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Thread: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

  1. #1

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    Question Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Hello, I am planning on buying a 13x10 Tom to go along with my 7 piece and would like to know the best and most comfortable way to set up the mounted toms going from; 8x7, 10x8, 12x9, "13x10", and 14x14, 16x16 floor toms, all opinions are greatly appreciated, thanks in advance-Jon

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Hi Jon, & welcome to DC.
    I'm pretty sure the answers you get will be along the lines of "set them up in whatever way feels most comfortable to you".
    That is right though. The best thing to do is try out different combinations & set-ups until you find what is most comfortable, and what works best for you. What is comfortable to one person is not necessarily the same for another. It all depends on height, reach, ability, ease of movement, etc.
    Have fun experimenting.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Thanks for the quick response, and yeah you are right, I'm just having trouble picturing how I would fit all of those toms within reach, I guess I'll have to wait until I get the tom tom haha
    MY KIT
    Mapex Horizon Birch in Rattan Yellow lacquer
    -8x7,10x8,12x10 mounted toms
    -14x14,16x16 floor toms
    -22x18 Bass drum
    -14x5.5 snare


    If it's Mapex, YOU KNOW IT'S GOOD!

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by JonPlaysFusion View Post
    Thanks for the quick response, and yeah you are right, I'm just having trouble picturing how I would fit all of those toms within reach, I guess I'll have to wait until I get the tom tom haha
    Welcome to DrumChat Jon! Good point you bring up. Having 4 high toms and 2 floor toms is alot of real estate to cover. However, many drummers here have huge kits and they seem pretty happy. I had to scale my kit down because I could never get my hihat and my ride in a comfortable position by having so many high toms as seen in this old bird's-eye pic:





    This is about as big as I wanna go. Two high toms and two floor toms. The hihat and ride are much easier to reach:



    Finally as of today, my kit is much more comfortable due to the fact that I ditched the 2nd bass drum and 2nd floor tom to make my hihat, first high tom and ride easier to reach:


  5. #5

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    That's one heck of a set up man, pretty unique, I'm still fairly new to drumming, so I'm pretty sure I'll want to down size as well in the future, thanks for the visual idea though, I can actually picture it now
    MY KIT
    Mapex Horizon Birch in Rattan Yellow lacquer
    -8x7,10x8,12x10 mounted toms
    -14x14,16x16 floor toms
    -22x18 Bass drum
    -14x5.5 snare


    If it's Mapex, YOU KNOW IT'S GOOD!

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Here are a few suggestions to muck around with, that I've tried over the years:

    1) You could have the 12" and 13" mounted over your bass drum, with the 8" and 10" on a higher tom stand over your hi-hats, the 14" and 16" floor toms on your right. Mounting the two highest toms that way will work even better if you don't have a longish hi-hat pull rod getting in the way....some guys even trim that a bit.

    2) Mount the 10" and 12" over your bass drum, with the 8" coming off a stand to the left of the 10" and the 13" coming off a stand to the right of the 12" tom. Drummers like the jazz fusion drummer Gary Husband have done that for years, albeit with different sized drums. If your bass drum doesn't have a tom mount (ie: a 'virgin kick') then it's just a matter of the 8" and 10" coming off one stand and the 12" and 13" off another.

    3) You could have the toms going left to right 8", 10" and 12", with the 14" and 16"" floor toms in the usual positions and then think of the 13" as a "floor tom" to the left of your hi-hats, parallel to your snare. If you didnt have the 8", then this would be very similar to a 'fusion' set-up that Dave Weckl sported in his early videos like "Back To Basics" in the late 80's/early 90's (along with that classic 80's mullet, nice one Dave!....lol)

    4) Or you could have the 12" and 13" over your bass drum, the 10" to the left of the 12" coming off one stand, the 8" coming off another stand either over the hi-hat or to the left of the hi-hat, in place of the 13" tom as outlined in the previous suggestion. Floors in the same position.

