What is your drum setup pet peeve?


Senior Member
I'm constantly trying to tweak my 14,18,26,15 setup to make it more ergonomic. I love the depth and breadth of the huge sizes, but sometimes I find them less than optimal positioning-wise. Not so much with the 15" snare, but the combination of the 14 and 18 toms around a 26 bass drum doesn't always make for a tight setup.

I own a Vector pedal though, so that makes things WAY better than trying to setup around a pedal that can't be offset or tilted in relation to the bass drum. I'm left handed and purposely bought a righty pedal so I could offset my position over to the right in relation to the bass drum, which makes the position of the 14" tom way lower, and also so I could cant the pedal to the left so I can set up the bass drum straight instead of canted to the left. That allows me to keep an already large 18" floor tom more in front of me instead of over to the side/almost a bit behind me. Lately however, I've actually started setting up the bass drum so it's actually chanted over to the right a bit. The pedal facilitates this, and it looks a bit weird, but it allows me to get my floor tom in front and over to the right even more, which tightens up my tom setup considerably.
Abraham Laboriel uses a setup like yours , what he did was take a lefty double pedal and place the kick drum to the left, thus allowing the snare, hi tom and low tom to be tight, kinda like this:



Platinum Member
But I personally just don't like the 'look' of one tom up and one or two down - although I still use it occasionally when my band is playing a small bar.

Don't know why, I just find aesthetically unpleasing.

That's weird, I wasn't going to say so, but I feel the same way about the two up 5 piece thing. It looks weird and unsightly to me. There's no valid reason for either one of our feelings, so I think it's weird. Beauty and beholder eyes I guess.
I don't have a problem with either of those, but I really struggle with 3-up, 1-down. Something about it just looks wrong to me. Add another floor tom and I'm fine with it though. Unexplainable pet peeves indeed.


Silver Member
Almost forgot. Guitar Center demo kits. Always set up weird. Saw one with the 10 inch tom angled heavily so that half the batter head was bellow the snare.


Senior Member
Mostly it's not pet peeves for me, more of a "How the HELL do people play this way?!?" kind of thing, and there's too many of those to go into. My issues are more with people than the drums themselves.

One of those would be when people over tighten hardware on a shared kit. I have often said under my breath "What are you trying to prove!?!?"

Ok, one more: people who don't know how to break down a hi hat stand. I have seen some AMAZING and completely non functional attempts at this by experienced drummers.


Junior Member
Perhaps I have strange brain circuitry; but I don't understand lefty set-ups. I am left-handed for most things (except using scissors), but I learned to play the drums on a righty set-up. There was no question at the time as to whether I was right or left handed. That's simply how my first teacher showed me to play, and I learned all the basics like that. My dominant hand on the drums is unambiguously my right. For the longest time now I have played drums open-handed; it is not because I feel I should be leading with my left; it currently does not affect how I set-up the drums at all, except on my personal kit which never leaves my house. I made the switch in the interest of A)not destroying my posture, seeing as there is a history of back problems in my family, and I am naturally prone to slouching and B) to keep my weak hand on the bounce without having to obsessively play tons of rudiments. It works so far. I can sit down in front of any drum set when I have to play a gig, and I get by just fine. I don't even bother lowering the highhats anymore.
So when I see, at the music school where me and my band practice, evidence of kids being taught on the basis of their hand-brain wiring i.e when I see lefty set-ups, I just think to myself these people are being handicapped. Most set-ups by default are righty set-ups, drums are a bitch to maneouver and adjust, and if you are playing between two different bands and are the only lefty around, then you're fucked aren't you? You have to slow down the entire show, or you have to have a whole nother kit to accomodate you just eating up space on stage waiting for you. It seems an unnecessary hassle. If I as a lefty would be completely indistinguishable on the drums from a righty were it not for my choice to play open-handed, then why can't most lefties?
The cost-benefit ratio seems unsatisfactory to me. Lefty set-up is not a massive paradigm shift, just a system to satisfy perceived comfort needs, and in dirt-cheap small stage circumstances on a tight schedule, sharing the stage with other acts (which is very many gigs, at least where I live) it also creates trouble or potential trouble that wasn't there before.
If you cannot sit down in fromt of any pile of buckets and make them sound good because you were taught to play them the wrong way, you have been wronged.
This turned into a rant. Apologies if the coherence and cohesion are lacking.