Two toms up or two down?

noreastbob

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My thoughts exactly. That's the way I set up my ride.

No offense to anyone but, personally, I don't understand why it's so important to have a ride cymbal occupying the approximate position of a second rack tom.

Would someone please explain why this aforementioned placement is so beneficial. I'm always open to learning something.
For me it's simply a question of shoulder fatigue on long numbers. For years I played a monster kit with twin 24s supporting two toms each. The right tom was a 10" X 14" i believe with the ride over it. My right arm had to hold an uncomfortably high angle for extended periods.
Now I have a 20" bass with three up two down (at full strength) but the racks are offset and my ride is in the sweet spot. It's hard to play with finesse and looseness when you're being punished physically.
The big kit was in a Rock context, of course, and now I'm more of a Jazz and Fusion guy. May be some pertinence there.
 
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Rick

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For me it's simply a question of shoulder fatigue on long numbers. For years I played a monster kit with twin 24s supporting two toms each. The right tom was a 14" X 10" i believe with the ride over it. My right arm had to hold an uncomfortably high angle for extended periods.
Now I have a 20" bass with three up two down (at full strength) but the racks are offset and my ride is in the sweet spot. It's hard to play with finesse and looseness when you're being punished physically.
The big kit was in a Rock context, of course, and now I'm more of a Jazz and Fusion guy. May be some pertinence there.
I prefer (and usually play) 2 up 1 down. I use 2 ride cymbals... one that hangs low over the outer edge of the 2nd mounted tom, and the other hangs low over the outer edge of the floor tom. Of course, the one over the floor tom is easier to play for extended periods of time... for the exact reasons you point out. But I learned to play and have almost always played with 2 mounted toms. I use both of them quite a bit and miss the 2nd mounted tom on the rare occasion I don't have it. I use the two ride cymbals probably about 50/50. It's not terribly uncomfortable to play the ride over the mounted tom... I've got fairly long arms and can reach it (including the bell) without any trouble. But on a long tune it does get a bit fatiguing on my shoulder. Still, for me, worth it. It's like several others have said... I don't think there is a right way or wrong way, it just comes down to personal preference, type of music, playing style, etc.

 

Tigerdrummer

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I prefer (and usually play) 2 up 1 down. I use 2 ride cymbals... one that hangs low over the outer edge of the 2nd mounted tom, and the other hangs low over the outer edge of the floor tom. Of course, the one over the floor tom is easier to play for extended periods of time... for the exact reasons you point out. But I learned to play and have almost always played with 2 mounted toms. I use both of them quite a bit and miss the 2nd mounted tom on the rare occasion I don't have it. I use the two ride cymbals probably about 50/50. It's not terribly uncomfortable to play the ride over the mounted tom... I've got fairly long arms and can reach it (including the bell) without any trouble. But on a long tune it does get a bit fatiguing on my shoulder. Still, for me, worth it. It's like several others have said... I don't think there is a right way or wrong way, it just comes down to personal preference, type of music, playing style, etc.

Are the rides different in some way. Sound size etc? I'd just like to appreciate this nuance. Thanks
 

kzoosteve

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Always played one up and 1/2 down....like the positioning of the ride with one up..

Steve
 

CherryClassic

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Real estate is not the problem if theres room for a floor tom. I like 2 and 1, both high toms are hanging over the bass so my ride cymbal is positioned on a almost horizantal boom just to the right of the second tom within easy reach over the floor tom. Works for me but not for everyone.

sherm
 

Rick

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Are the rides different in some way. Sound size etc? I'd just like to appreciate this nuance. Thanks
Yes. They are substantially different. Same size (20") and both Zildjians. But the one by the mounted tom is a K Constantinople Light ride with 3 rivets. And the one by the floor tom is a K Custom Dark ride. Very different sonic characteristics. It's hard to explain, but I pick one or the other on a particular song depending on what kind of texture I'm hearing/wanting. On jazz tunes, I'll sometimes switch from one ride to the other coinciding with a new soloist to provide a different texture behind that solo. Sometimes I switch from one to the other on a key change (usually from the K Custom Dark to the K Con). The K Con with the rivets provides a nice sizzle sound at the right moment too... it's a great way to end some of the jazz tunes. The K Con is probably my favorite of the two. But I could play just about any gig with one or the other and be totally happy too. It's just nice to have more musical choices.
 
