Setting up a drum set.
Just like setting up the drivers seat of your car; a drummer should properly set up their kit to avoid any unnecessary accidents. Each drummer has a specific way they prefer their set to be arranged. From the height of the seat to the arrangement of toms and cymbals the set-up should allow for maximum efficiency, technique of playing and comfort.
From my experience over the last twenty five years I’ve encountered two types of drummers: those that play their sets and those that fight their sets.
If you’re a fighter these are the things that could be happening; you’re dropping sticks, hitting rims instead of toms or snare, hitting cymbals when trying to do a roll, and missing your cymbals due to placement or height.
Nobody wants to fight a drum set and look like a noob while on stage with their band.
Here are some basic tips to help you set up your kit the right way.
Get your butt in the right seat.
Your throne needs to be set up to allow for balance and comfort at all times. Thighs should be nearly parallel to the ground, with your knees just below the tops of your legs. Depending on comfort and your height you can adjust the level up and down until you find the sweet spot. There are many different styles and thickness of seats to choose from like; motorcycle seats, round seats and seats with the back supports. Find what’s most comfortable for your idea playing posture.
Place the bass drum first.
Some drummers prefer their bass drum in the center of their kit especially if they use a single bass pedal. I prefer mine slightly angled to the right. I use a double bass pedal and this arrangement allows for more foot room for the other pedal and hi-hat. Leave yourself plenty of room to move around freely without knocking into stuff behind you. The upper leg should be parallel with the drum running straight from your hip all the way through to the head so that energy from your hip is focused straight down into your bass drum pedal. If you’re not in a carpeted room, you should get a carpet for your kit to set up on. The bass drum spurs will mess up any linoleum, wood or tile flooring and the whole kit will slide around without one. Utilize the spurs on the front legs to stabilize the bass drum. Adjust the height of the legs so that the front of the bass drum is raised up off the floor at least a finger’s height from the ground to allow for the lift of the batter hoop when you slide your pedal clamp under it.
Setting up the snare.
The snare drum is the most played drum of the whole kit. It should be angled so when you strike it the stick hits almost horizontally. The variables for placement of the snare are determined by comfort, technique and your personal height. If you set it too high you could be hitting the rims too often and too low could cause your hits to leave bruises on your legs or dents in your snare head. Start with a snare height right around the belly button then adjust for your comfort and consistency from there.