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  #1  
Old 05-25-2012, 04:31 AM
Austen Austen is offline
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Default Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Good day, people. I'm new here. This is my first post on this forum, so I'd like to say hello to everyone before asking my question.

Alrighty, so! I'm pretty new to drumming. I got a cheap kit about three months ago and I've been playing basically every day. I started on bass, then moved to guitar, now I'm learning drums. I'm teaching myself the same way I did with bass and guitar- hours of practice a day.

Now, I mentioned my kit was cheap. That means I paid $140 for it from an online ad. The toms sound really good for that price-- my friend who's playing Pearl masters was actually jealous of my floor tom. Haha. But... the snare sounds like crap. Now, I've been looking at a Piccolo snare. Mapex has a 13x3.5 and I absolutely LOVE its tone (and at $99, who wouldn't love its price?), but that's piccolo dimensions, isn't it? I play mostly rock and/or metal, and I haven't heard of guys using piccolos in those genres. I love the tone, but I'm not sure if it'll be audible or sound good while playing heavier music. I'm mainly a bassist, and with bass, a good tone on its own normally sounds horrid (if it's not totally inaudible) once an overdriven guitar starts going, and I'm not sure if snares will be the same. Like I said, I love this snare on its own, but I've never heard it in a mix. I've never heard a piccolo in any rock or metal, so sound clips would be great if possible.

I know the end decision is up to me, but I'd really like some opinions from real drummers before I make that decision.


Thanks for any and all help and opinions!
-Austen
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2012, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

As always, taste dictates mate. I never really liked my piccolo in a pure rock setting. Just not enough "bark"/bottom end/balls for my liking. But loved it in a funk/rock type thing I also had going on at the time. That said, there are guys who'll see it differently. There's a forum member here by the name of Keep It Simple and his piccolo sounded excellent in a rock setting and he used it for a good long while before opting to switch it out.

Piccolo's certainly aren't as common in a rock setting, but that doesn't mean that guys don't use them with great effect either. All in all, I favour a deeper snare for rock, but that's just me. If you wanted to play it "safe" I'd recommend a 14x5 or 14x6.5 snare.....but then again, if you really dig the piccolo sound, then there ain't nothing' wrong with that either.

Last edited by Pocket-full-of-gold; 09-26-2012 at 03:57 AM. Reason: An errant "N" makes all the difference.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:54 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Piccolo snares have never really been my cup of tea, but that's not to say it won't work.

Dave Lombardo has used (and maybe still does) a small Piccolo snare in Slayer. So if it can work in a top metal band, I don't see why it couldn't work for you.

The Chris Alder signature snare drum is 5.5 x12.

I'm sure there are some other examples of hard rock/metal guys playing piccolo snares as well.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

I used only a piccolo snare for 2 different rock bands I was in and whenever I jammed with friends from '07 to '10. Was a nice loud crack and definitely got quite a bit of attention at gigs.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

I agree that the piccolo has a nice crack but lacks "balls." A deeper drum can be tuned high and crisp but if you tune a piccolo low, it tends to flatten out. A 5" seems to be a nice compromise and even a 6.5 can have a sharp snap to it.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

I played in a couple of rock/metal bands in the late 90s. Our drummer had a piccolo snare, and I noticed from watching the other bands we were playing with that they were all the rage.

It's not whether or not it will work, but whether or not you will make it work. If you like the sound of it, play it and play it well...
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

I agree with Caddy. And the another question would be, "what's your definition of rock?" Obviously there are all kinds of rock music, and sometimes funky sneaks into rock. If you make it work, I'm sure you could use anything you want. I shoe-horn my drums into all kinds of styles and no one ever tells me I have the wrong equipment for any given gig. Except for other drummers.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:26 AM
Austen Austen is offline
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Thanks, guys! I think I'll go for it. Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:09 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Purely my opinion, I wouldn't do it, but then again, I hate the piccolo snare drum and will never own one. Eww yuck. I can't even play a 5" deep snare for more than 5 minutes, there's just not enough body there.

But hey, if it trips your trap....
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

I think the main thing to consider is - will it work well with your kick sound? Those two should complement each other, in a way that you desire. You can have them sound like brothers or you can have them sound like different species from different planets....
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  #11  
Old 05-25-2012, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Joe Morris uses one of our piccolo snare drums. It's a 13" x 4" bubinga stave with bubinga segmented hoops. Here's a totally dry recording of a quick jam Joe had with his bass player & guitarist. This is an honest recording, & I hope you agree, this drum is anything but "thin". Ok, not rock, but I'm sure you can "transpose" the sound :)

I've used piccolo drums in rock, & they work well for me, but that's the sound I wanted. If the material calls for a deep & low/loose sound, then a piccolo won't do it for you, no matter how well made it might be.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2012, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

The previous drummer in one of my band used a DW piccolo snare for many years. I'm not personally a fan of them, but he really made it work. Maybe he would have had an even better snare sound with a "proper" snare, but I can't point out any specific flaw in the sound he got from it.

