Toms Up - How Flat?

SteveB

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Tony Williams had a good tilt on his 13 &14 toms. I could never play his setup, especially traditional grip....BUT it certainly worked for him. I'm somewhere between his and Ginger...decent angle so I don't get hung up on the tom hoops. Have you all noticed that they have shortened the main tube of snare stands? I have a Yamaha without the off set, and if I wanted to have the snare higher and tipped toward me I'd be in trouble. My snare is flat and I raise my wrists a little...matched grip primarily.
 

Barden

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Jojo Mayer has an excerpt in one of his dvds that talks about this.

When the drumstick travels in your hand to hit a drum or cymbal it is rotating around pivot. Depending on your technique that pivot could be a number of places (maybe not even on the stick), but the tip of the stick will be traveling in an arc.

At the point of impact with a drum or cymbal, it's most efficient if the surface being struck is as close to a right angle to the path of the stick's tip. The stick should be as parallel to the surface as possible. Were it at 45 degrees you would be wasting half of the energy in an unhelpful direction.

So if your toms are high in the air and you intend on raising your arms to play them, you can figure out the best angle to mount them for your ergonomics just by holding the stick in the air where you want the point of impact to be. If your toms are mounted lower, the same concept will result in a flatter mounting angle. Mount something even lower... it may need to tilt away from you. Raise your throne by a foot? All your pivot points just raised.

If you want to transition as quickly as possible between drums (or cymbals), reducing the distance between the stick's pivot point for playing each one is the answer.
 

SwivoNut

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Here's the way Tommy Piskos (one of my former mentors and a former Tommy Dorsey drummer) explained it to me many years ago. If you play trad grip, the tom should be angled toward the center of the set AND toward you in order to get proper rebound action. If you play matched grip the tom should be angled toward you. On a dual tom setup, they should be angled toward each other And toward you if you play trad grip or just toward you if you play matched grip. So did I take his advice? Not exactly. I play trad grip and on a single tom set I angle it toward me but not toward the center of the set. On a dual tom set I angle them toward me. Long story short, I position them the way it's the most comfortable and convenient for me. BTW, my snare and floor tom are flat.

5.JPG

Roger-TMBB.jpg
 

sptucker

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Mine are like this. Exactly like this.

Wait -- this IS them!

IMG_8884.jpg


20" kick in this case. If I mount them any flatter, I have to sit way up and then my kick technique just goes away...
 

kluger

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This also got me thinking of when I started playing. 12 years old, no drum set, just a pair of sticks, record player and the Beatles Blue and Red albums. I would sit on my bed and arrange my pillows to be the drums. Everything was flat in front of me, and 40 years later I am still in the same position at my drum kit. weird. Never made that connection till this thread. I know I have sat in with bands and their drummers toms and snare were severely angled, I could barely play a simple beat. To each their own.
 

zildjian@consol

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I play 3up and 2 down.I like the toms flatish, but more interested in the flow between the hands and the toms and from tom to tom. No rules, just what I like
 

Tommy D

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It all depends on the size of the drums (depth for rack toms and diameter for bass drum), the configuration you have them set up in (over the bass drum or offset), your height, the height of the throne, what grip you are using for you sticks, your natural movement, etc.

You should set up a kit so it is the most ergonomically friendly for you and your playing style on that specific kit. If I am playing a 1 up 2 down setup and playing with a matched grip, generally the rack tom is going to be a bit more on the flat side. If I am playing a jazz setup and using traditional drip, the rack tom is pretty well tilted not just toward me but even a bit towards the floor tom so any left hand work naturally falls square on the head of the rack tom.

In the end, don't just set up a kit one way because you or others think it looks cool. It has to be functional for you.

Do you think Dave Weckl sets his kit up to be cool???
 

blikum

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I've seen a trend recently of drummers angling their toms away from them slightly. And cymbals too. This I don't get. But whatever works for you.
 

repete

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My tom has a slant towards me. There’s no right or wrong way but if you do try to change set ups it may take several days to adjust to it.
3863E97E-1049-4944-958B-7832B8F7132A.jpeg
 

supershifter2

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i set my drums up for my natural reach. Buddy Rich and others had a tilted up front tom. i dont do trends and there are NO rules on how drums MUST be setup. if you like them all flat so be it. if you like them all tilted so be it. and theres always a song to go with it that can be danced to. my 2 up fronts are tilted !



 

toddbishop

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The principle is that you get a better sound with the stick contacting the head at as flat an angle as possible-- so look at your hand position. You shouldn't have to bend your wrists down or back to come in flat. Usually the higher the toms are positioned, the more angle will be appropriate. A guy Daru Jones positions his snare and toms extremely low, and actually has them tilted away from him, which looks ridiculous, but makes sense if that's where you're going to put them.
 

supershifter2

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my snare and floor toms are flat to work with my natural reach and stick angle. my 2 up front toms are tilted to work with my natural reach and stick angle. been playing since 1970 and spent time trying all kinds of different angle, flat, heights on all drums , cymbals , throne height. sometimes it takes putting in some hours to find the perfect setup to play fast, play long like 6 hours and not be tired or sore after.


tama side view 1.jpg
 

cashmanbashman

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I have mine at a fairly severe angle. I have arthritis in my hands from being a bricklayer for many years and I crack my hands on the rims when there to flat. I don’t know if it’s the cramping or fatigue but it’s best to avoid busting my knuckles.
 

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