Monday, May 3, 2010

Small Drum Sizes

Hey guys, it's a pleasure to write this blog for all of you. Hopefully, you'll find it somewhat entertaining, or at least interesting.

I'm asked often about why I play such small drums. My current set up has a 20" kick, and 10", 13" and 15" toms. I started favoring the smaller sized drums years and years ago, when I would play nothing but basements and rented out VFW halls, rooms that never had a band PA. When I watched the other bands, I never heard the drums cut through the guitars. I figured the larger drums were getting lost in all the thickness of distorted guitars, so maybe smaller drums would play in a different range and have a chance to cut through. For a while, I even used an 8" tom.

As time went on, I got comfortable with my kit set up that way, and saw no reason to change things when mics started showing up on my drums.And as for the kick, a 20" kick just sounds tight.I thought it would give the faster, more intricate stuff a better chance of being more well defined.

In the end, though, it all comes down to taste. I really like the way those sizes sound.But I admit, it didn't hurt when I could fit all that stuff quite easily into my VW Golf ! Maybe that is the real reason and I'm just trying to sound smart now.
• Justin Foley


  1. I play both 18 and 16 inch bass drums,all heads are Evans.....I love the the E Mad on my 18 but there is no emad for my 16...can you advise me the closest to the emad I can put on my 16 inch bass ? Thanks...Bill Street

  2. Love the blog! I play 8, 10, 14 & 18" kick with Evans G1 coated top/G1 clear bottom an Emad on the kick - theyb sound great live and in the studio! Check out the sounds:

  3. Its always best to go small on the toms (ie 8, 10, 12,) and floor toms (ie 14, 16) and big on the bass drums (ie 22, 24, 26) This way you get that deep, fat, low end tone out of the bass drums and all of your tom rolls sound crisp and articulate instead of low pitched and muddy.

  4. I switched to smaller sizes several years ago. Reasons: 1. Easier for me to tune. 2. Love the tighter kick sound (20"). 3. Fits in a smaller vehicle. 4. Lighter and easier for this old geezer to lug around.