The urge to strip down (not like that!)

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
Ever notice that as time goes by you want less drums and cymbals? It's an odd phenomenon. My kit keeps getting smaller, not bigger.
Someone mentioned "junky" playing- I think that's part of it. I really like the way a clean, simple kit looks. And it's amazing the variety of sounds you can get with fewer drums and cymbals.
 

DOT_Steel

Junior Member
man, its strange that i am finding myself to agree with you, because years ago i thought i wanted something huge. well, we built it! and its nothing but a pain in the backside to get from club to club, and to keep everything together. much less, keeping it from getting damaged.

we have also went from 10 peices back down to 5; (1up, 2down) with 2 crashes, 2 chinas, 1splash, and my hats and ride. it changes all of your chemistry around, but sometimes you find that it makes things easier.

personally i feel that i can get across my toms faster because they are lower and closer to me. but it did change the way my bands music was played, which tells me that one little change can change the chemistry of everything. its strange to me how that works.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I played a five piece kit with one crash cymbal for some time. Perhaps it's the style of music I'm playing now, but I find myself wanting to add more and more elements to my kit, which has never happened before. I think it's a question of having the right tools to do the job in front of you.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I see a lot of the bigshots going to four piece, yet the extras seem to be piling up, like the extra snare, some effects cymbals, even two hats. I think a lot of it should be based on how much practice time you have. If you have the time to chops up some heavily layered grooves with two hats, popcorn snare and a couple cymbal stacks, more power to you. Most music doesn't require much more than a 4 pc in my opinion, and it's liberating when you discover yourself cleaning up your act and playing more musically on a small kit. Guys like Gavin Harrison, one of my favorite big-set players, sound that good because they practice all day.

Besides, I'm older now, and I want as few trips to the car as I can get.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Ever notice that as time goes by you want less drums and cymbals? It's an odd phenomenon. My kit keeps getting smaller, not bigger.
Someone mentioned "junky" playing- I think that's part of it. I really like the way a clean, simple kit looks. And it's amazing the variety of sounds you can get with fewer drums and cymbals.
I totally feel you on that. Last show we played, the guitar player had to convince me to bring my high tom! I feel more creative with less pieces on my drum kit.
 

longgun

Gold Member
Yep, starting to downsize mine also....just seems that every drum I remove is replaced by a cymbal, bell or some other effect...
 

_Leviathan_

Senior Member
I find its really fun to see how many sounds and rhythms you can get out of a small kit. Right now I'm just using a 4 piece with a Ride, crash, and hi-hats and doing a lot of experimenting. Less gear to haul and maintain, and there's something about getting a lot out of a small kit that's almost magic. Billy Martin of MMW gets a TON out of a 4 piece kit with hi-hats and ONE cymbal!

Even playing a 3 piece (no rack tom) is a lot of fun.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
That's funny. All my life I've played small kits, and now for Christmas I was going to treat myself to another bass drum and top out on the toms at maybe six. This is my second fun kit, of course. My usualy working kit is not more than five. But that could change if I join some vintage-70s fusion band ;)
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
I've been playing a four piece for a few years now, just because it's what is in our studio. I find it forces you to become more creative. I can make a 12' tom sound like a timbale if I rimshot it out at the edge, for instance. And I have found that having too many cymbals can be crutch. To my ear, a lot of drummers seem to be using a lot of heavy cymbal these days. Especially live, it gets old listening to a drummer crash away, especially on thin cymbals.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
I often get naked on stage.

Oh wait, we aren't talking about that.


I have found my tom limit, but I am all about adding cymbals.
 

Pachikara-Tharakan

Silver Member
less heads to tune as well. :)
i always wanted as much as tom toms, double base, double pedals, cowbells and cymbals like Keith Moon, but since i am trying to pay off the mortgage (american dream? ) and keep the ends meet in this unpredictable economy, i am down with a used 4 piece and a klanky starter Cymbal....works well for my basement drumming tho.
recently the cymbal broke and now the hit hats are the other two cymbals.
 

