Struggles of Short Drummer and 5-Piece with Offset Toms

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I don't think she has enough goodies to fuss with a rack. She seems to be OK after losing the bass drum riser.
 

dragonfly66

Member
Wow, that rack is hideous!

So I'm getting used to the offset setup. My biggest issue so far is the hi-hat being so far away. A couple of times I've not gotten enough of it and my stick ended up under it.

It seems that there isn't a perfect setup, just the one that has the least compromises. With the offset I sacrifice the hi-hat placement and a less comfortable stance. The over the bass drum setup sacrifices the ride placement and a bit of ergonomics. So far the offset hasn't been terribly hard to get used to. I'm practicing and not hurting myself. I've gotten used to the stance, but missing or almost missing the hi-hats is not good.

I'll be playing the offset setup for the rest of the week. Next week I'm going to try 2 up over the bass drum using a method I found in another forum on placing the ride cymbal over the second tom so the reach isn't much more than if it was over the bass drum. Might even give the Vector bass drum pedal a try to be a turned a little more to the right. Might be the best option, IF I stick with two toms, no wide stance, the hi-hat is back where it belongs, body more open to the right side.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
If you don't mind me saying so here, I think the idea of the two off-set toms is flawed. And the number one reason is because it causes you to push your hi-hat a little farther out of the way than would be comfortable, just so you can have a drum in there that you'll only use maybe 15% of the time. And you'll be using your hi-hat at least 90% of the time.

So the idea is to have the instruments you'll be using more, in a comfortable spot. And then everything else follows around those. So, bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat, and ride cymbal, need to be where they are comfortable for you.

Your feet and legs shouldn't have to be doing anything strange to be on the pedals. Sitting on your throne shouldn't be too different from how you would sit correctly in a chair, or on a stool. Once you accomplish the proper placement of those four pieces, everything falls in around those, and you will be in ergonomic nirvana.
I very often play with tom on a separate stand, I've done so since the 90's. I have to disagree with you assertion ; it doesn't push the hihat farther at all.
At least as long as you use a twin pedal.
I played this with 12 and 13 (or 10 and 12), I push the stand the closer as possible to the bass drum, and really, it brings the 13 closer to the center of the BD than the 12" would be on a bass mount.
The thing it does is bringing the ride closer and placing the 12" right under the crash.
The first time I done so, it was to replicate the twin BD placement and it worked really well.



 
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dragonfly66

Member
I very often play with tom on a separate stand, I've done so since the 90's. I have to disagree with you assertion ; it doesn't push the hihat farther at all.
At least as long as you use a twin pedal.
I played this with 12 and 13 (or 10 and 12), I push the stand the closer as possible to the bass drum, and really, it brings the 13 closer to the center of the BD than the 12" would be on a bass mount.
The thing it does is bringing the ride closer and placing the 12" right under the crash.
The first time I done so, it was to replicate the twin BD placement and it worked really well.
Thanks for the photos. In most offset and double bass diagrams I've seen the drummer and snare are centered in front of the toms. In your photo it appears this is not the case. With the toms centered in front of the snare my hi hat MUST move to the left otherwise it hits the left tom.

Below is the bop setup I had before and the ergonomic setup I'm using now. The hi-hat had to move for me. Though the ergonomic diagram shows the hi-hat overlapping with the snare a bit this is not the case with me. I have 14" hi-hats and if the hi-hat was that close to my snare my knee would be forward of my ankle, which is bad.



The reason the setup is centered is to provide a natural stance on the bass drum and hi hat pedals. So my placement choices are around my natural stance. I could move my hi-hat closer to me, but that prevents my stance from being natural and the angle of my legs - specifically my knee being forward of my ankle - puts undue stress on my joints.
 
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opentune

Platinum Member
If you look at Tamefx's setup he has offset toms, BUT everything is tight because his tom level is sitting higher than yours, and more tilt, thats why he could tighten them in. His far tom is essentially at or above the level of the high hat, whereas your early pic was not. You see many drummers doing this who have toms off to the left, as they have to go up higher (see the drummer from Phish in pic).
By all means try anything, thats why equipment comes with all these options. Just for stability though, if you have a bass drum mount, didi you try to get your 12 hanging centered over the BD on that. That would free up your stand the 10 is hanging on.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
There is always the option of mounting the 13 on a stand and setting it up next to the floor tom, as per the diagram. This would solve many of your issues with tom placement, ride location, and foot spread.
 

dragonfly66

Member
If you look at Tamefx's setup he has offset toms, BUT everything is tight because his tom level is sitting higher than yours, and more tilt, thats why he could tighten them in. His far tom is essentially at or above the level of the high hat, whereas your early pic was not. You see many drummers doing this who have toms off to the left, as they have to go up higher (see the drummer from Phish in pic).
By all means try anything, thats why equipment comes with all these options. Just for stability though, if you have a bass drum mount, didi you try to get your 12 hanging centered over the BD on that. That would free up your stand the 10 is hanging on.
I get Tamefx's setup. The toms are moved more to the right and that allows the hi-hat to be closer to the snare. And this can be done because the toms are raised much higher than the bass drum.

