Thread: John Bonham
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: John Bonham

To try and cop Bonham's sound, which many people try to do, you have to know a few things. One, his style of playing and the way he struck the drum was an important part of his sound. The sizes of his drums and what they were made of (maple on his most famous recordings) are also of extreme importance. A 26" bass drum with both heads intact with felt strips for muffling like he had sounds NOTHING like a 22" kick with a hole in the front head and blankets for muffling. His toms were tuned similar to his snare drum in that the bottom skin was tuned pretty high while the top skin was tuned to a medium tension. He used 14" 16" and 18" toms for the majority of his career, so he had some leeway on being able to tune them a bit higher without losing some balls. Finally, head selection is also key. On his kit, he played coated emperors on all batter heads with coated ambassadors on the bottom of his toms and the front of his bass drum. Ambassador snare side. The resonant head should be a single ply for maximum resonance. The rest of his sound was just the skill he had both in tuning his drums and playing. It was truly an awesome sound and one that many drummers try to copy but seldom do.
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