tom tilting


New member
ok. i've been drumming for 8 years now. i've got a bunch of live experience, studio, solo, everything else experience. but one thing i could never really figure out what was such a big deal was rack tom tilting. i play with my drums at like a 45 degree angle. not facing me, but not straight up either. right in the middle. but i've had people critize me on my set up though. i dont really care what they say, but why is it that some think its "bad" to tilt you toms. does it affect the sound, or is it just not traditional enough for some players?? i know most pros play with them straight but it seems more convienent for them to be tilted anyway so you dont have to reach as far to do fills from the snare to the toms. im interested in how all you set up your toms and what you think is better or worse.
Don't listen to what other ppl say, especially if its bad critizism. Its not going to change the sound enough to worry about, if at all. Theres LOTS of drummers who have their toms mounted on an angle. Some names? lars from metallica; Nikkio from Iron maiden and so on. So dont worry about what other think.


New member
Tilting is all down to preference, I used to do it a lot more than I do now. Back then I sat low down in the kit, one day I tried sitting higher and it stuck, the toms are not flush with the snare, if not a bit higher up, but still parallel.


New member
My toms are about 10 degrees out. Just enough to make it easy to hit, but enough so that I still have to have good posture.


New member
your tilt is all about what feels good to you. although having them tilted to much could result it leaving dents and stuff on your heads from hitting the drum with more of the tip of the bead rather than the side of the bead.

and if you do anything with rim shots on the toms to much tilt will take that option away.

other than that do what feels good to you.


New member
In the 12months or so i've had my kit i must have changed the angles that the toms are set at at least a dozen times. They've never ben parallel with the sbare tho'....can't figure out how to play with them like them.

Right now they're about 45 degrees by the looks of it.


New member
I used to tilt about 35 degrees....Now I have it lower (almost even with the snare, maybe an inch higher) and tilted maybe 10 degrees. I don't hit the toms as hard as I do the snare, usually, and with them tilted much more it seemed like I was getting more of a glancing strike rather than a full stroke. Anyway it seems that my tom hits are more powerful and fuller sounding than they used to be....Also, now the technique isn't drastically different from my snare technique (since the tom is almost in the same position).

break the prism

New member
the only real downsides to having toms at extreme angles are
a) you won't be able to get full rimshots on your toms
b) it's much easier to get dents in your drum heads.


New member
the tilt of the toms. although it might slightly alter the sound (probably not enough to matter) is all about feel. How quickly, and easily can you access that drum? Can you play it without having to tilt your wrists to far forward or backward? I like to play anything from about 10 degrees to 45. but if its the 10 degrees, the tom has to be considerable lower to offer a good position for me to hit it. At 45 it offers you a little more freedom with how high you put it. i could never play with the completely tilted toms that i see a few people playing.....well i could, i just wouldnt enjoy it.


New member
my tom placement and angles are based on one thing and one thing only........economy of movement.........and when you're the athlete of the band, that makes good sense.........


New member
If it works for you, then I say stay with it.

My comfort zone is a slight tilt on the toms. Tilted too much, I feel awkward and the angle of the stick rebound is back to me. Not tilted enough, I'm hitting rims (I like to sit relatively low). I try to find a good balanced position that is at the same time ergonomically comfortable for efficiently moving around the kit and angled good for stick rebound. Also, my position needs to work well for using both matched and traditional grip because I like to alternate.

On the weird side, sometimes I like to tilt my snare forward away from me and sit up close to it.


New member
scepticILL":32h6ajvq said:
Do you tilt your snare that much? I don't see why your toms should be differently tilted to your snare...
Very good point! Typically the snare should tilt w/ the toms-it more than makes sense. I do this most of the time playing rock or alternative. However, when I do play jazz or fusion, I will tilt my snare forward; particularly in traditional grip. I guess this is the guy that influenced me:
<a href=""> CLICK HERE</a>

I tried it and kind of liked it, but again not for the heavy stuff.


New member
An analogy I use is to play on a table or a wall. Which one is easier for you. After experimenting with the height of your throne with just the snare, bass, hi-hit and ride set up, go from there. I find that when these components are set up while maintaining a good posture, I can play my tom fills in a more relaxed manner with the toms in a very slight tilt. But it all comes down to what works best for you.


New member
I found from playing house kits at studios and gigs that the height i sit at can make or break how a kit feels. I'm always rearranging my kit just to see how i like the feel of things.


New member
I am on the bandwagon with this topic. The flatter the snare/toms, the longer the heads will last... tried and dents on a flat snare. but you have to be comfortable...its more important than looks!