Brushes: A Dying Art?

Garvey

Junior Member
I guess the question is...Is brushwork a dying art or is the music that requires brushwork a dying art? You just don't hear many songs that would lend themselves to brushes these days. Too bad!

I can't remember where I saw it (somewhere on Youtube, I think), but Steve Smith has a great lesson on playing brushes, and explains rolling your left had over (traditional grip) to really work the brush into the snare head. He also does this great rolling technique with the brush across the top of the snare. Steve's brushwork on a couple tunes on Buddy's Buddies Live at Ronnie Scott's album is pretty amazing!

So it is out there, but you really have to look for it.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Very interesting topic, Michael.

I think more than just a quieter way of playing, brushes make the drums become almost a different instrument in a way.
Elvin Jones used to say that his decision to use brushes on any particular song wasn't one of volume, but of sound colour.

And he used to really press into the drum, and got a lot of volume from his brushes. His left hand brush (the sweeper) would sometimes be bent at nearly a 90 degree angle when he played. He wasn't afraid to really slap the drums with them, either.
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
Well, I suspect the Rock Flix (there are various types) sound like crap when played quietly.

Jouxplan plays in bands and describes himself as "a quiet drummer". Because he's always seemingly dealt with volume restrictions his playing technique has evolved to fit the brushes and he says he's far less comfortable using sticks. Interesting path.

If you hit hard enough with the Rock Flix to sound ok then you are still making enough noise to keep your neighbours on their toes.

QUOTE]

I like the Flix sticks for certain situations.

I have 2 pairs one sticks and one brushes.

http://www.flixproducts.com/productssticks.html

http://www.flixproducts.com/productsbrushes.html

I have the orange ones which are OK for lower volume rehearsals. I like to keep the rubber moveable bit towards the bottom of the stick as it allows a different sound from wood sticks.
I do think you definately lose the definition of a sticks head with these plastic sticks and they really aren't much quieter than normal sticks in my view. If you need to play quieter then just play quieter!!! in my view......

I also have the pink plastic brushes. I find these softer than metal brushes and I bought them as I was sick and tired of my metal brushes rusting!

I have a student who bought some brushes and bought the blue ones. They sound horrible for sweeping and jazz playing.

Definately if the siuation warrants these sticks then it is good to have them in your bag but I like a stick and the options i get with over plastic ones.

Dave
 

Michael McDanial

Senior Member
I guess the question is...Is brushwork a dying art or is the music that requires brushwork a dying art? You just don't hear many songs that would lend themselves to brushes these days. Too bad!

I can't remember where I saw it (somewhere on Youtube, I think), but Steve Smith has a great lesson on playing brushes, and explains rolling your left had over (traditional grip) to really work the brush into the snare head. He also does this great rolling technique with the brush across the top of the snare. Steve's brushwork on a couple tunes on Buddy's Buddies Live at Ronnie Scott's album is pretty amazing!

So it is out there, but you really have to look for it.
I thought this was just awesome when I saw it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDE80ORCfo8
 
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