Floor Tom The Groundshaking Percussion Voice

A floor tom is a cylindrical drum that is wider in diameter than a snare drum, typically measuring 14-18 inches. It is a part of the drum set and is usually placed on the floor to the left of the drummer, hence the name “floor tom.” The floor tom’s size and resonance create a deep and powerful sound, making it a crucial percussion voice in various styles of music.

The purpose of a floor tom is to provide a deep and booming sound that adds depth and dimension to the overall drum set sound. It is often used to play sustained “boom” notes in a rhythmic pattern, adding a grounding element to the music. In some styles of music, the floor tom is also used to play specific rhythmic patterns or solos.

A floor tom is typically played by striking it with a drumstick or mallets. The drummer can also use their hand to produce a different sound. The sound created by the floor tom depends on the type of drum head, the technique used, and the tuning of the drum.

There are different types of floor toms, categorized based on their size, material, and purpose. Some of the popular types include:

  1. Single-Headed Floor Tom: This type of floor tom has a single drumhead and is used primarily in rock music.
  2. Double-Headed Floor Tom: This type of floor tom has two drumheads, typically made of different materials, and is used in a variety of music styles.
  3. Concert Floor Tom: This type of floor tom is designed for orchestral or concert performances and has a smaller diameter than other types.
  4. Marching Floor Tom: This type of floor tom is specially designed for marching bands and has a harness for easy carrying.

The size, shape, material, and tuning of a floor tom play an essential role in its sound and characteristics. A typical floor tom is round or cylindrical in shape and is made of wood, metal, or acrylic. The tuning of the drum can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the drumheads, which impacts the pitch and resonance of the sound produced.

To mic a floor tom effectively, place a microphone near the center of the drumhead, angled towards the edge of the drum. The microphone should be placed close enough to capture the sound of the drum while avoiding any unwanted noise from other instruments.

Some popular techniques used for playing the floor tom include:

  1. Cross Stick: This technique involves holding the drumstick parallel to the floor and hitting the rim of the drum with the butt of the stick to produce a sharp, metallic sound.
  2. Rim Shot: In this technique, the drummer hits the drumhead and the rim simultaneously, creating a louder and more pronounced sound.
  3. Muffling Techniques: Different types of muffling, such as using tape or gel, can be applied to the drumhead to alter the sound of the floor tom.
  4. Playing with Brushes: Using brushes instead of drumsticks can produce a softer and more delicate sound from the floor tom.

The floor tom is used in various styles of music, including rock, jazz, funk, and even orchestral music. In rock music, it is often used in combination with the bass drum to create a powerful and driving rhythm. In jazz, it is used for rhythmic accents and solos. In orchestral music, it is used as a percussion voice to add depth and resonance to the overall sound. Ultimately, the floor tom’s versatility makes it a crucial component of any drummer’s arsenal.

Key Takeaways:

  • A floor tom is a ground-shaking percussion instrument that adds depth and power to music.
  • Different types of floor toms, such as single- and double-headed, offer unique sounds and versatility for various music genres.
  • Proper mic placement and playing techniques, like cross sticking and rim shots, can enhance the sound of a floor tom in music production.

    What is a Floor Tom?

    What is a Floor Tom? - Floor Tom: The Ground-Shaking Percussion Voice

    Photo Credits: Goldenscissors.Info by Sean Flores

    What is a Floor Tom? A floor tom is a fundamental part of a drum set, belonging to the percussion family. It is typically larger in diameter compared to other tom-toms and produces a deep, resonant sound. This instrument is crucial in creating rhythmic patterns and adding depth to music in a variety of genres such as rock, jazz, and blues.

    What is the Purpose of a Floor Tom?

    What is the Purpose of a Floor Tom? - Floor Tom: The Ground-Shaking Percussion Voice

    Photo Credits: Goldenscissors.Info by Russell Adams

    The purpose of a floor tom is to add depth and power to a drum kit by providing deep, resonant tones. Placed on the floor, it creates a booming sound that enriches the overall sound of a band.

    A real-life example in a similar tone of voice: During a live concert, the drummer’s skilled utilization of the floor tom during a powerful ballad sent shivers down the spines of the audience, emphasizing the emotional impact of the music.

    How is a Floor Tom Played?

    • Position the floor tom to the right side for right-handed drummers or left side for left-handed drummers.
    • Strike the drumhead with a drumstick, using wrist movements, for a deep and resonant sound.
    • Experiment with different striking techniques like rimshots, cross-stick, or mallets for varied tones.

    What Are the Different Types of Floor Toms?

    In the world of percussion, the floor tom holds a special place as a powerful and versatile instrument. But did you know that there are different types of floor toms, each with their own unique characteristics and purposes? In this section, we will explore the various types of floor toms, including the single-headed, double-headed, concert, and marching floor toms. By understanding the differences between these types, we can gain a greater appreciation for the diverse range of sounds and styles that can be achieved with this dynamic percussion voice.

