Who needs toms? Only joking of course! But we can explore fills created from the elements that we’re already playing on without heading to the toms!

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I played with a band for a few years, using a kick, snare, hat & crash/ride cymbal (sometimes two cymbals if I was feeling adventurous.)

After a while playing with them, I added a rack tom. Not because I felt limited or had become bored, but I guess just to see if the songs might benefit from a little more flavor from me. They didn't. Every time I went for the tom, it sounded weird and out of place. Definitely not helping the songs, and probably hurting them. I knew after the first set - nobody had to tell me - that there was no reason to bring more than what was already serving the songs perfectly.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I play only two toms (12" and 16") and incorporate them into fills as sparingly as possible. I sometimes get through four or five songs without activating a tom. I've toyed with the idea of gigging without toms, but I usually have sufficient cause to include them, though I always treat them as accents rather than dependencies.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
Wise words indeed... I remember micing up a double bass drum kit (2 x 22”), 4 toms up (8”, 10”, 12”, 13”) and one down (16”) for a pop session I was doing for a female solo artist. I cut 2 tracks and it occurred to the engineer straight away that I didn’t hit any of the toms or the left hand kick! To be fair everyone had a great chuckle about it! ? I believe it was Simon Phillips who once said if you take any of the drums away, you change the overall sound, which is plausible of course. But, if I had my time again, I would’ve saved time/money by setting up a 4 piece (just to prevent it feeling too unusual)! Nice work @Rob Hirons !(y):)
 
Of course you need a floor tom - that's where you put books and brushes! :)
Best of luck with your channel - I really like that you get to the point without the endless waffle that's present in so many youtube videos. That you always manage to put your message into the thread title solidifies my impression that you don't want to waste anybody's time!
I understand that it's easier to make it to the top of the search results and get more clicks when videos are longer than 10 minutes. Cheers for not playing that algorithm game! I wouldn't mind if you filled up the remaining few minutes with a bunch of grooves or providing the backing tracks without drums, though - that might help to attract more viewers.
 

Pootle

Well-known member
I remember reading an interview with Matt Sorum from his GnR days where he said he played more snare fills than tom fills on UYI1&2 as it sounded more aggressive and “rocky”. Apart from That tom fill on November Rain I would agree.
 
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Out of Round

Well-known member
Even though these days I own a 6-piece kit, I have never been really all that comfortable playing what I'd call "traditional" rock tom fills. The way they break up the groove sounds weird to me. This video is closer to the way I play fills and makes me feel better about my approach since this is a great explanation, so thanks for posting. I doubt I'll actually gig much with a full 2-up, 2-down configuration.
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
Great stuff Rob and you get tight to the meat of things without the usual banter most vids put us through. I really enjoyed your vid on Bass comping and now this fine one. While I use two toms/ 10 and 14 I could certainly live without them. Keep up great vids. I'm 80+ played since 14 but I'm learning a lot of goods things from you
 

Rob Hirons

Well-known member
Of course you need a floor tom - that's where you put books and brushes! :)
Best of luck with your channel - I really like that you get to the point without the endless waffle that's present in so many youtube videos. That you always manage to put your message into the thread title solidifies my impression that you don't want to waste anybody's time!
I understand that it's easier to make it to the top of the search results and get more clicks when videos are longer than 10 minutes. Cheers for not playing that algorithm game! I wouldn't mind if you filled up the remaining few minutes with a bunch of grooves or providing the backing tracks without drums, though - that might help to attract more viewers.
Great points. A lot of my earlier videos contain waffle believe me. It took me a while to get to the point with a lot of help from @Mighty_Joker The playback tracks are definitely a thing I’m considering. Thanks for the comments.
 

Rob Hirons

Well-known member
Even though these days I own a 6-piece kit, I have never been really all that comfortable playing what I'd call "traditional" rock tom fills. The way they break up the groove sounds weird to me. This video is closer to the way I play fills and makes me feel better about my approach since this is a great explanation, so thanks for posting. I doubt I'll actually gig much with a full 2-up, 2-down configuration.
Cheers for the compliments
 

Rob Hirons

Well-known member
Wise words indeed... I remember micing up a double bass drum kit (2 x 22”), 4 toms up (8”, 10”, 12”, 13”) and one down (16”) for a pop session I was doing for a female solo artist. I cut 2 tracks and it occurred to the engineer straight away that I didn’t hit any of the toms or the left hand kick! To be fair everyone had a great chuckle about it! ? I believe it was Simon Phillips who once said if you take any of the drums away, you change the overall sound, which is plausible of course. But, if I had my time again, I would’ve saved time/money by setting up a 4 piece (just to prevent it feeling too unusual)! Nice work @Rob Hirons !(y):)
Hope you appreciate the dedicated drum shoes ?
 

pocket player

Junior Member
thanks Rob, good common sense Drumming as usual. I love the fact that by staying on the home base there is no loss in the time going to the toms. And you get to keep hearing your great snare sound. Keep up the good work !!
 
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