DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #41  
Old 10-27-2013, 03:46 PM
davezedlee davezedlee is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 145
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

it also depends on what you're trying to achieve

playing "Fool In The Rain" or "Billie Jean" or "Intruder" (Alex Van Halen) on some kits translate into the "vibe" of those songs, yet only sound like "patterns" on other kits

there HAS to be a reason why

think "Rock 'N Roll" works on a Breakbeat kit?
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 10-27-2013, 04:08 PM
alparrott's Avatar
alparrott alparrott is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 6,626
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

I think the knowledge is good in the pre-playing phase, when I'm buying. Having the knowledge gets me the heads and sticks I need to make my sound. I get the drums that I have researched and know that they will have a great sound and the hardware will hold them.

But them once I sit down and play, I shouldn't have to worry about the gear again until I get up. If I do find myself constantly fiddling with a piece of gear while playing, before very long it heads out the door to be sold or even trashed.

That happens very infrequently now that I have accumulated more knowledge, and have the internet at my fingertips.
__________________
Al Parrott
"Jus suum cuique"
-------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 10-27-2013, 09:04 PM
mikel mikel is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Midlands. England.
Posts: 2,266
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davezedlee View Post
it also depends on what you're trying to achieve

playing "Fool In The Rain" or "Billie Jean" or "Intruder" (Alex Van Halen) on some kits translate into the "vibe" of those songs, yet only sound like "patterns" on other kits

there HAS to be a reason why

think "Rock 'N Roll" works on a Breakbeat kit?
I get where you are coming from, but that is just shell sizes. Bigger drums make a bigger noise. Not really the gear over education mentioned by the OP. Enough for me though.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 10-27-2013, 09:15 PM
alparrott's Avatar
alparrott alparrott is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 6,626
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davezedlee View Post
it also depends on what you're trying to achieve

playing "Fool In The Rain" or "Billie Jean" or "Intruder" (Alex Van Halen) on some kits translate into the "vibe" of those songs, yet only sound like "patterns" on other kits

there HAS to be a reason why

think "Rock 'N Roll" works on a Breakbeat kit?
I don't know, but I've convincingly played "Kashmir" on 13" hats and a 12" snare before. And just so we're clear, Jason Bonham tells the story of how his pop used to sit at his kid-sized kit and sound just like Bonzo.

Get informed and pick your gear carefully, but there's a whole world of feel, touch, and technique that has nothing to do with what it is you're playing. If the gear doesn't actively impede you from having that connection (because it's incapable of making the sound you want, or because it's falling apart), then that's when you can stop worrying about it and start playing.
__________________
Al Parrott
"Jus suum cuique"
-------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 10-28-2013, 08:41 PM
Otto Otto is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,585
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Over education cannot happen.

Over-extrapolation of information can.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 10-28-2013, 09:01 PM
mikel mikel is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Midlands. England.
Posts: 2,266
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
Over education cannot happen.

Over-extrapolation of information can.
Ever heard the term "Educated beyond common sense". ?
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 10-28-2013, 09:46 PM
mymarkers mymarkers is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 108
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

When you shop for a car, there's no shortage of information about safety features such as anti-lock breaks, seatbelts, and airbags. Yet, the operator is the most important safety feature in the car. Drums are the same.

With drums, I don't count it as knowledge until I experience it. I can read all the descriptions about how dry, pingy, washy, dark, or bright a cymbal is, but until I've actually heard it, they don't mean much. And experience has taught me that the type of sticks used and how the cymbal is struck make a big difference. Rather than reading endless opinions about them, I bought some Evans J1's for my toms. They sound great, but I can't tell the difference from a coated G1. I think it's fun to try new stuff. I quickly discover which differences matter for my needs and which do not. It's far better than using Brand X Product Y forever because some stranger on the internet said so.

Knowledge of gear is definitely important. You can sound better and spend less money. But you have to take some time to think critically through the sea of marketing propaganda and speculation to figure out what is actually relevant to you.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 10-28-2013, 09:59 PM
groove1's Avatar
groove1 groove1 is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Midwest US
Posts: 780
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

When I began playing/performing again after several decades away from drums I was astonished at how hyped the details of everything were while in many cases the overall product was inferior to what I remembered using earlier on when the details weren't even mentioned. So, while I think being educated about gear is fine, too much of anything is too much as in "over-educated". Another 2 cents gone.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 10-28-2013, 10:54 PM
Anon La Ply's Avatar
Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
Renegade
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cyberspace
Posts: 5,512
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Ever heard the term "Educated beyond common sense". ?
That would be the extrapolation ...
__________________
Soundcloud
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 10-28-2013, 11:08 PM
8Mile's Avatar
8Mile 8Mile is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 3,973
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

I think the only downside to spending a lot of time becoming educated about gear is that you're probably sacrificing spending time on other important things related to being a drummer, like practicing. So, the knowledge in and of itself isn't bad, it's just that in a practical sense, it's what it's taking away from that can hurt you.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 10-29-2013, 07:23 PM
picodon's Avatar
picodon picodon is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: France
Posts: 669
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

The problem with beginner drummers like myself being overexposed to information is that we have no clue what is essential, what is important, what is nice to have and what is irrelevant to what we want - we generally don't even know what we want. It's just that the information is out there and I agree, it must be some kind of fear of making a terrible mistake by not using that information.

