Bill Rotella's


Set Up Your Drums


There are no two Drummers, who set up their Drums the same. They may have the same amount of Drums, Cymbals, and Stands, but Set Up will vary for each Drummer. Being comfortable while playing is important. You should be relaxed! I have used this set of ideas for guidlines, in setting up drums.


The THRONE should be set up first. The height will be adjusted so your thighs can be parallel to the floor. Too high and the top of the seat will push into the back of your leg, and cause circulation problem. Too low will give you, an uncomfortable position.


The SNARE STAND will be next. Before placing Snare Drum on stand, decide if you will put an angle or keep drum flat. Grip of stick next!. The rule is no angle(flat) for matched grip. Slight angle, downward to right(for right hand drummers)for Conventional grip. Place Snare on stand, using center tube of stand, to bring drum higher or lower. The proper height should be determined, by playing "RIM" shots, on the Snare. If you hit your legs, when playing rim shots, drum would be too low. The hitting of just the snare rim only, with the raising up of the elbows, would indicate the snare is too high. Your arms must be relaxed along the side of your body.(SEE SKETCH #1)


SET UP TIP:right hand drummers keep snare strainer to left. Left Handers keep to right. This way you can turn stainer on or off by using hand playing on snare, without stopping TIME on cymbal.


The BASS DRUM can be set up next. The spurs should be pulled out so the front lower edge of the BASS is off the floor. THIS HELPS TO PREVENT SLIDING)A second Bass can be set up in the same manner if you use Double Bass.(SEE SKETCH#2)


The Mounted TOMS, single or double can be mounted to the holder on the Bass Drum. A single Tom will be set up to the left, for a right handed drummer. This is the smaller tom of the two, if you have two. General size 8X12 and 9X12. Angle so rim is in line with snare drum.(SEE SKETCH #3)Also keep toms close together. NOTE: If your rims, are too high because of Bass drum, then Bass may be too large, or you need to go over set up ideas!


FLOOR TOM rim should also be in line, with Snare Drum. Keeping rims in line will facilitate playing from drum to drum.


This is a basic set up that I use. I find it comfortable, and relaxed when I play. It is just a gudeline, and I hope you get some pointers in setting up your drums. You can print this lesson if you like, and use it. I will have a Cymbal set up lesson coming soon. Best Regards.......Bill Rotella


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