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General Guidelines to Setting Up a Drum Kit.

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  • #16
    excellent post, but clearly setting up your drums "right" is only part of not getting bashed by PDFers.

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    • #17
      Pretty good explanations without going into too much detail--which is good because there isn't one perfect way to set up a drum set. Everyone has their own way that works for them.

      One thing I might add, is snare height. It seems like a ton of guys mount their snare too low. Ergonomically speaking, that same idea you said with the toms--keeping the stick as parallel as possible--should be applied to the snare.

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      • #18
        Awesome thread! Have some REP
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        Originally posted by cezegg
        yup, it snows once you hit the border, and we pay for things in pancakes, ride polar bears, and we're all lumberjacks and we're okay, sleep all night, work all day.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Spoon View Post
          Pretty good explanations without going into too much detail--which is good because there isn't one perfect way to set up a drum set. Everyone has their own way that works for them.

          One thing I might add, is snare height. It seems like a ton of guys mount their snare too low. Ergonomically speaking, that same idea you said with the toms--keeping the stick as parallel as possible--should be applied to the snare.
          Haha thanks for the nice comments again. I should have gone into detail about snare and hi-hat height, however like you say, everyone has their own comfort zone when if comes to setting up these components. However I can elaborate just a bit about snare and hi-hat height.

          Like I said before, you should set up the drums so that you drum stick (the stick itself) hits almost parallel to the drum head; not too parallel that you would constantly be doing rimshots, but parallel enough so that the stick's tip hits perpendicular to drum head (otherwise, the force of the stick strikes straight "into" the head rather than hitting it at angles and creating slicing or glancing hits).

          A good height can be determined by first relaxing and lifting your hands and forearms up to make a 90 degree angle with your elbow (as if you were typing or playing the piano). The videos of the late Jim Chapin demonstrating the Moeller Method on YouTube shows this perfectly. The top of the snare should lie anywhere comfortable between the space created by the top of your lap and the underside of your forearms/hands (considering that your forearms and thighs are relatively parallel). Obviously, don't have the top of the snare higher than this position of your arms, and avoid having it lower than your lap. For me personally, the top of my snare is about 5 inches above my lap. This shortens the distance between my snare and rack tom, but also puts the snare head in a natural position for me to strike the tip of the drumstick perpendicular to the head. Again it would differ between players depending on their overall setup.

          Your hi-hat height is generally high enough to give your left hand enough room for a stroke, but low enough so that you don't have to lift your dominant arm higher than your chest to play. For me, my hi-hat and rack tom heights are very close to each other, the rack tom maybe being a bit higher by an inch or a half. If you use a double bass setup, try to get a hold of those hi-hat/bass drum clamps so that you don't have to twist your body in order to play the hi-hat or hi-hat patterns.
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          • #20
            Originally posted by Falken Zero View Post
            Thanks again all for the nice comments! I really hope this thread gets stickied. Does a mod like Al just run into here, read it, and decide it's sticky worthy, or do I have to "propose" this article to him through a PM and ask if it's possible? 00**
            I PM'ed Al to get a thread made a sticky, so perhaps thats the way to do it
            Al told me that there are only a certain amount of stickies for each section, so that determines your answer really.

            Congratulations on an excellent thread Falken.

            I have a question for you lol...

            So I have my snare set up pretty much as you suggest height wise, angled slightly, higher at the farthest edge.
            I actually have trouble rimshotting my snare, I have to drop my hand to my lap to rimshot, and feel like I'm hitting uphill. (Have a look in my sig at the DX kit and you can see how I'm setup) Any suggestions?
            My revamped Pearl DX kit (now with 8" tom)
            My refurbished 72 NC Deluxe Pearl Kit
            My early 80's G314LXDC Pearl Snare
            Catalogue Corner Thread
            Restoring and refinishing (vintage) drums
            My Snare build

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            • #21
              i noticed something you didn't hit but very good on the thread.

