What minimum drum set (# of toms, cymbals,etc) do you need to play metal?

Discussion in 'Drums & Percussion' started by JediMasterThrash, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. JediMasterThrash

    JediMasterThrash SS.org Regular

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    I'm looking to just get an electronic drum kit for fun and practice. Maybe help with some home recording demos with my primary guitar playing.

    The Roland TD-1DMK with a separate double-bass pedal (like the PDP 502) seems like it fits the bill as cheap but sufficient.

    My main question is if I get to the point of wanting to cover some metallica or iron maiden (my primary two covers) or even some other prog or neo-classical metal acts, am I going to find I'm missing necessary drums/cymbals?

    I haven't really found any good source to explain what a minimum drum kit is. Like if you watch portnoy or loble, they're surrounded by a giant cage with like 50 toms and cymbals. Clearly that's overkill for a beginner. But still begs the question, what is the minimum i need to at least cover some prog/neo/classic metal well enough?

    The double bass pedal is obviously a must. But how many snares, toms, and different types of cymbals do I need?

    And obviously "minimum" is relative. I could play every metal song by tapping a single spoon on a table if I needed to. It's just a matter of getting 90% there, enough to feel like it sounds close enough and is fun to play.

    Thanks.
     
  2. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Hi hat, snare and kick is the absolute minimum.

    Hi hat, snare, kick, one crash and one tom (or maybe let's say a rack tom and a floor tom) is more of a sensible minimum.

    Hi hat, snare, kick, crash, ride, two rack toms, floor tom, (or rack tom, two floors if you prefer) will be fine.

    Hi hat, snare, kick, 2 crashes, a china, ride, two rack toms, two floors and now you don't ever need any more drums and everyone who has more is a poser and Mangini is the biggest poser of all and I hope his rack gong falls on him.

    edit: I'll also allow 1 (one) splash cymbal if you like that sort of thing. And a second hi hat on the other side so you can switch between left and right handed at will.
     
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  3. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Snare, kick, rack tom, floor tom, crash, ride, hats.
     
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  4. Ebony

    Ebony Signal purist

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    A standard 5-piece with 1 hi-hat, 2 crashes and 1 ride.

    It's called standard 5-piece for a reason. There might be a second bass drum without double pedals, a few more toms and 5-15 more cymbals, but at it's core it still contains a 5-piece, and 90% of everything they play can be played on the 5-piece.

    A dedicated ride cymbal is obligatory, due to the weight required for metal riding, think roughly 2700 grams and up for a 20" cymbal, roughly 3500 grams and up for a 22" cymbal. In metal, we usually want a ride that can't be crashed, the opposite of what most people in most other genres are going for.

    10"+12"+(14" or 16") toms when going for modern stuff, 12+13+16" toms when going for more traditional stuff, generally. 12"+13" gives you beefier tom rolls, plus the 13" doubles as a second floor tom, something the 12 will not do. 10"+12" gives you what most people are using these days, the 10" is great for accents in more technical stuff, but the rolls suffer. And forget about double floor tom action, the 12" is the last drum size that simply won't go low unless you add studio magic.
     
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  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ This is what I think of as the minimum to have a "complete" kit. I play a pretty minimal setup, and it basically only adds a second crash and a second rack tom.
     
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  6. TheKindred

    TheKindred TimeTravel Innovator

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    Just lol if you don't also add a piccolo snare on top of all these recommendations
     
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  7. pastanator

    pastanator SS.org Regular

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    this but id also add a china
     
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  8. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Minimum is a hard thing to quantify I think, but my thinking is for metal like Metallica/Iron Maiden covers I would probably like to have two rack + one floor tom and two crashes. You can totally get by with one rack + one floor tom, but some tom roll type fills might suffer, or with only one crash, but a second crash can be really nice in metal where you crash a lot. With one, things can get a bit boring. "Crash crash crash crash crash", and it's all the same sound, ugh...

