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  #201  
Old 05-12-2006, 02:54 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

in my opinion the bigger the better ... ironmaiden fillings would sound awful on just a 5 piece kit.. we need clive or nicko drums on that.. kiss fillings imo also need big kits.. singer tries with 4 toms and 2 floor toms but it just doesnt "do" it for me, when i listen to the fillings where criss or carr could go from really high to low sounds.. it just sounds better... f.ex kate bush's song "december will be magic again", would sound awful on on 4 piece kit.. if u know the song you will know wich "filling" im talking about. offcourse you can always do a alternativ filling in that song.. but i dont think it would sound so perfect.. .. imao :)
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  #202  
Old 05-12-2006, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by somedrummer
That's exactly how my kit is laid out. If you look at a pid, you can see all the elements of a 4 piece kit in the same area, but there are many more elements surrounding them, thus expanding my range of possibilities:

nice kit . do you have a video of you playing it?
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  #203  
Old 06-08-2006, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small penis? Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by infernal drummer
nice kit . do you have a video of you playing it?
No, not at the moment. I just wanted people to see how my philosophy of setup works in this discussion, that is, having a small kit inside a big kit.
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  #204  
Old 06-09-2006, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

ok i really dont get why theres all the Bozzio bashing goin on here!!!

i mean Bozzio has a huge kit...but he also uses practically EVERY bit of that kit....

I mean just llok at say Europes drummer in teh video for teh final countdown....he uses two basses,one snare,hihats an about 2 cymbals...an hes got bout a hundred more...i think its stupid if its not used or if its just there to make tehm look better!!!haha!
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  #205  
Old 06-10-2006, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

I suppose that since we all hear differently, each drummer has to decide if they need more or less equipment based on what THEY hear. It's subjective. I've always used a small kit, so naturally that's what I prefer. But I enjoy listening to a great drummer playing ANY size kit.

Regardless, there are practical reasons for using the smaller kit, if you're a busy working drummer, playing with more than one group of musicians:

• A small kit is more "universal", when it comes to both "house" and studio drums. So if you're used to that, it won't handicap you when you're called on to play a smaller kit. Personally, I consider depending on any sort of "custom" equipment to be a trap. There will be times when you won't have it.

• By it's very nature, (if set up "normally") a smaller kit requires less rotation of your body, and fewer long reaches.

• A smaller set doesn't take up as much stage space. If you only play big concerts, this probably isn't an issue. If you play nightclubs, it often is.

• Typically, you can see the audience (and the others in the band) better, and they can see you better. You may be called on to get "cues" from a musical director, so you need to see them easily, and they need to see that you got the cue.

• You can fit a smaller kit (and yourself and some luggage) into a cab. This has been useful to me on many occasions...

• Setup and breakdown is obviously faster and easier. Overall maintenance is cheaper, because there are fewer parts. Shipping, if required, is cheaper.

• It's easier for everyone to understand what you're doing, when you play a small kit. Of course, you may not care about that, but your fans and students will.

• When you play a smaller kit, you think differently... Simpler, in terms of mainly focusing on the rhythms you play, and combining that with some kind of general vocabulary of "high, medium, and low" tones. With a larger kit, you would tend to spend more of your thought time on the multitude of pitches and tones you have, and perhaps not as much on rhythms. For example, it's a typical "young guy" approach with a big kit to simply play the same pattern over and over, but on different drums. Whether one approach is "better" than the other is subjective, but they are different.

• If you're the "collector" type, you can buy more small kits that "match".
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  #206  
Old 06-10-2006, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

This is a very old discussion, back from the dead. But there's a few people here making assertions that more drums = more pitches and you cannot access the same range of pitches on a smaller kit.

This is exactly the kind of assumption that I think playing a big kit promotes. It stops you thinking about possibilities of how YOU can do things, and instead makes you think of what extra bits of gear would do it for you.

Want to see more pitches on a smaller kit? Go check out Ari Hoenig. I have a solo album of his here which is actually SOLO - he's playing the head melody by bending to notes on his toms by applying pressure with the other stick, then breaking out into solo playing over the form before returning to the head.

Saying that more toms gives you more pitches is like saying that having more strings on a guitar gives you more pitches. True - but that doesn't mean that an ordinary six string guitar only has six pitches unless you're an impossibly crap guitarist.
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  #207  
Old 06-10-2006, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
This is exactly the kind of assumption that I think playing a big kit promotes. It stops you thinking about possibilities of how YOU can do things, and instead makes you think of what extra bits of gear would do it for you.

Want to see more pitches on a smaller kit? Go check out Ari Hoenig. I have a solo album of his here which is actually SOLO - he's playing the head melody by bending to notes on his toms by applying pressure with the other stick, then breaking out into solo playing over the form before returning to the head.

Saying that more toms gives you more pitches is like saying that having more strings on a guitar gives you more pitches. True - but that doesn't mean that an ordinary six string guitar only has six pitches unless you're an impossibly crap guitarist.
yes very true but to take the other side of the argument if you have a big kit and do the same thing with the bending and all then thats even more pitches is it not? well i guess that would also depend on your tuning and bending but you see where im going with that?
and by the way i play a 5 peice so dont think im biased please! =)
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  #208  
Old 06-10-2006, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt949
yes very true but to take the other side of the argument if you have a big kit and do the same thing with the bending and all then thats even more pitches is it not?
Sure, but name somebody who actually does this. Ditto for the whole Joey Baron hands/brushes/sticks/millions of sounds from every damn bit of the kit thing. Nobody does, because as I suggested, big kit playing promotes a different mentality from small kit playing - and small kit playing tends to force people to do things like pitch bending, using other striking implements, learning to control note length with muting, playing with hands and so forth. Big kit playing? Eh, just stick another drum on there. There's plenty already...

