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  #1  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:59 PM
wesporter wesporter is offline
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Default Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

Greetings,
I have historically been a very "authoritative" player. Not necessarily loud all the time, but I definately subscribe to the "driving the bus" mentality when behind the kit with a band. When playing rock, blues, hip hop, country or pretty much any style of music that has a backbeat, I pretty much exclussively play rimshots on the back beats. I do it pretty much unconscously nowadays, and it may have stemmed from playing with lower par musicians back in the day when I had to really beat that backbeat into the heads of other musicians to keep everyone together and in time. It has occured to me recently to maybe look more conscously at this, whether or not I should be doing that, etc... I typically do it because I like the volume I get out of the snare with less energy. When playing a normal fortissimo stroke it just doesn't seem to have the "umph" I'm looking for. However I wonder if maybe this is just in my head, or maybe I might get a better sound turning the stick around maybe and playing a normal stroke with the butt of the stick? Looking to see what my fellow drummers thoughts are on this issue. What do you guys do? Do any of you know of examples of pro drummers who do one or the other? etc....
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I only recently started playing rimshots on every backbeat. It was studying with Jim Riley that really cemented the idea that I needed to do this. I still occasionally flub a rimshot. I marvel at players who nail them perfect from the very first stroke. Amazing.

While I like the sound of a good rimshot - it cuts through the music much better, I think - I'm not crazy about playing at peak volume all the time. Rimshots can be played at lower dynamic levels, too, and if I'm playing rock or dance music, I don't play them as loud as I can on every backbeat. I prefer to leave some headroom to accent during fills, etc.

In some music, I still don't think the sound of a rimshot is necessarily the best. For example, playing 70s music where the snare has a really fat, lower-pitched sound - think Eagles songs - I don't think they fit.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:25 PM
wesporter wesporter is offline
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I was thinking the same thing about 70's songs. My band does a couple and tis true that the sound is not really what seems appropriate. Actually same goes for a lot of 80's songs we do too.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:32 PM
Giltkitguy Giltkitguy is offline
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I got into that habit when I was young, mostly out of a need/desire to have my snare drum cut through the din of the loud band. This was before we ever had the opportunity to mic the drums.Once I was consistently being mic'd, I eventually broke the habit by tilting my snare toward me. Now I can reserve rim shots for accents and dynamic effect, plus you can hear the character of the snare drum better. Playing rims shots with every hit robs you of the upper part of the available dynamic range in your playing IMO. It's like having your amp turned to 11 all the time. Where do go from there? 12?? Also, in the band I'm in,I use my toms a lot for ride type feels, and love how doing rim shots on the toms gives a whole bunch of other sounds to use on the toms.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

Did it a lot with some organ groups way back when. At the right time, it's just what's needed.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:54 PM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

My backbeats are primarily rimshot-based but what you say about dynamic rimshots is absolutely true. It's a real art to be able to play them with different tones and variations, like any stroke on a drum. I try and use mine tastefully but I do get carried away from time to time.
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I think I would get annoyed listening to a rim clank on every back beat. Glad I haven't heard this in a while. A rim shot sounds better to me as an accent stroke.
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  #8  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

O how art loveth thy rimshoteths...
.
Rule#1 Thou rimshoteth does not necessarily meaneth loud....

Feather touch rimshots on an unmuffled snare drum sound orgasmic....those overtones....oh dear....

There's hundreds of different tones you can get just by varying where your tip hits the head.

Yes rimshots on the back beats, ftw, all the way, no brainer, no second guessing. It's easier to talk about the songs I don't use rimshots on the back beat. Mainly I use it purely for the shell tone, that attack. People say I have a nice sounding snare, but really it's the tone I pull from it. Notes sound accented with no extra velocity when you move to the rim, conserves energy. Having the control to place rimshot anywhere you want, at just the right dynamic and tip placement... is an essential skill for a drummer. It's a widely expressive sound. I don't know How Karl Crafton plays that one snare he has with those clips that hold the rim down, they would cramp my style for sure.

Frankly, what I don't understand are the ones who don't use rim (at the appropriate dynamic of course) for the backbeat. It just pops better IMO. A well placed, great sounding, 100% consistent sounding rimshot is one of the finer skills of drumming.
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I can't tell you how many times i've had people come up at a gig and ask how i get my snare to sound so high and tight......"Rimshot my brother."
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:44 PM
wesporter wesporter is offline
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I saw a band called "Exile" play at a little town street fair last week. They were a semi big country band back in the 80's, had like one big hit I think. However, the drummer I noticed was a very bare-bones kinda playing. Kinda a Don Henley vibe, real poker faced, didn't do much but what he did do was very deliberate and right in the pocket. He played rim shots on every backbeat but they were at a fairly low dynamic level, barely lifting the stick off the head. But, they sounded great. Had a nice crack but wasn't overpowering. I was impressed and this was partially what made me start thinking about my own backbeat stroke.
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2012, 11:58 PM
Longfuse Longfuse is offline
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I'm terrible at playing rimshots. I grew up in the 1970s and that drum sound has always stuck with me.

