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  #1  
Old 12-19-2009, 01:36 PM
Dave A Dave A is offline
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Default Roger Taylor sound

Hello everyone,
I just joined today and would like a little help from all you knowledgeable people. I've started to learn to play the drums fairly recently and am looking for a certain sound. One of the drummers I admire among many is Queens Roger Taylor. Technically he wasn't a great drummer, but I still love his style and sound, especially during the 70's.
I would like to know what drum heads was he using, both batters and reso's? I've got a Pearl Vision VBX which I'm pleased with, but the supplied heads aren't really what I'm looking for.
In an old video (1974) I notice he had different batters for the floor toms. Any advice?
Cheers,
Dave
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2009, 07:43 AM
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theindian theindian is offline
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Really, he wasn't that good? I disagree. Sure he may not be Steve Gadd or Niel Peart but he is a good drummer and his parts fit Queens over the top music. Check out the drum solo in "Keep Yourself Alive."

As far as his sound, like a lot of drummers in the 70's his drum sound was pretty muffled, so maybe clear Remo Emporers over Abassadors reso with some muffle. He also used a good bit of auxillary stuff like cowbell, triangle, chimes etc...
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:05 PM
Dave A Dave A is offline
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Thanks for the reply. I didn't mean he wasn't a good drummer. I meant he wasn't as technically competent as say Bonham, Gadd or Baker to name a few. He admitted himself that he never learned a lot of the more advanced/complicated skills. I still think he is a very good drummer and as you wrote, his drumming style fitted in very well with Queen.
As to the question of heads. He may have used Emperors, but I never saw him use clears until the 80's. I saw that Remo re-released the coated vintage Emperors. Do you think these over Ambassador whites would work?
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2009, 03:54 PM
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Ian Williams Ian Williams is offline
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Roger Taylor has a jazzy touch included in his drumming, that makes his sound particularly tasted.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
Thanks for the reply. I didn't mean he wasn't a good drummer. I meant he wasn't as technically competent as say Bonham, Gadd or Baker to name a few. He admitted himself that he never learned a lot of the more advanced/complicated skills. I still think he is a very good drummer and as you wrote, his drumming style fitted in very well with Queen.
As to the question of heads. He may have used Emperors, but I never saw him use clears until the 80's. I saw that Remo re-released the coated vintage Emperors. Do you think these over Ambassador whites would work?
Standard Coated Emperors over Clear Ambassadors will definitely get you there.

I haven't used the new vintage Emperors yet, but I have heard nothing but good things about them. I do use Vintage A's and they are the only two-ply head I have ever fallen in love with. Vintage A's have a little less attack than standard Coated Ambassadors so perhaps Vintage Emperors are similar. Nonetheless for that classic killer round warm Rock-n-roll tom sound I'd go standard Coated Emperors over clear Abassadors..
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:52 PM
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KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

I'd try Coated Emps over Coated Ambassadors, with medium tension. He was using Remo & Ludwig coateds top and bottom heads at least up until the Chrome kit, and sometimes no bottom head.

Maybe use a sliver of MoonGel to cut down the top end ring to get a more 'thumpy' sound. A small slice does the same dampening as the whole thing, but it lets you retain more resonance.

He also used the longer power toms a lot too, so that has something to do with the flatter tone of his toms--and that they used so much processing and layering on the records.
But you should be able to come close.
I'd try one drum first to see what you get.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Don't get me wrong, I like his drumming. But, he has such an odd way of playing that I find it hard to listen to. In particular, he almost always opens his hi-hat when he hits his snare. To my ear, it's like someone with a speech impediment. I find myself getting focused on the oddness of his quirks that it takes away from the music.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Roger Taylor's drum sound would be described as, a "big", "boxy", "thumpy" and "boomy" strangely all at once, this was a sought after sound for rock drummers in the late '70s and throughout the '80s. A good head seletection would do the trick.

Certain heads have a sound characterstic associated with them.

Do your research, and find a good combination of top and bottom heads.

General rule is that "Boxy" sounding batter and resonant heads on a drum tuned well will end up with a "boxy" sound.
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2010, 09:59 AM
Dave A Dave A is offline
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Thanks for the advice chaps. Sorry I answered a bit late, but I never had a chance to get on-line over Christmas.
I'm trying the vintage emp's over the coated ambassadors. I'll let you know whether it works.
Cheers,
Dave.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:40 PM
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Ian Williams Ian Williams is offline
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Exactly, that is what I like about his style. The open/close hi-hat while hitting the snare and the tom fills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanz View Post
Don't get me wrong, I like his drumming. But, he has such an odd way of playing that I find it hard to listen to. In particular, he almost always opens his hi-hat when he hits his snare. To my ear, it's like someone with a speech impediment. I find myself getting focused on the oddness of his quirks that it takes away from the music.
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2010, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Guys, guys guys .......

head combination won't get you Roger Taylor's sound ......

How many times must things like this be discussed?
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2010, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

i was a big Queen fan, especially their first three albums.

i'm pretty sure, too, that his sound was also due to the different size of drums he used on those first couple of albums.

if i'm not mistaken i think back then he was using a 14x26 kick, 9x13 rack, 16x16 floor and an 18x20 floor tom as well. damn things sound like cannons.
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  #13  
Old 01-16-2010, 05:09 AM
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KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

He also played (maybe he still does) with the butt ends of the stick, and that changes the sound too.
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  #14  
Old 01-16-2010, 02:51 PM
Dave A Dave A is offline
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Hello again,
I know Roger Taylor played much larger drums than I have, but I can at least attempt a similar sound. I think I read an interview from the early eighties where he complained that the drum companies were making drums too short.
Anyway. I've fitted vintage coated emps as batters, coated ambs as resos and the same on the bass. I must say I'm really pleased with the sound, especially after the shop fitted heads that were supplied. The 16x16 floor tom has a beautiful deep, warm tone that combines perfectly with the bass, so combining the two is great fun. It may not be everybody's sound, but it works for me.
Thanks again to all who answered my questions.
Dave
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  #15  
Old 01-17-2010, 05:05 AM
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Default Re: Roger Taylor sound

Cool! I'm glad you got a sound you like.
Have fun!
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