How do YOU play 2 toms up?

JayT

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Ever since I was a kid, my favorite drummers played 1 up, 1 down. But my Pearl export kit had two rack toms and a floor. Much to the chagrin of my oler brother who was also a drummer, I would always take off one of the toms and play the way I saw the cool dudes play drums.

And every single kit I've played since then has always been a one tom affair.

But now that I have my Ludwig standards with two rack mounted toms, I just don't know how to get on! How does one play like that? I have both toms up at the moment because I love the sound of both. At my last few shows, I only took one rack tom with me, and mounted in on a snare stand. But I missed the other one. The problem is, I've never played this way, and probably never will. So when I'm in the middle of a fill, I don't risk messing up by hitting what is to me, a foreign object!
 

switchfootfreak

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I play a 1 up 1 down kit Ludwig Standard kit too, but my school has this accent kit which has 3 up and 1 down so it is a pain to play and i still have not gotten used to the ride over the floor tom.
 

Drumjinx

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Just play them....practice with them....get use to them.
I also usually play a 1 up 1 down kit, but I have a kit that is set up, which has multiple toms. I am finding I am beginning to really enjoy the extra toms.
It doesn't take long to get use to the other tom or toms. The more time on a kit, the easier it will get.
 

Harris K.

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What Drumjinx said. It just takes some practice and getting used too. You can start with an easy two-beat 16th note fill with two hits on each drum (snare, tom1, tom2, floor tom) and go from there.
You'll soon find it easy to include the second tom in your fills.
 

JayT

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Well, it isn't to say I have any difficulty playing it per se. My problem with this set up is that it does just that. Provide me with options! And being the glutton I am, if I can have it, I want it!

The thing about playing one up, one down is the choices you have to make as a player are much more limited. The kinds of rudiments you choose to exercise, and the overall feel of a fill is different with more toms. And really, just not my style. But playing two up as they are now... It's starting to grow on me.

Do any of you guys feel this way? Less is more etc?
 

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On the rare occasions when I play two mounted toms, I stand mount them both to the left of the bass drum from the player's perspective. Usually, it's 10/12, and I have to raise the height of the toms just a wee bit for the 12 to clear my bass drum.
I agree with the more options take on the extra tom to a degree. But, I find myself playing more creatively with a smaller kit, and less likely to be batting descending sixteenth note fills around the toms, which I have a tendency to do with a larger, say six to eight piece kit. I've seen people who are very creative within the context of a large kit---I'm just not one of them!
 

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JayT said:
Well, it isn't to say I have any difficulty playing it per se. My problem with this set up is that it does just that. Provide me with options! And being the glutton I am, if I can have it, I want it!

The thing about playing one up, one down is the choices you have to make as a player are much more limited. The kinds of rudiments you choose to exercise, and the overall feel of a fill is different with more toms. And really, just not my style. But playing two up as they are now... It's starting to grow on me.

Do any of you guys feel this way? Less is more etc?
Ask Terry Bozzio... :blackeye:



I went from a 4 up 2 down kit during the late 80's to early 90's and then went to a 1 up 2 down configuration. I was challenged to do more with less but then realized that sometimes, less IS more. Every once in a while I will set up my Pacific LX which is a 8/10/12 up top and a hanging 14 and I always end up playing differently with more options. It encourages one to think outside the box.
 

Retro Rob

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Jay, I did like Luddite suggested back in the 90s. I had a Pearl kit, 2 up, 2 down. Moved the up toms to a stand left of the bass. Put the ride over the kick on the right. Played it like a 1 up kit, worked in the far left tom (I think it was a 12) when it felt right. Once your used to a low ride cymbal in that position, its really hard to play when its up over the 2nd tom when they're bass mounted.
 

JayT

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I used to play 13/16/18 with my old Gretsch Catalina kit. While it was great and I learned to love that set up and play within those parameters, I felt MUCH better when I got my Slingerland modern Jazz kit. 1 up one down really changed the way I played. It made me more expressive within my confines.

But this new two up set up isn't so bad.

(Not to mention, I think 1 up just look so much cooler!)

 

antipodes

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Moved the up toms to a stand left of the bass.


