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  #1  
Old 01-08-2019, 12:31 AM
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Default quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

I am in a band and we practice at a volume that is just a little louder than speaking volume. As a matter of fact (side note), I had the PA controls near me, and the guitar player asked me to lower the volume on my mic. I lowered it gradually, until it was off. He then said it was a perfect volume, I then took off the headset. He just looked at me, lol. But the bass player caught on, and asked me to give it a little volume. I know this could be a remark about my singing, lol. But, that side note was just to show what volume we are playing at. On a few tunes, I use a conga to the left of my hi-hat, and I play the conga, the bass drum, and hi-hat, and I hit the cymbals with my hand, and no mic on the conga.

In order for me to play at that volume with sticks, I taped the drums and cymbals up a lot. By doing all this taping, the drums sound horrible. Yet, I feel I have no choice but to play as lightly as I can and reduce the sound of the drums.

The guitar player, adjusts his sound in a combination of volume and gain, and pedals, and tries to get the right sound out of his rig and he gets very serious trying to get "the right sound."

The bass player has a pedal board so he can dial in his sound. The singer wants a volume so she does not have any distortion, but does not want to push her voice too much during each rehearsal.

I don't think too many other musicians care about the overall sound of our drums as long as we are plying them correctly. It really drives me nuts that when I hit the ride cymbal, the cymbal itself sounds so bad. I also feel that as a drummer we have to make more sacrifices then other members of the band. Am I wrong in this observation?
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

It sounds like a challenge, but can also be an opportunity. So I think this is one of those cases in which you have to, pardon the expression, think differently.

Playing quietly does not necessarily mean deadening the sounds of your kit. You'd be surprised how many wonderful complex sounds can surface when everyone is playing quietly. For example, right now I'm recording a project in which I started using only soft beaters (mallets, brushes, rods, fingers) and playing very softly. I'm enjoying myself because I'm hearing all the subtle harmonics and overtones that would have become lost in the scuffle of loud playing. I haven't pickup up a stick yet, and I don't think I will for the rest of this project.

With the guitarist and bassist chasing "the right sound", why don't you pursue something similar that will complement them?

Last edited by makinao; 01-08-2019 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

It would be easier if I can play with wire brushes, or nylon brushes, but they are requesting that I use sticks. At this volume, I have to choke the stick and not let it bounce. I am playing the snare near the rim. The hats have be played on the bow with bead of the stick.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

Are you playing a lot of library gigs?
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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Are you playing a lot of library gigs?
Man, it feels like it. LOL

I was playing in a Jazz workshop, grand piano, and bass. I was able to play with sticks and brushes, and no tape on cymbals and drums. All I did though was use a towel on the bass drum, it had no felt or muffler. I had no problem keeping it low volume there. this however is a new ball game.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:45 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

Would you have a recording of a typical rehearsal?
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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Originally Posted by evolving_machine View Post
I don't think too many other musicians care about the overall sound of our drums as long as we are plying them correctly. It really drives me nuts that when I hit the ride cymbal, the cymbal itself sounds so bad. I also feel that as a drummer we have to make more sacrifices then other members of the band. Am I wrong in this observation?
I don't know if that is necessarily the case. Unfortunately guitarists and bassists have volume knobs, and unless you are playing an electro kit we don't. I don't think it is caring or not about the sound of drums, but it is people concerning themselves more about volume level than anything else. It is getting to the point where it is just ridiculous.

I find it funny that 10 years ago, a drummer with only an electro kit would have a difficult time finding a gig. Now like at last half of the drummer wanted ads I seem to see want drummers with electro kits.