    Bottom line, experiment and see how comfortable things are for you. But these suggestions could give you a starting point at least.
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

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  7. #7

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by JonPlaysFusion View Post
    That's one heck of a set up man, pretty unique, I'm still fairly new to drumming, so I'm pretty sure I'll want to down size as well in the future, thanks for the visual idea though, I can actually picture it now
    You're welcome Jon!!

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbledore View Post
    Here are a few suggestions to muck around with, that I've tried over the years......Bottom line, experiment and see how comfortable things are for you. But these suggestions could give you a starting point at least.
    Thanks Man, I will try out all of those suggestions and update on how it turned out.
    MY KIT
    Mapex Horizon Birch in Rattan Yellow lacquer
    -8x7,10x8,12x10 mounted toms
    -14x14,16x16 floor toms
    -22x18 Bass drum
    -14x5.5 snare


    If it's Mapex, YOU KNOW IT'S GOOD!

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Best set up for an 8 pc kit you ask? A 5 pc kit.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Best set up for an 8 pc kit you ask? A 5 pc kit.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Best set up for an 8 pc kit you ask? A 5 pc kit.
    Haha.. I like being able to have multiple options when throwing a fill in there, but thanks for the opinion
    MY KIT
    Mapex Horizon Birch in Rattan Yellow lacquer
    -8x7,10x8,12x10 mounted toms
    -14x14,16x16 floor toms
    -22x18 Bass drum
    -14x5.5 snare


    If it's Mapex, YOU KNOW IT'S GOOD!

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by JonPlaysFusion View Post
    Haha.. I like being able to have multiple options when throwing a fill in there, but thanks for the opinion
    Yea...keep them options open for sure. Here's some more set up ideas. I use an imaginary line from stage left to right to keep things in reach:





    Last edited by late8; 08-29-2012 at 08:47 PM.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    How many kicks do you have? The symmetry is a lot easier to get a hold on if you have 2 kicks or more to spread your toms across. If you have a rack it's easier to find the right spot for the kicks without affecting the location of the toms, you can move things around seperately to find your balance. What I do is start off with the snare, then the kick, then go largest to smallest rack tom. The reason for that is the largest rack tom is the one that can get the lowest to the bass drum, so after you set that one you'll automatically know how high and at what angle your other rack toms should go to line up with it. Floor toms are easy, heck you can play em flat as well as you can angled if your throne goes high enough. You should know that if you use 2 kicks though that you will have a considerable sized gap between your snare and your hi hats, but you can avoid this problem with a 2 legged hi hat stand. Really a must if you're gonna do a big kit. Kinda crazy, but then again I do have some thoughts that border on insanity:
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  14. #14

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    One more idea: the 8 is pretty small-I've seen it mounted between and higher than the 10 and 12 on a special kick mount, the 13 on a cymbal stand, etc.
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
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  15. #15

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Yea...keep them options open for sure. Here's some more set up ideas. I use an imaginary line from stage left to right to keep things in reach:






    "Capt. Late 8 to the bridge, the Klingons are coming and we need someone to pilot all that stuff."

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by rickdrummer View Post
    "Capt. Late 8 to the bridge, the Klingons are coming and we need someone to pilot all that stuff."

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    I like the idea of the imaginary line, I'll definantly keep that in mind, I would caption, but everyone would have to do an endless amount of scrolling due to your massive/impressive set haha

    And the 8" above the 10 and 12" also might work without needing to buy another stand haha I have many hours of experimenting ahead of me..

    Thanks again Everyone
    MY KIT
    Mapex Horizon Birch in Rattan Yellow lacquer
    -8x7,10x8,12x10 mounted toms
    -14x14,16x16 floor toms
    -22x18 Bass drum
    -14x5.5 snare


    If it's Mapex, YOU KNOW IT'S GOOD!

