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
  #1  
Old 07-01-2017, 01:01 AM
Matt Bo Eder
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Drum Finishes

Maybe I'm a bit conservative (this is not a political discussion). But I'd like to think I'm a bit "out there" too, just not so much. And I wonder if our choices in drum finishes reflects this.

In my case, having owned at least 20 kits by now, I think mine began in the 70s, when mom and dad got me my first kit (so I can blame them). It was a gold sparkle Slingerland kit from the 50s. I beat about on that from the age of 9 til' about 13, and then moved into another Slingerland kit in solid black, which I played until I was 18. So I think my blah blah finishes really laid the groundwork to really break out on my own when I started to get my own gear.

I recall thinking how much I hated sparkles, and solid colors after that. When I went to my first set of Tama Superstars, they were in that super red cherry wood stain, and I played that for a few years into college. Then I found Yamaha Recording Custom and got it in the then-new Wine Red wrap, then I had a Gretsch USA in orange stain. Wanted to be retro wilder and found a Ludwig clear Vistalite in a pawn shop, and although considered a classic finish, also had a set of Slingerlands re-wrapped in black oyster pearl.

When I look back on all the kits I've had, I've noticed that the ones I play the most have been the ho-hum finished ones. I played a Ludwig 5-piece in Maple Cortex built in 1973 for a very long time. Ludwigs in thermagloss maple have visited with me twice now, and I love those (so much so that the current set is in the shop getting holes plugged).

Although I've been trying these way-out colors and finishes, I think I'm more comfortable on kits don't that draw attention to themselves. The old blue sparkle Ludwigs worked out very well and for a good long time too. Maybe deep down inside, I know I don't need to have a kit that draws attention to me - which is probably why I always gravitate back towards regular ol' sparkles and wood finishes.

When I had the Ludwigs in the blue/olive oyster, I liked those, but had this feeling more people were distracted by their love or hate for the finish rather than noticing if I was playing well. Before this one a DW kit in that zebra FinishPly did the same thing - not exactly something that looked subdued on a bandstand at a wedding reception. I'm beginning to notice that the white 'n black oyster of my current kit is doing the same kind of thing. Take the black out of the equation, then it's just normal white marine pearl, and nobody has a reaction, and maybe they can enjoy the music better if their eyes weren't drawn to the drums in the center of the stage.

I remember when Ron Tutt said he got some Vistalite kit for his days with Elvis, and he noticed that the drums were throwing the King off. Although Elvis never said so, Ron saw that and brought back his green sparkle Ludwigs to finish off the tour.