Edit: I have to say that the volume thing is not just limited to drummers. I also play bass and have run in to that so much that I had to go and change up my entire setup because I couldn't go in to a lot of rehearsals and gigs without getting complaints and I was only on like 1-2 on my volume. Gone are the days when guitarists ran half stacks or at the very least a 2x12 combo. Now they are all running small amps, and a lot of those not even turned up that much, or some are just going straight direct.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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Would you have a recording of a typical rehearsal?
Honestly, I do have some recordings, but would rather not post it. Hopefully, I'll stay with them long enough, to post a youtube of something live.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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Originally Posted by evolving_machine View Post
It would be easier if I can play with wire brushes, or nylon brushes, but they are requesting that I use sticks. At this volume, I have to choke the stick and not let it bounce. I am playing the snare near the rim. The hats have be played on the bow with bead of the stick.
Because they made that specific request, I think they are looking for a particular sound, and therefore consider your sound as important as theirs.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

This sounds like a good situation for playing with e-drums through a headphone monitor mix.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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This sounds like a good situation for playing with e-drums through a headphone monitor mix.
I was thinking about an e-drum solution to this. I just hope that the volume of sticks hitting the e-drum pads would not be too loud. Also, I am very ignorant about how to choose a decent e-drum kit.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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Originally Posted by evolving_machine View Post
I also feel that as a drummer we have to make more sacrifices then other members of the band. Am I wrong in this observation?
Its true somewhat, but not unfair. Others can dial a volume, and our dial is our hands. One can simply inform a band they cannot expect as much at such low volume.
Its actually quite a cool challenge to play quiet. Snare, kick, hats and ride can all be played quietly but never with the fury some kinds of music call for. I played with a band once that practiced in a 10 x 12 room, 4 or 5 people. Light sticks, tape on a dark ride, pack in a bass drum, towel on snare, no crash cymbals.

Any band that wants crash cymbals at a low volume is unreasonable. They have to get with the idea that you cannot play wide open a this level, more at cafe' volume. That works with some music but you're not going to be doing Deep Purple or Metallica covers quietly.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

Sounds frustrating.

I’d much rather go with some blasticks-type thing than all that tape. Or 7A rather than a heavy stick. Or quiet drums like an old kit I’ve got made of cheap wood with rounded bearing edges.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

Here is my opinion on the matter.

Yes, when it comes to volume, as a drummer we have to make more sacrifices then other members of the band. It sucks. Usually we have to find ways to make the drums louder without physical harm to the drums and to our bodies. Sometimes we have to dampen our drums to the point that they no longer sound like drums. But there are limits that I won’t go beyond.

Here is what I would do: For quieter applications I would use a smaller drum set, 18 inch bass drum, 12 inch tom and 12 or 13 inch snare drum. Also use smaller cymbals. Dampen the drums using dampening rings. Do not dampen the cymbals! Dampening cymbals is just crazy. Play these drums as quietly as possible without sacrificing your technique. Use smaller sticks or rods.

Inform the other musicians that this is as quiet as the drums will be. Period! And that they will have to raise their volume to match the drums. Drums are loud musical instruments. If you don’t hit a drum with enough force it will not sound like a drum. Same with cymbals.

The next step down from this is to use a Cajon with a foot pedal, a small hi hat and a small cymbal. It won’t sound like a drum set but it works great for certain kinds of music.

PS. I currently practice with a band that has to keep the volume way down because of the neighbors. I use an e-drum set for this practice. The sound of the stick hitting the rubber pad is as loud as the drum sound from the e-drum. It’s crazy but it’s OK for practice. A more expensive e-drum with mesh heads would solve this issue.


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Old 01-08-2019, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

So, they are all dialing in their "perfect sounds", while telling you that you can't use brushes to achieve YOUR "perfect sound"? Screw them. You don't tell them how to use their instruments. Why do you let them dictate what you do with yours? Just do whatever works for you, so long as it fits the volume requirements, and it compliments the music well.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

I'm somewhat wondering about the headspace a venue is in to hire a band and then to tell them they must play really soft. Do they pay well? I suppose the fact that they're hiring musicians is good, but if you can't really hear them, what are they paying for? Interesting.

I suppose it can be looked upon as a challenge, or a frustration, but that's up to you. I guess you should be lucky you're there. When I've seen complaints about a jazz trio (piano/bass/drums), they'd just cut the drummer and become a duet.

Even in this situation, I'd still opt for an acoustic kit and stick to it. Seeing an eKit seems like a cop out.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

Just started up with an acoustic singer songwriter. Using a suitcase kick drum, snare, hi hats, and small crash-ride w/moon gels. Shakers, tambourine, use mostly wooden rods, reinforced with glue, plus brushes. I wish there was an intermediate between stick and rod.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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I wish there was an intermediate between stick and rod.
I suggest checking out Vic Firth tala wands.

https://vicfirth.com/rute-tala-wands/
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

Outside of the volume issue, you are quite right.