What they said - only brief time I used two up, this was what I did - gets your over the ride cymbal thing.
 

Coelacanth

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JayT said:
Ever since I was a kid, my favorite drummers played 1 up, 1 down. But my Pearl export kit had two rack toms and a floor. Much to the chagrin of my oler brother who was also a drummer, I would always take off one of the toms and play the way I saw the cool dudes play drums.

And every single kit I've played since then has always been a one tom affair.

But now that I have my Ludwig standards with two rack mounted toms, I just don't know how to get on! How does one play like that?

I don't know how one can play with 1 up/1 down. So much space between the toms, not to mention they're going to be at different heights & angles, it sure doesn't help economize motion between the two. 2 toms mounted together, side-by-side, is ideal for so many kinds of fills. Sure, guys like Buddy Rich can flash from up to down, arms criss-crossing and practically pretzel'ing in a blur, but the rest of us are hardly as coordinated. :oops:

My other thought is, I don't setup my drums the way anyone else sets them up, cool or otherwise. I set them up the way they're most comfortable and efficient for the only person that matters behind my kit...ME. :) Same thing goes for my cymbals. I don't have my Crashes setup to my sides, really high and at angles so that my arms reach up to smash 'em in crowd-pleasing fashion. :)
 

Wheresmyroadie?

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Coelacanth said:
My other thought is, I don't setup my drums the way anyone else sets them up, cool or otherwise. I set them up the way they're most comfortable and efficient for the only person that matters behind my kit...ME


Way back in the day, I set up with everything flat like you have your tom in the picture. It sure looked cool, but by the time I was 40 I had serious back problems stemming from, as a friend of mine calls it: "the Krupa crouch." It hurts my back just looking at how far you have to reach for that top tom!
At some point, ergonomics take precedence over the "cool factor" and you will have to bring the drums up and towards you so you can sit as straight up and balanced as possible. I also found that better posture gave me more speed and control over my pedals. My concern is that you can play drums way into old age without pain... You're already cool!
 

JayT

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Wheresmyroadie? said:
Way back in the day, I set up with everything flat like you have your tom in the picture. It sure looked cool, but by the time I was 40 I had serious back problems stemming from, as a friend of mine calls it: "the Krupa crouch." It hurts my back just looking at how far you have to reach for that top tom!
At some point, ergonomics take precedence over the "cool factor" and you will have to bring the drums up and towards you so you can sit as straight up and balanced as possible. I also found that better posture gave me more speed and control over my pedals. My concern is that you can play drums way into old age without pain... You're already cool!


What's funny about all of this is that I went out to see a friend's band play a few weeks ago. And there was this gawd awful pop-punk band playing. And the drummer had just about everything set up flat/parallel. And I thought to myself, "There's no way he can play like that!" I must admit, not having to mount the tom on a snare stand has been a revelation, and indeed, I play alot better with the toms mounted on the bass drum.

I guess it's just one of those things where I'll learn what's most comfortable for me. And try to make it work. I do know however, that alot of guys here on the board play their toms mounted on a snare stand.

For you folks, why? Instead of the rail? Or bass mount?
 

rondrums51

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Back when I used two mounted toms, I put the left tom on a snare stand (or hung it off the left cymbal stand), and used the center bass mount for the right tom, swung way to the left. That way, I could bring the ride cymbal in close.

Nowadays, I just play 4-piece and don't worry about it. But I've always thought that drum manufacturers should invent a bass mount that puts double toms to the left--the mounting post wouldn't be in the middle, but it would be a few inches to the left. The post would go into the leftward side of the bass drum. I don't see any reason why this isn't feasible.

Racks can solve the problem, but I have no use for those.

Mounting the double toms on a stand is the other option. You just have to adjust your approach a bit, because you don't have a tom right in front of the snare.
 

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JayT said:
Wheresmyroadie? said:
Way back in the day, I set up with everything flat like you have your tom in the picture. It sure looked cool, but by the time I was 40 I had serious back problems stemming from, as a friend of mine calls it: "the Krupa crouch." It hurts my back just looking at how far you have to reach for that top tom!
At some point, ergonomics take precedence over the "cool factor" and you will have to bring the drums up and towards you so you can sit as straight up and balanced as possible. I also found that better posture gave me more speed and control over my pedals. My concern is that you can play drums way into old age without pain... You're already cool!


