How picky are you??

JAdrums2k

New member
1. Why do you have so many cymbals?
2. Why do you move things around so much?
3. Why does everything have to be in the perfect spot?
4. Why don't you use the house gear instead of your own?

Dumb questions to most of us, but I hear these all the time.
I'm always adding something new to my setup, even if it's just to try it out once. My shell setup always stays the same but I'm constantly moving cymbals around to get a better feel when I do add something new.
Yea... I'm pretty picky about my setup. You wouldn't drive a car very well if you can't reach the wheel.

What suprizes me most is that I get these questions mostly from other musicians...

The last house kit I used was held together by gravity.... the toms had to rest against the kick because all the mounting hardware was gone, the stands were no thicker than a pencil and wouldn't support my cymbals. And the heads were so beat it was hard to even get any sound out of them.
I swore that would be the last time I ever used house gear. So when we have to fly to certain gigs I'm always loading up suitcases and hardware cases and dragging them on the plane & stuffing everything into cabs & busses.

I don't mind it, but a lot of other people don't understand why I go to the trouble of it when they can just plug into whatever's there.

So how picky are you about your setup?
 
I agree with you! My snare, cymbals, toms has to be of a certain angle, my throne and hi-hat a certain height. Anything out of the "zone" will just sorta of throw me off. It's like something just isn't right. When everything is setup just right, it's like hitting the G spot!

I always prefer my own gear too, simply because I know them inside out. But whenever I bring my own stuff to jamming and gigs, people just ask me why can't I use the house gear. They think I'm some sort of diva, trying to "show off" my gear or something.

My ex-bassist was saying something along the lines of if you can sound good on shitty gear, you will sound good on anything. For sure, dude. But like my drum teacher who sounds good playing on a set of Paiste 101s mentioned, having your own good gear to gigs, will make you sound even better. Your own gear is the sound that you want, and why should we drummers compromise that just because we have more stuff to lug around?

Next time, I should ask the guitarists the same thing and see if they are able to answer that with a smile. Haha!
 

Arcadeia

New member
For me i play most of the entire kit flat but the snare is angled away and the lo-tom is angled only for the fact so i can reach it. i think you get more pop and its easier on the sticks and wrists if the drums are flat. thats just my opinion like.

i think its sensible at least to take a ride crash hi hats and snare at least if your playing a gig. i said this to my band and they were like why cant you use the kit there (battle of the bands so other drummers would use the same kit that another drummer had brought) and i said well its kind of drummer etiquette to take snare and cymbals cause most drummers expect people to bring that at least. they looked at me funy and i said "so you guys would go there and expect to use somebody elses guitar AND amp?" and they sort of got the idea.

and people say drummers are idiots.

you can never know what your gonna expect from a house kit unless youve played it before, and its very sensible to take a d-pedal if you play one as you can almost guarantee there wont be one there on the night.
 

Drumosaurus

New member
I know what you mean. I have my toms off center, wher both of them are right above the snare. my toms have to be about hight level with the snare, then angled about 50 or 60 degrees. If they're not like that, it just feels wierd to play.
 

drummerfreek55

New member
As far as picky placement, I have a general idea of where I want things but not necessarily extremely picky about it. Number of cymbals, you can never have to many... I love variety so the more the better and the same for the drums, the more the better... huge fan of huge kits.
 

SGarrett

New member
I'm fairly picky with how my own kit's set up but I can play on pretty much any kit that's setup in a professional manner.
 

break the prism

New member
i finally found my comfortable setup and i'm scared to take it down for shows because i can't imagine how i could ever get it set up perfectly again.
when i'm not playing my kit, i pretty much just have to adjust the throne, snare angle, and maybe how close the hi-hat stand is and i'm fine.
 

Howepirate

New member
Im terrible on most other peoples sets. I know the whole "any great drummer can rock out on ANY less than great kit" but i have terrible back problems and im prolly one of the pickiest people out there. My gear is my gear because I play it and it works for ME. I dont care how high my throne is, or how far i am away from my pedals, or why i use such a little snare and LITTLE FUCKING TOMS, or why i have 2 rides set up, or have triggers.