I also think that technical details are only weakly correlated related to how satisfied a (beginner?) drummer is with his/her kit. A kit is great because it sounds great and looks great and can stand some abuse. I don't care about mine being birch per se. Most Ikea furniture in my place is birch and looking at it does not make me any happier than looking into my toms :) I could have bought poplar with better cymbals. I thought the wood was essential to the sound, EQ'ed and what all :) But I realise on beginner level birch is just nice to have.

I think, well I guess, what makes a drum kit great today is what used to make it great half a century ago. We can let go of all that information and be no less happier.

Last edited by picodon; 10-29-2013 at 09:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 10-29-2013, 09:07 PM
mikel mikel is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Midlands. England.
Posts: 2,266
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by picodon View Post
The problem with beginner drummers like myself being overexposed to information is that we have no clue what is essential, what is important, what is nice to have and what is irrelevant to what we want - we generally don't even know what we want. It's just that the information is out there and I agree, it must be some kind of fear of making a terrible mistake by not using that information.

I also think that technical details are only weakly correlated related to how satisfied a (beginner?) drummer is with his/her kit. A kit is great because it sounds great and looks great and can stand some abuse. I don't care about mine being birch per se. Most Ikea furniture in my place is birch and looking at it does not make me any happier than looking into my toms :) I could have bought poplar with better cymbals. I thought the wood was essential to the sound, EQ'ed and what all :)

I think, well I guess, what makes a drum kit great today is what used to make it great half a century ago. We can let go of all that information and be no less happier.
Spot on, too much information is just that. Too much.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:33 AM
Bobrush Bobrush is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 186
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
I think the only downside to spending a lot of time becoming educated about gear is that you're probably sacrificing spending time on other important things related to being a drummer, like practicing. So, the knowledge in and of itself isn't bad, it's just that in a practical sense, it's what it's taking away from that can hurt you.
This is definitely my problem, in many areas of my life. My wife says I over-analyze everything. It's a personality trait, I HATE being wrong. On the flip side, I usually get the best deals, and all my close friends and family value my opinions.

I don't think there is any such thing as being "over-educated", (or too much knowledge). However, we definitely have a limited amount of time in this world, and how we choose to spend it (in this case, learning about drum manufacturing vs playing drums) is a big challenge. Additionally, with the advent of the internet, there is a phenomenally large amount of information available to us, that previously wasn't. So, the challenge is much greater today than it possibly could have been in the past.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 10-30-2013, 03:12 PM
whiteknightx's Avatar
whiteknightx whiteknightx is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 593
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

There is certainly an insane amount of information out there. The trick with internet opinions too, is that you have to read lots and lots of reviews to weed out the good advice from the terrible advice. Just look at double bass pedal opinions.

It can be very paralyzing when going shopping for new gear.

look at intermediate kits for instance. Someone wants to buy an intermediate kit. This gets asked on this forum daily. People will suggest all the usual suspects - Gretsch Catalinas, Yamaha Stage customs, Tama Silverstars, Ludwig Epics, Mapex Meridians, PDP's, Pearl Visions. So now you have to look at all the kits in depth. Prices are very similar to them all, so how do you choose the one kit that will be yours? You're going to have the kit for a long time. So now you have to start to learn about bearing edge angles, shell construction, hardware, etc, trying to see what's different between them.

I still couldn't tell you what real difference the 30 degree bearing edges make on my catalinas, but I always wanted a Gretsch set, so I'm happy now.

Reality is they are all effectively very similar kits, so pick just the one with the nicest colour, or manufacturer you like, or what your local store carries, and you'll be happy. but how much info do you have to sort through to get to that point?


Really there isn't many truly crappy products out there anymore, so just pick something you like, and you'll be fine.

Guitar players have it much worse!
__________________
Ayotte Drumsmith 6 pc, Sabian HHX Evolution cymbals
Yamaha DTX950K
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 10-30-2013, 03:35 PM
larryz's Avatar
larryz larryz is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,879
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

I think it's more about not getting ripped off by the seller. Knowledge is power with anything. Shopping for underwear at Target vs paying 3x as much at Macy's.

When it comes to vintage drums it's even more important. But fun. The history of drum making, all the old catalogs, etc. Learning about that makes the day go faster.

To know them is to love them.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 10-30-2013, 05:04 PM
motleyh's Avatar
motleyh motleyh is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 482
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Fantastic thread. Thanks for raising the question, Berm.