The reality is that in life you ultimately have to choose to be a broad generalist (big kit) or detailed specialist (small kit). There isn't really time to be both, and that's pretty clear for most people in any avenue in life. That's not to say that either approach is BETTER than the other, but just claiming that broad-brush generalism is superior is clearly false - so people doing the same thing for the whole big-vs-small debate just wrankles.
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  #209  
Old 06-10-2006, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Big kit = small Big kit = big ____

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
claiming that broad-brush generalism is superior is clearly false
right on. very very true
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  #210  
Old 08-07-2006, 03:21 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Try Grand collins! i went to his concert thing the other day. he had about 20 pedals, 26 drums & had about 4 base drums...
http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Grant_Collins.html <--- thats him
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  #211  
Old 08-07-2006, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

woo! what a thread. the arguement between dogbreath and finn was very interesting...

and i do have to agree with dogbreath. like he stated numerous times, the fact that a 9

piece kit is capable of producing more sounds than a 4 piece is pure fact.

awesome thread though, very good read.
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  #212  
Old 08-07-2006, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Agreed. Great discussion... even though I am right.
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  #213  
Old 08-07-2006, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBreath
Agreed. Great discussion... even though I am right.
No, you aren't.
Since there are many different people essntially looking at the same subject that many different ways, I might as well try and clear it up.

First, DB, you're missing Finn's point and have been all along. He is saying that in theory, there are more sound-making possibilites with literally more things to hit. This is what you are saying as well. You 2, in fact, agree on this.

Then things go awry (though people have provided examples that, in attempting to work in favour of DB, actually work in favour of Finn, as Lang is hardly a 'creative drummer' in the way Joey Baron or Jim Keltner is). Finn is rightly saying that there isn't a drummer that anyone can name that uses a big drumset, that takes the time to explore the sound possibilities with one drum, as they have so may others to chose from. So they don't bother. You could even call this a difference of approach. This is what Finn has been trying to say and where people keep telling him to not use a large drumset as he my become confused.

Let me offer what I hope to be universally understood reasons why (choose your own example):

-When you have one cymbal, you need to discover ways of making that cymbal sound interesting for 2 hours every time you gig (assuming you gig) so your (and the audiences) ears don't get tired of that same sound. If you have 12 cymbals, who gives a crap about that? It isn't neccesary, just hit something else.

-take the above point and substute 'drums' for 'cymbals'.

-Look what happens when you take away Pearts giant drumset.

-Many people with big kits may feel they need to justify having all that gear since they spent their hard earned bread on it, rather than admit/think that they could be creative on less stuff.

- What's the difference between going to a buffet and choosing food and going to a street hot dog vendor?

- Artists (photographers, painters, sketch artists, etc) who work in monotones (i.e. black and white) need to pay more attention as they cannot rely on vibrancy to make their art. They need to pay closer attention to the composition rather than simply the subject.

And so on. For my money, most big set players I see rely far too heavily on their sets (Peart is a good example as is IMO, Phillips-who sounds great on a BIG set). It becomes a crutch that, when removed, they are at a loss for what to hit. No one is saying that you suck if you use a big set, but that it leads you to play differently.

DB, your comment that bigger = more musical, IMO couldn't be more wrong. In fact, as Finn has been trying to say, it's quite the opposite for all reasons mentioned above. I certainly hope that's evident now.

G
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  #214  
Old 08-07-2006, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Gregg, you're a scholar and a gentleman.

Or a scholar, at least..

That's exactly what I've been trying to get across. Potential is not the same thing as realisation. Potentially it's better to have more gear because you can do more with it. But that's a bit like saying that potentially it's better to study more subjects when you're at university: Why just study music when you could also study economics, computer science, philosophy, marketing, law, medicine, mathematics, physics and marine biology? After all, then you could not only be the next John Coltrane but you could also be as rich as Bill Gates, own the biggest software company in the world, kick Stephen Hawkings ass (hell, how hard can it be!), figure out the grand unified theory of everything, cure cancer and AIDS and still have time to go swimming with your favourite endangered species of crab!

Oh yeah, time... that's the rub. Few (none?) of us have the time, focus and innate genius in a particular field to be the next John Coltrane, let alone all the rest of that stuff. Not only that, even if we have the time to study all this stuff then the mental overhead of dealing with so many unrelated things tends to result in each one of them getting less focus than they would get as a pure fraction of the whole.

So that's what it comes down to. You can play a big kit and play average across the whole range of voices, or you can decide to really get to know a small one. Claiming there's more musicality inherant in a big kit is like claiming that the guy at your school who took one 101 paper of all the above subjects and then dropped out to work at McDonalds is more of a scholar than the guy with a Ph.D in one subject, just because he studied MORE THINGS.

