Question for the People Playing 4 Piece Drum Sets- Sizes

Chunkaway

Silver Member
For the people playing 4 piece drum sets, I have two questions for you.

1. What sizes are you using?

2. Why did you decide to buy/play with those size drums?

I played a 22/16/12 set up for about 12 years, before I switched over to a 20/14/12 set up. The change was necessitated by the circumstance of living in a tiny apartment, with a tiny car, in a huge city. I found that the smaller the set up the easier it is to store and easier it is to transport. I do miss the low end boom of a larger bass drum though.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
When I’m playing a four piece it’s 8x12, 16x16 and 14x22. I like these sizes because they give me a good balance...one drum doesn’t over power the others. I don’t gig, so moving them isn’t a factor.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I play a 22/16/12. All of my kits have consisted of those dimensions for a very long time. I like the deep thump of the 22 and the massive drop-off from the 12 to the 16. I doubt I'll ever buy other sizes at this point.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
20/12/14 or 2(2,4,or 6)/13/16

It depends on what I'm doing, and those sizes work well together for me. If I'm really right for space I take out a Ludwig Giglite 20/10/13. The kick, toms, and snare fit in a 20x18 gig bag.
 

Rotarded

Senior Member
Why those sizes?
The bass drums come down to size(s). Ludwig configurations for the (60's/70's) 3ply kits was 22/13/16 (Super Classic) and 20/12/14 (Downbeat).
I never liked 13" toms, and I don't care for the separation from 12" to 16" that modern outfits have. With the 1964 3 ply Downbeat, I can get plenty of low end oomph from the 14" floor, and can mic the 20" bass drum if I need more punch.. The Bop kit is Stainless Steel (Ludwig never made one, so I did) If you know stainless drums you know I get powerful low end from the 14". The 18" x 10" bass drum is simply a space saver. It has great punch for an 18", but again I can mic/trigger if I need to, and I can play that kit on any stage in town space and sound wise.

My first kit was a Ludwig Pro Beat (13,14,16,18,24) and was just un-gigable size wise. I like to drive a sedan, not a truck or a van. It's nice to be able to fit all my drums and hardware in a 4 door sedan, and still have room for a passenger or two. 4 with the Bop kit all in the trunk.
 
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basset52

Senior Member
I play 22, 16, 13. I play in a classic rock band and those sizes just match with the style of music IMV. I have always liked 13 “ toms and think the 13 pairs really well with the 16. The 22 gives me enough grunt and is not too cumbersome to lug around.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
13/16/22. I grew up on these sizes and can make them easily do what I need. I’m sort of a traditionalist and like classic depths too, but making the bass drum a 22x16, adds extra “oomph” without making the drum unwieldy - for instance, 16” can go into the back seat of my truck easily. As soon as I go 18” deep, it won’t fit and has to go into its case to ride in the back.
 

hauk

Silver Member
My starter kit was the standard 22/12/13/16 "rock" configuration. After a few years I had stopped playing the 13" tom and started using it for spare parts for the other drums.

When I finally upgraded, I went with 20x14, 12x8, 16x14. The smaller bass (down from 16" depth too) is much easier to transport and configure, and sounds great. I get the same 12/16 tom range I've grown to love.

I never understood why people would pair 12/16 with 22 but not 20. The other somewhat unusual choice is the short floor tom, which I like because it keeps the bottom head higher off the ground.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
90% of the time 12/16/22 but I will mess about with depths. Can't stand short stack crap so I will use a 12x9 for recording & a good old 12x10 for live :) 16x16 for recording & 16x15 for live. 22x18 for recording but 22x16 for live :)
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I own four 4-piece kits that I regularly play for various gigs:

12 - 14 - 20 Pearl (1960’s)
10 - 14 - 20 Premier
12 - 14 - 18 Gretsch
10 - 13 - 18 Yamaha
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
There's no real explanation or rules, it's just whatever toms I feel like using from the 10-12-14-16 6-piece. Wish I had more to choose from, but for the most part it lives in the shed.

My BD is a 22, but most house kits I play have a 20.

When I start at a new school I try to get all sorts of sizes. I want at least 3 full kits and all those toms serve a multitude of purposes. Obviously, I just borrow whatever I want.