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by JonPlaysFusion View Post
    Hello, I am planning on buying a 13x10 Tom to go along with my 7 piece and would like to know the best and most comfortable way to set up the mounted toms going from; 8x7, 10x8, 12x9, "13x10", and 14x14, 16x16 floor toms, all opinions are greatly appreciated, thanks in advance-Jon

    Setting up a drum kit has everything to do with the size and style of the person playing the drum kit.
    But There are some basic rules one can follow to get things on the right track
    1- Never ever setup your drums the way some famous drummer sets upÖ never
    2- Make sure however your setup, you donít slump over when you play, this will cause vast problems with your disks in your back and
    later cause problems with your legs Make sure what ever you sit upon supports your back. Else you will have problems as I did later.
    Here is where you young dogs can learn from us old dogs.
    3- Understand YOUR (not someone elseís) ergonomic reach zone (Primary, Secondary, and extended) keep drums and often used
    cymbals in the primary and secondary reach zones. You donít want to continually extend your physical body to play drums.
    4- If One is playing fast rudiments then one needs their drums very close together, so playing is easy and within reach
    5- If one is not playing fast rudiments, then the drums can be placed further apart but keep them within oneís primary/secondary reach
    zone
    6- If one plays traditional grip, then their setup needs to allow for left hand under playing, this means toms are lower and slightly angled
    or flat.
    7- If one uses matched grip then toms can be raised higher as their location is now ones hand plus 8 to 10 inches of stick to the center mass of the drum head.
    8- Keep shoulder movement lower, ones elbow should not extend above their chest. Ones xiphiid process, where your rib cage comes together is a good location to start to
    set limits for elbow height, this would include both males and females. Anything above that range is going to be an extension zone (uncomfortable and tiring for long
    periods of time)
    So how to start?
    Sit on your chair/throne/stool, and set it up so your feet sit comfortably, feet flat on the floor with your thighs level. This stance will determine your bass and hi hat placement and the size of snare drum you really need. I found may optimum snare drum size to be 12- 13 not 14 using this method.

    Your share drum should be above your thighs so one is not constantly banging against ones legs, and angled enough to allow continual rim shots. From there you can determine your primary ergonomic zone (including drum stick length). Have someone else assist so you determine your primary playing arc.

    For short folks like myself its more comfortable for me to have one mounted tom and more toms at my side than several rack toms. Even toms to the left of my hi hat are more comfortable for me than rack toms, especially since I primarily use a 22in BD. For the standard kit (12,13,16) for example, I move my 13 tom to a cymbal stand clamp next to my floor tom.

    Cymbals, get them placed as close to your primary reach zone as possible (especially your ride and hi hat). Keep cymbals low enough that reaching them allows ones elbow to go move no higher than chest height (#8). Elbows above your shoulders is too high Its best for cymbals to be within your Secondary reach zone than your extend zone in front or above you

    The finished product is going to look very different than what you imagined initially and not like someone elseís kit. However, it will be ergonomic to your individual needs and therefore serve you best which is the point and you will be able to play better as a result.

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Signature here

  20. #20

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    wow this is an old thread bump lol

    But for me... I have 8, 10 , 12 across top, 13 on my left like a floor tom, 14, 16 on the right floor toms.
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini |4pc PDP Concept Maple Classic| 57 Snare drums and growing!

  21. #21

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    wow this is an old thread bump lol

    But for me... I have 8, 10 , 12 across top, 13 on my left like a floor tom, 14, 16 on the right floor toms.
    Yeah, I got the same config. but nothing to the right of my hihat due to space constraints.


  22. #22

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    Default Re: Best setup for an 8 piece kit

    Currently, ergonomics are waaay more important to me than looks or having a ton of toms and/or cymbals. Age is catching up with me, LOL. My concern now is getting through a 4hr gig without lower back pain or cramps in my hips and thighs the next morning. Slouching in the throne or having to lean forward to reach anything is a big no-no. I need to stay sitting upright with my shoulders back and lower back against the backrest of the throne. Everything else must be within reach while keeping my back straight, shoulders back and not having to move my elbows very far from my waistline.
    I keep my bass angled so the kick pedal is in line with my toes-ankle-knee-hip, my toms are close and cymbals are low.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

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