Does size really matter when it comes to drumming?

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inmyownhead
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Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:44 pm




I'll tell you why size matters. To be honest I'm suprised all of you have to ask. It's simple. Listen to a black metal or death metal album Im talking about Emperor, Hate Eternal that kinds of stuff. The only reason to use a big kit is for ergonomics. Do we all know what that means children? It means if I have one crash above the toms and im playing on the floor tom say at the end of a fill i would have to make big tiresome gesture in order crash at the end. If I have crashes strategical placed It allows me to play more stuff fast with smaller gestures. It's ergonomics people. Now if you're playing dokken or warrant then no. a small kit is fine. I have a 2 kits. One big for metal where more and faster is key and I have one for jazz and bar band stuff.

This was an easy question fellas. Let's have no martyrs in here.
Four Sticks
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Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:40 pm

Size does matter, but in this case it’s really how you use it that makes the real difference in performance. Example, a guy behind the massive drum set can look like a fool if he does not know how to use it. The best drummers play the kits that match the music they play. As far as skill goes, the guy on the 3 piece can sound a lot better than some on the 9 piece kits. If you are into looks, and don’t mind lugging around a big kit, than just go for the big kit look even if you suck. If you are into reality, and your music only requires a standard 4-5 piece, just go with that.
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dwtoast72
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Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:49 pm

m wrote:
why do you need a large set to be a skilled drummer?


you don't.
you 'need' a kit appropriate for the music you play.
for some, that means having more colors available in the palette; for others, a bare minimum is plenty to accomplish what's needed.

You tailor your kit to your personal needs, not what someone else dictates. That's why, in my opinion, saying "Less is more" is just as disingenuous as saying "big kits are better." (no personal offense meant towards those who use that phrase, I just don't agree with it)
Nobody should tell you what to play.

absolutely agreed
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Mikkey
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Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:22 pm

inmyownhead wrote:I'll tell you why size matters. To be honest I'm suprised all of you have to ask. It's simple. Listen to a black metal or death metal album Im talking about Emperor, Hate Eternal that kinds of stuff. The only reason to use a big kit is for ergonomics. Do we all know what that means children? It means if I have one crash above the toms and im playing on the floor tom say at the end of a fill i would have to make big tiresome gesture in order crash at the end. If I have crashes strategical placed It allows me to play more stuff fast with smaller gestures. It's ergonomics people. Now if you're playing dokken or warrant then no. a small kit is fine. I have a 2 kits. One big for metal where more and faster is key and I have one for jazz and bar band stuff.

This was an easy question fellas. Let's have no martyrs in here.


To the original poster: If you feel you need a bigger kit, then go for it, otherwise if someone else who doesn't play drums tells you that you need a bigger kit, don't on account of them. Pretty much all someone would need to play the biggest variety of styles is a snare, two rack toms, floor tom, "fusion" size bass drum, hi-hats, one crash and a crash/ride, or two crashes and a ride. Even then, I've seen drummers with smaller kits slay (a snare, one tom, floor tom, bass drum, hats, crash/ride, crash).

I play a big kit (two bass drums, four rack toms, two floor toms, two bass drums, six crashes, two chinas, one ride and two hats) and I love it and use every bit of it. However, to go and say for death/black metal you NEED a big kit is a little bit of a leap. Most often it's just for image, a trend started in the early-eighties when power metal bands would try to have bigger kits than the bands they were competing with. Plenty of good "extreme" metal drummers use slimmer kits with equal effect to the ones with bigger kits. I like playing a big kit, a "mirror kit" as I call it because everything on one side is almost mirrored on the other, because there is always something close to me to throw in at a moments notice. Hauling a big kit around is a big pain in the ass though. So for shows and practices I only take two bass drums, two toms, the floor tom, hats, ride, and three crashes.

