Are more minimalistic drum kits en vogue?

saneff

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3,383
From watching live music the last few years, it seems that the huge drum kits have fallen out of favor. Drummers for the most popular bands - even rock bands such as Foo Fighters with Taylor Hawkins - seem to be using pretty simple kits. The Tommy Lee-esque kits seem to have virtually disappeared. Is this correct or is it just me and the music I seem to pay attention to? And if it is right, is it just sort of a trend that goes bakc ot basics? Traditionalism?
 

fisticuffs

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5,409
It's starting to swing the other way. It usually has to do with what music is popular and what those artists are doing. Even if it's not directly obvious the artists is having that effect.

But I see more 6 piece kits going out now than 4's. two up, two down, 20" kick is hugely popular right now. The really small kits are basically the drummer ukulele or travel guitar. Probably not their main rig but a less expensive fun thing to own in addition to their other kits.
 

sixty2strat

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11,574
That's a trend that has been going on for maybe 20-25 years. The Giant 70's n 80's kits have been fading for years, grunge killed it as well. I remember everone had a double bass 4 toms roto toms and 2 floor toms as a minimum. They always impressed me till I played with an older guy who had Watts/ Bonham. All I can say is how much tighter and more solid it was. You had to count vs the guys who if the hit a 1/8 on each tome would still come out on the 1
 

Thinline_slim

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3,261
I sure hope so. I haven't met many amateur drummers that can successfully play a 6+ piece kit and the ones that can absolutely explode with what they can do with a 4 piece.

I've seen plenty of instances where the number of pieces is inversly proportional to the amount of talent.
 

TheoDog

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19,788
The drummers I gig with that I like set up small kits. 2 toms typically. And they vary kick and tom size based on the venue.
I think some musician-type drummers are tired of the "waitin' on the drummer to set up" stereotype.
 

eclecto-acoustic

Coal-hating feral hippie
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Well, I can't speak for other drummers, but I know when I build my first kit (I've played drums off and on, mostly for fun, for about 6 years), 6 pieces is the upper limit. Kick, snare, hi-hat and a short-decay crash/splash. After that maybe add one lower frequency piece if the need arises.
 

ZepFuzz05

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1,410
If Greg Saunier's drumming is indicative of what can be achieved with a small kit, well, then I sure hope so.



 

Mayflower

Gold Supporting Member
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IME drummers who use less drums play more steadily and are more in the pocket.
Discovered this 25 years ago when we had a gig that wouldn't allow the big kit and he brought the scaled down kit. Everybody agreed, he was more creative and rock steady.
 

redchapterjubilee

Silver Supporting Member
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1,294
I've played four piece kits for 25 years. I've on occasion added more toms but if I have them I feel like I've got to play them. So it affects me playing. That said, recently I started playing every so often with a 2nd floor tom and that's kinda fun.

The guy that plays drums in the band I front uses less stuff than I do and he's much more inventive than I am.
 

Pablomago

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6,203
Who wants to be tearing down a drum kit while the other band members are chatting up the ladies?

This past summer the subdudes' Steve Amedee played little more then a tambourine. And it sounded huge. It's almost strange to see him with an actual drum kit.
 

Guitarworks

Member
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10,382
I think minimalist drum kits have been the norm since a significant number of people started rebelling against arena rock back in the early 90s. The big kits reminded them of Rush, Van Halen, Metallica, Yes, etc. etc. and they didn't want to play that type of music, so they downsized.
 
Messages
14,390
If Greg Saunier's drumming is indicative of what can be achieved with a small kit, well, then I sure hope so.




The first guy I thought of when I saw the thread.

I only saw them once, around the time of Apple O and he had a kit much like the one in the clips, though he also had a tambourine suspended over the front head of the kick.
 

JCM 800

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6,617
Danny Carey and Neil Peart along with Gavin Harrison were the first guys I thought of. Of course they all can and do use the entire kit, and do it very well.

The minimal 4 piece has been popular for awhile but the guys who can pull it off have stayed with the larger kits.
 

hubberjub

Member
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4,598
Define "small drum kit". Our drummer gigs with a 3-piece, but uses a 34" kick drum.

Just for reference, that's a Super Reverb sitting next to it.
 

tapeup

Butterscotch Supt. Member
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2,009
Define "small drum kit". Our drummer gigs with a 3-piece, but uses a 34" kick drum.

Just for reference, that's a Super Reverb sitting next to it.
I thought maybe you meant 24" instead of 34" until I saw the Super Reverb sitting next to it. Wow! What kind of music do you guys play?
 




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