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  #1  
Old 05-07-2013, 06:41 AM
valkyrievf2x valkyrievf2x is offline
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Default Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

Hi!

I seem to have a weird sense of.... positioning around the drum kit. I'm still a beginner, so please bear with me. Maybe it is the lefty in me (lefty that plays righty), but it seems that things on my left feel more natural, and things on my right a little more out there. Needless to say, my drum kit gets rearranged a good bit. I own a Ludwig 5 piece Rocker II, and the tom tom position usually bothers me the most. With the snare in the center, hihat pedal and bass pedal at about 90 degrees from each other, it feels odd to hit the 2nd tom. The 12" tom is almost directly in front of the snare, so it is easy to get to, but the 13" just seems to be a bit too far. I've done lots of adjustments, but I can never get it to a comfortable range. Conversely, my crash cymbal is almost directly in front of the snare. I have switched to having a snare stand hold the 13" tom in front of the snare now (and the 12" sits in a corner somewhere.... sniff). Ride cymbal, my other former point of discomfort, now sits almost directly over the center of the bass drum.

Is this a normal thing to feel this way, or am I just losing my mind (possibility, since I am about to graduate from accounting...)? I have no troubles doing anything on my left or even getting the aux snare that is attached to the hi hat stand. Floor tom can be a bit of a hit or a miss sometimes. Pics attached of the current set up. You can see how it is a bit left-oriented. Usually the small crash by the ride is also on the left side, close to the big crash there.

Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:56 AM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

Just looking at your photos, what I see is that your tom on the snare stand is awful far forward and to the left, creating a huge gap between it and the floor tom. The snare is almost up beside the kick, instead of in front of it (as you would look at it). In the photos, it's awful hard to tell all the spatial relationships, though. Looking at the first one, you might not think anything is that widely spaced.

When I set up my kit, I always look for the kick and hi-hat pedal to be comfortable and logically placed. Then the snare goes exactly between them. The ride goes where it feels natural for my right hand to fall (either to my 1 o'clock on a 4-piece, or to my 2:30 on a five-piece). The toms should be set up around those pieces, in a way that feels natural for my hands to travel.

Search on YouTube for "drum setup ergonomics". And I don't know if you've got a teacher or are taking lessons. If you are not, may I respectfully suggest at least one to get started? This is one of the first things a good teacher should help you with.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:05 AM
valkyrievf2x valkyrievf2x is offline
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

I think it might be the lens distorting the perspective (super wide angle due to lack of space down here...). The tom is about 2" in front of the snare. That one I reach extremely comfortably. If I could get an overhead of the drum set it'd probably make more sense. I do thankfully have the pedals right, though, and the snare is between them. Maybe I should just play hats, bass, and snare... lol/

Getting on youtube and searching. Thanks!!
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:09 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

Since your left is your dominant hand, might I suggest moving the upper tom to the right so your weaker hand has an easier time with it? How long are your legs? You really seem crowded up on the bass drum. Most folks I know hit the pedal with the ball of their foot around the middle of the pedal when playing heel up and their calf nearly vertical to slightly reaching forward. That doesn't make it that much of a stretch to put the heel on the heel plate and tap with the toe on lighter parts. Start with that relationship and then put the snare where it is comfortable. I have my upper tom (4pc) slightly to the right of the snare over the left side of the bass drum. That makes for easy transitions around to the floor tom. And still leaves plenty of room to get the ride in close so I can play it with my upper arm nearly vertical and my forearm parallel to the floor. Because I have fairly long legs, I push the hi-hat a bit more forward than most just so I don't cramp up my left leg (particularly when playing fast swing stuff).
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:11 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

From the angles I can see here, it looks basically fine to me. I've played worse "house" kits before.

Only thing I'd change here is that all the parts look a bit far apart to me. I'd tighten in everything around me more. The high tom especially looks a bit far out. Might not be good advice for you, everyone is different, but I'd give it a shot.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:12 AM
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jodgey4 jodgey4 is offline
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s....php?p=1137463
Here's a great reference to how others set-up. If you look at Bermuda's kit, it's very tightly placed! He's a pro, so you know he has good purpose. Other than that, you can see just about any setup. As long as you are happy, keep your set up. I try to set up closely together as well. it makes moving around quickly easier.
Set up your feet so they are comfortable, snare in between your legs. On my kit, my left and right legs literally hug my snare, and my floor tom and snare nearly hug my right leg with perhaps two inches of space The bottom of my rack tom on the closest edge is almost touching the bass drum hoop.
I will say that the spacing between snare and rack is good though. Everything to the left of the bass drum, if I were playing, would shift right and closer to my body. You can force this by moving your hat pedal closer in.
Is that an Acrolite in the back there painted blue with tube lugs?
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:31 AM
valkyrievf2x valkyrievf2x is offline
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

Aeolian: I'm one of those lefties that has identity issues. While I eat/write/assorted other things with my left, on the drums, it is definitely my weakest hand. I'm somewhat ambidextrous with my feet though. Go figure. But I do play heel up (I think that is the right term), and I do have plenty of room on the pedals. But more on that in a bit...

Dr Watso: I think that's just perspective distortion. I used a 18mm lens, which messed with perspective a good bit. For reference, I can reach everything on the kit without having to fully stretch my arms. Well, except for the small crash cymbal, but I don't use it much...

