One less tom/cymbal - stripping down kit

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
I’ve been experimenting with trimming down the kit. Took off the china cymbal and the the 12” rack Tom. I use a second closed hihat quite a bit. So obviously removing the Tom allowed me to place things so much more comfortably. I was also able only have to carry 2 cymbal stands and one boom arm. No one in the band commented on the missing Tom or the missing China. They did comment that there was more room on stage. The only songs I used the China on was “just like heaven” and “jump”.

If I can get used to 2 toms maybe I’ll keep this setup. I missed the other Tom but it was more comfortable!

I know there are a lot of fans of four piece kits here right? Anything to share about your experience in going from three toms to two? 47841BC4-5BD4-4F2E-8C23-6E2B4B3D5E1A.jpeg
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
The beauty in small setups is that it forces you to be more creative. Fewer things to hit = more time to focus on dynamics and groove.

Most people tend to use the 12" rack tom instead of the 10". For the longest time I preferred a 10" rack tom, maybe because my 12" didn't sound as good on my old Tama Rockstar Custom. But since I got a new Renown kit, I prefer the 12" when I play a 1 up 1 down config.
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
The beauty in small setups is that it forces you to be more creative. Fewer things to hit = more time to focus on dynamics and groove.

Most people tend to use the 12" rack tom instead of the 10". For the longest time I preferred a 10" rack tom, maybe because my 12" didn't sound as good on my old Tama Rockstar Custom. But since I got a new Renown kit, I prefer the 12" when I play a 1 up 1 down config.
Good point. I know the 12” seems more popular in this kind of setup. I just prefer the “bite” of the 10” tom over the 12”.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I just recently went to a four piece perhaps eight months to a year ago. I’ve tried it a few times and didn’t like it and always went back to a five piece or larger. It just always seem like something was missing when I was under a five piece. This time around I’m pretty comfortable.I’m using a 12 and a 14.
 

Frank

Gold Member
4 pieces for the win. :)

Lots of benefits, including easier load in / out.

With a 4 piece, my personal ideal tom sizes are 12 and 14. Honestly, I have no use for a 10 unless it is a 5 piece situation.
Everyone's mileage varies.

Enjoy. You lose just about nothing, gain a creativity kick, small desirable stage footprint, and lighter load.
 

Jml

Senior Member
Only ever used a 4 piece. You can pretty much play any kind of music with only 2 toms. Lots more space and, as someone said, easier load in and out.
 

gish

Senior Member
4 pieces for the win. :)
Couldn’t agree more Frank. Kit setup is obviously a very personal thing, and a 4 piece is not for everyone. It’s been working for me for a very long time now, and for a lot of gigs.

For sizes, I really like 13-16-22; 12-16-22 works for me as well. As far as feeling limited with only 2 toms, I’ve found that really working on my bass drum foot and incorporating the kick creatively in fills and grooves gives me all of the options I need.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
The beauty in small setups is that it forces you to be more creative. Fewer things to hit = more time to focus on dynamics and groove.
I have never believed this. Having fewer targets has no correlations to more focus on anything in my experience.

If they were actually that creative you would find use for the extra stuff
 
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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Exactly. Give an artist a pallet with three colors on it and the result will not be to exciting. No mixing. Can't mix tom sounds or cymbal sounds.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I think it helps to place the tom on a stand right in front of the snare. This way, I can compensate with rim shots, and can get rolls going between the snare and tom, as if they were two toms side by side. It also helps to tune the tom to a higher pitch, to get a dryer more expressive sound.
 

Frank

Gold Member
Exactly. Give an artist a pallet with three colors on it and the result will not be to exciting. No mixing. Can't mix tom sounds or cymbal sounds.
Interesting that you equate musical excitement to number of tom sounds. I think about it very differently. And I actually think, for any fill, the number of toms in the fill is inversely proportional to the maintenance of the groove.

[ducking] :)
 

RickP

Gold Member
I gig a lot and rarely take anything more than a four piece kit . I really do not need anymore than one rack Tom and one floor Tom to play the gigs that I do . I also pairs my cymbal set up down to hihats , ride and one or two crashes tops .
Nobody I play with ever asks me to bring more equipment and as previously stated I can more than adequately cover the gig .
I love have my ride cymbal in close and everything within a flick of the wrist . No reaching or straining to play something on my kit . Load in and load out is far simpler as well .
I use two basic configurations
20/12/14 and 24/13/16
These can cover everything I could be asked to play .
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
4 pieces for the win. :)

Lots of benefits, including easier load in / out.

With a 4 piece, my personal ideal tom sizes are 12 and 14.

Enjoy. You lose just about nothing, gain a creativity kick, small desirable stage footprint, and lighter load.
20/12/14 I can play any genre and they pack into 2 carry cases.

I love have my ride cymbal in close and everything within a flick of the wrist . No reaching or straining to play something on my kit . Load in and load out is far simpler as well .
+1, also setup and tear down is a lot easier
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Interesting that you equate musical excitement to number of tom sounds. I think about it very differently. And I actually think, for any fill, the number of toms in the fill is inversely proportional to the maintenance of the groove.

[ducking] :)
Phil Collins would have had trouble with" in the air tonight" with two toms
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Two arms, one tom for each arm. Coincidence?

And as Gish said, incorporating the bass drum as a tom can create all the variation I need anyway.

And as Frank said, the number of toms in the fill is inversely proportional to the groovy maintenance man or something like that.
 
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