I've seen countless bands where the drummer was playing drums with dead heads, untuned drums, lousy cymbals, etc, and the band, for the most part, has no idea.

I've also played many house kits that had all the same issues, and my band didn't seem to notice the difference.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

For one, I applaud you Mr. evolving_machine for playing in a way that you are considerate to the other musicians, especially at rehearsal, and taming your lion of an instrument for the greater good, the drums. That is not something that should go unrecognized. it is definitely one of the more advanced skills IMO. So way to go. Any gorilla can pound drums into submission. It takes a real musician to accurately assess...and be able to deliver...what volume is needed for a given situation, high or low. Control is sexy.

As the drummer's volume goes, so goes the rest of the band. I always notice that if the drummer relaxes and doesn't try to impress or whatever, the rest of the band relaxes right along with them. Which is what I for one wants to happen. It's infectious or contagious. One of them. It's pretty cool the power we wield. Hold back and listen to the others get inspired.

In sticking with the thread topic, i just came back from rehearsal. I drive a full hour to rehearsal, so I use the drums there. He's got a 1968 vintage Sonor in that swirly wrap that you can make a scratch in with your fingernail. It sounds really bad, like a 1 out of 10. I put the floor tom legs inside my sneakers to bring out some resonance. Three legs, 2 sneakers lol.

My point is that is doesn't matter. Once the rest of the guys are in, the crap tones just melt into the net sound. What does matter is the manner in which I hit the drums. Sound almost doesn't matter. Timing matters. And dynamics. And a hundred other things. Sound is way down on the list. Now when everything is firing on all 8, plus you have good sound, yea, cream your jeans time, for drummers. For everyone else, it's the way the drums are hit, it's the timing way more than the sound. IMO. I feel it's our responsibility to create the best sound possible, but in reality it's far down the list of the things that actually matter.

It's not what you play, or the sound of the drums, as much as how you touch them in relation to everything else...and the sense of time...that really counts.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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For one, I applaud you Mr. evolving_machine for playing in a way that you are considerate to the other musicians, especially at rehearsal, and taming your lion of an instrument for the greater good, the drums. That is not something that should go unrecognized. it is definitely one of the more advanced skills IMO. So way to go. Any gorilla can pound drums into submission. It takes a real musician to accurately assess...and be able to deliver...what volume is needed for a given situation, high or low. Control is sexy.

As the drummer's volume goes, so goes the rest of the band. I always notice that if the drummer relaxes and doesn't try to impress or whatever, the rest of the band relaxes right along with them. Which is what I for one wants to happen. It's infectious or contagious. One of them. It's pretty cool the power we wield. Hold back and listen to the others get inspired.

In sticking with the thread topic, i just came back from rehearsal. I drive a full hour to rehearsal, so I use the drums there. He's got a 1968 vintage Sonor in that swirly wrap that you can make a scratch in with your fingernail. It sounds really bad, like a 1 out of 10. I put the floor tom legs inside my sneakers to bring out some resonance. Three legs, 2 sneakers lol.

My point is that is doesn't matter. Once the rest of the guys are in, the crap tones just melt into the net sound. What does matter is the manner in which I hit the drums. Sound almost doesn't matter. Timing matters. And dynamics. And a hundred other things. Sound is way down on the list. Now when everything is firing on all 8, plus you have good sound, yea, cream your jeans time, for drummers. For everyone else, it's the way the drums are hit, it's the timing way more than the sound. IMO. I feel it's our responsibility to create the best sound possible, but in reality it's far down the list of the things that actually matter.

It's not what you play, or the sound of the drums, as much as how you touch them in relation to everything else...and the sense of time...that really counts.
I don't disagree with anything you say, Larry... but gosh darn it, drummers deserve to play a good-sounding instrument too! It's always much easier to feel a good groove on my nice Ludwigs than on the entry-level, taped-up crap in a guitarist's basement...
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

I think the guys who the OP plays with want to have their cake and eat it. You can either have taped up tickled drums that sound crap or drums played with dynamics that sound good.