    1. Single-Headed Floor Tom

    • The single-headed floor tom is a type of drum with a single drumhead that resonates when struck.
    • To enhance the sound, it is important to tune the drumhead to your desired pitch.
    • For a deep and resonant tone, use a soft mallet or drumstick to strike the drumhead.

    Did you know? The single-headed floor tom is commonly used in jazz and rock music to provide a deep, low-end sound.

    2. Double-Headed Floor Tom

    A double-headed floor tom is a type of floor tom drum with two drumheads, providing a wide range of tonal possibilities and resonance. It is known for its deep and resonant sound, making it a popular choice for various music genres, including jazz and rock.

    The double-headed floor tom became popular in the mid-20th century, as modern drum kit configurations evolved, adding to the diversity of percussive sounds in contemporary music.

    3. Concert Floor Tom

    • Set up the concert floor tom in a stable and easily accessible position on the stage.
    • Ensure the drum head is tuned to the desired pitch for the piece being performed.
    • Position the microphone correctly to capture the full tonal range of the concert floor tom.
    • Practice different striking techniques to achieve the desired sound for the performance.

    When it comes to the history of the concert floor tom, its origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where drums similar to the concert floor tom were used in various ceremonial and cultural rituals.

    4. Marching Floor Tom

    The 4. Marching Floor Tom is a specialized type of floor tom designed for use in marching bands. It is typically smaller in size, making it easier to carry and play while marching. Built with durability in mind, it is constructed to withstand the rigors of outdoor performances and has a bright, resonant sound that projects well in open spaces.

    Pro-tip: When using a marching floor tom, ensure it is securely attached to the player’s body to prevent any discomfort or hindrance during movement.

    What Are the Characteristics of a Floor Tom?

    What Are the Characteristics of a Floor Tom? - Floor Tom: The Ground-Shaking Percussion Voice

    Photo Credits: Goldenscissors.Info by Anthony Roberts

    The floor tom is a key component of any drum set, providing a deep and resonant sound that adds a strong foundation to any musical piece. But what makes a floor tom unique from other drums? In this section, we will discuss the key characteristics of a floor tom, including its size and shape, the materials used in its construction, and how it is tuned to produce its distinct sound. By understanding these elements, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of the floor tom in percussion.

    1. Size and Shape

    The size and shape of a floor tom are crucial factors that impact its sound and playability. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

    • Size: The diameter of the tom can greatly affect the tone it produces. Larger diameters typically create deeper tones, while smaller ones offer higher pitches.
    • Depth: The depth of the tom’s shell also plays a significant role in its sound. Deeper shells tend to produce richer and more resonant tones, while shallower ones create punchier sounds.
    • Shell construction: The material used for the tom’s shell, such as birch or maple, can also affect its overall tonal quality.

    When selecting a floor tom, it’s important to prioritize your preferred sound and playing style to ensure the best musical experience.

    2. Material and Construction

    • Choose a floor tom made from high-quality wood or acrylic for both durability and resonance.
    • Take into consideration the thickness of the drum shell, as thinner shells tend to produce brighter tones while thicker shells offer a deeper sound.
    • Inspect the bearing edges for precision and smoothness to ensure optimal contact with drumheads.
    • Evaluate the hardware, such as lugs and tension rods, for sturdiness and ease of tuning.

    A renowned drummer, while on tour, discovered a vintage floor tom made from rare African mahogany, which became an essential part of their signature sound.

    3. Tuning and Sound

    • Tightening the drumheads: Use a drum key to adjust the tension of the top and bottom heads to achieve the desired pitch and tone.
    • Resonance control: Apply materials like gels or tape to the drumhead to reduce unwanted overtones and create a more focused sound.
    • Experimenting with muffling: Place different objects, such as cloth or foam, inside the drum to alter the resonance and sustain of the floor tom.

    When learning the art of tuning and sound for my floor tom, I experimented with different tension levels on the drumheads to find the perfect pitch. After several attempts and adjustments, I finally achieved the rich, deep sound I was aiming for, enhancing the overall rhythm of our band’s performance.

    What Are the Best Ways to Mic a Floor Tom?

    • Positioning: To achieve the best sound, place the microphone just above the rim of the floor tom to capture its full resonance.
    • Angle: For a balanced sound, angle the mic slightly towards the center of the drumhead.
    • Experiment: Don’t be afraid to try different mic placements to find the perfect spot for your specific drum and desired sound.

    Pro-tip: For a punchier sound, consider using a dynamic microphone, while a condenser microphone is better for capturing more nuanced tones.

    What Are Some Popular Floor Tom Techniques?

