One up and one down set up

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Is this set up limiting in some genres of music or is this all you need ?
No, it’s not limiting. “all you need” is really only defined by you though. For years I’ve only played a 4-piece, but I occasionally add pieces when the desire arises. And also subtract when the desire arises.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
If it can't be done on a four-piece, it shouldn't be done at all.

Don't assault me, metal drummers. You can always drop that second bass for a double pedal, though some of you would probably rather play Barry Manilow covers than switch to a single-bass format. I do understand. A second bass creates a much more aggressive aura.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
If it can't be done on a four-piece, it shouldn't be done at all.

Don't assault me, metal drummers. You can always drop that second bass for a double pedal, though some of you would probably rather play Barry Manilow covers than switch to a single-bass format. I do understand. A second bass creates a much more aggressive aura.
I love my two up top and like to play the songs that make the whole world sing... :unsure: 😂
 

RickP

Gold Member
Buddy Rich was asked why he did not have more drums in his kit . His response “ Because I have not mastered these “. That to me is the perfect response and one I have used myself when people ask why I use a four piece kit .
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
If it can't be done on a four-piece, it shouldn't be done at all.
That is almost as wrong as saying you should only have one crash, Hi hats and a ride to play everything. (just my opinion don't get all upset).

I know plenty of music that can't be done with a 4 piece alone, you have to have an extra tom either a small or a very large one. Yes a lot of music can be played with a four piece but it is very limiting (to me) I rather have a 7 piece ( I do use all toms more than once on any given song). I tried to play with a four piece but it was very boring (It might be challenging to some, but for me it was the lack of choice and how repetitive it starts to sound regardless of dynamics). I do agree with getting rid of the second double bass because if I have to carry it, I want to at least be able to justify it's use, and I don't care about looks at this point.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
That is almost as wrong as saying you should only have one crash, Hi hats and a ride to play everything. (just my opinion don't get all upset).

I know plenty of music that can't be done with a 4 piece alone, you have to have an extra tom either a small or a very large one. Yes a lot of music can be played with a four piece but it is very limiting (to me) I rather have a 7 piece ( I do use all toms more than once on any given song). I tried to play with a four piece but it was very boring (It might be challenging to some, but for me it was the lack of choice and how repetitive it starts to sound regardless of dynamics). I do agree with getting rid of the second double bass because if I have to carry it, I want to at least be able to justify it's use, and I don't care about looks at this point.
Obviously, there's no right or wrong configuration, equitably speaking. It really comes down to one's drumming style and desired sound spectrum. I can do everything I need to on a four-piece. I'm not into extended fills or, dare I make the reckless allusion, the melodic-tom concept. Furthermore, I champion simplicity of maintenance and ease of transport, so the smaller my kit, the happier I am. I'd slip into a seizure if I sat behind Bozzio's behemoth set. It constitutes a workplace hazard.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
If it can't be done on a four-piece, it shouldn't be done at all.
I have a bass player who uses this same phrase when talking about 4 vs. 5 string basses.

Buddy did all he did with 4 drums & if that doesn't settle the argument, nothing will. Yeah, I get @doggyd69b 's point about dynamics & boredom, but I'll respectfully disagree with his take on the "almost as wrong" statement.
A player should have what they like, but most will tell you they could do the whole show on 4 pieces.

Two examples I can think of right off the bat is Neil Peart talking about this in his Work in Progress video during the drum set up part. 4 pieces was all he really used at home & everything else was a "color on the pallet" for the Rush songs.
He did his Rhythm Method solo on a 4 piece kit during the Buddy Rich scholarship concert & all went pretty well.

Would it have been better with all of it (like the other guys brought)? HellYeah!
But he didn't need to as Buddy wouldn't have.
 

roncadillac

Member
I played intricate Mars Volta style prog rock with just a bass drum, snare drum, and Zildjian earth ride, all played standing. I played thrash punk with just a snare and brushes.

Stop thinking about what your drums allow you to do and start thinking about what you tell your drums to do.
 

roncadillac

Member
I can’t play like Buddy Rich, need all the help I can get
Buddy Rich spent his spare time playing drums, not worrying about if he should add another tom or cymbal to better serve the music. In all reality... The guy was kinda known for being somewhat of an A-hole so it's more likely he told everyone else how to better serve his music haha.

Don't get caught up in it man, a 4pc set up is a timeless classic set up that can cover all genres. It's used as much today as it was 70+ years ago.

You play your drums, not the other way around.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Whenever the subject matter of this thread resurfaces on DW, I always think back on Alex Van Halen’s words of wisdom (someone who is intimately aware of the uses of a larger kit)

When it comes down to what you really, really need when you’re playing, you use your hi-hat, snare, ride, and kick drum. Honestly, I think the more gear you have, the less creative you’ll be.

Normally in the studio I use a snare, a kick, a hi-hat, and a cymbal–and maybe one tom. When you’re trying to be creative, I’ve found that a smaller setup–and varying it up–helps. Otherwise you fall into the same old patterns. And you can be distracted by too much stuff.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
My first two pro sets were large kits. This go-around with my third kit when I started playing 1 up 1 down two things happened:
1) It made me focus more on the groove and definitely the pocket.
2) It forced me to be more creative.

There's definitely a time and place for more pieces/options. You'll know if and when you should need to add on.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
Obviously, there's no right or wrong configuration, equitably speaking. It really comes down to one's drumming style and desired sound spectrum. I can do everything I need to on a four-piece. I'm not into extended fills or, dare I make the reckless allusion, the melodic-tom concept. Furthermore, I champion simplicity of maintenance and ease of transport, so the smaller my kit, the happier I am. I'd slip into a seizure if I sat behind Bozzio's behemoth set. It constitutes a workplace hazard.
😳 C.M. You took out the metal heads, now your jabbing the even smaller melodic tom group? 😥

So what if extensive tom caves take the following precautions:

  • An OSHA approved course in confined space entry
  • A harness as well as establishing/maintaining a four point contact at all times
  • 2 full measures for the tom fill

Haha Just kidding my friend -

I play a 1 up 1 down with pride and tom free, I play a 8 up 2 down with excitement!

For OP, it really comes down to convention - I say play whatever your heart wants.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
The problem with questions like this is that people tend to get emotionally involved in their own personal preferences and tie their flag to a particular mast and defend/justify it as the “best” way; it’s just personal opinion @Rolltide . Could you play 99% of genres on a 4 piece...technically yes! Is it all you need? That’s personal and nobody can answer that question for you. For me absolutely not, I’ve played larger kits for over 30 years and prefer to have more colours on my pallette which IMHO allows me to be more creative. I also prefer the feel of two kicks...it has nothing to do with aesthetics. I’m not justifying/explaining my approach or saying it’s better; there’s no right or wrong... :unsure: :) (y)
 
Top