Reverse Order of Mounted Toms?

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
This topic isn't an issue for me. For many, many years now, I've played only two toms: 12" (in a snare stand) and 16" on the floor. This compact setup works perfectly for my style, and I have no desire to alter it. Adding to it would be useless to me. If I had more toms, I'd never touch them.

But here's a question for you tom enthusiasts out there. Do any of you reverse the order of your mounted toms? For instance, instead of setting them up in 10", 12", 13" order, do you ever arrange them in reverse (13", 12", 10")? If so, how does that unconventional orientation facilitate your playing? Nothing dictates tom placement in relation to diameter, so I'm sure creativity is at the heart of your decision.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I used to play quads in marching band, so for a while I had my toms set up as 14 FT, 10, 8, 12, 16. It worked out quite nicely. I could go left hand lead 8, 10, 14, right hand lead 10, 12, 16 or any combination. Worked out nicely. Now with my 1U/2D set up, that's no longer and option.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Wow, it's great that this is more common than I thought it would be. I've seen it done over the years but only rarely. It makes a lot of sense to me to place your most frequently used tom right in front of you. That appears to be what those of you who have posted thus far are doing. Cheers for breaking from convention in the name of pragmatism!
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I've actually considered trying the 12" on the left and 10" on the right, but not for tonal reasons or frequency-of-use reasons...but because it allows the ride to be positioned closer.

Currently I prefer a 1 up 1 down setup, but whenever I try using a 10/12/16 setup, I don't like having to push my ride to the right because I'm used to it where the 12" should be. Having the 10" on the right should give another 2-3" inches to scoot the ride to the left.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've actually considered trying the 12" on the left and 10" on the right, but not for tonal reasons or frequency-of-use reasons...but because it allows the ride to be positioned closer.

Currently I prefer a 1 up 1 down setup, but whenever I try using a 10/12/16 setup, I don't like having to push my ride to the right because I'm used to it where the 12" should be. Having the 10" on the right should give another 2-3" inches to scoot the ride to the left.
One of the reasons I'll never abandon my one-up/one-down setup is ride positioning. With my 12" tom in a snare stand and my ride on a boom, I can get the ride over the center of my bass drum, affording extremely comfortable access. I can't imagine compromising that for the addition of a tom. I also just love the simplicity of the arrangement. Less equipment means fewer heads, easier tuning, and convenient transport.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
One of the reasons I'll never abandon my one-up/one-down setup is ride positioning. With my 12" tom in a snare stand and my ride on a boom, I can get the ride over the center of my bass drum, affording extremely comfortable access. I can't imagine compromising that for the addition of a tom. I also just love the simplicity of the arrangement. Less equipment means fewer heads, easier tuning, and convenient transport.
Couldn't have said it better myself!
 

mrmike

Silver Member
40 years ago I would set them up 15, 12, 13, 18. From what I remember it made fills more interesting just be going down the sequence. I've been playing 2 up recently after years of 1 up and I may give reversing another try.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
This topic isn't an issue for me. For many, many years now, I've played only two toms: 12" (in a snare stand) and 16" on the floor. This compact setup works perfectly for my style, and I have no desire to alter it. Adding to it would be useless to me. If I had more toms, I'd never touch them.

But here's a question for you tom enthusiasts out there. Do any of you reverse the order of your mounted toms? For instance, instead of setting them up in 10", 12", 13" order, do you ever arrange them in reverse (13", 12", 10")? If so, how does that unconventional orientation facilitate your playing? Nothing dictates tom placement in relation to diameter, so I'm sure creativity is at the heart of your decision.
Yes and no.

I have a 12" tom, a 13" snare and a 14" floor tom and another 13" piccolo snare as my main..

However - the pitches don't descend like the diameters.

Pitch wise - my main snare is highest, then the 13" snare places where a 2nd rack tom would be, then the 12" tom, then the 14" floor.

This allows me to keep the snares off and have a solid tom like sound from the 2nd snare or turn on the snares for a totally different sound a feel. This works really well for me because my toms are tuned pretty high so the second 13" snare can still be tuned high enough to sound good as a snare and a tom.

Good times.
 

Attachments

RickP

Gold Member
I was using a 12 then 10 , 14 setup for awhile but came to the conclusion that I preferred my ride cymbal in closer more than I was using the 10” Tom so I have gone back to just a four piece kit only now .

I did like the Toms being reversed when ai used a two rack Tom set up as it made me be a bit more original with my fills and I was able to bring the ride cymbal in a little closer - just not as close as with a four piece .
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Yes and no.

I have a 12" tom, a 13" snare and a 14" floor tom and another 13" piccolo snare as my main..

However - the pitches don't descend like the diameters.

Pitch wise - my main snare is highest, then the 13" snare places where a 2nd rack tom would be, then the 12" tom, then the 14" floor.

This allows me to keep the snares off and have a solid tom like sound from the 2nd snare or turn on the snares for a totally different sound a feel. This works really well for me because my toms are tuned pretty high so the second 13" snare can still be tuned high enough to sound good as a snare and a tom.

Good times.
Interesting tonal sequence. Seems that you almost go for a Reggae sound. Stewart Copeland described in an interview that he cranks all his heads for two reasons: He likes the feel and the cut. Those higher frequencies penetrate just about anything. I like a tight snare and lower toms for the contrast, but having everything high has merits too. I'll always love Copeland's sound.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I was using a 12 then 10 , 14 setup for awhile but came to the conclusion that I preferred my ride cymbal in closer more than I was using the 10” Tom so I have gone back to just a four piece kit only now .

I did like the Toms being reversed when ai used a two rack Tom set up as it made me be a bit more original with my fills and I was able to bring the ride cymbal in a little closer - just not as close as with a four piece .
Yeah, I would think reversed tom dimensions promote original fills. You're less inclined to saunter over them with single-stroke rolls from left to right. You might appreciate each tom's voice a bit more.
 

Benthedrummer

Junior Member
I have 12, 10 as my rack tom configuration as it allows for a more comfortable position for cross-sticking.

The 12 inch tom was too close to the snare if it was a 10, 12 set-up.

The guitarist was bewildered when he saw the 12, 10 configuration for the first time. He was saying....."So Ben, what happens dude if you want to do a big fill like KISS' I was made for loving you"?

I replied......"Mate, we don't actually play that song".

He was appeased after that.

I've then got my 14 inch floor tom on my left and my 16 floor tom on my right.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
My typical setup is very traditional, but for practice it depends.

Most of the time if I've deviated it's because of being in an orchestral situation and not really having enough people. Then it's just whatever makes it work and what's not needed isn't there, so it can be quite a different contraption.
 
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