Why are all the small drum sizes so popular

Frank Godiva

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The first 20 was Dave Tough's idea in a world of 26 and 28, Broadcasters cause they recorded better with the technology of the day for radio.
 

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digitaltoast

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Seems that the number of shows a drummer plays per week/year is inversely proportional to the size of their kit...
 

OZjazzer

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Really we’re talking about the size of bass drums and floor toms. Rack toms and snares don’t effect stage or transport space. Personally I like the tuneless thump of 20” or 22” bass drums. And there’s a huge sonic difference between a 14” and 16” floor tom. And I love that difference. Hardware is where my transport troubles begin and finish. Thanks to the lightweight Yamaha and DW hardware I’ve got that down to comfortable minimum. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
 
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fun2drum

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My first set had a 20" bass drum and 14" floor tom. After going with much larger drums, I'm finally back to a 20" bass drum and 14" floor tom. It's punchy and quick, with excellent tone. Portability is outstanding. It looks great too. I like what I like, and that changes over time, but it's not based on what's currently "in" or what others think I should like. The exception to that was when I got caught up in the massive heavy duty hardware craze. There was also a period in my youth when I wanted Alex VH length bass drums and beer can power toms, but thankfully never got them.
 

kzac

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I don’t own any modern kits just vintage ones ranging from 40s to early 80s. Back then I might’ve been above average in size at six two but by today’s standards I would think that would be pretty average. Regardless of sound when I see a tall or large person sitting behind tiny drums it just doesn’t look right to me.
From various photos I look like an orangutan sitting behind any kit with a 22 inch bass drum. As I said before I’ve never owned a modern kit but I am much more comfortable behind larger drums both for height feel and sound.
What is the allure or trend towards small drums? Help an old guy understand!
If you were a gigging drummer and your own rodie ... you would know the answer to that question...
Small kits make gigging more enjoyable. I did the same for decades.
Try hauling around a octaplus kit and setting it up for a couple of nights and you will change your mind instantly

If your wealthy and have rodies ... it doesn't matter, however if your like the other 98% of us, then it maters, especially if you plan on keeping your girlfriend and buddies for any length of time.

you need a kit that can be knocked down and setup within 5 minutes time and only takes 2 trips to the car to deliver to the venue. I had mine down to one trip if the Bass player helped by placing my bass drum on top of his amp.
 

Topsy Turvy

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I love how easy it is to position my tom, the ease in transporting them, the punchy sound, and they take up a bit less space. I do miss the thump of my 22” bass sometimes though.
 

TonyVazquez

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......They sound great don’t get me wrong I just don’t like how they look on stage with a larger or taller person behind them. They just look like toys.
That’s just my neuroses I guess...
It's all good, brother. I understand what you mean.
I'm 5'11" tall (actually, I'm the tallest member in my band! LOL).

My 16" kick drum uses its original floor-tom legs as the "spurs"
and homemade riser that I built from a cast-aluminum truck rack bracket
which I bolted to the drum shell...
and even at that elevation my kick drum is just nearly 3ft off the floor.
Combined with my 12" rack-tom (recently added), and my 14" floor-tom
and cymbals, my kit stands under 5ft tall.
That's more, or less, about the size of a Ludwig Breakbeats kit.
I wish Tama made small kits like the Breakbeats.

The visual aspect of it is what gets my jollies giggling when I see the look
on people's faces as I set my kit up on stage before a show, I can hear them
mumbling "check out that miniature drum kit " before I even sit down to play.

I never rag them folks for their reactions, lol... but, c'mon people, small kits
have been seen at live shows and music videos for the past few years
and it's nothing but a recent trend that some drummers prefer.
It's no different than the days when the preference for playing a 4-piece
became popular.
 

RIDDIM

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How much new music really requires a big size kit?
- That is THE question.

While it's nice to have lots of sound sources, if you listen to the hit songs of the last 70 or so years, I think you'll find you could get away covering most of them with a kick, snare, high hat, cymbal and maybe a tom.

And if you check out D Parks, Mark Guiliana, Dana Hawkins, etc., you'll better understand how it's possible to get a lot of variety with few sound sources.
 

RIDDIM

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Yeah, I’m thinking it was around this time that drummers sort of lost the plot.

I would have loved to hear Buddies take on this “kit”! :blink:
For this kit, the plot changed. TB was thinking more as a keyboardist.
 

TonyVazquez

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We're discussing small drum kits...

...As a bassist, I'm happy that Peavey has a new miniature
Trace Elliot styled bass amp small enough to fit inside a laptop bag. :icon_e_biggrin:

bassamp.jpg
 

DrumFoo

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Here's my experience. If you buy a kit with 4 toms (2 rack and 2 FT), you can essentially have 3 kits. Let's say you have the following kit:

20 BD
10 TT
12 TT
14 FT
16 FT

Then you have that kit above, and for smaller gigs you have these when mixed and matched:

20 BD
10 (or 12) TT
14 FT

and

20 BD
12 TT
16 FT

It's very flexible that way.
 

Paistekid

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My Stainless Steel set-up consist of 26” kick, customized 6” and 8” rack and 18” and 20” floor toms...I know it’s quite a drop but it works for me. The 6” and 8” are low tensioning and the 18” and 20” are tuned high in pitch. Now, I do not understand certain set-up like 12”, 10”, 16” 14” interval. I tried setting up like that and for the life of me just couldn’t play it...I don’t get it at all
 

Talktotommy

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It's all good, brother. I understand what you mean.
I'm 5'11" tall (actually, I'm the tallest member in my band! LOL).

My 16" kick drum uses its original floor-tom legs as the "spurs"
and homemade riser that I built from a cast-aluminum truck rack bracket
which I bolted to the drum shell...
and even at that elevation my kick drum is just nearly 3ft off the floor.
Combined with my 12" rack-tom (recently added), and my 14" floor-tom
and cymbals, my kit stands under 5ft tall.
That's more, or less, about the size of a Ludwig Breakbeats kit.
I wish Tama made small kits like the Breakbeats.

The visual aspect of it is what gets my jollies giggling when I see the look
on people's faces as I set my kit up on stage before a show, I can hear them
mumbling "check out that miniature drum kit " before I even sit down to play.

I never rag them folks for their reactions, lol... but, c'mon people, small kits
have been seen at live shows and music videos for the past few years
and it's nothing but a recent trend that some drummers prefer.
It's no different than the days when the preference for playing a 4-piece
became popular.
Yeah I totally understand. I Only play out maybe a couple times a year and usually on someone else’s kit. At the home studio I play a seven piece kit with a 24 inch bass drum but if a song calls for just Hi hat bass and snare that’s what I’ll play. Same thing when I’ve played gigs on other peoples kits which are usually much smaller in number and sometimes size -no real problem at all adapting.
I would only say I hope everyone has had an opportunity to sit down behind a 26 inch bass drum and feel the immense power and tone at least from a playing perspective.
It sure is fun. Thanks again for all the thoughtful insight.
 


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