Tom Placement

I'm a drummer that's been playing for about 14 years, and recently I started having some trouble with my wrists. To help remedy that, I decided to set my toms on my kit differently so I'd be striking the drum differently.

I just thought I'd ask the opinions of my fellow drummers how they prefer their tom placement on their drumset. Do you angle them towards you, or do you prefer them quite flat where they're almost parallel to the ground? I just thought it would be interesting to get other's opinions on the subject.
 

anavrinIV

New member
i play my toms angled out of necessity. my toms are too deep to set flat and still be comfortable to play so i angle them. i actually cant stand flat toms because i dont use a technique that allows me to hit them and i always end up hitting a lot of rims. the way i prefer to play is to have all my rims around the same level...my snare is flat and i try to line up the bottom of my first tom with that, the second tom is parallel to the first, and the floor tom is a little higher than the snare but angled toward me a little bit and its just below the low tom. this way, everything is easy to reach and i dont feel like i have to work to get at anything.

heres a picture, but i dont know if you can really see what im talking about.


 

Dale

New member
shirleythewerewolf":2ml5uz0y said:
I'm a drummer that's been playing for about 14 years, and recently I started having some trouble with my wrists. To help remedy that, I decided to set my toms on my kit differently so I'd be striking the drum differently.

I just thought I'd ask the opinions of my fellow drummers how they prefer their tom placement on their drumset. Do you angle them towards you, or do you prefer them quite flat where they're almost parallel to the ground? I just thought it would be interesting to get other's opinions on the subject.
I have a friend who is a fine drummer but is also having problems with his wrists. If I may, I'd like to suggest that the root of the problem may be that you are over working your wrists.

Do you find yourself playing more with your wrists than fingers? If so, it might be an idea to get both working in tandem. I can use both, but due to the fact I am lazy, I tend to be more of a finger player. Although I can play hard, my wrists have never once caused me trouble.

I do not find it difficult to generate power, and therefore volume, because the relaxed and fast whipping motion results in speed. The old axiom 'speed = power' found in the martial arts, is also true of drumming. As long as the torque generated by the wrist, forearm and fingers works together.

It is also important to relax once the initial blow is struck so that the power of the downward stroke is not felt up through the hand, fingers, wrist and forearm. This also allows for quicker strokes because the upstroke coming back at speed results in a faster second downstroke.

Of course if I am way off the mark, kindly ignore this post. :)
 

m

New member
I prefer the toms flat, as parallel with the floor as possible.
I set my throne high, and feel that the angle of my strike is best met by a flatter tom. I believe that having the head perpendicular to the angle of the strike is better for rebound and control, but that's just my opinion/preference.

I look forward to hearing everyone else's philosophy/experience.

I'd love to know why some players tilt their toms so radically-
is it to get the lower rim out of striking range, or to facilitate a tighter setup? Please share your reasons, thanks~
 

anavrinIV

New member
m":3vyaipk4 said:
I prefer the toms flat, as parallel with the floor as possible.
I set my throne high, and feel that the angle of my strike is best met by a flatter tom. I believe that having the head perpendicular to the angle of the strike is better for rebound and control, but that's just my opinion/preference.

I look forward to hearing everyone else's philosophy/experience.

I'd love to know why some players tilt their toms so radically-
is it to get the lower rim out of striking range, or to facilitate a tighter setup? Please share your reasons, thanks~
like i said, mine is all out of necessity. i have my toms angled much more that i would like but because theyre the standard depths (10" and 11") i cant get the toms low enough to play them comfortably with them being any flatter. i play some quick tom fills and do some cross over work playing jungle rhythms and i have a hard time holding my arms at the right height to play the toms if theyre flat. i do play my snare perfectly flat because the rebound is much better the flatter the drum is but i just cant manage that with my toms.
 
Dale":1aw2awym said:
shirleythewerewolf":1aw2awym said:
I'm a drummer that's been playing for about 14 years, and recently I started having some trouble with my wrists. To help remedy that, I decided to set my toms on my kit differently so I'd be striking the drum differently.

I just thought I'd ask the opinions of my fellow drummers how they prefer their tom placement on their drumset. Do you angle them towards you, or do you prefer them quite flat where they're almost parallel to the ground? I just thought it would be interesting to get other's opinions on the subject.
I have a friend who is a fine drummer but is also having problems with his wrists. If I may, I'd like to suggest that the root of the problem may be that you are over working your wrists.

Do you find yourself playing more with your wrists than fingers? If so, it might be an idea to get both working in tandem. I can use both, but due to the fact I am lazy, I tend to be more of a finger player. Although I can play hard, my wrists have never once caused me trouble.

I do not find it difficult to generate power, and therefore volume, because the relaxed and fast whipping motion results in speed. The old axiom 'speed = power' found in the martial arts, is also true of drumming. As long as the torque generated by the wrist, forearm and fingers works together.

It is also important to relax once the initial blow is struck so that the power of the downward stroke is not felt up through the hand, fingers, wrist and forearm. This also allows for quicker strokes because the upstroke coming back at speed results in a faster second downstroke.