I'm a death metal drummer. Prolly one of the pickiest breeds out there due to speed being an issue when your out of you "comfort zone" on a kit.
 

dave lynch

New member
I luv my scene..it's like drivin a Cadi..That simple..I will use house gear sometimes and in some ways it's fun cuz all I have to do is show up and play...No tearing down and loading up and all..Just play and collect the doe and then have fun..!!
 

zerodogma

New member
JAdrums2k":1og7a4ab said:
1. Why do you have so many cymbals?
2. Why do you move things around so much?
3. Why does everything have to be in the perfect spot?
4. Why don't you use the house gear instead of your own?
Unlike most other instruments, a drum kit has SO MANY variables, that being 'picky' might be an understatement.
Personally (and in no particular order), my throne has to be at a certain height, I have to use my bass drum pedals (dialed in to my specs - for the moment), toms have to be at the right height and angle, cymbals placed just right, the stars aligned :wink: , etc.........
And I guess I am more "old school" in terms of kit setup (for classic and newer rock / metal) - three toms up top, floor toms on the left and right, twin main crashes, big china, more cymbals, more cymbals, more cymbals.......
The last time I had to use a 'house kit' was in 1989 (showing my age), and from what I remember it wasn't too pleasant (but I was too young and inexperienced for that to affect me).

SGarrett":1og7a4ab said:
I'm fairly picky with how my own kit's set up but I can play on pretty much any kit that's setup in a professional manner.
I have to agree with that one. Most drummers who have reached a certain level (and have pro/semi-pro gear) set up their kit in a fairly familiar manner. Newer drummers have a tendency to have the toms too 'flat' for my taste, but that again is one of the great things about drums... there is no right or wrong way ----- just YOUR way.

Peace and beer!
ZERO
 

SGarrett

New member
zerodogma":2t5pz984 said:
JAdrums2k":2t5pz984 said:
1. Why do you have so many cymbals?
2. Why do you move things around so much?
3. Why does everything have to be in the perfect spot?
4. Why don't you use the house gear instead of your own?
Unlike most other instruments, a drum kit has SO MANY variables, that being 'picky' might be an understatement.
Personally (and in no particular order), my throne has to be at a certain height, I have to use my bass drum pedals (dialed in to my specs - for the moment), toms have to be at the right height and angle, cymbals placed just right, the stars aligned :wink: , etc.........
And I guess I am more "old school" in terms of kit setup (for classic and newer rock / metal) - three toms up top, floor toms on the left and right, twin main crashes, big china, more cymbals, more cymbals, more cymbals.......
The last time I had to use a 'house kit' was in 1989 (showing my age), and from what I remember it wasn't too pleasant (but I was too young and inexperienced for that to affect me).

SGarrett":2t5pz984 said:
I'm fairly picky with how my own kit's set up but I can play on pretty much any kit that's setup in a professional manner.
I have to agree with that one. Most drummers who have reached a certain level (and have pro/semi-pro gear) set up their kit in a fairly familiar manner. Newer drummers have a tendency to have the toms too 'flat' for my taste, but that again is one of the great things about drums... there is no right or wrong way ----- just YOUR way.

Peace and beer!
ZERO
Totally. I'll use a house kit but I prefer to use my own throne, at least my own snare stand if not my snare as well, my own kick pedal, and usually my own hi-hat stand. I'll also use my own cymbals whenever I can so there's no "you broke my cymbal!", "no I didn't, it was already broken when I sat down" bollsheet. But there've also been the gigs where it's like, "you wanna play?...then sit down and play." Those are the ones that test your character as a musician because you know that no matter how you rock it, it's still going to sound like a juicy fart. Hahaha.

And what's up with everything being so flat these days? I blame Travis Barker and his many clones.

edit:
I need to slow down when I type.
 

Henry George

New member
Me,very picky.Every thing must be the right height,I'm tall but I can't stand high thrones,
My thigh needs to be level with the ground,the snare and floor tom above the thigh and dead flat.
The small tom must have the correct angle so I can play some hoop shots.
The high hat must be the right distance above the snare and the tension spring on the pedal must as loose as.
I have only once played a house kit way back in 1972 in the Melody Maker competion.
As I recall it was a excellent kit with a spray of blood on the snare.No adjustments needed.
 

FelterSkelter

New member
It is apparent that house kits are rarely purchased or maintained by a drummer no less a musician. I don't like when the others in the band make it seem like "no big deal" if you have to use a house kit yet they pretty much always get to play on their guitars, their rigs, their horns....etc. My stuff is MY STUFF and that's for a reason. I've tailored it for my feel and sound. I can play the house kit but my performance is always compromised, if only in my head.
 

