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Old 12-30-2016, 12:04 AM
M2Kstyle M2Kstyle is offline
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Default Learning About Gear

Hi,

I've been playing the set pretty consistently for about 20 years, and I feel confident in my playing, but I feel somewhat unconfident about my knowledge of certain types of gear, as well as tuning drums. I can get by, but I want to become really knowledgeable.

Specifically, I feel confident when it comes to choosing:
- cymbals
- pedals
- stands
- sticks

But I feel somewhat unconfident (although not useless) about:
- choosing toms/snares/bass based on materials (wood type, metal types, etc)
- choosing sizes of toms/snare/bass
- tuning to get specific sounds

I would love to take some kind of class, or series of classes, that focuses on drum hardware and tuning, but I've never heard of anything like that. Is that something anyone has heard of? Any ideas how I can find look for something like that close to me? In case anyone knows my area, I live in Seattle.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:23 AM
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gish gish is offline
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Default Re: Learning About Gear

Visit this forum as much as you can. Read up. Ask questions. This forum contains the most knowledgeable and experienced drummers, along with the most relaxed atmosphere, that I've found. There's a wealth of information here.
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2016, 01:05 AM
Ghostnote
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Default Re: Learning About Gear

Just cruise the different categories of the Gear forum and check out the Drum Tuning Bible sticky thread near the top of this forum. That ought to keep you busy for a while.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:20 AM
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bonerpizza bonerpizza is offline
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Default Re: Learning About Gear

As far as how different types of wood are going to sound with toms and kick drum there's not a lot of difference that you're going to be able to hear while you're playing, the sonic differences are going to be much more noticeable if you're recording the drums.
With a snare there is a big difference between metal and wood but tuning and head choice have a lot to do with the sound.

With choosing drum size the depth and diameter both will have an effect on how the drum sounds, follow this link for detailed info: http://mikedrums.com/tuning/shell.html
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:49 AM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Re: Learning About Gear

Have you considered working at a music store even if part-time?
Specifically a drum shop. There you will have exposure to the most gear to learn about.
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:18 AM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Learning About Gear

I'd start hanging around the stores-- American Music, Donn Bennett, and Trading Musician are the only current ones I'm familiar with in Seattle. Gregg Keplinger is at AM a lot, and Jerry Garcia teaches at DB-- Jerry used to have a shop, and sold me my first two drumsets. Both guys are super cool and have been building drums for decades-- they're authorities on anything you want to know. Easiest way to catch them would be to schedule a lesson, or just call and ask when they're going to be around. Drop my name if you go.
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Last edited by toddbishop; 12-30-2016 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:30 AM
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MikeM MikeM is offline
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Default Re: Learning About Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
I'd start hanging around the stores-- American Music, Donn Bennett, and Trading Musician are the only current ones I'm familiar with in Seattle. Gregg Keplinger is at AM a lot, and Jerry Garcia teaches at DB-- Jerry used to have a shop, and sold me my first two drumsets. Both of them are super cool and have been building drums for decades-- they're authorities on anything you want to know. Easiest way to catch them would be to schedule a lesson, or just call and ask when they're going to be around. Drop my name if you go.
Agreed.

Mike Cotta has been at American Music for many years and is a very knowledgeable and cool guy.

Donn Bennett is now owned and operated by Rudy Simone, and you won't find a more enthusiastic and friendly drum geek than Rudy. Plus, he usually has a fairly broad array of kits setup on the floor that you can actually play. If you can get there early afternoon on a weekday when he's not swamped, he'll tell you all the finer points on what's what, the things he likes/dislikes and why. He's just a genuinely cool drum guy.

I think Jerry Garcia will still build you a kit, though he used to build a lot more - I've been playing my current Garcia kit for 17 years now, which replaced another Garcia kit that I'd played for 4 years before that. I got a good education from him on things like die cast vs triple flanged hoops and rerings - features I thought I wanted but that conflicted with the sound I wanted. I massively appreciated him setting me straight on what those choices really mean in a language I could understand. Reach out to him for sure, schedule a lesson and pick his brain.
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:05 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Learning About Gear

The difference in the type of hoop tends to make the most noticeable difference in sound, assuming head type, size, and shell construction are similar, and we're talking about "normal" drums (i.e. not stave or solid shell, no exotic woods).

Not sure how much this will help, but I like to divide toms into two groups: those with sturdy hoops (i.e. die cast, 2.3mm) and triple flange. It's sort of like the difference between a Stratocaster and a Les Paul. The Stratocaster is bright, wild, expressive and often noisy guitar, whereas the Les Paul is focused, mellow, and quiet.

The toms of a Tama Starclassic, Noble & Cooley, and Gretsch USA/Renown/RB all have die cast hoops, and sound very similar. Ludwig toms, with their triple flange hoops, sound similar to other kits with triple flange hoops. DWs and high end Yamahas, and Sonors, with their 2.3mm hoops, live somewhere in between.

Bass drums can sound so different, depending on the presence of an internal mic, or a full front head, that the only real variables are the diameter and head tension. Nearly all kicks have light, flexible wood hoops, and unless the depth is something crazy, a 22 will have good punch and plenty of low end. Smaller than 22" means less punch and low end, and bigger than 22" means more low end boom and less punch. But this is a broad generalization. A small kick can be made punchy, and a large one, too. A 22" punches best, IMHO, but can be too much for quieter music.

Bearing edges are important too, but almost all edges are fairly sharp with a slight roundover. The exception is old Ludwigs, which have a severe roundover, mellowing out the tone considerably, and acts to balance out the otherwise lively character from the thin, flexible triple flange hoop. By contrast, Gretsch USA/Renown/RB have 30 degree edges with a slight roundover, lending a bright character, which is tamed by the rigid, heavy die cast hoops.

There are so many variables in snares that it's not worth discussing. Find a recording you like and what snare was played, and then just go get that same snare. Certain snares have become somewhat standard: the LM402 and LM400, Radio King, Bell Brass. In the 90s, shallow piccolos were common; now it's deep 8X14s. Snares preference seems to change with the times. I think when musicians were recording to dark-sounding, noisy tape, they preferred brighter metal snares. Now, we want warmer sounds for our digital recordings.
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:18 PM
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GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
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Default Re: Learning About Gear

As a moderator, one thing that we deal with is duplicate thread ideas. That is, 15 threads on "what is the best head?" etc. We understand that no one want to sit and read through 15 pages of threads dealing with drum heads for what may seem to be a simple question. At the top of the page in a dark gray box are titles like, User CP, FAQ, etc. One of them is Search. Although not the best search engine, most times your idea will be somewhere close in the pages here. Also, Drummerworld Forum is so big, that many times if you Google your question, Druumerworld answers will populate. This is all info that has been posted to Drummerworld that has been picked up by Google.

This is not my way of saying Don't ask questions, please do, but also make yourself aware of the resource this is and use it as your main source. We feel, as do other polls etc, that this is the best drummers forum in existence. You would be surprised, as I was when I was new 10 years ago, what you will find on one subject while searching something else.

Welcome to our world, and feel assured that you will find what you want one way or another. We have people on this forum that can tell you how many threads per inch are on a lug screw from a 1967 Ludwig snare.

Most of all have fun.
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