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Old 11-16-2010, 02:38 PM
kozmicma kozmicma is offline
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Default Best snare for jazz

Hi everyone, I read a lot of things about specific gear for jazz drum playing. There is some convergence but it wasn't clear enough in my mind what should I search for, if I want to buy a snare for jazz drumming. It looks like a Ludwig Black Beauty was often nammed as a great snare for jazz. Do you guys have other precise suggestions. Some says maple snare or steel snare are the best for jazz. Some talked about dark, low-pitched, low-volume snare. Other question : does an old used snare of a particular era can be better than a new one. So what are your suggstions?

Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

This is kind of a combination of my personal preferences and what I've found my pro customers using and liking for jazz (I'm assuming you're talking primarily about straight ahead jazz, because fusion can be completely different):

A wood shell, maybe 5 to 6 inches deep. Maple is the classic, all-around workhorse, but sometimes even warmer woods (cherry, walnut, even mahogany) can sound good. I've had a lot of success with canarywood for jazz -- it's a fine tonewood that's used in guitars and speaker enclosures -- slightly warmer than maple. I'd suggest steering clear of brass or the very hard woods for general jazz.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:05 PM
Ian Ian is offline
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

For me I find a 5-6.5x14 brass drum to suit this just fine. That being said, a teacher I had said he preferred a 5x14 Ludalloy (aluminum) Supraphonic over anything else. I think most any metal drum should suit you just fine, just use a coated single ply head and make sure they are dynamically sensitive over all the head.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

id go for a walnut snae w/ wood hoops
that would have a really nice warm tone
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

It's really more how you tune it than what particular kind of drum it is.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

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Originally Posted by con struct View Post
It's really more how you tune it than what particular kind of drum it is.
+1
It's all about the tuning.
There are all kinds of snares used for Jazz.
Deep, Shallow, Thick shell and Thin, 14 inch, 13 inch, Metal, Wood, Combination of metal and wood.
It is endless.
There is no one answer for your query.

I try to get the head tension just right so that I get a lot of response without to much crack and pop.
I leave a little "Dirt" or "Warmth" in the sound.
The same goes for the snare strand tension. I try to get them just dirty enough so as not to choke the drum.
It is impossible to explain with words.
I also run my brushes over the drum and fine tune while I play with them.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 11-17-2010 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

Agree with Jay and Bob.. the only thing it needs to be IMO, is sensitive and responsive because if one is to hazard a generalization about jazz, it would be that there is a lot of playing that happens between the downbeats.

...
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

Yes, it could be true that it isn't the drum. It's what you do with what you have, or what you're given to work with, or what you can afford.

Or you need a see-through red one.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:26 PM
kozmicma kozmicma is offline
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

Hey, thanks for your answer. I understand that tuning and setting is an important thing to get a good jazz sound. But I also supposed that there is some snare generally related to rock or heavy metal and others related to jazz or old rock, other blues or funk... The tuning part said, is there particular snares comonly related to jazz. As I said I ear about Ludwig Black Beauty and Supraphonic and some Gretsch. I also ear about Slingerland. Can you confirm this and maybe suggest other classic jazz (not jazz fusion) snares. Thank you once again.
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

I'm not going to be of any help but will say something.

The whole point of Jazz was to be different. Break down barriers. Try different sounds. Change minds on music.

Like every other genre we've reduced it to a wood type, bearing edge, style of rim, head selection, and tuning range.

WE'RE MISSING THE POINT!!!!!

I say take a drum tune it up and go play some jazz man. end of story.

dxtr
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:30 PM
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Winston_Wolf Winston_Wolf is offline
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

I really don't think there is going to be a definitive answer, because jazz is what you play, not what you play it on.

Tuning and head selection will make a bigger difference than the specifics of the drum itself.

