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Old 08-08-2017, 05:00 PM
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Default Switching Gear DURING a set.

This doesn't seem to be a common move, but does anyone here switch around their gear in between songs?

I only like my ride cymbal in on place, however, I pretty much only use ride cymbals (As rides and crashes). I like my cymbals to be flat just above snare level, over my floor tom. I generally like to switch rides during the set but hate having one on my left where it's uncomfortable for me to play. Ideally, I want to have my ride to right of me, regardless of which cymbal I'm using as a ride.

It is "Cool" to switch around cymbals in between songs? I guess the same could be said for a snare.

Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

I'll sometimes change snare tuning during a set, otherwise my gear usually stays the same. I think it's good to mix it up if the track calls for it... e.g. a nice sizzle ride for a quieter song, then swap it for a heavier track afterwards. I'm all for doing things that differentiate between songs (especially when playing originals) to help each track stand out.

What are your reasons for switching?
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

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Originally Posted by DHA View Post
I'll sometimes change snare tuning during a set, otherwise my gear usually stays the same. I think it's good to mix it up if the track calls for it... e.g. a nice sizzle ride for a quieter song, then swap it for a heavier track afterwards. I'm all for doing things that differentiate between songs (especially when playing originals) to help each track stand out.

What are your reasons for switching?
Some songs call for a flat ride, some call for a traditional ride, some require ones that respond well to brushes. I like to have whatever one I'm using during the song to be in my ideal position.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

I like appropriate sounds for appropriate songs, but changing-out drum gear during a set is indulgent, and disruptive. Yes, I know guitar players change guitars, and apart from making a very obvious switch from electric to acoustic, or a 12-string, I don't hear a difference. A strat sounds like a tele to me. By the same token, in the context of a song, cymbals and drums sound the same to the audience.

So when I say changes are indulgent, I mean they're more for the drummer's personal taste than for the song's benefit. If really obvious 2nd snare or additional cymbal sounds are required, put them on stands so that they're part of the kit, and no physical moves need to be made. The extra coordination just looks bad, and adds dead air to the set. Plus, the singer may make a rude comment about the drummer having to switch gears or something.

That said, I do make a single, transparent, non-disruptive change on local gigs, and it can happen several times throughout a set. I attach/detach a hat-trick tambourine on the hh rod, depending on the song. I want a tambourine where it sounds right in the song, and more importantly, I don't want it where it doesn't belong, or may sound strange depending what my foot does. There are one or two "on/off" hat-mount tambourines that are logistically more elegant, but they don't sound good and aren't loud enough.

Bermuda
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

I agree with Bermuda---no one but you is going to hear the difference between a flat ride and a traditional ride. Do what you want between sets, but futzing with cymbals between songs is distracting to everyone.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Can't see a massive issue with it but do you really need to swap rides around in the first place?

Like others have said no one in the crowd is really going to notice any difference between ride sounds so it just seems like unnecessary distraction.

Hardly crime of the century though I guess.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

I agree with Bermuda too.

However, if you are playing in a band that plays very very quiet music, maybe like an acoustic gig or a piano, upright bass jazz trio,
the audience might, and I say "might" hear the difference.

So here's an idea. Get the band to arrange the set list so that there is a break between the songs that you feel require a drum hardware change.


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Old 08-08-2017, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
I agree with Bermuda too.

However, if you are playing in a band that plays very very quiet music, maybe like an acoustic gig or a piano, upright bass jazz trio,
the audience might, and I say "might" hear the difference.

So here's an idea. Get the band to arrange the set list so that there is a break between the songs that you feel require a drum hardware change.
.
That's actually exactly the type of situation I was referring to (Upright bass/Piano).

Good idea about the set list! I have to do some significant experimenting during practice to see how little gear I can get away with.

Another thought occurred to me. Just switching sticks might make enough of a sound difference to do the trick, also putting on/taking of a sizzler on the main cymbal.

Also, thanks Bermuda for the excellent comment! A response from you is always a blessing!
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:53 PM
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Living Dead Drummer Living Dead Drummer is offline
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

On occasion I'll set up two Rides or two Snares if I know I'm going to need different sounds for different songs. But I leave them up all night and just have a bigger kit.

If I need two Rides it's typically because some songs need something loud and pingy, and others need more warmth and wash. I'll set them up slightly overlapping one another to my right. This is most common when I'm playing with blues bands.

Snares, same deal. Sometimes I need something high pitched with a lot of crack, and other times I need something deeper and warmer. Especially with pop and electronic music. So I'll have the deep one as my main snare, and the 2nd snare to the left of my Hi Hat. Typically a 10" Birch popcorn snare.

