Two Toms or One Tom Up

florian1

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too many variables...but for my country outfit, 1 up/1 dn - for my classic rock rig 2up/1dn, for large stages, 3up/2dn. Big venue rig pic.

F
 

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Slingwig26

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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
I would agree with most that the ride cymbal is in the sweet spot with 1 tom up, although, be bop drummers popularized the 1 up, 1 down. Traditional jazz drummers used 1 up, 2 down, a la Gene Krupa. As far as 2 up, 1 down, I don’t know who popularized that. But....thoughts on the “arms” race between Keith Moon and Neal Smith of Alice Cooper’s band in the early 70’s? Billy Cobham’s monster kit from early 70’s as well.
 

PaulD

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Who was the first drummer to do two up? It obviously became very popular in the 70s.
 

Tom Holder

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I would agree with most that the ride cymbal is in the sweet spot with 1 tom up, although, be bop drummers popularized the 1 up, 1 down. Traditional jazz drummers used 1 up, 2 down, a la Gene Krupa. As far as 2 up, 1 down, I don’t know who popularized that. But....thoughts on the “arms” race between Keith Moon and Neal Smith of Alice Cooper’s band in the early 70’s? Billy Cobham’s monster kit from early 70’s as well.
Hal Blaine had the first "monster kit" I ever saw... late 1960's. Six melodic rack toms and two floor toms. Is that right?
 

Tom Holder

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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.
To each their own, I guess. Of course we're part of the band, but personally I try to complement the band tastefully and not overwhelm. Very few of us are a Buddy Rich or a Billy Cobham. Those guys are a show unto themselves. For us mere mortals, I think it's our job to service the tune... to make the tune sound good and provide tasteful accompaniment for the band. My philosophy is just that... and my attitude has kept me working steadily for 40 years. Hal Blaine is my hero. He certainly was not lazy, but he never overplayed and whatever he played always suited the music and complemented the rest of the players. That's why he played 3 or 4 recording dates nearly every day for decades. Hal Blaine is the most recorded musician in history because he had taste and good musical sense, not because he used 8 tom-toms.
 

swarfrat

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I have to ask on this thread is Tom Holder your name or an alias picked for a drum forum?
 

Vibes

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I play a lot of jazz, also R&B, Classic Rock. I mostly use a 4 piece with 16" or 18" bass drum for jazz. Occasionally for the dance R&B gigs I will use a 5 piece with the two toms usually 10" and 12" on a stand facing directy to the front with the snare between them and 16" crash on the other side with my bass slightly off set to the right. Ride in traditional position and floor tom. Never a problem with hi hat placement. On big stages I have used 2 up 2 down, but rarely. This is a pic of the ither night with the R&B dance band.
 

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CherryClassic

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I have a nice 8 piece late 80's Ludwig kit and used most of then during my Big Band style music days. I've played that kit in so many configurations over the years. Last year I purchased another new Ludwig maple kit with 2 up toms and one down with a smaller 20" bass and love it. Depending on stage size I'll play it with one up in extra tight crunched up areas. LOL In fact I just purchased a new Ludwig ATLAS rail mount for my one up playing. But my general preferance is 2 up and 1 down.

sherm
 

drummerbill

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Whateva rocks yer' boat ! Have fun and enjoy your kit !
I personally find that playing a 4 pcs for jazz gigs puts me in " that mind set" and focuses my playing more on cymbal embellishment.
Playing rock and pop cover gigs, I love 5 or 6 pcs kits and being able to get those Gadd inspired multi-tom roll arounds !
 
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JDA

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That's why I say- if jazz funk you know swing some sht hip funk is your milieu - with the Ride cymbal- if you flip the traditional (these days 10/12) up top to 12/10 you preserve the sound choice of a 5 piece keep the ride cymbal close and still have the traditional snare/ 12/14 immediate- the 10 used as an outlier..it's like an accessory drum in case the need to go high (pitch) comes up but doesn't interfere (or included in) standard moves..

Plus I had to put that non main tom 10 somewhere. And that's the spot. To the right of the 12.
So working from the snare you have a choice where you want to go - yet the 12 remaining position traditional, the 1st main tom.
Try it. Takes about 2 weeks to feel it.
And becomes a nice melodic diversion after many years of tradition)
 
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