Unfortunately as drummers we do get a bit caught up in coveting our gear. Accumulation is the goal, when actually we could be dedicating a bit more love and attention to what we have and learning a lot more. So while I have nicer gear than most of the people who'll read this I still lust after a Lignum custom set, or a bop kit in different sizes, etc etc. But then we come down to why we actually do this, and if you look honestly at the gear that some of the greatest records of all time where recorded with then it's not about what you actually NEED to play great music. It's not far off the whole Buddhist idea of samudaya and dukkha - we feel that for whatever reason something is missing and decide that instead of fixing the problem from within we can fix it by craving more of something tangiable around us. So yeah, it feels great to have a house full of drums, and the feeling of a nice shiny new cymbal or something in the mail feels really good... temporarily. But ultimately if you never get to the stage where you can actually appreciate the value in any single piece of gear without feeling the need to add more then you're never going to be happy. There's always something wrong with the setup, with the cymbal selection, with the number of drums, the brand, the wood...

The thing is, that can go on forever. It never stops - there's always something outside yourself to fix. I have a hell of a lot of respect for drummers who can just commit to playing a small, simple kit of the standard that you'll find in any club without having to worry about whether you've got your Axis Longboards or your particular arrangement of 18 cymbals. There's records coming out every year where guys (and girls - Susie Ibarra springs to mind) are proving that there's still huge unexplored realms that can be done with just hats or a cymbal and a kick and snare. It's not like you'll ever be creatively limited by playing small if you decide to go that way, but it does require that you have some creativity to start with.
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  #215  
Old 08-07-2006, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

All of these arguments I've been reading are well thought out, but they're all pretty subjective. Defining musicality…that's going to be tough. It's all a matter of taste.

Drummers are an interesting breed, because percussion, by nature, is very gear-oriented. If you're a saxophone player, you play a saxophone. If you're a guitarist, you play a guitar. Oh, sure, there's lots of things you can add to that, but it all comes down to that one instrument.

If you're a drummer, playing on a modern drumset, you play a collection of instruments. And you get to choose them. It's kind of mellowed out nowadays – most sets are pretty standard, with a snare and a bass drum and toms of some sort – but back in the day drumsets were insane. There were all sorts of percussion pieces floating around, some balanced on stands, some mounted on consolettes, some resting on trays; the point being that we, as drummers, get to collect the instruments we want to play and then surround ourselves with them.

The bottom line is you need to play what you hear in your head as music. Okay, maybe Peart on a four piece isn't as cool as Peart on a 12 piece, but I can't imagine that his bandmates are saying to him, "You know what would be awesome in this anthemic rock song? Maybe if you, like, explored the textures of your snare drum!" Heck no, man. This is a situation that calls for cascading single-stroke fours down no less than six drums. And I don't know about you but as much as I love Jim Keltner I can't imagine him on 2112.

Saying that the limitations of a smaller kit forces musicality and creativity is fine and all – but sometimes it's just that. A limitation.

Having said all that, I play a four piece kit, with an extra snare every now and then. But that's the music I play.
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  #216  
Old 08-07-2006, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

generally, i respect all drummers as long as they play, cause it's their passion. still, however, i definitely prefer herlin riley's latest video, to terry bozzio's :).
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  #217  
Old 08-07-2006, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

I have a 14pc Tama superstar because I enjoy it. I played for years on 4 and 5 pc kits, and always wanted more. Ever try to play 2112 on a 5 pc ? It's no fun. I enjoy sonic explorations with the many voices I now have available to me on my current kit. Compensating for other inadequacies ? Uh, i'm a drummer not Dr.Phil, let him figure it out !
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  #218  
Old 08-07-2006, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

i'm a small kit guy, although i have appreciation for guys who use a bigger kit and make good use of it. the best example i can think of the top of my head is stewart copeland.

i like a smaller set up because it makes me think about what i'm playing more. i have hats, a crash, a crash/ride, and 4 drums. to me it just makes sense. (it's also easier to lug around, but that's beside the point.) i started off playing a 5-piece with more cymbals, then changed to a 4-piece with slightly fewer cymbals, and then now it's just 2 cymbals (+ hats). sometimes i'll even play with no rack tom or crash cymbal. i swear i play funkier when i do that. then other times i'll have djembe to my left and play it with sticks or hands, depending on the song.

it's all preference. just make good use of what you have, whether it's a lot or a little.
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  #219  
Old 08-08-2006, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

How about this: If human nature were discarded, a big kit would be advantageous, as all items could be used every possible way to make every possible sound. However, due to human nature, we are more likely to use the things we have than to find new ways to use a smaller portion of that.

Perhaps it is a reflection of our laziness as a society, or something else. I'm not really sure.

So basically, the two sides are coming at it with different viewpoints, and I don't expect it will ever be resolved, much like the debate over... whether God exists.

So, in conclusion, drums are Godly!!!
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  #220  
Old 08-08-2006, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzgregg
No, you aren't.
Since there are many different people essntially looking at the same subject that many different ways, I might as well try and clear it up.

First, DB, you're missing Finn's point and have been all along. He is saying that in theory, there are more sound-making possibilites with literally more things to hit. This is what you are saying as well. You 2, in fact, agree on this.

