Toms Up - How Flat?

jmato

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
362
Reaction score
168
Location
Indy
I set up my rack toms (or "up" toms) angled toward me some (less than some others do, but definitely not flat). I see lots of folks set theirs up totally flat, i.e,. with the batter head roughly parallel to the floor (like a floor tom).

I have tried that a few times and cannot seem to get the tom placement correct or in a formation that seems usable without putting my seat up really high. Is that the trick? Or to set up flat do you have to be taller, or have longer arms, or use snare stands to get the toms lower, or just play shallower toms?

I fear my question sounds mocking. It is not intended to be. I would like to know b/c I would like to try the flat setup myself to see how it feels.

Thank you in advance.
 

cworrick

The BIG Bunny on the block
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Messages
7,377
Reaction score
1,313
Location
Northeast Indiana
I have tried that a few times and cannot seem to get the tom placement correct or in a formation that seems usable without putting my seat up really high. Or to set up flat do you have to be taller, or have longer arms, or use snare stands to get the toms lower, or just play shallower toms?
Shallower toms

Or

Smaller Bass drum.
 

bleen

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2010
Messages
507
Reaction score
120
Location
Seattle
I like my toms as flat as possible, but I also don't use any deeper than 8", so it's not too difficult getting them where I like them. I'm 6'2" and don't sit particularly high compared to many, so it may just be a factor my longer torso/arms that makes it fairly easy to position them where I like them.
 

Fat Drummer

DFO Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
2,599
Reaction score
1,689
Location
Tennessee
I don't see it as mocking at all, it's a fair question. So I also don't mean my reply to sound sarcastic, but it looks like you already tried it and did not like it!

I also can not find comfort in the new contemporary style of tom placement. Based on my build and preference, I don't angle all that much, but I do run my toms very high!
 

pwc1141

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
1,832
Reaction score
833
Location
Pattaya, Thailand
Personally, I see little value in look, ease of playing or sound to have rack toms flat. If some folks like that, fine, but my single rack tom is angled and that seems very natural in terms of ability to hit it etc.
 

MntnMan62

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
425
Reaction score
396
Location
North New Jersey
How you set up your toms, and drum set, has everything to do with your own personal preference. Some people like them flat like Keith Moon while others like them at very severe angles. One person comes to mind who used to do this but doesn't anymore......Vinnie Colaiuta. He practically sat on the floor.

Image result for vinnie colaiuta
 

CaptainCrunch

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
2,563
Reaction score
666
Location
Where Black is the color, where None is the number
I’m 6’3” and sit high (supposed to be easier on your lower back), and I sight across all cymbals and toms and aim directly at my belt buckle, with the furthest thing on either side within reach of the opposite arm without any ridiculous gymnastics or unbent elbow.

I play 1-up-2-down 97% of the time, but I’d like to try some silly 6-up-4-down kind of setups over the next year, just to see. Might have to compromise positioning some, but I’d hope not.
 

JDA

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
15,711
Reaction score
4,660
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
You want your stick coming down on the toms- Not at the point -tip- of the stick. So you lower the angle of the (rack) tom(s) so that the stick hits "flatter".
Like how your stick hits the snare and floor tom- mostly flat.
The mounted toms are further away so they need angled in. But 10-15-20-30 degrees or so -not 50 or 70 degrees- or else your stick tip- will make the most contact- and your mount toms -will sound "thin", (let alone) run the risk of ripping the heads

Mongo may disagree.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,031
Reaction score
688
Location
Germany
My question would be "why?". Is there any benefit in terms of playing/technique, or is it purely for looks?

I don't really mind people setting up toms in a weird way, but I am concerned about some developments regarding cymbal angles. Just recently I saw an open jam with a drummer setting up the house kit and cymbals so he hit the crash cymbal at a severe angle. Way to damage someone else's property.
 

jmato

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
362
Reaction score
168
Location
Indy
Why? I see it done often, so I question whether there in fact is a benefit in terms of playing. Thankfully, I am past the point of doing it for aesthetics or to fit in.

Appreciate all the responses. Very informative.
 

vintagedrummersweden

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
801
Reaction score
144
Location
Sweden
When I want to start an argument about this matter I usually say:
Flat toms - extrovert music/musician. (Keith Moon, Clem Burke etc)
Angled tom (inwards) - introvert music/musician. (any fusion drummer...)

But that's only when I'm trying to start an argument... :)
 

Lazmo

Be excellent to each other...
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
2,310
Reaction score
358
Location
Australia
Yeah Na.

Back in the day for sure, even though John Henry was my actual hero, I wanted my kit to look like Bakers.

Everything was flat as. Duh.

Aria Drum Kit.jpg



Burnt Ice.jpg



Burnt Ice 2.jpg


So, compare this with now... other than the hats, everything - snare, rack, floor, ride, crashes - are tilted slightly.

Tama with new 10 #1.jpg
 

hector48

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2015
Messages
666
Reaction score
150
Location
PA
Flat toms do look "cool" to me.
But it's not practical at all for me, since I'm rather short.
So, I angle them just a little bit.
I don't get the flat cymbal setup.
I would think it's hard on the cymbals, constantly hitting the outer edge at close to 90 degrees.
It will chew up sticks rather quickly too.
 

Iristone

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
578
Reaction score
211
Location
Beijing
I tilt the floor tom towards me a bit too. Relax.
(OTOH I like my snare drum absolutely dead flat... so... :icon_mrgreen:)
 

Polska

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 3, 2008
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
547
Location
Buffalo NY
I'm always striving for the most ergonomic setup possible. Rack tom and snare with a slight tilt. Cymbals low and also with a slight tilt. The less reach in my mind, the better. Less wasted effort.
 

fun2drum

Team DFO
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
6,550
Reaction score
462
Location
Western North Carolina
Moderately angled. Tried flat when I saw some drummers doing it, but quickly (and I mean very quickly) decided that's not for me. My sticks are low and relatively close to me when I play, and a moderate angle brings the tip straight into the head when I hit. That's the sweet spot for me.
 

Latest posts



Top