Author Topic: Drum kit setup, drums and cymbals placement  (Read 604 times)

Drum kit setup, drums and cymbals placement
« on: June 07, 2020, 06:39:42 AM »
In my previous post I asked about fixing/modding DMPad 14", I got some answers, waiting for some others, while that thread is still open for discussion I have another question - how to set the damn drums and cymbals.

I'm not a drummer, I have a rough idea how I should be sitting behind the drum kit, how to place pedals but I was wondering how to place everything so it's comfortable for playing.

What I've determined from reading is that:

- legs at 90 degree or more, no sitting "too low", legs must be below hips level
- snare hand/fist width above leg/knees (not not hit myself with a stick), level or at an angle between both pedals (in my case that's double bass pedal, with hi hat on the left of the left bass pedal, approximately 4-8 cms away) right in front of me
- hi hat in the sticks proximity on the left

And now I have no idea how to set the rest up.

Since I've bought that DMPad 14" Ride I have in total 5 cymbals, 5 toms, snare, hi hat (on stand) and of course bass pad trigger (rubber) and I'm waiting/looking for a decent used double pedal. I also bought some additional hardware to mount additional cymbals and I'm in process of making 2 more DIY cymbals.

The first 3 toms I want to be using as regular toms and have somewhere in front of me for quick fills and other 2 as floor toms more to the side, still easily reachable without too much turning of torso but it's obvious they don't have to be as much accessible as the first 3. Would I then put the 2nd and 3rd right above the snare and 1st more to the left or would it be more comfortable to place 2nd one right above snare so basically having them all offset to the right? What about floor toms? How would one put them so I don't have to twist to much and be able to reach them and play easily? Should floor toms be lower than regular ones? Could they be put one lower than each one so they fall down nicely or is it better to have floor toms on one height and regular toms on another height (higher)?

Cymbals: 3 chokable ones would be crash cymbal 1 and 2 so these I'd probably want to mount one on the left and one on the right with 3rd probably acting either as 3rd crash somewhere on the left or china in the middle-right (not sure where normally one would put china cymbal on real drum kit, are there even any guidelines or is it up to drummer?).
Then the 4th single zone (ex-hi hat one) would be used as splash and I'd probably put it somewhere on the middle-left, kinda below left crash.

DMPad 14" 3 zone ride then I'd place somewhere on the far right above floor toms, next to the right crash.

The DIY cymbals: one is gonna be around 14" in size which I would use either as 3rd crash or china, then the other one would be smaller and regular Alesis one, 2nd diy one would be another splash and that would be mounted on extension on one of the other cymbals.

Hi hat is as I wrote the fancy one on regular hi hat stand and as for drum bass - have a trigger (rubber) on a separate stand, waiting for double bass pedal and I also have the stealth kick one which I might attach if I ever want to make the kit symmetrical and add 2nd hi hat or something.
Is there anyone with similarly complex kits and is willing to show some pictures so I can use them as reference on setting mine? I have standard DM 10 kit frame (straight pieces) with some extra extension pieces.

Posting the rough layout as described above:
And just so it's clear, I screwed the drawing a bit, the cymbals will be above toms a bit more and definitely closer together and not so far apart (especially on the left, space between crash 1 and splash 1 is too big) but otherwise that's how I roughly imagine setting it up so just tell me where I'm making mistake and how to optimize it more.

I'm right handed if that makes a difference (when playing cymbals I usually use my right hand for all the primary hits so I'd like to have all cymbals mostly in front or left and on right only those I'd be using less frequently (3rd crash, ride) or that I don't need to hit quickly one after another or after switching from toms/snare during a fill).
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 07:07:32 AM by NeedMoreCowbell »

Offline Iggford

Re: Drum kit setup, drums and cymbals placement
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 12:49:05 PM »
It really does depend on what's comfortable for you.  I tend to sit higher, as it takes a little more strain off my knees, which are already bad. 

I don't sit straight on, but slightly turned to the left, so my snare is a bit off-center, angled a bit.  My bass drum is also off-center, sitting more to the right side.

A lot of drummers have the rack toms low and only angled slightly.  My four rack toms sit high and are sharply angled.  My two floor toms are pretty normal with other setups.

I also have my left and right crashes high and angled down, with a china centered above rack toms 1 and 2 and a splash centered above rack toms 3 and 4.  These two are also angled to compensate for the height required to sit above the toms.

I attached a picture to hopefully better illustrate my setup.

So it really is about what works best for you.  I kinda went with a setup similar to some of my drummer influences, then tweaked it to make it comfortable for me.

Good Luck!!


Offline AlanK

Re: Drum kit setup, drums and cymbals placement
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 01:24:24 PM »
Oh man, Shawn, that photo of your kit is mind blowing! HD, huge wide shot, and incredible aggregation of drum equipment.. I can't stop staring at it!! WOW
DM10X with Addictive Drums 2, Pro X hi-hat, 4 crashes, 682 white mesh cone conversion, Laurin Drums snare and kick, Mapex P710W double kick pedal, Tama saddle, Panasonic noise cancelling headphones, Behringer 8 channel USB mixer, Tascam 144MK AI, Samson Expedition Escape powered speakers

Offline Iggford

Re: Drum kit setup, drums and cymbals placement
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 01:05:33 PM »
Thanks, Alan!  :D

I'm quite proud of it.  This was actually taken back in October at a Halloween gig I played with band #1. 

I've made a couple tweaks, but I haven't taken any new pictures yet.  I've moved the extra Roland pad over to underneath the hi-hat for some extra effects like tambourine and stuff like that.  I put a Roland PD-8 (I think that's what it is) in its place on the right side. 

I picked up a shorter pull rod for the hi-hat, so it is pretty much even with the top of the clutch.  That allowed me to lower that left crash just a bit.

I love moving things around and seeing what works where! :)