4 piece snare to mount tom ratio

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I reduced things to a 4 piece for simplicity. For you 4 piece players would it bug you when your snaredrum is just so and you can't use a 10" first tom because you don't like the idea of the tone going UP from the snare. I've ALWAYS wanted that first tom to go DOWN in pitch from my snaredrum. Thus my move to a 12. Am I explaining this right?. Any of you in my camp? Or maybe the snare to first tom ratio doesn't bother you one way or the other?.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've been playing a four-piece configuration for quite some time now, always with a 12" tom in a snare basket. Even when I played a five-piece in my early years, my toms were 12" and 13", never 10". A 10" just doesn't do it for me. Its tonality is too high to my ears.

I feel the same way about 14" floor toms. I've always been a 16" proponent. The larger diameter has more thunder.

So no, I'm not troubled by your transition from a 10" to a 12". I applaud the decision.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
All of my 10” toms are tuned much lower than any of my snare drums.
I can’t imagine tuning any tom that high...
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Any of you in my camp?
Yes ..... but as Morrisman stated ...... you can tune a 10" lower than a snare ..... so it sort of is all dependent on where your snare/tom are tuned to start with. And certainly not all drums are created equal. But for the most part ..... my single rack tom is generally gonna be a 12, 13 or 14 inch drum. Only my Manu Katche Jr. kit has a sole 10" rack tom (13" floor, 16" bass). Sort of my outlier kit. But I tune that 10" lower than my snare.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
If I'm only using one tom it's going to be a 13". It isn't necessarily about the pitch relationship with the snare (honestly, I've never really thought about that before) but in my experience 10" toms just don't do much for me; their size means they move a lot less air and tuned high or low they just don't have enough presence or sustain.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Snare drum is always highest in pitch for me. Its interval fits with my toms and that's intentional. I use a 10" tom.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I currently play a 4 piece but with a timbale on the left side. The snare is often lower pitched than the timbale but never pitched lower than the rack tom.

Having said that, I used to play much larger kits with 8" and 10" toms (and a 6" at one point) and going from the snare to any of those toms never bothered me.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
For me it's more about the relationship of the rack tom to the floor tom, which is also chosen to have a good relationship to the kick drum. I generally tune the two toms to a perfect fifth.

So if I'm using a 22" kick or larger, it's usually a 16x16 floor tom, and I prefer a 13x9 but will also use a 12x10.

If I'm using a 20 or smaller, it's usually a 14x14, and I'll use the 12x8.

10s tuned super low sound like garb to me, so I don't ever use a 10 as a single rack tom, though I could see it working with a 13" floor.
 
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Bozozoid

Well-known member
JoJo Mayer and Benny greb come to mind when listening/watching those that use a 10 as a mount. Benny gets a great! sound. I try desperately to get my 12 just as Don Brewer did on were an
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I thought this was a math question, so I was going to answer 1:1 or perhaps 1:2, if you use hanging floor toms. 😉

Giving a serious answer to your question, though, I have never been bothered by this. I used to gig with a 10/14/22 4-piece, and it sounded great. Like Al, I've also used large kits with 6 - 15" mounted toms, and never had an issue.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
4 or 5 piece my smallest tom has always been smaller than the snare. Using a 14 inch snare, you would have to start at a 15 inch tom to go down, unless you tune your 10 very low.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Malfunction....
I thought this was a math question, so I was going to answer 1:1 or perhaps 1:2, if you use hanging floor toms. 😉

Giving a serious answer to your question, though, I have never been bothered by this. I used to gig with a 10/14/22 4-piece, and it sounded great. Like Al, I've also used large kits with 6 - 15" mounted toms, and never had an issue.
I think 10 14 22's rip!. It just seems like I can fly on those sizes. Evvvery single kit I've ever played with a 12x14 hanging made me FORGET about my 16.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Depends on the.needd of the music.



Guns and Roses or AC DC type band, a 13 or 14 for sure.

Blues trio, I am going to want a 12 up front.

Now if it's like a modern alternative type vibe, a 10" might be pretty cool.

There is no right or wrong.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I didn't really mean (tensioned) higher than your snare. When I go from the snare to say a little descending fill I want that 12 to be low and beefy. Not overly slack or tubby. Clean..but low.13's are junk to me....dont like 13's.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I like a 12" rack tom in a snare basket.

But I love a 13" rack tom in a snare basket.

I own a 10", but I never play it with 2 of my kits.
 

roncadillac

Member
I've never played a 10" that I actually really enjoyed and didn't merely find 'serviceable'. That said, I've never approached my kit set up and/or tuning as a direct correlation between snare and toms. My snare serves it's own unique purpose, just as my toms (when I use them), just as my bass drum. I want them to be complimentary of course but since I respect their individual roles I don't get hung up on tuning drums to each other or the pitch of one vs another, it's an overall sound/feel/vibe kinda thing. I would say 12" is my preferred mounted tom size but I also prefer 12" snares.
 
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