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  #1  
Old 03-05-2012, 11:01 AM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Cowbell or block for Latin jazz?

Hello, I will be playing some Latin jazz/swing in the near future, and I'm not sure if it calls for a cowbell or a wood or plastic block. I'm leaning cowbell, as that's what most people seem to use (and it would probably be more versatile) but I'm not sure what brand or size ... and I also kind of like the 'thock' of a block versus the 'ting' of a bell, but that might just be the bells I've seen so far.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Cowbell or block for Latin jazz?

Definitely the cowbell would be the smarter choice. Blocks are cool, but other than playing the clave pattern with it, there's not much else you could do on a traditional latin gig.

As far as bells go, I use the LP Mambo bell all the time. It's not as high-pitched and fits in well into the groove. Some bells are like piccolos in a marching band - they stick right out no matter how quietly you play them (the little LP Black Beauty comes to mind). So, go for a bigger one, like the mambo. If you need a higher pitched bell, you could always play the bell up towards the attachment end. But when you drop down to the open end, you get his nice low pitch thud.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:57 PM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Cowbell or block for Latin jazz?

Thanks! I was looking at the Black Beauty, but I was worried it might be high-pitched. So the mambo will probably be the better way to go. I just hope it fits between my hats and my rack tom (I'm not too into the idea of mounting it on my kick, everyone says they rattle).
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Cowbell or block for Latin jazz?

I use the chromed BB and the ridge rider (got both for free, would get the mambo if I paid for one.) And I mount the BB on my bass drum with no problems. The only cool way I've seen blocks used is mounted to foot pedals, otherwise they just don't seem to fit into the beat.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:37 PM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Cowbell or block for Latin jazz?

Andy, you haven't had issues with the cowbell rattling while playing the bass drum? I've read a lot of complaints about that, and it's the primary reason I was thinking of going with a cymbal mount.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:49 PM
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topgun2021 topgun2021 is offline
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Default Re: Cowbell or block for Latin jazz?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken View Post
Andy, you haven't had issues with the cowbell rattling while playing the bass drum? I've read a lot of complaints about that, and it's the primary reason I was thinking of going with a cymbal mount.
On the bell I mount on the bass drum, all it does is move a bit (the mount I use is kind of worn, so that may be a cause). It doesn't create extra noise. I just readjust when necessary.

If you want 2(!) cowbells, get the black beauty and the cha cha bell, they sound great together and you can play some standard bell patterns nicely.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us7yp6RqBaM&t=1m20s - Here is an example of a two bell groove.



The LP Claw mount is your friend.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Cowbell or block for Latin jazz?

I fashioned a nice bass hoop mount out of something. I'll post a picture of it. It can definitely handle the big bells and not move. Saved my hoop as well. I find I have to have the bell on the hoop like that. A lot of Latin patterns dictate the bells placement so sorta crossing over to get to it doesn't work for me.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:03 AM
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Deathmetalconga Deathmetalconga is offline
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Default Re: Cowbell or block for Latin jazz?

Quote:
Originally Posted by topgun2021 View Post
On the bell I mount on the bass drum, all it does is move a bit (the mount I use is kind of worn, so that may be a cause). It doesn't create extra noise. I just readjust when necessary.

If you want 2(!) cowbells, get the black beauty and the cha cha bell, they sound great together and you can play some standard bell patterns nicely.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us7yp6RqBaM&t=1m20s - Here is an example of a two bell groove.



The LP Claw mount is your friend.
The throatier bells are great, but a cha-cha bell adds some nice pop. I tend to prefer Latin Percussion gear.

If you really want to up your game, attach a bell or block to a foot pedal.
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