Struggles of Short Drummer and 5-Piece with Offset Toms

gdmoore28

Gold Member
I'm late to this thread but your situation is just like mine. I'm a 5'3" female too and for better ergonomics for the ride I took my toms off the bass drum and offset them with a stand. I have a 12 and a 13 and the 13 is so deep that it really doesn't even work well in this setup. I have to reach to the 13 and it still touches the bass drum (hence the towel). I feel that my hi-hat is sometimes too far away, but if I move it closer, it will hit the 12 tom. I just got a double bass pedal and I have no idea how I'm going to fit it in. I'm going to have to do some rearranging and that scares me since I'm seriously OCD and have been playing with this setup for a while now.
Here's what I would do, Rochelle. It's old-hat, but it still works:

* Take the set apart and clear the space where you will be positioning it.

* Set your throne, snare, bass drum and hi hat where they feel most comfortable to you. (Some folks call this the "triad:" snare/bd/hi hat) Just pretend that you will be playing these three components alone. Pay no attention to the other pieces, just yet. Nice and comfy.

* Replace each item in order of importance. Place the ride cymbal next. Again, don't anticipate. Just place the ride where it feels most comfortable, probably where most folks like it, just over (in your case) the left side of the bass drum.

* Now, position the 12" tom, most likely using the tom arm in the bass drum receiver and the tom just in front of the snare - or wherever you have easy, comfortable reach. I'm betting that if you use the full length of the horizontal tom arm, you will be able to lower that 12" very low and in front of the snare.

* Time for some reflection. Do you really use that 13" tom much, or do you feel it should be there simply because you have it? Your call. If not, put it back in its bag. If yes, then you will now be forced to use available space, and the most likely space is where you have your floor tom now. Stick it there using the tom stand.

* The floor tom is easy. If you've deleted the 13" tom, place it back where it is now. If you used the thirteen, place it next to that.

* Now, play across the set. If you used the thirteen, do you like the interval between it and the twelve? This is what you will be using the most in this case. If you like the interval, you are done with tom placement. If you like the sound going from the twelve to the floor tom better, move the thirteen just above the floor tom. That way, you have your choice: 12/13/16 or 12/16.

* Insert the crash cymbals wherever they fit and are still easily reachable. Keep them in as close as possible and as low as possible without interfering with your toms.

* At this point, you should have a kit that is compact, close in, easily reachable, and comfortable to sit behind. Just remember - at all costs - to keep the triad (snare, hh, bd) in a perfectly natural, inviting arrangement. All the others should just fall in line in order of importance.

Hope this helps.

GeeDeeEmm

*
 

Rochelle Rochelle

Senior Member
Here's what I would do, Rochelle. It's old-hat, but it still works:

* Take the set apart and clear the space where you will be positioning it.

* Set your throne, snare, bass drum and hi hat where they feel most comfortable to you. (Some folks call this the "triad:" snare/bd/hi hat) Just pretend that you will be playing these three components alone. Pay no attention to the other pieces, just yet. Nice and comfy.

* Replace each item in order of importance. Place the ride cymbal next. Again, don't anticipate. Just place the ride where it feels most comfortable, probably where most folks like it, just over (in your case) the left side of the bass drum.

* Now, position the 12" tom, most likely using the tom arm in the bass drum receiver and the tom just in front of the snare - or wherever you have easy, comfortable reach. I'm betting that if you use the full length of the horizontal tom arm, you will be able to lower that 12" very low and in front of the snare.

* Time for some reflection. Do you really use that 13" tom much, or do you feel it should be there simply because you have it? Your call. If not, put it back in its bag. If yes, then you will now be forced to use available space, and the most likely space is where you have your floor tom now. Stick it there using the tom stand.

* The floor tom is easy. If you've deleted the 13" tom, place it back where it is now. If you used the thirteen, place it next to that.

* Now, play across the set. If you used the thirteen, do you like the interval between it and the twelve? This is what you will be using the most in this case. If you like the interval, you are done with tom placement. If you like the sound going from the twelve to the floor tom better, move the thirteen just above the floor tom. That way, you have your choice: 12/13/16 or 12/16.

* Insert the crash cymbals wherever they fit and are still easily reachable. Keep them in as close as possible and as low as possible without interfering with your toms.

* At this point, you should have a kit that is compact, close in, easily reachable, and comfortable to sit behind. Just remember - at all costs - to keep the triad (snare, hh, bd) in a perfectly natural, inviting arrangement. All the others should just fall in line in order of importance.