    When it comes to creating powerful and dynamic rhythms, the floor tom is an essential instrument in any percussionist’s arsenal. In this section, we will explore some of the most popular techniques used to play this ground-shaking percussion voice. From the classic cross stick to the subtle nuances of muffling techniques, we will cover the diverse range of ways to produce unique and captivating sounds from the floor tom. And for those looking to add some finesse to their playing, we’ll also discuss the art of playing with brushes on the floor tom. So, let’s dive into the world of floor tom techniques and discover how this versatile instrument can enhance any musical performance.

    1. Cross Stick

    • Hold the drumstick in a traditional grip.
    • Position the stick over the rim, ensuring the tip touches the head.
    • Strike the head with the tip of the drumstick while the other end remains in contact with the rim.
    • Adjust the pressure to control the sound and resonance.

    A drummer, known for his exceptional cross stick technique, once performed an awe-inspiring solo, captivating the entire audience with his rhythmic mastery.

    2. Rim Shot

    A rim shot is a percussive technique used on a floor tom where the drumstick strikes the drumhead and the rim simultaneously. Here are some steps for executing a rim shot:

    1. Hold the drumstick slightly angled towards the rim of the floor tom.
    2. Strike the drumhead and rim simultaneously with a swift, controlled motion.
    3. Practice to achieve a balanced sound between the drumhead and rim.

    Remember, mastering the 2. Rim Shot technique can greatly enhance the depth and dynamics of your floor tom performance.

    3. Muffling Techniques

    • Using a pillow: Place a pillow inside the floor tom to dampen the sound.
    • Applying damping gels: Stick reusable gels to the drumhead for adjustable muffling.
    • Utilizing moongel: Attach moongels to the drumhead to control overtones.
    • Employing drum rings: Position drum rings on the drumhead to reduce resonance.

    The history of muffling techniques for floor toms dates back to the mid-20th century when drummers began experimenting with various materials to control the resonance and sustain of the instrument. Over time, the use of pillows, gels, moongels, and drum rings became prevalent, offering drummers a range of options to customize their floor tom sound. These techniques have been an integral part of drumming for decades, providing drummers with versatile ways to adjust the sound of their floor toms.

    4. Playing with Brushes

    • Hold the brush in a relaxed grip, allowing the bristles to fan out for a softer sound.
    • Experiment with different brush pressures and angles against the drumhead to achieve varying dynamics and tones.
    • Utilize circular or sweeping motions with the brush to create sustained, ambient sounds.
    • Practice integrating brush techniques with traditional stick playing to add depth and texture to your drumming.

    Embracing the versatility of brush playing can elevate your rhythmic expression and add a nuanced layer to your percussion performance. This is especially true when playing with brushes, as it allows for a unique and dynamic sound. So don’t be afraid to experiment and incorporate brush techniques into your playing!

    How to Incorporate a Floor Tom into Different Styles of Music?

    • Rock Music: Utilize the floor tom to add powerful and driving beats, enhancing the rhythm section.
    • Jazz Music: Incorporate the floor tom for subtle accentuation, syncopation, and rhythmic complexity.
    • Fusion Music: Blend traditional drum kit elements with the floor tom to create dynamic and diverse percussive patterns.
    • Folk Music: Integrate the floor tom to add earthy and organic rhythmic textures, complementing acoustic instrumentation.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is the subreddit r/Drums and what makes it unique?

    The subreddit r/Drums is an online community for drummers of all skill levels to discuss percussion and share their music. It is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, making it a popular destination for drummers. The subreddit is also known for its partnership with Reddit, which allows for a seamless and user-friendly experience, as well as giving users control over their cookie preferences.

    2. How can I slow down the rattling sound on my floor tom?

    One possible solution is to use duct tape on the tension rods or on the rim of the drum. This can help dampen the vibrations and reduce the rattling sound. Additionally, adjusting the tension of the resonant head or using a thicker resonant head can also help to reduce the rattling sound.

    3. What is the significance of using clear Emperor heads on toms?

    Clear Emperor heads are known for their warm and full sound, with a hint of attack. These heads are often preferred by drummers for their versatility and ability to produce a range of sounds. However, it is important to note that the sound can also be affected by the drum shell, drum size, and tuning.

    4. Can I reject non-essential cookies on Reddit?

    Yes, Reddit allows users to reject non-essential cookies, which may still allow the platform to use certain cookies for the proper functionality of the site. This option can be found in the Cookie Notice and Privacy Policy, which users can refer to for more details.

    5. What are the flanged hoops on a drum?

    Flanged hoops, also known as triple-flanged hoops, are metal hoops that are used to secure the drumhead onto the drum shell. They have a flanged or curved design, which allows for a more open and resonant sound compared to die-cast hoops. These hoops are commonly used on maple drums and are known for their durability and versatility.

    6. How does the subreddit r/Drums provide opportunities for drummers to showcase their skills?

    The subreddit hosts various events and challenges for its members, including drum cover challenges and drumming competitions. These events allow drummers to submit videos of themselves playing a specific song or showcase their skills and compete against other members. This not only adds a fun element to the community, but also provides opportunities for recognition and feedback from fellow drummers.