Rack toms

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm wondering how rack toms got their name.

I'm pretty sure there were no drum racks before rack toms, but I could definitely be uninformed about that.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think from racks. Growing up we had tom toms and floor toms. They weren’t called rack toms then
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Weren't they Chinese toms way back when? I thought I had read that somewhere. Maybe it was here. I've also heard them refered to as flying toms, and obviously mounted toms too.

I've always thought tom tom, or just tom was a weird name for them. Snare drum makes sense, bass drum makes sense. Tom does not, and it leads to other weirdness too. Rocket tom, concert tom, roto tom. Roto tom sorta makes sense because you rotate it to adjust the pitch, but it has no shell, so it isn't really a tom at all.

Autocorrect hates tom. I type it tons of times, but it still thinks I'm referring to a person.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I definitely remember the term "rack tom" appearing coinciding with the popularity of racks in the 80's. Prior to then, "mounted toms" or "hanging toms" were common terms. In the early 80's, simply "toms" & "floor" were used in the studio, at least in the UK.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
The earliest I remember was Tom tom, and floor tom. That name may have come with the introduction of racks. Seems like I've been calling them rack Tom's forever though.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
from mixing desks written on tape so as to not confuse with floor tom. small tom is what I've always called them.
On desk tape, I've always used simply "T","FT" on a 4 piece - sizes on anything bigger i.e. "T10, T12, T13, FT16, FT18"
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I also see the description of drum set parts as Tom-tom and floor tom. Using the hyphenated spelling
 
I vaguely remember them being called "riding toms" way back when.
Not quite sure why. Lol
Yes! Growing up in New England in the 70s, I was sure we called them ride toms. At some point over the past few decades, and now far from New England, I realized I seemed to be the only one who called them that and wondered if I'd simply gotten it wrong all those years.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Yes! Growing up in New England in the 70s, I was sure we called them ride toms. At some point over the past few decades, and now far from New England, I realized I seemed to be the only one who called them that and wondered if I'd simply gotten it wrong all those years.
We are not alone!

Lol

ps-so glad you quoted reacted to my post. Sometimes I think 90% of the members have me "blocked"....lol
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'm wondering how rack toms got their name.

I'm pretty sure there were no drum racks before rack toms, but I could definitely be uninformed about that.
Actually, yes there were.

In the vaudeville era, a drummer had a small rack of special effects. A Chinese tom tom was often among the sound effects.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Bernard thankfully keeps some of these old photos hosted right here on drummerworld




Thought most "racks" were not the big types we associate with racks today, rather they were closer to what we now call rail mounts, ie a rack that mounted directly to the bass drum by which a drummer could attach toms, cymbals and other sound effects to the "racK'



 
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