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  #1  
Old 08-31-2013, 01:18 PM
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Default Remember when....a little reflection

Before all this internet stuff and forums how we found out our info on drums. Drum magazines, the local drum shop. Not Guitar Center or Sam Ash the small drums shops where the owner was actually a drummer, not some kid that was selling shoes last week. A lot of trial and error, especially with heads. There were no forums to ask the age old question which pedal should I buy or what heads will sound best for me. Oh man the number of head combo's I tried back in the day experimenting to get the right sound. I remember spending hours in a local shop just talking drums, music and everything else. There was no ordering on line, though there were some big mail order companies, but for the most part it was in store and if you were lucky like I was you had a good store somewhat near you.

For the younger generation (I'm 41 now) this is a lost concept I think, not saying that negatively but the small shops just don't exist much anymore and the first place most go these days (including myself) is the internet. But for many my age and older this might bring back some good memories, I know it does for me.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

I do recall precisely what you are saying (I'm 47).

My opinion only but the internet has made it both easier and more confusing for the consumer. Not only does it make you aware of many options in almost any element of what we use, it also brings conflicting opinions which can leave someone with the feeling of not knowing what to do.

Back in the day, I had little to no choice but to deal with what was available at the local shop in terms of heads, sticks and other gear. Whatever they sold, at an affordable price, is what I learned to live it. There wasn't an opportunity to hop online and order almost anything I wanted to experiment with.

If I wanted a cymbal, I walked into the shop and selected from the 2 or 3 that were there. That was it! No debating on whether I should seek this, that or the other thing. Whatever was there was what I whittled it down to. Same thing with heads, sticks or almost anything else.

I used to love huddling with a Modern Drummer, checking out all the advertisements along with all the catalogs that used to be available from the manufacturers and just dream about one day getting an opportunity to experience even the slightest of offerings. Of course I was like 10 years old but still....
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

The biggest change is the availability of relevant information. (That makes sense since we are in the information age).

1. The only book that was rock oriented was Realistic Rock. Every teacher played jazz. They all made fun of rock. Every drum book had some bald guy with glasses on the cover. Not exactly rockin'. I remember asking how to play the snare drum backbeat louder and having the teacher ask me why would I want to do that.
2. No videos. You have no idea how much easier it is to cop a technique when you can see it repeatedly done by a pro.
3. No play alongs.
4. 1 magazine (MD)
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

Yes, the local drum shop was everything. It was the centre of drum gear city, plus the only opportunity to really talk drums with others. I had to travel some distance to get to a drum shop, & even then, it wasn't that great, but you worked with the gear you could try. Even mail order wasn't an option. It was either stocked in the store, or the store could order it.

Magazines weren't even a good source of info, it was pretty much down to what you could find in the drum shops. There were a lot of drum gear manufacturer sponsored clinics though. Those have dwindled dramatically - shame :( Of course, videos didn't exist, at least not drum related videos.

When I was bin bashing out of London, gear availability was much better. More shops - better selection, but even then, you still worked with what they had, rather than what they might be able to order.

Info is such a great thing though. Choice is massively expanded, video is a wonderful tool if you know how to extract useful info from them. Guru drums, & a bunch of other makers who don't have massive traditional marketing budgets, would not exist without the internet.

I'm 52.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

I still go to my local music shop which is a 10 minute drive for me. He carries all major drum heads, Gretsch, Tama, DW, Pearl and Mapex (where I ordered my Saturns which btw are going to be in this upcoming week :) ). If he doesn't have it he will order it. He does only carry Sabian cymbals though, so no Zil's, Paiste, Meinl, etc... but going to check if he can order those particular ones. Some of these local shops won't carry certain brands due to if you want the pro level gear you have to buy a crap ton of the low budget ones. He also has furnished me all my guitar equipment and he carries all the big ones in that field as well. GC is also 10 minutes away but I don't step foot in that store. My store will always match GC price wise which is a good thing and probably why I have been going to his store since the mid 80's. In fact I was the very first person to buy a guitar out of his new store, 10 minutes after it opened on his first day of business. I AM a loyal customer and always will be. I stop in at least once a week just to hang out. I admit I have purchased online though since only certain items are available that way but for major purchases it's always through him. I'm also 47.

