Two Toms or One Tom Up

DrumKeys

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I like one up 2 down myself. But I recently saw a band where the drummer had the second rack tom directly over the bass drum and the first rack tom directly to the left of it. Kinda a compromise between rack toms right over the bass drum (compromising the ride position) and having them offset to the left (compromising the hi hat position). I may have to try that if I ever go back to two rack toms.
 

singleordoubleheads

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In the era of boom cymbal stands, the ride placement should not be an issue - not that it ever was with me as I like the ride over my floor tom more than over the bass drum .... I just like 4 piece kits .....
No offense, but using boom stands, to me, has ZERO bearing on ride placement--it still has to go essentially right where the 2nd tom is, regardless of how it is flown. It either has to go above or slightly off to the side (unless you go for the "over the floors" setup). Plus I personally can't STAND any cymbal that can't have a full range of motion i.e. Partially covering a tom, so in my mind it needs to go UP or OVER. Not a lot of room to compromise unless you just run 1 up
 

mtarrani

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Why do most jazz players seem to go for one tom up while most other styles are played two toms up? I know there are exceptions but generally why this distinction? WHat do you do as a player? (I'm two up but only cause that is the kit I have
Comfortable access to my right side ride cymbal is more important than an extra tom.
 

richardh253

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I find I play differently with 2 toms up, makes me go them more, more down-the-row fills....went back to one up one down, I play better. Remember Ringo saying when he got the maple Hollywood kit it was “Tom Tom madness”? he said it accounts for his different sound on white album and abbey Road.
 

Fat Drummer

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For all we know, were Joe alive today, he may very well have chosen to explore the complex and varied offerings of a large kit!!! Then what?
 

3GJ

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One up two down for jazz allows one high pitch and two low, obvious, but it's all you need. Ride, nice and local. Kobie Watkins plays his rack tom almost in the second rack position leaving a space for a low crash right in front. Crashes are used a lot more for soft work in jazz than other genres. A lot of us use 24 inch bass drums. With the need to keep the rack tom low (in most cases), a snare stand mounted tom is essential. The space between two of those would be "inconvenient" the 18 inch bass drum is rarely seen outside of the smallest of gigs in the UK these days. I use one only when I like to look sweet :cool: Even Karl Brazil (Robbie Williams) says he wouldn't know what to do with a second rack. Too many drums is just not cool in Jazz it's just too showy. I started my journey 50 years ago with just one drum. I got the most out of that before I was allowed another one. Good grounding.
 

Tom Holder

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I have a 5 piece Ludwig kit and a Rogers 4 piece. I love 'em both and which kit I use totally depends on what kind of music I'm playing, what the bandleader prefers, and how much room I've got. Lately, I've been using a very modest kit that sounds great in small rooms and loads quickly. I currently use NO toms or crash cymbals, sometimes I flip off the snares for a latin. I feel that the spartan kit makes me think more about what I play and what fits the music. I've rediscovered the 18" sizzle ride, and I'm loving it!
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Brien B

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When I was younger it was all about the looks.... double bass, double up, double down, rototoms (remember those), rototoms with a shell (wish I had those still :)).

Early in the 80's I read an interview with either David Garibaldi or Bill Bruford that was playing a 4 piece kit at the time and when asked why, they said they didn't add drums until they mastered the ones they had.

That struck me, I sold half my kit off boxed up the rest of the stuff and from then on it was always a 4 piece kit. (It also made it easier as I was doing 40-50 1 night gigs a year).
In all the time since (decades), the only drum I have added which was very recently was a side snare (because it serves a purpose, providing a different sound than what's available with my main snare).

The rule of thumb for me is whatever makes it easier for me to play (throne height, cymbal placement/angles) is the priority as I need all the help I can get.
 

swarfrat

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I play a lot of different types of music, and for me 2 toms up and 2 toms down works best. I don't HAVE to have that many, but I definitely prefer it. A 6 piece kit is kinda the Goldilocks size for me. Not too big like the Neil Peart type kits, but not too small either like bop kits. It's all about what feels best to you as an individual. Everyone is different!
I currently have 4 up, which was difficult to fit and hard to tune. I need at least two in each spot though. A lot of the music I love just doesn't sound right on 1U/1D.
 

slofut

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When I walk into a club and see a kit like Toms on stage I immediately know I'm about to see a great drummer. If you know rudiments and how to use them, 4 shells is plenty and you can usually find something cool laying around the room to add in for color.
 

slofut

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Tom, did you cut down that kicker or was it that thin from the factory? I'd want something on the floor though, I'm not that good... :blush:
 

Bandit

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When I walk into a club and see a kit like Toms on stage I immediately know I'm about to see a great drummer. If you know rudiments and how to use them, 4 shells is plenty and you can usually find something cool laying around the room to add in for color.
Funny, the first thing I think is this guy is lazy. :)
 

Ptrick

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I like one up 2 down myself. But I recently saw a band where the drummer had the second rack tom directly over the bass drum and the first rack tom directly to the left of it. Kinda a compromise between rack toms right over the bass drum (compromising the ride position) and having them offset to the left (compromising the hi hat position). I may have to try that if I ever go back to two rack toms.
I do this. Second Tom is right in the middle of the bass drum. Works great for me.
BB147585-B115-4E42-AD61-D3E841FB5A8E.jpeg
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Tom Holder

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Tom, did you cut down that kicker or was it that thin from the factory? I'd want something on the floor though, I'm not that good... :blush:
Hi Slofut! Thank you for the compliment. I'm hardly a "great drummer", I just listen and do my best to play what fits the song. The puny kit helps keep me from overplaying and maintain the emphesis on the music as a whole. I'm not "Mr. Chops", people come to hear THE BAND, not me. That BD is from an old Rhythm Traveler kit. It's 8x20 and I added some nice maple hoops to it and a Ludwig cymbal arm & holder. I'd stated in another thread how pleased and surprised I was at the sonic difference those hoops made. If you're unfamiliar, Rhythm Travelers are complete 5 piece kits (cheesy cymbals included!) that Pearl sold for $500! That 8x20 bass drum is from an earlier version of the RT kit, and current versions have a bass drum that looks more like a floor tom sitting sideways. Someone on eBay was selling just the bass drum, and I bought it to use at rehearsals. When I was a kid, skinny bass drums like that were called "Scotch" bass drums. I had a hard time finding a case for it! Eventually I found an old 14x20 Tuxedo bag and had an auto upholster trim it down for me to fit the drum. It's only a 6-lug drum, but it sounds remarkably good in the little clubs I've been playing in lately. I get a lot of compliments on it. The snare is a '65 Ludwig Jazz Combo. Hi hat is a Ludwig 1124 with 13" K's. Nice little rig, I'm loving it!
 

Tom Holder

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Funny, the first thing I think is this guy is lazy. :)
I confess I'm pretty lazy! Lately I've been playing Creole music, blues shuffles and a few standards with a piano-sax-drums trio in a tiny club. At first I was using only snare & hat! I added the BD because we don't use a bass player, so kicking 4-on-the-floor helps maintain the groove. I just got a yellow "Blast Block" to add. Hope I'm not over-doing it!!
 

Bandit

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people come to hear THE BAND, not me.
Last I checked you were part of the band. When I go see a band I focus on the drummer and his drums. When I play in a band, I make sure people hear me. It they just want a time keeper, they can find someone else.
 

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