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  #1  
Old 08-12-2018, 05:20 PM
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Default Instrument infatuation

Playing drums...the act of playing drums...it really shouldn't matter what I am playing on...but it does.

This thread is not about which kit inspires you, that's fine too...it's more about the difference in the way you feel when you are playing your #1 favorite drum set (if you have one) as compared to a backline kit for instance that's not your cup of tea at all. Is this an actual thing with you or do you feel the same no matter what you are playing on?

If I have multiple kits, I love them fairly equally, because I have them set up, headed and tuned to my preferences.

But if I am forced to play a crap backline kit...I just don't play it like I would if it was my own kit. Like if the sound like garbage, I won't play them unless I have to. So the instrument I'm playing affects what I choose to play. It shouldn't, but it does. I hear things a certain way, and timbre is included. If I want a long note, and all I have to work with is a short crappy non-note...I'll just skip playing it if I can.

How I feel about an instrument...I proved to myself that it affects me. I had a "Hendrix color" white Telecaster since 2003. It mostly just sat around. I never liked the color too much but I was trading in a PRS and that's all they had there, in my price range, and I had to have a different guitar that day lol.

Last year I totally redid everything to what I wanted, paint, electronics, hardware...bottom line, I've never loved playing that guitar to the degree I love playing it now...and it's the same body and neck. Go figure. I've done a 180 with that guitar and now I can't get enough. It makes little sense to me except that perhaps I am completely spoiled.

Comments welcome.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

This is part of why I am willing to spend big money on specific kits that are renowned for their sound. I want to be inspired enough to actually practice.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Interesting topic.

Firstly when it comes to the color or look of the drum kit, it really does not seem to matter while I'm playing the kit. It matters a lot to me when I looking at the kit.
If it's ugly I feel uninspired and I worry that it will affect the audience's perception of me.

When it comes to the sound of the kit; obviously I want my drum kit to sound good and when it does, I play better.

But interestingly enough if I'm playing a bad sounding drum kit (someone else's drum kit) as soon as the music starts, the bad sound goes to the background and I immerse myself in the song. I pull out the best sounds I can and the bad sounding kit does not seem to matter very much.


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Old 08-12-2018, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

I have always despised playing other people's instruments. Regardless of quality or sound even. I have spent so much time getting my gear exactly how I want it, when I play on someone else's gear it always feels foreign. It's like driving someone else's car. It just isn't right.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
It makes little sense to me except that perhaps I am completely spoiled.
I agree.

I have an appreciation sitting behind whatever kit I'm sitting behind, from old junk that was stored away for decades within the dark dusty bowels of an old three-story home, to kits pulled together with a mish-mash of this and that.

It's the sound and action that fuels my inner hunger, not superficial shininess and high-end brand names.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

different sounding kits inspire me to play different things ... even if they sound like shit I find something beautiful to play because it inspires foreign ideas

sound doesn't bother me nearly as much as straight up faulty equipment ... stripped bolts... stripped brackets ... etc

of course I prefer to always play my kit ... and I have run into some pretty sweet house kits ... the Apollo in NYC has a brand new DW kit that was a pleasure to play ... I'v also run into complete trash

but as long as it is sturdy I'll find some sweets sounds to create

then again I'm known to play full gigs with brushes on paper bag ... so I gues that says I just enjoy making sounds to compliment a musical situation in any way possible
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

With my trio I am playing with just one rack tom and usually no floor tom. A 12" snare. A small kick sometimes 20" but at many of our venues we're trying a 14" kick now. But at a benefit gig a few weeks ago I had to use the backline kit which was the exact opposite of my normal kit. A lot of everything. It was going from driving a 1960's VW Bug to an 18 wheeler.

I thanked the house drummer for letting everyone (there were 5 groups that day) use his kit and especially cymbals, and their bass player chimed in that a year ago when the kit was new their drummer would never have let us use it lol.

Here's a pic of me on their backline kit.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:30 PM
motojosh motojosh is offline
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Playing drums...the act of playing drums...it really shouldn't matter what I am playing on...but it does.

This thread is not about which kit inspires you, that's fine too...it's more about the difference in the way you feel when you are playing your #1 favorite drum set (if you have one) as compared to a backline kit for instance that's not your cup of tea at all. Is this an actual thing with you or do you feel the same no matter what you are playing on?
I think this is an actual thing for most musicians on most instruments. What you're playing on can make a huge difference. I have a friend who is a full-time musician and was gifted an 1891 Martin guitar by a family friend. She just recorded an album of songs that that guitar either inspired her to write, or that she had already written but had to re-do for that particular guitar. There were passages in some songs that sounded great on a more modern acoustic guitar that didn't sound at all good on this Martin. So some songs ended up with a completely different feel, just because that's what fit the instrument she was inspired by for this album.

