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  #1  
Old 12-21-2017, 09:22 AM
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Default Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Years ago I did, and when the subscription ended, I didn't care to renew. My formative years (70s-80s) were spent going through issues and learning stuff from the articles and being hip to who the hot players were.

I'm considering maybe subscribing again, but should I? Is there anyone here who does? Do people still read physical magazines? I haven't read an issue in years so maybe it would be interesting to see if the basic messaging has changed. I always used to joke why they called it "Modern Drummer", when the job of the drummer hadn't really changed. I wonder if it actually did change while I was away and now I need to catch up?
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Old 12-21-2017, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Only time I bother with drum mags is if I'm flying anywhere and need some reading on the kite.

I guess I'm the first generation that got into the internet and I missed the 70s/80s when you hear Modern Drummer was worth getting.

Everytime I get one I get the feeling they are being paid lots of money by record companies/drum companies to write positive reviews about drummers and equipment.

I'd love for there to be a place other than here where you can get an honest review of gear. Nobody seems to make crap equipment anymore if you believe what you read.
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Old 12-21-2017, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I do. I subscribe to a couple others too. I love rags when Iím traveling. I spend a lot of time traveling for work - mostly long international flights.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2017, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I used to subscribe in the eighties and I'm back since 2 years. I don't think that MD has changed that much, but I feel there's less for me in it as there are interviews with drummers that I've never heard of. Still I find it enjoying, just not quite as much as when I was young but that's what's to be expected I guess.
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Old 12-21-2017, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Years ago I did, and when the subscription ended, I didn't care to renew. My formative years (70s-80s) were spent going through issues and learning stuff from the articles and being hip to who the hot players were.

I'm considering maybe subscribing again, but should I? Is there anyone here who does? Do people still read physical magazines? I haven't read an issue in years so maybe it would be interesting to see if the basic messaging has changed. I always used to joke why they called it "Modern Drummer", when the job of the drummer hadn't really changed. I wonder if it actually did change while I was away and now I need to catch up?
I never had a subscription, but I used to pick one up now and then. I didn't care too much about the articles, though. I remember flipping through, looking at pictures of equipment. I still remember the full page ad for Yamaha RTC. A red double bass set , I believe, was the big pic, and (I think) they also had a yellow ..and blue?.. or black. Either way, I used to just stare at that ad, and dream.

Heck, these days, I can just google images of any set, any color, any config..and just stare, and dream.

Magazines meant a lot to a kid back in the 80's.

T.
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2017, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Hello there.

I subscribe to Modern Drummer and Drum! I also pick up Drumhead Magazine and Rhythm Magazine. I feel like I may have this FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out when it come to magazines about Drums. I sometimes flipped through them and then it's on to another issues. Then there are some that I read cover to cover. Just depends on the topics and what not. I've been reading MD since the 90's. Back then I would go and buy them in the store. It was a little treat to go to the store, hunt them down, and BOOM find it!!! Like when buying a CD and flipping through the booklet and seeing the pics of the band, reading the thank you's, and seeing what gear was used on the album. Yes they use to put that in there "back in the day" hahaha.

I can say that I feel like MD and Drum! are a little more advertising than content compared to the old issues I still have. But that could be out of need to compete with online and the internet. Do like that with the subscriptions, I also get the digital copies that I can download and take with me on travel.

I've recently been getting more into Drumhead Magazine because I feel the interviews are more in-depth, they ask non typical questions, and it seems the person being interviewed opens up more with personal stories, ideas, advice etc etc. and with it being a bi-monthly mag I feel I would have more time to read, digest, and review the issues more before needing to move onto the next new issue.

The one thing I haven't really done the last 5-10 years is work through the exercises as much as I did in my budding youth. I may need to get back into those. Now if I could just find time to really practice between work, kid, and actually playing, hahaha. But hey it could always be worse.

OP, I hope that helps.

J
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2017, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

When I travel, I have books to read on a paper white Kindle. I never thought Iíd get into that until I found myself wanting to read more than one book at a time. But yeah, sometimes I feel I need to keep up, and then realize I just donít care that much - especially when all it does is promote GAS.

