Deconstruct Yourself - Part 3

The next time you go to a rehearsal or gig, leave a part of your drum set behind. Maybe a cymbal, maybe a tom, maybe your hi-hat. Change your set up to change the way you play and get out of the predictable licks & ruts you are living in.


  • Change the way you set your kit up; Instead of the usual high/mid/low toms, set them up mid/high/low.
  • Use just a China cymbal & hi-hats.
  • Use just a floor tom and no other toms.
  • Use a 2nd, different snare (like a 10”) in place of a tom.
  • Play just a snare/bass/cymbal/hi-hat.


I once went to a gig with a snare, bass, 2-16x16 toms (one mounted and one on the floor), and the basic hats/crash/ride. At the time, I usually played with a monster double bass kit with 5 toms and tons of cymbals & Gongs. I was bored and just wanted a change. The band thought I was crazy, but I still rocked.


Another time I set up left handed and played that way. Now that really made sure I couldn’t play the same old licks.


One of my favorite drummers, the great German improv player Paul Lovens, always lists his album credits as: selected drums & cymbals. I like that. Why should we be limited to what we play? Currently, I have no set drum set. I just pick what I feel like using from the various drums & cymbals I have at hand. A big part of this is asking myself, what am I hearing today?


What are YOU hearing today? Change your set up, change your mind, change your life…


~ MB

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