Sitting at the helm of Pro's


Senior Member
Some time ago, I have taken good looks at overhead views of Pro drummers and their kits, and realized that (for some) there is an alignment to their symmetry, or layout to each drum from where they sit.
The relationship lies between several things.
The throne - where you sit.
The snare - in the exact middle of where you are sitting.
The bass drum pedal and together with the hi hat pedal - left and right sides.

HH- l_BD
--_\ l /

So, in general by figuring this out; the rest of the kit is outfitted around this arrow shaped or 45° V-shaped diagram. It does not matter as to what O'clock, or degree you face front, as long as this alignment is kept with the throne and pedals, with the snare exactly in the middle between the knees.
A drummer needs to flow with the space that they have so that they can follow through, and most importantly, execute their idea in real time. Having done so eliminates forced errors. Other beneficial areas involve less body cramps. In turn, less mistakes.

If one does this realignment with the stars they will not only see their chops improve, but they will become easier to do and have more time for the fun stuff.


Gold Member
You've described the standard positioning every drummer uses, and I'm not sure why you've drawn the snare drum so far forward of the hi-hat and bass drum. A drummer sets his/her drums up so that it's comfortable for him/her to allow him to play better. There are drummers with very unorthodox ways of setting up that simply works for them. That's all that is needed, what is right for you. :)
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Gold Member
I think Jimzo is just offering a good, common sense observation. It may be helpful for newby drummers to understand exactly why drums are set up the way they are.

Want to know what a left-handed non-drummer comes up with when confronted with how to set up a kit? Behold:



Platinum Member
That is a very interesting set up. I've always played lefty. I've always set my kit up just like a traditional right hand set up, except in the opposite direction. I was 9 yr. old (1969) when I got my 1st kit. I imagine my bro. who was 18 at the time set my kit up then, in a lefty configuration. When I was 12 I got a 5 pc. kit and continued playing all lefty. Sometimes I'll ride with my right hand on the hats while playing, but my kit is still set up lefty.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I remember a clinic at the local store where Brent "Beaston" Easton got throne, a bass drum pedal a high hat, and placed them on the floor, sat down got them where he wanted, the stood up and said that is the start. Everthing else goes arorund this.

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Want to know what a left-handed non-drummer comes up with when confronted with how to set up a kit? Behold:

Hey now that I think about this, it might be a great way to set up the drum kit.
I'm a right handed player but I could set it up mirror image and it might be a good way to play.
Except I'd keep my ride cymbal where it is on my far right. Hummm


Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I do exactly what you showed in the diagram.
With my setup, and likewise how I teach others, the Snare is the center of the kit.

My throne is positioned directly in line with it, about a drumsticks length away from the center.

My kick and Hi Hat pedals are placed exactly where my feet naturally sit when I am centered on my throne. Thus they are even, and my kick is to my right side and my hats in like to the left. From there I place the rest of my gear where it's comfortable.


Platinum Member
When setting up a new kit it is good to do this. You can even mark your carpet after you get it right.

I put my bass drum down first and my throne. I make sure I am facing forward and my right foot (or both if using a double pedal) feel good. Next I'll add the snare. Usually close to the kick and right between my legs. After that the hats go about an inch or so left of the snare or pretty close. (the edge of cymbals to the rim distance)

Once the kick hats and snare are set up I'll go to the other stuff. Sometimes I have 2,3, or 4 toms. Sometimes I want them offset to the left. But those 3 drums are homebase and always consistent. That makes the tom placement pretty easy to decide. I don't want to feel like I am reaching for any drum. I also want to be able to hit my floor tom with moving my arms to the right and a slight turn on the throne. Nothing should take effort.

No crash cymbal is a huge reach the ride feels as comfortable as the hats etc. Look at 100's of pictures of drums and they are are all PRETTY similar to get an idea of how a kit should look... We are all different heights, builds, and arm/leg length.