An observation

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
OK, I’m guilty.

My father brought me a new set of drums 52 years ago. I still have that set of drums.
Two years ago I purchased a used set of drums. To be used as an open mic backline kit. This was the first set of drums I ever purchased.

A few months ago I purchased a set of expensive drums that I only use for practice at home. This was the first NEW drum set I ever purchased.

I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.
I just had to buy myself a new set of drums after all these years.
My wife gave me our tax return money to help buy the drums.
I guess it’s my mid-life crisis.

Can I get a little forgiveness and compassion here?

.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I have different ideas about gear.
I understand the idea of "it's not the drums, it's the drummer", It's not the arrow, it's the Indian". these phrases work when you have the goods to show for it, but not when you need the sound you hear in your head. fancying the sounds is not the same as having them. It's difficult to feel comfortable and creative without the confidence of the sound in your head, and that confidence comes from experience.

When I was a kid, out of disgust, I stomped my snare drum flat. It was a CB700. The music store was a good two minute walk away. I couldn't stand it and I needed a new drum. I can't fault myself for my destructive nature. It prevailed in a new professional drum that gave me no excuses. I had to deal with my father's wrath because I used my savings account money, which was for me to learn how to save money, but conveniently, the bank was across the street from the music store.
If you need (not just want) a different sound, even if that sound is expensive, you need to get that sound, or else you will suppress your creative sources.

I salute anyone who can get to their best creativity without the need for atonement. Drums are insanely complex.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
There is some skill and technique to being able to get good tone out of a wide variety of different instruments. This skill need not expensive to acquire either, if you are creative.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Again, guilty as everyone else here with gear lust but I know great drums don't make me a better player. If that were the case, I'd gig the Gurus lol.
You need to do that Larry. You've never heard them outside the sonic confines of your basement. Those babies need to breathe, & when they do, you'll roar! Go on - shock yourself ;)
 

Mark_S

Silver Member
The gear is part of the dream, surely. Because if you had your dream kit, you'd also have the skillz that would show it off to its best advantage, wouldn't you? No point having one without the other.

Unless, of course, you're me, sitting sparklily behind your dream kit and not even holding drumsticks:
Corr blimey! ;p
....
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Again, guilty as everyone else here with gear lust but I know great drums don't make me a better player. If that were the case, I'd gig the Gurus lol.
You're NOT gigging the Gurus? WTH?

Do those instruments a favor and play them out with a band in public! That's what they were meant for! Jeez.....
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
the one thing I'm not sure how to tackle is my biggest limiting factor, my own ideas. How do you improve one's playing ideas?[/QUOTE]

Free your mind and your ass will follow, just An observation..oh yeah and some ketchup.
 
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A-customs

Silver Member
I'm not sure what lessons cost these days but imagine how much better we would all be if we spent, 3, 5 or 10k on lessons rather than custom drums.
Thats the truth!!.I Will add ,As a 60 year old, thats one of my regrets.Wish i would have spent the time and money as a youngster defining the art,I Know your never to old but................And on the original point of dream kits,Now that i have more money,i like better drums. Sorry but im more inspired behind a top end kit as opposed to a entry level kit.Play better? Probably not but a hell alot more fun.That said,i own mid level drums but.......,find myself throwing down money on Nice cymbals and a more snares.......Im addicted
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I don't spend much time in the gear section. I like chiming-in on some beginner's threads, but even there, my input is unnecessary. In a way, it is fascinating to see all you guys who are so preoccupied with the smallest differences in various things. I like good looking drums too, and I like boobs, just like any other guy.

For me, I never had to think about gear. I just got what I needed to play what I wanted to play. Until 2011 when I joined this forum, I didn't read drum books, mags, articles, or websites. Never even thought about gear. I thought about playing. I yearned for any chance to play drums. Opportunities were often few and far between, so i stayed on a plateau for many, many years.

I think I came here to this forum to talk about playing, or just being a drummer. I was looking for a way off my plateau. I do spend more time now looking at gear. You guys have worn off on me a little, but I resist spending too much on drums because my budget is very tight. I'm not going into debt just so that I can have shiny new stuff. I've never bought a new drum set. A couple cymbals and snare drums, yes, but most of my spending is on used stuff. Sometimes it's not the most cost effective way to go, like building a set from old Pearl-style drums that are sometimes better suited to make furniture out of, but the reward is the same.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
Tommy Igoe told me once that not enough teachers teach vocabulary. A great place to start is Louie Bellsons Modern reading text in 4/4. That's where he started me.