The point of having the toms in front of the snare is access so moving the toms to the right of the snare goes away from the ergonomic setup I was going for. However, I think with something like a Vector pedal that allows your bass drum foot to be in a natural position while your body is more open to the right side of the kit this would work for me.

Once I get the Vector pedal I'll try something like Tamefx's setup which seems like a good in-between the full offset and mounting both toms over the bass drum. I also wanted to try a setup with the Vector that I saw where the toms were over the bass drum and the placement of the ride was over the second tom, though I think I'd prefer Tamefx's setup.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Yes, my toms are as high and angled as if they were on a bass mount. The tom Tripod is as close as it can be to the bass drum. My snare and Hihat are at the exact same position as if I was playing the toms over the bass drum (I play indifferently both set ups.)
I do so for two reasons : having the biggest tom in front of me. And to bring the ride closer.
The pic below was with 12 13 16 setup - with cymbals too high !!! The SD and the hihat are in the normal position, the only thing I moved from the normal position was the cowbell.



I'm not very tall either (1,71 mètre ; 5,6 ft), I don't understand all the trouble the OP goes through ; I played power toms over 22" almost all my drumming life.
 
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I'm 5'7 and was always trying to get my toms as low as possible, and flat. Even bought a 20in bass drum to facilitate this, but I found I was always reaching (even if only a little) for my toms which, after a bit of playing, would cause pain in my lower back. Then I stumbled on a video by Bob Gatzen where he talks about bringing the drums to you, so you are not reaching. Dave Weckle also mentions how before he sets up his toms he air drums a fill without moving his back, and that is where you want the toms to be. I followed these two principles, my toms have come up and angled (so that when your stick hits the head they are almost parallel to each other) and I now play a 24in bass drum with room to spare between it and the 12in tom, and the back pain has disappeared.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Dragonfly 66, you're making things too complicated, I think. I don't see the use of a specific pedal (the vector). When you play concert, backline kit you don't have the time to adjust everything, you need to adapt quickly. Your kit is bloody nice, with a 20" bass and shallow toms, a good start.
During the 80's 90's people not taller than you could play power toms over 22 or 24 BD. This wasn't ideal but they manage.
Try to bring your Tom stand closer to the bass drum so that the lower rim is just over the highest part of the bass shell, and angle the toms. Flat toms are fashionable but it's not for everyone.

Looking from the picture you sent :
Joking aside but get a carpet :) - bloody nice kit with great cymbals.
Everything seems "on" the drummer : floor tom is too close, the crashes are too low, you can't have power if they're that low. The racks are way too low, they're below your hats, and too much off-set.
 
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kamel2500

Junior Member
In the event that you take a gander at Tamefx's setup he has balanced toms, BUT everything is tight on the grounds that his tom level is sitting higher than yours, and more tilt, that is the reason he could fix them in. His far tom is basically at or over the dimension of the high cap, while your initial pic was definitely not. You see numerous drummers doing this who have toms off to one side, as they need to go up higher (see the drummer from Phish in pic).

By all methods have a go at anything, that is the reason hardware accompanies every one of these choices. Only for security however, on the off chance that you have a bass drum mount, didi you endeavor to get your 12 balancing focused over the BD on that. That would free up your stand the 10 is holding tight.
 

kamel2500

Junior Member
Please get a 4x8 rug and put it under your rig. Once you get it setup nice and comfy you can use tape to mark off the layout and have a reference for when you need to move your gear. Plus the kit won’t run away from you. Videoder Tubemate Snaptube

You are on the right track to though. Please don’t worry about keeping your toms flat. Mount them back on your bass drum and angle them 30ish degrees or so. Now you can lower them to a comfortable height and strike them with efficiently without hitting the rims - unless of course you want to!

You are going to want to move your floor tom leg away from your bass drum pedal.

Ps, I’m 5’7” so not much difference.....
I keep thinking about this setup. I just tried it.

So using the bass drum mount for the 12" does allow me to get back to my natural stance with just a tad bit of the 10" drum covered. This feels so much better to me. The 10" can only go so high before it hit the hi-hats. The 12" can only go so low before hitting the bass drum. So the 10" and 12" are not at the same height, which seems awkward. The only way to remedy this is to push the hi-hat back out so the 10" can be lifted. The 12" cannot go any lower on the bass drum mount. This puts me back to the wider stance when both toms were on the dedicated mount.
 

dragonfly66

Member
Using one up one down would work, and so would one up two down. Peace and goodwill.
Thank you, I'm attempting to use two up now. I was using a 1 up 1 down bop kit, which is totally comfortable. Now I have a kit with two toms and am trying to figure out the best way forward with the two toms. If all else fails I'll be back to 1 up 1 down, but I think I've found my way with all of the suggestions.

