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Old 01-24-2010, 11:15 PM
Lengo's Avatar
Lengo Lengo is offline
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Default 20-20 Hindsight

I feel like ranting today.

I was in Guitar Center yesterday, mainly for some info and to try some licks on a real kit. I wanted to hear the difference between different snare woods and metals, and depths. I wanted a feel on what I'd spend on a low-end kit just for SOMETHING to bang on, although I won't be buying one. I wanted to play some new licks I've learned on a kit, and actually hear what it sounds like. I was not disappointed. Guitar Center is a place to get info, experiment, and purchase (after you know what you're doing).

While I was in there, a gentleman walked in who was about my age. In a while, he was glowing. He was buying a ZBT cymbal set, a throne, and some other goodies to go along with his craigslist drum kit. I started up a conversation with him after he made the statement, "I can't believe how expensive cymbals are. They're a lot more than drums!"

I tried to deftly tell him that he doesn't want ZBTs. I tried to tell him to buy ONE GOOD cymbal at a time, from a good line like Zildjian AAs or K series, or Sabian HH or HX or whatever. I didn't get through to him though. He was too excited about his purchase. "Oh boy! New toys!" He'll be sorry eventually though. He'll have to pay twice for cymbals and that throne he bought is a real piece of junk. It won't last.

This man was noob! I can understand his excitement, but his excitement gets in the way of good judgment. I'm happy for him! He's found a new hobby! And you shoulda seen the gleam in his eye when he said "I've improved so much very rapidly!". Yeah! Drumming is fun! I can't and won't quell that excitement. But at the same time, it's painful for me to see others make the same mistakes I've made in the past.

What I'm angry about is that I didn't tell him about Drummerworld forums. He doesn't know we exist. All the advice he can get here, plus links to good, quality components, and educational sites, and then the links to various YouTube videos about equipment or techniques. Drummerworld forums is so very valuable, it's priceless. So, I'm not gonna let that happen again. The next time I see a noob, I'm gonna pull him aside and tell him where to get advice (here), and how to save money in the long run, and how to get started right instead of wrong. So I gonna make up for my mistake with this post. I shoulda told him about drummerworld forums. And I'm telling you to do likewise.

Be advised. Do the same. Help out the noobs. Point 'em at good info, and tell them to temper their enthusiasm a little so that they buy right and don't waste their money. Tell 'em about these forums, good youtubes, freedrumlessons.com, and all the great tips that you know. Help 'em out! The noobs will be better off in the long run, and as drummers, we should all stick together and we'll bond better. Music is one of the places in this world where we can get along. There are few things in life that allow this.

Come May or June, I get my kit! I can taste it, I want it so much! But by being patient, I'm saving a bunch of money, and I'll be getting exactly what suits me, and nothing less. Oh and, BTW, I like the sound of a steel snare. That's the sound I'm looking for. It may not be yours, but it's exactly what I want. Woot! I can hardly wait, but I must.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:46 PM
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MikeM MikeM is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

I was perusing CL for cymbals and have been falling into this pothole lately: an add for a 20" Avedis Ride Cymbal. I click it and get a Scimitar! Oh, and he wants $150 for it!

Okay, that's happened a few times in a row by now and I'm getting a little irritated, so I email the guy and tell him that that thing isn't the gem he thinks it is. I also include a Wiki link to show Zildjian's past and present cymbal lines and Scimitar's place in it. I also sent him a Musician's Friend link to a new ZHT Ride (to save him as much face as possible) and to show him that he's really shooting for the moon on that one (new ones are cheaper!).

He emails me back telling me that it is an Avedis, a great cymbal, and I don't know what I'm talking about, and the thing's 8% SILVER and so on, and thanks, but he'll be keeping it at $150.

So I reply to try and straighten him out on alloys and a couple other things he clearly didn't understand (I know, I know, why try, right?), but this time not trying to hide my feeling that he's a jerk and fraudulently trying to pass off his dud for a gem.

So he comes back with all kinds of colorful language and places I should visit and what have you, so I'm thinking that perhaps I shouldn't've used my email acct with my name in it, because he seemed really pissed and not that far away.

So I google his name: Death investigator! Oh no! I pissed off the guy who'll have me swimming with the fishes and no one will ever know!

But then I noticed wrong city, so I include that with my search, and lo and behold, an old retired guy playing jazz with a volunteer jazz orchestra down in Olympia. There's an old b/w shot of him with his band from the early '60s and some newer ones with him and his kit: an old Made-in-Taiwan CB-700 knock-off with his Scimitar and a few other ZBTs. Nothing B20. Everything is in pristine, shiny condition.

Suddenly, I felt kind of bad and emailed him to apologize for offending him and to say that I admired him for continuing on with it late in life and that I hoped I would be too.

It did actually occur to me to steer him toward this forum, but I didn't want to burst his bubble about playing crap cymbals. I'd rather he thought I was the idiot he called me.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:53 PM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

Yep, it's a pit fall I agree. As my father used to say to me "I can take you sailing, but I can't make the wind blow". All you can do is offer advice Lengo, if they listen...job done. If not, then not much more you can do.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:14 AM
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Big Foot Big Foot is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

I know a couple of "guys-who-play-drums" in my corner of the world. And I don't even go there.
They never practice any technique or skills of any kind. And the songs they play are for the most part, are played wrong. But that's not the point.

They have no intention or interest in improving their skills or knowledge of tuning or setting up the set properly - all that duct tape is working fine ;). It can be frustrating but what can you do?

When people really want to learn and dig deeper we'll know ... and we meet them in places like this.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:34 AM
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Ferret Ferret is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

I think ZBTs are underrated as beginner cymbals.