Hope this helps.

GeeDeeEmm

*
Thanks for the tips! I've thought about possibly placing the 13 on the floor but was wondering if it would be difficult to get from the 12 to the 16. I'll have to do some experimenting. I'll post pics after I play around with it.
 

dragonfly66

Member
Thanks for the tips! I've thought about possibly placing the 13 on the floor but was wondering if it would be difficult to get from the 12 to the 16. I'll have to do some experimenting. I'll post pics after I play around with it.
Looking forward to it!
 

dragonfly66

Member
Here's what I would do, Rochelle. It's old-hat, but it still works:

* Take the set apart and clear the space where you will be positioning it.

* Set your throne, snare, bass drum and hi hat where they feel most comfortable to you. (Some folks call this the "triad:" snare/bd/hi hat) Just pretend that you will be playing these three components alone. Pay no attention to the other pieces, just yet. Nice and comfy.

* Replace each item in order of importance. Place the ride cymbal next. Again, don't anticipate. Just place the ride where it feels most comfortable, probably where most folks like it, just over (in your case) the left side of the bass drum.

* Now, position the 12" tom, most likely using the tom arm in the bass drum receiver and the tom just in front of the snare - or wherever you have easy, comfortable reach. I'm betting that if you use the full length of the horizontal tom arm, you will be able to lower that 12" very low and in front of the snare.

* Time for some reflection. Do you really use that 13" tom much, or do you feel it should be there simply because you have it? Your call. If not, put it back in its bag. If yes, then you will now be forced to use available space, and the most likely space is where you have your floor tom now. Stick it there using the tom stand.

* The floor tom is easy. If you've deleted the 13" tom, place it back where it is now. If you used the thirteen, place it next to that.

* Now, play across the set. If you used the thirteen, do you like the interval between it and the twelve? This is what you will be using the most in this case. If you like the interval, you are done with tom placement. If you like the sound going from the twelve to the floor tom better, move the thirteen just above the floor tom. That way, you have your choice: 12/13/16 or 12/16.

* Insert the crash cymbals wherever they fit and are still easily reachable. Keep them in as close as possible and as low as possible without interfering with your toms.

* At this point, you should have a kit that is compact, close in, easily reachable, and comfortable to sit behind. Just remember - at all costs - to keep the triad (snare, hh, bd) in a perfectly natural, inviting arrangement. All the others should just fall in line in order of importance.

Hope this helps.

GeeDeeEmm

*
Thanks for the great advice, surely this will help others coming to this thread for help.
 

dragonfly66

Member
So I did end up removing the 13" tom. It gave me a lot more room to work with. I'm pretty satisfied now. With putting in the double bass pedal, I had to move my hats out a little bit so I'm getting used to that.
Looks real good! There is something special about the 1 up 1 down.
 

dragonfly66

Member
That is a good video @GruntersDad, thanks for sharing.

I'm trying out 1 up 2 down now with my kit. The 10 is up and I mounted the 12 off of the cymbal stand, and the 14 floor is beside it. I really like this setup. 1 up feels right. I see lots of folks with 1 up 1 down, but since I have two rack toms I'm going to use them.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Dang, I sure could write this from the other perspective at 6-11. Felt like I had to re-invent the wheel just to take #$%&@! lessons. That plus the constant annoyance of people messing with my kit during the week.

arghhhhhh
 

dragonfly66

Member
Dang, I sure could write this from the other perspective at 6-11. Felt like I had to re-invent the wheel just to take #$%&@! lessons. That plus the constant annoyance of people messing with my kit during the week.

arghhhhhh
@Peedy So how do you have your kit setup? What was different for you? I think it would be interesting to know what you had to do to get everything working.

I'm really enjoyed 1 up 2 down, but just switched to 1 up 1 down to see if I would miss my 10" tom. It is kinda weird using the 12" first. I think I need to retune the 12 and 14 to make them sound more musical.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
I use a setup like the OP (with slightly bigger toms) and the center of my tom is 31" from the ground and relatively flat. I could go lower.
Do you know about what height you wish the tom-toms to be?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I'm six foot even so height is not an issue but I have a spare tire of truncal obesity that inflates and deflates at times. The problems arise when I get all inflated-it's hard to move around my torso with the big blob hanging off me. It's a battle now I'm older-my arms and legs are relatively skinny-it's all in the middle. As far as anyone dealing with a specific issue It takes a lot of experimenting to find what ergonomically works for you-there's really no right and wrong.
 
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