So I wonder (if only too late at my age), if finish choice plays a role in whether or not you gig steadily, or become a fixture for a particular group of people. I had just gotten into tuning down to Eagle's tonality and have become interested in blending in with the music being made. Maybe doing it visually has a lot to do with that too. What do you think?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-01-2017, 02:50 AM
Stroker's Avatar
Stroker Stroker is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Canada, We Stand on Guard for Thee
Posts: 1,677
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
Maybe I'm a bit conservative (this is not a political discussion). But I'd like to think I'm a bit "out there" too, just not so much. And I wonder if our choices in drum finishes reflects this.
Certainly, without a doubt, however, for those like myself who are as traditional and conservative as they come, finishes and colours mean not a thing, aside from pleasing my inner-self. I don't look at them as being an extension of the true me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
Although I've been trying these way-out colors and finishes, I think I'm more comfortable on kits don't that draw attention to themselves. The old blue sparkle Ludwigs worked out very well and for a good long time too. Maybe deep down inside, I know I don't need to have a kit that draws attention to me - which is probably why I always gravitate back towards regular ol' sparkles and wood finishes.
I don't gig, but if I did, my last point of contention would be concerning myself over what others think of my kit or the finish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
When I had the Ludwigs in the blue/olive oyster, I liked those, but had this feeling more people were distracted by their love or hate for the finish rather than noticing if I was playing well. Before this one a DW kit in that zebra FinishPly did the same thing - not exactly something that looked subdued on a bandstand at a wedding reception. I'm beginning to notice that the white 'n black oyster of my current kit is doing the same kind of thing. Take the black out of the equation, then it's just normal white marine pearl, and nobody has a reaction, and maybe they can enjoy the music better if their eyes weren't drawn to the drums in the center of the stage.
How are you formulating the distinction between genuine audience awe, over possible distraction? Do you never have audience members approach you after a performance looking to compliment you on your talent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
I remember when Ron Tutt said he got some Vistalite kit for his days with Elvis, and he noticed that the drums were throwing the King off. Although Elvis never said so, Ron saw that and brought back his green sparkle Ludwigs to finish off the tour.
I've never heard of anything so absurd, then again, we are talking about Elvis here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
So I wonder (if only too late at my age), if finish choice plays a role in whether or not you gig steadily, or become a fixture for a particular group of people. I had just gotten into tuning down to Eagle's tonality and have become interested in blending in with the music being made. Maybe doing it visually has a lot to do with that too. What do you think?
If I was gigging and had a fancy, showy kit, I'd want my kit on display nightly, twice or three times a night if I could swing it, and regardless of whether my kit was seen as a form of stage jewelry or not, wouldn't concern me the slightest. Or were you eluding to a lack of gig offerings, account owning a sub-standard kit that falls short of being crowd pleasing?
__________________
Rash of letters after an Architects name? Alphabet Soup, don't drown in it...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-01-2017, 10:03 AM
Tamaefx's Avatar
Tamaefx Tamaefx is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: France
Posts: 713
Default Re: Drum Finishes

I've come through various finishes too, less than you : solid white and solid black first Tama kit, with metal bass hoops I hated, dark blue abalone wrap very deep and classy, Amber fade (red to Amber), satin wood, and now, iridescent white.
Satin colour - Imo - look cheap to my eyes, it was dull on stage, really, like satin or dark hardware, I really think the drum kit needs to shine. Mat colours, mat hardware, I'll stay away.
Like you Bo, I'm looking towards classics : pure maple colour (like thermogloss), piano black, piano white, cherry, and so forth. Many fades and burst look cheap to me too, especially now that toms are shorter, fades and burst look odd.
I would be still turned on by some sparkles or oyster wrap on Ludwig or Gretsch though ;-).

Last edited by Tamaefx; 07-01-2017 at 09:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-01-2017, 10:29 AM
Matt Bo Eder
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Drum Finishes

I'm just used to being around people who plan out everything. My current reaction to "things that don't match" has truly been caused by working with show directors who are going for a certain look.

Of course, if there is no show director, and it's just you and your band, that's one thing. But I've grown beyond the "well I bought it, so I'm damn well going to use it and show it off" mentality. It's visually the equivalent of blending into the band sound. Imagine if Charlie Watts decided to play way more notes than was required - would it be the Rolling Stones? Would anyone know about the Rolling Stones if he did it? Heady theories, I suppose.

I know, Tony Williams playing a fire engine yellow kit is his thing. But when you're just a lowly sideman, or substitute (like me), I'm not so keen to jar the ears and the eyes. Both of which I think detracts from the music that needs to be played and just draws more attention to me, which isn't why I get hired.

So perhaps I'm thinking of re-thinking my current drum finish to reflect this somewhat new mentality. I have natural woods, so that part of the equation is solved. I may swing back to a less-shocking glitter in the future since it seems to work in most situations I'd find myself in. Through the years I've considered red or green sparkle, but I think there's a reason champagne and silver sparkle work well in every situation. I've done white marine pearl, and although classic, it does nothing for me.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-01-2017, 03:43 PM
lsits's Avatar
lsits lsits is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 1,108
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
I know, Tony Williams playing a fire engine yellow kit is his thing.
I've never seen a yellow fire engine.
__________________
I started with nothing and still have most of it left.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-01-2017, 04:11 PM
Morrisman's Avatar
Morrisman Morrisman is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: South Australia
Posts: 1,562
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Image and finish are definitely important for live gigs. Obviously not so much for recordings, orchestra pits, etc. although that will still affect other musicians' perceptions of the drummer.

