Playing "War" what is it good for.

Aeolian

Platinum Member
A band I play in has decided they want to play the song War, what is it good for. 99% of the percussion in the song is a viciously played tambourine. The song is all about the big hits, dum-dum-dum, dum-dum, bang. The time in other parts wavers all over the place.

How would you approach playing this on a kit? I've tried draping a tambourine over the hi-hat and keeping that going, but then you can't hit anything else but the kick.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
LOVE that track, the foot-close hat air-lock gives it a pulse you can feel, they must have close-miked that sucker!

I like the idea of bringing in a tambourine, you're right, the percussion is all about that. It should be easy enough to play the hi-hat opens and snare during the verses where it's primarily 16th tambourine hits. The choruses are just punches, no problem there, and plenty of room to incorporate the 16th & triplet tamb rhythms, which are a little more sparse/selective there.

But I'd focus on getting the open hat and snares on the right places - as they'd be the obvious 'mistake' if omitted - and let the tamb fall where it may. You can get pretty busy on that, just don't miss the snare in the process!

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
In an ideal situation, I'd have the tambourine sample on a pad (so there'd be no balance issues) and that would free-up the hat to do foot-close and opens without triggering/disturbing the tamb.

Bermuda
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
I have a hit-able tambourine on my hi hat stand, mounted just beneath the bottom hat. Opening and closing the hat doesn't disturb the tambourine.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Doesn't Bruce Springsteen have a live version of that song?

Wouldn't hurt to look it up and see how Max approached playing it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'd try and cop Edwin Starr's take all the way. Even though there's probably a guy playing nothing but tambourine, I'd play a regular tambourine in my right hand and a stick in my left. You could get a nice 16th note feel going on with the tambourine with one hand instead of playing it 2 handed on the hi hat. Stick on the back beats, hi hat foot chicks on the quarters, bass drum, like the record. Any crashes you could use the tambourine to hit the cymbals or your stick. Of course nail all the stabs unison with the bass drum and snare, driven by 16ths on the tambourine. It would be a bit of a challenge but a ton of fun I bet.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I have a hit-able tambourine on my hi hat stand, mounted just beneath the bottom hat. Opening and closing the hat doesn't disturb the tambourine.
I've tried a couple mountable tambourine things and none of them make enough volume for even a moderate gig. I learned the trick of draping a light one over the hat from some other folks. It bounces pretty well when you hit the hats if you don't clamp them down too hard.

I like Larry's idea, but it may be more than I can handle at once, even without chewing gum. And shaking a tambourine in time is harder than it looks (or sounds).

Just tried it, need more independence exercises. Especially for the last hit. I guess I could fake the "air lock" (yeah Jon, they must have had a mic pointed right at the hats) by keeping the kick going in quarters. But doing the same thing with the right foot and left hand is probably good for me.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The mountable tam would also work and be a bit easier. I don't understand why a mountable tam wouldn't be loud enough. Nothing is competing in that freq range. A mounted tam is a part of my regular set up and it always cuts right through. I never have a problem hearing it on my recording. Of course we are not a super loud band either. We're definitely moderate volume though. I use this one, but I straighten out the rod in a vice, move the tam down, and mount a small bell on top. Plus mine's all black. That makes a real difference lol.
 

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Aeolian

Platinum Member
I have one of those Larry. If I mount it really loose so it can shake it makes some level of sound but not enough for even a bar gig.

Maybe it's because I typically use pretty small and light sticks that don't transmit much energy. Vic Firth SD4s. I get plenty of volume off the drums from open tuning and snapping the stick off the head. Maybe if I used hickory 5Bs the tambourine thing would work better.

Some day I'll have to get a Grainger motor isolation mount and see if I can get the mounted thing to shake more when I hit it.

I did find that I could bang the hand held tambourine against my thigh instead of my other hand.

Practice - practice - practice
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Why not get yourself one of these?



For the mounted tambourine I have found that it jingles a bit more I you mount it at a little bit of an angle like the picture that Larry posted. I have also found that flipping the stick over and using the butt end gives you a little more jingle.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Or for a more novel effect you can bang it on your head lol. Actually yea, the thigh is what I had in mind. Maybe you should tighten it down all the way for more volume/cut? Are you playing behind half stacks and Ampegs?
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I think KamaK might have the answer. So many songs have tambourine in them but some like War are all about it.

Red, I have a Rhythm Tech Hat Trick. It works good on the foot pedal and you can hit it on top although that doesn't make much noise either.

I have this round wood thing with a bracket on it that I got at GC that works better than the mounted Rhythm Tech thing Larry posted. But a thin wood conventional one (I have a Meinl) draped over the hat seems to carry best of everything.

Back to practicing the klutzy bit of shaking one thing and doing different time on my foot.
 
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