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  #1  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:26 PM
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Swiss Matthias Swiss Matthias is offline
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Default How did brushes evolve?

Does anybody know the history of how brushes came about?
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2010, 01:26 AM
JohnPloughman JohnPloughman is offline
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

Early 1900's..... they were fly swatters.
Whomever made the jump and grabbed a couple one night and started working it out was probably the very first drumgod.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPloughman View Post
Early 1900's..... they were fly swatters.
Whomever made the jump and grabbed a couple one night and started working it out was probably the very first drumgod.
When there are enough drugs and alcohol in a room anything becomes a drumstick!
Keep in mind that there were no drug laws back then!
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

Interesting question, Matthias.

Based on some web searches the patent for the dual-purpose fly swatter and corner brush (for cleaning dead flies from nooks and crannies) is claimed to be the forerunner of brushes: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/1393571.pdf. It was to be made with "hurl broom straw or other wisps". Wisps :)

Two years later composer William Walton apparently requested that in a section of his composition, Facade, that the snare be played with wire brushes.

It would be interesting to know what happened between the patent in 1921 and the 1923 request by William Walton. Apparently Chick Webb was using brushes in 1923.
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2010, 03:47 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

I think it was a bored cowboy playing with a pair of swishing ox tails on an empty milk pail waiting for the cows to come home.

...
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2010, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

I thought that was the invention of the bagpipes.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

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I thought that was the invention of the bagpipes.
hahahahahahaa .. awesome Polly!
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:01 AM
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPloughman View Post
Early 1900's..... they were fly swatters.
Whomever made the jump and grabbed a couple one night and started working it out was probably the very first drumgod.


Yep...what John said. Check out this link:

http://www.thedrumstickexperts.com/d...m_brushes.html


Also, 'The Art of Playing with Brushes' DVD comes with a booklet that explains the history of brushes. According to the booklet, a drummer named Henry Zeno was one of the first to use brushes. It doesn't say who was the first person ever; I doubt anyone even knows. However, it does say that Zutty Singleton was the first to use brushes in a substantial part of his playing.

Another excellent resource for Zutty Singleton info:

http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers...Singleton.html
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2010, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

... another question;

Did brushes really evolve, or were they created?

Last edited by Les Ismore; 07-20-2010 at 04:39 AM.
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2010, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

Someone clearly used the fly swatter on the drums. They were probably trying to keep the volume down or, as Bob suggested, a bunch of guys were having an inebriated jam.

In the mid-70s I remember racing outside in the middle of a jam and came back in with a garbage can lid. Using the fly swatter as a lark seems entirely plausible.

It would be nice to know exactly how it happened but no doubt the very first people who did seriously used the fly swatter on drums passed away some time ago.
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2010, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

.................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ...

Last edited by Les Ismore; 07-20-2010 at 04:39 AM.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2010, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

So it is done.

The new slang for brushes is 'Fly Killers'
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2010, 09:19 PM
Longfuse Longfuse is offline
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

I'm currently working on an article that follows the development from fly-swatter to drum-brush. It won't be ready for a few weeks, but in the meantime this article I've just finished should answer some of your questions (PDF format):

http://www.brushbeat.org/documents/Never_Swat_a_Fly.pdf
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2010, 10:29 AM
Longfuse Longfuse is offline
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

A short, follow-up article outlining the development of early wire brushes:

http://brushbeat.org/documents/What_Swat.pdf
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2010, 05:08 PM
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Swiss Matthias Swiss Matthias is offline
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Default Re: How did brushes evolve?

Interesting, thanks Longfuse!
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