Then things go awry (though people have provided examples that, in attempting to work in favour of DB, actually work in favour of Finn, as Lang is hardly a 'creative drummer' in the way Joey Baron or Jim Keltner is). Finn is rightly saying that there isn't a drummer that anyone can name that uses a big drumset, that takes the time to explore the sound possibilities with one drum, as they have so may others to chose from. So they don't bother. You could even call this a difference of approach. This is what Finn has been trying to say and where people keep telling him to not use a large drumset as he my become confused.

Let me offer what I hope to be universally understood reasons why (choose your own example):

-When you have one cymbal, you need to discover ways of making that cymbal sound interesting for 2 hours every time you gig (assuming you gig) so your (and the audiences) ears don't get tired of that same sound. If you have 12 cymbals, who gives a crap about that? It isn't neccesary, just hit something else.

-take the above point and substute 'drums' for 'cymbals'.

-Look what happens when you take away Pearts giant drumset.

-Many people with big kits may feel they need to justify having all that gear since they spent their hard earned bread on it, rather than admit/think that they could be creative on less stuff.

- What's the difference between going to a buffet and choosing food and going to a street hot dog vendor?

- Artists (photographers, painters, sketch artists, etc) who work in monotones (i.e. black and white) need to pay more attention as they cannot rely on vibrancy to make their art. They need to pay closer attention to the composition rather than simply the subject.

And so on. For my money, most big set players I see rely far too heavily on their sets (Peart is a good example as is IMO, Phillips-who sounds great on a BIG set). It becomes a crutch that, when removed, they are at a loss for what to hit. No one is saying that you suck if you use a big set, but that it leads you to play differently.

DB, your comment that bigger = more musical, IMO couldn't be more wrong. In fact, as Finn has been trying to say, it's quite the opposite for all reasons mentioned above. I certainly hope that's evident now.
but... you could do the same thing with a bigger kit... except with even MORE options.

as in, if you have one cymbal and you can find ways to get 12 different sounds out of it, if

you had 2 cymbals, well there's 24 sounds! just because their are more drums doesn't

mean you are any less creative than what you choose to be. you assume that if peart

was playing with a four piece he would be at a loss for what to play. why? like dogbreath

has said a few times before. hiding in a big kit is the same exact four piece to which you

are referring. what the player does with it is totally in his or her hands. but what you can

do on four drums can be multiplied to another tom. or another cymbal. thus, more

musicality.
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  #221  
Old 08-08-2006, 04:59 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
but... you could do the same thing with a bigger kit... except with even MORE options.
Similarly, students studying one major at universities should in fact be studying twenty, right? After all, if they can learn one subject in depth it'd be better to learn 20x as much, right?

It does have to be asked, did you actually read the thread before writing that post? I'm quite baffled by the inability of so many people here to grasp something that seems rather simple:

If you have a fixed amount of something (practice time, attention, focus) and you divide it by a larger number of things then each piece becomes smaller.

This whole ".... but you could do the same on a bigger kit!" thing reminds me of the joke about the little girl, who when asked how many pieces a cake should be cut into answer "Not too many, or I won't be able to finish it all!"

The more things you focus on the less ability you have to focus on any one. That's just life for you. So no, you couldn't do that on a larger kit because your focus would be diluted to the extent that quite simply the time isn't there. That's why nobody has yet been able to give an example of a huge-kit player who DOES play like this in real life.
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  #222  
Old 08-08-2006, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
Similarly, students studying one major at universities should in fact be studying twenty, right? After all, if they can learn one subject in depth it'd be better to learn 20x as much, right?
why not? just like if you can make thirty sounds come out of a snare drum... what's the need for toms, hi hats, ride, crash, splash, china, toms, or a bass drum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
It does have to be asked, did you actually read the thread before writing that post?
i could ask the same question... since ten posts ago i answered that very question


Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
I'm quite baffled by the inability of so many people here to grasp something that seems rather simple:
as am i

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
If you have a fixed amount of something (practice time, attention, focus) and you divide it by a larger number of things then each piece becomes smaller.
i don't get distracted when there are too many drums around

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
This whole ".... but you could do the same on a bigger kit!" thing reminds me of the joke about the little girl, who when asked how many pieces a cake should be cut into answer "Not too many, or I won't be able to finish it all!"
that was a terrible joke : )

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
The more things you focus on the less ability you have to focus on any one. That's just life for you. So no, you couldn't do that on a larger kit because your focus would be diluted to the extent that quite simply the time isn't there.
i disagree. you asked dogbreath earlier in a challenge of sorts if he could

" Let's see a video of you playing a sequence of single strokes in the following pattern:

RH: Floor tom, rim, striking near tip of stick.
LH: Edge ping on a cymbal.
RH: Rimshot on high tom tom
LH: Open cross-stick on a high tom
RH: Rimshot on the snare
LH: Open hi-hat."

now, you can apply that same sequence of single strokens in the same pattern to... an

additional tom. or a pair of aux hats as well as your main hats. more musicality : )

you say "no this can't be done on a larger kit because your focus would be diluted"... why?

anything you can do on one drum can be applied to another, no dilution involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
That's why nobody has yet been able to give an example of a huge-kit player who DOES play like this in real life
what is "this"
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  #223  
Old 08-08-2006, 05:45 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

i like smaller kits. i moved up to a 4 piece from a 3 recently.


what id like to do since i have alot of excess junk cymbals is set up a 2 piece kit with tons of cymbals. im thinking about switching to this soon. bass, snare, double kick and maybe 10 cymbals of various sizes.

this also coincides with my desire to experimant with hand hammering and cymbal cutting because i got alot of stuff the same size,similiar sounding rides.
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  #224  
Old 08-08-2006, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

radiofriendlyunitshifter,
You have not been to University, have you? If you did, I doubt you would feel the same about 20 majors, note majors, not classes. By the way, I often do gigs with a cymbal.