The magazine I do miss is Not So Modern Drummer. Those were like a historical tomb :(
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Old 12-21-2017, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I subscribe to Drumhead Magazine and have since their first edition. They used to put a CD in every issue with lesson and tutorials etc., but now they are online and can be downloaded. I have them all in plastic sleeves for perusal. Articles are fantastic and it's edited by Jonathon Mover.
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2017, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I like them all and get them all. Why not? It's my hobby and passion. Plus, I get hipped to things I might have never known about. I'm not into musical snobbery so finding about some newcomer on the Jazz scene is still a fun read for me. I may never buy his music but I might check out YT clips of the song so I have an understanding of his art and what he was talking about in the article.

And as a child of the 80's, everyone's right about going to the music store and finding an issue. And they were often next to the brochures. Kid in a candy store.
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2017, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I subscribed in the 80's and again in the early 2000's. This last year I had a Digital subscription that will be expiring on the 27'th and haven't decided if I should renew. I have really enjoyed reading it on my tablet this last year but there has been a few issues. A year ago I paid 24.99 for a 12 issue subscription. You could download the issue to view offline which is what I wanted since I spend a lot of time in the air. A couple months after subscribing they stopped supporting the app and released a new app, My subscription was grandfathered for the new app. They didn't say they were doing this the old app just stopped working and I had to start a frustrating email conversation with support to get it straightened out. The new app doesn't allow viewing offline which makes it useless to me although they gave me archive access as part of grandfathering my subscription so I could download the pdf to view offline, it worked for the time being but I'm up for renewal and the digital plus archive cost is 9.99 monthly. So I have to decide if Modern Drummer is worth $119.88 a year. I don't think so. I enjoy the Magazine but it's not worth 120 bucks a year. I understand that includes access to the archive but I don't really need that, I just want the new issues with the ability to view offline and I don't see a way to do that under their new system. The old app was much better.
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2017, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I have had a subscription non stop since 1986. I still really enjoy reading it.

In regards to their alleged always positive reviews of products, I think you have to read between the lines to see that they are not always all that positive. In stead of outright saying a product is not that great, they say it in a very nice way as to not insult the makers of the product. To keep it respectable they might say something like..."it could have used blah blah blah..." or "it sounded really good when ____, but it lacked in _____ when_____."

I know some drum kit reviews might say that the kit "sounds great whether it was tuned high, medium or low." Meaning it was extremely versatile. Other times they say that "the kit sounds best at _____", showing that it was not so good sounding with the other tunings, without coming out and saying it plainly. At times I have seen some suggestions made to the manufacturer, like recommending a change in design that would actually help improve the functioning or sound of their product. Which is a way of saying nicely that it could have been better.
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  #12  
Old 12-22-2017, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Never subscribed, but I do buy issues with articles that interest me, or where I'm mentioned. It's been a few years for both. :)
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  #13  
Old 12-22-2017, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I was a subscriber for years when I was active in bands and before children. I do pick it up every now and then when there is an interview with someone who I am a fan of. Also, Iíll grab it if I am going on a trip or like now, I just had minor surgery so I grabbed MD and Drumhead since Iím laid up for a week.

Personally I donít think that MD is worth a subscription anymore.
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  #14  
Old 12-22-2017, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I remember when they had the sound recording records in the middle of the magazine. I really enjoyed Billy Ward's articles.

Seems like I lost interest when the founding father Ron Spagnardi died.
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  #15  
Old 12-22-2017, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I had a subscription for some 20+ years.

Several years ago when my financial situation got really bad, I didn't renew.

After a while I realized I don't miss it that much.

Largely due to:

Music diversification. When I was younger, even if I wasn't already fan of the band/artist being interviewed, there was a good chance I at least was familiar with the artists name from the radio, MTV, or just other drummers talking.

But with youtube, Spotify, and such, I spend a lot of time listening to and discovering music that I like, and being into drummers who aren't necessarily getting interviewed in magazines. Meanwhile, MD is interviewing drummers from bands I've never even heard of, because I'm not listening to the radio or what's "trendy".

I mean, I get there has always been some controversy over how they pick whom is deserving of a cover, but it went from well how many albums did that drummer play on, to, well, we found someone who had a hit song on the radio for a second, and we're going to put him/her on the cover, because most other drummers aren't even getting on the radio for a 1/2 a second anymore.