Sjogras

Silver Member
I feel that I hardly ever "need" to play my 12" tom, (the sizes are 8, 10, 12, 14, 16). The contrast between two low floor tom and two high rack toms is perfect! So ive recently just put the 12" on a cymbal stand much like Simon philips has his three floor toms, which also reduced the need for one crash so my old paiste b8 (which I didnt like anyway) is removed.

I would do just as well without the 12" but since I have one I thought I might as well place it somewhere...
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I go through stages. But when I see drum sitting on the floor not playable I just have to put the drums back together,
 
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Doctor Dirt

Guest
Most drummers go through a maturation process and slowly start realizing that the basics are all you need to the job. If your a full time musician you learn quickly what comes and what stays. The weekend warriors have the time and the means to put together the kit their heros played and its gratifying for them. The drum companies would all die with out them hahahaha!!! Or we'd be able to buy the 4 thousand dollar kit for 1,900.00 because all the pomp would be gone.
I've gone between the one up or two up for plenty of years and once I was done touring the two up was used alot more. Once I became the weekend warrior I brought out another cymbal also. It all comes down to "needs" what does the Job need to be done right? Then what does your "Ego" need to feel right? That pretty much sums up the amount of gear brought to the gig is the gig time to play or work? Dinner time I think I'll use two spoons for my soup. Doc
 
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audiotech

Guest
Most of my kits are 7 pieces and I don't envision getting rid of any of the drums. Most of the time I play 5 or 6 pieces, but I still have the drums that I can go from 7 down to whatever I like. Through most of my youth I played just 3 or 4 pieces and only getting my 5 piece kit by working odd jobs when I was 14 years old, so I feel I paid my debt to the small kit Gods. I'll play what I have until I get too old to lug them around, maybe a week or two, lol.

Dennis
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Ever notice that as time goes by you want less drums and cymbals? It's an odd phenomenon. My kit keeps getting smaller, not bigger.
Someone mentioned "junky" playing- I think that's part of it. I really like the way a clean, simple kit looks. And it's amazing the variety of sounds you can get with fewer drums and cymbals.
Most people play mid-sized kits of 5 to 8 pieces. I went from a six to a four and now to a five. I move around.

It's not the size, it's what you do with it.
 

kettles

Gold Member
My ideal set up is a 5 piece with two racks. 10, 12, 16. But I'll usually just go with the 4 piece. I'm thinking about getting a smaller snare (12" probably) to put in place of the higher tom, so I have the option of a second snare OR a higher voiced tom. Personally I see more advantage in having extra pieces of percussion than extra toms, I now use two tambourines, they add a lot of flavour to the kit. Never really used cowbells.

I think Danny Carey has a big gap between his high and low toms - 8&10 up top and 16&18 on the floor if I'm not mistaken.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Most drummers go through a maturation process and slowly start realizing that the basics are all you need to the job. If your a full time musician you learn quickly what comes and what stays. The weekend warriors have the time and the means to put together the kit their heros played and its gratifying for them...
That's so well said Doc, and true.... I moved down and down and down over the years ending with a basic 5 pieces kit (1 up 2 down), I even gave up double bass drumming (double pedal, lately) just 6 months ago. But 25 years ago I was really pride of my 13 pieces double bass kit, it was looking soooo good... :))

It all comes down to "needs" what does the Job need to be done right? Then what does your "Ego" need to feel right? That pretty much sums up the amount of gear brought to the gig...
That's sum it up for me, "needs" and "ego", when these meet, you'll have the perfect drumkit... :)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I grew up admiring guys with big kits, and to an extent, I still do.

But when I became a gigging drummer, I quickly found lugging around all the extra stuff was problematic, and went down to a 5pc.

However, it comes down to what the music needs. What I use for a situation depends on the situation itself. Even before I got away from the big kits, I would only take a 4pc to blues gigs.
 
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