You may be answering the same question you did a few pages ago, but we all are. That question, is infact, the debate and thread title. However, it appears that no matter how much we on the small set side, have to say, you big setters come back with the same stuff over and over. If you're repeating yourself, it is your own fault since pages ago, Finn asked for proof of a big set player ACTUALLY playing like 'this' ('this', to clear up a rather obvious question, means musically and using every bit of his/her set).

There is no proof, so you've been reduced to repitition. As Finn and myself have said, Lang, Donati, BOZZIO, Portnoy, Peart are NOT examples of musicality in the same way Joey Baron and Matt Chamberlin are (note: I'm not mentioning any Jazz guys to keep the debate fair). We aren't saying you CAN'T be musical on a big set (and btw- THAT was why Finn suggested you read the thread as you replied with 'but you can have more possibilities on a big set' showing that at least you didn't read MY post you quoted from), we are saying they just aren't.

Again, not that it isn't theoretically possible, just that there aren't any doing it. One more time for everyone now or have we got it?

G
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzgregg
radiofriendlyunitshifter,
You have not been to University, have you? If you did, I doubt you would feel the same about 20 majors, note majors, not classes. By the way, I often do gigs with a cymbal.
i will be attending college in roughly two weeks. i was playing around with his hyperbole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzgregg
You may be answering the same question you did a few pages ago, but we all are. That question, is infact, the debate and thread title. However, it appears that no matter how much we on the small set side, have to say, you big setters come back with the same stuff over and over. If you're repeating yourself, it is your own fault since pages ago, Finn asked for proof of a big set player ACTUALLY playing like 'this' ('this', to clear up a rather obvious question, means musically and using every bit of his/her set).

There is no proof, so you've been reduced to repitition. As Finn and myself have said, Lang, Donati, BOZZIO, Portnoy, Peart are NOT examples of musicality in the same way Joey Baron and Matt Chamberlin are (note: I'm not mentioning any Jazz guys to keep the debate fair). We aren't saying you CAN'T be musical on a big set (and btw- THAT was why Finn suggested you read the thread as you replied with 'but you can have more possibilities on a big set' showing that at least you didn't read MY post you quoted from), we are saying they just aren't.

Again, not that it isn't theoretically possible, just that there aren't any doing it. One more time for everyone now or have we got it?

G
i realize you aren't saying you 'CAN'T be musical on a big set'. obviously that would be

very wrong. but you are saying there isn't ANYONE doing it? or, more likely, anyone that

you know of.
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  #226  
Old 08-08-2006, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

hey what about this guy:

http://www.drummerworld.com/Videos/c...nicaravan.html

drum mutes, rim shots on the toms, edge ping on the cymbal, using the snare throw...

FIVE piece, and SIX cymbals.

there you go : )
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  #227  
Old 08-08-2006, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
i will be attending college in roughly two weeks. i was playing around with his hyperbole.
No hyperbole, I was demonstrating to you the idea of breadth versus depth. When you start school at a young age you're likely taught many topics - the basics of English, science, maths, geography, history, music, sports, blah blah blah for quite a long list. But once you get to a tertiary (advanced, university/college or above) level then you are generally expected to narrow this down to a particular field of specialism. There are a few great cross-field generalists out there in life who combine shallow knowledge of a large number of subjects into something of great merit, too.

The reason for this is that once you take on the commitment of knowing a particular subject to degree level you are essentially deciding to focus, full-time, on a smaller set of information so that you can absorb all the nuances and details of the particular field you work in.

That's what I'm talking about. You can decide to be a specialist or a generalist, but generally speaking you it's not possible to pursue being a generalist across a large number of subjects all the way up to the level of knowledge you have to gain to major in something at degree level. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

Quote:
i realize you aren't saying you 'CAN'T be musical on a big set'. obviously that would be
very wrong. but you are saying there isn't ANYONE doing it? or, more likely, anyone that
you know of.
I don't think we're even saying that. There are obvious examples that do - Jack DeJohnette being a high-profile one. I'm sure Gregg can provide a list if prompted, too. The point is, I see those guys as being like the examples that get pulled out in the reading-vs-no-reading debate.

"Buddy Rich couldn't read!" cries kid #1.
"Dennis Chambers can't read!" cries kid #2.

Right, says teacher. That's correct. Hands up who here can play like Dennis Chambers or Buddy Rich could at your age?

OK, that's a bit low. But the argument is the same: For some people very tonally colourful playing comes fairly naturally, regardless of kit size. For some people reading is unnecessary because complex musical structures are easy to remember and play perfectly after one or two listens to a track. For the rest of us we have to learn and develop things in a way that is beneficial for us to be able to achieve such things.