I get a pretty steady stream of inquiries from people interested in having a drum made, and I value having discussion and planning together with my clients. A certain portion of these inquiries are from people who will send me a set of detailed specs and ask for feedback on their thinking, and when that happens my first response is usually to steer the dialogue back to what character they want the drum to have and how they're going to use it (music style, playing style, playing situations). It's great to be aware of the specs but, unless you understand them in a good deal of depth, that knowledge may not result in the sound and playability you're really after. For all the discussion I see in forums, videos, publications, etc., there's very little on some of the details that really make a difference. And there's just as little on how all these specs work or don't work in combination -- it's possible for one factor to cancel out the benefits of another. And, unfortunately, there are not always good guides to separating misleading, irrelevant, or even false information from the information that's valid. People like to say that what they personally have or use or know of is the best, be it cars or computers or drums, but it's not always the objective reality.

I would put drum buyers in three categories as regards informed shopping. First, there are the players who just want to see the end result and move on to musicianship and technique. They don't care about the specs other than out of curiosity; it's mostly about the sound and feel, and about usability (tuning, adjustments, etc.). Second, there are those who pursue quality, usually because it gives them confidence in their instrument and in their purchase decision. These folks tend to be brand-conscious, feature-conscious and materials-conscious; they want to know they're using good gear, whether or not they actually need to call on all of its capabilities. And third, there are the collectors, buyers who are focused on appearance, rarity, prestige, or the completeness of their collection.

I think all three groups are good buyers with valid interests, but for different reasons, and I like working with all three. But in the forums and elsewhere, the lines get crossed and sometimes a guy who normally takes an "I'll know it when I hear it" approach gets caught up in a "what kind of edges" discussion. I keep remembering watching a top-rank pro artist at a drum show trying out a stave drum -- the more the builder (not me) tried to explain stave construction to him, the more glazed-over his expression got. Yes, it can be too much information and it can become a turn-off. Yes, it's possible to lose sight of why we play drums if we're deluged by specifications and theories. Call it over-education if you want -- it's a forest-and-trees situation, a distraction to our focus, a redirection of our path.

But it really depends on the individual and what he or she enjoys about drums. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. I would suggest only two cautions: One, a little knowledge can be counterproductive. Unless you know and understand these details in depth they may not get what you really want out of the drum, so maybe that shouldn't be the only basis of your buying decisions. And two, don't lose sight of why you love drums; if it's for the joy of playing, make sure that's where your attention is focused. Stay on your path.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 10-30-2013, 09:26 PM
mikel mikel is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Midlands. England.
Posts: 2,266
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteknightx View Post
There is certainly an insane amount of information out there. The trick with internet opinions too, is that you have to read lots and lots of reviews to weed out the good advice from the terrible advice. Just look at double bass pedal opinions.

It can be very paralyzing when going shopping for new gear.

look at intermediate kits for instance. Someone wants to buy an intermediate kit. This gets asked on this forum daily. People will suggest all the usual suspects - Gretsch Catalinas, Yamaha Stage customs, Tama Silverstars, Ludwig Epics, Mapex Meridians, PDP's, Pearl Visions. So now you have to look at all the kits in depth. Prices are very similar to them all, so how do you choose the one kit that will be yours? You're going to have the kit for a long time. So now you have to start to learn about bearing edge angles, shell construction, hardware, etc, trying to see what's different between them.

I still couldn't tell you what real difference the 30 degree bearing edges make on my catalinas, but I always wanted a Gretsch set, so I'm happy now.

Reality is they are all effectively very similar kits, so pick just the one with the nicest colour, or manufacturer you like, or what your local store carries, and you'll be happy. but how much info do you have to sort through to get to that point?


Really there isn't many truly crappy products out there anymore, so just pick something you like, and you'll be fine.

Guitar players have it much worse!
Hmmm.....I dont know White. Why not just play the mid range kits and chose the one you like the sound, first, and looks of, second. You really do not need to know what the bearing edge angles and shell construction are. Unless we are going to rule out a kit that we love the sound of because it is made from Birch instead of Maple, or has 30D bearing edges and we simply have to have 45D.

A good friend of mine has a vintage Gretsch, and it sounds fabulous. It has uneven bearing edges, out of round shells, out of round hoops that are far from flat, and.....It sounds fabulous.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 10-30-2013, 09:39 PM
Hollywood Jim's Avatar
Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 3,922
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Why not just play the mid range kits and chose the one you like the sound, first, and looks of, second. You really do not need to know what the bearing edge angles and shell construction are. Unless we are going to rule out a kit that we love the sound of because it is made from Birch instead of Maple, or has 30D bearing edges and we simply have to have 45D.
I agree 100%
(I would add, check out the hardware and see if you like how everything clamps together.)

