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  #1  
Old 08-04-2017, 11:28 PM
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Default Playing shaker with a drumkit

Hey all, I'm getting more and more into the idea of playing tunes wherein I substitute the hi-hat for a shaker (or maracas, whichever I like better), similar to the approach in the Prince song "Dear Mr Man."

I was wondering if anybody here does that, has any technique pointers, thoughts on it, what to keep in mind, etc.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:46 PM
DHA DHA is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

I've done it live with electronic pads with good outcome (Yamaha DTX-12), sometimes playing it live myself, or triggering a shaker loop on and off.

So I can help with e-drumming questions, but not much experience playing a real shaker while also drumming.
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:24 AM
drum4fun27302 drum4fun27302 is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

use the dw 2000 series foot tambourine pedal. I use it without the plastic stop that comes with it and it adds tons of groove feels to songs.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2017, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

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Originally Posted by drum4fun27302 View Post
use the dw 2000 series foot tambourine pedal. I use it without the plastic stop that comes with it and it adds tons of groove feels to songs.
I agree to use a pedal (with a cabasa maybe?) to keep both hands free. Sure drummers can hold a shaker in one hand and a stick in the other, but why work that hard? (unless it's for looks.)

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Old 08-05-2017, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

I have a little shaker next to the kit and I wrote "money maker" on it. That way, whenever I'm asked to play it I can say "Oh, so you want me to shake my money maker?". When they say yes, I get up and start un-zipping.
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Old 08-05-2017, 02:06 AM
WallyY WallyY is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

I like the idea of that Meinl foot shaker, but I remember seeing Brian Blade using a coffee travel mug.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2017, 02:36 AM
MustangMick MustangMick is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

Yup either RhythmTech shaker in one hand or the Rhythmtech Stickball on a drumstick for grooves.

Mick
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2017, 04:01 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

I dig it. I've several different styles of shakers, they all get used, rain sticks, ocean drum, Monster cans filled with rice, sleigh bells, raw hide maraca, bundles of seed pods. I have one that has jingles on a nail kind of like a tambourine it's great for that fast funky beat. Really like a shekere hung by the chords, I don't have to put down the sticks to play it. I've mounted the sleigh bells on the hihat, so I can swap them out. I am planning on making some actual guourd maracas this fall when the guards are on sale, I think these can be tuned to pitches and played in sort of a harmony. I find some shakers can function as sticks or beaters themselves, for example the seed shakers sound great on wood blocks and drums.
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2017, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

Michael Botts-style
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2017, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

I initially balked at the idea of using a shaker behind the kit, but I have grown to like it a lot.

We had one tune in the set that basically required a shaker, bass drum, and a sizzle cymbal. Faced with purchasing yet another pedal and learning an unfamiliar (to me) technique, or picking up a shaker, I opted for the latter.

Simple problem-simple and cost-effective solution. Maybe not a good option for everyone, but we play folk-indie so it fits what we do perfectly.

For the price of a shaker, it's easy enough to try...
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2017, 10:01 PM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

Didnt Billy Ward used to put a shaker in his shoe? Thats another idea, not requiring additional purchases.
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  #12  
Old 08-05-2017, 10:27 PM
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ineedaclutch ineedaclutch is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

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Originally Posted by J-Boogie View Post
Didnt Billy Ward used to put a shaker in his shoe? Thats another idea, not requiring additional purchases.
Yup. I tried the same but they would never stay in place, so I ended up getting a long Velcro strip and poked some holes in it.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:44 PM
fac fac is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

I have a pair of Meinl (I think) small plastic maracas that I sometimes use along with drums. They have a short thin grip so I can hold one or even both maracas *and* a drumstick (see attached pics). The grip on the drumstick is not too strong but enough to play simple hi-hat patterns and easy fills. Playing hard might hurt, though... so I don't.
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  #14  
Old 08-05-2017, 11:03 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

It's a great texture option when keeping things down, with a cajon setup and so on.

Nothing wrong with looks in that regard. It's also less weight and you may want to change shakers not just between songs, but during.
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2017, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

My band plays Riptide, which is a fairly quiet number.

I use hot rods (or similar), and hold a plastic shaker along with the rod bundle in my right hand, which makes it easy to switch between shaking and 'regular' drumming.
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  #16  
Old 08-07-2017, 06:44 AM
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Morrisman Morrisman is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

I saw a drummer playing tambourine instead of hihats for "You can't hurry love" It fitted the uptempo shuffle really well.
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  #17  
Old 08-07-2017, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

I've not had to "ride" a shaker but I do use one on a couple songs. I use the Alesis sample pad for that purpose. Not sure what I would do if I needed to use it in place of a HH or ride.
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2017, 12:33 AM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

My old rock band used to play The Beatles' "The Night Before" occasionally, and for the chorus I liked to play a shaker. So I just folded a towel on my floor tom and left a maraca on it, handle in. When I was ready to go to the chorus I would crash 1 left-handed, grab up the maraca right-handed (keeping the stick in the right hand), and start shaking on 2 (2+3+4+|1+2+3+4+|...).

To get back to the verse I would play a left-handed snare pattern until I could drop the maraca back on the folded towel, then just a quick adjust of the stick in my right hand and I'm back in Ringoland.

For me the key was the folded towel. It gave me something to sink my fingers into and quickly grab the maraca and something soft to drop it on without causing drum chatter (or having it roll off onto the floor).

Crowd loved it.
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  #19  
Old 08-08-2017, 05:43 PM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

I tried a shaker last night on a song. It was fun. We were doing "Magic Bus" by The Who. I shook maracas with the right hand. Played hihats and snare with the left hand & foot, and I laid down a Bo Diddley beat with my bass drum. Good times! I want to re-visit that song with this beat. I like to diversify my beats.
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  #20  
Old 08-09-2017, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

Thumb Thang:

https://www.thumbthang.com/
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  #21  
Old 08-09-2017, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

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Originally Posted by Frank View Post
That looks pretty cool.

I always thought that something to attach a shaker to a person's head would be useful, but maybe a little dumb looking. Maybe wear the shaker on the back of the head or neck and use your neck to shake.

I use one maraca on Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer", only during the lead part. That's the only tune I use anything like that on, so far.
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  #22  
Old 08-09-2017, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Playing shaker with a drumkit

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Cool. One of those things that make you say 'why didn't I think of that'?.
Its basically a velcro strap around small maracas.
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