I'm 5'7 and was always trying to get my toms as low as possible, and flat. Even bought a 20in bass drum to facilitate this, but I found I was always reaching (even if only a little) for my toms which, after a bit of playing, would cause pain in my lower back. Then I stumbled on a video by Bob Gatzen where he talks about bringing the drums to you, so you are not reaching. Dave Weckle also mentions how before he sets up his toms he air drums a fill without moving his back, and that is where you want the toms to be. I followed these two principles, my toms have come up and angled (so that when your stick hits the head they are almost parallel to each other) and I now play a 24in bass drum with room to spare between it and the 12in tom, and the back pain has disappeared.
Thank you for sharing, I have been changing things around and I'm finding this very thing, that the toms being higher and angled makes them more accessible.

Yes, my toms are as high and angled as if they were on a bass mount. The tom Tripod is as close as it can be to the bass drum. My snare and Hihat are at the exact same position as if I was playing the toms over the bass drum (I play indifferently both set ups.)
I do so for two reasons : having the biggest tom in front of me. And to bring the ride closer.
The pic below was with 12 13 16 setup - with cymbals too high !!! The SD and the hihat are in the normal position, the only thing I moved from the normal position was the cowbell.



I'm not very tall either (1,71 mètre ; 5,6 ft), I don't understand all the trouble the OP goes through ; I played power toms over 22" almost all my drumming life.
The "trouble" is this is all new to me. I have no idea what I'm doing and am trying to figure out the best setup for me. I've been reading different philosophies on setup and ergonomics. I came here to get some advice, which I've been given. I've been trying the different suggestions. Tamaefx, your setup is what I am trying now and it is the one I liked the most, because the hi-hat is closer, the floor tom is closer to the other toms. I was not able to get my 12 over the center of my bass drum with the double tom mount I have attached to my crash cymbal stand so I am using the bass drum mount to hold the 12 while the 10 is on the cymbal stand. The house was sleep when I changed things up so I haven't had a chance to play it yet, but sitting down and feeling everything out felt great.

Dragonfly 66, you're making things too complicated, I think. I don't see the use of a specific pedal (the vector). When you play concert, backline kit you don't have the time to adjust everything, you need to adapt quickly. Your kit is bloody nice, with a 20" bass and shallow toms, a good start.
During the 80's 90's people not taller than you could play power toms over 22 or 24 BD. This wasn't ideal but they manage.
Try to bring your Tom stand closer to the bass drum so that the lower rim is just over the highest part of the bass shell, and angle the toms. Flat toms are fashionable but it's not for everyone.

Looking from the picture you sent :
Joking aside but get a carpet :) - bloody nice kit with great cymbals.
Everything seems "on" the drummer : floor tom is too close, the crashes are too low, you can't have power if they're that low. The racks are way too low, they're below your hats, and too much off-set.
I agree it seems I'm making it too complicated. This is mainly because all of this is new and I have so many sources of information and I'm trying to get it right and I don't want to hurt myself with the wrong setup. Your suggestions sounds like Tamaefx's setup and that is what I'm trying now. I had already moved the crashes and toms higher. The crashes really sound awesome (louder and crashier) up higher than they were.

In the event that you take a gander at Tamefx's setup... on the off chance that you have a bass drum mount, didi you endeavor to get your 12 balancing focused over the BD on that. That would free up your stand the 10 is holding tight.
I have the bass drum mount now holding the 12" tom, positioned in the center of the bass drum. I essentially have Tamefx's setup now. I'll be tweaking it more tomorrow when I have a chance to play it properly.
 
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timmdrum

Silver Member
So using the bass drum mount for the 12" does allow me to get back to my natural stance with just a tad bit of the 10" drum covered. This feels so much better to me. The 10" can only go so high before it hit the hi-hats. The 12" can only go so low before hitting the bass drum. So the 10" and 12" are not at the same height, which seems awkward. The only way to remedy this is to push the hi-hat back out so the 10" can be lifted. The 12" cannot go any lower on the bass drum mount. This puts me back to the wider stance when both toms were on the dedicated mount.
I'd suggest putting both toms back on the stand, and not worry that the snare is exactly "between" them- on my rehearsal kit, I also have my toms on a stand like yours, but the 10" is directly up & in front of my snare. The 12" sits to the right of that, making my two-rack-tom setup kinda in-between your setup and having them mounted on the bass drum. I had to put the front leg of the cymbal stand between the BD and its left spur, but it works. I'll try to get a pic at rehearsal this week.

I think there is just no getting around the fact that there must be a wider stance when the toms are off set. I just have to play with the wider stance and see if I can get used to it.
Or, yes, this- keep them like they are, a somewhat symmetrical triangle with the toms & snare, and just widen your stance a smidge. Extra tip- don't feel like your BD has to look like the middle of your setup, or that it has to face directly forward. You can place *yourself* exactly forward if you want to, facing straight over your snare & the gap between the toms, and let the BD point out to the side, just like if it was a double-bass kit with the left BD missing. Nothing wrong with that.
 
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