Hello everyone and welcome to our first Readers Question where I answer questions posted by readers. Our first comes from Josh Middleton who asked if drum racks or useful or not.
Well the answer really is dependent on the player, so first I will do the lovely pros and cons list.
Compact. The drum rack allows you to use less hardware therefore reducing the space your kit would take up.
Weight. Often enough a drum rack is fairly light. When compared to a large set of heavy braced stands the drum rack becomes a much lighter option.
Portability: Drum racks also pack up really small and take up a lot less room for transport.
Looks: To some people a rack looks really cool , but this is a matter of personal preference.
Adjust-ability. Most drum racks nowadays have a very large amount of freedom on where to play things. Round tubing racks allow for any angle of drum and cymbal placement and with a choice of curved of straight bars you can adjust how close or far away you want drums and cymbals to be. Also with the addition of extra pipes you can expand its side upwards and outwards to have better placement.
Sturdy. A rack in general is a very sturdy piece of hardware and great for mounting expensive drums you dont want to fall, a major advantage over traditional stand mounted toms.
Cost. Drum racks, especially the higher end ones, often cost a lot of money, more so than a set of stands.
Obtrusive. Sometimes the pipes can become obtrusive causing some drums like floor toms and bass drums to have limited placement, and other things like hi hats to have to fit in where possible. Of course there are ways around this such as floating floor toms and mounted hi hats, but this adds to the already great expenditure of a rack system.
Looks. Some people don't like the look of a drum rack, but this is down to personal preference.
Flexibility. Whilst the best has been done to make placement of drums and cymbals as varied as possible, the rack is still static and can mean that whilst some drums are in a prime position some wont be, and can cause problems for some drummers.
Racks in general have there places. On small jazz kits they are rarely seen for the reason that light braced hardware does the job easier and better. On standard 5 piece kits and a little bigger they have there uses. Some drummers use it primarily for its looks at this point or because they want a sturdier and more flexible mounting system if they are using suspended toms. On large double bass kits and larger they become much more useful with more space for mounting the large amount of toms and cymbals that would otherwise create a large clutter of hardware that would weigh a tonne and cost a fortune. So in general yes, racks are a good thing. If you want to be a little less obtrusive try a stealth rack, but if you want to compact your size and have a sturdy mount for your drums and cymbals, you cant go wrong with a rack.