4 Steps to a Perfect Setup
It is not a good feeling when you are uncomfortable behind your own kit. It can be frustrating and discouraging. I have had students in the past being on the verge of quitting the drums and the reason all boiled down to their drums not being set up for them. For all of the experienced players out there, you know what it’s like when you show up to a session or a gig and you have to play someone else’s drums. Part of doing this helps with gaining experience with the set up process. You know all the heights and angles of your drums and cymbals. Let’s dive into my process of setting up now.
1. King of Thrones
The very first thing I start with when it comes to setting up is the height of my throne (drum stool). For me personally, I like my legs going at a slight downward angle towards my knees. Therefore my legs are not horizontal with the ground. This allows me to have more control with my feet on the pedals. What works for me may not be comfortable for you, so use this as a guideline.
2. Angles and Comfort
From there when you sit naturally look at the angles of your feet and set your bass drum/pedal at that exact angle. Do the same with your hi hat pedal. Then place the snare drum in between and adjusted the height for you can consistently strike the head of the snare without hitting the rim. If you notice you’re hitting the hoop too often, then it may be a little high.
3. Tom Sawyer
The next step is adding the toms. I like my floor tom level with my snare drum and at a flat angle. As for my rack Tom, place it above the bass drum in front of the snare. Adjust the height and angle to your liking. Also as you add another piece to your drums in the set up process, play at a little bit to make sure each drum is comfortable before you move on to the next piece.
Lastly we add the cymbals. I start with my ride and make sure that the edge isn’t hitting the hoop on the rack tom. The main reason for me playing with one rack tom instead of two is that the ride cymbal is easily accessible and I don’t have to tweak my arm in an awkward position to hit the ride. If you use more toms in your set up, just place everything accordingly and make adjustments until you’re happy. Play around with the height of your high hats to make sure there is no conflict with your sticks colliding when you play the snare drum.
I hope you have found value in this blog and you are not at the point of frustration and discouragement due to a poor set up. This makes all the difference with your outlook towards playing the drums.
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