And the reviews also suffer from similar issues. I get they don't want to play favorites, but when you have several dozen cymbal manufacturers all making near identical Turkish style cymbals, and they all buy their raw materials from the same place, well, I don't need a review of each individual brand, when I already know it's the same thing. Similar with drums, when so many drum companies are buying their shells from the same place, or using the same Chinese factory for assembly, then a review of each brand's version of the same thing is pretty pointless to read.

I don't really blame the magazine for the problem; it's probably tough on them to decide who gets interviewed and what product gets reviewed when so little stands out of the crowd anymore.
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Old 12-22-2017, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I don't really blame the magazine for the problem; it's probably tough on them to decide who gets interviewed and what product gets reviewed when so little stands out of the crowd anymore.
Even with DRUM! and Drumhead (somewhat) as their competition, there are plenty of established, semi-established, and hot-shot newbies to interview and attract readers.

New/innovative product is a little less prevalent in terms of fresh companies and truly new gear, but companies certainly launch new lines and designs often enough to keep monthly reviews interesting and relevant.

Of course, the real competition is online, where a world full of drummers with varied experience and musical tastes, can immediately convey information, photos, and videos - for free - and the resulting dialogue is just as interesting as the original post. Maybe more so.

There's still something cool about holding a product, readable anywhere even without connecting to the net. I think. Maybe that's just an older person thing? Like buying CDs, even though songs can be streamed and captured for free? :O

Bermuda
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

For me, the whole magazine thing was more a thing of the past. Like the music industry and corporate media distro of all kinds, we really don't need them anymore.

I used to look at magazines to get ideas on what new products are here or coming up, which drummers were cookin on various scenes, you know, all the stuff that we just move the mouse or tap our phones a few times to get now... Anywhere we are at any time and for virtually no cost compared to stopping at the shop and grabbing a few magazines that were mostly ads anyway.
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Even with DRUM! and Drumhead (somewhat) as their competition, there are plenty of established, semi-established, and hot-shot newbies to interview and attract readers.
Readers, sure. But me? Maybe not.

Hot-shot newbies are hot shots by who's standards? That's my point. There not hot shots to me if I've never heard of their band. The people who are hot shots to me aren't necessarily selling enough records to get magazine attention. it's very subjective.

All one has to do is open a copy of MD or Drum! from 5 or 10 years ago, and t's already an issue of "what ever happened to?" The music business is constantly changing, with here today, gone tomorrow bands. Partially due to bands can't always make enough money to stay together.

Case in point: My favorite drummer of the last 15 years is Daniel Liljekvist. He's not popular enough to get written up in an article in Modern Drummer. And now he's already left the business due to lack of income. So now he won't get an interview.

My other favorite drummer of the last 10 years is Tuomas Saukkonen. He also plays guitar, keys and sings, so he's not always the drummer on his own projects. He also doesn't care about his own popularity or care about success, and as such he switches band names like most people change their socks. So he's not getting interviewed in Modern Drummer. Or Drum!.
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:08 AM
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  #19  
Old 12-22-2017, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I used to have as subscription like you back in the 80's and early 90's. Got to the point what they were writing about didn't really interest me and it was becoming an ad magazine moreso than a drum magazine, which honestly most magazines have become. I've looked at them on the shelf occasionally and still feel that way. Just not willing to part with $25 when I can find the information I want on here or researching online and at the store.
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Formative years is the key word here.

Never subscribed to Modern Drummer, but did subscribe to the main Norwegian music magazine for many years.

On that rare occasion when I either take a long bus/trane/airlane trip I'll pick up a mag, usually Modern Drummer.

Generally I don't really feel I myself get much out of it. I hve all the drum books I need, I can google anything I wonder about and this site was my main formative resource as a drummer.