My practice kit is also set up as a simple 4-piece most of the time, but I'll add a pad on the left.



If I grab something just to do a variety of stuff it's most likely a 10-14-20. Limited to my own stuff, it's 10-14-22.
 
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tfgretsch

Junior Member
For the people playing 4 piece drum sets, I have two questions for you.

1. What sizes are you using?

2. Why did you decide to buy/play with those size drums?

I played a 22/16/12 set up for about 12 years, before I switched over to a 20/14/12 set up. The change was necessitated by the circumstance of living in a tiny apartment, with a tiny car, in a huge city. I found that the smaller the set up the easier it is to store and easier it is to transport. I do miss the low end boom of a larger bass drum though.
MY 4pc sizes: SN 14x6.5, RT 12x8 FT 16x16 BD16x22 if i am limited for space i use my Getch cat club kit.
sn like little deeper sound &fatter feel ,toms like the sound of my 9x13,but 12x8 projects better,FT&BD like alittle more low end
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
Sizes are determined by the project/music. For rock I usually play 13, 16, 24 with a 14x7 snare. Sometimes add a 10" tom. For blues, jazz, etc, I usually play 12, 14, 20 with a 14x5.5 snare. Tunings for each are different. I use those sizes because they feel/sound right to my ears.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
1) 24/13/16

2) I selected the 24" BD because I missed that size from kits I had in my younger days. The 13 and 16 were chosen because they seem like classic sizes (Ringo) and gave me plenty of depth and separation for the music I was playing.

That said, I left a bop kit (18/12/14) with a friend when I moved, and I really liked those sizes, too! The bigger kit just seemed more all-purpose, and the was the more valuable of the two, so that's the one I kept.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
For the people playing 4 piece drum sets, I have two questions for you.

1. What sizes are you using?

2. Why did you decide to buy/play with those size drums?

I played a 22/16/12 set up for about 12 years, before I switched over to a 20/14/12 set up. The change was necessitated by the circumstance of living in a tiny apartment, with a tiny car, in a huge city. I found that the smaller the set up the easier it is to store and easier it is to transport. I do miss the low end boom of a larger bass drum though.
My main 4 piece is 12/14/18/13 snare. My secondary (which actually has been my primary lately) is 10,14,16,13 snare.

I picked the 12/14/18 because it's a standard size that can be tuned a couple of different ways if need be.

The 10,14,16 was an impulse buy but actually - I LOVE the 10" tom and the 16" kick with an Evans EMAD is a beasttttttttt. and the portability has been amazing - especially paired with the crosstown hardware.

After all is said and done though - I think my ideal 4 piece would be 10, 14, 20 - but I'm so over 4 piece kits - I'm looking at a 6 piece now.
 

zenghost

Senior Member
A 12/15/20 configuration is by far my favorite for a versatile set-up (along with a 14" snare of some sort).

A 15" floor tom is simply the diameter where I feel floor toms should start in size for me. I prefer the slightly lower reach and feel of a 15" over a 14" and over the feel of a 16" for most of what I do.

20" bass drums (14" depth or less) set the standard for feel/response, pitch and tone I can get with various head combinations. All my current kits are Jenkins-Martin spun glass shells and give me everything I could want in tone. I have a 14" floor tom and 22" bass drum in one of the shell banks, so I am not dogmatic about the sizing, but the 12/15/20 rules the day for me for most occasions and contexts.

If I ever need or want to augment the tonal choices, I add a 10" rack and 18" floor for a nice spread. I recently ordered another 12/15/20 and added a 10" and 18" with it to have that reach if desired.
 

Benthedrummer

Junior Member
I have a second kit which I call my "bop kit".

It's 10, 14 toms and 20 inch bass drum.

The reason for these sizes is simple.

I like the compactness of the smaller tom/bass drum sizes.

The 20 inch bass drum gives me enough balls and bottom end without being a standard 22 inch.

My main kit is 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 (+/-) toms and a 22 x 16 bass drum.

I chose a Yamaha Gigmaker for my second kit as I love the sound and I can mount my ride on one of the tom tree brackets.......saves a full stand!
 
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