What's funny about all of this is that I went out to see a friend's band play a few weeks ago. And there was this gawd awful pop-punk band playing. And the drummer had just about everything set up flat/parallel. And I thought to myself, "There's no way he can play like that!" I must admit, not having to mount the tom on a snare stand has been a revelation, and indeed, I play alot better with the toms mounted on the bass drum.

I guess it's just one of those things where I'll learn what's most comfortable for me. And try to make it work. I do know however, that alot of guys here on the board play their toms mounted on a snare stand.

For you folks, why? Instead of the rail? Or bass mount?
Jay, I have a rail on my Clubdate kick---it was choking the life out of my 14" mounted tom. I tried working with the positioning, angle, tuning and nothing; just a dull "thonk." I knew from holding it by the rim and hitting it that it was capable of more. The bass drum and the 16" Classic six ply floor that I wrapped with it are both lively, so the 14 was the odd man out. I stuck the 14 on a snare stand, and man, what a difference. It really opened up and sounded much more "part of the family" soundwise. The trick for me was getting the basket adjusted enough to hold the tom reasonably securely without gripping the bottom hoop too tight. Once I had that figured out, the difference was very obvious. In fact, that is now my favorite mounted tom out of all of the ones that I own.
 

JayT

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I was going to get rims mounts for my toms, but I find they sing just as well on the L-arms.
 

kip

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why not fly the smallest tom under the hihat stand so the main kit is 1 up , 1 down...and the aux tom is to the left of the highhat, where guys would put an aux snare. you can grab it with your left hand for additional color

or put the smallest tom on the kick, and use the 2nd tom on a stand as the first of 2 floor toms

or do 1 up and 1 down as your normally do... and fly the aux tom in high over the hats...so its there for color, but doesnt change the overall set up of your kit

or do something like bruford did and have all the toms on the floor to the left and right, w nothing on the kick or in front except the ride and hats w a remote pedal

or get a remote pedal and move the kick far off to one side or the other so the 2 toms are directly in front of your snare and as low or high as you want them with out having to configure them bassed on the dimensions of the bass drum

or fly the small tom off of a multi clamp from the main tom post on the kick, but have it sit in front of the main tom..kind of like drum corp marching tri toms

or ....
 

Den

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Flavor and options. Make sure you are most comfortable when playing. If your playing suffers from having too many options then scale it back to your comfort zone. If you like to have that second tom as an option for color, adapt to where it fits with the given mounts or simply find another place for it. I've found that placing a tom next to my hats (to the left) is a fun option.
 

DonS

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I played 2-up/1-down for decades, always seemed "right" and felt comfortable, my brain seemed naturally wired for 3 toms, cymbal placement never seemed a bother. So I built a be-bop kit last year, 4-piece with the idea of doing more with less; that set-up is classic jazz plus I had the perceived discovery of the eventual zen of the 4-piece kit everyone talks of. Initially the 4-piece was difficult to get around, I genuinely missed the missing tom. So much I'd switch between the new kit and old on a weekly basis, it was a period of not being "centered" to say the least and frustration was the most common feeling during that period. Then finally came a week where the four piece stayed out.......and stayed out. Have to say there IS a definite zen to the classic four-piece once things sorted out in the right brain, ideas came and I really found myself improving. I've been playing four piece for six months now and it's been almost a rennaisance in my playing. With a 16" bass drum I'm able to get drums and cymbals much closer together then I ever could on the 5-piece kit, this intimacy brought about a real improvement not only in speed of getting around the kit but to overall dynamic levels as well. I'm also finding cymbal nuances have replaced the 3rd tom for fills and accents, I'm hearing more. Now after this experience I wonder if going from a 4-piece to 5 set up, for somone grounded in a four piece may have a similar result in improved playing and creativity? The brain definitely functions very differently and distinctly when faced with odd / even choices.
Regards
DonS
 

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