Do You Change Your Angles/Heights for Different Styles?

Neal Pert

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I've been playing since I was 5 years old and I've always taken some pride in the idea that the exact angles and heights on my drums didn't matter a ton-- within reason, I was always able to make stuff work. And I'd do my jazz drumming with different angles and heights than my rock or pop drumming and all that.

These days, I'm starting to focus on really nailing the ergonomics and making everything consistent no matter what sort of music I'm playing. So, like, no matter what the heads or cymbals or tuning or sizes, that first mounted tom is always in the same location, throne is always at the same height, cymbals always at the same angle, the whole bit. If I'm playing on a bop kit with an 18" bass drum or some 13/16/22 kit, I'm basically playing things more or less where they always are. I think the next step is really marking the hardware with the right locations and heights so that all my gig set ups are the same. It seems to be really helping.

So, are you a person who uses multiple setups for different styles? If so, do you strive to keep the core stuff consistent, or do you approach the instrument differently?
 

EvEnStEvEn

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After I did a detailed study of my ergonomics for comfort and playing ease about 15 yrs. ago my setups have essentially stayed the same.
If I'm using forceful blows on my crashes like on a rock gig then I'll elevate the 2 crash stands a tad higher is all.
 

jtpaistegeist

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Same as the others here. Years ago I spent a lot of time experimenting and setting things exactly how they feel comfy. My setups, regardless of size stay almost identical.
 

noreastbob

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No. The only alterations are due to more or less pieces. Four piece, five piece, seven piece, lots of cymbals vs not so many...etc.
 

mebeatee

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Yes and no.....
Yes in that the core of the kit....snare/bd/hi hat/seat/ride cymbal stay pretty well the same across the board.
The bass drum and tom size(s) would dictate any incremental changes.
I also use many backline or rental kits when touring, so this is a day to day occurrence and again no biggie as long as the core of the kit is workable.....recent short tour...11 shows and 6 different kits. I will always take off the 2nd tom if there are two up, to get the ride cymbal in there...ergonomics reign supreme.
bt
 

What It Is

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As the styles of music haven't changed much for me lately, I haven't been experimenting as much. I liked to sit a little higher and have things flatter for jazz, for rock and blues I immersed myself lower in the cockpit of my drums. Funny enough, no matter how often I moved things around, inevitably everything always came right back to where it seemed to start. Things are comfortable, they work, and I'm no longer 25! Still, whenever I see pics of Benny Greb or Mark Guiliana or Marcus Gilmore I think "I wonder if I should move this over here . . ." It is fun though to try different approaches.
 

Tanabata

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I've also been playing since age 4/5...... so, have probably tried every height and angle, even sat on milk cartons because thrones wouldn't go low enough....... I've copied every drummer I liked, all that stuff.... anyway, I don't think I do anything the same way for very long, and have probably repeated it all over and over, I always find what I'm aiming for. As long as my hips don't cramp, I'm happy being unsure while I continue not knowing what I'm doing.

Never changed from style to style, aside from my stone-cold jazzer decade when I kept the snare drum raked up like a parade drum.
 

CherryClassic

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Basic setup is always the same except for number of toms being used but just about decided on two up as a standard. Depending on stage size I may change the tripod legs to some degree.

sherm
 

jptrickster

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I might adjust my throne a tad with the nitro lever, great feature on the R&S. Sometimes I feel more comfortable sitting a little higher over my kit. Nothing else really changes except my attitude , usually improves once I saddle up!
 

High on Stress

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Sometimes when playing smaller, quieter gigs I do angle the drums and cymbals more and bring them in a bit tighter. Makes it hard for me to play hard.
 

Fat Drummer

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While my drums are pretty consistent from set to set, my cymbals do indeed change height and angle depending on the style. If playing jazz style, they everything is much more angled when I am playing into the body of the cymbals and have to move my sticks / arms to crash the edge. In about everything else, all the cymbals are a little lower and flatter.
 

Ickybaby

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I change my set up and approach quite a bit depending on the band.

I play in a metal band on a 1990’s Sonor Force 1000 kit that has power toms. They are mounted on a 22 bass drum so they sit rather high. I use 2 crashes, 2 Chinas, a ride, hats, and a 36” gong. I play matched grip except for a few passages in 2 songs. I play very busy parts in this band. It’s “Doom Metal” (lol) so it’s somber and ambient and begging for jungle drums and thunderous rolls.

I play in a funk/rnb band on a 2 up, 2 down,20” bass type kit. I use 2 crashes to my left, 1 on the right, ride, hats, and swish to my far right. I am probably 80/20 traditional vs matched grip. I play in the pocket with this band. 3 female vocalists, guitar, bass, and me.

I play in a big band on a 1 up, 1 down over a 22” or larger bass drum. Hats, one 18-19” crash/ride on the left, 22 or 24” ride on the right, 21” flat ride right above it to the right a bit and sometimes a big swish full of rivits. I play this 100% traditional grip. I get a few drum features each show with the big band where I stretch, a lot of it is for dancers so I keep time and try to smile.
 

m_anderson

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The drums have to be precisely in place. Only thing I do is rotate (literally turn) the snare a lot, but it's always in the same position. Cymbals, cowbells, windchimes, etc.; I am always fiddling around with something different.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Not really. The same general setup - HH, snare, FT front row, L side ride, rack tom, Ride on back row. Sometimes, I have a 2nd FT added, or a 3rd cymbal right of the ride........no matter a small bop kit or a bigger kit, jazz or otherwise....
 

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