Being able to vary your playing style to make a particular instrument sound its best is a skill unto itself, and some folks have fun with it. Others want to find an instrument that fits their particular style, and go as far as they can with that. Just two different approaches.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

I don't feel the same behind somebody else's kit. Even if nice, I will tend to play conservatively. Its sort of like driving somebody else's car.
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  #10  
Old 08-12-2018, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroker View Post
It's the sound and action that fuels my inner hunger, not superficial shininess and high-end brand names.
Looks count but 100% agree that it's the sound. That great sound can come from any set, it doesn't have to be expensive.

Actually, yes it does :)
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Iím playing on recovered 2010ís Ludwig accent Zep kit. I have it tuned how I like it, set up perfectly for me, and Iím really happy with it- Iíd rather play it than anyone else's kit.

That doesnít stop me from lusting after, and I will eventually buy, a similar sized classic maple kit in vintage marine. Thatís what Iíve always envisioned as my dream kit since I was a kid. A near- Bohnham size kit in a Buddy Rich suit.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
I have spent so much time getting my gear exactly how I want it, when I play on someone else's gear it always feels foreign. It's like driving someone else's car. It just isn't right.
This, and more importantly for me, the way it sounds. When it doesn't sound the way I expect it to, it completely throws me.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

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Originally Posted by Jbravo View Post
That doesnít stop me from lusting after, and I will eventually buy, a similar sized classic maple kit in vintage marine. Thatís what Iíve always envisioned as my dream kit since I was a kid. A near- Bohnham size kit in a Buddy Rich suit.
Stop it jbravo!
You're killing me.
When I read this my emotions got the best of me............. I actually started to tear up.


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Old 08-12-2018, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

I had this exact experience at a gig last night. When I got there, the sound man was going on and on about how he had the drums "tuned perfectly", and "totally dialed in". The kit itself wasn't bad... Pearl Crystal Beat, 12, 14, 22. The equipment was in good condition, and nothing was broken, or taped together, so that was nice. I sit down at the set and hit around it a bit, and there it is... That cardboard box sound that sound guys seem to love. Evans Hydraulics tuned just a bit past finger tight, and the reso heads adorned with gaff tape. I tried tuning them a bit higher to get some kind of tone from them, but to no avail. They just sounded like smaller cardboard boxes. Needless to say, the sound was uninspiring.

On top of that, they had a plexiglass shield in front of the drums. In some situations, it doesn't bother me. But in this band, we all interact with each other on stage as part of the show. This definitely put a damper on that. The dude also had lights set up by the drums, behind the plexi, facing in a way that didn't really allow me to see out. I was basically looking at a reflection of myself playing for the entire night.

That gig was like accidentally sitting in dog cr*p, then when you stand up and try to clean yourself off, someone runs up to you and kicks you right in the penis.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

I've come to embrace the challenge of playing backline kits or kits that belong to other drummers. Last summer, at a very large local club, my band opened for 2 different touring cover bands in the span of 3 months. I made a thread about how muffled the drums were in each instance. I was using a double pedal back then; the one guy also had a double pedal, but he put the slave pedal on the outside of the hi hat pedal, instead of inside how I set mine. That really messed with me for the first few minutes, but you know what? I settled in and figured it out. I actually kind of enjoy using other people's gear at this stage; I like the challenge of playing well in less than ideal circumstances. I'm usually much larger than the drummer's whose kit I'm using, but I pretty much leave everything where it is and don't move things around. Its kind of fun, actually, but I do enjoy going back to my kit when its over.

PS- I'm in Grapevine Texas for 2 weeks, and am looking to sit in somewhere (open mic or whatever), if anyone can suggest a place to check out!
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutaway79 View Post
That gig was like accidentally sitting in dog cr*p, then when you stand up and try to clean yourself off, someone runs up to you and kicks you right in the penis.
This is freaking hilarious! Not the gig, sucks you had to endure that mess. But on the bright side, I think you have just given me the greatest one sentenced description of a crap situation. I will be using this.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Stop it jbravo!
You're killing me.
When I read this my emotions got the best of me............. I actually started to tear up.


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  #18  
Old 08-13-2018, 01:55 AM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

It's the sound that matters, bad acoustics are the worst. let alone somebody else's drum set, would you ware their pants> ?
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Playing drums...the act of playing drums...it really shouldn't matter what I am playing on...but it does.
And why is that? I couldn't disagree more. Of course it should matter. It's not infatuation at all. An infatuation is an unreasonable fixation. There's nothing unreasonable or fleeting about the love of a musical instrument.

The rest of your post makes a lot of sense, but that first sentence is unfortunate (lol).
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:20 AM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

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Originally Posted by bud7h4 View Post
And why is that? I couldn't disagree more. Of course it should matter. It's not infatuation at all. An infatuation is an unreasonable fixation. There's nothing unreasonable or fleeting about the love of a musical instrument.

The rest of your post makes a lot of sense, but that first sentence is unfortunate (lol).
That's cool. Differing opinions welcome.

That statement was born from watching Benny Greb playing a Spongebob set and seeing Steve Gadd swinging on an Ampex tape box.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Looks count but 100% agree that it's the sound. That great sound can come from any set, it doesn't have to be expensive.