What kind of snare sound do YOU like? Any drum you like the sound of, and responds well to your playing is going to work fine.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:54 PM
Ian Ian is offline
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

To take this in a different direction, which snare drums do you own?
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

The Ludwig LM400, 5"X14". Totally classic snare drum in every sense of the word. This is all you need for jazz. Lock. Thread.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
To take this in a different direction, which snare drums do you own?
I have a few, but the one I always use is a DW Craviato solid shell maple, 5" x14". It's made out of one piece of wood that was bent into a circle. Ambassadors top and bottom, cranked up. It's a really musical sounding drum. I tune it so that there's just the right amount of ring, no muffling whatsoever. Very responsive and dynamic. Hell of a rim-shot. Really nice snare drum.

Now I would never say that mine is the best snare drum for jazz. It works for me, though, and that's what matters, no?
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:18 PM
kozmicma kozmicma is offline
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

Hi, thanks for the suggestions. In fact I did not say enough about why I asked for a good snare for jazz. I actually have an enter level drum kit (Pearl Forum) and I upgraded my cymbals first. Now, I feel the snare doesn't feel right for the sound I expect. I wish to but new snare oriented for jazz as I also practice more and more to get a better jazz feel while playing beats. I prefer low pitch sound, even dark sound, with a drynest.

So that's why I was looking for precise suggestions. Anyway all your comments are appreciated. I took notes.

I'm going the start a first snare drum trying this week-end so if you have other suggestions, go on.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

I think with better heads and some tuning, you should be able to get a perfectly usable sound out of the snare you have.

For jazz especially I like the sound of calfskin-style heads, so I'd suggest Remo Renaissance, Evans Strata, or Aquarian Modern Vintage.

If you really want dark and dry, I think pairing a Renaissance snare side with a Renaissance Powerstroke batter would give you plenty of both.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

in my opinion, there is no comparison between a steel snare and a walnut (either plywood, stave or steambent).
yes, tuning is also a fundamental part, but you cant compare the warmth of a walnut snare with a metallic one
anyways, thats my opinion, yours may vary
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

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Originally Posted by kozmicma View Post
I also ear about Slingerland. Can you confirm this and maybe suggest other classic jazz (not jazz fusion) snares. Thank you once again.
The older Slingerlands are very nice for jazz. A maple shell with 8 lugs gives you a nice traditional jazz sound. If you buy an older snare, realize that its probably not going to be perfect and could have issues that you'll have to work with, that you wouldn't have with newer models.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:41 PM
kozmicma kozmicma is offline
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

I actually tried a couple of snare recently. I tried a Ludwig Supraphonic, a DW maple (that I don't remember the line), a Pork Pie maple and brass and a Pearl Master MCA. I tried others but they did not reached me.

I really liked the DW Maple something for its very low pitch and feel. The Ludwig sound great but I felt it was not the sound I'm looking for. I liked the Pork Pie Maple for its clean true sound and feel. The brass one was also great. But actually, the Pearl Master MCA was the one that respond the best. For jazz snare comping it was great interaction, like playing with a twin brother understanding each other. Maybe it is due to the REMO Ambassador head. Anyway, I was surprised because I did not think the Pearl would speak to me so much. I'm still waiting before buying one because I'm going to try 2 Yamaha snares : the expensive Senstivie Serie and the Vintage Serie. Some say the Yamaha sensitive snare is one of the best on the market. If I choose the Sensitive over all other, I'll look for a used one.
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  #20  
Old 11-25-2010, 08:21 AM
JackD JackD is offline
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

I'd recommend a wood shell snare drum for jazz. You can't go wrong with maple - it's popular for a reason. 14" x 5.5/6" is a good size.

As for brands, there's no particular make or model that is "the best". All the top brands are great.

Try out lots and take your time to decide. Most importantly use your ears to decide, rather than catalogs... or forums :)
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:40 AM
AggressiveC AggressiveC is offline
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Default Re: Best snare for jazz

Hey there!

I'd recommend a Ludwig 14x5" Acrolite. Acrolites sound and look absolutely FANTASTIC and the price you pay is icing on the cake (they go for around $100 on the used market). These little guys are the go-to snare for drummers of all styles. Throw a single-ply coated head on it and you've got one of the most versatile drums around! I myself had one for a little while and foolishly sold it, but I'm picking up another one around Christmas time. Highly recommended. I hope this helps!
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