Rhythm's Top Ten Tips: Selecting the right set-up

Before you even have a band/ gig it's essential that you have the right drum set-up for you. Choosing your set-up options can be tricky as there are so many configurations available. Here are the pros and cons...

1. Four piece drum set: Has the advantage of simplicity, and allows you to get your ride cymbal in close and at perfect height.

2. Five Piece: two top toms and one floor tom. The drawback is that your ride cymbal ends up higher and not so close.

3. Five piece with one top tom and two floor toms: Classic Buddy Rich/John Bonham set up - Buddy hung his towel on the second floor.

4. Floor tom mounted on floor stand: Looks cool, but can be unstable, and it´s difficult to position everything where you want.

5. Floor tom on traditional three legs: More stable, but slightly less resonant than tom mounted on Floor Stand.

6. Rack System: Can look cool, and may even simplify your setting-up. But can be an absolute B****r to re-position.

7. Resonance tom mounts: Give it a little extra sustain, but are heavier and bulkier, so need bigger cases.

8. Old-fashioned mounts with intrusive, ‘disappearing´ tom arms: Less bulky, with better lateral reach. But you lose resonance.

9. Small tom mounted on a Snare Drum stand: Make sure the arms will clamp a small (12”) drum, but don´t clamp the drum hoops too tightly.

10. Carpet, Drum Key and Gaffer tape: These are absolutely, irrefutably, downright essential elements of your set-up.

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage the buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear and the best prices. I'm a guitarist and a drummer and I've worked in the music gear industry for 18 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with many of the world's biggest musical instrument brands including the likes of Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal.