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Thread: Scaling down

  1. Abomination of desolation

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    I went from 3up 2 down to only 1 up and 1 down. I just found over time that I did not use all the toms and I was distracted from the music several times trying to figure out which tom to hit etc. So now I feel more comfortable and relaxed trying to groove with less. Go with what feels better to you.
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  2. Registered User

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    I actually saw a great local group from NJ called "the dolly's" who play more of a poppy, vintage rock style and talked to the drummer after. She simply had snare, bass, hi hat, crash/ride and no toms. She said she used to play with a floor tom but started doing without it. Granted their style is fairly minimalistic so that won't work for everyone... but I feel like toms really aren't all that important. I do like have them when I am practicing and playing at home, coming up with new patterns and such... but I would probably be happy cutting down from 3 to 2 toms. Space might dictate that anyway.

  3. Playing since 1976

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    Quote Originally Posted by iCe View Post
    Hey all,

    Just curious about this subject. For years I've always wanted to scale down, but when i do: i miss the other sound sources. The reason for scaling down: not having the haul around a lot of gear, quicker setup times etc. For now i have a 2 up, 2 down, 1 snare and one bass (double pedal) setup with 3 crashes, 2 china's, 2 splashes, a stack, ride, main hi-hat and an x-hat. If i play with one set of hats, 1 splash, 2 crashes, 1 china, i feel like i'm missing the other sound sources. Same with the drums if i play with a tom less. I'm just used to having different sources i guess. For those who have scaled down: have you encountered this as well? Is it a certain mindset?
    I like playing my large kit, and my small kit. They are totally different. As Michael stated, it makes me think more to create different sounds and feels using fewer drums and cymbals... and I enjoy that too.

    I also wanted to mention, part of scaling down can also mean thinking about the sizes of your drums, and the construction. My Masterworks artisan kit had two 22x20, 10-ply kick drums. While they sounded great, they were so heavy (just over 50 lbs each) that I would never want to carry them anywhere. Even bringing them down the stairs was awkward and dangerous. If you compare that to, for example, a 20"x16" Reference Pure kick drum... it would be like night and day! My new kick drums (Masterworks 22x18, 6-ply, 5.4mm thick) weigh half and much, and sound just as good to me.
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  4. old dog, new tricks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumming-4-Life View Post
    I like playing my large kit, and my small kit. They are totally different. As Michael stated, it makes me think more to create different sounds and feels using fewer drums and cymbals... and I enjoy that too.

    I also wanted to mention, part of scaling down can also mean thinking about the sizes of your drums, and the construction. My Masterworks artisan kit had two 22x20, 10-ply kick drums. While they sounded great, they were so heavy (just over 50 lbs each) that I would never want to carry them anywhere. Even bringing them down the stairs was awkward and dangerous. If you compare that to, for example, a 20"x16" Reference Pure kick drum... it would be like night and day! My new kick drums (Masterworks 22x18, 6-ply, 5.4mm thick) weigh half and much, and sound just as good to me.
    well then I guess it's a good thing you never gig or leave the house.
    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

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  5. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by keaton_86 View Post
    Nobody in the audience except other drummers will notice things like 2 chinas and X hats.
    Exactly what I was going to say. I remember getting the same crash in both 16" and 17" so that I had 2 different pitches of the same crash, which now that I look back was a pretty big waste of money. That crash in such similar sizes will always sound like that crash, whatever size/pitch it is; if you ask an audience member which one it was they'd probably just say "who cares?".

    My point is, if you really want to scale it back there's no point having similar sounding things (I'm going to really generalise here, don't flame me!). Chinas all tend to sound trashy and you use them for a big accent, so why have 2? I know a 12" and a 22" sound very different, but that's not really my point... Unless you're really using them for a particular contrast, which for normal gigs you generally won't, you can probably do with just one. Likewise with crashes, from a drummers perspective you picked that crash for a particular reason, but from an audience perspective you just hit something and it made a noise (okay, that's a bit cynical, but you get my point).

    I used to use hats, 3 clean sounding crashes, ride, china, splash and sometimes a few extras. Now I've picked every cymbal to sound really different and cover all the sounds I want with as few cymbals as possible, so I either use hats/crash/crashable ride/china or hats/clean crash/dirty crash/ride.