If this was an easy question there would be a uniform answer for everyone given the same situation, which there isn't.
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Fleabear
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Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:32 pm

I've found that "civilians" (non-musicians) are usually impressed by a big drum set...lots of cymbals...anything very visual. They're also impressed more with "showmanship" over actual talent...but that's another argument/thread. That being said....it's your rig....it's your decision. The next time your guitar player or singer mentions anything about your rig...remind them that you've never been so bold as to ask them to get another mic, amp, or guitar to fit the band better...because that would be bullshit.
Just as the clothes do not make the man....the set does not make the drummer. It's true that you might not want to have a massive setup if you're playing in a small quiet 4 pc...and you may not want to use a small jazz type setup if you're playing in a loud metal band. Go with your gut...and use your own judgement.
zackman
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Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:32 pm

i play with small drum sets
it's fun. somethimes i only play with a snare bass and hats. it challenges creativity. good stuff
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Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:50 pm

I have a 6 pc kit with 9 cymbals and a cool but cumbersome riser, I am seriously thinking of downsizing, just for the quicker set up and tear down time. I have 2 sets of hihats and 2 rides, and an extra bass drum that is just for looks. I could get through the night on less gear, and the extras are not enough to send people running to see me play.
osiris90210
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Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:49 pm

i focus on how the crowd sees the kit,
i have a machine head style kit with just the single bass drum but a double kick
i like it, id like more cymbols and all, but i can do everything i play on a 4 peice
altho, im in a metal band, and i find that if i only have a 4 peice, the kit doesnt have the effect of somthing like slipknot
sorta need to take into account what it will look like to the audience
a punk band only needs a 4 peice, but i find metal looks more full with a big kit even if u only use a small number of drums
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torkid47
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Post Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:29 pm

I NEVER play a show without the rest of the band helping lug all the drums, stands & crap with me. I'm a big guy so I'll carry your bass amp if you get those 3 rack toms. Make two trips if you have to.

On another note, Just because I have 6 drums & 10 cymbals does not mean I have to use every one all the time. I have a 8" splash I use maybe 2-3 times a set but it's there when I need it.

Just ask your self, "Do I need it or do I want it"?
Some people have talent, I just practice every day.



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Rob Crisp
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Post Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:10 am

elchris2k6 wrote:actually most of them are metal drummers, a few non-drummers have said that, but i also feel a smaller set u can play faster, fills are kept short and sweet yet sound great and not over done, ive played large sets and its sort of overwhelming with the unneccesary additions, ive always liked the john bonham set up w/ two floor toms one tom and a huge bass, i think BR had a similar setup also two floor toms and the single mount


That's generally how I play, love the 2 floors for a bit of creativity with tom based grooves.

For me a solo or fill on lots of toms is less impressive than a technical solo on a small kit. I'm not saying a big kit is less fun to play or that you're inferior if you have a big kit, but for me, I appreciate the crativity and technicality required to keep a solo on a 3 piece interesting.
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Mikkey
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Post Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:18 pm

Yeah seriously. On the "Bird and Diz" record there are a few snare solos (just the snare nothing else except for a few well placed kicks). Simple, impressive and effective.
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phil-drummer
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Post Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:56 am

i quite down-sizing my kit . itsm ore fun and its like playing an entirely different kit.

i set my kit up the other day as BD, snare,( l-r ) 13" , 10" , 14" n jus added a crash , a hi hat a ride n a china

i cud probly go smaller, its all gud
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Post Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:30 pm

I don't think the size of your kit matters...
I use a snare, floor tom and hit-hat and one cymbol for my practice kit, its fun to play, even more so than my 6 piece tama! And I play mostly metal too, so its even more challenging to do that with just one kick... instead of a double kick (my tama has one but im too lazy to move it back and forth)
-Im a happy drummer I can bang all day-
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Post Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:43 pm

play with whtever u feel is nessacary to get the point across and the job done , if u like only havin a few pieces, then thats kool, or if u wanna lug around a 300 piece kit everywhere u go and gig, tht's fine, just do wht u feel fine with
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kublabaterista
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Post Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:04 am

I have an 8 piece set that I'd wish to add more drums to. The only reason I use a big set is because I don't look at drums as just a percussion instrument. I look at it more as musical notes. I have all my drums tuned to 5th's. Right now I have a full octave range. So, if you play with the music and become apart of it and blend in, then that's when you need a bigger kit. But the most important thing is to be unique and do your own thing.
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