.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 10-30-2013, 10:38 PM
adam!'s Avatar
adam! adam! is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: chattanooga, tn
Posts: 185
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Great thread, Bermuda. I find that there must be a balance between gear knowledge and gear usage. With the advent of the internet, the amount of information available to us is greater than ever before. This is a good thing. However, without priorities of what matters most in a product, it is easy to get caught up in the hype. It can be debilitating when it gets to the point of obsessing over requiring the finest details in an instrument. The gear is important, but where are our priorities?

I find that I need the gear to perform well first - that is, produces the sound I want, how it holds tuning, strong hardware, etc. - and have looks and some of the "scientifically-advanced" or "over-engineered" marketing ploys some companies use follow afterward. There was an epic thread here by a kid named "Joey" where he sought to find his perfect kit... and a 4" wide front hoop was a requirement. At some point, we have to recognize whether we are in the "players" realm of drumming or the "museum" admiring realm of drums.

I think what is lost sometimes in gear obsession is practice time! It is more the indian than the arrow...
__________________
Yamaha Ludwig Paiste
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 10-30-2013, 10:43 PM
Catharticus Rex Catharticus Rex is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

I think deciding between good or bad is a matter of application. If the information about an instrument is used as a substitute for the visceral and tactile response to it, then in my opinion, the drummer(s) in question are not making a musical decision, but rather an intellectual one. The value of an instrument lies in its ability to produce a desirable musical tone. Other attributes like versatility and construction quality matter too, especially if you're playing it a lot, but ultimately I think sound has to be priority one.
Reply With Quote
  #61  
Old 10-31-2013, 03:50 PM
whiteknightx's Avatar
whiteknightx whiteknightx is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 593
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Hmmm.....I dont know White. Why not just play the mid range kits and chose the one you like the sound, first, and looks of, second. You really do not need to know what the bearing edge angles and shell construction are. Unless we are going to rule out a kit that we love the sound of because it is made from Birch instead of Maple, or has 30D bearing edges and we simply have to have 45D.

A good friend of mine has a vintage Gretsch, and it sounds fabulous. It has uneven bearing edges, out of round shells, out of round hoops that are far from flat, and.....It sounds fabulous.
Actually your point is the one I was trying to make. Perhaps I didn't word it well.
I was really just trying to point out that with so much information out there, it makes it harder to choose, and it's easy to get hung up on minute details between kits that really have no effect on the sound, or enjoyment you'll get out of them.

How many new threads get started per day with somebody asking for recommendations between this cymbal or that cymbal, this pedal or that, what kit should I buy? The answer is almost universally - try them and see what you like better.
__________________
Ayotte Drumsmith 6 pc, Sabian HHX Evolution cymbals
Yamaha DTX950K
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 10-31-2013, 03:58 PM
The Old Hyde
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Having all the knowledge before a purchase can work both ways. Going by what the best snare should be on paper would have kept me from buying my Ludwig Supralite.
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 11-01-2013, 07:40 AM
vitaflo's Avatar
vitaflo vitaflo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 91
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
That's what I'm talking about. I think knowing things is basically good, but there comes a point where too much information, not correctly prioritized, can get in the way of what should be a simple decision when purchasing gear: does it sound good, and/or does it serve the intended purpose.

A certain amount of informed research is always a good idea, but placing too much emphasis on specs, or sometimes a company's mission statement, clouds one's ability to hit a drum or cymbal with a stick, or pick up and examine a piece of hardware, and make a decision.

Bermuda
There is a wonderful book on this topic called The Paradox of Choice. The basic gist is that more choice is actually much worse for people because the time invested in research to pick the "right" choice is an asset that has value (time) that requires a larger "payback" (happiness) from the item purchased in order for the purchaser to feel satisfied.

Because happiness gained from any purchase has a limit and because happiness always wanes and soon becomes contentment, the more research and time you spend to make your decision, the less overall satisfaction you tend to have with a product. This is exacerbated by the amount of other choices and the opportunity costs they present.

This is definitely why listening with your ear and making a determination is always better. You are self-limiting the number of available options based on sound only, making it much easier to make a decision, and are much more likely to be satisfied long term with it. This of course assumes you can ignore all of the other specs that would otherwise cloud your judgement.
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 11-02-2013, 05:17 AM
Mikecore's Avatar
Mikecore Mikecore is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Gladville McHappyland
Posts: 637
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
(I would add, check out the hardware and see if you like how everything clamps together.)

.
This.

Most drum companies make excellent drums, so to me it comes down to how easy it is to tech my own gear, since I do all of the setup and teardown at the gig. Much as we like to play our drums, the reality is that most of us have to handle all of the "tinkertoy" bits whenever we take the little darlings out, and I certainly don't want to deal with hardware systems that may seem innovative on the company's brochure, but turn out to be a pain on the riser.