I love the way swing and late-period dixie drummers would sometimes rim-shot only the tip of the stick. Very subtle, but still cuts through.
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

Rimshot backbeats almost constantly, although not at ear splitting volumes. Funny thing is that it seems more appropriate live than recording. Most recordings rarely have rimshots. But if you don't in a room, the backbeat gets lost in the mud. It must be that you can process a recorded snare and fit things into the mix. And a rimshot sticks out too much. But live, a fat snare sound mushes out and there is no distinction. A rimshot is a smaller sound that takes up less aural space, so it has more definition without needing more volume. If you tried to get a big fat snare to carry the same place in a live mix, you'd have to be smacking the snot out of it. Not sure if I'm making sense but it's hard to describe.
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:09 AM
McNeil Pro Drumming McNeil Pro Drumming is offline
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

For me, when it comes to deciding whether or not to use a rim shot it's less about how much volume I want and more about what sound I need to create in the particular musical situation I'm playing in. If you don't need a volume boost but do need the sound characteristics of the rim shot, you can still use it and just hold back the power a bit. The "rim shot" gives you a more full thick sound (because you get the sound of the snares, the attack and frequencies that resonate from the top head and I believe it also excites the drum shell as well). Playing the tip of the stick on the drum head without the rim simply gives you a different sound. There is a significant range of overlap between the dynamic ranges of the "rim shot" and the "tip of stick on drum head" methods, but at the end of the day you need to use the "tip of stick on drum head" method to reach the snare drums lowest dynamic range and you need to use the rim shot to reach the snare drums highest dynamic range. Other things that affect this would the type of snare drum and the type of rims you have and also how close you hit to the center of the drum with the tip of the stick (whether you include the rim not).

Anyways, my suggestion is to use your technique to control the volume (for the most part) and decide whether to use a rim shot or not based on what sound characteristics you need in each musical siuation (on a case by case basis). In any case, your decision to make a conscious choice about using a rim shot or not is the right way to go! Cheers
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:15 AM
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:04 AM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Feather touch rimshots on an unmuffled snare drum sound orgasmic....those overtones....oh dear....
I agree - one of my favourite sounds along with the tom rimshots jazz drummers play. Can't do either for nuts. I don't even know how to practice rimshots without driving everyone around me bonkers, including me.

I might practice quarters or a slow backbeat, going for quiet rimshots. Between that horrible, abrasive sound and the frequent lame mistake clicks I'm about ready for the funny farm after 30 secs to a minute. It's like someone constantly and slowly hammering a nail, occasionally missing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Longfuse View Post
I'm terrible at playing rimshots. I grew up in the 1970s and that drum sound has always stuck with me.

I love the way swing and late-period dixie drummers would sometimes rim-shot only the tip of the stick. Very subtle, but still cuts through.
+1 ... I've heard it called a ping shot. Not sure how common or correct that term is. I can't reliably play them either.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

Rimshots are totally automatic for me. I have done them for so long that I never even think about it. It doesn't matter what volume. To me, the snare just sounds better that way.
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  #16  
Old 10-09-2012, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I love using different rimshots for different songs, coaxing all the various sounds out of the drum... Or alternating between ghost notes and rimshots. Rimshots also sound killer with the snares off; I usually have a piccolo on my left with snares of for just that purpose.
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2012, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I used to play like that. I was going through sticks too quickly. So I stopped. Now I use rimshots as needed.
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  #18  
Old 10-09-2012, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

If I go see a rock band, and drummer isn't using rimshots on back beats, I get annoyed, because it generally lacks that "authoritative" vibe.

I've always been 100% rim shots in all my original bands.

I realize for certain dynamics or styles, rimshots aren't needed. When I was playing in small bars doing blues and R&b and such, I'd generally layoff the rim shots. But for a rock band, it's a requirement IMHO.
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  #19  
Old 10-09-2012, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I love using different rimshots for different songs, coaxing all the various sounds out of the drum... Or alternating between ghost notes and rimshots. Rimshots also sound killer with the snares off; I usually have a piccolo on my left with snares of for just that purpose.
Me too. If the music really demands it, I can rimshot backbeat a whole song and still mix it up pretty well, but otherwise I just pepper them in there where I feel they're appropriate.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:54 PM
Ariffy Ariffy is offline
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Default Re: Playing Rimshots On Backbeats

I've recently started doing this too. I prefer the sound and volume! :)
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