The only time I've ever taken one snare off and replaced it mid set is if I broke a head and needed to change to my backup snare. (I always bring two snares to every show just in case.)

I understand changing Guitars in-between songs for things like Bermuda said. Changing to a 12 string, or acoustic to electric. The only other time I see anyone do this is for guitars that need alternate tuning. Having one guitar in one tuning and the other in the alternate is much more pro than tuning onstage.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
However, if you are playing in a band that plays very very quiet music, maybe like an acoustic gig or a piano, upright bass jazz trio, the audience might, and I say "might" hear the difference.
Certainly there's a difference, and appropriate drums and cymbals should always be chosen accordingly for any particular gig. But it's hard to imagine that a jazz trio gig would suddenly start rocking out in a set and need more aggressive sounding gear. Would a flat ride and rock ride ever be necessary in the same band, on the same gig? I've never wanted to do that in my 40+ years of gigging.

But, if it's genuinely necessary, set up another stand with the alternate cymbal on it. More gear looks better, right?

Bermuda
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traditional Grip View Post
Another thought occurred to me. Just switching sticks might make enough of a sound difference to do the trick
Oh crap! Of course. Why didn't I remember this.
The type of stick and the nylon vs wood tip can make a lot of difference in the sound of the cymbal. I just recently discovered this while shopping for cymbals.

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Old 08-08-2017, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
More gear looks better, right?

Bermuda

Well at least it makes you "look" like you are more musical. LOL


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Old 08-08-2017, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Several years ago I saw Lucinda Williams with Butch Norton on drums (he was just great btw), and he switched out ride cymbals several times. If I remember right the changes made sense to me and I could hear why he had done them, but I'm sure a large portion of the crowd couldn't hear a difference, and probably didn't notice him even making the change.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traditional Grip View Post
This doesn't seem to be a common move, but does anyone here switch around their gear in between songs?

I only like my ride cymbal in on place, however, I pretty much only use ride cymbals (As rides and crashes). I like my cymbals to be flat just above snare level, over my floor tom. I generally like to switch rides during the set but hate having one on my left where it's uncomfortable for me to play. Ideally, I want to have my ride to right of me, regardless of which cymbal I'm using as a ride.

It is "Cool" to switch around cymbals in between songs? I guess the same could be said for a snare.

Thanks!
It is a good question, almost like having to retune the cellos when the symphony changes keys.

I've seen the argument that these distract from the song in the thread above, I don't think this is true, each song can have a different ideal arrangement of percussion, which can clearly be heard on many full length recordings. Whether or not the lead on the set has enough taste to orchestrate these changes, by playing a few songs with similar arrangements or gracefully incorporating different instrumentation is another question. My experience is the lead which can change from minute to minute will tastelessly jerk you around just to see if you get caught out of position, especially on your coolest triangle part.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Certainly there's a difference, and appropriate drums and cymbals should always be chosen accordingly for any particular gig. But it's hard to imagine that a jazz trio gig would suddenly start rocking out in a set and need more aggressive sounding gear. Would a flat ride and rock ride ever be necessary in the same band, on the same gig? I've never wanted to do that in my 40+ years of gigging.

But, if it's genuinely necessary, set up another stand with the alternate cymbal on it. More gear looks better, right?

Bermuda
This.

It does make sense.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Switching gear in between songs may also be awkward, trying to do it fast in the dark and drop a cymbal or get your feet into the cables, I don't know, I wouldn't do that personally. I would definitely put an extra stand and have second ride. The removable sizzler is a good idea, simple and efficient. When I have songs that should sound different, I play with the snare tension, the muffling on toms, snare or cymbals and of courses, sticks and the way I play.
Once I played for two different bands, with different sound, between the set I adjusted differently the muffling, and the biggest difference was the way I played and my sticks.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

I would simply have another stand and the second ride there to use. Why complicate your gig by throwing an equipment change into the middle of it?
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Occasionally I'll swap my main ride out for a Rivet ride or lay an old drumhead on my snare drum for a deeper sound.

Have an album launch gig coming up (Country/Ed Sheeran singer songwriter) where it runs from pure Country to Electro Pop on the same album. I wasn't the drummer on the album, he's not available.