When driving myself on a long trip, which is way more common I've usually downloaded ten or so drum related podcasts.
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Old 12-22-2017, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I subscribed back in the 70's and then started up again around 2000 and still receive it to this day. Some articles I read that interest me might be a certain drummer article, new gear reviews, memorials to drummers who have passed on. For around $30.00 a year I think it's worth it. There are lots of practice ideas and tips in every issue but I never really sit down and use them, great for younger guys coming up that have the time to practice.
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Hot-shot newbies are hot shots by who's standards? That's my point. There not hot shots to me if I've never heard of their band. The people who are hot shots to me aren't necessarily selling enough records to get magazine attention. it's very subjective.
I meant drummers who are bubbling-under, not yet on the world's radar, but where there's some interest in them. There are many such names that surface here, and could be of interest as a modern drummer, if that's still the publication's ethic. Not as a cover story, but maybe a small article a la the old Up & Coming section they used to have (I don't know the current version of that.)

Bermuda
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Old 12-22-2017, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I subscribed from about 1988 to about 1996, during my formative drumming years, and when I didn't have much mobility, local music stores, or the internet. I bought my Yamaha Stage Custom basically on their recommendation (it came in #2 in an entry-level kit shootout, but I liked the hardware much better than Tama's). My interest in MD has waxed and waned over the years, but I still pick up a copy every now and againm, especially for long airplane rides.
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Old 12-22-2017, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I subscribed to MD from the 70's through the 90's and then took a break.
My family started picking up subscriptions to Modern Drummer, Drum!
Drumhead and about 3 years ago for me as birthday gifts. I still pick up
an occasional Rhythm issue here and there based on specific features.

I prefer reading a physical hardcopy over a digital copy any day of the week.
Just feels normal to have something in hand that I can flip through the pages.
Any time I travel or have a meeting or appointment I throw select issues in my
backpack to catch up on my reading.

All back issues are archived in our family library. I typically refer to back issues
for specific equipment and manufacturers. Even though I lean heavily on the
internet for research, there is still a vacuum on the net for many articles,
interviews and items from the 60's through the 80s.
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Old 12-25-2017, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

There used to only be one place in town who carried them, and I'd go buy one a year or so. After I got married, I subscribed for a little while then quit because I lost interest in drumming there for a while. Whenever I got back into drummer, well the internet was around.

And to be totally transparent, I enjoy what everyone else has to say on this drum forum MUCH MORE than I ever did what a superstar had to say. I mean, of course Johnny-Hot-Right-Now is going to gush about how awesome the guys at Pearl/Tama/Premier/etc. are and how much they support their artists. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy interviews with drummers and I watch more than my fair share on YouTube. However, you guys are more in the "real world," and will realistically talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to drum gear.

I may resubscribe after my subscription to Musician's Friend runs out. :)
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Old 12-25-2017, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I used to buy an issue if I was in my local drum shop back in the 80's and 90's, when I was a teenager / early 20's, and like some others have said, pre internet. It's how I discovered the big names of drums - Bozzio, Weckl, Gadd, Porcaro. And whomever the metal drummer of the week was. lol. Loved the ads for new stuff, and I did discover some cool bands from the album reviews. My favorite bit used to be the little schematics that would break down the players kits, listing all the cymbals and drums and knicknacks.

Then after 2 years, you start to realise they are still just talking about the same 12 drummers every year, and as the internet became a thing I could see the ads for new gear right away and stopped buying.

Nowadays, I'll buy a few digital issues of Drum! or Rhythm, when they have back issue sales for 2 bucks an issue, but sometimes I don't even read them all. I do really miss having a physical magazine, to pick up and thumb through though. Makes me all nostalgic.
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Old 12-25-2017, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I have had subscriptions to Modern Drummer, Drum!, Not So Modern Drummer, and Traps in the past. Now I buy a drum magazine four or five times a year. Peace and goodwill.
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  #28  
Old 12-25-2017, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I used to a long time ago. When it lapsed, I didn't renew.

Last week I purchased a subscription to Drum!
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Had a subscription from '85-95 when I was a teenager/mid 20-'s and drumming was really in the forefront of my desires.
Loved the articles, reviews, exercises and interviews they had and read it cover to cover.

Then by the late 90's, I started to see how the ratio of ads to articles was REALLY unbalanced and I let it lapse. I still have some issues from "back in the day" that I refer to from time to time, but haven't pulled the trigger on a renewal.
Sometimes I'll pick up an issue if the cover artist is one I know or the article is about something I like.