To play just above talking level is silly and impossible to do with a band and have any kind of feel to the performance. Practice or otherwise.

We have noise limiters at some venues here and they always put them above the band instead of outside the venue in the wall which would measure noise limits better and accurately show noise leakage in the event of a complaint from neighbours.

I carry O-rings and moongels for the really bad rooms and have a pair of the Gadd sticks for quiet gigs. I use a 20" crash as a ride and that's it, at that point I don't care about a good sound, it ain't happening. It's a challenge and a ballache. Not enjoyable in the slightest and you spend the whole night staring at the light box hoping you don't trip the power rather than entertaining people which you're being paid to do.

Whilst I agree you'd like a nice kit to play on all of the time, you often don't get the room or space.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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My point is that is doesn't matter. Once the rest of the guys are in, the crap tones just melt into the net sound. What does matter is the manner in which I hit the drums. Sound almost doesn't matter. Timing matters. And dynamics. And a hundred other things. Sound is way down on the list . . .
It's not what you play, or the sound of the drums, as much as how you touch them in relation to everything else...and the sense of time...that really counts.
I agree to a point.

When the instrument does not make a good sound, one cannot become inspired. It actually deters inspiration, IMO.

No other musician in the band would accept a poorly tuned instrument (e.g., guitar, bass, keys) and no one would accept a poorly voiced vocal.

The hypocrisy can cause bitterness.

But this is for rehearsal, so let it slide. I hope the OP is allowed to use his instrument tuned and set up the way he prefers it for performances.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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I don't disagree with anything you say, Larry... but gosh darn it, drummers deserve to play a good-sounding instrument too! It's always much easier to feel a good groove on my nice Ludwigs than on the entry-level, taped-up crap in a guitarist's basement...
We do deserve to play good sounding instruments. But short that, what we do is not sound dependent. Sure we all want to sound a certain way. But many times (backline or practice kits) that's just not possible. The groove isn't affected unless the drummer allows crap tones to ruin their high.


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I agree to a point.

When the instrument does not make a good sound, one cannot become inspired. It actually deters inspiration, IMO.

No other musician in the band would accept a poorly tuned instrument (e.g., guitar, bass, keys) and no one would accept a poorly voiced vocal.

The hypocrisy can cause bitterness.

But this is for rehearsal, so let it slide. I hope the OP is allowed to use his instrument tuned and set up the way he prefers it for performances.
IDK, inspiration....when the drums don't sound good, inspiration shouldn't suffer. I like playing awesome sounding drums as much as the next guy, but when that's not there, we still have to play. So the only thing to do is ignore the tone and focus on the timing, dynamics, musicality etc. There really isn't any other choice except to allow it to hamstring the player.

An analogy would be me not driving a car to it's fullest potential because I don't like the color. Just my take on things, it means nothing really.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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I would step away from the band, because my personality would not put up with such neutering.
I thank you all for the very generous discussion. I am thinking of walking away too.

The kit I am using, was given to me by someone I work with. It is an old CB kit, 12, 13 toms. I installed legs on the 13 and use it as a floor tom. The bass is 22x16, and placed a large 66" x 5" foam up against the batter. 16" old heavy Zildjian for a ride, and a cracked 15" Paiste crash. The toms and cymbals are tapped, and only a little tape on the snare. I needed a little bit of drum on the snare to play wire brushes on. I also use nylon brushes sometimes, but they want me to use sticks sometimes so they can clearly hear the beat.

There are sometimes when I play, I can get into it, but other times I am afraid to open up. After a while of playing choking the sticks and the pedal, I start to cramp up. In the past, I have had compliments of my ability to play lower volume. I have to decide if this is worth it. The drive is 45 minutes, there are no gigs lined up yet.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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I thank you all for the very generous discussion. I am thinking of walking away too.

It is an old CB kit, 12, 13 toms. I installed legs on the 13 and use it as a floor tom. The bass is 22x16, and placed a large 66" x 5" foam up against the batter. 16" old heavy Zildjian for a ride, and a cracked 15" Paiste crash. The toms and cymbals are tapped, and only a little tape on the snare.
Dude, you need a hug. I commend you greatly on trying to make this work.