Similarly, paying attention to what my favorite drum maker does to get those drums dialed in allowed me to replace a 22" bass drum with an 18" without really sacrificing the sound of it. A real treat when loading them in and out.
__________________
My Kit
My Other Kit
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 11-02-2013, 07:53 PM
Living Dead Drummer's Avatar
Living Dead Drummer Living Dead Drummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,971
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Hmmmmm....

I pride myself on being a gear head with drums. I never understood when people remained uneducated about the tools of their craft.
I worked on-and-off in music stores the last decade and one thing that ALWAYS bugged me was when people would come in asking for something and have no clue as to what they are talking about.
It would be almost twice a week someone would come and ask me for drumheads, and when I asked them what size they needed I get "oh, I don't know".... How do you not know the side of your drums?!?!?! AHHH!!!

I can understand taking a blind test on a drum or cymbal and just going with your ears, but once you made your selection I would take the time to learn WHY I liked said cymbal or drum. What about it's manufacture is it that made it so pleasing to my ears.
__________________
~Nicholas Mason
#LivingDeadDrummer
livingdeaddrummer.com
YouTube
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 11-03-2013, 08:23 AM
Bobrush Bobrush is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 186
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaflo View Post
...
This is definitely why listening with your ear and making a determination is always better. You are self-limiting the number of available options based on sound only, making it much easier to make a decision, and are much more likely to be satisfied long term with it. This of course assumes you can ignore all of the other specs that would otherwise cloud your judgement.
This also assumes that you easily have the opportunity to listen to various choices, side-by-side in the same environment, at the same time. This can often be a challenge for a lot of us. Which is why so many of us go to internet forums to ask opinions of colleagues, who have a vast collective experience. It may not be ideal, but sometimes it is the best we can do. Also, it is usually better than we could have done 40 years ago.
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 11-03-2013, 08:37 AM
mikel mikel is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Midlands. England.
Posts: 2,266
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by masonni View Post
Hmmmmm....

I pride myself on being a gear head with drums. I never understood when people remained uneducated about the tools of their craft.
I worked on-and-off in music stores the last decade and one thing that ALWAYS bugged me was when people would come in asking for something and have no clue as to what they are talking about.
It would be almost twice a week someone would come and ask me for drumheads, and when I asked them what size they needed I get "oh, I don't know".... How do you not know the side of your drums?!?!?! AHHH!!!

I can understand taking a blind test on a drum or cymbal and just going with your ears, but once you made your selection I would take the time to learn WHY I liked said cymbal or drum. What about it's manufacture is it that made it so pleasing to my ears.
You worked in a music store and people regularly came in who had no idea what size there drums were??? I would assume they were buying heads for a family member, I find it hard to believe that a drummer would not be aware of there drum sizes.. Also, I love my current cymbal setup but I dont need to know the Brass/Bronze content or lathing process to know why. They sound great, to me, thats all I need to know.
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 11-03-2013, 12:09 PM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20,836
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motleyh View Post
Fantastic thread. Thanks for raising the question, Berm.

I get a pretty steady stream of inquiries from people interested in having a drum made, and I value having discussion and planning together with my clients. A certain portion of these inquiries are from people who will send me a set of detailed specs and ask for feedback on their thinking, and when that happens my first response is usually to steer the dialogue back to what character they want the drum to have and how they're going to use it (music style, playing style, playing situations). It's great to be aware of the specs but, unless you understand them in a good deal of depth, that knowledge may not result in the sound and playability you're really after. For all the discussion I see in forums, videos, publications, etc., there's very little on some of the details that really make a difference. And there's just as little on how all these specs work or don't work in combination -- it's possible for one factor to cancel out the benefits of another. And, unfortunately, there are not always good guides to separating misleading, irrelevant, or even false information from the information that's valid. People like to say that what they personally have or use or know of is the best, be it cars or computers or drums, but it's not always the objective reality.

I would put drum buyers in three categories as regards informed shopping. First, there are the players who just want to see the end result and move on to musicianship and technique. They don't care about the specs other than out of curiosity; it's mostly about the sound and feel, and about usability (tuning, adjustments, etc.). Second, there are those who pursue quality, usually because it gives them confidence in their instrument and in their purchase decision. These folks tend to be brand-conscious, feature-conscious and materials-conscious; they want to know they're using good gear, whether or not they actually need to call on all of its capabilities. And third, there are the collectors, buyers who are focused on appearance, rarity, prestige, or the completeness of their collection.

I think all three groups are good buyers with valid interests, but for different reasons, and I like working with all three. But in the forums and elsewhere, the lines get crossed and sometimes a guy who normally takes an "I'll know it when I hear it" approach gets caught up in a "what kind of edges" discussion. I keep remembering watching a top-rank pro artist at a drum show trying out a stave drum -- the more the builder (not me) tried to explain stave construction to him, the more glazed-over his expression got. Yes, it can be too much information and it can become a turn-off. Yes, it's possible to lose sight of why we play drums if we're deluged by specifications and theories. Call it over-education if you want -- it's a forest-and-trees situation, a distraction to our focus, a redirection of our path.

