matter if we do or do not like it. No. It's all a matter of what works for him and I'd say he's got the drumming thing down pretty good ;-)
 
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