Steve
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

I remember not being a very good customer. I made due with mostly hand-me-down stuff and the used heads that came with them for years. Most of my money has been spent on cymbals. I've bought and hocked quite a few cymbals in my day, but it was an incredibly rare occasion where I'd need to buy a drum head. I remember the drums being an incredibly expensive hobby for me. I had a drummer friend for a couple years when I first started, but after that, the occasional Modern Drummer magazine was my only connection with other drummers. My uncle was a drummer too, but I never spent much time hanging out with him chatting about drums. I guess I just never had many question and felt like I could figure out stuff on my own. I never even asked my parents for lessons either. I played drums and guitar, but just never really obsessed over them like people do here online. I think it's funny as sh!t how obsessed people are over all these little minute details here on the forum. I'm actually starting to get bored with it all. I'm into playing the drums. That about sums it up right there.

I am also a self-proclaimed guitarist, so I was really focused on that too. I was glad to see Guitar Center come around because it had guitars and drums! Sorry to say, but most of my business has gone to them with in-store purchases. I spread it around more these days, and I only use the internet once in a blue moon for any drumming purposes.
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
I was glad to see Guitar Center come around because it had guitars and drums! Sorry to say, but most of my business has gone to them with in-store purchases. I spread it around more these days, and I only use the internet once in a blue moon for any drumming purposes.
I would agree that GC has more selection and "listed" better prices than where my loyalty lies but buying something there would make me feel like I was cheating on my fiancee and being caught doing so : (
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

Bills Music House in Catonsville Md. Still there by the way. Great people working there.
Large store with many sections. Guitars. Keyboards. Drums. You could handle everything. But not the entire Zildjian line like Amazon for sure .
The info here is like the Smithsonian Museum of drums. I am 65 and really like the present
situation.
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2013, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

I go to The Drum Pad. I took lessons from the owner back in the early 80s. I love going there they have a huge selection and if they don't have they will get it. They still hand write your receipt, and have Lay Away. They have down sized in the past years do to the economy which is scary. There are not many stores out there that have a lot knowledge, and that old school feel. Because I have known the owner since I was 10, I have got to give him a plug.
The Drum Pad In Palatine Illinois. thedrumpad.com
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:44 PM
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2013, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

When I was young, there was a great drum store in my city. they had a reasonable selection of whatever I needed. remembering that back then, there were only a few big names that needed to be stocked. He carried Ludwig, Rogers, Slingerland and Gretsch. It was great, and it was enough. there was only Ziljian and Paiste. There was Remo, and Pro mark sticks, period. That is all that most guys wanted. that sore is now long gone. the Nearest real drum shop to me is now 4 hours away (Memphis Drum Shop). When I need to get a hands on opinion from someone, I call them. Sometimes I buy online, either from MDS or Steve Weiss. I can get online with forums like this and get a lot of fabulous advice. I really don't lack anything today, other than the joy of talking face to face. Still, I am satisfied for the most part. I am 60.
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  #11  
Old 08-31-2013, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

Most of these young guns on here are probably asking "what the hells a drum/guitar shop"?
Just as us over 40'rs would have asked 20 years ago "what the hells the internet"?
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2013, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

Well, we close to Los Angeles still have Pro Drum, and Stan and Jerry don't look like they want to go out of business anytime soon. It would be funny if Stan started bringing his son in to work, and then handing it off to the third generation of family.

But the downer side to all of this information everyone can get now? Nobody is doing anything. They talk and talk and talk, and then it becomes a "paralysis by analysis" situation because everyone is aware of so many options. What did the venerable Bob Yeager of Pro Drum tell me when I was a kid? They're drums. You Play 'em!. And I'd go home and play, and practice, and play some more. With what I had. I didn't have a budget to try different things and the most important thing was to get out there and play, so I dealt with the cards given, and here I am at 47 complaining ;)

Granted, there are alot of kids doing, so it's not everyone I'd be complaining about, but perhaps because of the internet, we're all aware of how confused everybody is. In reality, it's probably always been this way, we just didn't know because there were no online forums.

The upside to the internet? I have fellow drumming friends in far away lands - and we're all dealing with the same issues!
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2013, 01:34 AM
Bastille Bastille is offline
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

Everyone I work with in drums at Guitar Center is a wealth of information. All of us spend several hours a day lurking through forums and websites learning about gear and will gladly check our facts instead of giving away misinformation for a quick sale. We are lifelong musicians who love talking about and playing drums... not shoe salesmen.

