The beauty of only one kit

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
So it's been at least three weeks now I've had my Tama limited edition black oyster kit and I realized today that it's not so much the drums I love, but the fact that I only have one set of them.

Some guys here have several kits, and I did to up to this point. I had actually three different kits at the same time in the house. One was under the guise of being the monster double bass kit for that part of my experimental side (that I knew I'd probably never use on a gig), and one was the Sonor Bop, to be used obviously for jazz things, and my old bubingas that got the majority of the traveling.

I think having more than one complete kit in the house to play on makes you a bit schizophrenic. So I chucked them all and got this one black oyster kit in the house now and I'm digging it. All the cymbals I own, are on that kit. Every drum I own, is with that kit. It's like having a single grand piano in your living room. It does what it does well, and it's up to you to make whatever you want happen. I realized quickly that by having several kits to choose from, for me anyway, you fall into this "paralysis by analysis" trap because I'd play a certain way on each different kit. Now I have this one kit and it has to fit the bill for everything - and its a nice feeling to know that that bit of talent is my hands and feet, and not the kit. I like this feeling.

Now because I know a few of you have more than one kit, am I the only one who's made this realization, or am I crazy? I like the fact now that when I look back in the room on my way out to a gig, I know I have everything with me because the room is empty!
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
I have never had that thought I have to play different on a kit just because it is a different kit. That is only based on the sound I want, or if the piece of the kit is so delicate.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
Hey Bo,

I get where you're coming from. There is a sense of relief to not having to concern yourself with all the different possibilties and just getting down to it. We've often made parallels to photography and it's there that I first experienced this. I went through a one year period where I ditched all my SLRs, 35mm and 6x6 120 and only had a view camera. I only had to shoot portraits a handful of times but I truly enjoyed just having one rig.

Eventually, I returned to diverting some of my mental energy back to the other extreme of "paralysis by analysis" as you called it. It can be liberating to not get caught up in tools of creating the art and focus more on the art itself.

With that said, I'm somewhere in the middle, I suppose. I like having my booming big maple kit and bright cymbals for the rock music I play and my smaller kit with the 18BD and dark and thin cymbals for most everything else. I am still enjoying choosing different sounds for the different music I play.

I have always been intrigued by drummers like Gadd, Bonham and I'm sure many others that mostly have played one set-up. I guess if you're going for a signature drum sound it probably helps to stick to the same gear.

Anyway, that's probably not as relevant. I'm glad you're enjoying the reduction of gear issues and your attitude toward it.

If you buy a kit next week though, then I don't think I know what's going on with you.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
I have never had that thought I have to play different on a kit just because it is a different kit. That is only based on the sound I want, or if the piece of the kit is so delicate.
I can relate to this when it comes primarily to how I play, or my overall technique. When it comes to the different sounds you're choosing, I think I do play differently for the different styles of music and for how you get those sounds from the instruments.

You know. When you have to throw down and rock it out on thicker brighter cymbals and bigger drums. Or, go easy on the thinner pies and have a lighter touch with the drums.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
completely see where you are coming from Bo

but one reason I like having 2 kits is to keep one set up at the house and one that stays in Racket bags for gigs so I dont have to break down and set up more than I already have to

:)
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I only had one kit, a Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz, until a friend gave me two early 80s Pearl maple toms. So I was forced to buy a bass drum to go with them. They are "power" toms, which looked just plain wrong with my 18" Gretsch bass drum. So I bought a 22" bass drum from Ebay that should be here in two days. I just could not help it. Peace, goodwill, and blues.
 

B-squared

Silver Member
Hey Bo,

You pose an interesting question, but I doubt you are crazy. I have two kits, my new one and my old one. I had one before I gave to a friend's son who was just starting. I only play the new one. I keep the second around in case my band has to host an open stage, but that's it.

I would rather experiment with different sticks, brushes, and heads than change drums. I change things like resonant head tunings and microphone placements for effect. But most of all I like playing all styles of music (jazz, country, rock, hip-hop,reggae, etc.) to see how I can get my kit get just the right sound for each song. (It helps that the guitar player I have played in three bands with over the last ten years loves to play all styles too). There are many things to change in drumming, but changing kits is one that I am really not into.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I've long been a one kit woman. If I remember rightly some great drummers have used just one kit for decades. Charlie Watts did, didn't he?

Whatever, I'm sure there were/are others. Maybe some of the old jazz guys.

I like having one small kit - there's not a lot to think about. Here's the kit, let's play. No brain required! (a great thing for people like Gruntersdad, given his catastrophic recent "IQ" score ;-)
 

Big Foot

Silver Member
I'm with you on this Bo.
I'm down to just my Oak Customs, from a GMS bop kit, 80's Tama Superstars and a hand full of snares. I do have 2 snares one brass and one wood but I could live w/just the brass one. And I do have a few more cymbals than I use at any given time - but just 'cause I like having them...
The drums, as with the stuff in my life, I'm trying to minimize the things I own.

