Reverse Order of Mounted Toms?

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
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.
Yea - The Police was my first Cassette - then came Carter Beauford - so I super imprinted on a cranked snare sound.

Right now my main gig is hip hop with instrument funk/jazz jams - so a cranked snare and a punchy kick are king. I can kind of do whatever with the toms and I just like the feel of tighter heads vs. that pillowy sink of very loose toms. Plus I always feel like unless I'm doing big singles - sticking articulation get lots on lower toms.

I'm looking at a new kit and I think I'm doing an 8",10" up top, 16" FT and a 22" kick.
 

wraub

Well-known member
My kit is unusual, apparently, but still "normal", apparently.
It's just like me. :D

Currently I have a 10" snare, 10" and 12" mounted toms, and a 13" floor tom, with a 20" bass. They are set up "almost" like quads, and I like them very much.

That said, removing a tom or re-orienting them is a thing I would not resist, just to see what ideas develop...
I have definitely noticed that different setups inspire different drum parts.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I tried a reverse order when going through a Jimmy Chamberlin phase whilst in my teens. He has a 14" rack before his 10" and 12" (I think)

Didn't really work for me, soon changed it back to normal and I've never tried it again.
 

Rhythm666

Well-known member
After years of playing with a 10 and then 12 inch rack tom in my setup I saw a drummer( don't remember who now) using the reversed set up like mentioned and he said that fills sound different so I tried it and never looked back. Since the bands that I'm playing in don't require a big set up I moved towards the 1 up and 1 down setup, 12 inch tom and 16 inch floor. In the practice room I have my setup with a 14 inch floor to my left ( am a right handed player), 12,10 toms and a 16 floor to my right side. But my toms are not mounted on the bass drum and are a bit offset to the left so my ride cymbal is still close to me.
 
Discovery by accident. It worked for Ben Franklin. It's amazing what can happen when we loosen our grip on patterns and embrace the random or the unorthodox. A lot of great drumming has emerged in that way.
I've seen Billy Cobham in clinic twice, and both times he referred to his tom set up as "the what if" set up where he would set up his toms in random order(s). He said to try this if you get bored, or, want to challenge yourself.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
The late Ed Shaughnessy played this way. He indicated it gave his fills the felling of going back words.
Ed was a badass! He's the only guy I ever saw that made Buddy Rich sweat in a drum off. It was on a Carson show and Ed was more than up for it. I always felt that there were guys who played the whole kit as good or better than Buddy. Ed was one of them. Buddy had that hummingbird left hand though that nobody could top.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Ed was a badass! He's the only guy I ever saw that made Buddy Rich sweat in a drum off. It was on a Carson show and Ed was more than up for it. I always felt that there were guys who played the whole kit as good or better than Buddy. Ed was one of them. Buddy had that hummingbird left hand though that nobody could top.
You're right, Darth. Ed's acumen, control, and all-around technique were unrivaled in some ways. I won't say Ed was better than Buddy, as that would be a rash claim, but I do believe Ed was better than Gene Krupa.

Oh, my God. What have I started?
 

iCe

Senior Member
I've seen some kits in the past where the order was reversed, mostly so the toms could be mounted nice and low over the bass drum (there are even some drummers who use a lefty double pedal so they can move the bass drum to the other side to further lower the toms, but that's another topic).
I think it was something of the late 90's or early 2000's to reverse the 10 and 12" tom (Virgil Donati rocked it for a while, Kenny Aronoff still does that i think and Dom Famularo as well) and don't see it a lot anymore. Come to think of it... Derek Roddy had a weird setup with his Sonor kit for a while that was 8/12/10. And Marco Minneman still uses the 10/12/8 setup... anyway, drifting of-topic again.

It does make some interesting fills that way, but i'm still a traditionalist and love a standard setup. And if the melody of a song requires me to start on a low sounding tom and work my way up, i start with me left hand so it's easier to do the fill. Guess I'm too much in my comfort zone to try something else haha. If there's a weird setup I'd love to try, it's the right side of Mike Portnoy's Siamese Monster with all untraditional sounds (toms in almost reverse order: 13x11, 10x10, 2 low pitched octobans, 20x14 gong drum)

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Ransan

Senior Member
I did this with my 6” and 8” to the right of my ride tom last summer after browsing through old Ludwig catalogues. Except I reversed the order, the 6” is in the right side in the catalogues.
Couldn’t get anything especially out of it except sonically gapped tom runs, and flams on the bongos and floor toms, sounds were interesting though.
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