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  #1  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:20 AM
DSCRAPRE
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Default Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

Basically, I'm kinda short on musical outlets in my neck of the woods so it looks like my first chance at any actual band involvement is going to be with an acoustic folk group some of my friends are starting. Now, while not being necessarily my dream gig, I still think that this can be a fun and valuable experience.

However, I'm not really "conditioned' for this sort of playing considering that up to this point most of my attention has been on Rock, Electric Blues, and Hip Hop styles. So, I have two questions:

1) What equipment should I bring?

2) What skills should I try to fine tune?

Thank you all.
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:35 AM
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Wavelength Wavelength is offline
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

Sticks, brushes, mallets and rods. Take your regular kit, and tune the drums to sing clearly. Explore the unconventional ways of creating sounds and grooves. Listen to a lot of folk music to get the gist of it, and listen to a lot of different "world" styles to get drumming inspiration.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:11 AM
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barryabko barryabko is offline
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

I often play with folk / acoustic groups (even though my main style is rock and pop). If you have a kit that uses drums that are on the smaller size and cymbals that are lighter and thinner you should be in relatively good shape. I would suggest using brushes and possibly Cool Rods (thinner). Heavier rods (Hot Rods) or sticks will probably be too much. Try to keep your volume fairly low most of the time. Many folk players are not used to drums being part of the mix so try to blend in more than step out.

The key will be to listen closely to the other players and where the song leads and what it wants. Hold back on too many fills or accents. Subtlty will be very important.

Have Fun!

Barry
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:06 AM
toddbishop toddbishop is online now
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

I don't think you need to do a lot of preparation- the styles are straightforward and you can learn them as you do them- all the various two beats, train beats, country two, etc. You could find out what songs they plan on doing and listen to them in advance- to hear the feel and catch any odd phrase lengths, of which there will be many. Those acoustic instruments are several orders of magnitude softer than slamming funk drums, so be extremely conscious of your volume. You want to be felt more than heard, until they ask you for more.

Gearwise, you could just start with a snare drum and some brushes. Maybe a bass drum. Or you could try building one of these type of rigs. You do have a lot latitude for funky equipment, so you might as well have some fun with it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:41 PM
jkevn jkevn is offline
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

THIS...is how you do folk/bluegrass on drums...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS0P7w4YCDI
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:00 PM
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Bruce M. Thomson Bruce M. Thomson is offline
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

"] have also played with folk and country types and have enjoyed it very much, basically what has been written already is good advice, rods and brushes, maybe try out the Vic Firth Tala Wands, I love them and they work great, I reckoned that you use the mahogany rather than bamboo. I could also recommend some e-rings on your drums, The only other thing I might add is that you keep it simple but tasteful and tune in to the bass player, he will probably be playing mostly quarter notes so you should be able to lock in with him. You don't really need to change your style of playing all that much as long as you’re playing within the music and the drums don't over power the rest of the group. I would imagine that they, as folk players probably have it down cold so after you get used to everything you will be able to get creative. Folk music can get fairly eclectic so you may end up having a wonderful experience.

All the best and good luck.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

Ok thanks guys.

I'm looking into my options for drums because I'm kinda doubting that I'll be able to use my Gretsch Catalina Club Rock (24"x18" kick) so that suitcase kit looks like an increasingly good idea. I'll just bring a lot of my hand percussion too. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks guys!
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:39 PM
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Deathmetalconga Deathmetalconga is offline
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSCRAPRE View Post
Ok thanks guys.

I'm looking into my options for drums because I'm kinda doubting that I'll be able to use my Gretsch Catalina Club Rock (24"x18" kick) so that suitcase kit looks like an increasingly good idea. I'll just bring a lot of my hand percussion too. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks guys!
1. Don't play very much
2. Don't play very loud
3. Play very, very simply

Personally. I think a cocktail kit would be a good fit but most drummers are terrified of them.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

There have been some truly amazing drummers doing extraordinary things with basically folk/acoustic acts. Steve Gadd with Paul Simon? I don't know his name but the guy with David Gray does really tasteful stuff. It can be what you make it. I don't think it has to be the quiet oomp-a oomp-a as much as you may think.
I do agree that fills aren't as important, but that doesn't mean you can't really work on developing some creative drumming. Good Luck!
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

Depends on the kind of folk, obviously indy folk rock is very different to western European folk.

The only broad statement I can really offer is try not to kill it with volume in an acoustic setting, it is very easy to over-power everything drumming acoustically.

You might want to leave any hypothetical 22" kick drums at home.
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  #11  
Old 02-17-2011, 08:11 PM
DSCRAPRE
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

Sorry to dig up the old thread but I just want to give an update.

I tried the suitcase drum kit idea and It's been working great. I brought it to our first jam last night and the band loved the way it looked and sounded. Plus, another very good guitarist heard what we were doing and asked me to play drums for him some time too. This all wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for you guys. Thank you all, This just reminds me why I love this forum so much.
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2011, 10:10 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is online now
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Default Re: Shoehorning Drums into Folk Music

Excellent! That suitcase will sound great with a mic on it, too. Always glad to hear about things working the way they're supposed to- you do something, and somebody asks you to do something else as a result. Have a lot of fun with it!
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