When you meet someone, you have no idea how they play, want to play or really anything about them. Maybe these cymbals will just live in a garge, never be miced, never play a show, and wit a little consideration (like i did mine) never be broken either. Maybe this guy doesnt need the top end zildjian lines that perform the best in every way a drummer could ask, maybe his ear can't tell the difference as well as his wallet can...

when i advise parents of young drummers or other people i know wanting to pick up the drums, i always advise them the cheapest of everything, zbts or sabian b8's and the cheapest shells they can get on the market. Just because that equipment will last them long enough to find out just how serious they are. MY first year of playing it wasnt clear to me or anyone that id ever need better than a peavey kit and ZBTs. My 7th year of playing, no one is surprised that I've put every penny into the best cymbals around, a rack, mics, and a decent snare/shell pack.

9 years of blasturbation.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:37 AM
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mcbike mcbike is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

maybe i'm selfish but whenever i'm in a place like guitar center I don't talk to anybody, I'm usually just trying to get in and out of there as fast as I can with the things I want. If people want to buy zbt's let em. they are better than what I started with. it's all opinions and taste with cymbals. Alot of beginners actually prefer the sound of sheet metal cymbals becuase they are brighter. alot of pros are using cymbals similar to that anyways with 2002's and PAmenils. sometimes it's a budget thing too I mean if you only have $300 dollars to spend on cymbals you could buy 1 k ride or a whole set of zbts. alot of drummers won't even stick with it past the first year anyways (seen craigslist lately?)

I do feel bad when I see somebody buying a sound percussion boom stand that I know won't hold up a cymbal without even trying it. they just pick up the box and assume it's got to work. I just don't want to be that guy to tell them that. I usually get really annoyed when people try to talk me out of something I want to buy and sell me on something else.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:31 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

You tried. That's all you can do.
This seat does not recline as per Federal Aviation Regulation 121.310 (f)(3)
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:14 PM
brownie1969 brownie1969 is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

"what we've got here is failure to communicate....some men you just can't reach".............

I'd say, with few exceptions, that everyone on the face of the earth has access to the internet. If people aren't using it to get helpful information, with whatever your doing/selling/buying/studying etc etc, I have no sympathy for you. If this guy was thrilled to buy a boxed set of cymbals...so be it. You did exactly what I would have done....dropped my 2 cents, and left it there for him to pick up, or leave it right there......
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:05 AM
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Fiery Fiery is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

There's no reason for beginner drummers to buy expensive equipment. Their ears aren't trained and they still don't know what they want to sound like. And due to lack of proper technique, it might not last them very long. And, as mcbike said, they might actually prefer the cheap sound in the beginning.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:31 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
There's no reason for beginner drummers to buy expensive equipment. Their ears aren't trained and they still don't know what they want to sound like. And due to lack of proper technique, it might not last them very long. And, as mcbike said, they might actually prefer the cheap sound in the beginning.
I get what you're saying....I just hate seeing people pay twice for something that, if chosen correctly in the first instance, they can get away with only paying for once. Used pro levels cymbals can be found for similar prices to that of new entry levels.

It's true that they might like the sound of entry levels' initially, but as you said yourself "Their ears aren't trained and they still don't know what they want to sound like".

At the end of the day, people have to make their own minds up, I agree....but I was always thankful for my father, who is also a drummer, not allowing me to "waste my money on cheap cymbals" (his words). I still have the used pro-level cymbals I bought when I was younger.....it means the cash can be invested in something else.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:48 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: 20-20 Hindsight

It depends. If budget is a major consideration, ie. choice between good cymbals and feeding kids - and the drummer just wants to have fun in the garage - then cheap ZBTs and Staggs are the go. Personally, if I was in that situation I'd go with Staggs.

Otherwise, the only way to buy cymbals is to tap every cymbal of the right size/style in the shop and look for love at first sight (hearing). Cymbal shopping is an art in itself and, for me, a confusing one.

The other day I was looking for a replacement for my ancient 17" Meinl crash/ride. Especially interested in a 20" Zildjian Armand after hearing a very nice one in a local shop.

I went to another shop where I get good discounts for being such an idiot spendthrift (aka a good customer - I'm as bad with drum gear as friends are with shoes!). I got on their tryout kit, loaded up my old Meinl on one stand and the 20" Armand they had in stock for a side by side comparison.

The love wasn't there ... I kept tapping the Armand in different areas, gentle glancing crashes, with different sticks, then I'd try the Meinl and was not convinced. Surely it should sound better than this! The shop guy came over and said what I'd been thinking, "Actually, I prefer your old cymbal". Damn Zildian variability :(

I also brought along my 2002 crash to see how well the cymbals would get along with each other. The guy was super-helpful and brought out a procession of crash/rides. No joy. Not one of them was better than my old Meinl that has mellowed nicely over the last 25 years. Why am I looking to replace it? I'd like more stick definition and a slightly darker sound to offset the brightness of the 2002.

I then walked around the cymbal displays and tried all sorts of things. No joy. However, money is an issue and I want that discount. So I'll have to wait for the shop the get in some more Armands and hopefully hit the jackpot.

Things were easier when I was young and knew less than I knew now - all I did was buy a bunch of Paiste 2002s and sound edge hats and they lasted me until I sold the kit when I quit. Paistes are an easy option if you're happy to have beautiful cymbals with limited personality. Not so easy when you're hankering for a versatile "character actor" in your kit. I might just end up experimenting with a tiny strip or two of gaffer tape on the Meinl ...

At least it's less problematic than shopping for shoes :)
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