help with brushes!

opentune

Platinum Member
The Guitarist and I just got a nifty gig at a small wine bar. I mean small, so likely not going to be too loud. We are thinking rock tunes done 'unplugged'. I'm thinking to use mostly brushes but do not have a lot of experience, other than playing them like sticks lol.
Any recommended online refs available out there from the experts on DW?
Gig is in a month and I need some quick youtube refs to see and try out a few techniques (other than the "circular drag movement").
thanks.
 

Longfuse

Senior Member
These are a few workarounds I've discovered over the years:

http://brushbeat.org/Tips--and--Tricks.php

I'd also recommend taking a look at the Zutty Singleton grooves in the Early Jazz Styles for Brushes article on my site. Might sound corny, but try both patterns (especially the one with swept, left-hand pulse) with simple 8th note bass drum ideas. With a little more emphasis on the backbeat, it's surprising how funky things can get.
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
You can take the Russ Kunkel, Elvin Jones, John Bonham approach to brushes -- and that's to just use them like sticks. It works!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Another option is to use multi-rods or a brush/rod hybrid, which will play a lot more like sticks but at lower volumes. Regal Tip and Pro-Mark make several options along these lines.
 

wesporter

Member
yes you could use "Hot-Rods" or something similar. For a gig like this I would probably opt to use a bear-bones set up like just kick, snare, a medium crash cymbal, MAYBE hihats and play with brushes. Brushes don't do much on a hihat but you can get the same effect just playing your ride pattern on the snare along with the back beat. I do some accoustic gigs that are like "folky" rock and that's what I do. Depending on the style of music you could also get creative and use something like a washboard.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Thanks for all the responses. I have done the "stick" method - i.e. using brushes like sticks. Its fine, and thought to try more. The blasticks, roots or hot rods - have used them too, but even those might be too loud for this place. I liked Dave Grohl's sound on Nirvana's Unplugged.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
These are a few workarounds I've discovered over the years:

http://brushbeat.org/Tips--and--Tricks.php

I'd also recommend taking a look at the Zutty Singleton grooves in the Early Jazz Styles for Brushes article on my site. Might sound corny, but try both patterns (especially the one with swept, left-hand pulse) with simple 8th note bass drum ideas. With a little more emphasis on the backbeat, it's surprising how funky things can get.
had more time now to check these out. Wow, pretty innovative. Love the "can bell" guiro. gotta make one. thank you.
 

boltzmann's brain

Senior Member
check out ed thigpen. a pair of brushes and a snare. that's all i bring to many of my quiet club gigs. that snare sounds like a whole drumset.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Brushes work just fine for small quiet situations. I like them because you can still play with gusto and it's not too loud. Look for the ones that have plastic handles as opposed to the rubber coverings... You'll be able to do an interesting rim shot effect.

Next step up would be rods (bundle sticks) they tend to sit at a good volume that doesn't hurt, although it might be harder to talk for patrons if you get to an exciting part.

I almost always use brushes or my cajon for wine bars.
 

wsaint

Junior Member
If its a small room, you'll need a minimal kit, and since you'll have less drums/cymbals it would be nice to play with different timbres - try playing some rhythms on the rims, or close by the rims. use more side stick. etc. you can still groove, its just 'different'

also, I like blastix - you can play real soft and surfacy but you can also dig in.

Good luck!
 

wsabol

Gold Member
I wouldn't recommend hot rods if you just want a softer sound. They really don't sound like sticks, and should be for getting a soft, non-stick-like sound in my opinion.

Brushes are fine, but I'd recommend the Promark Broomsticks. You can't really get intricate with them, they are awesome for getting a soft, round sound. You get a soft back beat sound that still fat and juicy.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/pro-mark-broomsticks
 
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ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Don't forget to use your hands as well. You don't always need a thwacking implement in your hands. Learn some hand percussion techniques and transfer those to your snare. Be careful on the rims though.
 
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