Having your own drum kit will make it easier for you to set up your own drum set. However, even without a drum kit, you will still be able to set up your drum sets by using your stool or throne as guide.
When using your throne as a guide in setting up your drums, place your throne in the middle of an empty room.
Sit on the throne with your drumsticks to get the feel of the height and depth which you may need in setting up your drums. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in from of your drums.
While closing your eyes and imagining yourself in front of your drum set, feel the balance of your throne. Both your feet should be planted firmly on the floor when you do this. Keep your feet on a comfortable position and then open your eyes. Check your feet and make sure that the width between your feet is more or less the same width as your shoulders.
Putting your feet on a wide angle will give you a more stable and strong base. The location of your feet in very important because this will determine where you will put your pedals for your bass drum and hi hat.
To make sure that your feet are comfortable where they are, try shifting your feet and experiment on different position. Do not worry, there is no hard and fast rules as to where you should put your feet when playing your drums so just go with the natural flow of your body.
Air drumming will help you gauge the possible height and reach of the drums. Play a mental tune and start drumming into the air as if you are playing your instruments in an actual concert. Pay close attention to where your hands go when you are air drumming so that you will know which way your body flow naturally. Always remember that our bodies have its own natural reflexes. By going with the natural flow of your body movements, you will be able to move more fluidly.
Finding the optimal place for all the different members of your drum set is probably one of the most controversial topics in the drumming scene.
The variations are endless, and there is no definitive choice. That is natural, since almost all drum sets are different, every drummer is different, and there should not be two identical drum sets once they are set up for active playing.
Once you are comfortable with your position, mark the spot with chalk or any other non-permanent markers. Bring in your drums one by one and set them up one by one. Start by adding your bass drum first and then followed by your hi hat. Note that the tuning of bass drums needs to be performed as well when setting up a new drumset. Test your position again before you add your other instruments like the snare drum and cymbals.
Every time you add another piece of instrument into your drum set, test your body movements and make sure that your movements are not restricted in anyway. If you feel that your movements are hampered in anyway, make adjustments. Always see to it that you are comfortable with what you are doing so that you can play your drums more beautifully.
Here we will take a look at a standard drum set, with a bass drum, a snare drum, two toms and a floor tom, a hi-hat a ride and a crash cymbal. This is the setup most of us have, especially when we are just starting out with drumming.
In order to get started with setting up your drum set, you first have to find room large enough for placing all the members of your drum set. You should lay down a rug (some stores sell branded rugs specially made for drums), and situate your drum throne on one of the margins, where it seems to be comfortable.
The next step in setting up your drum set should be finding a place for your snare drum, as it is the central part of your set. You should situate it in front of you, a little off to the left. The angle of the snare drum varies drummer by drummer. You should spend a little time trying to find the angle that best fits your playing style – playing drum rudiments is a good idea to do in this phase. However, once your hi-hat and other drums will be in place the whole image becomes clearer.
Once your snare drum is set up, you should continue with putting your hi-hat and your bass drum in their proper places. The angle between the hi-hat pedal and the bass pedal is also a matter of personal choice, most people prefer something around 60 degrees.
You should also spend some time figuring out how far you would like your hi-hat cymbals to be in their open state. Personally, I prefer a bigger space between the two cymbals – you can always make the space smaller using the pedal. However, if you set them to be close to each other you are left with that setting.
When it comes to the toms, the question the rises again is also that of angles. Some people like their toms to lean in towards them, when others prefer to set them to a lower height and make them horizontal. Again, playing some toms-centric fills will reveal what is most comfortable.
After everything mentioned in previous paragraphs is in its rightful place, you should place your remaining cymbals. There are no strict rules, but common practice is to place the crash cymbal to your left, a bit higher than your high tom and your hi-hat and place your ride cymbal to your right, somewhere between and behind your mid-tom and your floor tom.
Even if something does not feel totally comfortable at first, you should always be open to experimenting. Learning drums is a continuous process. Try using a new setting for a few days or weeks, and you might eventually find out that the new setting gives you new abilities once you become comfortable. That is what happened to me with horizontal toms. After all, if you are not satisfied with your new setting, you can rewind it anytime.
Drumeo is a step-by-step instructional program designed to help you get started with the basics and progress into an advanced drummer easily. It covers a wide variety of genres like rock, jazz and blues and lessons are broken down by topic.