Open handed drumming - ideal drum/cymbal placement for a right handed drummer?

aarono2690

Junior Member
643D1516-3963-49F4-94A2-899A5F41E099.jpegBFBBEC6A-8115-4951-8E58-DD195AB10C23.jpeg3D5FF51D-4608-4D63-983D-DE6BA74FD481.jpegF19B536B-292E-4F83-BDFB-A824BD22E271.jpeg07B4CD3B-C31B-4E63-95CB-8C826ACB0943.jpeg44CE0142-53C1-45D3-9818-5057E8BE70F6.jpeg
Some photos of my current layout.

I feel like I should move the ride to the left side, but nothing quite feels right over there in terms of placement. I assume if I move the ride to the left I’ll want to shift my toms to the right of the bass drum?

Any other feedback appreciated!
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Your stuff looks like it can be rearranged no problem ;). It’s not us playing your set. Anything you mentioned is a valid choice, and if it’s comfy to you, that’s all that matters.
 

picodon

Silver Member
It depends on how strong your left hand is. I play the ride much better with my right hand so it's on my right. Also, I need my right hand on the hihat for certain songs. So I play open handed only part of the time and my setup is 100% conventional. I play the snare sometimes with my right hand sometimes with my left.

But if your left hand is awesome, nothing prevents you from putting the ride on the left. Yes and then probably move the toms a little more to the right but they should stay grouped with the snare which is always south west of the bass drum (unless you change feet 😁) so I think I wouldn't move the toms stand to the other side of the bd.

Just noodle around and play with it and that already makes you a better drummer 😜
 

aarono2690

Junior Member
The first thing I would move is the music stand. You will be twisting both your neck and your back with that so far to the side. Long term pain is not nice.
Agree 100% on this. I was thinking about this last night as my head was cranked to the side. What should I do to make it easier to see straight ahead, but also keep it in reach? Mount something on my bass drum? I’m pretty sure I saw music stand clamps and bass drum mounts online.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I have no idea what you should do-- it is interesting seeing what people have to do to accommodate that way of playing.

I'm seeing everything crowded over on the left side of the set, and big spaces between things the right hand can reach without doing the dreaded crossover. I'm not sure what purpose the 12" gap between the tom and the ride cymbal serves.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I have no idea what you should do-- it is interesting seeing what people have to do to accommodate that way of playing.

I'm seeing everything crowded over on the left side of the set, and big spaces between things the right hand can reach without doing the dreaded crossover. I'm not sure what purpose the 12" gap between the tom and the ride cymbal serves.
Yea, for open handed, here’s one of my favorite set ups. I don’t play that way, but it’s very enticing at times.

Gunlao of Silversun Pickups clusters a couple of cymbals low posted beside hats.
1659979764417.jpeg

His right crash is beyond me how it works, but after seeing him play, I can tell you he’s got it down for his style of play/performance.

Maybe if myself were to go open handed route, I’d like to try this to see how it feels.
 

GretschedHive

Gold Member
I don't play open-handed (alas), but I don't see why you need to always play the ride with your left. I thought at least part of the point of playing open-handed was to, well, open things up more, and give you more options. So you can have a ride on the left, but you don't have to. Or you can have one on each side. (That's what I'd love to do, and why I regret not learning to play open-handed from the beginning.)

Like how Simon Phillips (who does seem to mainly ride with his left) uses the china (and crashes) during this bit:

 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I have no idea what you should do-- it is interesting seeing what people have to do to accommodate that way of playing.

I'm seeing everything crowded over on the left side of the set, and big spaces between things the right hand can reach without doing the dreaded crossover. I'm not sure what purpose the 12" gap between the tom and the ride cymbal serves.
Word. Most drummers with a music stand put it to the left of the hats, but it does seem crowded, huh?
 

picodon

Silver Member
That's what I'd love to do, and why I regret not learning to play open-handed from the beginning.
Honestly I didn't find it hard to learn several years after I learnt closed handed. Now I'm not a great drummer so it's easy for me to be not great at open handed and still get the feeling to have mastered it already 😁 Without trying to be Simon Phillips or Dave Garibaldi just play the hihat with the left and snare with the right hand and she how it opens different possibilities. Not saying one is better than the other. It's just another way around.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Two of my favorite drummers play open-handed: Carter Beauford and the late John Blackwell. You could look at their set-ups.
 

aarono2690

Junior Member
Tinkered with some stuff last night:

  1. I moved my crash to the right and lowered it quite a bit.
  2. Moved my ride to my left and it sits above my small tom and HH.
Liking the feel of this and it feels more natural to have the crash on my right for me.

What I need to address next:

  1. I'd like to mount the toms in the bass drum (mainly to utilize space better), but my bass drum is virgin so I'm not sure if I want to go down that route. Is there much else I can do with tom placement w/o drilling my bass drum?
  2. I need to find a spot for my music stand or look into getting a music stand I can mount to my cymbal stand or bass drum. Any recommendations?

I could put the music stand in front of the bass drum, but then it's kind of a pain to reach it.
 

aarono2690

Junior Member
That's not a virgin bass drum in the pics or am I missing something? 🧐
Inside the bass drum is a metal plate. When I bought the kit from the guy I asked if we could remove the metal plate before putting a head back on since I planned on mounting the toms on top and I heard that they sit high up if they don’t go into the bass drum (I’m not tall).

We removed the metal plate and there was no hole.
 
Last edited:

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Inside the bass drum is a metal plate. When I bought the kit I asked if we could remove the metal plate before putting a head back on since I planned on mounting the toms on top and I heard that they sit high up if they don’t go into the bass drum (I’m not tall).

We removed the metal plate and there was no hole.
I wouldn’t hesitate to add a hole since there’s already a mount. I greatly prefer rack toms there instead of on a stand. It would also open up the left side a little, and then it would be easier to put the music stand left of the hats, where the overwhelming majority of reading drummers I work with put them. In front of the bass drum is crazy talk ;)
 

aarono2690

Junior Member
I wouldn’t hesitate to add a hole since there’s already a mount. I greatly prefer rack toms there instead of on a stand. It would also open up the left side a little, and then it would be easier to put the music stand left of the hats, where the overwhelming majority of reading drummers I work with put them. In front of the bass drum is crazy talk ;)

Who would I bring the bass drum to so they could open up a hole?
 

s1212z

Silver Member
If you are committed to this direction, you can cut the hi hat rod significantly as you don't have to raise high for cross over work and have additional space for ride placements.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Who would I bring the bass drum to so they could open up a hole?
No hole necessary. The tom mount does not penetrate the shell. I have the sliding version on my Starclassic Maple.

You probably have what you need, but you may have to cut the pipe shorter. If not you are looking for something similar to this.
1659990486437.png

Edit: you have what you need on a clamp attached to the cymbal stand. Try it out.
 

aarono2690

Junior Member
No hole necessary. The tom mount does not penetrate the shell. I have the sliding version on my Starclassic Maple.

You probably have what you need, but you may have to cut the pipe shorter. If not you are looking for something similar to this.
View attachment 122709

Edit: you have what you need on a clamp attached to the cymbal stand. Try it out.
I'll see how high it sits up, but I've heard this is kryptonite for shorter folks.
 
Top