Two toms up or two down?

Tigerdrummer

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Ok I'm a drum newbie and a stay at home player. I just want to ask this in attempt to learn a bit more. Why do so many drummers prefer one mounted tom instead of two. My kit (inherited not bought) has two mounted and one one the floor. It seems a second floor tom which I may one day add for fun would be out of the way and tougher to reach than what I'd like. I see your pics and know many of you dont have the smaller mounted tom. I'd just like your rationale. Again thanks for sharing your expertise on this.
 

Polska

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I played 2 up/1 down for my entire life up until 3 years ago. I simply decided I wanted a change, a beautiful kit became available on the forum and I went for it. For me it's just a way to approach my playing differently. Not rely on the same old fills. A fresh approach. I don't believe one is better than the other - just different.
 

Johnny K

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I play 2 up two 2 down or 1 up 1 down. I was playing one up two down until i got a double tom stand. I like my ride cymbal were the 2nd tom would go on a traditional 2 up 1 down set up. There are no rules. You will find what works best for what you like to play and will set up accordingly.
 

lrod1707

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As everyone has already mentioned, their are no rules or right or wrong. It's a matter of whatever feels right for you and how many pieces you need or want. I use 4 up and 2 down. Started over 30 years ago with a 5 piece and expanded out of want. I like having a big kit so I adapted my ergonomics as time went on.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Both! Two up is always a tighter setup, but also makes ride positioning a little more tricky.

Sometimes, space is an issue where that 2nd floor tom might be too much. If it’s more of a rock thing, then multiple floors can be nice.
 

sillypilot

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Whatever you are the most comfortable with. I play with 7 up and 1 down similar to Simon Phillips’s setup or Nick McBrain. I like a lot of toms. Pick you look and sound.
 

Fat Drummer

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I will echo everyone else.... but also my guess (and just my own observation here) is that this is a slightly older board and many grew up in an era of 1 up and 1 or 2 down. We then lived and played through the growing 70's and the excess 80's and have simply returned to OUR roots of 1 up and 1 or 2 down. My personal preference is 2 up and 2 down but I play all combos depending on the room, the music and the need... up to 3 up and 2 down.

But look at most drum catalogs or ad's and it's clear that the new industry standard is 1 up and 1 down. Everything old is new again! At the end of the day (and I do not say this to just aggravate my fellow players, because I have several 4 piece kits myself) but it's all follow the leader in fads and trends. As soon as someone makes it look cool to have 7 snares and a 1962 VW left front fender incorporated into their kit, we all will!
 

sptucker

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I really like the versatility of 3 toms. 2-up 1-down preferred over 1-up 2-down because of space and ease-of-reach. My ride is just beyond the FT and a couple inches higher than the FT head. I find this even easier to use than the ride in the 2nd rack tom spot.

I've played 1-up 1-down over the years and it works fine, but I find myself missing that 3rd tom, especially on covers from the 70s and 80s when everybody had more drums than sense (myself included). Having said that, my home/practice kit has 3-up 1-down. Love it, but I don't want to schlep all those cans around.
 

snappy

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If those are the only two choices then 2 up 1 down
 

polycrescendo

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To answer the OP's question a little, I've heard people talk about getting ride cymbal in closer in place of the second rack tom, especially jazz blokes. Some players like everything right in front of them and don't or can't reach very far to the left or right.
I got lucky and was born with monkey arms so I can play my 3 up 2 down kit and reach everything just fine.
 

drumdevil9

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I like the ride cymbal placement in that spot and most of the time for the music I play I find a second rack tom unnecessary.
 

Stickclick

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I've owned both 4 and 5 piece kits and I prefer the 4 piece. It's less to carry to gigs and practice jams.
 

dogmanaut

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Well, my current home setup is way over the top for my needs — 2 up, 5 down (2 on the left plus a side snare and 2 on the right). But i have the pieces, so why not, right? And I’ve been working at doing more with my left hand, so it’s been good for that, I guess. I may actually switch it out this weekend, though, for just a bass/snare/floor tom setup, just to try something different.

Ideally, I like to have the option of a 2 up, 1 down setup. I think anything more than that is excessive for my playing style, but sometimes less is fine, too. Too many of the kits I’ve owned have been 1 up, 1 down, which is usually fine, but sometimes you just want one more thing to hit, and I don’t like reaching it I don’t have to.
 


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