But it really depends on the individual and what he or she enjoys about drums. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. I would suggest only two cautions: One, a little knowledge can be counterproductive. Unless you know and understand these details in depth they may not get what you really want out of the drum, so maybe that shouldn't be the only basis of your buying decisions. And two, don't lose sight of why you love drums; if it's for the joy of playing, make sure that's where your attention is focused. Stay on your path.
Yet another balanced & insightful post Jeff :) I'd especially like to pick up & highlight Jeff's point about how features/specs relate to each other. I'm constantly chirping on about the same thing - the need for the instrument design to be considered as a whole, not just a collection of spec's, that in someone's theory, should equate to the desired characteristics.

Nowhere are the downsides of too much knowledge but too little experience more frequently displayed than in the custom building world. I'm sure Jeff has the same experiences. The guy who's fixed on his requirements because he's/she's convinced they're right, & will trawl the builders until they find someone who'll say yes. I've lost count of the number of builds we've turned down on that basis, simply because we know it's going to sound poor, & ultimately, it has our name on it. It's one of the reasons we moved to defined ranges.
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 11-03-2013, 12:53 PM
whiteknightx's Avatar
whiteknightx whiteknightx is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 593
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobrush View Post
This also assumes that you easily have the opportunity to listen to various choices, side-by-side in the same environment, at the same time. This can often be a challenge for a lot of us. Which is why so many of us go to internet forums to ask opinions of colleagues, who have a vast collective experience. It may not be ideal, but sometimes it is the best we can do. Also, it is usually better than we could have done 40 years ago.
This is very true. I live outside Toronto, and we have lots of decent music stores around town. Testing out a snare or a cymbal is easy to do.
Typically the drum department is some afterthought tucked in the back, with 10 kits stacked on the wall, and only one kit on the floor. And don't even think about sitting at it.

To A-B different drum kits you often can see one of them at this shop, and then you'd have to drive across the city to see another kit you like. (not that you'll be able to set it up.)

And since they'll have the stock heads on, and probably never tuned since they left the factory, I'm not sure how much you'll get out of playing them anyways.
__________________
Ayotte Drumsmith 6 pc, Sabian HHX Evolution cymbals
Yamaha DTX950K
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 11-03-2013, 12:57 PM
dmacc dmacc is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,575
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motleyh View Post
.... First, there are the players who just want to see the end result and move on to musicianship and technique. They don't care about the specs other than out of curiosity; it's mostly about the sound and feel, and about usability (tuning, adjustments, etc.).....
This best describes me. At the end of the day it needs to fit the sound and feel of what I'm after. If it doesn't - no matter how well it's constructed - is totally irrelevant to me.

About 3 weeks ago I played a $1600. snare drum that I wouldn't pay $200. for. Not that it's not an amazing drum to someone else - just does nothing for me. The builder is a highly well known and respected individual. I'm not going to start slamming someone saying it's terrible - it's just not for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Yet another balanced & insightful post Jeff :) I'd especially like to pick up & highlight Jeff's point about how features/specs relate to each other. I'm constantly chirping on about the same thing - the need for the instrument design to be considered as a whole, not just a collection of spec's, that in someone's theory, should equate to the desired characteristics.

Nowhere are the downsides of too much knowledge but too little experience more frequently displayed than in the custom building world. I'm sure Jeff has the same experiences. The guy who's fixed on his requirements because he's/she's convinced they're right, & will trawl the builders until they find someone who'll say yes. I've lost count of the number of builds we've turned down on that basis, simply because we know it's going to sound poor, & ultimately, it has our name on it. It's one of the reasons we moved to defined ranges.
I happen to be the continual benefactor from both you and Jeff's postings in this forum.
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 11-03-2013, 01:08 PM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20,836
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteknightx View Post
This is very true. I live outside Toronto, and we have lots of decent music stores around town. Testing out a snare or a cymbal is easy to do.
Typically the drum department is some afterthought tucked in the back, with 10 kits stacked on the wall, and only one kit on the floor. And don't even think about sitting at it.

To A-B different drum kits you often can see one of them at this shop, and then you'd have to drive across the city to see another kit you like. (not that you'll be able to set it up.)

And since they'll have the stock heads on, and probably never tuned since they left the factory, I'm not sure how much you'll get out of playing them anyways.
& this is why we go to great lengths to provide honest audio capture videos. Yes, not ideal, but what is? A bricks & mortar store with competitive pricing, very knowledgeable staff, a selection of drums from just about every relevant manufacturer across all ranges, facility to A - B any selection you want - good luck with finding that, & if you're in one of the few locations globally that's near such a drum heaven, then great. The reality for many is about as far removed from that as you can imagine, so a combination of sources is the next best thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacc View Post
This best describes me. At the end of the day it needs to fit the sound and feel of what I'm after. If it doesn't - no matter how well it's constructed - is totally irrelevant to me.

