"Pies"?

PQleyR

Platinum Member
Sorry if this is an open-and-shut thread, but why do I hear people calling cymbals 'pies'? My cymbals aren't pies, and you'd expect Pie-stie, of all the big manufacturers, to make actual pies if anyone was going to.

Where did this pie thing come from?

Using my own mind for a moment I notice the following similarities between cymbals and pies:

1. Both are circular (with the exception of pies made in a flan dish, roasting tin, or other non-circular containers, and maybe some of the more exotic cymbal variants)

2. Both could be described as 'tasty'...? (personally I would never describe anything as tasty that wasn't food)

3. Cymbals make a 'pie' sound when you hit them*

4. Both have a delicious filling**

5. Pies traditionally have a bronze/tin alloy crust*


Please, someone, put me out of my substantial*** misery.



*No? Oh well, was worth a try.

**You mean you haven't ever been tempted to have a bite? I have, if you've seen my 16" Sabian AAXplosion crash you'll know what I'm talking about!

***Insubstantial.
 

braincramp

Gold Member
Though a pie/cymbal is usually for the end of a meal/drum roll it can be ate/hit anytime.. you asked for it.. : )
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I never got into this jargon either. A Cymbal is a cymbal. The same goes for "skins". I haven't used a skin for a drum head since the late fifties to early sixties, so to me, they're all drum heads. I think it probably sounds cool and 'with it" for some and mostly I see this with the younger generations.

These are two of my pet peeves, but if I try, I can probably think of others.

Oh yea, "kick drum". Sure you can kick any drum if you can't control your temper, but to me it's always a bass drum. This isn't as bad as the other two above. I usually just smile and shake my head. Not drum head, that is.

Dennis
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I may be way off, but...

In the late 1800's, the music that would develop into jazz later on was played in the streets of New Orleans, usually by poor people who would stand outside brothels and gambling houses playing for coins. Their instruments were often crude, like the stand up bass made from a box, a broom handle and a piece of string; the washboard, and other such found items. Because real cymbals were hard to come by, and expensive, pie tins were used to provide the high end percussion sounds.

Or:

On the east coast, pizza is often refereed to as "pies". Early drummers would carry their cymbals in pizza boxes.
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
True, true.
Here in Sweden we call drum heads "trumskinn", which means drum skins.
But they aren't heads either? Or am I wrong?
Very good point. Where did "heads" come from?
Heads are on tapedecks, or inside socks in pictures of the Chili Peppers.
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
Because real cymbals were hard to come by, and expensive, pie tins were used to provide the high end percussion sounds.
That sounds plausible to me. Not necessarily that they actually used pie tins, but that the two look so similar.

For the record, I do use "kick" and "bass" interchangeably. But I've never called my cymbals "pies".
 
A

audiotech

Guest
True, true.
Here in Sweden we call drum heads "trumskinn", which means drum skins.
But they aren't heads either? Or am I wrong?
Well I guess it's the same as saying head of a nail or head of a pin or even head of the class meaning as "top". Just as the drum head is the top, or bottom, of the drum. It definitely is not a skin, unless you're lucky enough to have a kit with calf skin heads.

The only thing I can think of, and this is taking a long shot, is in reference to the skin or covering of a boat. I heard this reference before. Now a days using the word skin when talking about drum heads isn't quit the same because in years gone by "skins" were the actual heads on drums.

Dennis
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
Oh yea, "kick drum". Sure you can kick any drum if you can't control your temper, but to me it's always a bass drum. This isn't as bad as the other two above. I usually just smile and shake my head. Not drum head, that is.

Dennis
A dance music producer once told me of a frustrating experience where somebody kept telling him to turn the 'bass' up on a track. After increasing the volume of the bass for some time, he eventually discovered that it was the bass drum that was being referred to. I can see advantages for 'kick', in this audio engineer shorthand sort of way.

I seem to remember reading that drummers used to kick the drum before the invention of the bass drum pedal, but that could easily be apocryphal.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Very good point. Where did "heads" come from?
Heads are on tapedecks, or inside socks in pictures of the Chili Peppers.
Hopefully not the SAME heads...


As far as all the nicknames for gear, I just never quite got it. But it seems many people are compelled to call as few objects by their actually names as possible.

As far as "heads," I've always called them heads because that's what it says right there on the box - Remo drumhead.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
On the east coast, pizza is often refereed to as "pies". Early drummers would carry their cymbals in pizza boxes.
I finally bought my first real pie-bag. I've been using a nylon pizza bag for over a year now. On top of that I'll also have my first 24" ride-pie! Whooo!

On a different note, Do we use "Pie" here in the states? I'd never heard it before till I joined Dw. I thought it was an English slang, like crumpets and sod. For the record, I'll never stop calling my bass drum a kick. I also picked up "Kicker" from a friend.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
A dance music producer once told me of a frustrating experience where somebody kept telling him to turn the 'bass' up on a track. After increasing the volume of the bass for some time, he eventually discovered that it was the bass drum that was being referred to. I can see advantages for 'kick', in this audio engineer shorthand sort of way.
The first time I heard the term kick drum being used, was in the late 70's on the big PA tours (I did sound & general crew work to supplement my poor drumming income from time to time). "Kick", "racks", "hats", & "floor" were used all the time to describe the kit elements. I still use kick to this day in general relaxed conversation, although I'd still use bass drum in a more formal setting. Pies is a relatively new term to me. I must admit, I use this term if others do. I'm not trying to up my "cool dude" status. No amount of new terminology could achieve that!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
A dance music producer once told me of a frustrating experience where somebody kept telling him to turn the 'bass' up on a track. After increasing the volume of the bass for some time, he eventually discovered that it was the bass drum that was being referred to. I can see advantages for 'kick', in this audio engineer shorthand sort of way.

I seem to remember reading that drummers used to kick the drum before the invention of the bass drum pedal, but that could easily be apocryphal.
I admit, when mixing, it's easier on the eyes and brain to to label "kick" for the bass drum and "bass" for the bass guitar, rather than having two faders both labeled a variation of "bass."
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think a pie is just someones slang for a flat piece. In our case a cymbal. Don't read too much in to it.
 
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