May 13, 2021

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Five Drum Setups You SHOULDN'T Copy from The Greats

1 min read



3 Videos in 3 Weeks – the8020drummer.com/youtube-low

I get it. Kits in the ’80s looked awesome. Tommy Aldridge. Simon Phillips. Neil Peart. Whether it was sky-high cymbals, subterranean throne heights, or practically-vertical rack toms, drum setups were ludicrous, and we loved it.

But, with advances in ergonomics, and (my theory) more people playing into old-age and paying attention to posture and mechanics, we’re learning that a lot of those crazy, quirky setups of the ’80s…weren’t very good for your body.

How do I know? Even *those guys* don’t play those ridiculous kits anymore.

For five tips to avoid repeating the mistakes of our drum heroes (when they were in their 20s), just watch.

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48 thoughts on “Five Drum Setups You SHOULDN'T Copy from The Greats

  1. The beauty of playing the drums is that there is no right or wrong way to set up a kit … to me, the most important consideration is being comfortable while playing. I sit as low as I can go, hell I'd sit on the floor if I could get away with it. I don't feel very stable while sitting up high, plus I get more power on my kick while sitting low. Best advice I have read here is to not scrimp on your throne. Buy a good one and you will never regret it.

  2. You do realize that me being a professional sunglasses wearer I can tell you are an armature by the way they are crooked on your face . Sorry just thought I might let you know in case you didnt which apparently you didnt lol

  3. Commentary to add to the video (no disagreements here):
    On #5) The snare stand's at low prices/ones that come with beginner kits may not be capable of going high enough, or if they are, they're at the maximum height, which can make a beginner think it's wrong. In my case, the hardware that came with my Westbury kit forced me to angle the snare away from me so I didn't hit my legs.
    On #4) Cheap thrones are not capable of being raised high enough. Beginners often buy cheap thrones.
    On #3) Yeah, it's probably just inexperience in most cases. Though in some cases, a cheap snare will force you to either tune the drum poorly, or tighten your snare wires to be permanently on or off, otherwise you can't escape the sound of loose wires.
    Great video!

  4. I’ve often been admonished, when I share a kit, that my toms are too angled but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing..? Maybe I’ve got into a Bad Habit but could it feel better/easier to move my wrists more instead of my shoulders🤷‍♂️
    (I’m 6’2” if that has anything to do with it!)

  5. 80/20 Drummer – Your logic may work for "shorter people" but when you Six Foot Seven tall having a low throne an lower setup is only way I can comfortably play without hurting any of my body.

  6. low thrones are my most hated drum set up, I have long legs arms and I just feel like a guy in a slingshot sitting with my knees up to my armpits.

  7. Boomstands: imo total wrong, to not extend the feet, if you can….. It's more secoure even with bigger Cymbals. By the way: the more stands you got, the more it will differ, so you can interlock them…

  8. Unfortunately, short drummers like me (5’3”) have to angle the rack toms if they are mounted above the bass. I am experimenting with offset toms to see if that helps.

  9. Nothing pisses me off more than seeing a drummer play on a kit that's not setup properly. Like wtf is going on in your head that you think a snare angled 45° towards you, hi hat at eye level, and toms not lined up is a good idea?

  10. I enjoy your videos but sometimes you make it too hard….

    Morello, Buddy, Bruford, Porcaro, Bonham, Mercer and Purdie had/have the best ergonomic setups in my opinion.

    I take a bit of each and my tiny set sounds great, feels great and just works for me…..

    Then I use Moller, Gladstone…………..

  11. Drum sets are like women: What one guy thinks is a beauty queen, another guy thinks is a duff. As long as both guys are happy and can "perform", why should we care? Make music, be happy.

  12. No reso heads (Worst idea in the world), very bad tuning with dead drumheads, approximative drumming and tuning… Please, can you post a video where we can see you play drums for real with attack, feeling, technique and skills ???? And not just you brushing your kit with your sticks ? Seriously, I'm sure you're a good drummer but I'd like to hear and see 😉

  13. Pretty bad tutorial over all. Garibaldi is a serious pro. So don’t start there!! I might add, the guy demonstrating in this video is by no means a professional at all. You should learn what you’re doing before you try to teach it bye!!!

  14. I'm 5'6" and my rack toms are angled so I don't have to climb a ladder to play them properly. Been playing for over 30 years and I would say that biggest beginner move on tom placement is having them 20 feet apart and at different angles.

  15. The tuning lug on your snare which is closest to the area of rim shots will detune way faster than the others. So most of the time I´d check that one first before staring to tune any others

  16. If you study Phil Collins’s posture it’s clear to see how he caused himself back problems which lead to surgery and now he can’t play. Posture is key to playing well so set your kit properly so that you’re comfortable.

  17. What a snobby, pointless and generalizing video. Set up any way that works for YOU. Be unique and be yourself and don't worry about being prejudged by any "pros" that might be looking down their noses at you. Screw 'em. Prove them wrong. LMFAO

  18. My setup regarding heights evolved to be pretty similar to Ringo's. Throne a little higher than you recommend, rack toms low and fairly flat, floor tom up as close to the height of my rack toms as reasonably as possible. I keep my cymbals fairly low and I pull everything in as compactly as I can. The less distance I have between surfaces I have, the better. I basically like the kit to be laid out down below me rather than up in front of me. I think the reason you always encounter one lug on every snare badly out of tune might be related to this: when I first started learning drums, i encountered a lot of people and articles saying, tune the head, then detune one lug to prevent ringing. I've never agreed with that approach, but a lot of other people may have.

  19. You forgot one of the greatest tom tilters of all time: Tony Williams. Like you said, rules aren't written in stone. Tony, though, used a unique grip: Pinkey and ring finger used primarily to hold the stick. It's an old, old technique for holding the stick, i.e., it existed before Tony. Tony was a student of Max Roach and Art Blake's drumming, and he might have learned it from them. But, Tony stated he INTENTIONALLY
    did not want to rely on bounce, and wanted a MORE consistent control of his hits,,, same result from same effort, with every swing of the stick… just thinking about it, he–in his unique way/grip–perfected his version of touch, which you talked about. I wonder if that grip… I unlearning my previous grip and learning Tony's grip (Moeller, in and old Ludwig & Ludwig publication is the first known written example of the grip Tony used)… I wonder if Tony's grip is more conducive to tilted rack toms…not far along enough to give an opinion… all of this is just food for thought. Thank you for another wonderful video.

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