90% of my gigs have been on natural lacquered wood kits which look classy and understated. Sends the message that I'm serious and am focused on the music.

But, I recently got an old blue onyx kit for the 50's band I'm in, just because its fits the image of the band, where we also wear matching suits, etc.

But I wouldn't take that kit to a standard rock or cover band gig. It would be a distraction.

So I can see where you'e coming from.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-01-2017, 04:15 PM
alparrott's Avatar
alparrott alparrott is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 6,187
Default Re: Drum Finishes

My drums are, of course, in that discontinued blue strata wrap finish. And generally, other than people coming up to me in the breaks and saying how beautiful it looks, it doesn't ever seem to be an out-and-out distraction. It's probably not a real flashy finish, but it's the least standard finish I've ever owned.

I suppose if they were Bozo the Clown colors, I might get more attention - of the bad sort.

__________________
Al Parrott
"Jus suum cuique"
-------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-01-2017, 05:00 PM
GruntersDad's Avatar
GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
Administrator - Mayor
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gulf Coast Seminole, Florida
Posts: 22,108
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsits View Post
I've never seen a yellow fire engine.
Your wish is my command..
Attached Images
 
__________________
johnny
Suum cuique tribuere....
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-01-2017, 05:43 PM
Matt Bo Eder
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
My drums are, of course, in that discontinued blue strata wrap finish. And generally, other than people coming up to me in the breaks and saying how beautiful it looks, it doesn't ever seem to be an out-and-out distraction. It's probably not a real flashy finish, but it's the least standard finish I've ever owned.

I suppose if they were Bozo the Clown colors, I might get more attention - of the bad sort.

I also spotted this one over at Pork Pie:
Attached Images
 
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-01-2017, 05:49 PM
Matt Bo Eder
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrisman View Post
Image and finish are definitely important for live gigs. Obviously not so much for recordings, orchestra pits, etc. although that will still affect other musicians' perceptions of the drummer.

90% of my gigs have been on natural lacquered wood kits which look classy and understated. Sends the message that I'm serious and am focused on the music.

But, I recently got an old blue onyx kit for the 50's band I'm in, just because its fits the image of the band, where we also wear matching suits, etc.

But I wouldn't take that kit to a standard rock or cover band gig. It would be a distraction.

So I can see where you'e coming from.

Another example was when I was doing sound for a World War II swing band - the whole band shows up in casual army officers brown uniforms, complete with three ladies dressed up to the nines in army dresses (think Lemon Sisters {right spelling?}). The drummer showed up with his blue fade turquoise-to-black Yamaha Recording Custom kit with hanging toms and boom stands (which he is very proud of - since he'd spent so much money on them), which would've looked at home on stage with Hall & Oates.

The next time they came back to my stage, he had a 1960s Rogers kit in white marine pearl with flat-based straight stands. Close enough.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-01-2017, 06:10 PM
WallyY WallyY is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boston, US
Posts: 1,756
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Drums have always been decorative and a bit flashy. Maybe it's because the wood was ugly and wraps made sense to cover up the ugly wood.

Guitars were the latecomers to the flashy instrument scene. Who wants to see a big band without the drums looking brilliant?

I have a new set in Scarlet Sparkle Fade. It might be out of place at a stodgy wedding, but I wouldn't think it out of place at a New Orleans funeral, so it's all about the preconceived notions.

Consider the possible self-suppression of musically pigeon-holing yourself into a fittable mediocrity.

Imagine the old standard, Mustang Sally. Do you want to play it like a bunch of beardy old office guys in faded polo shirts trying to fit in and you're playing drums on a similarly dressed set, or do you want to play it like Picket with a brilliant set?

