Scaling down your kit. Experiences and thoughts?


Senior Member
My 9 pcs old school 1987 Tama Granstar stays the way it is with 4 up 2 down and 2 bass drums.

The number of stands with cymbals just 6 and an x hat for right side.

I had an 8 inch tom but sold it as upgrading is not really the thing either

The kit has history as a rental kit in the UK and maybe an artist named Ulrich behind it so it has special value and most importantly I still love it for what it is every time I play or just see it.


Gold Member
I used to play 6 now I am 1up 1 down. I think a smaller kit enhances my creativity as the 4 toms kinda forced me to do a "tom roll". Pretty much every fill was your typical descending tom roll. Now , it makes me use each instrument in a more "full way"(rimshots, edges, center, side, rim,etc).


Platinum Member
I use a 1 up, 1 or 2 down for everything. It's easy to set up and take down. At the end of the night I can hear my bed a calling from the venue so pack away time is key. If I'm playing a midweek gig or driving to a gig straight from work the 2nd floor stays at home!

Cymbal wise I use a couple of crashes, a ride and hats. I love chinas and I have a 10" A splash that's beautiful but for live stuff it's a bit pointless and an extra stand to setup same theory with chinas they're a bit OTT for weddings and functions especially the rude.

Fair play to anyone who uses a big setup on stage and sets it up week in and week out. But if you can do everything on a 4/5 piece or even see the point.


Silver Member
I currently play a 4 piece kit one up one down with hats/ride/2 crashes and it's perfect for me, my rack tom is mounted off a cymbal stand and I'm going to figure out mounting the floor tom off a cymbal stand to lighten the load!

I tried using kick/snare/floor tom and hats/big crash for a bit and it didn't work out I'm a simplistic drummer but I felt terribly limited. I've slowly added on a rack tom, ride, and another crash over the past couple years and it's worth the extra setup time and couple pounds of gear!