i like the two up layout. i can mix and match fills and get more improv going with that. I have always played at Least a 5 pc. two up 1 down and have two 7 pc kits. I play a lot of classic rock so that set up is similar to many classic rock drummers. Its just what ive always been comfortable with. i would be lost without two rack tomsWhat is the practical answer , I know 4 piece promotes creativity etc ,, however does having another Tom option help your creativity and output ?
Exactly. I'm not playing any arena kinda music and I don't need to put on a big show. Heck my jazz band keeps encouraging me to leave my bass drum at home lol.It depends on the type of music played - our band plays 50's 60's and 70's songs that don't require big fills etc. My 1 up 1 down snare and kick do just fine for those. Less gear for me to carry.
I see no practical way that using 4 piece rather than a 5 promotes creativity one way or the other.
The only thing I find it affects is - when I want to play something needing 3 tom pitches, with two toms, I can't and with three toms, I can. Of course, the same could be said of 3 vs. 4 toms - or 1 vs. 2 toms.
Bottomline - IMO it boils down to each player's vocabulary when it comes to the use of toms. Somewhere you hears the toms as high and low most of the time, will gravitate to a 4 piece. Hear things more often in terms of high, medium, and low, then I'd gravitate more to a 5 piece as home base.
Which is the case for me. Actually spent many, many years playing a somewhat compact set with 4 Blaemire toms - 8, 10, 12 and 14 before later settle back into normally playing a 5 piece. Though just recently I've found myself going back and forth between having four toms 10-16 set up - or experimenting with using a (Sput Searight inspired) "Snom" (an 8x14 snare with a hydraulic head tuned to function as a 14" tom, but also as a low FX snare - nestled in with the other toms 10, 12, Snom, 16.
I think the important thing to remember that the drums don't play themselves - just because something is there, doesn't mean we have to hit it. For me, what to set up is dictated by what size pallette I want to have available to me - limited by practical and convenience concerns. But no matter - what I decide to set up, doesn't dictate what I play. Just what I have available to me.
I dropped my second floor because my back was reminding me why I need not twist like that.I don't feel any discomfort with the second floor tom as it's a little to the right of the first; I don't need to twist much to reach it.
same issue for me. on my 3 up 2 dn kit i have to sit a couple inches farther back to be able to turn my upper body safely to hit the 2nd FTI dropped my second floor because my back was reminding me why I need not twist like that.
Now I'm down to a 4-piece and it's ok. I do the side snare if I need something poppy for certain songs, but it's optional.
I've thought about doing the second floor to my left, but it's not a priority.
Well sure - if you define creativity solely as "coming up with ways to make do with limited resources, this is completely true. But I really doubt you or any one else thinks that creativity is limited to such a limited utility."I see no practical way that using 4 piece rather than a 5 promotes creativity one way or the other."
I think you're looking at it wrong. It promotes creativity because - with fewer tools - you have to think more about those fewer tools and how to use them more creatively. If I play a very small venue where all I can bring is snare/hats/ride I have to be more creative in how I play and use those limited tools. Yeah with a bigger palette tons of drums you can be very creative, but when I take most of those tools away you have to be more creative with what you have left.
I agree with you, re: positioning. I split the difference by using 2 rack toms on a cymbal stand / rack so I can move them to my left (my 1st tom is directly straight in front of me, above the snare) rather than mounted on the bass drum.I love a 5-piece kit but find a 4-piece physically easier to play.
I like having my ride over the kick drum, and not having to twist to reach rack toms. A simpler, more ergonomic setup lets me relax and deliver a better performance. I value time keeping above all and will happily sacrifice tom fills for steadiness. In my experience, adding drum fills and whatnot just increases the number of opportunities to go out of time, and that's something I try to avoid like the plague.
Everything about playing music is a compromise no matter what instrument you play. Versatility vs ease of use.I have my 4 piece kit, bought it because of the price, 4 is less expensive then 5. I suspect that 4 is popular today, not because it's cool like the old jazz drummers of the 50s but because it's easier to ship a 4 piece with a 18" bass drum in an effort to lower the prices.
Today I would buy a 5 piece kit and In spite of all this, I am far from being able to exploit 2 toms only in the first place, but I picture the stuff would do differently with 3 toms, it's something desirable.
What I like about my 4 pieces, I can fit my ride closer to me in the missing tom hole.