Actually, yes it does :)
Playing a kit that sounds both great and looks great is swell, as is owning something that's high-end, hence the expense factor, but I'm leaning strongly towards what, WhoIsTony, said, in that even if a kit outside of ones ownership is played and the sound doesn't live up to ones expectations, there's still something magical related to that. I see it an opportunity to branch-out and try something new. Change can be refreshing and inspiring.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

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Originally Posted by paradiddle pete View Post
It's the sound that matters, bad acoustics are the worst. let alone somebody else's drum set, would you were their pants> ?
Depends on how close their taste in clothes is to mine....
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:49 AM
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Depends on how close their taste in clothes is to mine....
or how famous they are.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Its sort of like driving somebody else's car.
I agree - driving someone elseís perfectly good car always feels a bit uncomfortable, and I tend to drive more conservatively and it feels more like a chore or job to be done.

Playing someone elseís drum kit is similar, even if itís a really nice kit.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroker View Post
Playing a kit that sounds both great and looks great is swell, as is owning something that's high-end, hence the expense factor, but I'm leaning strongly towards what, WhoIsTony, said, in that even if a kit outside of ones ownership is played and the sound doesn't live up to ones expectations, there's still something magical related to that. I see it an opportunity to branch-out and try something new. Change can be refreshing and inspiring.
I have to disagree. I see this as no different than going to a buddy's house, picking up a horribly out of tune guitar and finding inspiration from it. It just doesn't work for me.

I can see the flip side though. I have a friend who will drum on anything. He has been known to play water glasses and napkin holders with eating utensils while waiting for his food.
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Drums are a strange instrument to me.
If you put a mic on a guitar amp, it still sounds like that guitar amp, but when you put a mic on a drum, it sounds very different.

When I play drums it's always in my mind how I imagine the drums sound to someone else. I play them with assumed intention.

A really nice sounding drum set and a really nice ergonomic setup gives me a better feeling of coming closer to the sound and feel I assume in my head.

That's my infatuation feedback loop.

I often want a set that has a huge amount of sustain, and then I also want a set that doesn't. My floor toms all vex me.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Not saying anything new, but for me the sound and look of a set is very much a reflection of the drummer. Interestingly, when I see a guitar that just trashed and looks like itís been through a war, itís attached to a guitarist who can make the thing melt. Not true with drummers. A trashed kit has almost always been attached to a drummer who plays like trash - back line kits excluded.

Every time Iíve played in a practice studio, there has been 50 pounds of laundry in the kick and 50 pounds of duck tape on everything else. Practice for me a pointless at this point. Everything sounds like clicking, so no point in evaluating dynamics, etc. itís purely about learning starts/stops at that point. Only once have I been in a studio where heads were new and made an otherwise completely trashed looking set usable. It was when I first realized how much difference there was in a well made set of drums, in this case a Tama Starclasic B/B. Still wouldnít bee seen out in public with it. Way too junkyard looking for my tastes.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

We can develop a very personal relationship with our instrument. Most of the reasons are subjective. I think that's normal and fine. It doesn't matter why we love the instrument; it could be sound, it could be look, it could be nostalgia for a brand or it could just be some weird mojo we have trouble defining. All are equally valid reasons as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Is this just a thread so you can try to justify the gross things you do to those Gurus?
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

I played a Yamaha SC Birch at a festival this weekend. They were in great condition. No duct tape holding the hardware together and relatively new, dent-free heads. No cymbal felts or sleeves missing, working spikes. It was great! It's just too bad they sounded like Yamahas.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Since most of my playing is now on e-drums at church, I rarely have to opportunity to check out "back line" kits that everyone hates. However, a friend asked me to come over and play with them one night. Said their drummer was out of town and they needed a drummer. I went in to find an old CB MAXX kit. The heads must've been 30 years old. Had memory locks on everything that made it set up like one of those "Best of Craigslist" ads. Not saying you can't get a decent sound out of them (I have one in my garage), but it takes a lot of time and money to find the right heads and tuning. You just can't do that with someone else's kit. That was one of the least inspired nights I've ever had (other than my bass player getting drunk and passing out). I couldn't wait to get out of there. They've asked me back, but not unless I can bring my kit. I just can't do it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroker View Post
Change can be refreshing and inspiring.
If it's good change, sure. I love good change.

It's the bad change I'm whining about :)
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Is this just a thread so you can try to justify the gross things you do to those Gurus?
Yes, I hope you don't mind :P

Are you referring to my playing? Punk?
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: Instrument infatuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
If it's good change, sure. I love good change.

It's the bad change I'm whining about :)
Well, now I know you're full of it, Larry, because you never whine. :)

Short story for you.

A childhood friend of mine lost his dad at an early age, and his dad was a drummer. He played a Rogers kit, which after his death, fell silent.

Years passed, and one day while over visiting my friend, we pulled that old kit out of the attic, dusted it off, and had a jam-session. I was a kid, so don't recall the sound, but was honoured to sit behind it and play. I could feel my friends fathers presence in the room. He was with us.
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