About 3 weeks ago I played a $1600. snare drum that I wouldn't pay $200. for. Not that it's not an amazing drum to someone else - just does nothing for me. The builder is a highly well known and respected individual. I'm not going to start slamming someone saying it's terrible - it's just not for me.
Nailed it! The value is in the experience, not the drum.

BTW, thanks for the kind words re: myself & Jeff :)
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 11-03-2013, 06:28 PM
bermuda's Avatar
bermuda bermuda is offline
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,127
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by masonni View Post
I pride myself on being a gear head with drums. I never understood when people remained uneducated about the tools of their craft.
Un-educated, no, I don't consider that a good thing. For example, an experienced drummer not knowing the basic sonic difference between 1-ply and 2-ply heads, is under-educated. But a drummer who has figured out that a 2-ply 10-over-7mil combo with a vented sound ring and reverse dot would achieve the optimum sound, is over-educated (and probably wrong.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaflo View Post
There is a wonderful book on this topic called The Paradox of Choice. The basic gist is that more choice is actually much worse for people because the time invested in research to pick the "right" choice is an asset that has value (time) that requires a larger "payback" (happiness) from the item purchased in order for the purchaser to feel satisfied.
That sounds like it applies somewhat. Whether the purchaser actually factors-in their effort varies of course, but an important purcashing decision is still important. But it's not only the time invested, it's often how the buyer attempts to apply the knowledge they have garnered, and sometimes, too much knowledge gets in the way of what would otherwise be a gut - and more correct - decision about the item.

But it occurs to me that being over-educated shouldn't be confused with normal due diligence and a little (or a lot of) research. When I recently decided to get a new vehicle, there were a number of questions that I needed answered before choosing a style, a brand, the options, and even the year*. I did research both from a specification standpoint, to consumer reviews, to asking in a few forums about fellow drummers' experiences, to repeat test-drives and dealer consultations, to verifying state registration and title fees, and legitimacy and limits on dealer fees. But, it's not like I needed a course in automotive theory or business economics in order to arrive at the decisions I did, Being too hung-up on specs or worrying too much about the future of petroleum fuels, would probably get in the way of me choosing a new vehicle at all. Instead, I think I became appropriately-educated about vehicles, at least as they apply to my need to move drums and people in Southern California. And now, I don't think about what I've learned at all... I just drive the car.

And with gear, there are certain requirements I have with regard to use, but in the end, I just play.

Bermuda


* Obviously, a vehicle purchase involves more investment and anticipated longevity than drum products do.

Last edited by bermuda; 11-03-2013 at 06:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 11-03-2013, 07:00 PM
MrInsanePolack's Avatar
MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Arkansas, USA
Posts: 2,631
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Un-educated, no, I don't consider that a good thing. For example, an experienced drummer not knowing the basic sonic difference between 1-ply and 2-ply heads, is under-educated. But a drummer who has figured out that a 2-ply 10-over-7mil combo with a vented sound ring and reverse dot would achieve the optimum sound, is over-educated (and probably wrong.)
I disagree. After 22 years of playing, I know what heads I like and how to tune them to make them sound good and fit my needs, but I don't know anything about their construction, materials, thicknesses, etc., nor do I really care. It isn't that important, because I have done the trial and error over the years and know what works for me. Does that make me under-educated or a poor drummer? No, it does not. It also does not make me uninformed, because the information I NEED has been sorted out over the years.

I am sure we would all be surprised at what "professionals" in any field don't know that we think they should. I'm sure there are NASCAR drivers who don't know anything about mechanics, athletes who know nothing about the equipment they use, construction workers who couldn't tell you how a hammer drill works. Yet all of these folks can do their jobs and do them well with the tools they are given. It isn't about being over or under educated, it's about being able to do what you need with what you have got, and determining over time what works and what doesn't. The amount of education involved with gear is secondary, unless gear is the field you want to go in to.
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 11-03-2013, 07:21 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 9,445
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikel View Post
You worked in a music store and people regularly came in who had no idea what size there drums were??? I would assume they were buying heads for a family member, I find it hard to believe that a drummer would not be aware of there drum sizes..
He's not kidding.

I worked in music stores for 8+ years.

It happens all the time.
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 11-03-2013, 08:33 PM
mikel mikel is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Midlands. England.
Posts: 2,266
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
He's not kidding.

I worked in music stores for 8+ years.