Of course if I am way off the mark, kindly ignore this post. :)
I'd like to thank everyone for the great feedback and I also look forward to hearing other people's opinions on tom placement and why they angle toms or don't.

Honestly, your post is quite on the money for how I play. I've always tried to get my fingers more into my playing, but I always go back to using my wrists. In the beginning, I played with my shoulders because I didn't know the correct way to play. However, since I took lessons and got familar with proper technique, I began playing with my wrists. I definitely need to start working on my fingers though. I hope to play for a very long time yet, I'd hate to have to quit because I was too rough on my joints. Thanks for the help!
 

Adonis2121

New member
I have my toms slightly angled, but if your wrists are giving you problems it may not matter how your angle you toms. You may need to improve your technique. Also I recommend taking Vitamin B6 . It enriches the blood to help speed healing and it also stregthens your nerves.
 

Vetis

New member
This is the old setup for my kit before I added a few cymbals. The tom placement is relatively the same. My rack toms are angled more towards me, and my floor toms are more flat than anything else.


 

Dale

New member
shirleythewerewolf":33pxdebi said:
I'd like to thank everyone for the great feedback and I also look forward to hearing other people's opinions on tom placement and why they angle toms or don't.

Honestly, your post is quite on the money for how I play. I've always tried to get my fingers more into my playing, but I always go back to using my wrists. In the beginning, I played with my shoulders because I didn't know the correct way to play. However, since I took lessons and got familar with proper technique, I began playing with my wrists. I definitely need to start working on my fingers though. I hope to play for a very long time yet, I'd hate to have to quit because I was too rough on my joints. Thanks for the help!
Ho there.

Well, I am glad my interpretation of your problem was correct.

There is a way you can begin to add focus to your finger technique. What I discovered was that if I were to play rudiments such as doubles, paradiddles etc, it helped in the beginning if I focused on each finger individually, beginning with the little finger and then working forward through the ring and middle finger.

I would hold my wrist in place and manipulate the stick with the finger only. It was hard at first but over time each finger gained strength and then control.

When playing a double I would 'snap' the stick back on the second stroke with each finger so as to accent the second stroke. This built up strength so that eventually I was able to play my doubles while keeping all the strokes even. (This also made it very easy to play shuffles when coupled with the wrist movement.)

Another way to develop finger strength is to hold your hand out with the back of the hand facing skyward. You then rest the stick in the fulcrum, moving your thumb slightly down so as to secure the stick. Your fingers should then be in position above the stick.

When this position is held, you then isolate each finger using the finger tip to bounce on the stick from above hitting the stick into the pad or head and keeping doing this as the stick rebounds. Do this with each finger individually; index, middle, ring and pinky.

Once you are able to do this comfortably with each finger, then try ten strokes with the index, ten with the middle and work your way back and start again. All the while keeping a steady roll going.

Be patient, this takes time to develop. In the beginning chances are the stick and finger wont connect. That's okay. Just start again. In fact I've not done this in quite a while and really need to practice it up again. (in fact I need to knuckle down myself on rudiments. All I seem to play these days is percussion!!! :eek:)

Good luck. And I really hope this helps.
 
Ho there.

Well, I am glad my interpretation of your problem was correct.

There is a way you can begin to add focus to your finger technique. What I discovered was that if I were to play rudiments such as doubles, paradiddles etc, it helped in the beginning if I focused on each finger individually, beginning with the little finger and then working forward through the ring and middle finger.

I would hold my wrist in place and manipulate the stick with the finger only. It was hard at first but over time each finger gained strength and then control.

When playing a double I would 'snap' the stick back on the second stroke with each finger so as to accent the second stroke. This built up strength so that eventually I was able to play my doubles while keeping all the strokes even. (This also made it very easy to play shuffles when coupled with the wrist movement.)

Another way to develop finger strength is to hold your hand out with the back of the hand facing skyward. You then rest the stick in the fulcrum, moving your thumb slightly down so as to secure the stick. Your fingers should then be in position above the stick.

When this position is held, you then isolate each finger using the finger tip to bounce on the stick from above hitting the stick into the pad or head and keeping doing this as the stick rebounds. Do this with each finger individually; index, middle, ring and pinky.

Once you are able to do this comfortably with each finger, then try ten strokes with the index, ten with the middle and work your way back and start again. All the while keeping a steady roll going.

Be patient, this takes time to develop. In the beginning chances are the stick and finger wont connect. That's okay. Just start again. In fact I've not done this in quite a while and really need to practice it up again. (in fact I need to knuckle down myself on rudiments. All I seem to play these days is percussion!!! :eek:)

Good luck. And I really hope this helps.[/quote]


Thank you so much for the advice. I really think this will help. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes and how it helps my wrists, I really think it will.
 
my 14"x14" Floor tom compltelly high and flat inbetween each kick drum and my other Floor toms about waist level i sit about 14" off the ground and i stand about 5' 10" tall
 
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