    With drums for me it's a bit different, because if you're on a 4 piece and you want to do a big fill around 5 toms you obviously just can't do it. I agree that you should be able to play any style on any size kit, but that doesn't necessarily mean it'll sound perfect, so you've just got to find a compromise I guess. I reckon if you spend a decent amount of time on a 4 piece and get really used to it you'll be able to work out how much you need those extra 2 toms. You might get used to it, you might think you need one more just to give you another option, or you might just hate it and go back to before. Either way, at least you tried it!

    Hope that makes sense, if not I'll try to elaborate

  6. Playing since 1976

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    Quote Originally Posted by space jeff View Post
    well then I guess it's a good thing you never gig or leave the house.
    That may have been a good burn, if it were clever, or even coherent. If I were you, I'd save all your concentration for your homemade drum set.
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  7. old dog, new tricks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumming-4-Life View Post
    That may have been a good burn, if it were clever, or even coherent. If I were you, I'd save all your concentration for your homemade drum set.
    "home made drum set", hahaha. that's cute.

    Don't be jealous when I win kit of the month, EVERY MONTH.
    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

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  8. *not Steve Carell

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    I agree with Miles and Fish. I'm also really lazy at the end of the night and think about that time before I get there. Then I end up with one up(10), one down(16), and hats, ride, and two crashes. If I'm feeling saucy then I'll add my China but mostly not.

    When I'm limited on my kit I feel like I can get into the music more and smack people in the face when needed. I also don't feel like I have to impress anyone with a smaller kit. I have a 6 piece setup in my basement right now and it just feels like too much crap.
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  9. Playing since 1976

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    Quote Originally Posted by space jeff View Post
    "home made drum set", hahaha. that's cute.

    Don't be jealous when I win kit of the month, EVERY MONTH.
    If you finish your project, and the drums look great, I will be the first to vote for them.
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  10. Oi!

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    Space jeff's comment may be rude but he has a point. Generally, a gigging drummer with no roadies keeps it simple. The polished 25 piece kits are nice to look at, but my bet is they never leave the basement in all their glory. Also, the manic polishing of cymbals and drums, using gloves to handle the drums and the obsession with tom angles are things I've never seen a regularly gigging drummer being concerned with. Roadies, yes, and basement dwellers. Nothing wrong with that, just seems to be that way.

  11. Is this Illidan?

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaindoghound View Post
    Space jeff's comment may be rude but he has a point. Generally, a gigging drummer with no roadies keeps it simple. The polished 25 piece kits are nice to look at, but my bet is they never leave the basement in all their glory. Also, the manic polishing of cymbals and drums, using gloves to handle the drums and the obsession with tom angles are things I've never seen a regularly gigging drummer being concerned with. Roadies, yes, and basement dwellers. Nothing wrong with that, just seems to be that way.
    He has a gigging kit, and no... you don't take a $10,000 drum kit out of the house to gig. Studio, maybe. Gig? No.

    Having a big kit for gigging? Totally do-able.

    Again, you guys are pulling a Kanye. "I've noticed this and this means it's true all the time!" "Really, you go to every show in every genre?" "Ha! No, I only listen to Jazz."

    You can't generalize like that. Go out to a metal show and see the range of kits, because there is a range of kits from monstrous to mini. There is no right answer, there is just 'whatever the music calls for'.

  12. Oi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord The Drummer View Post
    He has a gigging kit, and no... you don't take a $10,000 drum kit out of the house to gig. Studio, maybe. Gig? No. Having a big kit for gigging? Totally do-able. Again, you guys are pulling a Kanye. "I've noticed this and this means it's true all the time!" "Really, you go to every show in every genre?" "Ha! No, I only listen to Jazz." You can't generalize like that. Go out to a metal show and see the range of kits, because there is a range of kits from monstrous to mini. There is no right answer, there is just 'whatever the music calls for'.
    Yeah, I see that it reads like I aimed that comment at D4L, not the way I wanted it to come across. I meant it to be an observation that I wanted to share, I never said that it was an absolute truth, just my observation. I've yet to meet the gigging drummer who hauls around two kicks and four rack toms on his own, but maybe they exist. And by the way, who's pulling the Kanye? You just put a lot of words in my mouth, I only shared my thoughts on the subject without making them come of as absolute truths.

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