It boils down to what you like. Piccolos can be great for that tight, short crack, but if you like fat backbeats you're probably better off with a deeper snare.
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  #13  
Old 05-25-2012, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I can't even play a 5" deep snare for more than 5 minutes, there's just not enough body there
You'll be getting a visit from the Acrolite Brotherhood ;-)
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kettles View Post
I think the main thing to consider is - will it work well with your kick sound?
I dare say this is the best advice so far in this thread.
I don't think it matters what music you're playing, what matters is that your kit sounds right as a whole. If the piccolo snare compliments your kick, go for it, and if it doesn't then it's possible that you can alter your kick sound by changing to a different type of beater, or even just changing or re-tuning the heads.
But like Kettles said, the way that you want the drums to complement each other is totally up to you.
A piccolo might not work straight up, but with some effort you could make it work.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

I used a Pearl 3x13 as my side snare for years.
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  #16  
Old 05-25-2012, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Joe Morris uses one of our piccolo snare drums. It's a 13" x 4" bubinga stave with bubinga segmented hoops. Here's a totally dry recording of a quick jam Joe had with his bass player & guitarist. This is an honest recording, & I hope you agree, this drum is anything but "thin". Ok, not rock, but I'm sure you can "transpose" the sound :)

I've used piccolo drums in rock, & they work well for me, but that's the sound I wanted. If the material calls for a deep & low/loose sound, then a piccolo won't do it for you, no matter how well made it might be.
That "little" drum sounds huge! I would have said it was a 14x5 from the sound it produces.

thatn said, the only thing i would be concerned about is if you play unmic'd- the projection isn't likely to be as good as with a bigger drum. If your usually mic'd up, there should be no problem.
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  #17  
Old 05-25-2012, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Most annoying trend of the 90s!! Everyone seemed to play one.:)
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  #18  
Old 05-25-2012, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

keep it simple, thanks for that clip. That sounds awesome! It's got way more balls than my current 5x14 snare. I have definitely decided I'm going for it.

And regarding my kick, I haven't even re-headed it since I got it, so I'll definitely change it up a bit and get new heads to make it work.

Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

A very dead, clicky sounding kick drum and a ear splitting pop was my sound for a couple years. The combination worked very well in live situations.
Glad to hear you're giving it a go. Maybe some audio from you sometime?
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  #20  
Old 05-26-2012, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Go for it.
If you're on the lookout for an inexpensive, smaller Mapex snare, I got one of these a couple weeks ago:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Mapex-St...82-i1822611.gc

Pretty impressed with it considering the price. Little niceties like plastic washers between the lug bolts and the rim, super shine with a nice looking chrome badge, nice sounds anywhere from trashy loose, to crackin' tight, with just a bit of ring to it that can be easily tamed.
Seems a lot of people don't like that size, and you'll pay a bit more for snare specific heads in that size, but for a low budget, decent sounding snare, it's about the best deal going right now.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
Go for it.
If you're on the lookout for an inexpensive, smaller Mapex snare, I got one of these a couple weeks ago:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Mapex-St...82-i1822611.gc

Pretty impressed with it considering the price. Little niceties like plastic washers between the lug bolts and the rim, super shine with a nice looking chrome badge, nice sounds anywhere from trashy loose, to crackin' tight, with just a bit of ring to it that can be easily tamed.
Seems a lot of people don't like that size, and you'll pay a bit more for snare specific heads in that size, but for a low budget, decent sounding snare, it's about the best deal going right now.
That link didn't work for me. Is this the same thing?
http://www.long-mcquade.com/products...teel_Snare.htm

^cause that's what I'm getting
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

I'm surprised that link doesn't work for you. Maybe it's US only?

Anyways, from what I understand, the one you're looking at is very similar to, but a step up from the one I got, and a step below the Black Panther line. It's an MPX.
From the reviews I've read, the only real difference is the shell thickness. If you could see the 2 pictures together, you can't really tell the difference, except for the badge. One says MPX and the other just says Mapex.

The Black Panther snares and MPX line are listed on the Mapex site, but not the one from Guitar Center. Maybe they have some kind of a deal together?
The one I got cost $59.99 (USD).
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

I think the most likely guess is that L&M got something wrong. They're notorious for having an awful website haha
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  #24  
Old 05-26-2012, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

An instrument is never a bad idea.

Its specific usage however....
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austen View Post
I think the most likely guess is that L&M got something wrong. They're notorious for having an awful website haha

I don't know. Guitar Center also lists the MPX - the one you're looking at for $149.99. (USD)

You probably can't see the link, but here it is anyways:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Mapex-MP...25-i1449328.gc
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austen View Post
keep it simple, thanks for that clip. That sounds awesome! It's got way more balls than my current 5x14 snare. I have definitely decided I'm going for it.
Thanks!
Thanks! It's a great sounding little snare, but please don't regard it as sounding typical for it's type. It's a pretty special instrument in the hands of a pretty special player (pictured below).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigiainw View Post
That "little" drum sounds huge! I would have said it was a 14x5 from the sound it produces.

thatn said, the only thing i would be concerned about is if you play unmic'd- the projection isn't likely to be as good as with a bigger drum. If your usually mic'd up, there should be no problem.
There really is no concern about projection with a piccolo in an acoustic application live. If anything, quite the reverse, they cut like crazy! Ok, you won't get near field depth projecting, but the crack will cut your guitarist's head off :)
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Just not enough "bark"/bottom end/balls for my liking. But loved it in a fuck/rock type thing I also had going on at the time.
Pocket, I'm not sure what to make of this lol
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Thanks! It's a great sounding little snare, but please don't regard it as sounding typical for it's type. It's a pretty special instrument in the hands of a pretty special player (pictured below).

