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Thread: Floor Tom Positioning

  1. #1

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    I've been looking at a few pictures and I've never really bothered to ask - why do some drummers put a second floor tom to their left? I've noticed it with snares, too. Why do you need two snare drums? Is one tuned differently or something?

    Thanks
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taras View Post
    I've been looking at a few pictures and I've never really bothered to ask - why do some drummers put a second floor tom to their left? I've noticed it with snares, too. Why do you need two snare drums? Is one tuned differently or something?

    Thanks
    Richer than the other drummers and it looks cool I guess

    all the best...

  3. #3

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    The snares are often different, like a piccolo snare.

    As for having the floor tom on the left, it allows for some interesting groove patterns, especially for people who don't play open handed.
    Life's too short to play the same solo twice. Improvise!

  4. #4

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    I always have a piccolo snare to my left and usually a second floor tom.

    Several reasons,
    I use the piccolo snare all the time to vary the sound in songs just like using the ride instead of the hi-hat.

    And I like a tom to my left for fills. I'm actually a lefty and can play both lefty or righty and I do a lot of left hand fills off the hihat to that tom.
    14pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (24pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 9pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 7pc PDP Concept Maple Classic | 5pc Sonor International | 5pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone | 4pc Sonor Martini | 65 Snare drums and growing!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Richer than the other drummers and it looks cool I guess

    all the best...
    HAHA! Great response.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taras View Post
    I've been looking at a few pictures and I've never really bothered to ask - why do some drummers put a second floor tom to their left? I've noticed it with snares, too. Why do you need two snare drums? Is one tuned differently or something?

    Thanks
    It all started in the early 1940's by a drummer named Louis Bellson and he wasn't rich or did it to look cool. At age 17, Bellson beat out 40,000 other drummers who were competing for the National Slingerland Gene Krupa contest which was the start to a lifetime of drumming. Between 1943-1952 Bellson had made a name for himself and was playing with many jazz greats such as Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Harry James and the great Duke Ellington.

    Bellson's double bass drum set up was unique to the typical jazz trap set up most drummer used during that era. He used at least two rack toms left of his hihat and later incorporated Remo roto toms in that position.

    Today, drummers will typically use a second snare or second floor tom to the left of the hihats as mentioned, often mimicking Bellson's set up from the 1940's. Right handed drummers who cross over the hihats with the right arm will find the second snare allows for opened handed playing, as mentioned by Zack, by merely shifting the sitting position on the throne to the left and it's often tuned at a different pitch to the primary snare or used like a timbale with the snares thrown off.



    The drummer who made his mark with U2, Larry Mullen Jr., was probably the most notable drummer who played with a second floor tom off to the left of his hihats. When U2 released their video "Pride", Mullen can be seen playing the second floor during the transitions between verse and chorus. Again, the positioning of the floor tom to the left of the hihats allowed Mullen to play it opened handed to accent the groove while playing 32nd stick pattern on the hihats.

    Last edited by late8; 12-22-2016 at 08:20 AM.

  7. #7

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    Wow I'm impressed! Not many know their instrument's history like that! good job late8
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  8. #8

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    That's my setup right now. One floor tom to the right and one to the left. I have a splash and a bell above the one on my left. I use it a lot. Especially for 2 handed hi hat grooves. Left hand hits the floor on some accents.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
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  9. #9

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    Good history, Rich!

    I'm not that good. I have no need for another snare or floor tom to my left.

  10. #10

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    I like having a small snare on the left for accents/different sound. I have the mapex stinger, I think its 10x5 steel. Such great pop for when we play like reggae songs and I want that snap/pop.
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  11. #11

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    A lot of the time the floor tom on the left is due to limited floor space on drum risers and also ...short arms ha !

    I'm actually playing three floor toms on my right as I write this but ...things change all the time and it's good for your playing to be playing many different kits with different setups all the time ..especially if you play a lot of backline
    Last edited by itchie; 12-21-2016 at 07:50 PM.

  12. #12

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    Well because you can ! Nobody says you have to stick to the norm when it comes to how you set up or play your kit . That's the great thing about playing drums . I don't use any toms or snares on my left at the gigs because the gig doesn't really lend itself for these sort of niceties but I do have them set up on my kit at home where I can play whatever I want . I do however have a Roland SPD-S Sample pad on my left which does have different snare and tom sounds and other fun stuff .

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by wired View Post
    Wow I'm impressed! Not many know their instrument's history like that! good job late8
    Thanks wired!

  14. #14

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    Thanks everyone! Probably not something I need right now, then.

    Thanks again!
    SPLAT-BOOM-SPLAT-BOOM-SPLAT-BOOM-GIGGA-TISH!

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