Crashing on beat 1

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Probably one of the most common things in drumming. After every fill, you can almost expect a crash on beat one. And yea, it sounds good.

For about the last year now I have been omitting some of my "beat 1 crashes" and instead, just go right into the beat without the crash. It really works well, better than using the crash, in many places I'm finding.

So many things in drumming are seemingly backwards. Omitting stuff sounds better sometimes. Less is more.

I remember reading somewhere that in the 20's 30's and 40's, it was considered stepping on a singers space, crashing beat on beat 1. I'm sure it was still done but you do hear a lot of crashes on beat 4 on the early records.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I remember reading somewhere that in the 20's 30's and 40's, it was considered stepping on a singers space, crashing beat on beat 1. I'm sure it was still done but you do hear a lot of crashes on beat 4 on the early records.
true...maybe more swing then?

Good observations. Tomorrow night at band practice I will consciously omit some Beat 1 crashing.
 

Merlin5

Gold Member
Yeah, it's often great to leave crashes out. It can really help intensify the groove. It's all about tension and release. You reminded me of a part of a steely dan song that has always stuck in my mind.

Bernard Purdie plays a few fills and crashes in 'Home at Last' and just as he's coming out of that section he plays a strong triplet fill that builds in volume to go back to the main part of the song, I was expecting a crash aaaand...nope. No crash. He finishes it by just going back to the hi-hat and kick. The kick he plays on that beat 1 after the triplet is strong and punchy, far more intense than a crash would have been.

Perfect decision by Purdie. It's SO powerful and keeps it tidier and tighter. It really made me think that way in my own playing.

The triplet is at 3:16.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGMjGaiIxtY&t=3m3s
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
For about the last year now I have been omitting some of my "beat 1 crashes" and instead, just go right into the beat without the crash. It really works well, better than using the crash, in many places I'm finding.
Agreed, I've been doing that for a while where I think the smooth transition works better than defining the next section with a crash. Not a steady diet, but just for occasional variety towards the understated. Along those lines, I'll sometimes avoid a fill altogether, and just slip smoothly and deliberately into the next section.

Less is truly more.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Sometimes I just omit playing altogether. No joke.

I recall mixing a big band at Disneyland once and the drummer was stuck in an accident but I had the band ready. So they started playing without the drummer, just the bass player pumping the band forward. It was so cool. Everyone danced and didn't even notice there was no drummer.

When the drummer did show up, for the rest of the night we were all, "what's that noise?"

;)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I do a bit of that in both my current bands - in my covers band where it helps the groove, and the originals band where I thought a fill to a no-crash would have helped the vibe. Great technique.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Probably one of the most common things in drumming. After every fill, you can almost expect a crash on beat one. And yea, it sounds good.

For about the last year now I have been omitting some of my "beat 1 crashes" and instead, just go right into the beat without the crash. It really works well, better than using the crash, in many places I'm finding.

So many things in drumming are seemingly backwards. Omitting stuff sounds better sometimes. Less is more.

I remember reading somewhere that in the 20's 30's and 40's, it was considered stepping on a singers space, crashing beat on beat 1. I'm sure it was still done but you do hear a lot of crashes on beat 4 on the early records.


It really helps the singer by not crashing all the time on the one. Try crashing on the 4 of the next bar, see what the band does.



There are a few pop song without any crashes in the original studio recordings at all, can you name any?

Pink Cadillac- Natalie Cole is one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhHLifMnUxw




I don't crash at all in the whole song if I play 'Every breath you take'- The Police.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Omitting the crash on 1 and crashing between 1 & 2 instead can create a really cool effect too.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's all about tension and release.
I look at it that way too. It's like a combination of the tension and releasing, except I'm not releasing all the way. Restraint is a good decision a lot of time.

Not playing what's expected...done right...is nice.

And Pete, crashing on beat 2! You're a maniac!
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Sometimes I try to break up the monotony by crashing a little before or after the one. Guitar players love that.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I look at it that way too. It's like a combination of the tension and releasing, except I'm not releasing all the way. Restraint is a good decision a lot of time.

Not playing what's expected...done right...is nice.

And Pete, crashing on beat 2! You're a maniac!
I'll take that as a Compliment, I always look at fills or rolls like a rubber ball bouncing and flummoxing down the stairs or kitchen pots and pans falling off a bench! Some of the best fills i've ever heard came out of a Kitchens.. Random! Ringo gets praise for understatement, What about Dear Charlie.. Reggae accents are Cool Too!
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop
Either no crash, or a crash on beat 2.
Towards the end of the song there are crashes on beats 2 and 4 of various bars, but never beat one of bar 1.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Crashes on 2 and 4 give a nice drive.

The second guitar solo on Comfortably Numb does this, and so does the first guitar solo (I think) in Sweet Home Alabama.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Garage drumming 101

You've played the obligatory fill down the toms and your RH is now a long way from the hats, where it needs to be for the next bar. A time honoured fudge is to hit a crash near the floor tom on the one and the wash covers the crappy recovery getting back to the hats.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Garage drumming 101

You've played the obligatory fill down the toms and your RH is now a long way from the hats, where it needs to be for the next bar. A time honoured fudge is to hit a crash near the floor tom on the one and the wash covers the crappy recovery getting back to the hats.
:) And that is why I now avoid crashing on the one.
The first time I really became aware of it was when I saw an excellent drummer reviewing a kit on a web video and it was more of a review of the hi hats snare drum and bass drum but with a tacked on "badum dum dum" around the toms followed by a "crash" and it sounded so much like what I would have played when I was learning. It was an eye opening moment and I've worked on the transition back to the hats to avoid this, in the process stopping myself hitting a sloshy hat on the one as that is a similiar sort of camouflage.
A habit from my youth is ending one bar and starting the next on the bass drum and crashing on , what I think is, the 2. Whatever it is I do I remember recording some tracks for a Metal/Hardcore band many years ago and the sound engineer mentioned that my drumming sounded weird when listening to the drum track in isolation but weirder still it all worked when the other tracks were recorded and added. I have songs like Don't Look Down from the first Go West album to thank for that quirk I think.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
It often doesn't occur to me to crash on 1. Plus I used to miss the damn cymbal a lot anyway, so even if I did remember I frequently didn't do it. I try to save my crashes for when they're really needed.
 
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