Either way, from my experience, these people are a tiny majority of drum kit players. Most kids sit down at a big kit and start thrashing out unmusical rubbish. Worse, most intermediate or even advanced players will do the same. I do. And while he has yet to prove me right or wrong on the matter I'd be just as sure that by the standards I would hold myself to... Dogbreath probably does too. That's not to say that either of us are incurable, but I'd suggest that if either of us are curable in this respect it's going to come from having good control and understanding on a smaller set, not adding more bells and whistles.

Just as reading provides a great framework for learning to understand rhythmic structures and retain them in your head (I literally couldn't remember bass drum patterns until I learned to read!), small kit playing provides a great framework for learning to understand tone, melody, structure and MUSIC on the drums.

From my watching of many, many semi-pro and weekend warrior players - and, indeed, many videos and songs posted here under "Your playing" - I think it's pretty clear that these aspects of drumming are very under-appreciated by drummers. Moreso even than playing with proper technique. While most people here will happily assert that student drummers should spend a good portion of their technique practice working in isolation on a pad because it is *good for you* there seems to be a phenomenal resistance to the really rather obvious fact that less experienced players are very easily distracted by re-arranging, buying, cleaning, tuning and discussing huge piles of STUFF when they actually in reality have little control over the basic core of a drumset.

This is my argument. It applies to student drummers, sure. But I don't think it's just a beginner issue, because there are many technically advanced players on huge kits out there who I personally don't feel have ever had to consider the issues that a small kit makes clear as daylight. The way I see it, you can learn a lot about a drummer and their practice habits by looking at their practice setup. See a practice pad in there somewhere? They're probably going to spend at least a part of their time working on technique. See a small kit in there somewhere? There's better odds that they're thinking about training themselves as musicians, rather than just guys who hit stuff at varying degrees of speed and power.
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  #228  
Old 08-08-2006, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Although there's really nothing to add to Finn's post (and some repition), I was typing this before so I still feel the need to post it=)
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
i will be attending college in roughly two weeks. i was playing around with his hyperbole.
Either way, my point is my point, and I think you mean metaphor. A hyperbole is as far from what Finn said as I am from China.


Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
i realize you aren't saying you 'CAN'T be musical on a big set'. obviously that would be

very wrong.
Then why would you re-state the obvious and re-quote to that end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
but you are saying there isn't ANYONE doing it? or, more likely, anyone that

you know of.
Not at all, I certainly know a few, but you need to fight your own battles. Besides, that small handfull is an exception to the rule by far and they have proven themselves on very small (read one piece) sets countless times. On the other hand, we are not saying that a small set makes you musical or that if you use a small set you' re automatically musical.

Lastly regarding Charley, that's not the kind of big set we've been talking about. 5pc? c'mon, man, don't just randomly look for people that might fit the bill...
G
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  #229  
Old 08-08-2006, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnhiggins
Either way, from my experience, these people are a tiny majority of drum kit players. Most kids sit down at a big kit and start thrashing out unmusical rubbish. Worse, most intermediate or even advanced players will do the same. I do. And while he has yet to prove me right or wrong on the matter I'd be just as sure that by the standards I would hold myself to... Dogbreath probably does too. That's not to say that either of us are incurable, but I'd suggest that if either of us are curable in this respect it's going to come from having good control and understanding on a smaller set, not adding more bells and whistles.
haha, oh goodness, no need for name calling.

i said "but you are saying there isn't ANYONE doing it? or, more likely, anyone that

you know of." in response to jazzgreggs "Again, not that it isn't theoretically possible, just

that there aren't any doing it. One more time for everyone now or have we got it?" so he

did indeed say that.

i understand what you're saying. i do. the depth of players' drumming who have but a

simple four piece is more so most of the time than say the depth of player's of a players

drumming who has a seven piece as opposed to breadth in which the player with the

seven piece player has the leg up.

i agree.

but with me in agreeance with that... why do you think we don't see more depth from

players with seven pieces? it's possible. so why don't we see it more often?

i don't know... i'm torn on the issue.

because i agree with you the fact that most jazz artists use their minimalist kit to its

fullest extent, while portnoy certainly doesn't (depth wise).

on the other hand, i think it wouldn't be out of the question to see someone with a six

piece have as much depth as someone with a four piece. and there HAS to be an

example of that by a drummer SOMEWHERE. if not, then finn, add another tom and a

floor tom to your kit and make it happen. apply the same mutes, off center hits, rim

shots, and rim clicks to two more surfaces. and there you go. but i find it hard to believe

there isn't anyone who has yet to do that.
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  #230  
Old 08-08-2006, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzgregg
Either way, my point is my point, and I think you mean metaphor. A hyperbole is as far from what Finn said as I am from China.
eh, i took it as an exaggeration. but, yup i agree it is most definitely a metaphor. (cute hyperbole in your correction)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzgregg
Then why would you re-state the obvious and re-quote to that end?
because i love to get you riled up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzgregg
Lastly regarding Charley, that's not the kind of big set we've been talking about. 5pc? c'mon, man, don't just randomly look for people that might fit the bill...
G
haha you caught me! nah, i just came across the man while enjoying some

videos. but hey... a 5 piece is no 4 piece... and it's only one tom away from a six piece...
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  #231  
Old 08-08-2006, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
eh, i took it as an exaggeration. but, yup i agree it is most definitely a metaphor. (cute hyperbole in your correction)
It wouldn't be a proper correction without one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
because i love to get you riled up.
Yeah, it's pretty easy to do, huh?=)

As for why you don't see the kind of artistry we're discussing from big set players, re-read some of the stuff, it's in there. From all sides too, with actual explanations (with usual brilliant examples) from Finn. And yeah, there ARE people who use a big set artistically and musically, my statement was a blanket statement in the same way that 'all ZBT's sound like crap'. Sure, the vast majority do and the few that don't don't affect the conclusion in any real way.