    The Roland kit you mentioned looks nice, and it's got the three toms, great. It does however only have two cymbals (and a hi-hat). So that means as long as you want to have a ride (which I wouldn't go without, although uncommonly some people (like Lars) do) you only have one crash. Like I mentioned above, that totally works, but another crash is probably the extra thing I would add first. And then eventually, you'll realize as you play more if you feel you're missing something. Maybe you'd really want a china cymbal, or even more toms for really long roll fills.

    However, it might be worth checking out how much stuff you can add to the set. I don't know anything about that Roland module, but it seems you can add at least another cymbal. Beyond that, I don't know. But that might be worth checking out and taking into consideration. You might end up realizing you enjoy playing a bigger kit and want to add a bunch of stuff. Or you might realize you're perfectly happy with what you have. You could swap out the module though, if you wanted to upgrade, but that's another expense then.
     
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  9. JediMasterThrash

    JediMasterThrash SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for all the info, this has been great
     
  10. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Is there any chance you could say this sentence again with different words? I think I've spent too much time battering away in excitement on my two floor toms and it's dulled my brain cells somewhat.
     
  11. Ebony

    Ebony Signal purist

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    When you have two floor toms, the smallest one has to be at least 13" diameter. When people sit on their 10+12+16 modern fusion starter kits and try to play double floor tom stuff on the 12 and the 16, it doesn't sound right, because the 12 can't get down into that range of pitch.
     
  12. PBC

    PBC Composition Ontology

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    Aaron Stechauner, ex Rings of Saturn, current Faceless, has the smallest setup I've seen for metal. He's a phenomenal player and even did the entire Planetary Duality album with this setup. If you really wanted to cut down you could forgo the China and the second crash. This will get you most of the way there.

    Edit: If you unsure of what to get, I'd highly recommend getting an acoustic kit with silent strokes and Zildjian L80s for the cymbals. I was debating between e-kit and acoustic and am grateful that I went with the latter. It's a little more upfront, cash wise, than a basic e-kit, but it's so satisfying to play and practice on. Honestly been playing it more than my guitar.

     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  13. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Kick, Snare, Hi Hat, 2 rack toms, 2 floor toms, 18" crash on the left, 22" ride on the right, 16" china about 1 oclock, 20" Slash about 2 oclock.
    Simple.
     
  14. Señor Voorhees

    Señor Voorhees SS.org Regular

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    For minimum, I think it's best to have a kick, snare, 2 rack toms, a floor tom, a crash, a ride, and a china. You can forego the china for actual minimum, but I love china cymbals too much to leave them off. 2 crashes is IDEAL, not minimum. (as is my china recommendation to be fair.)

    Without preferences, I suppose, you want a kick, a snare, a high hat, 3 toms (Ideally 2 rack and one floor), a ride and a crash. The Roland TD-1DMK seems to be perfectly ideal for bare minimum kit size. Two crashes or a crash and a china are great to have, but one crash will always work. It'll just lack subtle variety. The best drummers can make tiny kits work. Loble and Portnoy prefer huge extravagant kits, but I promise they could make that TD-1DMK sing, and it wouldn't even sound duper off to the layman. It's worth noting that you'll probably want to put the e-kit through a sample library like ez-drummer or Superior Drummer anyway. If you record midi live, you can always swap the one crash for a splash, china, ride, trash, etc. whenever you want to. Still a live performance as far as skill is involved, just swapping one sound for another due to limitations. (and still fine sounding without the swap. Just maybe not the end result desired if you want that China instead of a crash.)
     
  15. Acaciastrain360

    Acaciastrain360 Don’t need no money, cus suicide is free

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    Load of bollocks, METAL = China cymbal, 18” crash/ride cymbal (2 in 1) snare, rack Tom, floor Tom and kick drum (double bass pedal of course)

    edit: with electric kits you can usually get two cymbal sounds from the one cymbal trigger, cool fact :)
     
  16. Necky379

    Necky379 SS.org Regular

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    I’ve been eyeing up that Alesis mesh kit and one from Carlsboro (I think that’s the company). Does anyone know if these electronic kits can be set up for double bass or is it just one kick and one high hat only?
     

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