In my experience, the lighter you play, the less drum tone matters (to a certain extent). With that said, I pulled out my old Tama Rockstars and played one practice with them (after playing with my Pork Pie USA customs). Even though I played with Hot Rods, the guys told me I really needed to switch back after we were done. They were right, so I did.

I agree with not muffling your cymbals and using tone rings on your toms and/or snare. If you are currently playing with 7A sticks and the folks don't want you to use rods, check out the Vic Firth AJ5 sticks. I have a few pair, and they come in pretty handy. It's a nice "in between" rods and 7A's.

I always liken it to this: Playing drums softly with regular sticks is like asking a guitar player to plug in his guitar and turn the guitar itself all the way up, and then turn the amp to about 8. After this, ask the guitar player to strum the guitar, but do so in such a way that it's not much above an un-miked vocal. To be honest though, it sounds like what they are wanting is next to impossible.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

My advice?...stick with it!

It's a tough transition. After three decades of pretty much just playing as loud as I can, I joined a cover band that does small, low-volume gigs (restaurants, lodges, birthdays, etc.).

It took MONTHS of experimenting, analyzing and research but I finally got to a point where I not only became comfortable at a lower-volume setting but wound up finding it very enjoyable.

To start with, tell your band to get over your using something other than sticks! If the playing's too loud with sticks, but too soft with brushes or rutes, then THEY need to come down to YOUR volume. They can't argue both sides at once - that you're both too loud and too soft. If you're willing to make the change, they can turn a knob one-quarter inch to the left and get on with it.

I use the Vic Firth wooden rutes, which feel like big sticks without the volume. Using these allows for much less need to muffle the drums, and with a few tweaks in tuning and a moongel, you can get a really nice-sounding drum that breathes but doesn't overpower. I found it took some practice to refine my technique with rutes, but before too long they felt just as natural as any stick.

I converted an 18" floor tom into a bass drum, put some foam and a small pillow in there, and it sounds great - once again, without being overpowering. In one instance we played in someone's living room; for that, I secured a tea-towel over the batter head to add a little extra muffling. Worked beautifully.

Using the rutes made cymbal volume irrelevant. I get a nice 'chick' off the hi-hat, and if I really find I ever need a big cymbal crash, I strike at the base of the rute. Plenty loud.

So my setup is just the converted floor tom, snare, hats and 16" crash. (Sometimes I'll add a ride and/or small tom on a stand.) At that living room gig I mentioned, we played everything from 'You're So Vain' to 'Immigrant Song', and it worked great! Even more importantly, I was able to just forget about the volume and PLAY. I didn't use earplugs for the first time in about twenty years - that should say something.

It can be done! There are a lot of transitional pains, but they're worth it! And not incidentally, it's helped my drumming immensely having to work with these parameters - something I hadn't expected.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:57 PM
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Bruce M. Thomson Bruce M. Thomson is offline
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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It would be easier if I can play with wire brushes, or nylon brushes, but they are requesting that I use sticks. At this volume, I have to choke the stick and not let it bounce. I am playing the snare near the rim. The hats have be played on the bow with bead of the stick.
I agree with makinao. I play with 2 very different sounding bands and for the more quieter band I often use Pro-Mark 7A's, they have a light touch and still feel good;muffling the drums is unnecessary.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:11 AM
bud7h4 bud7h4 is offline
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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I don't think too many other musicians care about the overall sound of our drums as long as we are plying them correctly. It really drives me nuts that when I hit the ride cymbal, the cymbal itself sounds so bad. I also feel that as a drummer we have to make more sacrifices then other members of the band. Am I wrong in this observation?

When I played bass and guitar I was obsessive about a good drum sound. It's inspiring. In my primary band our drummer even wanted me to mix the drums in the studio.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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The guitar player, adjusts his sound in a combination of volume and gain, and pedals, and tries to get the right sound out of his rig and he gets very serious trying to get "the right sound."
Mad props to you for being considerate in this situation! Very frustrating.

I suppose you could try using multi-rods (since they're kind of like sticks), but I've never really enjoyed playing with those in a loud setting.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

What kind of music are you playing? Is the band using amps/pa or in ear monitors?
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:17 PM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

Playing at talking volume is difficult.

