Two piece (a la White Stripes, Black Keys)

TMe

Senior Member
I'm thinking about attempting a two piece band (1 drummer and 1 electric guitarist/vocalist). The sound would be a bit like The Black Keys, if the Black Keys were more eclectic and dabbled in different genres.

Does anyone have advice about how to get a good drum sound for that sort of band?

I've been reading about how the guitar rig should be altered so the guitar can produce a broader range of frequencies with more low-end than normal.

I'm wondering if the hardware choices for the kit should change as well. My first thought is that the drums should be tuned for maximum resonance and everything left wide open, and maybe the cymbals should be bigger (lower pitched).

Any advice?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm in agreement with your first thought. You want to use all the sonic space you can essentially. Latitude for days in both sound and playing choices. I would want the drums to sound extra wonderful as they are more exposed.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I've done this gigs a few times. Mostly with this Thrashy Punk/Metal band. He has a revolving door of bassists, but doesn't cancel gigs when one isn't around. With that kind of music though it's more about playing busy to fill the space. A Black Keys/White Stripes kind of gig would be more laid back and open.
It can be fun, but I always prefer to have a bassist at least.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I think you should practice first and then see what your needs are. I'm not really sure what kind of hardware changes will make a difference in sound.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
I would say to just make the drums sound like drums. Meg White doesnt do anything special as far as drum tones, Jack just takes up so much space she doesnt need to. My only two piece was a Motorhead sounding thing with really mid-range heavy Marshall stacks. My only real concern was to get the snare out of that sonic space. Other than that, a well tuned kit and some nice cymbals should always do the trick.

As a guitarist I will say that you can try some things as far as gear goes, but in the end its really about what the guy is playing. I have heard some bands try stuff like octave and harmonizer pedals with varying degrees of success. Gotta find somebody who is willing to experiment.
 

TMe

Senior Member
I would want the drums to sound extra wonderful as they are more exposed.
I hear that. When I listen to drum & guitar duos that are more Jazz or Blues oriented, it seems super important for the drum kit to tuned up really well. If the guitar isn't going to be loud and distorted, any sour sounds from the kit will be obvious.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Match the sound of you kit to the sound of your band, probably too early to think about it just yet.

Specifically though for a Black Keys type drum sound I'd say maybe bigger sizes in 24", 13" & 16" drums with Remo Emperor heads (or Evans G2 if thats your brand of choice) and bigger cymbals would be close to it I'd think.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I've done this a lot, but not White Keys style. I've done it much more, how should I say, musically. Jack's a great musician but you could never tell that with White Stripe. Just my opinion. I've done it with really talented guitar players interested in making music not noise. Jazz guitar players mostly. I only use a snare hit-hats and ride. Sometimes just the ride. I provide a bit of rhythm that's all. For a change in a song I'll start just on snare and use right hand on snare like I usually use it on cymbals. At change I goto ride with right hand. I adjust my perspective and accompany the guitar with minimal percussion that's all.
 
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Paul_MovementDrumCo

Junior Member
I really like Ben Thatcher from Royal Blood and i like his set up. You can check it out here:

 

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
Match the sound of you kit to the sound of your band, probably too early to think about it just yet.

Specifically though for a Black Keys type drum sound I'd say maybe bigger sizes in 24", 13" & 16" drums with Remo Emperor heads (or Evans G2 if thats your brand of choice) and bigger cymbals would be close to it I'd think.
+1 for suggesting bigger cymbals! That's exactly what I was going to say! A big 20" crash-ride will saturate the mix a little more than a splashy 16" thin crash.
 

TMe

Senior Member
Bah! Looks like it's a no-go. My guy started as a bassist so he can't imagine the songs without bass. I'll have to find another solution or give up on the project.
 

Gottliver

Senior Member
Maybe ask him to play the bass lines on his guitar using the neck pickup. He can switch to the rhythm guitar parts for an interesting change and go back to “bass” for the groove and verse. It’s different and I think appealing.
 
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