G
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  #232  
Old 08-08-2006, 08:28 AM
rmedek rmedek is offline
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Okay, a few questions, then:

* What constitutes a big kit? Six pieces or more? Only drums, or percussion too?
* What constitutes artistry or musicality? I.e., why is Joey Baron more musical than Terry Bozzio or vice versa?

It's all subjective. It's a matter of opinion. Saying small kits are more musical because guys like Joey Baron play small kits is like saying oil paints are more artistic because Van Gogh used oils.

Guys like Matt Chamberlain and Joey Baron and Terry Bozzio are musical. Period. They are good musicians. Whether they choose to play a big kit or small kit is up to them.
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  #233  
Old 08-08-2006, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmedek

Saying small kits are more musical because guys like Joey Baron play small kits is like saying oil paints are more artistic because Van Gogh used oils.
No one is saying anything of the sort, don't make stuff up.

G
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  #234  
Old 08-08-2006, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzgregg
As for why you don't see the kind of artistry we're discussing from big set players, re-read some of the stuff, it's in there. From all sides too, with actual explanations (with usual brilliant examples) from Finn. And yeah, there ARE people who use a big set artistically and musically, my statement was a blanket statement in the same way that 'all ZBT's sound like crap'. Sure, the vast majority do and the few that don't don't affect the conclusion in any real way.
i believe i am going to re read this 259 post thread. it's a good discussion, and it was

interesting enough (especially the back and forth between db and finn to read the whole

thing through).

oh i know there are people who use a big set artistically and musically, i'm talking about

such people who use it to the depth of which finn (and you) are speaking. don't start

going backwards! haha. that's how things become misconstrued.

so... i initially agreed with dogbreath, but now not?

i think what might have had happened was the debate somehow warped throughout the thread... maybe.

i'd better start reading...
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  #235  
Old 08-08-2006, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
i'm talking about

such people who use it to the depth of which finn (and you) are speaking.
So am I.
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
i think what might have had happened was the debate somehow warped throughout the thread... maybe.

i'd better start reading...
It did shift, but you'll see that when you read it again, far be it for me to post what occurred when it's literally a few pages back=)

G
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  #236  
Old 08-08-2006, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

alright so...

::sigh::

you said: (post 240)

"Then things go awry (though people have provided examples that, in attempting to work in favour of DB, actually work in favour of Finn, as Lang is hardly a 'creative drummer' in the way Joey Baron or Jim Keltner is). Finn is rightly saying that there isn't a drummer that anyone can name that uses a big drumset, that takes the time to explore the sound possibilities with one drum, as they have so may others to chose from. So they don't bother. You could even call this a difference of approach. This is what Finn has been trying to say and where people keep telling him to not use a large drumset as he my become confused."

so basically it comes down to players with big (6+ piece?) kits don't play with the same

depth as players with small kits (4/5 piece?). correct? so since musicality is subjective,

the real debate should be concerning whether someone explores a big kit as thoroughly

and as in depth as an artist with a small kit. and your answer is "no" because no one can

give an example.

so, i'll have to say, this is true for the majority of drummers, although there must certainly

be exceptions (couldn't find any in finn's latest post greg) in which a drumset larger than a

5 piece is explored to the same point of a 4 piece. you can't prove me wrong on that one.

that is, because you obviously don't have access to every drummer's playing.
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  #237  
Old 08-08-2006, 09:29 AM
rmedek rmedek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzgregg
No one is saying anything of the sort, don't make stuff up.

G
I didn't mean to "make stuff up"… it's just that I get the impression that this is the argument you guys are making.

I still fail to see why big kit players are less musical because they employ a different method of hearing a new sound.
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
i understand what you're saying. i do. the depth of players' drumming who have but a simple four piece is more so most of the time than say the depth of player's of a players drumming who has a seven piece as opposed to breadth in which the player with the
seven piece player has the leg up.

i agree.

but with me in agreeance with that... why do you think we don't see more depth from players with seven pieces? it's possible. so why don't we see it more often? i don't know... i'm torn on the issue.
I can think of a bunch of reasons why.

1) Most drummers who play very musically and expressively on the kit have played a *large* amount of music in public. Playing music in public requires picking up your gear, carrying it out of the house and setting it up somewhere else. The more regularly you do this the more you tend to think "Do I really need this particular item of gear"? When your kit sits at home there's no disincentive other than financial to adding more stuff. On a stage there's much more limited space and you have to set up and (worse) break down all the stuff at the end of the night. The result of this is that the longer you play gigs generally the smaller your kit tends to get, on a trend line.

2) Drummers who've done a lot of practice on small kits tend to see less and less advantage in a big one. Once you start altering your style to make use of open/muted tones, different striking implements and so forth then each piece of gear added tends to add less and less to the set because largely the differences between the same tones on two pieces of gear aren't as dramatic as developing an entirely new tone. I have some open/muted patterns I play with the hands and it really makes no odds whether I play it on a 4pc or a 5pc. I can use either, but the 4pc sounds just as good because the sound variation is still at a required level of density where it sounds nice.