I would recommend using jazz equipment, which is designed to get good tone at low volumes, however it seems as if even a piano trio setup is too loud.

Have you tried egg shakers?

In bluegrass they play a snare drum with brushes on occasion.

What about just beat boxing.


Maybe bongos?
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

Have you considered a Cocktail kit?
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

The kit really is not the problem. The kit itself is the lowest possible volume for an acoustic kit not using pads. With that thick foam pad in the bass drum it is just something to hold the tom. I can leave this kit at practice and not worry about it.

I am using some jazz sticks, smaller than 7a's. The reason they want me to use sticks I think is because they can hear the snare better. With brushes the rim shots do not carry, and the ghost notes are gone.



I do not know how to describe the the type of music, Help me (Joni Mitchel), Get Ready (Temptations), Heard.....Grapevine (Marvin Gaye), Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison), and then some originals with some reggae, some of a blue grass, some of a country, and some sounding swing-like, others R&B like, hard to say exactly the style.


I did not reply all week because I was trying to forget about this problem. But, later today we have practice.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

FWIW, I definitely disagree that drums have to be played loud to inspire. Volume has zero to do with groove, inspiration, and excitement. I was in a sink or swim situation volume-wise with my last band when starting out in our main room. Especially on the dinner set, I either had to groove no louder than speaking volume or fail.

I managed to do it for 8 years, so I don't get why I read this on a regular basis, that drums are loud and to play quietly on them is so difficult. I don't agree. I feel it's the drummers mindset that's actually preventing low volume playing. It absolutely can be done.

I play exactly what I would play loud, except I control the heck out of the volume. If I have a super fast car, I can still drive it slowly. Same exact thing with drum volume.

I can't believe that the other guys are such busybodys in trying to dictate your sound. Maybe give them a taste of their own medicine and dictate what you think their sound should be to see how they handle it.

If I was in that situation, a large part of me would want to basically tell them to focus on their own instrument, not mine. This should at the very least be a 2 way street, where they change their tone for you as well. If it's not a 2 way street, what gives them the right to dictate how you play? You are the drummer. They are the string players.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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I did not reply all week because I was trying to forget about this problem. But, later today we have practice.
I hate to say it but this here speaks volumes (no pun intended). If it is to the point where you just want to forget the whole thing, the only way to make that happen is to move on.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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I hate to say it but this here speaks volumes (no pun intended). If it is to the point where you just want to forget the whole thing, the only way to make that happen is to move on.
As soon as the fun goes out of it, it's over.


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Old 01-13-2019, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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I don't think too many other musicians care about the overall sound of our drums as long as we are plying them correctly.
In my experience, they don't even care if we play correctly :). As long as we keep decent tempo and don't play too loud, everyone I've played with has always been happy .....or oblivious :)


Balsa wood sticks played at the edge of the snare and thin cymbals is all I can suggest.




Quote:
If I have a super fast car, I can still drive it slowly. Same exact thing with drum volume
Sure, ....with an E kit :)

With a car, it's only one control to turn it up/down. With drums it's a combination of several things like tuning, gear and dynamics.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

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Sure, ....with an E kit :)

With a car, it's only one control to turn it up/down. With drums it's a combination of several things like tuning, gear and dynamics.
There's that mindset I was referring to.

I don't see it like that. I never adjusted my tuning for hitting less hard. And I'm not sure what you mean by gear being a factor. Maybe sticks. But I played quiet on the exact same set, with the exact same tuning and the exact same sticks as I use to play loud with. I control the drums,not the other way around. I can play them at any volume I choose.

My dynamics remain relative to one another, except on a quieter scale when I have to play quietly. I'm playing exactly the same thing as I would by playing louder, I just don't hit as hard. The only thing I am adjusting is my force. One thing, just like a gas pedal.

Heavy metal....OK there I will concede. I'm thinking that a place that hosts heavy metal won't be asking the band to play quiet.

So I will never buy into the notion that drums must be played loud or it sucks.

Volume control is probably the #1 thing where a lot of good players, not just drummers, drop the ball.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: quality of drum sounds to the rest of the band is not important

Yeah, by "gear" I meant light sticks, dampening rings and thin cymbals.

As far as tuning, I have trouble playing a super tight snare quietly.
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