It happens all the time.
I was not questioning the validity of the post, I was just amazed. But it is surely the extreme, a bit like someone saying smoking is not bad for you cos there granny smoked 60 a day and lived to be 99. There is always an exception to the rule. I dont think knowing what size your drums are is over educated. You need to know so you can replace the heads, Its a basic, a need to know.
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 11-04-2013, 08:35 AM
lsits's Avatar
lsits lsits is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 1,150
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

I think that anyone making a major purchase (and I consider a drum kit a major purchase) needs to make a list of what priorities are most important and then do the research to determine what products meet those priorities. For me the priorities were:

1. Cost. The first thing I did was sit down and figure out just what I needed to buy. I already had a kit and the hardware (stands, pedals, etc) were not really necessary. I also didn't need cymbals, since I already had good quality ones (Zildjian A's). In my opinion, setting a budget should be the highest priority in the decision-making process.

2. Quality. Using the cost parameter, I narrowed my choice to a few of the major brands. Tama, Gretsch, Pearl, Ludwig, and Yamaha. Maybe I missed a few.

3. Looks. I decided early on that I wanted a nice understated finish. My desire was to have a kit that wouldn't look out of place no matter what kind of gig it was in.

4. Reputation. A company that has a reputation of building a quality product and that has good customer service is very important to me. This is where I hit up the gear sites and the forums to see what was being said. (This was my first introduction to Drummerworld. Thanks for the info guys.)

I didn't get caught up in the sizes, materials, bearing edges, configurations, construction techniques, and the like. I didn't even try out the different models. My experience had taught me that a kit set up in Guitar Center or Sam Ash would not have the heads that I preferred, wouldn't have been tuned the way I like, and would not be in an environment I would likely be playing them in. I basically narrowed it down to two kits based on the criteria listed above and then flipped a coin. I'm pleased with my decision. No second guessing.
__________________
I started with nothing and still have most of it left.
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 11-04-2013, 08:41 AM
lsits's Avatar
lsits lsits is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 1,150
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

I think that anyone making a major purchase (and I consider a drum kit a major purchase) needs to make a list of what priorities are most important and then do the research to determine what products meet those priorities. For me the priorities were:

1. Cost. The first thing I did was sit down and figure out just what I needed to buy. I already had a kit and the hardware (stands, pedals, etc) were not really necessary. I also didn't need cymbals, since I already had good quality ones (Zildjian A's).

2. Quality. Using the cost parameter, I narrowed my choice to a few of the major brands. Tama, Gretsch, Pearl, Ludwig, and Yamaha. Maybe I missed a few.

3. Looks. I decided early on that I wanted a nice understated finish. My desire was to have a kit that wouldn't look out of place no matter what kind of gig it was in.

4. Reputation. A company that has a reputation of building a quality product and that good customer service is very important to me. This is where I hit up the gear sites and the forums to see what was being said. (This was my first introduction to Drummerworld. Thanks for the info guys.)

I didn't get caught up in the sizes, materials, bearing edges, configurations, construction techniques, and the like. I didn't even try out the different models. My experience had taught me that a kit set up in Guitar Center or Sam Ash would not have the heads that I preferred, wouldn't have been tuned the way I like, and would not be in an environment I would likely be playing them in. I basically narrowed it down to two kits based on the criteria listed above and then flipped a coin. I'm pleased with my decision. No second guessing.
__________________
I started with nothing and still have most of it left.
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 11-04-2013, 09:10 PM
Living Dead Drummer's Avatar
Living Dead Drummer Living Dead Drummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,971
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikel View Post
I was not questioning the validity of the post, I was just amazed. But it is surely the extreme, a bit like someone saying smoking is not bad for you cos there granny smoked 60 a day and lived to be 99. There is always an exception to the rule. I dont think knowing what size your drums are is over educated. You need to know so you can replace the heads, Its a basic, a need to know.
Right! Basic!!!
It was something that drove me crazy. Yes, if someone was buys heads as a gift or something, I get it. I don't expect my girlfriend to know what size my drums are. But if it's YOUR drums, and you didn't start playing 2 days ago, you should know your gear.
__________________
~Nicholas Mason
#LivingDeadDrummer
livingdeaddrummer.com
YouTube
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 11-05-2013, 05:48 PM
uniongoon's Avatar
uniongoon uniongoon is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: caesarea over looking the lake southern ontario
Posts: 1,370
Default Re: Is being over-educated about gear good, or bad?

What I hate about this site, by the time I get to a thread it is so saturated it is almost futile trying to add an opinion. I myself have always been a gear head, and now I build I find I try to learn more about the raw material itself as opposed to the drum itself. I find a guy with a little bit of knowledge who thinks he has all there is to know is the annoying situation. myself, I am continually learning, there are certain things I am certain about and a lot of things I have a good foundation, but I am always open to be corrected or change my view. I do not know it all. I feel the answer to this thread is do you or I have the ability to honestly assess what our level of knowledge is, and is it solid enough to confidently share with others as fact or assumption.
__________________
See my Signia's
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=73869
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 05:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com