              i'm talking about how high it is recommended by some to have the throne set. i've heard and believe that is best to have the throne set to where your legs form about a 90 degree angle at the knee. i've found that having less than that angle that you can lose power and if you have too big of an angle, then you lose some control. i think i wrote that right. lol. but anyway yeah, it's still preference.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by 3pearlkits View Post
                So I have my snare set up pretty much as you suggest height wise, angled slightly, higher at the farthest edge.
                I actually have trouble rimshotting my snare, I have to drop my hand to my lap to rimshot, and feel like I'm hitting uphill. (Have a look in my sig at the DX kit and you can see how I'm setup) Any suggestions?
                I would try to flatten the angle a bit more until you find a comfortable angle to get the desired sound you want to hear! Or you could raise the height in small increments. Either way will probably help you get the desired sound.
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                • #23
                  Originally posted by abugazi View Post
                  I would try to flatten the angle a bit more until you find a comfortable angle to get the desired sound you want to hear! Or you could raise the height in small increments. Either way will probably help you get the desired sound.
                  Hey abugazi,
                  Thanks for your thoughts on this.
                  I don't rimshot a lot, so it's not like it's an eternal nightmare lol.
                  In the past I have flattened out my snare a bit and I find it a very fine line in between just right and constantly rimshotting.
                  I need to have a good hard look at how I'm setting up one day soon...
                  My revamped Pearl DX kit (now with 8" tom)
                  My refurbished 72 NC Deluxe Pearl Kit
                  My early 80's G314LXDC Pearl Snare
                  Catalogue Corner Thread
                  Restoring and refinishing (vintage) drums
                  My Snare build

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                  • #24
                    Thans Falkan. The post is great and for those who don't care to read it or follow it then I say learn the hard way and destroy a few drum gear to get the message. I have my kit set up the way you mention and have no problem getting around the kit and never I mean , never damaged a cymbal or any other drum gear. Thanks again this should be a Sticky with your name on it.

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                    • #25
                      Couple things that make me disagree with a FEW parts:

                      1) For double bassers, a lot of the time a high throne is preferable considering the kind of movement you do. Outside of a few guys like Paul Mazurciewicz and Gus Rios, most guys on double bass setups have their thighs at quite at an angle. Look at Gene Hoglan or Daray from Dimmu Borgir

                      2) Playing with my forearm parallel to the floor is tiring as all get out, which results in a low snare.

                      3) A low hi hat is going to result in some hellacious knuckle-stick interactions unless it's far enough out to the side that your wrists are physically in line vertically. Try a cross-handed blast beat with a low hat. Ouch.

                      4) The flat tom thing works only if we accept that all strikes are made with forearm parallel to the floor and stick extending straight out. The key is a straight strike with the stick. Your toms could be vertically mounted and if they're up high it would be easy to make sure the strike is at the proper angle.
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                      • #26
                        I highly recommend using a two or no leg hi-hat stand for double-bassers.
                        Ludwig • Sabian • Paiste • Gibraltar • Vic Firth • Pro-Mark • Roland • LP • Gon Bops • Audix • Kickport

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                        • #27
                          Huge bump, but this board needs a little more activity anyways. I like to have my snare facing me in a way that I don't have to reach around the drum to turn off the strainer. If I need to get to it fast, it is right in front of me. I also do this when I can with all hardware stands in any percussion set up (not just drum set), to ensure that if I need to adjust for whatever reason, it is very easy for me to get to.
                          Please help me march Legacy Indoor Percussion - http://www.gofundme.com/5k2om4

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                          • #28
                            I just stumbled upon your post.
                            Nice job! It made me think back to Neil Peart's a work in progress video. I actually raised my snare after watching. Noticeable improvement. I wish someone could have helped when I started out. This can definitely save hardware, headaches and sore appendages!
                            Well done.
                            Dan

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                            • #29
                              I used same set up for years, with very little changes-one day I changed my throne height , went from low to mid heights - I rebuilt my set up around throne! Vast improvements!

                              Great thread, where were you 25years ago! Lol

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