Just tap quarters with your foot and play the pages hand to hand. You will be amazed at how many cool rhythmic ideas you wil be introduced to.

Another place is The New Breed by Gary Chester. As a matter of fact you can use the Beloson Book as your melody source for the Chester book.

Do it my nan, you'll thank me
Excellent advice Jeff, I wish I had thought of this before! Plus it's a great exercice on the pad when the family is asleep. I'll start tonight with Mr Bellson's book.

Since I made the decision not to buy new gear until christmas and instead practice whenever the gear lust kicks in, my will power has been tested when my lds recently had a great cymbal sale, but I resisted. So far have been putting in a good couple of hours more a week and it will pay off in the long run. A dream skill set is a heck of a lot harder to acquire than dream gear!
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
These rhythm text exercises is the best stuff you can do. You either keep foot ostinato and do stuff with the hands interpreting the text in any way e.g.:


1) Singles
2) Doubles
3) Right hand
4) Left hand
5) Accents filling in triplets
a) Doubling the low strokes
6) Accents filling in 16th notes

....interpret with any rudimentany rudiment.


Then you have the New Breed way.


Just choose ostinatos that you'll actually use.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Isn't the best thing you can do jamming with other people? I see the merits of exercises, of course, but isn't jamming going to teach you more than anything, including creativity?

Why do you think these guys, some of them, get so good? Because they are playing so often with their band, jamming 4 to 5 nights per week. You'd be amazed how creative you can get after jamming for a solid six hours.
 

Smoke

Silver Member
You need to do that Larry. You've never heard them outside the sonic confines of your basement. Those babies need to breathe, & when they do, you'll roar! Go on - shock yourself ;)
Ed-zackery!! Think how good they'd sound in MY basement! Just pack those Gurus up and send 'em to Michigan. I'll post sonic clips on YT.

They'll probably sound even better after I wrap them in white marine pearl! (Don't know why Andy never thought of that before...)
 

STXBob

Gold Member
If a drummer's job is to make others sound good, then I'm already achieving that :)
Me, too. I have the skills I want/need. I'm still searching for "my" sound.

I understand the idea of "it's not the drums, it's the drummer", It's not the arrow, it's the Indian". these phrases work when you have the goods to show for it, but not when you need the sound you hear in your head. fancying the sounds is not the same as having them. It's difficult to feel comfortable and creative without the confidence of the sound in your head, and that confidence comes from experience.
THIS. That's why I spend time talking about gear.

I went to an outdoor event this past weekend. There were bands there. One of the drummers had an old, entry-level kit and smoking chops. He was playing tastefully where required and just killing it when he had the chance to do so.

He sounded like crap.

I know a knowledgeable drummer can make poor instruments sound good. My point is all the notes were there, and this guy was playing with good technique. But his instrument just sounded...bad.

For me, I'm at the point where I have neither the time nor the inclination to put in hours on technique. I have a busy life and can play what I need to play for my band. But my sound still isn't where I'd like it to be. I can still improve it. Thankfully, I think my gear choices to get there involve head selection, nothing more.

Also: Skill sets are like gear. The same skill set will not serve all drummers equally. What you need to play speed metal is different than what you need to play bebop.

Also also: Gear is infinitely simpler to discuss in concrete terms.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I think it's absurd to think that a good drummer is somehow shallow for desiring, or even obsessing over, quality drums, as if that's some misguided aspiration.

I don't just play drums for the sake of flailing my limbs and producing a bitchin' beat. I also happen to LOVE the drums themselves. How is that in any way strange for a drummer?

And for FWIW, I do actually play better on a kit that sounds and feels better, and it's just plain more enjoyable.
 
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MikeM

Platinum Member
Other than wanting to be as groovy as Stan Lynch, I'm about where I want to be drumming-wise.

By that I don't mean that I think I've got it all locked down, and my ideas are still well out in front of my abilities. I get a brainwave for some new way of doing some of the same-ish things with novel twists and I have stop and figure out what stickings and strategies are going to make it work. I get a huge thrill out of doing that stuff.

Honestly, I'm too busy trying to figure out how to make the ideas I already have work properly without getting obsessively bookish about things I may never find a place for. I hope that doesn't sound too delusional or like a cop-out, and I really don't think getting educated on technique, theory, and taste can be underestimated. As an engineer, I see can see the usefulness of having taken calculus almost daily, but while it might be fun to some, I really can't see how proving abstract mathematical theorems is going to come in handy in my day-to-day. IMO, drumming is a similar thing. Depends on what you're trying to accomplish, I guess.