Maybe small music shops have become outdated in this day and age but it's nice to see that unwarranted generalizations from jaded people have not.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

Not only was the internet not around thirty years ago when I started playing, but... there were basically NO drum shops in Vermont where I grew up. A couple of stores had a couple of drum things, but those were twenty-five miles away (eleven-year-old translation: a million miles away).

The drum stuff I ended up getting was mail-ordered, usually sight unseen. I had one guy (a friend of a friend) who had Zildjians, so I knew what good cymbals were supposed to sound like. I was incredibly lucky to end up with some actual decent quality cymbals, heads, etc.

When I turned 18 and moved to California, I thought I had died and gone to heaven...Within 6 months I had a new snare drum, my K Custom ride (still have it), a Gibraltar rack, a splash and a china cymbal, a drumset tambourine (also still have), even one of those silly Remo Spoxe things that was just part of a rototom casting. Yay disposable income and a cool local drum shop! (That was Abinante Music on Alvarado Street in Monterey, sadly sold and now pretty much horrible).

Other great local stores I have had the fortune to live by include Music 6000 in Olympia, Ted Brown's in Tacoma, Wise Music in Salinas, CA, Mammoth Music in Anchorage, and now Avalon Music in Wenatchee, WA. Let's also not forget Donn Bennett's in Bellevue. And the only time I've ever had any major heartburn with Guitar Center was last year when my debit card number got stolen, possibly from an intrusion into their wireless POS system. (Fortunately I was using a card that never has much money on it!)
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

I miss those days.........when you walked into a music store and they knew your name.

But I definitely think it's better in today's market............just for the research capability if nothing else
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastille View Post
Everyone I work with in drums at Guitar Center is a wealth of information. All of us spend several hours a day lurking through forums and websites learning about gear and will gladly check our facts instead of giving away misinformation for a quick sale. We are lifelong musicians who love talking about and playing drums... not shoe salesmen.

Maybe small music shops have become outdated in this day and age but it's nice to see that unwarranted generalizations from jaded people have not.
That doesn't sound bitter at all ;)

Actually, I get where the anger would come from and I totally appreciate where you're coming from. But let's face it; making a little over minimum wage working the Guitar Center has two effects - you'll either leave for a better job, or you stay and become jaded and bitter. Been there, done that. Fortunately for me, better things pulled me away.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastille View Post
Everyone I work with in drums at Guitar Center is a wealth of information. All of us spend several hours a day lurking through forums and websites learning about gear and will gladly check our facts instead of giving away misinformation for a quick sale. We are lifelong musicians who love talking about and playing drums... not shoe salesmen.

Maybe small music shops have become outdated in this day and age but it's nice to see that unwarranted generalizations from jaded people have not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
That doesn't sound bitter at all ;)

Actually, I get where the anger would come from and I totally appreciate where you're coming from. But let's face it; making a little over minimum wage working the Guitar Center has two effects - you'll either leave for a better job, or you stay and become jaded and bitter. Been there, done that. Fortunately for me, better things pulled me away.
Well I would have to say that customers in your store are lucky then. In general here I think the overall feedback you'd get from most drummers from their experiences is that both of those stores have employees who really don't know what they are doing. The number of times I've been in BOTH my local Sam Ash and Guitar Center it's baffling the things I've heard the sales people tell customers that is so far off base it's not even funny. Fortunately they finally hired someone in my local Guitar Center who actually knows what they are talking about but 9 out of 10 times the person behind the counter has been anything but a drummer and is usually fairly clueless about products. I'm also thankful that I've been playing long enough to know what I'm looking for when I go in, it's the people that go in that are new to drumming or don't have the knowledge that I feel sorry for.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

(Start Film Noir voice over) It was the early 70s in Manila, Philippines. There was one street in the heart of the city (Raon st., renamed Gonzalo Puyat st. in the 80s) which was the mecca of musical instrument, electronic equipment and supplies, and sporting goods(?) stores. I could have my tennis racquet strung, get a replacement stylus for my Shure M55e cartridge, and pick up a pair of drumsticks, sometimes in the same store. While at least two of the original stores have mushroomed into chains with slick looking branches in major malls all over the country, Raon still exists, and now everything from locally made Videoke machines to computer spare parts spill into the street.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

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Originally Posted by nightraider43 View Post
I would agree that GC has more selection and "listed" better prices than where my loyalty lies but buying something there would make me feel like I was cheating on my fiancee and being caught doing so : (
That's true. It would feel like cheating. I feel the same way about my favorite mom & pop pizza place. When I get Pizza Hut, I feel like I'm cheating too. haha!