Brother_Bong

New member
How picky, VERY!!!! I remember one show, I couldn't wait for the song to end ,cuz my 18in crash had come loose at the last nuckle and was resting on the edge of a tom that got lots of use during that tune, ahhhh NAILS ON CHAULKBOARD!
 

BillRayDrums

New member
Personally I love going in and playing on someone else's gear, and I try like hell not to touch anything. It's a refreshing thing......my drums are like my office and I know where everything is. When I go into someone else's space, it's always an interesting challenge.

As far as being picky, I kind of acquiesced to the fact that it will NEVER be 100% perfect and that I should not blame a bad night of playing on the position of a cymbal or snare drum but "was I paying attention to playing music, or playing drums?"

And like SGarrett says, I don't get hired for my chops but "can he groove?". YES I can and believe me, I earned the right to say that because I was once one of the most overplaying imbeciles on the planet.
 

Nikthesick

New member
Sure that you're the most comfortable with your own drum and the petty developed setting for all the gear.
I remember, being an unexperienced drummer, that it was always terrible after a show, when I had to set up my drumkit again being so frustrated I couldn't get the exactly same position as before :)
I used to be terribly picky, now I'm more moderate.
I think it's a precious experience to play your drum on shows (having to set it completely up to be comfortable with it before the show and back in the rehearsal room) AND to play house kits or other peoples kits.
Most important thing with it is, that you feel quite comfortable so you're easy to play the show without tensing up (especially important for extreme music drummers as in metal).
You will never be completely satisfied with the setup except you invest lots of time (like lowering this stand 1 centimeter, changing the angle of the other cymbal for one step; oh, the toms are 2 milimeters too close together... and so on). But often you're not given that much time, especially not, when there's only like 15 minutes of changing time between the last band and you.
That's the challenge: to learn your personal settings so well you can set it up in the (often short) timespan you're given and being comfortable enough to play a decent show. You'll learn automatically not to be too picky about things (you sometimes just can't afford it) and to focus on the more important settings.

Of course you can make it all more simple: the more own stuff you bring, the more you can prepare in advance and the more components you know you're acquainted with.
Usually that's then the drummers personal stuff (because of individual setting, sound, etc.) like snare, cymbals, foot machine(s), throne. I'm not too fond of my own chair in particular, but like to bring my own snare and hihat stand. I like to prepare things in advance so I can spare a few minutes for more important drum adjustments. I alway have as well some additional cymbal stands with me, because you'll never know, what drum awaits you. And even if you know the exact gear in advance, you can never know if you need an additional stand or extension.

So I think it's absolutely ok to play other drums (especially because I have no car on my own to cruise my drums around). There are of course a few things to take account of, but that's easy to learn. And the more you play on other drums and settings, the easier it'll be to play on any drumkit.
 

Medicman71

New member
I'm very picky. I like my set up to be just right or it throws me off. Everything has to be in the right spot. I'm also picky on what I use too.
 

Rob Crisp

New member
I'm not picky at all about cymbals in terms of number or even type!

I will mix it up as and when I feel, K Darks, A Customs, K Customs... sometimes I have 3 crashes and a china, others just 2 crashes. I will play the set with my band on any combination of those.

Different story with toms, I really need the two lower toms for my original music. I just feel like I'm missing a limb without them.
 

racefan33

New member
SGarrett":2onqve8m said:
And what's up with everything being so flat these days? I blame Travis Barker and his many clones.
TOTALLY AGREE. I sort of can see that it's playable for Travis because he sits so high but for a lot of rock drummers like Eric Singer it's just sort of goofy. I mean the drums are at an angle where it's just not a fluid motion to move around the kit.

To the original question. I am real picky but I do try to change things around. Sometimes I like to put the kit high higher and around me where my ride is almost vertical. It's fun to mix it up. I makes me play a little differently but eventually the setup ends up in pretty much the same general set up.

I keep wondering what it would be like to set up the old Michael Derosier four chinas behind me two up top and two below so I could hit all four of them by swinging behind me. SWEET. Or that thing that Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffat does with the crashes up behind his shoulders so he can to the one hand quick crash/choke.
 
Top