Then again, it may have been a good thing for Elvis' drummer to tone back his set because Elvis needed to look like the King. If everything behind him was flashy, he might just look like the Queen instead.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-01-2017, 06:13 PM
WallyY WallyY is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boston, US
Posts: 1,756
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Those Pork Pie drums would fit with The Wiggles' drummer.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-01-2017, 06:25 PM
T_Weaves's Avatar
T_Weaves T_Weaves is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Forest Hills, PA
Posts: 894
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Finish comes in about 4th place when I'm looking for a kit. I'm not an attention Ho. I lean to the understated finishes. I prefer lacquer finishes over wraps. Also, I'm not crazy about red or green kits. I actually like black kits quite a bit. You can keep all those crazy multi colored polka dot, striped thingy's. I do like a nice dark sparkle finish ( blu/black etc. ). Just comes down to personal pref in the end.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-01-2017, 07:05 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 20,441
Default Re: Drum Finishes

To me, my drum finish is akin to the clothes I choose. I don't want to cause a stir with my choice of clothing. I want to project solidness, class, and a timeless kind of vibe. Any outrageous finish is short lived. I don't want my drum finish to upstage me lol.
__________________
Levis/Hanes/Timberlands/Custom made socks
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-01-2017, 07:10 PM
Matt Bo Eder
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_Weaves View Post
Finish comes in about 4th place when I'm looking for a kit. I'm not an attention Ho. I lean to the understated finishes. I prefer lacquer finishes over wraps. Also, I'm not crazy about red or green kits. I actually like black kits quite a bit. You can keep all those crazy multi colored polka dot, striped thingy's. I do like a nice dark sparkle finish ( blu/black etc. ). Just comes down to personal pref in the end.
I'm just saying that sometimes it's not down to your personal preference. If the organization is big enough, they could be supplying the kit to keep a certain theme going (which happens where I work). Or they could request you to have a certain look - and this isn't without precedence - Craig Krampf once did a studio session with a wonderful snare drum and the producer loved his snare sound (which was a loaner from Rogers). After Craig returned the snare so another Rogers artist could use it, he got another call from the same producer asking for that exact same snare. He tells the story of rushing out to the drum shop and bought a Sonor rosewood snare and sweated that the producer wouldn't figure it out. The producer didn't, and disaster was averted ;)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-01-2017, 07:39 PM
poppies's Avatar
poppies poppies is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 159
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
To me, my drum finish is akin to the clothes I choose. I don't want to cause a stir with my choice of clothing. I want to project solidness, class, and a timeless kind of vibe. Any outrageous finish is short lived. I don't want my drum finish to upstage me lol.
Right on. I used to be flashier in both drums and clothing, but now I've found classic and timeless works in more situations and gives me an edge in first impressions.
__________________
12/14/20 Mahogany INDe Bop Cocktail Hybrid
Late 50s Black Nitron 3 Ply Gretsch 13/16/20
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-01-2017, 08:33 PM
T_Weaves's Avatar
T_Weaves T_Weaves is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Forest Hills, PA
Posts: 894
Default Re: Drum Finishes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
I'm just saying that sometimes it's not down to your personal preference. If the organization is big enough, they could be supplying the kit to keep a certain theme going (which happens where I work). Or they could request you to have a certain look - and this isn't without precedence - Craig Krampf once did a studio session with a wonderful snare drum and the producer loved his snare sound (which was a loaner from Rogers). After Craig returned the snare so another Rogers artist could use it, he got another call from the same producer asking for that exact same snare. He tells the story of rushing out to the drum shop and bought a Sonor rosewood snare and sweated that the producer wouldn't figure it out. The producer didn't, and disaster was averted ;)
Well that's a no brainer then if the org is footing the bill. Pay me enough and I'll play drums with hair on them. Your anecdote regarding Craig Krampf seems to be more about sound than look. You seem to have a whole different gig going than I'm used to. I've played mostly with the same rock/soul people, in CLE and NY, for 40+ years off and on. Nobody has ever asked me to use a specific color. My stuff always looks nice tho. ;)
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 03:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com