There really is no concern about projection with a piccolo in an acoustic application live. If anything, quite the reverse, they cut like crazy! Ok, you won't get near field depth projecting, but the crack will cut your guitarist's head off :)


Well, you're talking a whole different universe of drum there, in the same general size category.
Gorgeous snare drum you posted there, and most likely worth every cent. Always good to see examples from more of the spectrum of what's available.
But someone like the OP, who paid $140 for a whole kit is probably unlikely to spring for something like that.
Maybe in the future.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

I've used a 14x4 Yamaha brass piccolo snare for a very long time, and it works great for my metal bands. I know Mike Van Dyne formerly of Arsis used/uses a drum of the same dimensions as well as Dirk Verbeuren of Soilwork. I love the cut, which I think for metal snares is way more important than body/depth. body and depth should come from the toms and kicks.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Get the drum. If you dig it's sound, it'll make you happy. If you're happy, you'll practice more. Figure $99, divided by 12 months, you're spending $8.25 a month. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me, for a little joy.
Worry about "will this snare work for metal?" when you're actually in a metal band. Otherwise, it's kinda putting "the cart before the horse". For some people, it will work. For others, it won't. You need to figure out if it'll work for you. And certainly, you'll practice before you gig, in this metal band .... so there'll be plenty of time to figure out if the drum will work, or not. And if you need to buy another snare, then that's what you do.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

My Benny Greb cuts well and has a deep sound. Its 13"x5.75" beech shelled snare. I have heard other snares smaller than what you would normally expect have a great sound.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Thanks! It's a great sounding little snare, but please don't regard it as sounding typical for it's type. It's a pretty special instrument in the hands of a pretty special player (pictured below).
If that snare is as thick as it looks, it must be the warmest piccolo snare made!

Is that maple?
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

i could never see myself using anything less than a 5X14" for a main snare, though i have a 7x12 on the side as an auxiliary snare.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

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If that snare is as thick as it looks, it must be the warmest piccolo snare made!

Is that maple?
No Otto, it's mostly bubinga but with maple highlights. Just for future reference, a thick shell is usually the opposite of warm. Stave shells do buck the trend however, but only to a degree. If that drum had a ply shell of the same thickness, it would be very bright indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
Well, you're talking a whole different universe of drum there, in the same general size category.
Gorgeous snare drum you posted there, and most likely worth every cent. Always good to see examples from more of the spectrum of what's available.
But someone like the OP, who paid $140 for a whole kit is probably unlikely to spring for something like that.
Maybe in the future.
I completely agree, & that's why I wanted to make it very clear that this drum is an exception. I put it up as an example of what can be achieved with a very shallow snare shell. Rather than going with the OP's specific situation, I was responding more to the thread title.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Great bit of theory there! Thanks!

My only experience with a thick shelled snare really seemed to send an even round set of frequencies next to some of the thinner shelled snares I've played...(what I tend to equate to the idea of 'warm')

Never tried a staved design...

Thanks for that...you got me thinking!
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Anyways - funny story (or not), about that Mapex picollo snare. I gave it a try for a bit, and really liked it on its own. The size is great, the sound is great, but the volume seemed a bit low.
So I traded it in on a Ludwig 14x5. No sooner was that little snare gone and I started to miss its good points.

So I bought it back again - ha ha. Lost a little bit of money on that deal, but I think it's worth it.

Last edited by wildbill; 09-26-2012 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

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Is that a new type of rock? I haven't heard of it before - ha ha.
Ah, the perils of the elusive N. Although in the course of general conversation in my circles, the word can be heard frequently. It stands to reason that the Freudian slip was bound to happen at some stage.

I'd better fix that so as to save some poor unsuspecting Quaker from the shock:-)
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

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...I'd better fix that so as to save some poor unsuspecting Quaker from the shock:-)


I helped you fix it.


The Quakers are safe now - LOL.
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  #39  
Old 09-26-2012, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

Swap your snare for your bass drum and put a kick on it, and put a giant snappy on your bass drum now snare and get an extra low snare stand to hold your now 80's-arenafied snare. It'll be AWESOME.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Piccolo snares for rock. Bad idea?

You said you like the tone so there's is your answer, what other people think doesn't matter, It's up to you to make it work in a rock environment. I use a Sonor Lite piccalo and play in a Black Metal band and an old school hardcore band and it works because I make it work.
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