3) The styles where big kits are "cool, man!" are generally the ones that respect speed and flash more than subtle musicality and nuance. Does Virgil Donati really need to have those toms over his head to play the stuff he plays on them? No, but his audience likes it.

4) The more stuff you have the more practice time you have to dedicate to the practical issues of getting between it at an acceptable rate of speed and control. That reduces the amount of focus you can put into actual musical playing. On a 4pc kit with two cymbals it'll take you about ten minutes to warm up on a drill that incorporates all the possible transitions between surfaces. On Terry Bozzio's kit you'd literally be there all day, because as you add more gear the number of combinations increases in a non-linear fashion. EDIT: Note, Bozzio deals with this the same way a piano player does it. Rather than drilling all the possible combinations he instead drills scales and arpeggios on his kit. The result of that is that his kit is both something more than the sum of its parts in that if you take a note out it can cause problems, and also less than the sum of its parts in that the actual degree of tonal variation between different drums is basically expected to be virtually zero. Somebody like Portnoy, on the other hand... whoo... I'd imagine there are a large, large number of moves between surfaces on his kit that he just can't do and which he learns as he comes up with parts on the kit. I seriously doubt he has total control and ability to move smoothly between everything, anytime.

5) People use bigger kits to get more sounds. People who can get more sounds from a smaller kit look at all of the above issues and go "to hell with it, I'll stick with this". That's why few conga players use more than a couple of drums in their playing setup - because for what they want to say musically they have access to much more than a player just using sticks on the drums would. Then you look at how bongos are used in classical percussion - blap! Oops, that's all we do with that drum. Get me another!

Quote:
because i agree with you the fact that most jazz artists use their minimalist kit to its fullest extent, while portnoy certainly doesn't (depth wise). on the other hand, i think it wouldn't be out of the question to see someone with a six piece have as much depth as someone with a four piece. and there HAS to be an example of that by a drummer SOMEWHERE. if not, then finn, add another tom and a floor tom to your kit and make it happen. apply the same mutes, off center hits, rim shots, and rim clicks to two more surfaces. and there you go. but i find it hard to believe there isn't anyone who has yet to do that.
I think it's just all the above reasons. Yeah, it's possible, and there are people who do it. But it's extremely rare because firstly the players who ever learn to play in a really expressive, deep way with a small number of drums are a minority anyway, secondly the players who develop it tend to do so by first scrapping their big-kit dreams in favour of focus on a smaller instrument and thirdly because once they've developed those skills they don't see the reason to be lugging more crap around with them every night.

But there are a few who slip through all those cracks. So yeah, it's possible. But is it preferable? Virgil Donati can play those sky tom things because he's practiced his butt off working on it, but should you put them on your kit? Not unless you want to duplicate the amount of practice he's put in, surely?
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  #239  
Old 08-08-2006, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
alright so...

::sigh::

you said: (post 240)

"Then things go awry (though people have provided examples that, in attempting to work in favour of DB, actually work in favour of Finn, as Lang is hardly a 'creative drummer' in the way Joey Baron or Jim Keltner is). Finn is rightly saying that there isn't a drummer that anyone can name that uses a big drumset, that takes the time to explore the sound possibilities with one drum, as they have so may others to chose from. So they don't bother. You could even call this a difference of approach. This is what Finn has been trying to say and where people keep telling him to not use a large drumset as he my become confused."

so basically it comes down to players with big (6+ piece?) kits don't play with the same

depth as players with small kits (4/5 piece?). correct? so since musicality is subjective,

the real debate should be concerning whether someone explores a big kit as thoroughly

and as in depth as an artist with a small kit. and your answer is "no" because no one can

give an example.

so, i'll have to say, this is true for the majority of drummers, although there must certainly

be exceptions (couldn't find any in finn's latest post greg) in which a drumset larger than a

5 piece is explored to the same point of a 4 piece. you can't prove me wrong on that one.

that is, because you obviously don't have access to every drummer's playing.
Inherently in the debate is the 'do guys with big sets explore them as much as guys with little sets', it is the yang of the yin debate, the other side of the coin that is neccesarily addressed. You are quite right, the answer we are saying is 'no', for reasons we've all been over a bunch by now.


However...
I'll give you one name in addition to Jack DeJohnette (which Finn mentioned), but that's it. And I'm only doing so because you keep thinking I don't know any and because he singlehandedly proves and disproves both sides of this debate!=)

Fritz Hauser.

As we have both said, these are exceptions ('these' being the handfull I know) and are a very distinct minority in the overall picture. In other words, we are still correct=)

Go forth and seek out Fritz, but take note of his 'Man with Drum'. 'Drum'. Singular. I saw Fritz do this and it changes how you look at drums, period.

www.fritzhauser.ch

rmedek, did you read the thread? Why base an opinion on an 'impression' rather than we actually said?=)

G
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  #240  
Old 08-08-2006, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: THE BIG KITS VS SMALL KITS DEBATE

ok. but wouldn't drumming in such a way where you're emphasizing subtle nuances

be limited to quiter genres of music? then wouldn't more drums be necessary for the

sake of projection?
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