My Oaks and the Yamaha gear are built to use and to last a life time. They're all I will ever need...if I do need more or different, I can borrow...
Yes it can be a pain to hump one kit everywhere I go. And yes, It'd be nice to have some contrasting sounds from more drums, but the sizes being 20", 12" & 14" - I have a lot of bases covered.

Less is less - and that's cool with me.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
completely see where you are coming from Bo

but one reason I like having 2 kits is to keep one set up at the house and one that stays in Racket bags for gigs so I dont have to break down and set up more than I already have to

:)
This is exactly what I was thinking. That is, if I had that luxury. Right now I have two kits, one is complete and the other I'm gonna fix up. But when I get the second one fixed up, I'm going to give it to my nephew. I just learned that he is taking percussion at school, so I'll start him off with a snare drum first. But my point was that I simply don't have room for a second kit.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
This is exactly what I was thinking. That is, if I had that luxury. Right now I have two kits, one is complete and the other I'm gonna fix up. But when I get the second one fixed up, I'm going to give it to my nephew. I just learned that he is taking percussion at school, so I'll start him off with a snare drum first. But my point was that I simply don't have room for a second kit.
thats awesome of you uncle Zephyr :)
 
A

audiotech

Guest
My thoughts are, you do as you want or, what you have to do. Simple as that.

Dennis
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I've been playing my big kit for so long (13/15/18/24 1 up, 2 dn) and it works for every band I've been in for the last 16 or 17 years and this is my 3rd kit w/this config... well, the 24 is only a couple years old, but close enough. Anyway, it's pretty much a rock kit with big toms...

But I've been wanting to add to it to make other configurations possible. I have a 12x8 laying around that I don't use much. I still have my 22" somewhere (I'm sure I could find it if I looked hard enough). I've been thinking about adding a 14x10, 16x15, and 10x7. It would all still be one kit, but I could easily play other configurations.

Then I could make a:
10/12/15/16 (2up,2dn)
13/14/16 (2up,1dn)
14/16/18 (1up,2n)
10/13/16 (2up,1dn)
... and who knows how many others, plus the ability to have two complete kits.

But yeah, adding just 3 toms could throw me into total paralysis. Hmmm. Not sure if I want to do that.
 

Zickos

Gold Member
I have three kits but I only have two of them because I keep them set up in my studio for teaching purposes. I only gig with one of them.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Hey Bo,

I get where you're coming from. There is a sense of relief to not having to concern yourself with all the different possibilties and just getting down to it. We've often made parallels to photography and it's there that I first experienced this. I went through a one year period where I ditched all my SLRs, 35mm and 6x6 120 and only had a view camera. I only had to shoot portraits a handful of times but I truly enjoyed just having one rig.

Eventually, I returned to diverting some of my mental energy back to the other extreme of "paralysis by analysis" as you called it. It can be liberating to not get caught up in tools of creating the art and focus more on the art itself.

With that said, I'm somewhere in the middle, I suppose. I like having my booming big maple kit and bright cymbals for the rock music I play and my smaller kit with the 18BD and dark and thin cymbals for most everything else. I am still enjoying choosing different sounds for the different music I play.

I have always been intrigued by drummers like Gadd, Bonham and I'm sure many others that mostly have played one set-up. I guess if you're going for a signature drum sound it probably helps to stick to the same gear.

Anyway, that's probably not as relevant. I'm glad you're enjoying the reduction of gear issues and your attitude toward it.

If you buy a kit next week though, then I don't think I know what's going on with you.
I did the same thing with my photography too. I only have two Canon EOS-1D bodies now, and on an event, one gets the 20-35/2.8, and the other gets the 70-200/2.8, and a 50/1.4 is at the ready for a portrait. All of sudden my photography got better because I had less to deal with. I'm not saying guys with lots of kits aren't focused, it's just that I started to suck at my focus when I had three kits to play!
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Any "paralysis & analysis" I may suffer from having two kits is more than offset by not having to break down & set up my gigging kit every time I want to practice.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Pure crazy talk, Bo! Utterly ridiculous!

...on a side note, I *WISH* I could be content with one kit, but the side of me that hears the differences in the kits and wants to use different drums to create different soundscapes wins out. I love the variety too much.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
Really? I have been around here for a few months and and from what I have learned about you I am pretty sure this situation will be short lived.

You were one of my G.A.S. heroes- really enabling me to do what it is I love and feel good about it- this is such a disappointment if it sticks. Thought it was just a phase you were going thru...;)
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I could never live with just one kit.
It is convenient to have numerous kits for different things.
It is also endless fun exploring them.
 
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