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Toast Tee

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I'm guess It's a combination of reasons i use 1 up, 1 down. I like my ride pretty much in front of me. I like doing more with less, the less choices the less confusion;), being honest, unless it's a big show *for me, #1 reason. I'm lazy, and have a bad back
 

idrum4fun

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I love 1up/2down kits! Here are my favorites. Not pictured is my 1972 Rogers Celebrity with dual 16" floor toms. I did go a bit crazy with my PDP X7 kit... 3up/2down!

-Mark
 

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JazzyJeff

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2 up 1 down for gigging for me.
Re: ride cymbal placement, unless you’re playing some wild tribal stuff, most music requires most stick time on snare and either hi hats or ride cymbal. Ergonomically, I want those to be simple to reach without odd fatigue of arms. I’m not a “toms have to be over the bass” guy, so a double tom stand moves the 2 toms to the left, and my bass is oblique to the right.
 

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MasterBlaster

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I just rearranged my MT left to right 12, 14, 10 and I'm loving it! The seldom-used 10 sits inconspicuously on the right, tucked outta the way until I feel like using it. I was gonna retire it if it didn't work arranged like this, but it works! I've never seen this set-up before.
 

trommel

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One of my sets has 1 up, 2 down, but I set them up in a diamond pattern:
***16x16**16x26BD***
***9x13********18x18***
***SNARE***
The 13 tom is mounted to a cymbal stand, the 16 & 18 toms are mounted on their legs. The 20 or 22 ride is positioned over the BD & 18 tom. Cymbals on stands within easy reach.
 
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Old Drummer

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My drum teacher back in the 1960's was a 1 up, 2 down guy, and we kids always laughed at the rings on his 2nd floor tom. In reality he used it as a table for his drink and ash tray, although I suppose when the occasional song called for a lot of tom thumping, he'd move his drink and ash tray in order to play the 2nd floor tom. Usually though it was his table. I however had a sturdy hardware case that I positioned where my 2nd floor tom would otherwise go that I used as a table, so I never felt the need for a 2nd floor tom.

But to speak musically, I guess I've never been a low tom kind of guy. I do like one 16" floor tom tuned low to get that kind of thud when I want it, but pairing that with one medium rack tom (currently a 12") is really all the tom thudding I need. This is a taste preference. I associate lots of tom thudding with a Ginger Baker type style (and by extension with a lot of rock drummers) but this isn't a style I like or seek to emulate.

From the standpoint of basic drumming, I'm therefore a 1 up, 1 down kind of guy--and despite what others say, I really want my ride cymbal about where a 2nd rack tom would go.

However, where I depart from convention is in liking high-pitched, cutting toms too. I love timbales, and while they're too over the top to integrate into a standard set, for years I used one or two small concert toms to get a high-pitching, cutting tom sound. Currently I'm compromising with a 10" rack tom tuned kind of high, and half justifying that from the standpoint of jazz too. While my 12" and 16" are tuned kind of rock low, the 10" and 12" together give me something like jazz tom tuning. My toms are therefore as versatile as possible for only having 3, while I have something like the high-pitched tom sound I want along with the conventional thuds.

But alas, this gives me 2 rack toms, which is too crowded for me and my ride cymbal. However, I find setting up the toms on their own stand to my left of the bass drum provides enough room for the ride without crowding the left side too much, though actually I can manage with the rack toms mounted on the bass drum too.

Unfortunately, I'm therefore a 2 up, 1 down drummer, although I keep wanting to be a 1 up, 1 down drummer. But my rational explanation for this is my preference for a high tom sound too. I think if you prefer low toms, 1 up and 2 down makes the most sense, but if you prefer high toms, you pretty much have to go 2 (or more) up and 1 down.

What makes no sense to me are the drummers who like low toms and then crowd the front with them. High toms kind of have to be placed in front, but lower toms can be placed on the side. I personally wouldn't crowd the rack with low toms.
 

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