Jodgey: ooooh, thanks!!! That pics is worth a 1000 words!! And yes, that is my painted blue Acrolite. Taking a bit of a well earned vacation, lol.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

Both the rack tom and the floor tom are way to far away from the bass drum. You gotta do the tighten up lol You got like 3 feet between toms lol.

If you mount the tom from a bass drum tree that's what I'm talking about. Get that rack over your bass drum. And bring that floor tom in so its like an inch from your bass drum, with a space not too much wider than your leg between your floor tom and your snare.

YOU don't have to sit in there tight, you can sit back a little, but your drums should be reasonably close together. Generally speaking.

The idea is to not have to travel too far from one tom to the other.
Alternatively, since you only use 2 toms, you could put both toms together somehow on your left. There's no rules except your own.

Ever try setting up completely leftie?
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:10 AM
valkyrievf2x valkyrievf2x is offline
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Both the rack tom and the floor tom are way to far away from the bass drum. You gotta do the tighten up lol You got like 3 feet between toms lol.

If you mount the tom from a bass drum tree that's what I'm talking about. Get that rack over your bass drum. And bring that floor tom in so its like an inch from your bass drum, with a space not too much wider than your leg between your floor tom and your snare.

YOU don't have to sit in there tight, you can sit back a little, but your drums should be reasonably close together. Generally speaking.

The idea is to not have to travel too far from one tom to the other.
Alternatively, since you only use 2 toms, you could put both toms together somehow on your left. There's no rules except your own.

Ever try setting up completely leftie?
I knew I shouldnt have used that super wide angle, lol.

I did rearrange it a good bit, following all the suggestions, though. Took it all apart, and got a snack. Came back, put the throne where I need it (small basement), and started adding parts back on comfort and ease of access. Started with:
--snare between my legs. They almost touch the snare. I do have room to move the throne back a bit if need be.
--feet planted in a comfortable position. Hats are at about a 10 oclock position. Bass pedal at about 2 oclock. It is more angled than I had it last time, but still comfortable.
--the 13" tom is directly in front of the snare, about 1" or so. I could sneeze and smack the snare into the tom, lol. Tilted towards me at a slightly steeper angle than the snare.
--The crash is about 9 oclock with respect to the tom. I'll be playing around with that one tomorrow (2am here, and I can't play something without my wife waking up and stabbing me with my own drumsticks....)
--Ride is roughly on level with the snare, and over the bass drum. That one will take more experimenting, but I do rather like having it low compared to high.
--Floor tom: it is as wedged up to the bass as possible. Maybe one inch clearance between it and my leg. Any closer, and we'd have to be on a first name basis. Hopefully the new pics (no super wide angle lens!!!) will show the relationship better.

Larryace: I tried it once, and it felt really weird and foreign. I can do basic beats with my left on hats and right on snare (and right foot on bass), but haven't played much with it. I do notice my left foot keeps beat really easy compared to my right foot, and it picks things up pretty fast (it was easier for me to learn doubles with my left than my right...).
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:59 PM
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larryace larryace is online now
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

FWIW, my 21 YO son is a leftie who plays on my righty kits at home. I let him put the ride on the left side of the one kit he plays. He plays open handed. Do you play open handed or not open handed? Open handed meaning playing the hi hat for instance with the left hand and snare with the right hand. I'm guessing you don't play open handed otherwise you would have to contort to get at your ride. That's what my son used to do. I told him, hey you can move that ride cymbal to the other side if you want, it will be much easier to get at. He said, "You can do that?" all surprised lol. I said sure you can! He's a much happier drummer now.

But what you described as far as the new setup sounded like exactly what needed to be done. Now the question is do you play open handed.

Oh and the snack that you mentioned....what exactly did you have? That's important stuff too. You can't be leaving those important details to our imagination.
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  #11  
Old 05-07-2013, 06:44 PM
valkyrievf2x valkyrievf2x is offline
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

The snack: some chocolate oreos and cold glass of milk. Best late late late night snack one can get ;o)

Don't play open handed. Right hand does the hats on my left and ride on the right. Left does the snares. Other than simple rolls, my left hand is REALLY weak. Something to work on... Btw, since Larryace brought it up: why isn't the ride on the left side? I'd figure that since we normally play crosshanded, it'd be on the same side as the hats. Just curious.

But, just played it for a few minutes, and the new set up feels MUCH better. Even that small snare on my left is far more comfortable to reach now. I can see investing in more boom stands instead of straight ones however--better positioning. Might move the bass a few inches either way, but I still comfortably get to it. Floor tom and rack tom are as close as I humanly can get them, so now it is just a matter of getting used to that longer reach. Having the tom in front of the snare does feel more natural, at least for me. Maybe eventually I'll invest in one of those double tom holders and have both rack toms directly in the front of the snare.

I love this forum. So many helpful people in it! :o)
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:03 PM
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larryace larryace is online now
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

Oh man I love Oreo's. Sometimes I drop them in a glass of milk and eat them with a spoon lol.

I like my ride over the floor tom. It's more comfortable lower like that. Plus my body is more evenly balanced.

I gotta go out and buy some Oreo's now, thanks a lot.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:01 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: Ergonomics and positioning around the drum set

I think the key is to tear down/set back up on a regular basis to find what you like - and to allow yourself to avoid stagnation.
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