I will have 2 snare drums (14" and 12" side snare) but a couple of songs I'm considering swapping out my 14" hihats for a pair of 12" ones to change the sound. Have a fixed x-hat but it might be easier swapping the cymbals over on the main stand using a spare hihat clutch

Will try it at rehearsals

Mick
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:37 AM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

Swapping hi hats with a spare clutch in place would be barely discernible to anyone in the audience, I often tighten up my clutch mid gig and this is barely a step more. However changing cymbals is a whole other issue. It's hard enough setting up things in the first place what with other band members/equipment/guitar stands/cabling all in the mix, the idea of hefting 20" of cymbal with or without stand and replacing it with another gives me chills.
On a slight tangent, using the equipment we like makes us play better but there has to be a limit. In an amplified setting (I'm not sure if this one is or isn't) I doubt that anyone would notice these nuances. And while I like to use the cymbals I like and don't use other types/brands of cymbals as I've got my (simple) tastes dialled in, on the other hand I've never turned a record off or walked away from a gig because the drummer is using a cymbal line I don't like.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

I've experimented with 2 rides on my set before but that lasted about 2 gigs as it's more things to carry in and set up.

I'd be more concerned damaging a cymbal between songs during a quick swap over.

As Bermuda said you can do a lot with different sticks. You can also get those sizzle bead things or the meinl cymbal tuners. Even felts make a difference

Makes sense in the studio to have different sounding cymbals but for gigging it's not for me. Too much silence between songs.

Snare wise I have the BFSD and that can be thrown about literally so I get 2 snares for the sake of a bit of plastic.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

switching gear during set = dead time. Something we try to avoid as much as possible. Set up another stand. simple and considerate.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

I'm another person in the "set it up ahead of time" camp.

I also remember what a music teacher once told me: "About 99% of the people in your audience are musically illiterate. Unless it's a signature sound/fill to the song, they don't know if you're playing the exact fill or if you are hitting a 16 inch crash when the record sounds like an 18 inch or bigger one. If you nail the essence of the song, the singer delivers the lyrics in an entertaining way, you've done your job."

Also, consider an electronic kit where a simple tap can change your entire kit and cymbals.

Lastly: The stage is not the studio.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

It can be done, but I would keep it to a minimum and only if the music really demands it and you can make the change really quickly, avoiding dead time.

For example I do sometimes use a highly tuned metal snare for the first three numbers and then switch to a deeper low/med tuned wood snare for the rest of the gig. I tell the sound person that I am doing this in advance.

As for cymbals no, I myself wouldn't bother as this really can't be done without drawing attention and or slowing down the set.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

I think it only works when very polished bands do this, it doesn't feel like a delay, it feels like a change of pace in the show.

I play with a band that likes to do the Chinese fire drill thing on the instruments. On a good night it's a minor inconvenience and a very unprofessional delay to the gig on a bad night.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

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Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
I think it only works when very polished bands do this, it doesn't feel like a delay, it feels like a change of pace in the show.

I play with a band that likes to do the Chinese fire drill thing on the instruments. On a good night it's a minor inconvenience and a very unprofessional delay to the gig on a bad night.
Yeah, I've seen a decent number of local bands do the whole switching instruments thing. My band (except me) does it on a few songs too. I find it rather annoying. When I see bands do this, I either think A) someone doesn't know how to play the part on their instrument, or B) they're trying to show the crowd (who couldn't give half a crap about that stuff) that they're super awesome, and can play guitar, as well as bass (soooo impressive). Just a bumbling, pointless waste of time if you ask me.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

it just doesn't seem necessary to me... one can coax a near infinite variety of sounds and emulations from each drum, cymbal, stand, stick, brush. that's a lot of sounds. my calculator says e. i guess it can't count to infinity...
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:57 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

One thing I like to do is flip my tom over and play reso head. I find I can get either a sharp sound that works with multi hit and rim techniques or a nice warm round accent. I keep it on a snare stand just for this purpose. Though, I was inspired by Chinese Paigu drums, that are tuned melodically in a pentatonic set and change keys by flipping the sides, which are tuned to a suitable interval to do so. I was unable to get my tom heads to be independent enough to get two different tones though, mostly just a sharp side and a warm side.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:27 AM
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Default Re: Switching Gear DURING a set.

I have a 515 Legacy snare drum that I usually keep at a med high tension and a 515 Supralite tuned med low. I dont tighten the basket on my snare stand, and both drums are the same size, so I can change the snare in 5 seconds if I want a different sound for a song. Sometime down the road I'll add a 515 Black Magic to the mix and then I can have one drum tuned high, one meduim, and one low. I have a 515 Vaughncraft walnut shell that I forgot all about that I should get around to building and then I would have four 515's to switch between...

As far as switching rides goes, I dont need to because I always have both a heavier ride and a light ride in my set up.
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