As was discussed on the Loud Band thread, sometimes parts need to be distilled down the their most crucial elements, which usually means a lot less busy. With that tendency toward minimalism comes an opportunity for the drums' sound to really stand out.

For that reason, I would only entertain a radically new idea in drum design if I were ever going to get a new kit since there just isn't going to be a significant difference between what I already have and just about anything currently available.

I'm glad I know about Guru and if the funding were to ever happen, I'd go begging and grovelling to Andy to hook me up. You can bet you bottom dollar that I'd gig them at every opportunity, too, and I'm sure they'd look like hell after a few years!
 
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Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
What a weird thread.
It's not that weird with all due respect...

No one's saying that a drummer is shallow because of their love about drum gear, this thread's about the fact that there's more discussion about drum gear than drumming skills, it's only a fact, not a controversy.

I get the bit about top drum lines sounding better (theoretically) and in many cases, yes, it does makes some difference and certainly act as a motivation factor. But the "sounding better" is inevitably linked with "tuning skills", so unless you have the necessary skills to actually bring out the best sounds (very subjective topic here) it will sound as bad (or as good) as an entry level kit. The bottom line is that drumming skills are far more important than the gear you're using and an audience will remember a good drummer and have probably no clue whatsoever what gear the said drummer was using.

I also get the bit that it's more enjoyable to play a top of the line kit rather than an entry cheapo level kit, more enjoyable? Yes, a better drummer? Not sure about that.

To be honest, I've seen and heard so many times drummers playing a top of the line kit and sounding plain horrible with very poor drumming skills, I witnessed the opposite too where a drummer was smoking on a entry level kit both in drumming skills and sounding very good, the saying "it's not the drums, it's the drummer" makes sense then and to a certain extend it's so true.

But hey... we're drummers, we love drums, cymbals, pedals and whatever ... but it's because we are drummers and that's has nothing to do with musicianship, you get hired because of your skills, not because of what gear you're using.

So, it's a perfectly valid observation from Uncle Larry, it's not weird at all :)
 

philrudd

Senior Member
It's not that weird with all due respect...

No one's saying that a drummer is shallow because of their love about drum gear, this thread's about the fact that there's more discussion about drum gear than drumming skills, it's only a fact, not a controversy.

I get the bit about top drum lines sounding better (theoretically) and in many cases, yes, it does makes some difference and certainly act as a motivation factor. But the "sounding better" is inevitably linked with "tuning skills", so unless you have the necessary skills to actually bring out the best sounds (very subjective topic here) it will sound as bad (or as good) as an entry level kit. The bottom line is that drumming skills are far more important than the gear you're using and an audience will remember a good drummer and have probably no clue whatsoever what gear the said drummer was using.

I also get the bit that it's more enjoyable to play a top of the line kit rather than an entry cheapo level kit, more enjoyable? Yes, a better drummer? Not sure about that.

To be honest, I've seen and heard so many times drummers playing a top of the line kit and sounding plain horrible with very poor drumming skills, I witnessed the opposite too where a drummer was smoking on a entry level kit both in drumming skills and sounding very good, the saying "it's not the drums, it's the drummer" makes sense then and to a certain extend it's so true.

But hey... we're drummers, we love drums, cymbals, pedals and whatever ... but it's because we are drummers and that's has nothing to do with musicianship, you get hired because of your skills, not because of what gear you're using.

So, it's a perfectly valid observation from Uncle Larry, it's not weird at all :)
Agreed, agreed, agreed. No one's accusing anyone of being 'shallow' for wanting fine gear. I'm just saying, as in my earlier post, that some of my drumming idols sounded unbelievable on less-than-ideal equipment. So my quest has always been to get my skill set to the point that I can play ANYTHING and MAKE it sound good - just like Benny and Al.

And conversely, as MAD noted, I've simply seen too many guys with amazing kits that just weren't qualified to use them. What good is a fantastic sounding snare if it's not on the beat? THAT'S the situation where it would be advantageous for the guy to spend more time on his chops and less time surfing the 'net for gear. And on the flip side, it's where obsessing over gear may actually diminish someone's quest for improvement: 'Hey! When I hit that floor tom, I sound like GOD! That sure was easy...time for a celebratory beer.'

Hell, I've heard some drummers groove on a practice pad better than most guys I've heard on a kit.

See what you've started with your observation, Larry? Now we all hate each other.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yea, gear is easier to talk about. A thread like this that kind of challenges the complacency of it all doesn't feel good. Better to sweep it all under the drum carpet and contemplate the ideal shape for a muffling knob..
 
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