We have a book and music exchange place here in town and I can get issues from WAY back. They always have an issue from the mid 80's that I somehow missed and it's great to see the ads from that time.
A drum-themed walk down memory lane. :-)
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  #30  
Old 01-05-2018, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Let my longtime MD subscription expire a year or two ago for the following reasons:

1. Dishonest Reviews: The "reviews" are nothing more than additional advertising. I understand that the magazine depends upon advertising but if you're going to review a product, do so in an unbiased manner. Otherwise you have zero credibility.

2. Formulaic Artist Interviews: Each article reads like the previous one. Simply pull up the article template, change the name of the drummer, insert a couple of bits tailored to the subject of the interview (upcoming album or tour, etc.) and you're good to go. No creativity.

3. Lack of good content: I actually like to see the ads to keep up with new products. There is a limit though to how many ads. Give us a bit of worthwhile content, please.

Don't really miss the mag.
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  #31  
Old 01-05-2018, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I was a subscriber to MD from about 1987 to 2000 and loved it. I stopped for a while for various reasons--nothing major--but renewed about two years ago and I enjoy reading it--maybe not the wonder of an internet-less 80's teenager--but more as an older drum geek.

While I'm at it - I want to very(!!) respectfully disagree with Steady Pocket's characterization that Modern Drummer's reviews are dishonest. I think we can all agree that they're in business to make money--and it's a dying business at that. So to include negative reviews on gear would be like shooting themselves in the foot (or pocketbook) when it comes to future advertisements. Whether or not you and I like agree with that notion, if its true, is irrelevant to what they need to do business-wise in order to survive. Again, even if it were true - it could also be the case that maybe some of the albums, books, and drum gear, etc. we DON'T read about is done for a reason - they would have to give that gear a negative review and there are only so many pages that they can realistically fill?

And one last thing on this -- it's also not a true statement - they do on occasion give negative reviews. You have no further to look than THIS MONTH's ISSUE (02/2018) where you can read Adam Bodfsky's review of a book that came out on John Bonham.

Here's a quote from the beginning of the review:
"In one bizarre passage, Popoff supports his expertise on the book’s subject in part by claiming that he’s written more record reviews than any other writer in history, and that he’s in fact going for the Guinness record in that regard. Two paragraphs later, he gripes about an abundance of existing journalism covering Zeppelin as a live act with this comment: “Zzz.” (Boo, and…huh?) Before all that, though, in a meaningless aside, he trashes the Beatles. (Ooh, and them’s fightin’ words!)"
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And this is just a sample.
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  #32  
Old 01-07-2018, 06:43 PM
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Juniper Juniper is offline
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I'm a subscriber and I look forward to, and read, every issue. Sometimes the articles aren't much of interest and I skip them but overall they do put out some good content, not to mention the Modern Drummer podcast which often goes into the articles deeper.

For me though the best drum publication currently is Drumhead. Love that magazine and each issue is packed. Takes me a while to get through each one - which I love about them.

Sometimes I can finish a Modern Drummer issue quite quickly, Drumhead not in the slightest.
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  #33  
Old 01-08-2018, 04:58 AM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

Check out the Modern Drummer podcast.. It's a great way to kill time while driving. It's hosted By Mike Dawson (managing editor of MD), and Mike Johnston.

It's also free
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  #34  
Old 01-10-2018, 12:49 PM
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sacco sacco is offline
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Default Re: Does anybody subscribe to Modern Drummer?

I subscribed to MD around 1988 and I decided not to renew my subscription just last year. I still have all the issues I got through my subscription, and sometimes I pick up and go through old ones with a real pleasure.

Why did I not renew the subscription? Well, mainly because the magazine was becoming quite repetitive and because today there are so many online information sources dedicated to music and drumming (including the MD site ...). When I first subscribed it was not that easy, at least where I lived (Switzerland) to find good information about drums and drumming, and for many years I really waited for any new MD issue with impatience!

There could be a lot to say about specialised magazines that are heavily financed through advertising, but maybe this is not the right place to start such a discussion. That said, I recognise that for many years I really enjoyed reading MD, and it took me a long time to decide not to renew my subscription ...

(P.S.: concerning advertising, there could also be quite a lot to say about free advertising provided by forum users ...)
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