Help! I can't stop changing my setup!


New member
It seems like every time I sit down at my kit, there is an overwhelming urge to move stuff around. Toms and cymbals are especially vulnerable. Also, the angle I sit and hihat placement are constantly moving...I just can't seem to get comfortable. Maybe I'm a lanky 6'++ and conventional setups are uncomfortable to me. Maybe it's the throne. Maybe I'm OCD.

Does anyone else have this problem? It sure would be nice to be able to leave it alone long enough to get used to it and spend more time playing. Any tips would be appreciated.


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I've never drummed as a 6'++er, so I'm afraid I have no input there..
Are you sure that everything is tightened down and not moving everywhere?


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I have the same problem and my solution was to hear someone tell me that it was personal preference.

Hell if you want your ride to be 6 feet in the air go ahead!
Not literally but if you like it it's your own set up.

I mostly have problems with my ride.

It took me about a month or two to get everything to the point of where everything felt comfortable


New member
my set up is always changing
i keep finding new stuff
if it sucks i change it
if it doesnt
it makes me one step closers to my prefect groove

change is a good thing. remember!


New member
Thanks for the help guys. I think I should clarify, I'm moving the stuff manually because for some reason I can't get used to it "right there". It doesn't move from using it.

Personal preference might actually be the cause of my problems. I'm guessing maybe I just need to try EVERY setup that I see because it might work better before I settle on one :lol: Which is of course impossible.

It's good to know it might take a month or two. I haven't had this set for long and don't get to play as much as I'd like to. I guess I need to exhibit a bit more patience.


New member
Benhamin":3q75nq3o said:
i have yet to stop changing my set up
and ive been playing for two years
Does it cut into your playing time at all? Like messing around all night instead of playing? It does with me sometimes, it's a bit aggravating.


New member
nah not really, i have a pearl forum
so im constantly trying to find new ways
to get a better sound.
ive taken apart my drums and put them back
a few times. and moved it around countless
everytime it just gives me a better understanding


New member
I have been constantly adjusting my set for at least 10 years no
I find that it stimulates ideas that were'nt there before
I'm not necessarily talking about putting your sanre behind you and your toma on either side
Just keep on moving them until you like it
If not, keep moving them
And finally
NO RULES!!!!!!!!
Yeah, I've been playing for 6 years and I have always just pretty much comfortable with the conventional setup. Every now and then, I'll move my hi-hat and snare around and even more rarely, my floor tom just to see which is more comfortable over time. It takes up some time occasionally but not more than a minute or two.


New member
I would say exactly what the other gentleman said, "it's all personal preference." Be patient, take some time to look at your kit while you sit behind it. A GREAT dvd to help you with this, (actually 2) is Dave Weckl's "Developing Technique" and Bill Ward's "Big Time". Both have very useful advise on this very subject.


New member
I am 6' 2" lol I know what you mean..... but I don't have to change my set up all the time... my advice is have your cymbals fairly high... some people put them low... my hi hat is as high as it can go and the snare as low as it can go because it is a 6.5". I guess that is my two cents.. I have found it to be very comfortable. :)


New member

I have the same problem, but im only 5' 3"!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

I think it might because I dont get to play my kit often. Ive gone from setting up things very high to very low and all sorts. I'll be comfy and relaxed one day and the next time it will not feel that comfy.


New member
im 6'3" and i sit high and play low. i usually change my setup every 6 months to a year and will stick with it a while. evey week or so im experimenting with cymbal placement though....last week i had no crash on my right side because i moved it to the left to see what it would be like. right now i have the "conventional" setup but my ride is over my second tom instead of the floor way of substituting for not having offset toms.


New member
I used to play a real tight kit (snare butted up against kick, high hat butted up against snare). There was only enough room between my kick and floor tom for me to fit my leg in there.
Over the years I've moved my setup around a little.
As it is now, my drums never stay set up (tiny apartment) so I pretty much set it up differently EVERY time.
Not to mention, when you get new toys, you have to find somewhere to put 'em.


New member
I've had quite a few different set-ups over the years, and still do.

It's a little weird but....
Here's what I did to find a comfortable set up:
Go listen to one of your favorite CDs. Close your eyes and imagine you're playing the drums to it. You've got nothing in front of you so your "drums" are going to be where you think it would be most comfortable. After a while you should automatically start playing the "same set". Now here's where you have to pay attention. Hopefully you've built up some muscle memory because that will help. Watch yourself playing your imaginary set. Make mental notes of where your hands fall as you play. That's where you want to put your drums. Something else to watch is how many imaginary drums you're using. You might have to add to or subtract from your current set up.


New member
I've 5'5 and been drumming on and off for 14 years. I have a Pearl kit and usually re-adjust things after a gig or a practice session. Just a tweak here a lift there. My kit is a bit large compared to todays trend of downsizing and simplifying (8 piece double bass and 7 cymbals, bell and tamborine). My reason for this to flow as smoothly as possible.

My advice is to to ask your self why you aren't comfortable? Are the toms too low/high? Do find yourself reaching for cymbals? I have my ride up to my right, easily in reach but out of the way for fills. My china is all the way to the right with a crash in between, and a crash next to the high hat up a bit, with accents between it and the ride. I found this gives me the flexability to do what I want when want.

Everything flows around my kit, and I have no hangups. My toms are within easy reach to change my style when I please. I used to have issues with the kit , and found the problem was things were missing and I was settling with what I had. When I decided to fix the problem I found matchng drums on ebay to extend my toms tonal range, and bought a flat ride, no matter where I hit it I get the ping I like. Adding crashes kept my from reaching after a fill, and my snare is 13" which makes it easy to keep the kit tight together.

Try new things, only you know what sound your looking for and what makes you comfortable, hopefully telling you how I found my setup will inspire you to make the changes to get the most out of your kit.


New member
With your elbows relaxed, hold your sticks over the drum or cymbal. Then adjust according to proper stick/bead angle depending what you are hitting and the ideal spot on the stick to be hitting it. Make sure you're not causing undue stress on your neck and shoulders by having to reach for things, and make sure you're not hitting the very edge of your cymbals. That's how I approach it.


New member
i change mine all the time, every time i have a gig my kit changes,
i have basic areas where my drums r and my cymbols just go wherever
but each gig my set up changes, i keep buying new stuff for my kit so it need to change
i need 3 or 4 more cymbols aswell so i will need to change things around yet again


New member
Spend a whle saturday finding the perfect comfy spot for everything, and then make sure everthing is TIGHT, so it doesnt move.