Not so with drum stores because I haven't really got to know any of the guys at the drum store. I think Jerry recognizes me at Pro Drum, but not by name. It's so far away in LA traffic. But I do have a regular guy that I talk with a little at the GC in Brea. He's a cool guy. He knows his stuff.

But just recently, I had a lug fall off my bass drum. The part you screw the screw into snapped off. Both of them are broken. When I bought it, I saw that one screw was missing on a lug inside the bass drum. I guess now I know why. Anyway, the only place I could find a 1988 Rockstar bass drum lug was on Ebay. So, I got one coming in the mail. It would have taken forever to replace that part if it wasn't for the internet and Ebay. So there you go. Who knows? Maybe Pro Drum might have had one lying around. they took care of me when I wanted an old Imperialstar/Superstar bass drum tom mount. Stan was able to fix it right up on the spot because they have a couple drawers full of miscellaneous drum parts. You can't really get that kind of service at GC. I hope Pro Drums will be around for a long time.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

There was no Modern Drummer when I started playing, we got all our drum information from going to the only drum shop in Toronto ( Drummer's Paradise) and from Downbeat Magazine. I first discovered Steve Gadd through an interview in Downbeat. Most of the other full line Music stores had very few drum sets in stock at the time. My first drum teacher was a Scotsman that idolized Gene Krupa and loved Slingerland drums. Being the easily influenced young lad, I too desired a Slingerland kit. I wrote a letter to Bud Slingerland requesting a catalogue and was thrilled to receive it weeks later. Over the years, I wrote letters requesting catalogues from most of the big companies and waited impatiently till they arrived.

My first Modern Drummer was the issue with Steve Gadd on the front and I read it over and over till it fell apart. Modern Drummer was not a monthly magazine at the time and once again , I waited impatiently till the next issue came out.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

MD was almost a religious experience for me. The interviews, the transcriptions and how tos.

If I'd had access to the Web I'd have been in heaven.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

I remember...

Yeah, drum magazines (MD, Rhythm, Batteur Mag), reading about all the gears, you fav drummers, reviews and so on.

The local music store... aah, that was nice, they know you by your first name and you know all the staff by their names... at one stage I was buying anything I wanted and just added it on my bill and I paid a monthly instalment, it went on for years.

I also went down to bars and pubs where all the musicians will hang out, talking 'bout music, gears, bands and so on for the whole evening, you came out knowing more about music... and sometimes it even ended up in a jam on someone's rehearsal place, it was the good old time.

However, modern days technology is also brilliant, you can access whatever you want about gear, music and drummers at the click of a mouse, incredible... it was not available back then.

This forum is good exemple, we share so much infos and opinions, it has to be a great thing, not counting the friendship you develop here, virtually or in real life.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:25 PM
Bastille Bastille is offline
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
That doesn't sound bitter at all ;)

Actually, I get where the anger would come from and I totally appreciate where you're coming from. But let's face it; making a little over minimum wage working the Guitar Center has two effects - you'll either leave for a better job, or you stay and become jaded and bitter. Been there, done that. Fortunately for me, better things pulled me away.
Haha, well, I am glad to say that things, fiscally, might be a little better than when you went through the rigmarole. A lot of changes happening behind the scenes. And working here is a GREAT way to network. Definitely the only job I actually don't mind getting up at 8AM for... it's temporary, for sure, but for the time being it keeps me happy and pays my bills. What more can you ask for?

But, on topic, I am a little bitter that I put so much work into researching and absorbing information just to be lumped in with the bad GC associates, as if there aren't crappy employees at every business in the world.

I've been screwed at a lot of mom and pop music shops as a kid. Totally ripped off just about every time I needed to shop at one. Faulty guitar repairs, subversive sales techniques, rude employees, etc... Perhaps I'm just the anomaly but can we be fair and say that rose-tinted goggles might be factoring in for some of y'all?

I'm just asking you guys to please not stereotype every employee of a chain just because a few idiots slipped through the cracks and got jobs there.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

In this area it's Drum World in Tulsa, (shameless plug) but it's still 150 mi. away. Probably a good thing. I would really be poor if it were closer.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Remember when....a little reflection

I've made two lengthy posts on this site about Franks Drum Shop in Chicago circa 1958.
It was an amazing time to be a young drummer. You got to rub elbows with the masters, get
tips, watch them play in the store! It wasn't NYC, but it was Chicago and plenty was going on
in those days.
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